The History of the American Bully Part 4 – Caring for the Breed

The American Bully is fast becoming one of the most popular rare breeds in America, mainly thanks to its great temperament, and purpose as a companion dog. As we have seen in the previous posts, the breed was created to preserve the desirable characteristics of the American Pit Bull, but without any of the aggression. This article is part 4 of 4 in the series, and looks at the best care tips for the breed.


Caring for an American Bully

American Bullys are a great family pet, and their caring and gentle nature makes them ideal to keep around small children. They also serve as great guard dogs, if only because of their imposing appearance! Caring for your dog properly should be one of your top priorities, and at the most basic level this means providing the right amount of food and exercise.

As a general rule, American Bullys are very healthy dogs, although this will obviously be affected by the breeder you get the dog from. Any responsible breeder should be able to provide you with a health certificate for the puppy, and it’s always worth getting one before committing to a purchase. After all, the last thing you want is for any surprise health defects to pop up along the way. Below is some information about the proper care of an American Bully, including diet, exercise, grooming, and healthcare.

Diet and nutrition

American Bullys are an incredibly muscular breed, and so it’s worth giving them a high protein diet. They also need food that’s high in fat, but always make sure this is good fat, rather than bad, as you don’t want your dog becoming overweight.

If you choose to feed your American Bully dry food, make sure it has a fat content of around 20%, and a protein content of at least 30%. You should also ensure that it’s a good quality food, with the main ingredients being meat-based, and as little filler as you can find (some brands bulk up their food with things like ash, and this really isn’t something you want your dog to eat).

However, because of their physical structure, American Bullys can benefit massively from a raw diet. A raw diet primarily consists of raw meat and bone, usually with added vegetables and fiber. Raw diets generally have very little carbohydrate, which is another benefit for the breed. Raw diets require a bit of research, as you’ll need to make sure you’re getting the right nutritional balance, and many owners prefer to mix it themselves. If you’re unsure, speak to your vet and do some research online.

When it comes to food quantity, this will be mostly based on the weight of your dog. Most brands will give a feeding chart, but you should ensure your dog has enough to eat without being overweight. Try feeding both once and twice a day to see what works best for you and your dog.


When it comes to exercise for the American Bully, more is better. The easiest way to make sure they get enough exercise is to provide them with a big yard to run around in. However, if you can’t do this, take them for at least one walk a day for at least 30 minutes. Exercise will help your American Bully maintain good muscle mass, and they always love to play fetch too.

Another suggestion is to provide them with toys that will engage their brain. For example, toys that can hide food are always good, and will stop the dog from getting bored. If they don’t get enough exercise, American Bullys can become destructive, and they don’t mind whether this is inside or outside.


As mentioned, American Bullys are generally healthy dogs, but you should always make an effort to do your bit. Make sure you get the correct vaccinations, which should be done from the age of 5 weeks onwards. At the age of 6 months, your vet will give your dog a rabies shot that lasts for 3 years. These should be repeated every 3 years to make sure they’re always protected.

Also, the 7-way vaccination (the one your puppy will have at 5 weeks) should be repeated every year to ensure they remain vaccinated. Depending on when you get your American Bully puppy, the breeder may have already done the first vaccination. Make sure you get confirmation of this, and then repeat annually.

As with all other breeds, worming is important. You should worm your dog every 3 months, or more frequently in the summer if you live in a rural area. You can do this yourself with over the counter worming medication, or ask your vet if you don’t feel confident. It can also be helpful to ask your vet to do a feces check for worms, just to make sure the medication is working.


American Bullys are really easy to look after when it comes to grooming. You should brush their teeth at least once a week, although this can be done less often if they’re on a raw diet because of the low carbohydrate levels. You can also buy specific chew toys that help clean teeth, and many can have toothpaste put in them.

Brushing should be done about once a week to make sure you keep on top of shedding. The breed’s short coat means that brushing isn’t as important as a longhaired breed, but it really helps to minimize hair around the house. A short, stiff brush is best, and do it outside whenever possible. Nails should be clipped once a week, although you might not find this necessary if your dog is getting enough exercise.




The American Bully is a great family dog that captures all the spirit of much-loved American breeds, but without any of the potential for aggression. As we’ve seen over the series, the breed is perfectly designed as a companion pet, and is becoming more popular by the day. Hopefully this article will show you how to look after your newest family member, and will keep them happy


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The History of the American Bully Part 3 – How Does the Breed Act?

