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American Bully Dog: Breed Info, Pictures, Traits, Facts

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

amrican bulldog

Height: 14-23 inches
Weight: 70-120 pounds
Lifespan: 10-13 years
Colors: White, blue, black, ticking, champagne, sable/smut, brindle, piebald, chocolate, fawn
Suitable for: Active families with children, those looking for a low-shedding dog
Temperament: Very loving towards children, Intuitive to owner’s emotions, Eager to please, Friendly with strangers, Non-aggressive towards other animals, Gentle, Confident

If ever there was a dog to be completely and utterly misrepresented by its looks, it’s the American Bully dog.

At first glance, they can look to be one of the most intimidating dog breeds you’ve ever seen. They’ve got large, broad heads and more muscles than Popeye on a spinach farm. And with cropped ears, the American Bully can look like an absolute menace.

But this couldn’t be further from the truth. While this dog is bred to specifically have all of these intimidating traits, they are among the sweetest, kindest dogs you’ll find. They’re naturally more friendly towards children, elderly, and persons with special needs and disabilities, making these pups absolutely wonderful family dogs.

They’re also very gentle and sweet and put in an effort to make everyone happy, master and stranger alike. They essentially have the lovable, goofy personality of a Labrador Retriever trapped inside a bodybuilder’s frame.

Through their looks alone, they’ve been ostracized and even banned from some cities and countries around the world. Often, these cities or countries will base their breed specification laws on the historical past of the animal. For example, Pit Bulls and Canary Mastiffs were often bred for fighting and that stigma has since followed them. However, the American Bully is a new breed — one specifically bred to be amicable and loving towards everyone.

Divider 1American Bully Puppies


There are a few things you definitely need to consider before buying an American Bully puppy.

First, you need to consider where you live. These pups are active, energetic, and love nothing more than strutting down the street with their owners. And while you may know and love your Bully, that’s not to say you won’t have ignorant or worried neighbors.

You’ll find that some people will immediately get upset seeing your dog in the neighborhood. And they may attempt to do something about it. In a perfect world, you’d simply be able to explain that your American Bully is just as friendly (if not more) than any other dog. However, it’s not always that easy. Before you buy a puppy, check out the local ordinance concerning dog breeds. It’d be a crying shame for you to have to find a new home for either your Bully or yourself.

Next, you’ll need to find a reputable breeder. And that can be tough. There are but a scant handful when compared to other more popular dogs. But the breed is quickly growing in popularity, meaning that there are currently a bunch of subpar breeders out there. Be sure to do your homework and find the best one you can.

Divider 83 Little-Known Facts About the American Bully Dog

The American Bully is such an interesting breed and an entry into the Bully breeds family. Here are three super cool facts about them.

1. There Are Four Recognized Classes of American Bully

According to the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC), there are four designated classes.

Pocket- This is the smallest class of American Bully. The Pocket designation implies that males are less than 17 inches (14 inches at the withers) and females are under 16 inches (13 inches at the withers).

Standard- A Standard sized Bully should really set the tone for its size. It should be muscular with a blocky head with a large bone structure. Males are between 17-20 inches and females 16-19 inches.

Classic- The Classic Bully is just an amendment or deviation of the Standard Bully. They must follow the same size requirements; however, they generally have a slimmer build.

XL- This is another deviation of the Standard Bully. It keeps the build requirements of the Standard and is simply taller. The height requirements for the XL American Bully are 20-23 inches for males and 19-22 inches for females.

Previously, there was a fifth recognized class known as Extreme. It was a handicapped class where the dog had the same build as a Standard, but with even more mass.

2. The American Bully is an Exceptionally New Breed

The first true American Bully dogs only came around during the 1980s and early 1990s. It was first recognized as a breed by the ABKC in 2004 and the UKC (United Kennel Club) in 2013.

But the inspiration for the breed actually goes back hundreds of years. When its Bulldog and Terrier ancestors first started as fighting sport dogs, breeders and trainers wanted bigger, meaner, and more deadly dogs. This then led to the development of Staffordshire Bull Terriers and other more menacing breeds.

However, the American Bully wasn’t bred for sport. In fact, it was bred for the exact opposite. Kind-hearted owners and breeders wanted to help rewrite history for previous fighting dog breeds. Their goal was to create the ultimate companion dog.

Thus, the American Bully came to be, and it’s quickly showing itself to be one of the best companion dogs you’ll ever find with all the aggressive tendencies bred out.

