Harper Jefcoat
Harper Jefcoat

American Bully Dog Breed History and Information

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13 min read

American Bully Dog Breed History and Information

On This Page

  • American Bully Overview
  • American Bully History
  • American Bully Vital Stats
  • American Bully Physical Attributes
  • American Bully Varieties
  • American Bully Personality
  • American Bully Health Issues
  • American Bully as Emotional Support Animal

The American Bully is a recently formed companion dog breed closely resembling the pitbull dog breed. However, both dog breeds are entirely different. American bullies do come from pitbull, but due to the mixing of other Bully breeds, they are no longer considered pitbull.

There are a lot of misconceptions about this breed that needs to be cleared. The biggest misconception is that they are aggressive like Pitbull dogs, which is wrong. They are the most loving and affectionate dog breed that just want love and attention.

Know everything about the American Bully Puppies and Dogs in this blog.

American Bully Overview

American Bully Overview

American Bully History

The American Bully began to develop between 1980 and 1990 from the United States. This breed is developed as a natural extension of the American Pitbull Terrier. They are created through mixing the American Staffordshire Terrier and American Pitbull Terrier.

However, at least five other breeds are used to attain the desired “Bully” physical traits. The breeds are Olde English Bulldogge, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, English Bulldog, American Bulldog, and French Bulldog.

The purpose of breeding this dog was to create a perfect family companion. The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) ‘s temperament, and characteristic appearance was the particular reason for breeding this dog. The APBT has maintained its temperament and long-standing appearance for over a century. However, several other types evolved during this period from APBT, each with respective attributes.

One particular APBT strain developed a specific, stockier physique that warranted recognition as a different breed altogether. That being the American Bully Dog Breed.

The subtle influence of other breeds gave the American Bully a unique and appealing look. The American Bully was originally recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) in 2004, followed by the European Bully Kennel Club (EBKC) in 2008. The United Kennel Club (UKC) has also recognized them in 2013. However, the American Kennel Club (AKC) has not yet recognized this breed.

American Bully Vital Stats

The American Bully is a small to large breed, divided into four categories: pocket, standard, classic, and XL American Bully. The following are the major vital stats of this breed.

American Bully Physical Attributes

The American Bully has a thick-set, strong, compact structure and build. Their appearance closely resembles pitbull, blended with stock from other bull breeds. They are recognized by the following physical attributes.

Eye color

Body Color

  • All colors except blue
  • All colors



  • Oval to slightly round
  • Medium-sized
  • Large-sized
  • Broad skull



  • Straight front legs
  • Forelegs set wide apart
  • Smooth and glossy
  • Moderately stiff
  • Short-haired



  • High set ears
  • Cropped or uncropped
  • Pointed and erect
  • Springy with a drive off the rear
  • Well-coordinated and powerful
  • Confident and jaunty attitude



  • Tight and Round
  • Proportion to the dog size
  • Face forward and slightly turned outward
  • Crank or pump handle
  • Straight, not curled or docked
  • Short, low set, tapering to a fine point



  • Shorter than skull
  • Slightly square
  • Straight from the top
  • Broad and blocky
  • Muscular, wide, & long shoulder blades
  • Upper arms are equal in length to the shoulder blades
  • Elbows are set closed
  • Flexible, powerful, & short pasterns



  • Broad
  • Deep chest with well-sprung ribs
  • Deep in rear
  • Close-coupled
  • Strong and firm
  • Excessively large head
  • Snipey or short muzzle
  • Long coat
  • Bat ears
  • Screw tail

American Bully Varieties

Four varieties of American Bully are accepted by the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) as an American Bully breed standard. The varieties are separated by height and weight. However, all variations must follow the same standard with minor alteration.

1. Pocket American Bully

The pocket-size is the shortest version of the American Bully, known as Pocket Bully. Despite the name ‘Pocket”, they do not fit into your pocket. Fully grown female pocket bullies are 13 to 16 inches and males are 14 to 17 inches. Except for the small size, its traits are the same as the Bully standards.

2. Standard American Bully

The standard type is the medium-sized version with a blocky head, heavy bone structure, and compact muscular body. They give an impression of a strong animal. Standard American Bully sizes range between 16 to 20 inches. Females are 16 to 19 inches in size, and males are 17 to 20 inches in size.

3. Classic American Bully

The classical type is similar to the standard type with slight differences. The characteristics and sizes of both standard and classic types are the same. However, the classic type is a lighter frame and has less body mass than the standard type. Also, they don’t display exaggerated features like other variations and closely resemble the American Staffordshire Terrier lineage.

