Welcome to the BarkPost guide to dog breeds where we belly flop straight into the depths of dog breed origin, evolution, and purpose. Follow along each week as we publish new guides that highlight the strangest, most interesting, and most surprising stuff about these creatures who have been our best buds the last 30,000 years.
Intro / Overview
(All dogs are individuals, which means any single dog from any breed can be any number of ways, both good and not so good. Keep that in mind as we discuss breed generalities!)
If you’re looking for a piece about mean kids in the United States…then you’re in the wrong place. This article is all about the American Bully – the new kid in the Bully dog breed group!
This beautiful breed was founded just a few decades ago by combining multiple Terrier and Bulldog breeds. This mixture created a breed with large noggins, muscular builds, broad chests, and wide-set legs. Basically, a canine version of that gym guy who always brags about how much he lifts (but much cuter).
Though they have the term “bully” in their name, American Bullies are anything but! This name is not a result from the breed’s temperament, but rather from its origin. In fact, American Bullies are known to have kind, easy-going dispositions and make great family dogs!
Read on to learn more about the American Bully!
Also Known As…
Bullypit. American Bully Pit. Pit Bull in most parts of the world. Furry Gargoyle. “The sloppiest kind of Pit Bull-type dog!”
Though dogs have been man’s (and woman’s!) best friend for 300 centuries, the American Bully is a recent breed. The American Bully originated in the United States between 1980 and 1990 by an infusion of the American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, Olde English Bulldog, and English Bulldog. On July 15, 2013, the United Kennel Club officially recognized the American Bully as a distinct breed.
Contrary to what their stature or name implies, American Bullies are not purposed to be guard dogs or fighting dogs. The American Bully Kennel Club stated that this breed was “formed with the purpose of being the ultimate companion breed.” Looks like American Bullies have been doing an A+ job in fulfilling their destiny!
American Bullies have compact, bulky, muscular bodies and big, blocky heads. They come in four recognized size variations: Standard, Pocket, Classic, and XL.
- Standard: 16-19 inches (female), 17-20 inches (male) tall
- Pocket: 13-16 inches (female), 14-17 inches (male) tall
- XL: 19-22 inches (female), 20-23 inches (male) tall
- Classic: lighter frame and less exaggerated features than the Standard, but same height range
Don’t let the height fool you, American Bullies pack a lot of weight into their compact stature! An individual dog’s weight depends on his or her height, stature, and physical condition. Typically, an American Bully’s weight falls within the range of 66-88 pounds.
Contrary to the “bully” moniker, American Bullies are loving and laid back lap dogs disguised in a bulky body. While they may not always get along with other dogs, they are loyal to their pack. This means that they are both affectionate towards and protective of their humans. Contrary to negative stereotypes, these friendly, gentle giants make great family dogs and love kids! Of the Bully breeds, American Bullies are one of the most tolerant towards other dogs.
In fact, the American Bully was specifically created with the intent to hone in on sociable personality traits. The American Bully Kennel Club reported that,
Like with the American Staffordshire Terrier, all the positive characteristics of the breed’s ancestry were kept like loyalty, stability with humans and other physical attributes; but traits of dog aggression and gameness were bred out of the breed because the breed had no future and purpose for those traits.American Bully Kennel Club
Intelligence / Trainability
American Bullies were bred to be very trainable and intelligent. And, like many pups, American Bullies are eager to please!
Because of this, they are typically very obedient and willing to be trained. So, if you’re looking for a furry Einstein who will bend-over-backwards for you, look no further!
Best Training Techniques For American Bullies
Because of their people-pleasing personalities, American Bullies are quite trainable! They are also very intelligent and are capable of learning a great amount of tricks and commands.
An American Bully will do anything for a treat. So, rewards-based training methods are very effective with this breed – especially when treats are involved!
Though American Bullies are not particularly aggressive, there is still the possibility for any breed (especially those in the Bully breed group) to be triggered by certain animals or situations. Training and socialization can help keep American Bullies calm and collected in potential confrontations.
An American Bully’s ideal home would be a house with a yard and a loving family! If you don’t have a yard – don’t fret! American Bullies can receive sufficient exercise by playing indoors or going on daily walks.
These pups also need a home that provides them mental stimulation. So, stock up on toys and games for your American Bully to play with while you’re away! This intelligent breed can have destructive tendencies when bored, but this can be combatted with sufficient play and exercise.
Furthermore, American Bullies may need a home in which there are no existing small pets and no existing dogs. This breed is loving and social with humans, but does not always get along with other animals. However, American Bullies can live happy and harmoniously with pets they were raised with! So, feel free to raise your American Bully puppy with another puppy if they have bonded well!
