While the American bulldog inherits many traits that are beneficial, such as loyalty, confidence and strength, others are not desired. American bulldogs can be overly aggressive and are prone to several health conditions that can be painful for the dog and expensive for the owner to treat. It's a good idea to look into the traits of a breed--both good and bad--before purchasing or adopting dog. However, all dogs have both good and bad qualities.
American bulldogs can be aggressive toward people or animals. While these dogs are loyal and loving to their family and familiar people, they can be wary of strangers. They also have strong instincts and will chase other animals and can cause serious harm. The best way to avoid having an overly aggressive American bulldog is to socialize well him as a puppy. Take him frequently to dog parks and other places where he can interact with other people and animals. If doing so becomes routine, he will be much less suspicious of strangers.
Canine Hip Dysplasia
American bulldogs, like many large dog breeds, are prone to hip dysplasia. This painful condition occurs when the hip bone does not fit in its socket correctly. Hip dysplasia causes severe pain and difficulty walking. Depending on the severity of the condition, it can be completely reversible through surgery. However, treatment can be costly and very painful for the dog. But if dogs with hip dysplasia don't receive treatment it can lead to degenerative joint disease.
American bulldogs also can be born with a painful eye condition called entropion eyelids. Entropion eyelids causes the eyelid to roll in, with the hair on the top of the eyelid rubbing against the eyeball. It causes severe pain and can result in corneal ulcers or abrasions. Dogs can also have eyeball scarring, which can impair their vision. Dogs with entropion eyelids often squint and tear a lot. Treatment of this condition is surgery to tighten the eyelids so that they can't roll inward.
American bulldogs also can be prone to several allergies. These allergies can result in skin problems, with the dog experiencing itching, scratching and hair loss. American bulldogs can be allergic to things such as fleas, types of food, shampoo or other items. Severe allergy and skin problems can signal a weak immune system. Dogs with weakened immune systems are susceptible to a variety of other diseases and conditions.