4. XL American Bully

The XL is the largest American Bully in its category. The XL American Bully sizes range between 19 to 23 inches. The males are 21 to 23 inches and the females are 19 to 22 inches in size.

Outside the breed standard, several American Bully variations have been bred. These unofficial breeds do not adhere to standards. Smaller dogs than the pocket size are commonly known as Micro Bully and Mini Micro American Bully. The taller and larger than the XL size are commonly known as Extreme Bully and XXL American Bully.

The Kennel Club does not recognize any of these breeds as legitimate varieties. They do not fulfill the breed standards. Therefore, they are not allowed in dog competition shows.

American Bully Personality

The American Bully is a gentle and loving giant. This dog is a happy, confident, outgoing, stable dog breed. This breed does not live up to its name due to the gentle and sweet nature. These intimidating looking dogs are actually a sweetheart.

These dogs are loving companions and the best family pet dogs. They do well in a family environment, thriving in homes with extra outdoor space. Underneath their rough and tough body, a gentle and sweet soul lies that just want to be your friend. Due to their strong build, they are often thought to be aggressive, but they are completely the opposite of it.

The American Bully dog breed is nothing but gentle, kind, and loving towards family members. They are very cheerful, playful, happy, and sweet dogs who are full of love. Bully pits are massive affection givers and love attention, so you can expect oodles of head tilts, licks and kisses.

Bully pits are famous for their extremely adaptable, kind, caring, and loyal personality. These dogs are also known to be patient with children and other dog breeds and pets. You do not have to worry about bringing this breed into a home with pets and young children. However, it is still important to make sure they are well socialized so that introduction runs smoothly.

American Bully Temperament

Highly adaptable and trainable are the traits that make people buy this breed. Due to their resemblance with pitbull, some people think that they are aggressive. But, it is not true; a Bully pit is a sweet-natured and loving dog. This breed was originally bred for being a companion dog.

The kind and affectionate nature are a few of the reasons they were bred. If you keep one of them, expect a lot of kisses and cuddles. They keep following you around the house and love walking at your heels. Don't be surprised if you find them sleeping curled up at your bedside or even at the foot of your bedside.

This is the type of dog breed that wants to accompany you on all of your outdoor adventures. They need plenty of outdoor activities to remain active and entertained. They may let out short but deep bark while having fun or if they sense something alarming. However, loud barks can be expected when they interact with other dogs.

Early socialization is an important aspect of care for Bully pits. However, socialization is required throughout their life so that they behave well around other pets or strangers. They get along much better with humans than animals, so you can expect them to be real bullies around cats or dogs.

However, the American pit is definitely not for the passive owners who don't understand that all dogs have an instinct to have a pack order. These dogs need an owner who is consistent, confident, calm, but at the same time firm and strong. They need to be trained to follow the rules and limit themselves to what they are and are not allowed to do.

American Bully Health Issues

Since the Bully pit is a relatively new breed, it is not sure which health problems are specifically prone to. However, the common health concerns of these dogs are as follow:

  • Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is the most common disorder in any dog breed. It happens when the thigh bone does not fit correctly in the hip joint. Usually, only one hind leg shows laming, but in severe cases, it’s both hind legs. Some dogs show pain and discomfort, but most of the dogs do not show any signs.

  • Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is usually common in large-sized dog breeds. It is a developmental abnormality in the elbow joint, which is commonly known as primary lesions. It can be fixed with surgery.

  • Cherry Eye

The third eyelid or the prolapsed third eyelid is commonly known as “Cherry Eye”. It is the disorder of nictitating membranes (NM). This happens when the gland under the third eyelid protrudes and looks like a cherry in the corner of the eye. The gland needs to be removed through surgery to reserve the eyelid.

  • Hyperthyroidism

It is the malfunctioning of thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland produces too much thyroxine hormone, which causes the dog to gain weight. Recurring skin infection, hair loss, dry skin, and decreased appetite are a few hyperthyroidism signs.

  • Cataracts

It happens when the protein in the eye’s lens breaks down and makes things look hazy or blurry. It causes clouding in the lens of the eye that leads to a decrease in vision. It often develops slowly and can affect one or both eyes.

Keeping an eye on your dogs and their regular vet checkups will ensure to keep your canine happy and healthy. As long as your dogs receive proper care and maintenance, they can live out relatively healthy lives.

