Once upon a long time ago, (like, back in the middle ages) there was a legendary dog who roamed the night, designed specifically to keep his family and home safe.
This dog was known as the Banddogge, and he was kept restricted during the day and released at night to guard property, livestock and families.
Sadly, the true Banddogge went extinct centuries ago, and it wasn’t until the 1960’s when breed enthusiasts attempted to recreate this magnificent canine.
Have you ever heard of the American Bandogge Mastiff? If so, you’re surely intrigued. But if you’re considering investing in one of these gorgeous dogs, there are a few things you should know.
Join us today as we discuss the American Bandogge Mastiff including his origin, his temperament, his health needs and more.
The American Bandogge Mastiff – A Breed Overview
The Bandogge is not a true breed, though he has made a name for himself amongst enthusiasts.
Type: Mixed Breed
Other Names: The Bandogge, The Bandog
Size: 25 to 29 Inches
Weight: 85 to 140 Pounds
Temperament: Devoted, Protective, Mild-Mannered, Affectionate, Courageous
Best Suited For: Experienced Dog Owners
Lifespan: 10 to 11 Years
Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Epilepsy, Autoimmune Thyroiditis, Cancer, Skin Issues, and Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (AKA Bloat)
Clubs That Recognize The American Bandogge Mastiff:
- The American Canine Hybrid Club
- The Designer Dogs Kennel Club
- The Designer Breed Registry
- The Dog Registry of America Inc.
- Backwoods Bulldog Club
- The International Designer Canine Registry
American Bandogge Mastiff Overview:
There may be no breed as powerful or intimidating looking as the American Bandogge Mastiff. A mix between three of the world’s most formidable canines, the Bandogge was specifically bred and built for protection.
However, there’s much more to this massive dog than meets the eye. The American Bandogge is an affectionate and devoted companion determined to protect his family and territory at all costs.
Because of the alluring look of the Bandogge and his unique history, many people are tempted to invest in this breed. But novice dog lovers be warned; the Bandogge is a high maintenance, intelligent and work-oriented dog that requires an experienced dog owner who is able and willing to commit time and attention to this incredible canine.
So before we discover if the American Bandogge Mastiff is the right dog for you, we must first look into his origin. Keep reading.
The Origin of The American Bandogge Mastiff – What Was This Dog Originally Bred For?
Modern-day Bandogges were created in the early 60’s. Their purpose was to make an ideal guard dog.
The original Bandogges of old hail from a mysterious past that is littered with myth and legend. Originating in Great Britain, the term Bandogge (or Bandog) was meant to describe a dog specifically bred for hunting, guarding or fighting.
The term originates from the word “banded”, and describes the Bandogge’s life spent chained during the day.
The earliest variations of Bandogges are thought to have been a combination of Mastiff breeds and Bulldogs, though no one can say for sure.
The most concrete evidence we have of this ancient working breed are medieval texts and documents describing a canine active throughout the 1600’s and 1800’s. This large, powerful dog was chained during the day and let loose during the evenings. His very presence, chained or unchained, was enough to dissuade anyone or anything with less than pure intentions.
Over centuries, the Bandogge of old dissipated until he was eventually classified as an extinct breed. It wasn’t until the 1960’s when a veterinarian and Bandogge enthusiast by the name of John B. Swinford created a breeding program in an effort to revive the Bandogge of old.
Swinford took bits of historical fact and new-age knowledge to create a modern-day version of a medieval guardian.
Most of today’s American Bandogge hybrids are a cross between the Neapolian Mastiff, the American Pitbull Terrier, and the Bulldog. However, many can be combined with different types of mastiffs and pitbulls per the breeder’s discretion.
This revitalization of the Bandogge lit a fire with dog enthusiasts worldwide, leading to many creating breed clubs and fan clubs specifically for the Bandogge in an effort to ensure the breed’s survival.
Still, the American Banddoge’s plight isn’t over. This is still considered an exceedingly rare breed, and this is made worse by the fact that Bandogges have been banned in many regions throughout the United States.
This is due to the Bandogge’s history with bloodsports and the fact that he is considered to have the second strongest dog bite in the world.
Though not recognized by The American Kennel Club, the modern day American Bandogge is recognized by several other breed clubs and his supporters are passionate about educating the public on this misunderstood and beloved canine.
Of course, even Bandogge enthusiasts will tell you this is not the dog for everyone. American Bandogge Mastiffs can be quite a bit of work and require an owner who is consistent, patient, devoted and firm.
Let’s learn more.
