Meet the American Bully

XL American Bully in a grass field

If you want to bring home a loyal, enthusiastic, affectionate companion that resembles a Pit Bull, you may want to get an American Bully. The American Bully received breed recognition in 2004 and is an ideal choice if you want a pet that will stick to you like glue.

In this in-depth breed guide, we will tell you all about the American Bully, including this breed's physical traits, personality, care needs, and more. We will also help you find where to buy or adopt American Bullypits. 

American Bully Basic Characteristics

Height16-20 inches
Weight44-132 pounds
Life Span10-13 years
Good withChildren, other dogs (with proper socialization)
TemperamentLoyal, affectionate, friendly
IntelligenceHigh
Shedding amountLow
GroomingLow
Exercise needs High
Energy levelHigh
Barking levelLow
Drool amountHigh
Coat length/textureSmooth and short
ColorsBlack, grey, brown, white, tan, red, pie bald, fawn, blue

History of the American Bully

Development of this modern breed started in the 1980s and continued into the 1990s. Breeding began with American Pit Bull Terriers. The United Kennel Club explains, “The APBT has maintained a characteristic appearance and temperament for over 100 years. As with any longstanding breed, several types evolved from the parent breed, with one in particular taking on a specific build and structure that is so unique it was wise to recognize it as a different breed altogether. That being the American Bully breed.”

UKC continues, “The American Bully breed was subtly influenced by the infusion of several other breeds, which include the American Bulldog, English Bulldog, and Olde English Bulldogge.”

The American Kennel Club (AKC) does not acknowledge the American Bully breed. The American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) began recognizing the breed in 2004, and the UKC started recognizing the breed in 2013.

Are American Bullies Pit Bulls? (No)

American Bullies are typically not considered to be the same as Pit Bulls. If you ever need to give a simple answer to this question, you should say, "No, American Bullies are not Pit Bulls. They are a distinct breed.”

That being said, it is more complicated than that. The name "Pit Bull" is quite vague and informal. It is not a breed; it is an entire category of dogs. Depending on who is using it, it could refer to:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Boston Terrier Pit Bull Mix
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • American Bulldog
  • American Bully

Incidentally, the AKC not only does not recognize the American Bully but also does not recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier. The issue was that the AKC did not want to be connected in any way with pit fighting. Today, the AKC does recognize one type of Pit Bull called the "Staffordshire Terrier." 

Interestingly, the UKC was founded in response to the AKC's refusal to recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier. Of course, that means the UKC does acknowledge the American Pit Bull Terrier as a breed.

So, perhaps it is most accurate to say that American Bullies are a type of Pit Bull when we speak in the broadest sense. But they are not American Pit Bull Terriers, the dog most people think of when they talk about Pit Bulls. The UKC formally recognizes both as separate breeds.

Categories of American Bullies

Chocolate American Bully

The ABKC recognizes four formal categories of American Bullies based on size and build. 

1. American Bully Pocket

The American Bully Pocket is the smallest type of American Bully.

  • Male dogs measure under 17 inches and no less than 14 inches at the withers.
  • Female dogs measure under 16 inches and no less than 13 inches at the withers.

2. Standard American Bully

  • Male dogs measure 17-20 inches
  • Female dogs measure 16-19 inches.

3. Classic American Bully

  • Male dogs measure 17-20 inches.
  • Female dogs measure 16-19 inches.

The difference between the Classic and Standard Bully is that the Classic Bully's body is lighter than the Standard Bully, despite matching in size.

4. XL American Bully

  • Male dogs measure more than 20 inches, 23 inches at the withers.
  • Female dogs measure more than 19 inches, 22 inches at the withers.

Along with the American Bully XL, we have seen some breeders selling an “American Bully XXL.”

Fun Facts About American Bullies

  • American Bullies have densely packed muscles and heavy bones, which makes them significantly heavier than you would expect, given their measurements. Indeed, one of the main characteristics of the breed is that the Bully "should give the impression of great strength for its size."
  • A Bullpit named "White Rhino" was once purchased for $250,000. Thankfully, while these dogs can be expensive, you can buy one for much less than that!
  • The American Bully was only established as a breed in 2004, making it one of the more modern dog breeds.
  • It is a myth that the American Bully is aggressive. On the contrary, this is a friendly dog breed.