The American Bully has quickly risen in popularity among pet owners, partly in thanks to its appearance, but also because of its amazing temperament. As we saw in part 2, the breed was specifically designed to bring in all the desirable attributes of its predecessor breeds, while removing all negative traits. The result is a stocky and muscular dog that’s very fun to be around.

Part 3 of this 4 part series takes a look at the breed’s temperament, including how it acts around people, animals, and children.


What is the breed’s temperament?

The American Bully is known to many as a friendly breed, and is often described as adaptable by its owners. What they mean is that the dogs are known to be very relaxed and lazy in the house, but the second they step outside, they become a completely different dog. This level of energy is a hangover from the breed’s predecessors, many of which were used as hunting or fighting dogs, and so needed to be energetic.

Although the breed is known to be very lazy at home, this is something owners should be careful not to become complacent with. If they’re not given the correct amount of exercise, American Bullys can become overweight very quickly, and so a strict diet and appropriate levels of exercise are important, regardless of how lazy the dog might seem.

Their appearance can likely put many people off the breed, as by their very nature they look quite aggressive. However, this appearance was deliberately bred into them, while any aggressive behavior was bred out. Because of this, potential owners shouldn’t have any fear about the dog acting out, but of course obedience training is always useful to prevent any possible accidents.

By its nature, the breed is very obedient, and does everything possible to please its owner. American Bullys thrive on human company, which is another trait bred into them. For this reason, owners should be prepared to shower the dog with love, but this won’t be too hard because there’s plenty to love about them.

How does the breed get on with other animals?

The American Bully is generally very good around other dogs, providing they’re socialized from an early age. Again, obedience classes are a perfect way to do this, because not only will it provide the dog with training, it’s also a great way of getting them used to the company of other animals.

The breed can be kept with other dogs, but owners should be aware that American Bullys will insist on being leader of the pack. All dogs have a natural pack instinct, regardless of breed, and some prefer to be at the top, rather than the bottom. This is true for the American Bully, and so owners should be wary about keeping them with other authoritative breeds, such as Akitas or Shiba Inus. While aggressiveness isn’t a common trait for the breed, throwing them into situations like this has the potential to go south.

Because of their desire to please, and their love of human attention, American Bullys are generally fine to be kept around children. Again, aggressive behavior is discouraged in the breed, so they’re typically fine with all people. Stockier breeds are also more capable of withstanding boisterous behavior, which children can be known to act around dogs, than smaller breeds.

However, you should always be present when the dog first meets children, and should ideally always be around to keep an eye on things. Saying the breed is friendly and good with children is a general rule, and might not be applicable to all dogs. So as the owner, you’re responsible to make sure everything goes smoothly. No American Bully would intentionally hurt any person, but this is never a 100% guarantee.

So, although American Bullys are friendly and generally obedient dogs, owners need to be firm but fair in order to establish their dominance. The breed isn’t for owners that want to leave their dog to it, as they will need monitoring to make sure they’re well behaved. Not only that, but the breed is very strong, and so owners will need to make sure they can actually handle an American Bully.

Are American Bullys easy to train?

As previously mentioned, owners should give American Bullys basic obedience training, at the very minimum. This covers things like sitting, staying, and coming when called, and should be the very base level of training any dog gets. More than anything, it ensures the safety of other dogs and their owners.

The American Bully is surprisingly intelligent, and many of its predecessor breeds were used for hunting and fighting, and so had to learn a range of rather complicated commands. As a result, the American Bully is also capable of learning more technical commands than many other breeds, and what you choose to teach them is completely up to you.

Obviously, you should always start with basic commands, and gradually make them more complicated. It’s best to start training as early as possible, but there’s no harm in trying to teach an older dog new tricks (it does actually work). You’ll probably find it easiest to teach them commands at home, but there will be plenty you can teach while out walking. Your dog might even become obedient enough to not need a lead.



The American Bully has an incredibly friendly temperament, and absolutely loves pleasing their owners. This makes them an excellent companion breed, and a surprisingly good family pet. They’re generally fine to be kept around other dogs, but this should always start early to make sure no negative behavior develops. This is the end of part 3, which covered the breed’s temperament, but stay tuned for the next part on the history of the American Bully.


