American Bully: 9 Things You Should Know about this Breed
The appearance of the strong and brawny dog is deceptive about his gentle nature.
American Bullies are very affectionate and rather cosy.
Since they like to please people, they say jokingly: A Bully as a guard dog would even help the burglar to carry him.
Character & Features of the American Bully
American Bullies are descended from the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier.
Several other breeds have also influenced the appearance and temperament of the Bullies.
These include the English Bulldog, Old English Bulldog and American Bulldog.
There are four types of Bullies: XL, Classic, Standard and Pocket.
The United Kennel Club recognized the American Bullies as a separate breed on July 15, 2013.
In Europe the American Bullies are not a specifically recognized breed.
The related dog breeds are on the list of the so-called dangerous dogs.
Therefore the keeping of the Bullies is subject to approval in some federal states.
Bullies are real powerhouses.
Torso and limbs of the dog are strong and muscular.
They reach a shoulder height of about 50 centimetres. This makes them one of the big dogs.
The distinctive head of the Bullies is large and broad with a square muzzle.
Jaws and teeth appear powerful. The eyes are medium in size and stand far apart.
The erect ears of the dog make him look alert and curious.
Shoulders and back are broad and strong, the hips somewhat narrower.
The American Bully has a thin tail which reaches to the hock.
The feet seem rather short compared to the rest of the body.
Bullies walk confidently and boldly.
The dogs thereby radiate interest and adventurousness.
When running, the animals look athletic.
Physical activity is usually effortless for the bullies.
Since the American Bully is not an established pedigree dog, coat and colours vary.
The animals usually have short, smooth fur.
The coat colours brown and grey are common.
Contrary to the attack dog cliché, the Bully is not aggressive or unstable.
On the contrary: Because of his resilient and good-natured nature, he is also suitable as a family dog.
His nature is neither aggressive nor fearful and shy.
The animals are basically well-balanced, calm and loyal.
The appearance makes the Bully a good protector.
The animal defends what is dear to him.
However, he is also open-minded and trusting towards strangers.
The by nature cozy and not very barking companions are therefore not the perfect guard dogs.
The right food
The strong dogs can weigh up to 45 kilograms.
Because of their physique, Bullies generally eat a lot.
Pay attention to food with sufficient protein content (at least 30 percent).
The dog’s pronounced musculature needs constant replenishment.
A little “baby fat” does not harm American Bully puppies.
A young dog should eat at least three times a day. The fat supports the growth of the puppy.
The animal’s body transforms the bacon into the muscle mass that is characteristic of Bullies.
But be careful: Don’t overdo it – despite the heartbreaking dog look.
Too much high-energy food makes your Bullies grow too fast.
Tendons, bones and joints of the animal would suffer.
If the animal gets older, the metabolism changes.
You should therefore adjust the eating habits when your bully is about one year old.
Now give him a portion of his food three times a day – no more.
Overweight is very harmful for your dog.
Vitamins and minerals are very important for the life span (about 10 years) of the animal.
Make sure you use high quality food.
Vitamin supplements and other dietary supplements are readily available on the market.
However, good dog food should cover the most important nutrients.
Make sure that your dog always has fresh water in his bowl.
Change the water twice a day.
The animal must provide its body volume with sufficient fluid.
American Bully Care
Happy and healthy Bullies need a lot of exercise.
Walk your dog three times a day.
Your walk together should last at least half an hour each time.
Bullies love to swim.
If you put your dog in the water, he can move around without damaging the joints.
Due to its massive stature, it needs gentle forms of exercise.
On hot days he also has the opportunity to cool down.
Half an hour of natural sunlight is an absolute must.
If you have a busy working day, reserve enough time for this.
Maybe you can ask a friend or neighbor if necessary.
Short walks at dawn or after sunset do not have the same effect.
The big and strong dogs are not suitable for a small city apartment.
The animals are sensitive to loud traffic and other noises in the city.
Even if you have a spacious apartment – the animal must often be able to romp in nature.
A house with garden in a suburb is a better home for a bully.
