American Bully: Guide To This Bulldog Breed

American Bully

The American Bully is a well-built, stock breed of dog and is sometimes called the Bully Pit or American Bully Pit. There are four types: pocket, standard, extra-large, and classic. This is a newly designed breed of dog that has only been around since the mid-1990s. 

It was breed with the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Stafford Terrier. It is not a pit bull or terrier, but its own breed – the American Bully. But people often get confused, thinking the American Bully is a pit bull. 

It comes in many colors including brown, tan, fawn, chocolate, and white or patterned. The American Bully is a striking sight to behold. It has a broad skull, defined jawline, prominent cheek muscles, and distinct ears, which may be cropped.

Its body is muscular and strong and set low to the ground. It can appear gruff-looking but don’t be fooled by that grumpy face. You couldn’t hope to meet a more cheerful, happy dog.

The bully is strong, athletic, muscular, and agile. It is personable, friendly, and loyal. All these traits described makes it a very popular breed in America and around the world. 

The American Bully makes a great pet and will be, as the saying goes, your best friend. It also is an excellent guard dog. If provoked, it will attack and is fiercely protective of its owner, family, and property. It is a brave breed that will defend its master to the ends of the earth.

Their lifespan is usually 8 to 13 years. They produce litters of 4 to 10 puppies. Reaching adulthood, you can generally expect the American Bully to reach the following sizes.

  • Standard: 17 to 20 inches high for the male and 16 to 19 inches for the female.
  • Pocket: 14 to 17 inches high for the male and 13 to 16 inches for the female (if they are bigger, they fall into the standard type).
  • XL (Extra Large): 20 to 23 inches high for the male and 19 to 22 inches for the female (height is the only difference between XL and standard).
  • Classic: To be a classic type the height is the same as the standard but with narrower frames and a less muscular body than the standard.

Weight can range from 70 to 100 pounds (31 to 53 kg) at full size. 

Characteristics and Nature

This dog is affectionate, loyal and loving. Its nature is outgoing yet gentle and it adores people including children. It is a smart, quick-witted pooch that has a lot of energy. Always eager to please, this dog is an excellent companion, pet and guard dog. It eludes confidence and is always on standby for a fun play session or run around the garden.


This short-haired breed of dog is an average shedder and needs to be groomed regularly but not frequently. It is easy to groom with a quality hard to medium-bristled brush.

Clean your dog’s pearly whites regularly. It can be bathed when needed but doesn’t need baths too frequently. Once every few weeks, nails can be trimmed. Once a month, ears can be cleaned or as needed. As grooming goes, this dog is relatively low maintenance. But you will need a lot of time to put into training, socialization and exercise. 

Training and Socialization

Early and ongoing training and socialization are essential for the American Bully. This dog can display aggressive tendencies if it’s not appropriately trained. As soon as the puppy joins your home, you can start the training process. Or if you are getting a senior dog, you can teach it from the moment it arrives.

Ideally, the owner of this dog should be experienced with raising dogs, understand pack mentality and be a firm, consistent and caring dog owner. It must understand the owner is the leader and know the rules and expectations well, so it is a well-behaved and obedient dog.

The American Bully responds very well to positive reinforcement training methods. They are quick learners and aren’t described as stubborn, as many other dog breeds tend to be. 

With that in mind, this dog is easy to train largely due to its agreeable nature and willingness to please its master. Some owners attend professional dog training classes and others train at home or use other methods such as online training information. 

Socialization also should be done early. If you can work on this every day by taking your dog for walks and on errands and to see friends and family, it will quickly become used to sights, noises, smells, people and other animals.

With some regular effort, it will learn what is expected from it when you are outside your home and in social situations. 

This dog isn’t usually scared or timid, so new situations, sounds and experiences are met with curiosity and courage. Other dogs are likely to be the biggest challenge you will face when you are socialization your pet. 


The bully is an energetic, active dog that loves all kinds of physical activity. Daily walks, play sessions and more vigorous exercise are all going to make this dog happy and healthy on physical, emotional and mental levels. 

If needed you can set up a space indoors so your dog can get some light exercise at home. Weather, time and other constraints can mean its not always possible to get out but it’s important your pet gets to release some energy every day. 

If your dog doesn’t get enough exercise, it can become destructive. Boredom or lack of stimulation can lead to it chewing, digging, scratching and biting anything in sight, including expensive furniture items, shoes and anything it can get its paws on.


The American Bully loves companionship and company so makes a great pet. As a family dog, it is happy to have a lot of people around and is known to be fond of children.

Always keep an eye on children when they are playing with pets as they can easily mistakenly aggravate the pet and get a nip or bite or be knocked over if playtime gets too rambunctious. 

They sometimes can be threatened by other dogs within the family unit. If you want to introduce another pet to the house, do so carefully and with sensitivity towards both animals. 