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The History of the American Bully Part 2 – The Breed’s Appearance

The American Bully is a mix of several other breeds, and while it isn’t an old breed in itself, its predecessors can trace their lineage back thousands of years. As discussed in part 1, the breed was created to have the desired attributes of these breeds, but without any of the “bad” parts.

Part 2 in this 4 part series looks at the breed’s appearance, and where it has got these attributes.


What does the American Bully look like?

The American Bully traces its heritage back to American Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, and various bulldog breeds. As these breeds all share reasonably similar traits in terms of size, muscle structure, and face, it’s no surprise that the American Bully has come out looking much like them. If anything, one of the main purposes of the breeders was to create a dog that embodied all of the desirable bulldog traits, but without any of the aggression that the breeds have been known for.

American Bullys are medium sized dogs, typically standing between 13 and 20” tall. There is smaller Bully version of the Bully called the Micro Bully, recognized by the American Bully Registry.  As the breed is recognized by various kennel clubs, there are strict requirements relating to height, weight, and color. The standard weight of an American Bully is between 66 and 88lbs, making it a very stocky dog for its size.

Typically, the breed is characterized by its muscly and stocky physique, which come from its Bull Terrier predecessors. Terriers and bulldogs were typically bred for a number of purposes, including hunting and fighting, and so needed to be very powerful animals. While the American Bully wasn’t bred for these purposes, its muscly physique is one of its most desirable traits, particularly as the breed now doesn’t have the same level of aggression behind it.

The American Bully has a blocky head and medium muzzle, and its face is arguably one of its most recognizable traits. It typically has triangular pointy ears that stick up on its head. The breed is also known to have some wrinkles around its muzzle, but nowhere near the level of breeds such as the French or English bulldog. The head is generally proportionate to the size of its body, and is on the larger side, but this is balanced against its muscly body.

The breed is also characterized by its coat, which is short, bristly, and hard to the touch. The coat is generally glossy too, but typically shouldn’t be wavy or long. Its coat is dense, but isn’t double layered like some other shorthaired dogs. This means that the breed doesn’t shed as much as something like a Pug, but does still need regular grooming to keep it in good condition. Any color is accepted by kennel clubs, although the most common are fawn, grey, or a combination of colors.

The American Bully’s appearance can be traced back through its lineage of ancestor breeds, and it looks very similar to both Terriers and bulldogs. In the past, these breeds needed to be dense and stocky to make them better at their jobs, but these have now become desired characteristics in a number of breeds. However, keeping the dog to kennel standards means there is significantly less variation in appearance than before, which also means selective breeding is more important. This can sometimes lead to health complications in dogs, which are discussed later in this article.



The different types of American Bully

The American Bully Kennel Club, the industry standard for the breed’s appearance, separates the American Bully into 4 different categories. These are defined by height, but with no specification of weight. Categorization is done around 1 year of age, and puts the dog into one of the following categories:

1. Standard

This is the typical size for the breed, hence the title “standard.” Male dogs need to be between 17 and 20” tall, whereas female dogs need to be between 16 and 19”. The dogs are required to have a stocky body, block head, and defined bone structure.

2. XL

This is the tallest of the types of American Bully, and follows the same physical build as the standard dog. Males are expected to stand between 20 and 23” tall, and females between 19 and 22”. This is the largest dog accepted by the kennel, and while Bullys generally won’t get much bigger than this, if they do they won’t be accepted by the kennel club.

3. Pocket

This is the smaller range of American Bully, and again follows the same physical build as the standard category. Males stand under 17” tall, but no less than 14”. Females must be between 13 and 16” tall.

4. Micro

This is the smallest range of American Bully, and again follows the same physical build as the standard category. Males stand under 14” tall. Females less than 13″ tall

5. Classic

This type shares size traits with the standard variety, but has a much lighter bone structure. It looks more similar to the predecessor breeds of American Pit Bull and Staffordshire Terrier.

Health problems in the American Bully

Generally, most health issues are compounded in pedigree dogs, simply because they’re subject to greater levels on inbreeding than other breeds. Health issues aren’t consistent within the American Bully breed, and there generally aren’t health issues that will affect every dog. However, be on the lookout for eye problems, hip and elbow dysplasia, and possible breathing issues, although many of these won’t show until the dog is older.