When training your dog, always consider how strong he is.
The dog must learn to handle his strength properly during the first 18 months of life.
Let him interact early with other dogs, the other pets or the children.
Dissuade the puppy from rough playing behaviour immediately.
As the Bullies are people-oriented and good-natured, they can integrate well into a family.
Willing to learn and obedient as they are, they quickly accept the hierarchy.
It is only important to show them early and consistently who is in charge.
The animals seek the recognition of their master.
Praise your bully when he has learned something new.
Hard punishments are not appropriate. A straight and loving upbringing will make you inseparable.
Healthy Bullies have to go to the vet regularly.
Vaccinations and deworming cures are mandatory.
The expenditure for coat and tooth care is comparatively low.
Suitable accessories for the American Bully
For your Bully you need dog bed, bowl and co. in XL format.
Make sure the dog leash and harness are sturdy – after all, your dog is a real powerhouse.
Your equipment should also be of high quality for safety reasons.
The smooth and short fur of the Bullies is easy to care for.
Use a fur brush to remove parasites and dirt after walks through undergrowth or tall grass.
The coat should also be brushed regularly.
Your Bullies will quickly get used to an occasional bath with dog shampoo.
Dog chews will take care of your dog’s teeth.
Make sure they are big enough. Otherwise the animal may swallow them or bite off parts.
Bullies are alert and willing to learn.
They are therefore well suited for dressage.
You can quickly teach your dog little tricks. He will be happy to receive praise in the form of treats.
The animals like to play and are active companions.
But your bully is also happy when he can lie lazily on the sofa. He appreciates a cuddly dog blanket.
Origin & History of the American Bully
The ancestors of the Bullies have a long history.
The English Bulldogs, for example, arrived in America with the first immigrants.
Because of their appearance the settlers liked to keep them as farm dogs.
They were supposed to look after the cattle and keep away unwanted visitors.
In the 17th century these strong animals were used in the fight against bulls.
The name “bulldog” or “bull biter” comes from this time.
It was used to describe the field of application of the animals.
In the USA the American bulldogs are still partly used today for hunting wild boar.
The legislation of many countries prohibits dog fights.
But they still take place in criminal milieus.
With the cliché of the “fighting dog” one does wrong to many animals – also to the Bullies – nevertheless.
The American Bully enjoys great popularity in the rap scene.
Its looks make it a sought-after companion in music videos.
Hard shell, soft core: many rappers are attached to their Bully from the heart.
In America the Bullies were bred from the established Bulldog breeds about 40 years ago.
The aim of breeding should be a family-friendly companion dog.
In the first years of breeding some defects appeared.
In the meantime the dog type is of relatively good health.
Bullies are – depending on origin and breeder – relatively expensive.
In the USA the prices are between 800 and 20,000 dollars.
The high-priced puppies are descendants of well-known Bullies.
In this country a Bullies costs about 1.000 to 2.000 Dollar.
American Bully in brief
- The American Bully is not to be confused with the American Bulldog
- The breed is officially recognized in Great Britain, but not in Germany
- With this “new” dog breed the fighting dog regulation can be avoided
- The American Bully is not on a breed list in any US state
American Bully: Pitbull, Bulldog or both?
As far as the big fighting dog breeds are concerned, there is easily confusion.
American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire, Staffordshire Bullterrier – these breeds are large and therefore confusing.
Since 2013 another “Bully” has been involved, which has been considered a separate breed since then: the American Bully.
Extension of the Pitbull Terrier
The American Bully was bred as an extension of the Pitbull Terrier.
In the year 2013 it was recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC).
Nevertheless, there is disagreement among experts as to whether this is an independent breed.
In addition to the Pitbull, various Molosser species were also crossed.
The Bully is characterized above all by its very stocky, strong and just “bulky” appearance.
Most Bullys weigh over 30 kilograms. In terms of his character, he now differs significantly from the Pitbull Terrier.
He is slower, less active and not such a sporty dog.
American Bully: Dangerous dog? Authorities are vigilant
Nevertheless, the authorities are not entirely helpless.
