American Bully Guide
The American Bully is a designer dog with beefy looks and an amiable personality. It is a strong, muscular, and assertive dog that is extremely loyal to its family. It has a happy, friendly, and assertive personality and is ideal as a companion dog.
If you are looking to add an American Bully to your household, then this guide is for you. In it, we discuss everything you need to know about the American Bully breed, its history, temperament, physical characteristics, price, and more.
Without further adieu, let’s dive right into it!
American Bully – History
The American Bully originated around the 1980s when people wanted a dog that looked fierce and intimidating like the American Pit Bull terrier but was friendlier and more amicable than it in personality. Several dog breeds were used in creating the Bully line namely the American Pit Bull terrier along with at least 5 other Bulldog type breeds.
By 1990, the American Bully was finalized. Depending on the parent dogs used in the cross, the designer Bully can come in several sizes including Pocket American Bullies, American Bully XL, and American Bully XXL.
By 2004, the American Bully Kennel Club or the ABKC started recognizing the American Bully as a separate breed. The UKC or the United Kennel Club recognized the American Bully in 2013.
The modern American Bully is enjoying popularity both as a weight-pulling dog as well as a companion or family pet. This is thanks in part to breeders who are working to create Bullies having lower prey drive with similar stocky and ‘vicious appearances’ like the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT).
American Bully – Size and Appearance
The American Bully is a strong, stocky, beefy, and muscular dog. It has a short coat which is available in colors like white, tan, fawn, red, piebald, brown, blue, and grey.
Weight and height
American Bullies are available in several sizes as follows:
- American Bully XL – the XL male American Bully measures between 21 inches (51 cm) and 23 inches (57 cm) while females measure between 13 and 16 inches (48-54 cm).
- Standard – The Standard bully is a medium-sized dog having the characteristic stocky and bulky bully frame, heavy head, and prominent bone structure. Standard male dogs measure between 17 and 20 in (43 to 51 cm) and females between 16 and 19 inches (41 to 48 cm).
- Classic – The Classic variant has a lighter frame but a similar height as the Standard American Bully.
- American Bully Pocket – The Pocket American Bully is the smallest among the standard American Bullies with males measuring less than 17 inches (43 cm) at withers and females between 13 and 16 inches (33-40 cm).
There are also non-standard sizes such as American Bully XXL and American Bully Micro. None of these are considered legitimate varieties of the breed by the ABKC. As the names indicate, the XXL type is larger than the American Bully XL while the American Bully Micro is a lot smaller than the Pocket American Bully.
How Much Does an American Bully Cost?
The price of an American Bully is not standard and varies greatly from breeder to breeder. The best breeders charge anywhere between $1500 and $10,000 for their high-quality, rare coloured and well-trained Bullies. This high price comes due to the difficulty breeders encounter in breeding these rare dogs while meeting conformation and temperament.
As mentioned before, the American Bully is quite popular today as a weight-pulling dog as well as a family pet. Resultantly, there is a high demand for these puppies. This high-demand followed by short supply has driven the breed’s prices up.
Certain coat colors and sizes are also priced higher: for example, Pocket American bullies could cost between $2500 and $4000 with an average price of $3000. Standard American bullies cost an average of $3000. Classic bullies cost about the same as Standard.
XL American Bullies come at an average price of $3000 with show-quality puppies even being sold for $10,000!
American Bully breeders in Australia often import frozen semen from the best studs in the world.
American Bully – Personality and Temperament
Despite their intimidating looks, American Bullies are happy, friendly, dogs. They make great companion pets that are fiercely loyal to their family members. When socialized with kids from an early age, they get along well with children.
However, the American Bully may not know its own strength, so parents must always supervise interactions between the dog and children – at least in the beginning. It is also important to teach kids to respect the dog and never tease, hit, or abuse the Bully in any way.
Unfortunately, the American Bully has received a bad rap as an aggressive dog. Many people portray this as a fact and that the breed isn’t safe for kids. The reality is that most American Bullies from reputed breeders are gentle giants; friendly and affectionate. A well-trained, socialized, and properly raised Bully will be sociable and friendly, especially towards the people it already knows.
You must understand that the breed has strong guarding instincts. Due to this, your pet may show a dominant attitude. This is the reason why your Bully needs firm handling and training from the very beginning. You must expose your dog to other dogs, people, and kids. This will help ensure that they can be controlled once they grow older and much larger in size.
Sometimes, American Bullies may not be well-behaved towards cats and other small pets because of their inherently high prey drive. However, through early socialization, you can greatly increase your pet’s acceptance of these animals.
Is the American Bully Aggressive?
The American Bully is not naturally aggressive. However, it is strong-willed. So, you should show zero tolerance if your pet shows aggression. The best way to prevent aggression in any dog is through plenty of socialization, patient training, and making sure that the dog’s needs are met. Therefore, socialization and training of your American Bully should begin from the day the puppy comes into your home.
Note that breeders have acknowledged that American Bullies can be very dangerous if not raised properly. Therefore, finding good breeders is the key to getting a Bully with the best temperament.
