When talking about the american bulldog blood lines, the first two that comes to one’s mind are the Johnson or classic type and the Scott or performance type. However, after several generations of american bulldogs these two original types have been diluted and it is now probably more accurate to consider five main types, bearing in mind that most american bulldogs today are hybrids of two or more of these types, apart those originating from certain kennels who continue to this day to breed true to type, either Johnson or Scott.
1. The Johnson or Classic Type:
The Johnson type (or bully type) resembles an athletic, tightly built, white Bullmastiff. As compared to the Scott type it is a larger, wider dog with more bone, pendulous lips, and undershot jaw, facial wrinkles and a shorter muzzle.
In the 70s John D. Johnson bred two of his American Bulldog females (King’s Lady Grace and Johnson’s Sugar Doll) to English Bulldog West Champ’s High Hopes.
This created Johnson’s Sugar Doll 3 and Bullmead’s Queen who were both half English Bulldog. The famous Johnson American Bulldog Johnson’s Incredible Mean Machine was 30% English Bulldog and foundation stock for most Johnson American Bulldogs today.
This has made the Johnson type American Bulldog somewhat less athletic and more bully in appearance. Weight for males can be 55 kg plus. Mr. Johnson has branched away from the American Bulldog in 1998 to create the JDJ bulldog, which is a very tall dog with a “Standard type” body and a “Bully” head. Some claim this is now to be considered a different breed, registered with John D. Johnson.
2. The Standard / Performance/ SCOTT Type:
The Scott type looks like a large, coarse, leggy, white Pit Bull. They are lighter weight than the Johnson type and have a very muscular athelic look and their front legs are under their body, not thrown out to the sides.
This makes the standard type American Bulldog very agile and structurally sound. They have a very strong prey drive and can be dog aggressive, which is exactly what American Bulldogs needed 300 years ago to protect the farm from wolves and coyotes, and to do catch work.
The Scott type American bulldog has a closer underbite and longer muzzle too. Weight generally from 27 to 45 kg.
Well-known lines include Scott, Hines, Kerschner, Koura, Stover, and Williamson among others.
3. The Painter/Margentina Type:
In the late 1970s, Joe Painter, Margentina, Tappe and others developed a second performance strain of American Bulldogs that was unfortunately used in the dog fighting arena. They are of an even smaller size, 25 to 35 kg.
This American Bulldog line came from using inbred Johnson’s Dick the Bruiser females that were small between 20 to 30 kg.
They were bred to Larry Wrights Rounder and Alan Scott’s Big Bucks. The Rounder dog came from G.L. Williamson’s Big Joe and Tuck’s Tiger Lady who was 50% Mac the Masher. It is widely rumored that Margentina and Trap infused Pit Bull Terrier blood into the pure Joe Painter line. This was probably due to the color in these dogs. However some of the dogs Joe Painter already had that color in them.
A couple of their more famous dogs were Painter’s Zeke and Margentina’s Sargent Rock.The Painter/Margentina strain was heavily inbred and had some problems, though through judicious outcrosses, the Painter strain has made valuable contributions to the breed as a whole.
4. The “Old Southern Whites” Type:
One can still find dogs referred to as “White English” among countrymen that never have heard about Mr. Scott or Mr. Johnson. This is a term for the original country bulldogs that are not descended from any of the modern lines, i.e. breeds strains with no infusion of blood from the common American Bulldog lines.
The reverse is in fact the truth; that is to say Old Southern Whites were the raw material that Scott, JDJ and others started out with when they got their foundation dogs.
Southern Whites are still used by country folk in the deep south, some of whom have probably never heard of Mr Scott or Mr Johnson or the term “American Bulldog”.
Often their families have bred these “White English” for generations and these are the dogs that some claim should be named “The true American Bulldogs”.
A few breeders still use pure Southern White lines in their breeding programs and they can be a useful source of fresh genetic material for established bloodlines.
5. The “Hybrid” Type:
These are basically American Bulldogs whose blood-lines are a mixture of standard and bully types, with the goal being to distill the best features of both. Today most American bulldogs are probably in this category. Some notable successful breeders of hybrid lines include Kyle Symmes (Sure-Grip), Matt Boyd and Greg Souza among many others.