American Bully Appearance 

Grey American Bully

The American Bully has a compact, heavy build, and a large, broad head. The cheek muscles are well-defined, the muzzle is short to medium, and the ears may be cropped, half prick, or rose ears. The eyes can be any color except pink or red and can be shaped like almonds or ovals. While blue eyes are "undesirable," they do not disqualify a dog. 

This document provides a detailed overview of the appearance of the American Bully, including desirable and undesirable traits, disqualifying traits, and handy pictures to help you understand.

The short, smooth coat can be any color or combination of colors except for merle.

What is the Temperament of American Bully Pits?

The same document from The American Bully Kennel Club we shared above describes the American Bully's personality: "The American Bully is a companion breed exhibiting confidence, a zest for life, along with an exuberant willingness to please and bond with their family."

The ABKC emphasizes that this gentle dog breed works well with children, other animals, and strangers. This is not a vicious or aggressive breed of dog.

Environment Needs

Will the friendly and affectionate American Bully be able to live happily in your household? Let’s go over the space and social needs of the American Bully Pit.

Space

The American Bully is a medium-sized dog that needs a reasonable amount of space. If you have a house with a backyard, that is best, but you may be able to get away with keeping an American Bully in a smaller home as well. You can take your pup on walks if you do not have a fenced-in yard.

Do American Bullies Get Along With Children?

Yes! In fact, this is one of the key benefits of an American Bully. This gentle breed is highly affectionate and will be the perfect cuddly companion for every family member.

Do American Bullies Get Along With Other Pets?

American Bullies typically get along well with other dogs and even other animals. That being said, you will have the best luck with this if your American Bully is well-socialized from a young age and if you are careful with your introductions. Individual personalities also factor in when it comes to how animals relate to one another.

If you are bringing an American Bully into a household with one or more other pets, take steps to help them get to know each other in a safe, positive way.

Are American Bullies Loud Pets?

No, American Bullies usually are not very loud. When they do open their mouths and emit a bark, you will hear it. But they do not do it often or for no reason. These dogs are pretty quiet most of the time.

Bullpit Care

American Bully brown puppy jumping

Another step toward finding out whether an American Bully is right for you is to learn about the care needs of these dogs. Let's talk about what your Bully will need from you regarding exercise, grooming, training, diet, and nutrition.

Exercise

American Bullies are high-energy dogs that love to exercise and play. So, your Bully will need anywhere from half an hour to an hour of daily exercise. 

Since these are such sociable dogs, it is ideal if you are participating in some or all of that daily exercise. But you can also provide your dog with toys to entertain himself and burn off excess energy when you are too busy for a walk or a full hour of playtime.

Grooming

You can expect low to average shedding from the American Bully. Moreover, grooming this breed's short, smooth coat is fast and easy using a bristle brush. Rub down the coat after you are done brushing to give it a nice shine. 

You also should clean your Bully's ears and teeth regularly and schedule a bath now and again. 

Training

One of the best things about the American Bully Pit is how easy this breed is to train. American Bullies are intelligent and highly motivated to please their owners. This combination of traits means they are enthusiastic about training sessions and quickly understand what you want them to do.

Diet and Nutrition

American Bullies need to eat a balanced diet that is rich in nutrition. To figure out how much food to give your dog, weigh your pet and then multiply 30 calories by your dog's weight in pounds to determine the daily calorie requirement.

Health Conditions

Here are some of the health problems that American Bullies are prone to developing:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia.
  • Eye problems such as cherry eye or cataracts.
  • Cleft lip or palate.
  • Thyroid problems.
  • Ichthyosis (a condition that affects the skin and paw pads).
  • Really old corgis may sleep as much as 18 hours a day. This becomes more common in the age range of 10-14 years.

There are also American Bullies that sometimes develop health problems due to how their breeders treat them. Unethical breeders who hope to fetch a higher price for American Bullies may attempt to bulk them out using steroids. 

