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American Bully: Dog Breed Information Guide

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If you’ve ever had an American Bully come up to you with that big happy smile and offer you his paw to shake, then you know that is all it takes to fall in love with this breed. These dogs get a bad rap in some circles, causing many a potential Bully owner to look them over as possible pets. When figuring out if this bully breed is the best dog for you and your family, it’s important to know as much as you can about the new potential house member before bringing them home.

Is The American Bully A Pitbull?

The American Bully is a newer breed founded in the late 80’s and early 90’s. American Bully is sometimes referred to as an American Pitbull or Bully Pitbull. More minor registries and breed clubs use the various names for the breed. American Bullies are impressive, beautiful dogs that are friendly and affectionate.

Although the Pit Bull is the breed base, this Bull is not considered a Pit Bull. They have been mixed with other Bully and have their standards as for what it should be like. The breeds used to create one are, but are not limited to, the French and English Bulldog and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Compared to Pit Bulls, American Bullies have larger heads, shorter legs, and a more stocky overall build.

Origins Of The American Bully

American Bullies were bred by combining the best traits of the American Staffordshire Terriers and Pit Bulls. Some other bullies and non-bully breeds have been added over the years. The breed has become so popular that the dogs are even found in Asia and Europe.

Characteristics Of The American Bully

The American Bully is a short, muscular dog that can weigh between 31 to 54 kg or 70 to 120 pounds. The five varieties of the American Bully are:

  • Classic
  • Extra-Large
  • Extreme
  • Pocket
  • Standard

The American Bully has a short, glossy coat in a variety of patterns and colors. American Bullies have broad heads and chests, are heavy-boned and are very muscular. In spite of the heavy appearance, American Bullies are agile, active dogs. The breed is high-energy and requires a lot of regular exercise, including brisk walks or trips to the dog park.

The American Bully Temperament

Although American Bullies may appear to be intimidating, they’re loving dogs with a sweet disposition. The breed is kind and patient with children, even younger ones.

They love to run and play with children, and contrary to what some people think, they aren’t aggressive. If there’s a dog that’s enthusiastic about life, it’s the American Bully. When playtime is over for the day, he’s content to spend quiet time with his family.

The History of the American Bully Breed

Interested in learning more about this unique breed? Well, there’s a lot that you should be taking a look at. The American Bully is a descendent of the English Bulldog, which was used as a working dog.

The English Bulldog would catch cattle and even guard the property for their owners. However, people recognized that they could use their strength for some pretty cruel things even way back then.

They started using them for bull-baiting, and it didn’t take long for numbers to start dwindling. Luckily, around the end of World War II, someone decided to start breeding them again, and the breed started to come back in full force.

John D. Johnson, a war veteran, and Alan Scott were the ones to start bringing this breed back around, and they’ve helped to start some excellent things for the American Bully.

They started to keep very detailed records about the traits of these fantastic dogs and just how much they could do. While they created two different breeds, those two breeds are pretty intermixed now, so any American Bully you get will likely be a little of both. It was another several years, 1999, that the United Kennel Club recognized the dog.

If you’ve looked at any of the information on TV or in other forms of media lately, you’ve probably seen a whole lot of information about the American Bully, and it’s not fair or proper.

American Bullies are constantly being called vicious or dangerous. They’re being called bad for families and children. But the truth is that nothing could be further from the truth.

American Bullies are proven to be amazing with children, and they’re lovely family pets. They’re sweet and loving and gentle enough that farmers used to use them with their cattle. But where is this reputation coming from?

People are seeing with American Bullies that some people are raising them and using them. Any dog of any breed can be made vicious and dangerous. If they are mistreated or taught wrong, they can become a danger to anyone and anything around them.

But when appropriately treated, it can raise any dog to be kind and loving toward their family. The reason that American Bullies are getting such a bad reputation is for precisely that reason.

Many people make a living or a hobby out of dogfighting. It is a vicious and terrible ‘sport’ where people pit dogs against each other to make them fight and see which one will come out on top.

The only way a dog can survive this horrible treatment is to become vicious themselves. They have to be ready and willing to attack any dog that they’re put up against. And then, after they’ve done something completely against their nature and they’ve fought a fellow dog, they’re treated horribly by their owners who only want them for fighting and making them money.