American Bully Diet and Nutrition

As American Bully varies in size, you need to feed them according to their size. However, high-quality dog food is a must for any size or type of breed. Also, sufficient protein should be provided. According to the general rule of thumb, a dog requires 30 calories per pound of body weight.

For example, if your puppy weighs 20 pounds, then he needs 600 calories per day. Split the feeding into two meals a day and make sure to provide them fresh and clean food. You can give your Bully dry dog food, wet food, or raw meat. Feed your puppy a high-quality kibble diet, or consult your vet to decide the diet for your puppy.

However, you need to make sure that you are providing your dog sufficient nutrition. It is also recommended that you provide your dog with specifically formulated dog food for medium to large dog breeds.

American Bully Care and Grooming

The Bully pit is very easy to groom due to its short-haired coat and low shedding quality. Their smooth and shiny coat only needs quick brushing once a week. They often need a bath, so a bath every 2 to 3 months with a shampoo and conditioner is sufficient to keep them clean.

Regular teeth brushing and nail clipping with dog nail clippers when required are also recommended. A rub with a towel or chamois will make the coat gleam. However, they can get cold too quickly, so you need to be careful during the cold weather or bathe them with cold water.

American Bully as Emotional Support Animal

Since the American Bully bred to be a companion dog, they are the perfect option for the emotional support animal. On top of that, they have a variety in size and weights so you can choose the one that suits you perfectly.

If you're looking for a loyal, amusing, good-natured, and affectionate family dog, look no further. The American Bully is the one for you. These dogs are generous, loving, caring, and amiable-natured dogs. They want nothing more than to please their owner by always being obedient.

Full of life, courage, and intelligence are the vital traits of this breed. They possess the stability and loyalty of American Pitbull Terrier while retaining the outgoing, amiable, and friendly temperament of American Staffordshire Terrier.

The Bully pit is noted explicitly for displaying an eagerness to please its family and tolerance towards children. Confident, yet not aggressive, this breed possesses a very pleasant temperament, making them a perfect ESA. All around, this breed is a trustworthy, reliable, well-rounded, and ideal family companion.

So, if you are thinking of getting an ESA, consider having an American Bully. They will not just give you love but be always there for you. However, you need to have an Emotional Support Animal Letter to keep them with you. They love to accompany you on all of your outdoor adventures, so you may have to travel with them in the cabin of an airplane.

To accompany your dog on the airplane or your house without any objection, you need to have an ESA letter. Get your legal ESA letter from RealESALetter.com. We are a legitimate website that provides real ESA letters written by certified mental health professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is American Bully dangerous?

FAQ Icon

No, American bullies are not at all dangerous. Due to their resemblance with Pitbull, they are thought to be aggressive and dangerous. However, it is a misconception, as Bully Pits are extremely friendly, caring, and affectionate dogs.

Are American Bullies banned in the UK?

FAQ Icon

No, American Bullies are not banned in the UK under the law. However, four breeds are banned in the UK that includes:

  1. Fila Brasileiro
  2. Dogo Argentino
  3. Japanese Tosa
  4. Pit Bull Terrier

Do American Bullies bite?

FAQ Icon

No, American bullies do not bite without reason. This breed has a bite force of 235 PSI, which is average compared to other dogs. American Bullies are bred from pitbull, which is why people thought that this breed is aggressive and dangerous.

Is American Bully good for a first-time owner?

FAQ Icon

Yes, American bullies are bred to be companion dogs; therefore, they are a good choice for a first-time owner. They shed low, require low maintenance, and pick up basic commands easily. However, they need a strong and confident owner who is capable of controlling them easily.

Are American Bullies smart?

FAQ Icon

Most of the big dogs are not intelligent or tend to have a silly temperament. However, the American Bully is a relatively smart and intelligent dog breed and willing to be trained. They are quick learners and adapt to things easily.

Which dog breeds are similar to American Bully?

FAQ Icon

There are more than ten dog breeds that share the personality traits of American Bully. A few of them are:

  • Boston Terrier
  • Cane Corso
  • Dogue De Bordeaux
  • French Bulldog
  • Shorty Bull
Harper Jefcoat


Harper Jefcoat

Harper Jefcoat is a dedicated pet enthusiast and expert author at the RealESALetter.com. With a deep-seated passion for animals, Harper brings a wealth of knowledge and personal experience to his writings. Specializing in canine behavior and wellness, he aims to help pet owners understand and care for their furry friends better.

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