The American Bully can trace its appearance back thousands of years, with many of the breeds barely changing in that time. However, the American Bully has been bred purely for looks and temperament, rather than its use as a working dog. This demonstrates how its general appearance has become a desirable standard for dogs, and the American Bully shows everything that was likeable about its ancestor breeds. This is the end of part 2 on appearance, but stay tuned for the next blog post on the history of the American Bully.


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The History of the American Bully Part 1 – Where Does the Breed Come From?

The American Bully doesn’t necessarily have a long history of its own, but it certainly has an interesting one. This article is part 1 in a series of 4 that explores the history of the breed, including its origins, temperament, and physical attributes. Part 1 of the series is about the origins of the breed.


Where does the American Bully come from?

The American Bully as a breed unto itself only came about 20 years ago, but can trace its origins back thousands of years through the various breeds from which it was bred. It was created as a specific breed to retain all of the positive characteristics of its parent breeds, but to remove the most negative aspects of each. American Bullys were bred to be an excellent family companion dog, with good physical attributes and temperament.

The American Bully was created through the selective breeding of various well-known dogs, including the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and other bulldog breeds. It was mainly bred to remove any of the original traits of these breeds, such as aggression and hunting instinct, which were obviously very useful in the past when they were working dogs, but less useful now that dogs are primarily kept as family pets.

The American Pit Bull Terrier is an amazing breed on its own, but due to several years of unfair and negative press, has developed something of a difficult reputation. The worst thing about the various news articles relating to biting and aggression statistics is that most of the dogs mentioned weren’t even pit bull breeds! The unfortunate thing is that this information has stuck, leading to the breed declining in popularity, and being seen as an aggressive and unsuitable dog for families.



Why has this led to the creation of the American Bully?

In the past, American Pit Bull Terriers were fighting dogs, there’s no denying this fact. It’s how they got their name: they were bred to fight in blood sports, such as bull-baiting, and were bred with the express desire to combine the speed and agility of a terrier with the strength of a bulldog. This made them fierce fighting machines, considering they needed enough power to potentially take down large animals such as bulls and bears.

However, by the mid-19th century, blood sports were being banned, and animal welfare laws were introduced to make them harder to organize. By the 20th century, American Pit Bulls were being used to hunt game, drive cattle, but were also becoming increasingly popular as family pets. Their popularity increased over the next century, but has recently taken a hit due to press coverage and cultural fears of the potentially aggressive nature of the breed.

Blood sports such as the ones mentioned above were clearly very cruel events, and the dogs had to be conditioned using what we would now consider torture: they were deprived of human contact and instilled with a blood lust that would make them incredibly aggressive towards both humans and other animals, dogs included. Trainers used various methods to instill this blood lust in them, including diet and exercise regimes.

The American Pit Bull Terrier has always been known for its loyalty, intelligence, and strength, and these are all characteristics that breeders desired to keep in the American Bully, while removing any possibility of aggression. However, it is worth noting that although (hundreds of years ago) they may have been fighting dogs, public opinion is shifting towards the understanding that aggression in dogs isn’t related to the breed, but is more likely caused by environment, owners, and the way they’ve been raised.

The loss of aggression

Breeders of American Pit Bull Terriers would be the first to tell you that the breed isn’t aggressive by nature, but this definitely hasn’t stopped them from developing such a reputation. In fact, many of the dogs mentioned as Pit Bulls in the various news articles about attacks were DNA tested, and it was confirmed that they weren’t actually Pit Bulls. However, by this time, the damage had been done, and the breed had fallen out of favor with the general public.

So that’s how we arrive at the creation of the American Bully. Breeders wanted to retain the physical characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier, along with their loyalty and intelligence, but to remove any signs of aggression or gameness. They did so through selective breeding, and the introduction of other breeds, including the American Staffordshire Terrier.

In case it wasn’t already obvious from the information in this article: American Bullys are not the same as an American Pit Bull Terrier. There are visual differences between the two breeds, and even noticeable differences in their temperament. It’s still possible to get an American Pit Bull Terrier from a breeder, but many people turn their nose up at this amazing breed because of the negative reputation it’s built up in the press.

What’s so good about the American Bully?

The American Bully retains everything desirable about its parent breeds, but has had any signs of aggression bred out, as we as a society have no further use of aggressive fighting dogs. Public perceptions on the acceptability of dog fighting have changed massively in the last century, and the sport is now something that very few people would consider engaging in.