It’s definitely enough to turn any dog mean, yet it happens only in instances where the dogs themselves are mistreated and forced to act this way. Suppose you’re getting an American Bully puppy from a quality breeder, and you’re raising it with love and compassion.

In that case, you’re not going to have to worry about the warnings and the horror stories you might see on the media. That’s because your dog, by nature, doesn’t want anything to do with any of that. They want to be loved and cared for, and if that’s what you’re doing, they’re going to do the same for you.

Basics You Should Know About The Bully Breed

While these dogs are pretty adaptable, there are some things that you’re going to want to pay attention to. For one thing, they don’t like to live in an apartment because there’s not enough space to move around, but you can give them plenty of exercise to combat that.

They’re also not the best at hot or cold weather, so moderate temperatures are going to be best (though they’ll do better with a jacket in cold weather just like you). They’re also relatively easy to train, brilliant, and tend not to bark or howl excessively (which is good if you have close neighbors).

When it comes to their friendliness, these dogs aren’t quite so inclined to nip or chew as other dogs, and they’re incredibly affectionate. They also do well with your children, though they’re not as thrilled about strangers or other dogs.

The best thing you can do is bring them into your home, show them all the love within your family, and keep them as your only dog. When strangers come over, make sure that they introduce themselves to your dog first and that they’re not too aggressive or too abrupt with the dog.

American Bully Dog Personality

The personality of an American Bully is entirely different from what you might have heard. These dogs are super gentle, extremely affectionate, and great with children. Considered almost a lap dog (or at least they think so even though they’re too large in general), this dog is extremely loyal.

They tend to grow incredibly attached to their family and do anything they need to keep that family safe. They’ve even been known to perform acts of heroism to protect their owners and to be a little uncertain around people they don’t know.

What’s even better, these dogs are super alert, extremely confident, and great for training. They need an owner that can establish themselves as a pack leader. If you don’t clarify that you’re the leader, they will show their dominance, not make for a happy household.

In fact,… it could make for a whole lot of problems around your home. So, make sure you’re the one in charge and make sure that you’re giving your dog plenty to do because they’re going to get bored if you don’t.

Physical Characteristics of American Bully

The physical characteristics of the American Bully are all about muscle and strength. This beautiful dog can weigh up to 120 pounds, though it might be only 60 pounds on the small side.

With a height of between 20 to 28 inches, they tend to have strong jaws, which is why it receives such a rough reputation. But there are some very unique factors about this dog that you’re not going to want to miss.

The American bully has small ears that can be cropped, rose, drop, or semi-prick, though a short and straight ear is very common with this dog breed.

Not only that, but they have larger heads and big eyes that make you want one for yourself, right? The short fur is super soft, and there are all different colors available. You’ll see dogs that are anything from solid black to merle, tricolor to blue, and a whole lot more.

Overall Health of American Bully

One great thing is that the American Bully is a relatively healthy dog breed. Some dogs are known for many health problems; this one has only a few that seem genetic and could pop up if you don’t know your dog’s background.

For example, this breed could suffer from neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, a nervous system disorder that can cause swelling and retinal cell changes. It could also suffer from kidney or thyroid conditions, ACL tears, hip or elbow dysplasia, cherry eye, entropion, or bone cancer.

While all of these conditions may start to sound overwhelming, and you might be wondering just what happened to this being a ‘healthy’ breed, consider that larger dogs are prone to a number of these types of conditions simply because they’re larger dogs. Also, most of these conditions will not be as familiar, or your dog won’t ‘develop’ them per see.

They’re primarily genetic. This means that your dog will be born with one of these conditions (which you’ll know about when you get them), or they won’t. The best thing you can do is have your vet take a good look at any dog you’re thinking about getting so you can get a better idea.

Why Bullies Get Gas?

Most Bully breeds are prone to being gassy, and it makes them feel tired and sluggish. Keep your pet from having gas pain and being over-flatulent by feeding them the highest quality food you can afford.

If gas problems persist, giving them yogurt and avoiding soy products can help. Taking them to a vet regularly that knows your dog is the best way to begin managing their medical needs.

Tips For American Bully Training

American Bullies are usually not pure couch potatoes. They are made from working dogs, and without a consistent outlet for energy, they will get bored and potentially become destructive.

