The American Bully dog breed may be easily mistaken for the American Pitbull Terrier or the American Staffordshire Terrier by a quick glance. However, some characteristics separate this relatively new dog breed from the other types of bully dog breeds. In fact, the entire group is also known as the Bully Breed group.
The American Bully dog breed is just one of the many varieties of dog breeds that are included in this Bully group. It may seem confusing now, but, hopefully, it will all be clear by the end of the article. So, let’s take a look at the American Bully dog breed and their various attributes.
History of the American Bully Dog Breed
Before the American Bully dog breed was considered a separate dog breed, it’s ancestors were well-known. In England, the Old English Bulldog was often used for bull baiting and fighting, and the Terriers were often used for rat fighting. This type of blood-sport would involve large groups of rats and a single Terrier.
The sport would end if the Terrier managed to kill all of the rats or after a specific amount of time had passed. These blood-sports became illegal in 1835. However, dog fighting remained legal. The Old English Bulldog and the Terrier were then cross-bred to create two new breeds; the Bull Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier were soon brought to the United States where they became known as the American Pitbull Terrier.
This brings us to the development of the American Bully dog breed. The United States had really taken to the American Pitbull Terrier dog breed but, the breed was too stubborn and unpredictable for some owners. Therefore, in the 1990’s, breeders began crossing the American Pitbull Terrier with the American Staffordshire Terrier. Their hope was to create a loving family companion that could also be a proper show dog.
The result was the American Bully dog breed. Some believe that the breeders did not intend for their creation to become a separate dog breed, but rather a way to adjust the personality and temperament of the two existing bully breeds.
The American Bully dog breed could be considered a mutt in that not one particular type of bully breed was strictly used to develop them. It is believed that most of the American Bully dogs were bred by crossing the American Pitbull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier.
However, there have been several American Bully dogs bred that differ in appearance from the original American Bully dog. This leads us to believe that the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the English Bulldog, and the American Bulldog are also contributors to the American Bully dog breed.
The American Bully dog breed was first recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club (the ABKC). The breed was not recognized by the United Kennel Club (the UKC) until July 15, 2013. Hence why the breed is considered to be relatively new.
Physical Characteristics Of The American Bully Dog Breed
The American Bully dog breed closely resembles his ancestors (the American Pitbull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier), and at first glance may be mistaken for them. However, this dog breed typically has a bulkier and more muscular body shape than his ancestors.
He may also have a more profound square head and a shorter muzzle than his ancestors do. The American Bully dog breed may also vary in size as it is believed that other dog breeds may contribute to his development. These varying sizes have been broken down into four different types of American Bully dogs which include the Standard American Bully, the Classic American Bully, the Pocket American Bully and the Extra Large American Bully. Each of the four types/sizes is recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club.
The Standard American Bully
The Standard American Bully dog is the most common American Bully. He has a very compact and muscular body that is matched by a meaty head. Male Standard American Bullies are generally just under 20 inches tall, on average when fully grown and females are typically around 17 inches tall on average when fully grown.
The Classic American Bully
The Classic American Bully dog is thought of as the “original” American Bull description. Rather than boasting exaggerated physical attributes, the Classic American Bully is more subtle. He is also the American Bully type that resembles the American Pitbull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier the most closely.
Their body shape is more subtle and “lighter” than the Standard American Bully dog. However, like the male Standard American Bully dog, the male Classic American Bully should also stand about 20 inches tall on average when fully grown, and the female Classic American Bullies should stand approximately 17 inches tall on average when fully grown.
The Pocket American Bully
The Pocket American Bully dog is the second most common type of American Bully dog. They are typically much smaller than the other three categories. However, they are not so small to be considered miniature. The male Pocket American Bully dogs usually stand about 15 inches tall on average when fully grown and the female Pocket American Bullies are usually 14 inches tall on average when fully developed.
The Extra Large American Bully
The last size of the American Bully dog breed is the extra-large size. The Extra Large American Bully dog is the largest of the four types. They are also the most unique in appearance. These pups resemble doggie bodybuilders as they are equipped with powerful muscles on their entire bodies.