American Bandogge Mastiff – Temperament And Personality Traits
Though these dogs are bred watchdogs and guard dogs, they do have the potential to make wonderful companions in the right hands.
Bred as guard dogs, it’s no surprise an American Bandogge Mastiff is going to possess some seriously protective instincts. This is a dog that is incredibly devoted to his family and anything he perceives as his.
Wary of strangers and sometimes other animals, the American Bandogge can exhibit aggressive tendencies if not properly trained and socialized at an early age.
However, he is generally an affectionate and devoted companion with his family and he can get along well with children and other pets he is raised with.
This is a massive dog, however, and may be more than some families can manage. Smaller children or toddlers may find themselves overwhelmed with the American Bandogge, and though these dogs are known to be gentle with the youngsters in their home, it’s wise to never leave a child unsupervised with the family dog.
As with all dogs, we suggest working with children to learn basic canine body language and teaching youngsters how to safely and responsibly interact with any dog both inside and outside of the home.
It’s also important to be consistent with your American Bandogge. This big boy becomes very bonded with his family and, in spite of his history and his incredible size, the American Bandogge is very sensitive.
He aims to please you, which means he is quite trainable. Take advantage of this and work with your dog daily to not only help reduce behavioral issues, but also ensure your dog is mentally sound.
The American Bandogge is a muscular and powerful breed, but he’s not as energetic or hyper as you may think. In fact, he prefers to be a keen watchdog, observing from afar.
As a puppy, American Bandogges can be quite playful, but once they get older they become the calm, mild-mannered watcher over their families.
Because the American Bandogge is so intelligent, he can be prone to behavioral issues if left to his own devices during the day. This is not a dog that does well on his own all day every day, and he is best suited for experienced dog owners who have flexible schedules and are committed to training, affection, attention and exercise.
All of these elements play a large role in the overall happiness and mental health of your American Bandogge, and can help reduce potential behavioural issues and aggressive tendencies down the road.
How To Train And Socialize An American Bandogge Mastiff
Like all dogs, the Bandogge does best with a consistent owner and positive reinforcement training like treats and praise.
Because training an American Bandogge Mastiff is so vital to their wellbeing, it’s best that it begins early and continues on throughout your American Bandogge Mastiff’s lifetime.
In fact, training can begin as early as puppyhood, and many experts even recommend enrolling your American Bandogge Mastiff into puppy obedience classes early on.
When training an American Bandogge Mastiff, be sure to use positive reinforcement training techniques like treats and praise. Be consistent and firm, but try to avoid using aversive training techniques such as scolding or punishments.
Remember, this dog is incredibly sensitive and his devotion to you means he sincerely wants to please you. However, the American Bandogge is a mix of Terrier types, which can lead to somewhat of a stubborn temperament from time to time.
Be patient and try to keep training short, game-like and fun. We also recommend investing in quality training treats that are considered high value to your dog in order to hold his interest.
Blue Buffalo Blue Bits
The ideal training treats for any dog are going to be small, chewy and very smelly. These types of treats are considered “high value” for dogs because they tap into all their senses.
We also like that these treats are a healthier alternative to a few other types of training treats. This is especially important considering the American Bandogge Mastiff can be prone to some digestive issues that can be exasperated by a poor diet.
The treats are made with real meat protein including beef and includes added DHA to help with cognitive function. We also like that these treats are free of chicken, which can exacerbate allergies, and of course free of by-products, corn, soy, wheat or gluten.
Along with investing in quality training treats and ensuring you use positive reinforcement training techniques, it’s also vital that you implement proper socialization for this breed.
The American Bandogge Mastiff is a guard dog, and as such he is prone to having a natural wariness when it comes to strangers or animals he was not raised with.
In order to curb this behavior, begin socializing your American Bandogge as early as puppyhood. Introduce him to as many new sights, sounds, experiences, and people as possible and try to ensure these first impressions are positive for him.
Doing this will help to reduce fear and anxiety in the dog as he grows up, and will reduce potential behavioral issues and fear-based aggression or territorial behaviors.
It’s also important to have a few basic cues down when working with your American Bandogge Mastiff. This dog can have a very high prey drive and may instinctually become protective.
Work with your dog to implement a solid recall, as well as release words and cues that teach him to sit, stay, lay down, and drop it.
The American Bandogge Mastiff Exercise and Mental Stimulation Needs
The Bandogge can be prone to boredom which can lead to destructive behaviors, so it’s important to keep up with his mental stimulation and exercise needs.
