Do American Bulldogs Have Underbites? Exploring the Facts and Traits

American Bulldogs are a beloved breed known for their strength, loyalty, and athleticism. They are often described as confident, intelligent, and protective. With their muscular build and distinctive appearance, American Bulldogs have captured the hearts of many dog enthusiasts. However, one trait that often sparks curiosity and discussion among owners and potential owners is their bite alignment, specifically the presence of underbites. In this blog post, we will delve into the facts and traits surrounding underbites in American Bulldogs.

Understanding Underbites

Definition and Causes of Underbites in Dogs

Before exploring how underbites relate to American Bulldogs, let’s first understand what an underbite is. An underbite, also known as prognathism, occurs when the lower jaw extends beyond the upper jaw, creating a misalignment of the teeth. This misalignment can vary in severity, ranging from a slight deviation to a more pronounced protrusion.

The development of underbites in dogs can have various causes. Genetic factors play a significant role, as certain breeds are more predisposed to underbites. Additionally, facial structure, malocclusion, or the misalignment of the teeth, and jaw growth patterns can also contribute to underbites. It’s important to note that underbites can occur in any breed or mix, and it is not exclusive to American Bulldogs.

American Bulldogs and Underbites

Common Traits and Characteristics

When it comes to American Bulldogs, underbites are not uncommon. Many American Bulldogs exhibit a slight to moderate underbite, where the lower teeth rest in front of the upper teeth when the mouth is closed. This characteristic adds to their unique appearance and contributes to their individuality within the breed.

Influence of Genetics on Underbites

Genetics play a significant role in the occurrence of underbites in American Bulldogs. Breeders strive to produce dogs that adhere to breed standards, which may include specific guidelines regarding bite alignment. However, due to the complex nature of genetics, it is not always possible to guarantee a perfect bite in every individual. This means that underbites can still be present in otherwise healthy and well-bred American Bulldogs.

Health Implications of Underbites

Potential Dental Issues

Underbites, depending on their severity, can potentially lead to dental issues in American Bulldogs. The misalignment of the teeth may result in uneven wear, improper bite force distribution, and an increased risk of periodontal disease. Regular dental care, including professional cleanings and home oral hygiene practices, can help mitigate these concerns and ensure the well-being of your American Bulldog’s oral health.

Impact on Overall Facial Structure

While underbites may affect the bite alignment, it is essential to note that they do not necessarily impact the overall facial structure or functionality of American Bulldogs. These dogs can still eat, drink, and play normally, even with a slight underbite.

Breed Standards and Underbites

American Kennel Club (AKC) Standards

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes American Bulldogs as a breed and has established specific standards for their appearance. While the ideal bite for an American Bulldog is a scissors bite, where the upper incisors just overlap the lower incisors, the presence of an underbite does not disqualify a dog from being considered a purebred American Bulldog. The AKC focuses on overall breed character, temperament, and structure, rather than minor deviations in bite alignment.

Other Recognized Breed Standards

Apart from the AKC, other recognized breed standards, such as those set by the United Kennel Club (UKC), also acknowledge that some American Bulldogs may have underbites. These standards prioritize the breed’s working ability and functional structure over minor dental variations.

Dealing with Underbites in American Bulldogs

Health Considerations and Regular Veterinary Care

If you have an American Bulldog with an underbite, it is important to prioritize their overall health and well-being. Regular veterinary care, including dental check-ups, can help identify and address any potential dental issues related to the underbite. Your veterinarian may recommend specific dental care routines or even orthodontic interventions in severe cases.

Management Techniques and Strategies

While underbites in American Bulldogs may not require intervention in most cases, there are management techniques that can help minimize any potential complications. Feeding your dog a diet that promotes dental health, providing appropriate chew toys, and regular teeth brushing can contribute to maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing dental problems.

Addressing Common Misconceptions

Myths and Misinformation about American Bulldogs with Underbites

There are various myths and misconceptions surrounding American Bulldogs with underbites. Some may assume that underbites are indicative of poor breeding or genetic faults. However, it is important to remember that underbites can occur in well-bred and healthy American Bulldogs due to the complex nature of genetics. It is essential not to judge a dog solely based on their bite alignment, but rather to focus on their overall health, temperament, and adherence to breed standards.


American Bulldogs with underbites are not uncommon, and this trait adds to their individuality within the breed. While underbites may have potential dental implications, they do not necessarily impact the overall health or functionality of American Bulldogs. It is important to prioritize regular veterinary care, including dental check-ups, and to manage oral hygiene to ensure the well-being of your American Bulldog. Remember, the presence of an underbite should not overshadow the unique qualities and characteristics that make American Bulldogs such beloved companions.

ThePetFaq Team