Good For Families And Kids?
American Bullies are a great choice for family pets! They’re loyal, loving, playful, and snuggly – what more could you want? American Bullies are fond of children and will love your kids like her own!
On average, American Bullies have a lifespan of 8 to 13 years.
At this point, no health studies have been conducted on this breed. Thus, there is little conclusive information concerning American Bully health issues.
However, their ancestry may provide clues to their health. EasyPetMD noted that, “the American Pit Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier tend to be in very good health, while the English Bulldog is widely considered the unhealthiest of all dog breeds. For now, most seem to believe that the American Bully is virtually indistinguishable from the American Pit Bull Terrier, but the accuracy of this belief is unknown.”
An issue common in American Pit Bull Terriers and likely common in American Bullies is demodicosis. Demodicosis (also called Demodex mange and Demodectic mange) is a skin condition caused by mites. This typically does not cause health issues for dogs aside from hair loss. However, demodicosis can trigger an autoimmune reaction in some dogs.
Skeletal and visual problems have also been frequently reported in this breed. These include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and cataracts. Thus, it may be beneficial to have your American Bully checked by canine orthopedic and visual specialists as he or she ages.
The American Bully is an adaptable breed who can be easy-going and gentle at home and energetic and active while outside! They are general relaxed and calm but can get amped up when its playtime. While this is not the most hyper breed, American Bullies need slightly more exercise than other companion breeds. So, make sure your American Bully gets at least 45 minutes to an hour of exercise everyday to keep her happy and healthy!
Friendly with (Dogs? Strangers? Cats/Other Pets?)
As noted above, American Bullies are generally out-going and friendly with humans. They love meeting new people!
While they are not particularly reactive, American Bullies do not always get along with other animals. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, right? So, be sure to remain cautious and calm when introducing your American Bully to other dogs or other species. Training and early socialization go a long way, too.
Coat & Grooming
American Bullies never have a bad hair day! They don a short, smooth, and glossy coat. So short that it doesn’t exceed 1/2 inch in length!
Due to this, American Bullies require very little grooming. All they need is a quick brush every week or so. Talk about low-maintenance!
However, it’s important to keep in mind that pups with this fur type may get particularly chilly in cold weather. So, sweaters and jackets can help keep your American Bully toasty on a frosty day. You can even don matching holiday sweaters and pose for the cutest Seasons Greetings card ever.
Toys American Bullies Would Like Best
American Bullies are smart cookies that will do anything for some kibble! Keep their minds entertained and their tummies happy with Puzzle Toys! Your American Bully will love uncovering the puzzle’s hidden treats and you’ll have a blast watching her do so.
Of course, Super Chewer Toys are also a great bet, as American Bullies are known for their love of chewing things.
For a more extensive list, check out the following post: What Are The Best Toys For Pit Bulls?
Recommended Diet or Supplements
A protein content of at least 30% is important, as is choosing a food rich in essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA. American Bullies that do not get enough Omega Fatty Acids from their diet may benefit from a fish oil supplement to help reduce inflammatory conditions like skin allergies.
If your Bully has itchy, allergic skin these vet-formulated chews provide relief and help support a healthier coat. Made with all-natural ingredients including Omega 3, 6, 9, and Vitamin E, they also provide immune support. ($19.99)
With so many potential hip and joint problems, American Bullies could use some therapeutic support. Made with all-natural glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid, this vet-formulated supplement
helps ease joint pain and support healthy cartilage. It tastes pretty good, too! ($32.99.)
Am Staffs have big muscles, big bones and big booties! With all that jelly, they need a supportive orthopedic bed to relieve their pressure points as well as any aches and pains. This ergonomic memory foam bed is made specifically for dogs prone to hip dysplasia and other orthopedic issues. ($27.99-64.99.)
Notable Rescues to Find the American Bully of Your Dreams:
- Rocket Dog Rescue
- Bully Paws Pit Bull Patriots
- American Bull Dog Rescue
- American Bully Crew
- New York Bully Crew
Notable American Bullies On Instagram
Able @AbleTheBlue !
Remo @Remo_The_Bully !
Zaza @ZazaBully !
***Looking for a gift to blow your American Bully’s mind? Spoil them with a Super Chewer BarkBox! Every month Super Chewer delivers 2 super-durable toys, designed in-house, 2 full bags of all-natural treats, and 2 (!!!) meaty chews. Sign up here and receive a free extra toy every month.
Featured image via Debo_The_Bully/Instagram