Physical and mental exercise is just as important as training and socialization to help ensure your American Bandogge is healthy and happy.
When it comes to physical exercise, the Bandogge may not be as active as you think. In fact, this dog does best with moderate exercise that can include a good 45 minutes to an hour walk a day along with some free playtime in a securely fenced back yard.
Because the American Bandoggue can be so strong and has a very high prey drive, it’s especially important that you reinforce your backyard with a fence that is at least six feet in height and is dig-proof.
When walking your dog outside for routine exercise, be sure you always have him properly leashed and harnessed. Because the American Bandogge is so large and strong, we recommend investing in a quality no pull dog harness and leash designed to redirect pulling.
With that being said, we advise against the use of prong collars or choke chains for the American Bandogge. This is a breed that can be prone to brachycephalic airway syndrome and may be more at risk for heat stroke.
Devices that restrict his throat or ability to properly pant can exacerbate these issues on walks.
Instead, use a quality no pull harness like the one listed below.
Auroth Tactical Dog Harness
The Auroth Tactical Dog Harness is a heavy-duty harness designed for large dog breeds. It is made of military grade materials that will not rip or deteriorate easily, and the vest is also comfortable for your dog to wear.
It clips both in the front and in the back, offering you complete control while ensuring your dog is able to walk comfortably. If he should pull ahead, the front clip will gently direct him back to your side without hurting him.
We also like that this dog harness includes a reflective strip to make night walking easier, and that the vest is adjustable so you can ensure you get the best fit. Speaking of fit, be sure you measure your dog before investing in this harness to ensure you get the right size.
Outside of routine walks and free play in a backyard, your American Bandogge Mastiff is also going to need plenty of mental stimulation.
This is a mixed breed that is bred for work, and he’ll be happiest if he has a job to do. This job can include anything from being your constant companion to helping out with routine chores around the home.
Experts also suggest that you provide your dog with at least 20 minutes or so of training each day to help keep his mind active and sharp.
The American Bandogge Mastiff may also enjoy partaking in obstacle courses you create in the backyard or inside your home for treats. In fact, this is a great way to keep your Bandogge moving and active while at the same time offering him a fun challenge.
Tips On Grooming And Care For An American Bandogge Mastiff
Bandogges have short, shedding coats that will need to be brushed and cared for routinely.
The American Bandogge is quite a lot of dog, but the good news is that he’s relatively easy to care for when it comes to his grooming needs.
This is a shedding dog with a short coat. He sheds lightly but may shed more heavily during the shedding season in spring and fall. He will do well with a good, thorough brushing once or twice a week depending on the season.
Unfortunately, the American Bandogge can suffer from allergies and skin issues, so take care to go over his body carefully when brushing him to keep an eye out for any hot spots, sores, rashes or dry patches.
You can help combat allergies and skin issues by ensuring you do not bathe your dog too often or too little. Most American Bandogge Mastiffs do best with a bath once every six weeks unless they get particularly dirty in the meantime.
We also suggest that you use a hypoallergenic dog shampoo made for dogs with sensitive skin.
Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Hypoallergenic Dog Shampoo
For dogs with skin sensitivities and allergies like the American Bandogge Mastiff, we suggest a hypoallergenic shampoo like Veterinary Formula’s Clinical Care. This shampoo is designed specifically for pets with sensitivities and is free of harsh ingredients that could exasperate skin issues.
It is made with coconut based ingredients and free of parabens, dyes, sulfates, and even soap, which helps it to be an itch-free and tear-free remedy to other types of dog shampoos.
Keeping up a routine is important when it comes to grooming care, so along with routine bathing and brushing, it’s also important to pay special attention to your American Bandogge Mastiff’s ears.
Not all American Bandogge Mastiffs have cropped ears, but either way it’s important to check your dog’s ears routinely and keep them clean and clear of debris, moisture or waxy buildup that could lead to ear infections.
It’s also important to trim your Bandogge’s nails down often using a nail trimmer or dog nail grinder.
Last, don’t forget about your American Bandogge’s teeth. Dental disease is one of the most common ailments in dogs throughout the world, so it’s important to brush your dog’s teeth at least once a day using a dog safe toothbrush and toothpaste. You also have the option of using dental wipes and dental chews to help keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy.
The American Bandogge Mastiff Lifespan And Health Issues
Very large dogs like the Bandogge Mastiff do have some serious health issues owners should be aware of.
Unfortunately, very large dogs like the American Bandogge tend to have shorter lifespans than dogs of a smaller stature.
