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The American Bulldog is an athletic, temperamentally sound medium to large sized dog that possesses great strength, agility and confidence. The expression should reflect intelligence and alertness. The sturdy and powerful yet compact frame is characteristically stockier and heavier boned in the males and more refined in the females. Some aloofness with strangers and assertiveness towards other dogs is accepted. However, an American Bulldog should not be excessively timid, shy or aggressive towards man and preferably not overly aggressive with other dogs. Due to its distinctive physical and mental characteristics along with its natural desire to be the total companion and working dog, an American Bulldog should never be confused with uniquely different breeds such as the American Staffordshire Terrier or the American Pit Bull Terrier.
As well as having varying names according to region, they also had local bloodline variations in appearance and size and also differences according to the tasks intended of them by their breeders and this is part of the reason why the American Bulldog breed conformation standards laid down by the registries allow for such a wide variation in type.