All federal states have the possibility to classify dogs as dangerous after individual case examinations independent of their breed.
But for this to happen, an incident must first occur.
In some federal states dogs can also be classified as dangerous according to their visual characteristics.
To these characteristics belong:
- a large set of teeth
- a sturdy build
- characteristic flat skull
The authorities are definitely being vigilant and are keeping an eye on developments:
40 per cent of the registered bullys have already been admitted to animal shelters following incidents.
The American Bully is very strong and muscularly built.
His coat is short and smooth.
Because there are many opinions about the ancestry of the American Bullies, and his ancestors are partly regarded as dangerous, the American Bully in th US is also subject to permission in some federal states and its breeding is largely prohibited.
Character of the American Bully
The American Bully convinces with its loving and frugal nature.
He can be brought by nothing and nobody from the peace and is very comfortably put on. His patience and adaptability is especially appreciated.
The dogs are very trusting towards humans.
They treat strangers with the necessary respect, but seek contact and are open and alert.
Especially when dealing with children, the animals are extremely loyal and appropriate in their behaviour.
Despite their moderate temperament, the animals love to play outside.
They also get along with other dogs. American Bullies are not offensive, but also not fearful or particularly reserved.
They are not aggressive at all and avoid all conflicts if possible.
However, they still want to protect their family at all costs.
They also attach great importance to please their family.
And this they do, because with their amiable character and their social manner they appear very balanced in their dealings with other people and animals and are pleasant in their attitude.
The Amercian Bully is a hybrid dog, but opinions differ widely about its pedigree and ancestors.
He is mainly known in the USA, where he was very common in the rap scene because of his muscular and calm appearance.
Today, however, he is known as a good-natured friendly family dog.
In Europe, however, the dog breed is still very rare.
It is not recognized by the FCI, which is why the animals often differ greatly in appearance and character.
The American Bully is characterized by its muscular and strong physique.
Males reach a shoulder height of 53 cm, bitches reach 50 cm.
Despite their mass, the dogs still move athletically.
Since the American Bully is a hybrid dog and there is no breed standard, he can differ greatly in his appearance.
Consequently, no coat characteristics are specified.
Normally, however, the American Bully appears with short and smooth fur in many different colours.
As a “bulldog” this four-legged friend has a “beefy” look – so far, so clear.
But if you look more closely, its appearance is not uniform, which is on the one hand due to the fact that the dog’s function with regard to its tasks on a farm was of particular importance.
On the other hand the breed is not recognized by the big umbrella organizations, so that often there is no binding standard for breeding.
Males have a height at the withers of 58 to 71 cm, bitches grow between 51 and 66 cm.
Depending on size and type the weight can vary between 32 kilograms up to almost 70 kilograms – the four-legged friends are therefore medium sized and rather stocky.
However, the physique varies depending on the lines:
There are light working lines (“Standard-Type”) as well as the heavy “Classic-Type”, which is shown at shows.
While the working lines usually have a longer muzzle and are slimmer, the more massive type usually has a pronounced pre-bite and looks more robust.
The short coat can have many colours: white, fawn, brown, cream, red pied or brindle.
Farm dog, fighter, family dog
With the first British settlers also Bulldogs arrived on the American continent.
However, these looked different from today’s American Bulldogs and crossed in their new home with numerous other breeds.
The strong dogs were used as farmer dogs and all-rounders to guard the farm and livestock.
Dogs with a “bully catch”, i.e. a pronounced pre-bite, could guard bulls at cattle markets by pushing them to the ground while still being able to breathe through the catch.
The blood ran off through the wrinkles without getting into her eyes.
Dogs of this breed are defensive against predators and were also used to drive herds of cattle, but also to hunt, for example wild boars.
Another (further) sad chapter in the American Bulldog story is the abuse of these dogs for dog or other animal fights.
Although these fights are fortunately forbidden in most countries today, there are still illegal events of this kind.
Neither the European FCI nor the largest American umbrella organization of dog breeders, the American Kennel Club, still do not recognize the American Bulldog as an independent breed.
