The American Bully: A Big Dog With A Bigger Heart

The American Bully: A Big Dog With A Bigger Heart
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When it comes to being an outstanding companion, no person or animal can compete with the American Bully. A true companion dog, the American Bully, is everything you would want in a pet.


Are you seeking company on your own or looking to add a loving member to your growing family? The American Bully is the perfect partner for a person living independently or a playtime buddy for your children.


There is so much to love about the American Bully breed. Before you look up breeders or adoption centers near you, read on to learn more about this dog's characteristics, exercise needs, care requirements, and more!



American Bully Characteristics (Physical)

The American Bully might seem intimidating, considering its strong name and large physical presence. But this breed is very lovable and sweet. All dogs are unique, but the American Bullies have certain traits that make them more sought-after than other breeds.


From a distance, the American Bully is identifiable by its strong and muscular body. It also has a giant grin that looks like it is smiling.


This dog is also called Bully Pit, and one of its key characteristics is it's large and broadhead. Although this breed has a big head, it should not be disproportionate to the rest of its body. Its muzzle is squarish in appearance.


The American Bully has oval-shaped or slightly round-shaped eyes that may be in any color except blue. They also have well-defined cheek muscles and a big nose with opened nostrils. They have high-set ears that may be cropped depending on the owner's preference.


The American Bully's front legs are strong and usually straight, but some might have a slight turn at the forearm. Its front legs are set wide apart so it can fully support its chest. The hind legs are strong, too, with thick muscles on the thighs.


Bullies have well-sprung ribs that are visible on its body. Their back slightly arches. The tail is shaped like a pump handle, and according to the United Kennel Club (UKC), the tail should not be docked.



grey bully running



American Bully Dog Breed Size

American Bully breeds are medium-sized dogs. The size and weight of this dog breed vary on its sex, feeding habits, and amount of exercise. In general, this dog can weigh anywhere between 70 to 120 pounds. At the wither, it may be 16 t0 22 inches tall.


The size of the American Bully determines what category of Bully breed size it belongs to. The different sizes have been categorized and are officially recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club (AKBC)

  • Standard
  • Pocket
  • Classic
  • XL (Extra Large)



American Bully Personality

The American Bully does not reflect its name. These pups are very lovable and typically enjoy their owner and their family. The American Sweetheart would be a more appropriate name for this dog breed. Each Bully is unique in its own right. This dog does have some personality traits that are commonly seen in its breed.



Behind the American Bully's menacing appearance is a genuine and friendly pet eager to please its family. This dog is very gentle and easily ranks among the kindest family dogs.


It is categorized in the companion dog breed group. This dog group is solely kept for friendship instead of performing tasks like the working dog group.


One of the main features Bully breeders were looking to include in the American Bully breed is an affectionate temperament. This dog is not meant to be aggressive. When not exercising or having fun with its owners, this breed is pretty calm and enjoys sitting on laps.



All dogs are loyal, but American Bullies will always want to stay by your side. This dog can be trusted to be reliable and is also very intelligent.


If you want a dog breed devoted to its owner, then the American Bully is for you! This breed likes to form bonds with its owner and their families as well.



The American Bully has a very brave temperament. It is not a confrontational dog by nature, but have been known to protect you, your family, and your home if needed.


Some business owners have kept the Bully breed to guard their properties even though they act more as companion dogs. These dogs are typically quite kind, but if an unwanted intruder tries to trespass, they will run into an upset American bully.



American Bully Dog Breed Exercise

It is not just people who need to exercise to live healthier lives, but American Bullies do. With such a husky appearance, who wouldn't want to show off those muscles?


On average, American Bully dogs require at least an hour of exercise a day. The hour can be spread throughout the day. These exercise requirements depend on the dog's age and health.


American bullies are usually stocky, but this breed can join you for walks and runs. It loves playing fetch and running around in a fenced yard. You can see this dog's strong jaw muscles in action by playing tug-o-war!


An American Bully puppy is full of energy and might require extra exercise compared to other pups. Doggy exercise is highly beneficial for all dogs.


Exercise helps American Bullies expand their energy and keep their mind stimulated. Dog breeds may develop unwanted destructive behavior due to a lack of exercise.