The result is a fiercely loyal dog whose only desire is to please its family. Slowly but surely it’s becoming recognized as an emerging breed by various kennel associations, and as a result is fast becoming a popular breed, especially for those with children. This is the end of part 1 of the history of the American Bully, stay tuned for our next blog post for more information on the history and physicality of the breed.


Finally, if you want to get some more information on our new Capcity Bully puppies, adults for sale, latest blogs, and breedings – scroll down to the bottom of the page and fill out the email alerts box!






The American Bully is a recently developed breed of dog which was bred to be a companion dog and show version of the American Pit Bull Terrier  and the American Stafford Terrier.  First appearing in the 1990’s, the American Bully is rapidly increasing in popularity, more so than almost any other rare bred both in the United States and abroad.  The American Bully is best known for its tough and intimidating appearance and its friendly but protective nature.  American Bullies are not currently recognized by any major canine organization but a few smaller registries have recognized them and there are several breed specific clubs dedicated specifically to them.  The American Bully is usually considered to be a type of Pit Bull, referring to the general type collectively known as Bully Breeds, not the specific breed.



Until the 1990’s, the American Bully did not exist at all.  Its ancestors, however, have been very well known in the United States for almost two hundred years.  For many centuries, blood sports were immensely popular in England.  Two of the most popular were bull-baiting, where an Old English Bulldog was pitted in combat against a chained bull, and rat killing, where a Terrier-type dog would be placed in a pit with dozens of rats until either a certain amount of time had passed or all the rats were dead.  By 1835, social attitudes had changed and bull-baiting was made illegal.  Dog fighting was not banned, however, and this sport became immensely popular.  The preferred dogs used in dog fighting were crosses between Old English Billdogs and Rat Killing Terriers, a mix known as the Bull and Terrier.  Eventually, Bull and Terriers bred true, becoming two new breeds, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the Bull Terrier.  Staffordshire Bull Terriers were imported into the United States beginning in the early 1800’s and these dogs became incredibly popular across the country.  In America, these dogs became known as American Pit Bull Terriers after the fighting pits in which they battled.



American Pit Bull Terriers were not only tasked with dog fighting in the United States, they also served as hog hunting dogs, vermin eradicators, and catch-dogs.  Perhaps most importantly, after a day of fighting or work, these dogs came home to be much beloved family pets.  The breed developed a unique set of physical and temperament characteristics as a result.  On the one hand, the breed was very driven to work, eager to please, incredibly pain tolerant, absurdly determined, single-minded, very dog aggressive, and willing to fight to the death.  On the other hand, the American Pit Bull Terrierwas intensely loyal, devoted, playful, energetic, extremely affectionate, one of the most human bite inhibited of all breeds, and very tolerant and fond of children.  In addition to the many thousands of registered American Pit Bull Terriers, countless more were unregistered, and this breed was undoubtedly among the country’s most popular by the end of the 1800’s.  In the 1930’s, the American Kennel Club (AKC) began registering American Pit Bull Terriers as American Staffordshire Terriers, although different breeding policies have led to most (but far from all) Pit Bull Fanciers to consider the American Staffordshire Terrier and American Pit Bull Terrier as separate breeds.  Unfortunately, many thousands of Pit Bulls continued to be bred for dog fighting in addition to hunting and other jobs.  In the 1980’s, the American Pit Bull Terrier began to be seen as the ultimate “tough guy” dog.  As a result, many irresponsible owners and breeders trained or developed aggressive Pit Bulls while at the same time the breed’s popularity absolutely exploded.  Several widely publicized serious dog attacks took place and the breed earned the most negative reputation of all dogs.  Since that time, a constant battle has been waged by Pit Bull fanciers and detractors, which has often involved legal restrictions being placed on Pit Bull ownership or the breed(s) being banned outright.  This is only those parts of the history of the American Pit Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier that most impact that of the American Bully, for more information on those breeds please see the article on The Bully Breeds, a term used to describe a group of breeds often also called Pit Bulls.