Since 1999, the United Kennel Club has listed the American Bulldog as an independent breed, but the past of this club has a sour taste due to its connection to dog fights.
Hard shell, soft core
The American Bulldog loves life with his two-legged pack and protects his caregivers.
He is sociable and friendly towards them.
However, he only accepts strangers if his family welcomes them.
This watchdog is territorial and only accepts other dogs if he has been intensively socialized at an early age.
Even then, with increasing age, he tends to confront other dogs on excursions, especially those of the same sex.
A lot of movement in nature is necessary to make full use of this sporty four-legged friend.
However, the American Bulldog, more than many other breeds, has very different characters.
If the imprinting phase is neglected, if the animals have been bred especially for fights or are wrongly educated, dogs with such a physical strength can quickly become dangerous.
A well socialized American Bulldog, on the other hand, enriches his home with his friendly nature.
Training of an American Bulldog
The upbringing of an American Bulldog belongs in the hands of connoisseurs: The breed is considered to be very self-confident and independent, but at the same time gentle.
Although this dog, responsibly bred, is very humane, you should be aware of its strength.
If you are not confident in your role as a dog handler, he will take the initiative himself, which can have fatal consequences for a dog of this size.
Toughness is out of place – strengthen the bond between yourself and the American Bulldog through many exercises, positive reinforcement and show absolute consistency, because weaknesses will be exploited immediately.
An early socialisation with other dogs is essential if you want to avoid conflicts with other dogs later on.
Even before your American Bulldog moves in, choose a suitable dog school where your quadruped can make contact with other young dogs.
The former working dog needs a lot of occupation: If you don’t keep him busy enough, even the best education will not stop him from biting cushions, barking loudly or making his everyday life interesting in any other way.
A good breeder is the best condition for a healthy American Bulldog.
Even before the dog is born, breeding examinations exclude numerous risks.
These include, for example, examinations for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and special eye examinations.
White representatives of this breed often suffer from allergies and hearing loss or deafness – be sure to talk to your breeder about this, who should do an audiometry test.
You yourself can make a further major contribution to the health and well-being of your four-legged companion with appropriate exercise and healthy nutrition.
Due to the shape of their head, some American Bulldogs tend to snore and watery eyes.
When choosing your puppy, make sure you don’t buy any breeding extremes with particularly striking head shapes.
A healthy American Bulldog can reach an age of about 10 years and more.
The nutrition of an American Bulldog
A species-appropriate diet for your American Bulldog consists of a lot of meat – no matter whether you give dry or wet food.
Choose a diet with meat as the first item on the declaration without grain.
After meals, your American Bulldog should rest to prevent the stomach from spinning.
The packaging is only a guideline for the ration size – check the weight of your four-legged friend regularly to prevent possible weight gain or loss in adulthood.
Usually no special dietary food is needed for this, but only adapted quantities.
Attention: Many bulldogs, and the American Bulldog is one of them, tend to be greedy – be consistent with your dog’s diet and make sure that your four-legged friend cannot make any unexpected “prey”.
Treats should be included in the daily calorie ration and should also be of high quality: Freeze-dried snacks or dental care snacks, for example, are well suited.
Raw beef and chewing bone for dogs can also be provided from time to time to give your four-legged friend a treat.
Make sure that fresh water is always available for your American Bulldog.
The coat of the American Bulldog does not present a challenge in terms of grooming – you should still brush this dog regularly – for example with a soft brush or a nubby glove – to remove loose hair.
In addition, this grooming ritual is a treat for your dog that strengthens the bond.
You should only wash him if dirt cannot be brushed out of his coat – then use a mild dog shampoo.
Eye and ear cleaners for dogs should also be kept at home, as the special shape of the head and floppy ears can cause some animals to have increased tears and be prone to ear infections.
If there is any sign of an ear infection, you should consult a vet.
These dogs are real all-rounders and are basically suitable for many dog sports.