As your dog gets older, their exercise requirements might change as well. Exercising should not be seen as a hassle but as an opportunity to strengthen your bond with your pet. The American Bully may be laid back, but their playful nature and strong build motivate these dogs to let loose and have fun!



Training an American Bully

Training your American Bully should be one of your priorities. Whether you adopt a puppy or rescue dog, teaching your pet to be disciplined will make caring for it a lot easier.


This breed is smart and is easier to train than other canines. Failing to train your American Bully might result in the following negative behaviors.

  • Chewing problem
  • Uses the bathroom in unwanted areas
  • Does not play nice with other dogs
  • Fails to obey commands
  • Excessive barking


It is normal for any puppy to control its bladder, so potty training during puppyhood establishes boundaries on where your dog can use the restroom. House training your American Bully will make you feel confident about not waking up to your chewed-up household items.


The American Bully breed has a pack mentality and is a very confident dog. They require a calm and self-assured owner who needs to establish themselves as the alpha in the pack to be more willing to follow commands.


Obedience training is a tried-and-true method of getting your dog to listen to your orders. An obedient dog will be able to do cool tricks such as:

  • Sit
  • Down
  • Stay
  • Wait
  • Heel
  • Come
  • Off
  • Rolling Over


Another important training requirement is dog socialization. This kind of training allows your American Bully to get along easier with other dogs and house guests. This dog is already great with kids, so socializing with other children will help kids feel less scared and more willing to play with this breed.


American Bully Dog Breed History

The American Bully dog is a new breed. Its history may be shorter than other dog's origins. This Bully breed originated in the United States east and west coasts during the 1980s. Bully breeders wanted to create the ultimate companion dog, so they looked at the available dog breed for traits they favored.


The American Bully came about after breeding different dogs such as the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bulldog, English Bulldog, and other breeds. The base inspiration for the Bully's muscular appearance is the American Pit Bull Terrier, which is often confused for American Bullies. The American is stockier and shorter than the American Pit Bull Terrier.


Since it was first bred in the 1980s, the American Bully breeds were further refined and started to gain popularity throughout the 1990s. The breed's admiration spread across the United States and abroad. It is not uncommon to see an American Bully in Europe and Asia.


The ABKC recognized the American Bully breed in 2004. The United Kennel Club (UKC) officially recognized this breed in 2013. This canine breed has not been officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).


Common Health Problems Found in an American Bully 

The American Bully is a fun-loving pet with a mighty appearance, but it is not immune to common health problems. Sometimes, certain conditions are unavoidable, but knowing how to identify and respond to these health concerns can make a huge difference in ensuring your Bully Pit lives a long healthy life.


American Bullies usually have a life span of eight to 12 years. Whether you have an American Bully pocket, standard, classic, or XL, the following issues are seen in all Bully varieties.


Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

This is a skeletal condition that affects all dog breeds. Though it is more commonly seen in bigger-sized dogs. Hip and elbow dysplasia affects the joints at the elbow and the hip. Without treatment, the areas near the joints might begin to deteriorate.


An American Bully with hip or elbow dysplasia may have trouble doing simple everyday movements like walking, jumping, and running. This condition is hereditary, so it should be something to ask a breeder when planning to purchase a puppy. You may also want to get your new puppy tested with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).


If you notice any other symptoms, schedule an appointment with a veterinarian to see how to treat dysplasia. Your dog's vet might suggest bone and joint supplements or even surgery depending on the severity of the condition.



Some veterinarians might prescribe steroid treatment to help manage inflammation and other conditions. Those kinds of steroids are for medical use only, but unfortunately, some Bully breeders might give steroids to their Bully puppy to boost its muscular appearance.


Once the steroids sessions are withdrawn, the American Bully might be susceptible to organ and other serious health concerns. One of the best ways to prevent that from happening is by adopting an American Bully from a reputable kennel or rescue organization.


Eye and Skin Issues

Eyesight issues and skin conditions are a little easier to notice and are all mostly treatable. One of the commonly seen issues is mange, a parasitic infection that causes hair loss, redness, itchiness, and scaling. One of the best ways to treat and soothe your dog's condition is with medicated shampoo.


When it comes to vision, your Bully might experience Progressive Retinal Atrophy or even cataracts. Retinal Atrophy causes gradual blindness, and cataracts form cloudiness in the eye, making it difficult for your dog to see. Surgery might be available for cataracts, but for blindness, dogs can adapt by relying on their other strong senses like smell.