The male Extra Large American Bully dogs will typically stand about 23 inches tall on average when fully grown and the female Extra Large American Bully dogs usually stand about 20 inches tall on average when fully developed.
Other Physical Features Of The American Bully
Most American Bully dogs have naturally short legs that are responsible for holding their long, muscular bodies. Their tails are long, thin and typically are formed with a curve. Unfortunately, there are some breeders and owners out there that prefer to “dock” their dog’s tails. This is not a natural occurrence and has been widely discouraged for the dog’s safety and health.
The head shape of the American Bully dogs is typically medium in length and impressive in width. Their broad, square, and slightly flattened heads and faces are two of the most noticeable physical features of the American Bully dog breed. This is not a brachycephalic dog breed. However, their muzzles are typically shorter than muzzles on other dog breeds.
You may also notice that some American Bully dogs have wrinkles on their faces. This is not a breed standard, but it is a common development. The natural ear development for the breed is that they fold downwards and are close to the sides of the dog’s head. Unfortunately, there are various breeders and owners out there that prefer to “prick” their dog’s ears into the shape of an erect triangle. This is not a natural occurrence and has been widely discouraged for the dog’s safety and health. The American Bully dog breed has round or oval shaped eyes that may vary in color.
Finally, the American Bully dog breed has a very short fur coat. Their fur coats may not be very soft to touch, but they do have a prominent shine about them. This dog breed may come in any number of coat colors or patterns including (but not limited to) brown, white, white with patches, black, red, brindle, and much more.
Personality And Temperament Of The American Bully Dog Breed
The American Bully dog breed is equipped with traits from both the American Pitbull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier. However, he may also demonstrate qualities found in other dog breeds if other breeds were used instead of the American Staffordshire Terrier. They were successful created to be loving family companion dogs that have a bodyguard physical appearance.
American Bully dogs are protective over their family members when a hostile situation occurs. On the other hand, they are also known to be gentle, loving, and loyal lap dogs. American Bullies adore children and are more than suitable to live in a household with them. They are not aggressive dogs, although they may look that way. They love playtime and rough housing with the family.
It is important to mention that all dogs should be observed when small children are involved. The dog may not be aggressive or dangerous, but there is always a potential for accidental bites.
American Bully dogs are rarely aggressive with other humans. They may become guarded or aggressive if a hostile or hazardous situation presents itself. For example, an American Bully dog may become aggressive towards a human being that is causing harm to someone else, especially a family member. The American Bully will switch into protective guard dog mode and do what is necessary to stop the stranger from harming their family member.
An American Bully dog may also show signs of agitation or urgency if his territory is facing imminent danger. For example, if the house were to catch fire then the American Bully dog would again switch into protective guard dog mode and alert his family members that there is a dangerous situation.
The American Bully dog breed may not get along well with other animals. This may be particularly true for other dogs. Dog aggression is one of the top personality traits in all of the bully breeds that have been an issue. However, breeders have been mostly successful in reducing the dog aggression. In fact, the American Bully dog breed is one of the only bully breeds that is tolerant of other dogs.
Unneutered male bully dogs are the top aggressors against other dogs. This is due to their territorial, possessive, dominance-driven behaviors that are mostly eradicated when the dog is neutered. Bully breeds are also prone to being aggressive towards other types of animals. This is due to their prey drive.
Breeders have been working on reducing this type of aggression as well, and many have been successful. However, if a bully breed dog is not properly socialized, then he will likely be aggressive towards any animal he meets.
Proper training and socialization during puppyhood can substantially decrease the risk of aggression towards other dogs and animals. Also, if you already have pets in the home and you are considering adding an American Bully dog to the mix, then it is highly recommended to choose a young puppy. Puppies are very impressionable and may grow up to be tolerant if not accepting of other animals and dogs if they are raised alongside them.
Feeding Your American Bully dog
When it comes to finding the right dog kibble for your American Bully, it may seem overwhelming. The number of options that line the pet store shelves makes it difficult to know exactly which dog kibble is right for your pooch. Your American Bully dog will need a dog food that is high in natural protein sources.
These would include beef, chicken, lamb, and turkey. They are considered high-quality protein and should be the top listed ingredients on the package. Your pup will also need a dog food that includes quality sources of fruits and vegetables. These would include items such as carrots and peas.
