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About the Breeder



This is a series of pages where I go into detail about my opinions on the American Bulldog as a working breed. Please take the time to read each page to fully understand how I see and do things here and the type of dogs I aim to produce at Ferocia Kennels.

My name is Jennifer Marshall, and I am Ferocia Kennels. What does Ferocia mean, and what does it stand for? Ferocia is Latin, translation of which can be used to mean/infer: Courage, Fierceness/Ferocity, Arrogance/Boldness, and High Spirit. These are things I find to be important and noteworthy traits within the American Bulldog. American Bulldogs should be courageous, bold, spirited, and fierce when called for. 


I have been involved in the breed since 2005 when I got my first American Bulldog named Cajun. I did not breed my first litter until 2015, after many years of research into canine genetics and breeding under the mentorship of a very experienced breeder, handler, and trainer of several working and companion breeds. I follow a combination of Avi Dog and Puppy Culture protocols for raising litters. 


I have been training dogs since 1996. I trained dogs professionally from 2004-2018. While I trained basic and advanced obedience, and especially loved puppy raising, my primary focus was on behavior modification. Competitive training and protection sports caught my interest in 2005 when I got my first American Bulldog. After a couple of years of research into the various sports I decided to try Mondioring.  I found a Mondioring club in California and I got hooked.


From 2007 to 2017 I trained my dogs for Mondioring. In 2011 I got the first leg of MR1 on my boy Cuda, placing 2nd of 8 dogs our very first time on the trial field. The following year I trialed him again at the 2012 USMRA National Championships and obtained the second leg of the MR1 and again taking 2nd place and Top Non Malinois award. We trialed for the first time at MR2 at the 2013 USMRA Nationals, placing 2nd and Cuda was also awarded Decoy's Choice and Best Escort MR2. He is the ONLY American Bulldog to ever be on the podium at the National level in Mondioring.


I served on the Board of Directors as Director At Large for USMRA for the 2015-2016 term. Unfortunately, the American Bulldog is not an FCI recognized breed and the FCI took notice of non FCI breeds/dogs competing in the sport in the US. While they are eligible to compete, there are many restrictions and limitations to when and how we are allowed to compete. For this reason I left the sport.


I am currently serving on the Board of Directors as an Officer and Senior Judge for the United States American Bulldog Club (USABC) )

With this formal introduction complete, continue reading for information more specific to temperament and what I breed for in my program. For formality sake, and because it feels egotistical to type "I" "me" and "my" so many times, from here on out will be used "we" and "our." 



Here at Ferocia Kennels, we strongly focus on dogs that are not only powerful but also intelligent and clear headed. Trainability and intelligence are extremely important to us. Our goal is to produce dogs that excel in the primary protection sports of French Ring, IGP/IPO, American Schutzhund, and PSA, while also being suitable as personal protection dogs. Strong nerve, very high level of confidence, high drive, athletic dogs that are easy to motivate and can take pressure from the handler to achieve control under extreme distraction and stimulation.


But, what about pet dogs for families or non protection sport activities?


Don't worry, while we prefer "a lot of dog" for competition and working ability, most puppies are suitable to be active companions for people/families that have experience with large guardian breed dogs or handlers looking to do different activities with their dog. With great emphasis on training and early structure (for which we are ALWAYS available and willing to help with!) these dogs can be amazing companions.

Dogs we produce will vary a bit in social behavior from neutral/aloof to social, and medium to high threshold for defense, with low to no suspicion. We do not tolerate dog aggression, handler aggression, high levels of sharpness, or extreme anti social behavior in our dogs. Lacking dog aggression does not mean that these dogs are "dog friendly" - these are not dogs you take to a dog park for a frolic with strange dogs. We do breed to maintain the guarding instinct/territorial aggression and animal aggression that is part of this breeds history and original purpose as Farm Utility dogs.

What is animal aggression, and why is it important for us/our dogs?


Our dogs have purpose in our daily lives.  Part of their job includes keeping unwanted pest/vermin  and predator animals off the property and away from the home and any livestock. Rats, snakes, weasels, mice, moles, voles, ground squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, wolves, cougars, bears etc. Being natural pest eliminators means we do not need to use any dangerous poisons or chemicals to keep pest animals away from the garden, barn, shed, woodpile, and livestock. American Bulldogs are also bred and were originally created for use as catch dogs, this was a useful trait in working with livestock but mainly for hunting to catch wild boar/feral hogs. A dog needs to have certain traits and strength of character to be able to catch boar, or stand up to and potentially guard against large dangerous predators such as wolves, cougars, and bears. It does NOT mean the dogs are unstable or untrustworthy with other animals in a general sense.  They do have prey drive as well, in order to live harmoniously with other animals they must be introduced early/as puppies and trained. This early training is required for them to learn which animals are part of the "family" and belong, and which animals do not. Our dogs live/have lived with pet rats, ferrets, cats, reptiles, birds, and various livestock. TRAINING is the primary factor and is the responsibility of each owner.