The American Bully should eat regular dog food combined with supplements for muscle development and immune system strength.

They are active dogs, so they need a high-protein (30% is ideal) and high-fat (20% is ideal) diet. Omega-3 fatty acids and some carbs are also needed for maximum health.

Buy quality dog food with meat as the main ingredient. There are numerous excellent products available, including formulas made for energetic canines.

Dry dog food is commonly fed to American Bullys, although many owners opt for a raw food (BARF) diet or a combination. If unsure which kind of food is best for your pooch consult with your breeder or veterinarian. 

Dog treats can be given as a reward for good behavior and obedience during training and can provide a calorie boost. Don’t give your dog too many treats or you could find yourself with an overweight dog.

Make sure your dog always has fresh water inside and outdoors. With their active lifestyle, they can drink a lot of water. Hydration is essential, especially in the hot summer months.

Carry water in your vehicle and on outdoor excursions too. A dehydrated dog can quickly develop further issues that can be serious. 

History and Background

In the mid 1990s, the American Bully was bred for the purpose of being a companion and pet. It was carefully bred with the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Stafford Terrier.

The best traits of these breeds were combined to form the American Bully. Some lines added other breeds of the bully and non-bully breeds. 

The breed originated from the East and West Coasts of America, mostly in California, LA and Virginia. It became popular around American and quickly appeared around the world including in Asia and Europe.

The American Bully falls under the bully group of dogs. The bully group of dogs all descends from Molosser dogs, which originated in Greece and were large and muscular.

While bulldogs fall into this group, many other dogs without “bull” in their name are also included, such as the English Mastiff, Great Dane, Rottweiler, Boston Terrier, and Pug. 

Other Interesting Facts

  • The American Bully has a high pain tolerance.
  • The American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC Registry) was formed in 2014.
  • Any eye color except blue or mismatched eye color is acceptable.
  • It has a reputation as a dangerous dog, but if trained properly isn’t dangerous. 
  • It prefers a warm climate. If you live in a place with four seasons, you might want to invest in a dog jacket for outdoor adventures during the winter months. 
  • Puppies are expensive. You can expect to pay a hefty US$2,000 to 7,000 depending on the pedigree and lineage. A dog for a pet is the most affordable. If you wish to breed or show the dog, it will cost more. 
  • They are not pit bulls, but are often confused with pit bulls since they come from pit bulls. They are their own breed. An American Bully has a larger head, shorter legs and a wider build. The bully doesn’t have the prey drive like the pit bull. They have a shared heritage but in fact, are quite different. 
  • If you hear the term micro American bully, mini American bully or micro-mini American bully it is another name for the pocket type of bully. This smaller bully is popular with people looking for a little dog, but it can’t really fit in your pocket despite what the name suggests. 

Buying Or Adopting Your Dog

The American Bully can develop genetic health problems, as can all dog breeds. Breeders can perform genetic screening for common health issues, so there will be a minimal chance your dog suffers from these problems. These problems can include:

  • Cataracts
  • Elbow and hip dysplasia
  • Cleft palate or lip
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Atopy
  • Congenital heart failure

Some bully breeders give dogs steroids to make them look more muscular. When the dog stops getting these drugs, it will get smaller and may develop health issues such as organ and joint problems.

The negative effects of steroids can be passed on from the mother dog to the puppy. You want to avoid any breeder using this practice. 

Using a reputable breeder, you can rely on when sourcing your puppy (and throughout its life) is essential. A great breeder should offer you plenty of information and advice and answer all your questions willingly and in detail. 

When searching for a breeder, look for recommendations from reliable sources. Research online, ask friends and family and local vets, pet stores and other people involved in the pet industry. Don’t hurry into buying until you find a breeder you are confident with.

Never buy a dog from a pet store or puppy mill. The dogs are often mistreated and can come with numerous health issues. 

You may wish to consider adopting an adult or senior dog. There are many needing rescuing and homes. This might require a lot more work, depending on the dog’s previous home or situation but can also be immensely rewarding. A senior dog can be less active and not need so much exercise.

At the same time, you should find a professional veterinarian who will take care of your dog’s vaccinations and any medical issues that arise during its life.

The handsome and confident American Bully is a dog that is growing in popularity due to its lovable nature and adorable appearance. In fact, it has reached the top 5 most popular dog breed list in America many times. 

If you decide to welcome this dog, which many aptly describe as “built like a tank,” you will find yourself with a devoted and loyal pet. It needs a lot of care and attention but it is well worth it because this dog is pretty special.

John Kilmerstone

I love dogs and believe that in particular, the bulldog breeds make great family pets and companions. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of bulldogs. Discover how to care for and look after this faithful pet and make the most of your valuable time together.

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