Carbohydrates are required in an American Bully dog’s diet, but, they should not be among the first items listed. Finally, you should pick a kibble that includes various vitamins and minerals. Be careful not to choose a kibble that is made up of fillers or low-quality food sources.
Your American Bully dog should eat a well-balanced diet that suits his age, activity level, and breed. Look for a dog food that says it has been created for muscular dog breeds or active adult dogs (if you have an adult American Bully).
If you have a puppy, then you will need to find a puppy kibble that is made of high-quality food sources similar to the ones listed above. The package should specify that it has been created for energetic and growing puppies. Avoid offering your American Bully any human food without discussing it with your veterinarian first.
Caring for your American Bully dog
The American Bully dog breed is far less excitable and energetic than the American Pitbull Terrier. Pitbulls tend to desire constant playtime, tasks, commands, tricks, and various other activities. They are incredibly difficult to tie out. However, the American Bully dog breed will play a game of fetch or participate in another activity for a short while.
This could be an excellent trait if you are not looking for an overly active pooch to join your home. On the other hand, you shouldn’t expect your American Bully to be a couch potato. He needs adequate exercise, playtime, and training time throughout each day to avoid destructive behavior. American Pitbull Terriers are also equipped with a work dog mentality.
This generally means that the breed is always ready to please their owners by performing a trick that is asked of them or by following a command. American Bully dogs are much more calm and may not feel the need to work so hard for their owner’s approval.
American Bullies do need quite a bit of exercise, however, in order to prevent obesity, laziness, and a variety of health problems that are associated with them. Bully experts recommend providing the breed at least 45 minutes of physical activity each day.
Most bully breeds are banned from apartment complexes due to their aggressive ancestral past. However, some landlords will accept dogs of this breed with the proper paperwork and a relatively high fee.
Bully breeds including the American Bully dog breed could live happily in an apartment, townhome, or condo type environment as long as they are provided easy access to outdoor green space for exercising, playing, fresh air, socializing and most importantly relieving themselves. If outdoor green space is not prominently available, then it may not be the most suitable living environment for a dog of any breed.
The American Bully dog breed (and other bully breeds) would likely be happier in a single family home with a reinforced fenced in backyard. This type of living environment provides quality outdoor green space for a pooch to exercise, play and relieve himself while remaining safely in his own yard. It also protects strangers and strange animals from the dog if he is unnerved by them.
Training And Barking Tendencies
The American Bully dog breed is exceptionally intelligent and eager to please their owners. However, this is not a dog breed suitable for first-time dog owners. The American Bully dog breed can be stubborn and may try to promote himself to pack leader.
If an owner is too flexible, then their dog could quickly get the upper hand which would make training nearly impossible. American Bullies require a firm, fair, experienced owner that devotes adequate time to training with positive reinforcement each day.
American Bullies are not known for their excessive barking. In fact, they will most likely only bark for one of two reasons.
- There is an intruder, dangerous situation or potential prey.
- Boredom. Yes, the American Bully dog breed may begin to bark if he is not adequately exercised each day. This is his way of asking for your attention, and he may attempt to do so with other destructive behaviors.
The American Bully dog breed has a short, flat, shiny fur coat. They should never require a professional groomer or “haircut”. However, they should regularly be brushed to help manage shedding. They should also be given a bath every few weeks or as often as odor occurs.
American Bullies should also have their ears cleaned, their teeth brushed, and their nails trimmed on a regular basis. These tasks may be done by a veterinarian or groomer if the owner is not comfortable doing it.
Potential Health Conditions Of The American Bully Dog Breed
Most of the information regarding the American Bully dog’s potential health conditions remains unknown at this time. This is due to the fact that they are still a relatively new dog breed and there is not enough research on their health to say for certain what the breed may be prone to. However, it is believed that the American Bully should live between 9 and 13 years of age.
It is also believed that the American Bully dog breed may suffer from Demodicosis which is a skin problem caused by mites. This is a common skin condition among all dog breeds. Many experts on the various bully breeds recommend having the American Bully dog breed checked for hip dysplasia and various eye conditions.