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American Bandogge… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Rather than thinking of the “American Bandogge dog” as a particular “type” of dog like you would another purebred breed, to fully grasp what an American Bandogge is, you’re better off imagining what a dog bred for a specific purpose might look like and then “label” THAT dog an American Bandogge!

You see, nowadays, the term American Bandogge is applied to dogs of a specific “mix.” A mix that could include a cross between an American Pit Bull and a Neapolitan Mastiff, or it could also be a Bulldog and an Old English Mastiff.  Or, in other words, to have an American Bandogge, you will need to mix one “type” of bulldog with one “type” of mastiff, and voila!  You’ve got yourself an American Bandogge Mastiff!

Origin of the Breed American Bandogge

The origin of the “American Bandogge” dates back to the middle ages in  Europe, where they were working dogs assigned jobs like hunting or providing protection to gamekeepers whose job was to guard the grounds of wealthy estate owners.

It wasn’t until the early 1960s that the breed was labeled the “American Bandogge” when a man named John Swinford began specifically breeding them in the United States.  This is why you’ll sometimes hear some folks refer to the American Bandogge as a Swinford Bandog.

And while we’re on the topic of…

Other names that the American Bandogge can go by, we might as well mention the words:

  • American Bandog,
  • American Bandog Mastiff
  • and the American Mastiff

Since they’ll frequently be referred to by these names as well.

Foundation Breeding of American Bandogge

So… We’ll be the first to admit that knowing precisely what an “American Bandogge” is can be confusing.  After all, it seems like an American Bandogge can actually “be” any one of several different “types” of dogs.

So how can anyone tell what an American Bandogge is?

We’re not going to sugarcoat it; sometimes figuring out what an American Bandogge is, is tough!  That said, most Bandog breeders look to combine three different breeds to create that “perfect” Bandog breed.

The three different breeds…

It will generally be referred to as a Primary breed (the most dominant bloodline), a secondary breed (second most prevalent), and a tertiary breed (the third most dominant). It should also be noted that some breeders may choose to exclude a third breed.

In the Primary group…

Most Bandogge breeders will use an American Pit Bull Terrier as the “Primary” dog or may also choose to use an American Staffordshire Terrier or a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Using these mixes, the dog bred will have 25-75% of its genes from this “first group.”

For the secondary group…

Many breeders will choose to use an English Mastiff or a Neapolitan Mastiff. Breeders tend to like to see around 25-50% of their genes from this group be represented in the Bandogge litter.


If a tertiary group is used, it will most likely consist of either a Presa Canario, Dogo Argentino, American Bulldog, Bulldog Campeiro, or even a Great Dane may be used. Breeders will “shoot” to have less than 25% of their genes from the tertiary group.

Characteristics of the American Bandogge

Since there are a few types of dogs you can use to get a Bandog breed, that means there are some definite differences in looks.

Your American bandage mastiff puppy could be grey, white, tan, or a mix. You may even see Bandogge Mastiff puppies that are black and golden, like a calico cat!

Whatever their coloring, almost all of them will have a boxy, muscular body, triangular-shaped ears, and a slack mouth. You’ll notice most of this right away in American Bandogge Mastiff puppies.

The personality of the American Bandogge

The Bandog has been a pretty intelligent dog since it was a puppy.  This means that unless you begin your obedience training early, these “giant” dogs can become a handful later on as they grow.  This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet will typically only recommend this breed to folks familiar with owning and raising a “headstrong” dog and comfortable with taking control over such a large animal.

Now we don’t…

I want to make it sound like the American Bandogge isn’t an excellent pet. Still, folks need to be realistic about this breed and understand that because it is so large and was explicitly bred to help protect its owners, it might not be the right pet for everyone in some situations.

For example…

If you live in a small apartment or don’t have plenty of room for your Bandog to roam, this dog probably isn’t the best fit for you.

Also, if you have small children living in the home with you, or you’re frequently having guests or strangers over to your home, there’s a good chance that adopting an American Bandogge isn’t the “best” fit either.

That said…

Suppose you have plenty of room for your dog to explore, and you’re looking for a loyal guard dog and companion with a heart of gold. In that case, you should consider purchasing or adopting an American Bandogge because one could be the companion you’re looking for.

Health Concerns for the American Bandogge

Just like most breeds, this dog is prone to some health issues. The number one issue an American Bandogge is at risk of is gastric dilatation volvulus.

What is gastric dilatation volvulus?

Now if you’re like most, you’re probably asking…

“What’s that?  It sure sounds serious!”

And if you are, guess what?  You’re right.

Gastric dilation volvulus or bloat is a severe life-threatening medical condition that occurs when a dog develops too much gas within its stomach that can cause stomach torsion to occur, cutting off the blood supply to several organs within your dog’s body and leading to necrosis of the affected organs and death to your pet!

If this occurs your pet will need immediate medical attention and possibly surgery which can be pretty expensive (think $7,000 or more)!

Other health concerns…

That could affect your American Bandogge, including hip and elbow dysplasia. Now neither is as costly as a diagnosis of bloat nor as typical for this breed. However, they are both still something that very well could occur, which is why you should still be aware of these conditions when questioning your dog breeder so that you can get a better idea about your puppy’s long-term health.

Now we know…

We just hit you with a ton of information, and we probably even scared you a bit about what might go wrong with your new pet, but we do this so that you fully understand your commitment when choosing to be a pet owner.

This is because, when you decide to be a pet owner, you are committing yourself to your animal’s well-being for that animal’s life.  This is why we like to point out what might go wrong so that you can make an informed decision before taking on this type of responsibility.

We also like…

To point out all the things that could “possibly” go wrong because we like to encourage folks to take a moment and just see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new family member.  This way, if anything does happy to your loved one later on, you won’t be on the “hook” for 100% of the cost to treat your furry companion.

For more information about what it might cost to insure your American Bandogge and which pet insurance company might be the best for you, feel free to check out our article Best Pet Insurance Companies.

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