Obesity is more common than it should be in dogs, though it can also be easily avoided or treated. Overweight dogs are usually the result of poor eating habits or overeating unchecked by the owner. Your American Bully might also gain weight due to hyperthyroidism.


Make sure to cut down on your dog's food if you notice excessive weight gain. Some vets might suggest special diet dog food. Feeding your dog the correct amount of food plus daily exercise may help it lose weight.



cute bully close up



How to Care for an American Bully

American Bully care is not difficult to complete, and it helps your pet feel more at home. Some of the care requirements could be done by your children to show them the responsibilities of being a dog owner.


A lot of the things required for appropriate pet care are affordable and available at most pet stores. Keep in mind that an expensive water bowl serves the same function as a low-cost bowl.


It is essential to have the following things available before you bring your new furry friend. Make your dog feel more calm and relaxed at home by having the following things ready.


Safe Refuge

Your American Bully will enjoy spending time with you, whether it is outside or in. A dog crate for inside the house or a dog house for outside is a great way to provide your pet with a little getaway. Crates are great for helping your dog to have its own space.


With crate training, you can enjoy a small retreat from your puppy peacefully while it lays inside its home. Keep a nice comfy dog bed, some dog toys, food, and water bowls inside their crate.


Toys for Dogs

The pet market is filled with all kinds of dog toys for your American Bully. It can be a fancy chew toy or something as cheap as a tennis ball or frisbee to play fetch.


Tug-o-war with your Bully can be achieved with just a piece of old cloth or rope. If your dog is feeling anxious, you can apply CBD oil to its favorite chew toy as a way to ease its nervousness.


Veterinarian Visits

Routine check-ups with a vet help provide peace of mind with your dog's overall wellness. If there's a symptom your dog is developing that has you concerned, a vet can help diagnose it further and help put your dog on the road to recovery.


If you are undecided about different dog brands of grooming items or foods, a vet may provide an expert opinion that best fits your dog's health needs. Vet visits do not need to be weekly or even monthly. An annual or biannual check-up can make a huge difference in prolonging your American Bully's life.



Nutrition and Feeding for an American Bully

Feeding your American Bully is pretty easy! All you need is a feeding bowl and dog food. Regardless of brand, make sure it is dry dog food made with organic and all-natural ingredients without any harmful byproducts.


Your Bully Pit's feeding habits may also depend on its age, size, weight, and overall health. On average, you should aim to feed your pet four cups of dog food a day, split into two servings. Always have fresh water for your dog's bowl, especially during hot weather.


Dogs can tolerate and gain nutritional value from human foods. With the assistance of a vet, you can dedicate a day out of the week to feed your dog a delicious home cooked meal. Before you look up recipes, here are tolerable foods for your Bully Pit!

  • Certain Fruits: Fruits are a great snack rich in vitamins that boost your dog's health. You can freeze some blackberries or apple slices to keep your dog cool during the summer. Avoid feeding your dog fruit seeds or pits or even canned fruit since it may be high in sugar.
  • Limited Vegetables: Veggies are rich in vitamins and nutrients that support your dog's bodily functions. Veggies like kale, broccoli, and carrots can be steamed or blanched before being fed to your dog.
  • Cooked Proteins: Cooked meats provide essential nutrients and amino acids that are only found in meats. Turkey, beef, chicken, and salmon are excellent sources of protein. When cooking meat for your dog, lightly salt it and avoid any seasonings and marinades.


It is recommended to keep a chart with foods dogs can and should not consume. Your American Bully may experience unwanted side effects associated with foods they cannot digest as effectively as people. Here are some of the most common foods found at home that your pet should never, ever eat!


Foods to Not Feed Your Dog

  • Chocolate
  • Onions
  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Xylitol (artificial sugar found in candy and baked foods)
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Raisins and Grapes
  • Dairy Products


If you suspect your American Bully might have accidentally consumed one of these foods, contact your local animal hospital or call the Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435, immediately.


Related: Organic Dog Food Vs Non Organic [In-Depth Comparison]



Coat Color And Grooming

American Bullies are often sought by pet owners for their various colors. The coats come in a disparity of patterns or may be solid in color. Whenever a litter of American Bully puppies is born, the different coat colors are on full display.


