How much does an American Bulldog cost?


How much does an American Bulldog cost?

The average cost of an American Bulldog can vary widely. The average pet-quality dog usually costs around $800. This is primarily because of their large size. They are simply more expensive to breed because they require more room and eat quite a bit. 

However, if you’re looking for a pedigreed dog from a superior bloodline, you can expect to pay over $1800. In this case, you’re paying for the fact that the dog will likely be able to compete in shows and do quite well. 

The purpose of an American Bulldog will determine its pricing.

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How much is an American Bulldog?

These dogs range widely in price. Where you decide to adopt your dog makes a significant difference in the price. You can likely find local “backyard” breeders that are selling this dog for extremely cheap. However, these dogs are rarely health tested and are more prone to health problems. On the other hand, purchasing from an AKC-registered breeder helps ensure that the proper health tests were run. However, they are also the most expensive option. 

In the end, it is typically better to purchase from a professional breeder. While you will spend more, this is because you’re paying for extensive vet care for the puppy and thorough health testing for the parents. Both of these factors help ensure that the puppy is healthy. 

two bully puppies brown and white

Getting a puppy from Craigslist

Purchasing a puppy from craigslist is often cheap. However, there is no way to ensure the health of puppies sold solely through this medium. Often, these puppies are from unprofessional breeders who breed their pet dogs in their backyard. They typically don’t undergo the proper health testing. Many puppies aren’t even taken to the vet, which means they are often missing necessary vaccinations. Some puppies may have underlying health problems that have not yet been diagnosed due to the lack of vet care. 

Some backyard breeders have done their proper research and take good care of their puppies. Others end up with accidental litters and have no idea how to take care of puppies. When a breeder isn’t backed by the AKC or national breed club, it isn’t easy to know what category they fit in. For this reason, we don’t recommend purchasing a puppy that is advertised on a local marketplace alone. 

While you may save money upfront, you’ll often spend more on vet bills to get basic health testing and vaccinations. It is impossible to tell if the puppy has health problems since many are not seen by a vet. You may end up with a puppy with genetic problems since health testing was likely not performed on the parents. 

Getting a puppy from a rescue

Most puppies in rescues were accidents. A professional breeder would never send their puppy to a rescue. After all, they breed their dogs partially for profit. Furthermore, professional breeders often have an adoption contract that states unwanted puppies should be returned to them – not taken to a shelter. Therefore, most puppies in rescues are not bred by professional breeders. They’re typically accidents. 

For this reason, the parents do not undergo health testing before breeding. The puppies are already born when the rescue has them (or the mother is already pregnant, at least). However, rescues do get their puppies properly health tested and vaccinated. This helps ensure that the puppy is healthy once you adopt it. You won’t have to worry about underlying conditions like parasites, as the rescue often tests and treats puppies for this problem. 

Plus, adopting from a rescue is relatively cheap. Most provide puppies for only $100-$300. These prices usually cover the veterinary care that your dog needs and any other care the puppy needs. 

Getting a puppy from a breeder

This is the most expensive option. However, professional breeders know how to breed and care for puppies properly. They usually get the parents health-tested, take the puppies to multiple vet visits, and adequately socialize the puppies to be ready for their new home. When you purchase from a breeder, you’re getting an extremely high-quality puppy and supporting the healthfulness of the breed. 

Of course, not all breeders are made equal. Those registered with national breed organizations or the AKC usually have to follow strict guidelines for breeding, which means that no corners are cut when it comes to your new puppy. 

You’ll often save money in the long run with these puppies, as they’ll likely not need any vaccinations or similar vet care after you adopt them. Plus, they’re less likely to inherit genetic conditions, often coming out to thousands of dollars in vet bills. 

Cost of health tests

The Bulldog Club of America recommends several health tests for dogs before they are bred. At the bare minimum, they require a genetic cardiac test, patellar luxation test, and tracheal hypoplasia test. This covers common genetic diseases in the breed and will help ensure that the resulting puppies are healthy. 

However, there are several different testing “levels” a breeder can do. To receive the BHA Ambassador for Health, the breeder must also test the dog’s thyroid, elbows, hips, and hyperuricosuria. These dogs are prone to various hip and elbow problems, which do have a genetic component. By checking parents for these problems, you can prevent passing on problematic genes to the future population. 

Annual cost of owning an American Bulldog

After startup costs like purchasing the dog and paying for food, you can expect to pay about $1500 a year to care for the dog after the first year. This assumes that the dog is relatively healthy and doesn’t have any chronic conditions, which can more than double the price easily (and is one reason we highly recommend purchasing from a breeder). 

american bulldog

Vet Expenses

Most puppies will need significant care in their first year. They need more vaccinations and checkups because they are growing. Usually, you can expect to pay anywhere from $390 to $795, depending primarily on what the puppy received before they were adopted. You’ll also have to pay a one-time fee for spaying or neutering, which can cost anywhere from $50 to $450. 

After the first year, you will likely pay less unless your dog develops a serious health condition. Some health problems like hip dysplasia will require ongoing and considerable treatment. You can expect an average yearly price of $100 to $300 for your average, healthy American Bulldog. 

Food and Toy Costs

The cost of the food depends mainly on what food you choose. We recommend high-quality food for your pup, as these can help prevent health problems. A varied diet is often best for your puppy, so you should switch between a few different foods. American Bulldogs grow rapidly in their first year of life and need a nutritious diet to support their growth!

Puppies will usually eat less since they are smaller. You may spend less on their food. However, as an adult, you can plan on spending about $350 on food a year – more if your dog needs a special diet. 

These dogs will need quite a few toys. You should plan on them costing about $100 a year. 

Training Costs

Training is essential for all dogs. Having professional work with your dog is likely less expensive than you would consider. You can expect to pay at least $500 for weekly group classes, which is all you’ll likely need for these dogs. Puppy classes are highly recommended. 

Factors influencing the price

The most significant factor influencing the price of this breed is their bloodline. Show dogs are costly, but those that are pet-quality typically are not. Dogs that have won shows will be costly, as they have been “proven.” However, other adult dogs shouldn’t be particularly more expensive. 

american bulldog puppy

Price considerations

You should be very careful to budget for a dog before adopting them. Plan on having an emergency fund for the vet, just in case something serious happens. It isn’t uncommon for owners to be forced to give up their dogs due to high vet bills. 

Ensure that you can afford to pay for all your dog’s costs, including high-quality food and vet bills. Often, affording the dog itself is the least of your worries. Instead, you’ll need to ensure that you have enough money to feed them, take them to the vet, and take care of their other needs. 

The bottom line

Usually, you can plan to spend anywhere from $800 to $2000 to adopt these dogs. You can find them even cheaper from rescues, though they will likely not show up quite as often as you’d like. The best option is to adopt a puppy from a breeder after ensuring that it has undergone proper health testing. 

We recommend you avoid choosing the cheapest breeder out there, mainly if they do not perform the proper health testing on their breeding dogs and puppies.