The American Bully is a recent dog breed from the United States that descends from the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier, as well as more distant relatives like the English Bulldog and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. It has been recognized by the United Kennel Club since 2013, but it isn't recognized by the American Kennel Club yet.
- United States
- Group I
- More than 31
Physical traits of the American Bully
The American Bully is a medium-sized strong, athletic breed with a muscled and powerful build: with its large head, powerful jaws and compact body, these dogs can look a bit intimidating.
American Bullies can be found in many different colors, from blue to brown and black, but they are never merle or albino. In general, they tend to be dark. Although many owners choose to crop their ears, we do not recommend it at all: in fact, this practice is banned in many countries. Because of their ancestors, like the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Bullies are stronger than most other breeds.
There are five American Bully varieties:
- Pocket: the smallest American Bully is 41 cm (16 in) tall at the most. Despite its small size, it is well-muscled and energetic.
- Classic: the most proportionate American Bully is medium-sized, at 50 cm (20 in) tall, with a light frame.
- Standard: this variety is as tall as the Classic American Bully, but it is stockier and more muscular, with a large and powerful head. It is considered the model for the breed.
- XL: similar in looks and height to the Classic, this is the largest American Bully in muscle tone and weight.
- Extreme: this variety was an even more muscled and wider version of the Standard American Bully. However, it is not accepted any more.
Temperament of the American Bully
The original breeders of the American Bully looked for a dog with fierce and rough looks but a loyal and family-oriented personality. Although they may not look like it, American Bullies are sociable dogs - they are great with children!
An American Bully is an extremely affectionate and loyal companion that won't hesitate to show their courage to defend their family from any danger. They are intelligent dogs, able to develop all sorts of skills.
Common health problems of the American Bully
In general, American Bullies are strong, healthy dogs. However, inbreeding has resulted in the development and increased risk of hereditary diseases:
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Heart conditions
Caring for an American Bully
American Bullies are muscular, active dogs that need proper and regular exercise. You will need to walk your dog three times a day at length to prevent them from developing stress, anxiety or behavioral problems. They are not meant for sprinting or long-distance runs, as moving their body at great speed is too much of an effort for their build. However, running for short periods at a moderate speed and staying active is necessary for their daily routine.
This is a very clean breed: they love to be brushed, groomed and bathed. With these basic activities their coat will stay clean and shiny. You will need to wipe the rheum from their eyes as part of their morning routine.
American Bully puppies need extra calcium in their diet in order to develop their bones properly: they will grow to be heavy dogs, and their skeleton needs to hold up more weight than other dogs of a similar height. The best diet for an adult dog is standard dry feed as recommended by the vet. To enrich their diet you can offer your American Bully high-protein pâté. Exercise and a balanced and diverse diet will be enough to keep your dog healthy and happy.
Some American Bully dogs have been treated with steroids to increase their muscle mass. This is a cruel, unfair practice that can have serious consequences for the dog, who will not have developed their strength naturally and won't be able to communicate as they normally would, and they can become aggressive. It's extremely important not to medicate your dog without your vet's knowledge and consent.
Living with an American Bully
These dogs usually get on well with children: when properly trained and socialized, American Bullies are one of the most affectionate and patient dog breeds. They are protective, so your children are in safe hands.
American Bullies also get along with other pets. They are aware of their physical power, and they control their movements so as not to hurt smaller dogs, with whom they love to communicate and play. However, this requires a socialization process that must begin when they are puppies. It's always best to neuter American Bullies to prevent dominant behaviors and enjoy the company of a calmer, more stable dog.
Training an American Bully
Before adopting an American Bully, you should know that they're recommended for experienced owners with some knowledge of the psychology of dogs and their behavior within a pack. They need a steady, calm and coherent owner: if you're going to train and keep an American Bully, you will need to understand what it means to be leader of the pack, establish rules and always follow them.
Training an American Bully requires patience, but they are intelligent dogs that will learn basic dog commands easily. Your training sessions will be enjoyable for the two of you! If you use positive reinforcement, your American Bully will always be willing to learn and please you. Here you can find more tips to train an American Bully.