Taking them outside to walk or jog at least twice a day is crucial for their mental and physical well-being. Most of them like to swim and exercise in the water. If taking them outside regularly for play is a problem, teaching them to run on a treadmill can be a reasonable substitute.

So long as they get their daily fix of energy release, these dogs can do very well living in an apartment.

How Much Exercise Does Your Bully  Need?

New owners should establish rules from the time they bring their new puppy home. It’s essential that everyone in the family understands acceptable behavior and knows what will teach the puppy. If someone gives commands contrary to what you’re teaching your puppy, he’ll be confused.

Never use punishment to establish boundaries with your dog. Always speak in a firm tone but never shout. Positive reinforcement still gets the best results when you’re training your new dog.

For the first few weeks, your puppy should spend time getting a lot of exercise and having plenty of playtimes. You want your puppy to gain strength and stamina and grow into a healthy, adult dog. Formal training before an American Bully puppy is four months old isn’t necessary.

The main thing to remember about training your American Bully is that he must learn to behave and respond to commands all the time. Whether you’re at home, in the car, on a walk, or going to the vet for a check-up, you must make your dog feel that he’s loved and wanted and is a part of your family.

When you start teaching basic commands, keep the training sessions brief. Five or ten minutes at a time is sufficient when you start training. Always reward your dog for responding favorably to your commands. American Bullies are a breed that reacts positively to reward-based training.

American Bullies are gentle, affectionate, and lovable dogs by nature. They love to please their owners. With proper socialization and getting your dog accustomed to new experiences, different people, and other animals, you’ll have a loving, family pet.

American Bullies Are Highly Trainable

So long as you put in the time and are consistent, this breed can easily train dog training concerning other breeds. They are eager to please guardians and are very treat motivated.

This dog does tend to have a confident disposition that may require you as the trainer to match that confidence. You can get a wealth of information about basic obedience training for free on YouTube or dog training blogs. Many dog trainers even make in-home visits to help you address general or specific issues.

Is The American Bully A Good Family Dog?

American Bully dogs usually prefer the company of humans to other dogs. For a family with other animals who wants to adopt an American Bully, it’s advisable to adopt a puppy who will get acclimated to the family more comfortably than an adult dog. When American Bully puppies have social interaction with other dogs at a young age, they’re more likely to accept other animals when they’re adult dogs.

American Bully Dogs are lovely family dogs. They’re loyal companions and devoted to their families. They possess an eagerness to learn new things, and for the owner who spends the time, they’re easy to train. Besides being excellent family dogs, they’re very alert and are capable of defending their family and home.

American Bullies get along well with family members and will warm up to new people once they realize they don’t possess a threat to them or their families. Another reason to adopt an American Bully is that they’re gentle and affectionate with children.

American Bully is Awesome With Kids

American Bullies that are well trained and appropriately treated are generally great pets for children. They can handle rough and tumble play without getting scared or aggressive in return.

Something to consider is that they are stoutly built, which makes them liable to knock over small or uncoordinated children. Not to mention that they love to cuddle like big stuffed animals. All that being said, it is still best to train your child how to interact with the dog to avoid any harmful interactions.

American Bullies Need Very Little Grooming

For some people, a dog that sheds all over the house is a deal-breaker. Others don’t want to devote the time or money to keep their pet groomed year-round.

American Bullies have incredibly short coats that only need a simple once-a-week running of the brush. This is great for maintenance, but fur this short can get very cold in the winter. It may require a fitted sweater for walks around this time of year.

American Bullies Are Not Cheap

Depending on what you want the dog for, Bully puppies can cost anywhere between two and five thousand dollars. Bullies intended for showing or breeding will be more expensive than ones meant to be just a pet.

Adopting rescue groups or shelters can be a more financially reasonable or morally attractive option for many people interested in the breed. There will always be dogs that need compassionate people to rescue them and give them the love they deserve. (you can read more here)

Finding a Reputable American Bully Breeder

There are some things to consider when looking for an American Bully breeder. They should be able to give you information about the puppy’s parents and grandparents. It would help if you were allowed to meet the mother, at least.

A breeder should not be selling their puppies to a pet shop or puppy mills and be able to prove a clean bill of health written off by a veterinarian. Don’t be afraid to shop around if the breeder doesn’t meet this minimal and critical necessary standard.

Further Reading