In the 1990’s, a number of breeders around the country sought to develop a breed of dog from the American Pit Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier that was strictly a companion animal and show dog.  This was done for several major reasons.  The work drive of the American Pit Bull Terrier is so high that the breed often exhibits behaviors such as very high energy and curiosity that cause problems for a pet.  Also, Pit Bulls often exhibit such extreme dog aggression that they cannot be trusted around other dogs.  Although the vast majority of Pit Bulls exhibit very low levels of human aggression, a few lines and irresponsible ownership had caused that to be a concern as well.  It is unclear whether or not the initial goal was to develop an entirely new breed or just to alter the temperaments of existing dogs, but a new breed was the result either way.  The American Bully was unusual for a new breed in that it was not developed primarily by one person or one breeding program, but rather dozens and perhaps hundreds of breeders across the United States, many of whom were working alone with almost no contact with other breeders.  Early breeding efforts primarily (but not exclusively) centered on Virginia and Southern California, but quickly spread across the country.  It is unclear exactly when the American Bully was first considered a separate breed or when that name first appeared.  The breed was well-known to bully breed fanciers by the early 21st Century, and has become increasingly popular and recognized in the last five or six years.

American Bully breeders primarily used American Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers, and many used these breeds exclusively.  Although it has apparently never been openly admitted, it is almost universally agreed that other breeds were used as well.  The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the English equivalent of American Bully Breeds, was almost certainly used, especially to develop the smaller sizes of American Bully.  The English Bulldog was also almost definitely used, and some have speculated that is was used very heavily.  This breed would have provided a calmer, less aggressive temperament, as well as a tough, bulky body and massive head.  American Bulldogs are also widely thought to have played a significant role, and other breeds which have been suggested include the Bullmastiff, Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, and mixed breed dogs.

Because so many breeders worked to develop the American Bully, most without a clear standard or goal in mind, the American Bully became quite variable in appearance.  The breed can be significantly smaller than a true American Pit Bull Terrier, but it can also be several times larger.  The dog also comes in a wide variety of coat colors and patterns.  Body shape, type, and proportions are also more variable than in most modern pure bred dogs, although this breed is generally very thickly built, quite stocky, and absurdly muscular.  Head shape and type seem to be considerably more uniform, but are still somewhat variable.  In many ways the American Bully is very similar to the breeds from which it is descended, and the casual observer would probably mistake one of these dogs for an American Pit Bull Terrier.  However, experienced Pit Bull fanciers would never confuse most American Bullies for a pure bred American Pit Bull Terrier and the breed definitely has a distinctive appearance and look.

Much like the Pit Bulls from which they are descended, American Bullies have a number of registries which were developed specifically for them in addition to being recognized by several small multiple breed registries.  The American Bully is currently recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC), United Bully Kennel Club (UBKC), Bully Breed Kennel Club (BBKC), and the United Canine Association (UCA).  Due to the popularity of American culture overseas, especially the hip hop and urban culture in which Pit Bulls play a major role, American Pit Bull Terriers have been growing rapidly in popularity around the world, even though they face bans in many countries.  The American Bully has piggy backed on this popularity, and is now found in a number of European countries.  The European Bully Kennel Club (EBKC) was founded to promote and protect the breed internationally, and currently has offices in Malta, France, Switzerland, Holland, Germany, Belgium, and Italy.

In recent years, the American Pit Bull Terrier and a few other breeds have come under increasing legal pressure.  Many municipalities and counties in the United States have placed substantial restrictions on their ownership, and many others have outright banned their ownership altogether.  Some entire states are currently considering banning Pit Bulls, a process already completed in several entire countries around the world, especially in Europe, Asia, and Oceania.  Known as Breed Specific Laws (BSL) such bans are extremely controversial and have usually been shown to be ineffective at reducing dog bite incidents.  There is also a great deal of confusion surrounding which breeds are banned by the term Pit Bull.  In the United States, Pit Bull bans usually include American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and any dogs meeting their standards.  In Europe, American Pit Bull Terriers are usually banned but not American Staffordshire Terriers or Staffordshire Bull Terriers.  This has created an immense confusion as the three breeds are so similar that they are easily mistaken for each other, and many of the same dogs are registered as both American Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers.  It is entirely unclear whether the American Bully would be subject to most such bans.  Most American Bullies have pedigrees showing that they are not a specifically banned breed.  Additionally, most individual American Bullies do no closely meet standards of another breed.  However, depending on the wording of the individual ban, American Bullies may be subject and legal advice may be required.

