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.