3. It is one of the Fastest Growing Dogs in Terms of Popularity

The image turnabout for Bull Terriers and other Bullies is actually starting to work. People are now starting to realize that Bully dogs aren’t the monsters they’ve been made out to be. And the American Bully really helped to make that change. Although still unrecognized by the AKC, the American Bully is quickly becoming one of the most popular breeds around.

american bully brown
Image Credit: Pikrepo

divider 10

Temperament & Intelligence of the American Bully🧠

These pups were bred with two purposes in mind: to keep the great working dog qualities of its ancestors while simultaneously becoming the ultimate companion. And after years of breeding, the American Bully has lost its aggressive tendencies and has become one of the best family and companion dogs you’ll find anywhere.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?🏡

It’s hard to stress this enough. American Bully dogs are among the best family dogs. They rank right up there with Golden Retrievers, Labs, and French Bulldogs. One trait that really sets this dog above the others is its natural parenting ability. As a matter of fact, they absolutely love and adore children. They make for great nanny dogs and playmates for children of all sizes.

And they’re great with strangers as well. This is another one of those pets that would actually help the burglar rob your house — provided they got a few scratches behind the ears. American Bullies are extremely sociable with just about anyone they meet. However, they have been known to have a great judge of character and empathize with those around them. So, if they feel a particular person may be a little sneaky, they’ll be cautious — but not aggressive.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?🐶 😽 

Absolutely. They don’t just love people, American Bullies love just about everyone. If given the opportunity, they would just love to hop around in a field of butterflies making new friends. These are not shy, awkward, or aggressive dogs. They get along great with other dogs because all they want is a new friend.

And they’ll actually kind and loving to cats too. When the years of fighting were bred out of them so was their prey drive. Now, they might just chase the cat in a game of hide and seek or attempt to snuggle up with them at bedtime.

Divider 4Things to Know When Owning an American Bully:

Just like taking care of any other breed, you’re going to need to know the basics. This includes how much exercise they’ll need, how much food they should eat, and other essentials. Read on for more details on raising an American Bully.

american bully playing
Image Credit: rzierik, Pixabay

Food & Diet Requirements🦴 

The American Bully isn’t necessarily the largest dog around, even when it comes to the XL class. But they do sport more musculature than almost any other dog. So, while they don’t need to eat as much as a Great Dane would need, it’s super critical to monitor what they’re eating.

In order to keep your Bully in tip-top shape, you’ll need to feed them a high-protein diet. This can come from specialty dog food such as VICTOR Hi-Pro Plus Formula Dry Dog Food or be supplemented with quality external sources.


It may seem like these pups don’t require too much exercise. But they’re actually active, energetic pups! They’ll need a good hour every day to get their exercise in. And while this could easily be accomplished with a daily walk, they’d really love to spend it playing and goofing around with their loved ones.


When it comes to training, American Bully dogs are among one of the easiest breeds to train. Their high intelligence coupled with their eagerness to please makes training one of the simpler aspects of owning a Bully.

American Bully Dog
Featured Image Credit: Sweetpitbull, Pixabay

Grooming ✂️

And if you thought training was easy, then grooming is even easier. They’re short-haired dogs that don’t shed too much. A good bath every now and again with a mild soap is more than enough to keep a family dog fresh and groomed.

Health and Conditions❤️

In all reality, the American Bully is a pretty healthy dog. Aside from some common ailments that most dogs usually suffer from such as elbow and hip dysplasia, there are a few underlying concerns for the breed.

Hypothyroidism, cerebellar abiotrophy, and congenital heart failure can all be cause for concern. However, these cases are few and far between, especially if you know the dog’s breeding line and provide a proper diet and exercise.

The most common condition that American Bullies are prone to is actually gassiness. They’ll clear a room in a heartbeat with their flatulence. This can be attributed to their high-protein diets or other dietary issues. And as long they’re not suffering in pain, you’ll just have to learn to love the gas.

Minor Conditions
Serious Conditions
  • Elbow and hip dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cerebellar abiotrophy
  • Congenital heart failure

Divider 5Male vs Female

The differences between the two for a family dog are so small they really don’t matter. The only point of concern is if you’re raising a show dog. If so, you’ll have to keep in mind that females are designated to be smaller — if even ever-so-slightly — than the males in the same class division.

Divider 3Final Thoughts

We don’t believe that there are any bad dogs out there, and we definitely can’t make that call on appearances alone. The American Bully is an absolutely sweet and adorable little munchkin. Sure, he’s got big muscles. But he’s still going to be running to you when thunder claps.

He’s the ultimate family dog who is eager to please and make friends. The American Bully is making sure that he isn’t marked by his ancestors’ pasts but instead blazing a new trail of acceptance for Bully dogs everywhere.

So, if you’re looking for a new forever friend, you should absolutely consider getting an American Bully. Learn about all Bully breeds here. You might be surprised by some of the dogs on this list!

See also:

Featured Image Credit: skitterphoto, Pexels

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