The development of the American Bully has been met with mixed reactions from the general bully breed community.  Most breeders of American Pit Bull Terriers consider the American Bully to be inferior to their breed due to its appearance and lack of working ability, opinions shared by much of the American Staffordshire community as well although generally less strongly.  However, it appears that a sizable majority of the fanciers these dogs do not object to the American Bully as a distinct breed, in and of itself, but rather it being classified as a Pit Bull.  American Bullies do not closely match the standards of other Bully breeds, nor do they possess anywhere near the working drive or ability. Fanciers of other bully breeds feel that associating the American Bully with their breeds is unfair to both animals.  American Pit Bull Terrier breeders are most concerned that some careless and inexperienced breeders have crossed American Bullies with their breed and passed the offspring off as pure American Pit Bull Terriers (occasionally pure bred American Bullies have also been advertised as American Pit Bull Terriers as well), which they feel has seriously compromised the integrity of the older breed.  If such practices were stopped, the American Bully would probably be welcomed warmly just as other newly developed Bully breeds have been in the past.  However, many fanciers of other bully breeds now derogatively refer to any bully-type dog that does not match their standards or is thought to be a mix as an American Bully.  Many dogs are now considered to be American Bullies which may have no real relation to the breed, a situation that continues to cause confusion.

American Bullies are still a very new breed, and have not yet experienced wide recognition.  However, they can be found in surprisingly large numbers across the United States.  This breed not only has a sizable registered population, but a population of unregistered dogs that is likely significantly higher.  Although it does not appear that any population studies have been conducted on the American Bully, it is very likely that there are already far more American Bullies alive in the United States than many breeds which have achieved full recognition with the United and American Kennel Clubs.  The breed’s population is also growing rapidly overseas, primarily in Europe.  The American Bully was bred primarily as a companion animal and show dog, and that is where the breed’s immediate future almost certainly lies.  However, the breed retains the ability to perform a number of tasks and the American Bully has been used for personal an property protection, law enforcement, therapy, obedience, agility, and dog sports.


The American Bully is similar in appearance to its ancestors the American Pit Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier, but is usually considerably bulkier, squarer-headed, shorter muzzled, and muscular than those breeds, as well as exhibiting greater variation in size.  American Bullies range widely in size, with some registries recognizing four different size varieties, the Standard, Classic, Pocket, and Extra Large.  Standard American Bully males stand between 17 and 19 inches tall at the shoulder while females usually stand between 16 and 18.  Classic males stand between 18 and 19 inches tall at the shoulder while females stand between 17 and 18.  Pocket males stand less than 17 inches tall at the shoulder, and females stand under 16.  Extra Large males stand over 20 inches, and females of that variety stand over 19 inches.  The weight of an American Bully is completely dependent on its height and builds and can range from 30 to 150 pounds. 

In general, this breed is extraordinarily heavy for its size, and many American Bullies in good condition weigh more than double what an average dog of the same height would.  This weight is not bulk, far from it.  Most of it is pure muscle, and this breed is almost certainly the most muscular of any dog.  American Bullies are built like professional body builders.  Most breed members have relatively short legs and are often significantly longer than they are tall.  The tail of this breed is identical to that of other bully breeds, long, thin, and held outwards with a slight curve.  Some of these dogs may have their tails docked but that is not especially common.

The head and face of the American Bully look like the halfway point between that of the American Bulldog and the American Pit Bull Terrier.  The head is generally of medium length but immense width, and is usually very square and flattened.  The muzzle is usually significantly shorter than the skull, but in no way is it brachycephalic (pushed in).  The muzzle is generally quite wide and usually ends quite abruptly, although it may either be square or rounded depending on the dog.  The head and muzzle are quite distinct from each other and connect abruptly.  This breed should have a scissors bite and lips that are close fitting but not necessarily tight.  Although not excessively wrinkly, many of these dogs do have noticeably wrinkles on their faces, especially larger individuals.  The ears of the American Bully naturally fold down close to the sides of the head, but many owners choose to prick their dogs to an erect triangle.  The eyes of this breed should be medium to small in size, set relatively deeply, and be round or slightly oval in shape.  Their color is determined by the coat of the dog but they usually give off a very intense, protective expression.

The American Bully has a short, tight-fitting coat that is stiff to the touch and has a noticeable shine.  This breed is found in every color and pattern found in domestic dogs, and is so variable that none seem to predominate.  Some registries exclude merle dogs, but this is far from universal and in such dogs are identical to other American Bullies in all other respects


The American Bully was developed as a companion dog from breeds that are widely recognized as being among the most human oriented of all dogs.  This breed is known for being extremely affectionate, often fawningly so.  Although American Bullies have a tough exterior, most of them are complete softies with their families, always eager to snuggle and lay on a lap.  Definitely not a one-person dog, breed members have a tendency to form very close bonds with all members of family.  This breed has among the best reputations of any dog with children.  American Bullies are incredibly pain tolerant and can handle virtually any amount of rough housing with a waging tail of rolling tongue.  This breed is also very bite inhibited and unlikely to snap.  Many of these dogs are to be acutely aware that children provide endless amounts of playtime and affection and become their best friend.  As is the case with any breed, proper socialization with children is required to achieve the desired temperament.