Since this dog's coat is not long, brushing it is pretty easy. Use a firm bristle brush and brush it weekly. You can brush their coat while it sits on your lap or lays down next to you on the couch.


With training, your dog will be able to cooperate with you easier while it is being groomed. Besides brushing, here are other grooming habits you should perform on your dog:


General Hygiene

At least once a week, you should do a quick inspection of your dog's teeth, ears, nose, and eyes for dirt, minor cuts, and bruises. Your American Bully eyes and ears should be free of debris. Use a q-tip to remove the dirt instead of your fingers to avoid hurting your dog. Be gentle!


Most owners skip out on dental cleanliness for their dogs because they're scared of being bitten. Introduce teeth cleaning to your dog as a puppy so it feels more comfortable later in life. If you got yourself an older, more stubborn dog, treats created for dental hygiene are a great option. 


Nail Trims

If you start hearing a clicking sound whenever your dog walks, it could signify that its nails have grown too long. Overgrown nails can be painful for your dog to perform simple, everyday movement.


Like humans, dog nails do not stop growing. Try no to ignore or avoid trimming them. Some dog owners feel more comfortable taking their pets to a professional dog groomer to trim their nails. Please do so, if you fall into this box. 


Skin Inspection

Check its skin for symptoms of itchiness, redness, or swelling. Avoid over bathing your dog since it may develop dry skin as a result.


American Bullies have muscles that are stiff to the touch but not made of steel. It can sustain a minor cut while playing outside. If you notice a wound on your pet, apply antibacterial ointment with a q-tip and treat it to its favorite snack so it can recover properly.



Children And Other Pets

One of the first things potential dog owners consider is how friendly an American Bully is with children and other pets. Most American Bullies see kids as members of the pack they are eager to play with and please. A responsible dog owner should also take the time to educate their children about how to properly handle a pet.


American Bullies are more likely to get along and co-live with another dog out of all the bully breeds. Early exposure during puppyhood may help your canine feel more comfortable with cats and possibly other small pets. For the safety of your other pets, it is not recommended to leave your Bully Pit alone with smaller animals like gerbils or hamsters.



American Bully Dog Rescue Groups

Rescue organizations are available to help unwanted or neglected American Bullies find a new home. Adoption centers may be available locally, but it might be easier to search for one online.


Before filling out paperwork and paying an adoption fee, you can provide our American Bully another opportunity for a new home. Here are some rescue groups you may want to get in contact with!

  • New York Bully Crew: A New York-based non-profit organization, New York Bully Crew works with the help of volunteers to rescue dogs from bad environments, off the streets, and kill shelters. They work hard to rehome their rescued dogs.
  • Brave Bully Rescue: Brave Bully Rescue is based out of Houston, Texas. It is a non-profit organization that focuses on rehoming dogs, educating the communities, and raising awareness about bully breeds.
  • Fresno Bully Rescue: Also known as FBR for short, Fresno Bully Rescue has rescued at least 2,800 dogs and successfully found their new homes. They promote responsible dog ownership and are based in Fresno, California.



american bully puppy



American Bully Dog Breed Organizations

Patience is required when searching and finding a purebred American Bully breeding kennel. It will take time and money to find one near your location. The task is worth it because you will be coming home with a healthy puppy who may have come from award-winning American Bully parents.


Have a list of questions prepared before you decide to visit a kennel. Reputable breeders should also have complete medical history available. With hundreds of Kennels to choose from, here are some you might want to check out:

  • Big Mack Bully Ranch: One of the premier breeding organizations. Big Mack Bully Ranch specializes in breeding XL and XXL varieties of American Bullies. Their dogs are not only registered with the UKC and ABKC, and they are screened for health issues as well.
  • Kaoz Bullies Kennels: This breeding group is not only registered with different kennels. It also aims to breed Bullies with family-oriented temperaments. They are based in Southern California.



More About the American Bully

American Bullies have made appearances in hip-hop music videos. Famous artists like Snoop Dogg and Warren G have taken photos with lovable Bully Pits.


It is not hard to see why everyday people and celebrities enjoy the company of American Bullies. They are affectionate pets. We hope this guide has shed more light on what to look forward to if you plan to adopt an American Bully!

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