The American Banddoge Mastiff’s average lifespan is around 10 to 11 years.
This is a relatively decent lifespan for a dog of this size, and you may have a few factors to thank for it.
First, this dog is a hybrid, which means he is a cross between a few different breeds. Hybrid vigor is the idea that mixed breed dogs may be healthier than purebreds thanks to their widened gene pool.
However, the American Bandogge Mastiff can still be susceptible to a number of genetic health issues that you should be aware of.
The American Bandogge Mastiff’s health issues include:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Epilepsy, Autoimmune Thyroiditis
- Cancer, Skin Issues
- And Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (AKA Bloat)
It can be difficult to predict what health issues any particular dog may develop as he ages, but you can get a better idea of the illnesses your specific Bandogge is susceptible to by having him health screened.
A canine DNA kit is one of the easiest ways to go about this. Plus, you can learn many other things about your American Badogge as well that might be quite interesting!
Along with health screening, you can work to combat potential health issues by ensuring your dog is on a proper diet.
Like most large, deep chested dogs, the American Bandogge is susceptible to something known as Gastric Dilatation Volvulus or Bloat.
This is a serious and often life threatening condition that occurs when air or gas fills the stomach and intestines, causing them to flip.
It’s not always possible to prevent Bloat in dogs, but you can combat it by ensuring your dog is on a quality dog food specified for his age, weight and activity level. It’s also best to choose a dog food that is free of any byproducts, corn, soy, wheat or gluten, and a dog food that contains real animal protein, vitamins, fatty acids, carbs, minerals, and is a good source of water.
Regular veterinarian visits will also help to keep your American Bandogge Mastiff in ship shape, as can keeping up with a good exercise and grooming routine throughout your dog’s life.
Pros and Cons Of Raising An American Bandogge Mastiff
Bandogges are massive, and they’re a lot of dog for the novice dog owner to contend with.
Sadly, the American Bandogge is a highly sought after dog purly for his aesthetic. This typically means that unwitting owners bite off more than they can chew with the breed, which leads to many of these dogs being turned over to shelters.
The American Bandogge can make an excellent companion for the right owner. However, there are plenty of things you need to consider before you decide to invest in one of these colossal canines.
American Bandogge Pros
- Bandogges are highly intelligent and eager to please
- They are devoted and affectionate towards family
- They can do well with children when raised with them and properly socialized
- American Bandogges are quiet and mild-mannered
- They are devoted and protective of their family
- They are easy to keep clean and grooming requires very low maintenance
- There are a number of devoted breed clubs throughout the United States dedicated to this incredible hybrid
American Bandogge Cons
- The American Bandogge requires routine training and socialization throughout his life to prevent or reduce behavioral issues
- This is a dog with a high prey drive and he can be prone to taking off after smaller animals
- The American Bandogge needs an experienced dog owner with a deep understanding of working breeds
- American Bandogges are not suited for first time dog owners
- They are large and will not do well in smaller spaces like apartments
- American Bandogges can have serious guarding instincts that will need to be worked with
- The Bandogge may be banned in your region
- American Bandogge puppies can be costly
Is The American Bandogge Mastiff Right For You? Here’s What You Should Know
Keep in mind that some regions have banned Bandogges.
If you plan on investing in an American Bandogge puppy, it’s very important that you go through reputable sources. Experts warn to avoid backyard breeders, online sellers, or those selling puppies at much higher or much lowar price than they typically go for.
The average cost of an American Bandogge puppy through a reputable breeder is going to be around $800 to $1,500, though this price can vary slightly depending on the quality of your Banddoge’s parent breeds and your region.
Before investing in an American Bandogge through a breeder, don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions. Try and ensure the breeder has raised the litter inside the home and has been working to socialize the pups from the time they were born.
Also keep in mind that reputable breeders should be able to provide you with health certificates as well that prove their dogs have been screened and cleared of any serious health issues.
Of course, going through a breeder to obtain your American Bandogge Mastiff is not the only route you can take. As we discussed briefly above, many owners become overwhelmed with the maintenance of this dog and the breed often finds himself released to shelters.
If you would like to rescue an American Bandogge, consider looking into local shelters or rescues. There are plenty throughout the United States that specialize in this dog or mixes like him, and there are plenty of benefits to rescuing a dog in need.
So, what do you think about the American Bandogge Mastiff now that you’ve read this article? Is this your dream dog, or would you prefer to love him from afar?
Share your thoughts with us about the Bandogge in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.