American Bullies are generally accepting and tolerant of strangers.  Human aggression has been seen as highly undesirable in the breeding of both the American Bully and its immediate ancestors for almost two hundred years.  With proper training and socialization, this breed will usually be very polite and friendly.  Although some dogs are considerably more suspicious, more are openly excited to meet new people and consider everyone a potential friend.  Training is a necessity as even though this breed is rarely aggressive, it is so immensely powerful and determined that even the slightest aggression can be a serious problem.  American Bullies do tend to be naturally protective, but in calm way that is more similar to an English Bulldog or Mastiff than a Rottweiler or American Bulldog.  This breed can make a tolerable watch dog, but some are more alert than others.  American Bullies have been trained as personal protection animals with great success, but this breed is probably not aggressive enough to make a good guard dog (although its appearance alone would likely intimidate wrong doers).  This only applies to property not family or friends, and an American Bully would absolutely not tolerate physical harm coming to someone it cared for.  When it deems necessary, an American Bully is absolutely fearless no matter the opponent, and one of these dogs defending its family would not be a dog to mess with.

Despite the best efforts of breeders, American Bullies have significantly more issues with other animals than humans.  It has long been a goal of American Bully breeders to substantially reduce the dog aggression found in other breeds.  In many ways they have been successful, and most American Bullies are considerably more tolerant of other dogs than either the American Pit Bull Terrier or American Staffordshire Terrier.  However, many of these dogs are still quite dog aggressive, especially unneutered males, and exhibit all forms of dog aggression including territorial, possessiveness, same-sex aggression, dominance, and prey-driven.  Training and socialization will substantially reduce issues, but they will not necessarily eliminate them.  Even the least dog aggressive American Bullies are probably not going to back down from a fight that comes their way, which will almost always be disastrous for the other dog.  Breeders have also worked to eliminate the prey drive of the American Bully, and this dog will generally tolerate non-canine animals after it has been socialized with them.  Some individual American Bullies may be significantly more prey driven, and any dog that has not been exposed to other animals will probably pursue and potentially attack them.

Although the American Bully was bred to be a companion dog, trainability and intelligence remained very important in its development.  This breed tends to be both highly intelligent and very eager to please, and many are capable of learning great amounts.  American Bullies have successfully competed at a number of different dog sports, and are considered quite versatile.  This may not be the easiest breed for all owners.  Although American Bullies are not usually a breed that will constantly challenge for authority, they will generally not obey any command blindly.  Owners must maintain a position of dominance at all times, and this breed is probably not ideally suited to a novice dog owner.  Additionally, some of these dogs have a tendency to be extremely stubborn.  Many believe that a Pit Bull type dog cannot be trained without physical force, but this is very far from the truth.  These dogs actually respond far better to rewards based training methods, and many American Bullies will do anything for a treat.  Because of a negative public perception of all Pit Bull type dogs, it is of the utmost importance for American Bully owners to have their dogs extraordinarily well-trained to avoid potential personal, financial, and legal difficulties.

Perhaps the biggest difference between American Bullies and their relatives regards energy level and work drive.  Whereas most Pit Bulls are always ready and eager to go, American Bullies are considerably more relaxed and calm.  This certainly does not mean that an American Bully is a couch potato, and this breed probably needs more exercise and activity than most common companion breeds, at least 45 minutes to an hour every day.  It does mean that the average committed family will be able to provide the exercise that an American Bully needs without too much difficulty and that a properly exercised breed member will be relatively calm indoors.  This exercise is necessary, because otherwise most breed members will develop behavioral problems such as destructiveness, excessive barking, hyperactivity, and over-excitability.  American Bullies are generally willing to perform whatever task is presented them and make good working dogs, but they are not constantly driven to do so.  Whereas an American Pit Bull Terrier may drop a ball in your lap every few seconds, an American Bully would probably only do so for a short while.


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