In fact; you need to watch out for aggression in your potential Bully puppy – right from the time you first go to meet it at the breeder.
Ask to meet the puppy’s dam and sire. Observe how the parent dogs are and how they meet and greet people. If the dogs show any aggression, steer clear of the breeder. Good breeders start socializing their puppies with children, and other dogs, and provide them with human experiences right from the start. They’d also refrain from breeding dogs having aggressive temperaments.
American Bully Needs
What type of owner is best for a Bully?
Your American Bully needs an experienced dog owner – one who can firmly, consistently, and patiently train it. This is certainly not a breed for inexperienced or first-time dog owners.
Without socialization and early obedience training, these dogs can get very bossy. It is no wonder that hundreds of American Bullies end up in rescue homes each year. They are labeled as ‘aggressive’ and ‘difficult to train’ – when, in reality, they are affectionate dogs with big hearts.
This is a dog that needs a lot of space. The ideal home for a Bully is one with a fenced yard where it can run and expend its energy. This is certainly not a dog for apartment dwellers.
The Bully needs plenty of exercise so if you’re a couch potato, you may want to reconsider your decision of adopting/buying an American Bully. You need to exercise your dog for at least an hour a day.
This is a fairly low-maintenance breed as far as grooming is concerned. Your Bully won’t need too much grooming and its short coat is fairly easy to maintain.
Weekly brushing is enough to keep your pet’s coat shiny and free from parasites. Use a soft brush to collect the shed hair during shedding season. You can bathe your pet once a month. Make sure to brush your Bully’s teeth every day and clean its ears regularly. Trimming the nails will keep them at an optimum length.
Is the American Bully Easy to Train?
American Bully training can be a bit tricky because of the breed’s intelligence and a stubborn streak.
In the beginning, when you first bring your American Bully puppy home, you might find it to be difficult to housebreak. This is all the more reason to be persistent. You must consistently and patiently teach your young dog what is and isn’t acceptable. That is the only way to train this breed.
Make sure to completely deodorize ‘old mistakes’ otherwise your puppy will eliminate in the same area again and again.
There are several ways to train your Bully. You can check out free videos on YouTube, take cues from training books, or enroll your pet in an obedience training school. You could even opt for private training with an expert dog handler. This may be an expensive approach but you will see good results.
Diet and Food
The best food for your Bully puppy is the same one that the breeder was feeding it. Don’t forget to get a sample of it for your puppy’s early days in its new environment. This is important to prevent stressing your puppy further as it adjusts. Later you can switch to a different food as advised by the breeder or a vet.
From time to time, evaluate your pet’s height and weight. The breed is prone to obesity so you must monitor your dog’s diet and exercise strictly.
You can feed your buddy a high-quality commercial diet – either kibble or wet/canned food. There are many Bully-specific dog foods available on the market. These high-protein, high-fat foods are known to enhance performance and are especially beneficial for weight-pulling Bullies.
Some Bully breeders recommend raw feeding but you may want to consult a vet before switching to raw foods. Home-cooked meals are also a good option but do ensure that they can give your pet the balanced nutrition it requires.
American Bully Health Issues and Lifespan
It is very important to buy your Bully from a good breeder. Reputed breeders care for the puppies and test the breeding stock for health issues. By not breeding dogs that carry the genes for certain canine genetic diseases, they ensure healthier litters.
The Bully breed is generally quite healthy and hardy. However, there are a few diseases known to pop up in the breed from time to time. These include Cherry Eye and other eye issues like Entropion. Brachycephalic Syndrome is also common in these dogs due to their short muzzles and ‘squashed-in’ faces. Hip and elbow dysplasia are also noted in Bullies; however, they can be prevented through good breeding practices and thorough testing.
You can keep your Bully healthy by feeding it a nutritious diet, keeping it active, and also providing it with adequate mental stimulus. Regular vet checks ups can help catch problems early on and prevent them from escalating.
With good care, American Bullies can live for 8-13 years.
FAQs on American Bully
Is American Bully a good family dog?
The American Bully can be a wonderful family dog or a companion pet that is fiercely loyal to its humans. It is affectionate and friendly. With proper training and socialization, the American Bully can get along with kids and other house pets.
Is American Bully a Pit Bull?
The Pit Bull (American Pit Bull Terrier/APBT) and American Bully are often confused for each other. However, they are entirely different dogs. The Pit Bull has been used in the creation of the American Bully.
Which breeds make an American Bully?
The Bully breed was derived by crossing American Pit Bull terrier with Bulldog breeds like Old English Bulldogs. The Staffordshire terrier and certain Mastiff breeds may also have been used in creating the modern American Bully.
Do American Bullies bite?
Aggression and biting are not natural traits in the breed. Biting should never be tolerated and must be curbed through early training and socialization.
What is the American Nano Bully?
The Nano Bully is a small Bully breed obtained by crossing American Bully with Frenchie, English Bulldogs, and Exotic Bully. It measures up to 13 inches and weighs between 30-50 lb.
Looking for an American Bully Stud Near You?
Browse the growing number of American Bully stud dogs listed on Stud Dogs Australia.