What is territorial aggression/guarding instinct and what does that mean for pet dogs?


Territorial aggression is the dog's willingness to defend, with aggression, whatever it considers to be it's territory from any unknown/unwanted human or animal. This is most commonly seen at the dog's home/yard/property but also in the vehicle and it can be anywhere the dog is taken frequently that it considers part of it's territory such as a park, campground, etc. Many dogs of many breeds will show some form of territorial behavior, most commonly a low level of territorial behavior  which is just barking. A strong guardian breed dog with territorial aggression is not accepting of strangers or acquaintances making sudden, unexpected, or unsupervised appearance where the dog considers to be its territory. They will have a strong natural alert behavior to bark and physically prevent entry of the unknown person by blocking gates, doors, windows etc. The American Bulldog should not automatically bite as it's first response in these situations but provocation can and will result in more forceful action by the dog. Provocation to bite includes forceful entry onto the property, teasing or taunting of the dog at a boundary, grabbing or trying the handle the dog, aggressive behavior towards the dog or owner(s) etc.


Despite popular belief, dogs cannot tell an evil person from a good one. Lassie and Rin Tin Tin are fictional characters played by professionally trained animal actors and not accurate representatives of true canine behavior. Dogs cannot identify that a person is a friend or relative of their owners. They do not know that the meter reader, mail man, cable guy, the neighbor's cousin, or your long lost Uncle Larry are allowed to be on your property or in your home. You must supervise the situation and properly introduce visitors to the dog. It is the OWNERS responsibility to ensure the safety of visitors and also the safety of the dog, by training the dog. Even if your dog has met someone at the home or in the neighborhood or public places previously and has been accepting of that person in that situation, does NOT mean that your dog will be accepting of the same person coming onto your property/into your home when you are not present or supervising. This is an IMPORTANT and VALUABLE trait! Many crimes are committed by people you already know, or that have been to your home previously. The Plumber you had at the house to fix a problem can be accepted by the dog in the moment when the owner is present, but that same Plumber coming in the window at 1am is no longer welcome! Training and proper management are very important. 


Now, after making sure to state the things we feel are very important for potential puppy owners to understand, American Bulldogs and specifically the dogs bred and produced here at Ferocia Kennels, are not unstable beasts seeking to harm people all the time. They are highly trainable dogs that are accepting of guidance and control from their owners. But owners must recognize these innate traits and train the dog accordingly.  These dogs are not monsters, they are not Cujo looking to rip people apart. They are not hyper aggressive and should not be anti social. These dogs make amazing family companions, but they do have certain traits that make training very important in their new homes. These dogs MUST have rules and boundaries! Not to say an owner must be overly harsh in their handling and we do not condone abuse, but balanced training methods are best for the most clear and effective training. Overly permissive raising, without rules and consequences, will at the very least create a wild animal of a dog that is destructive and a pain to live with, and at the worst can lead to someone getting hurt.

Other Common Bulldog Traits

A bulldog is supposed to be a very physical breed that lacks body awareness and has a high pain tolerance. These dogs are best described as "smashy" or "crashy" as a bulldog tends to go through things, not around them. This can be annoying to people that are not used to this type of dog. They are very physical and lack body awareness, so they will lean on you and bump into you, step on your feet, etc. These are not signs of disrespect from your dog, these are not things you can punish out of them. Training is important! But these traits are not about "manners" or "being polite." ABs are not a polite or careful breed.

These dogs are entertaining and silly, almost clownish in their antics during play. These dogs want to be involved in everything you do. They are higher energy and must have their energy needs met, but have a good off switch when not chasing a ball or hiking etc. These are dogs that are up for anything at any time and will nap on the couch in between adventures. Trainable, intelligent, biddable, and happy. With proper structure, rules, and training they make excellent active companions.


Great care is taken to ensure that puppies are placed in homes that are suitable to each family. More social and less intense temperaments are selected for pet homes. Training advice and support is available for the life of the dog, local families or any willing to make the trip back to Southern Oregon receive FREE training lessons from us for the LIFE of the dog. All puppies go home with a big care package that includes pages of basic training and handling information.

Please continue to the next page for further information. 




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