After the new owner purchases the dog, obviously the steroid use comes to an end. The dog then loses some of his mass. He is then left with health issues plaguing his joints and organs.

For this reason, it is essential to research when choosing a breeder (see the next section).

What Does an American Bully Cost?

American Bullies can be expensive to purchase. A typical price range for these dogs is anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. It is also not unusual to see these dogs selling for up to $10,000. Some American Bullies are even more expensive than that.

Where to Adopt or Buy an American Bully Pit

American Bully puppy playing in grass

If you are excited to have an affectionate new cuddle buddy in your home, you might be ready to start looking into your options for buying or adopting an American Bully.

Here are a few breeders to consider for American Bullies:

  • Monster Bully Kennels (MBK): As you might guess from the name, this breeder focuses on the XL American Bully. MBK states that professional athletes and other celebrities have purchased their dogs.
  • Texas Size Bullies/Venomline: With a URL like "Texas Size Bullies," you might assume this is another breeder of XL Bullies. But they specialize in Extreme Build Pocket Bullies. You may have seen their dogs in Rolling Stone Magazine, Bully Girl Magazine, or Bully King Magazine.
  • Jungle Bully Kennels: This family-owned business specializes in breeding XL American Bullies. They use genetic testing to verify that they are breeding healthy dogs.
  • Royal Crest Kennels: Another family-owned kennel that breeds XL Bullies is Royal Crest Kennel in Georgia.

Other options for buying or adopting American Bullies include Lancaster Puppies and Puppies.com. You can also contact local shelters to see if any American Bullies are awaiting adoption in your area. 

 Pros of Miniature American Bullies:

  • Since American Bullies come in different sizes, there is a range of suitable options to fit different households.
  • The personality of the American Bully is gentle and friendly, making them an ideal family pet.
  • The Bullypit is an energetic companion who can accompany you on your daily walks and is usually eager for training or playtime.
  • Training American Bullies is easy since they want to please you.
  • American Bullies are relatively quiet dogs since they do not bark that often.
  • The smooth, short coat of the American Bully is easy to take care of, requiring minimal grooming. They do not shed a ton, and the hairs that do fall are relatively small and unobtrusive.
  • American Bullies come in a wide range of colors. There is lots of variety to choose from, and every dog is uniquely adorable.

Cons of American Bullies:

  • American Bullies do tend to drool a lot. So, that can be one inconvenience you will need to deal with.
  • Unethical breeders may harm American Bullies with steroids, which you must be on the lookout for when shopping for a dog. 
  • Buying an American Bully can be expensive.

Summary

Despite its strong resemblance to the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Bully is a separate dog breed. While many people assume that American Bullies are aggressive, this is a misconception, just as with other Pit Bull type dogs.

The true personality of the American Bully is friendly, sociable, gentle, and loyal. If you bring home an American Bully, you’ll have a buddy that will be just as enthusiastic about a cuddle session on the couch as he will be about an energetic play or training session. You’ll also have a friend for life who will be a close companion to every member of the family.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an American Bully aggressive?
Generally speaking, no. You can find anecdotal reports of aggression among American Bullies, but these dogs are usually gentle. In fact, UKC says, "Aggressive behavior towards humans is uncharacteristic of the breed." If a dog exhibits viciousness, that is a disqualifying criteria.

Sometimes American Bullies may be aggressive toward other dogs, but this is not typically the case. See the section “Do American Bullies Get Along With Other Pets?” for more details.

Are American Bullies hypoallergenic?
No. Even though they are not heavy shedders, American Bully Pits are not considered to be hypoallergenic. There is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog, however.

Should you crop your American Bully Pit’s ears?
No. In the days when dogs were bred to work, sometimes their ears were cropped for practical reasons, as it could reduce the chances the pet would get injured on the job (or in a pit fight).

Dogs today rarely live in circumstances that put them at this risk. Cropping their ears serves no purpose and has no medical advantage. It is a painful and pointless mutilation. It is common to perform on American Bullies because some people think it makes them look tough, but it will do nothing but harm your pet.

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