But not every American Bulldog is suitable for every sport – adjust the activity to the constitution and character of your four-legged friend. It makes sense to introduce him to the vet before the first training at the age of about 16 months – Bulldogs are late bloomers – for an examination of hip and elbow.
Only after this should you consider sports such as agility or running next to the bike or as a jogging companion.
Many American Bulldogs also enjoy tracking.
But also a training as a therapy dog is mastered by many representatives of the breed with bravura.
Does an American Bulldog suit me?
American Bulldogs do not belong in beginners hands, because their education is not easy and requires some experience.
The breed is not suitable for life in a city, but on the other hand it does not need a farm for happiness.
A house or a large flat on the ground floor with its own garden is a good place to keep this agile and handsome dog.
When fencing, make sure that some bulldogs can jump over two metres high and secure the garden accordingly.
Education and exercise require a lot of time – be aware of this in advance.
American Bulldogs are usually wonderful with children if they come from a responsible kennel, but you should not leave your dog and child unattended.
Cat keeping is only possible if the dog has already been socialised with cats as a puppy.
Keeping with restrictions
Before moving in an American Bulldog, you should check whether living together in your region is possible.
In some US states, the keeping of dogs of this type is only possible after a character test.
Whoever wants to live with a dog of this type in the Swiss canton of Ticino needs a cantonal permit, while in Zurich, dog training is required for keeping such a four-legged friend.
Denmark prohibits the keeping of dogs that look like the American Bulldog.
By the way, this also applies to travelling.
However, it is permitted to pass through without a longer stay, where the dog may only be taken for short walks.
Irrespective of possible restrictions by the authorities, Bulldog owners should be prepared to reap negative comments regarding the supposedly dangerous dog, which are triggered solely by the sight of it.
While you do not need to justify yourself for your dog, it is also up to you to convince those around you of the charm of this breed with a well-trained dog.
Where can I find my American Bulldog?
Although the American Bulldog is not a breed recognized by the FCI, there are breeders in Europe who breed it with heart and mind.
A criterion in the search for a serious breeder can be the membership in a club, which in turn has certain requirements for its members in its statutes – for example health checks before breeding approval.
Make sure that the breeder attaches importance to the health of the puppy, and ask him to show you the written proof of corresponding tests of the parent animals.
You should definitely take a look at the puppy’s home, i.e. the breeder’s home.
Here you will get to know the parents, who should be of a balanced and friendly nature, and you can take the opportunity to ask the breeder some questions about the breed.
A puppy can leave the breeder’s home at the earliest at the age of eight weeks – he is then dewormed several times, vaccinated and has a vaccination certificate and a chip.
If you are looking for an adult American Bulldog, it is best to have a look at the animal protection – here you will find, at the latest when you research in the internet, dogs similar to the American Bulldog, which will conquer your heart.
Many so-called “list dogs” wait in the animal protection for a new home, because the former owners were overtaxed with the demanding four-legged friend.
Many of these animals can bring along similar character traits, for example American Staffordshires.
Ask intensively about the prehistory and get to know the four-legged friend before you decide for him, because bulldogs from bad keeping or even “sharped” bulldogs could be a big challenge.
Advantages and disadvantages of having an American Bulldog
For dog lovers who like to play in the casino, there are numerous slot machine games with a dog theme.
The target group is therefore well served!
However, if you want to go one step further and bring a four-legged friend home yourself, you should first of all inform yourself in detail about the desired animal and above all deal with your own life situation and find out whether you can afford an animal financially as well as in terms of time and whether you have the necessary patience and love for the upbringing.
Nevertheless, the point of informing should not be underestimated.
Dog lovers probably already know the American Bulldog as a breed, be it from hearing or seeing.
However, most people who have not studied the animal in depth will not know much about it.
This article would like to highlight a few pros and cons of the breed and help you decide whether an American Bulldog is right for you.
Human oriented with a gentle nature
The first advantage is mainly in the nature of the American Bulldog: It is a calm and human-oriented dog, which, with the right socialization and handling, makes an insanely loyal and friendly companion.
The Bulldog’s physique is strong and powerful, yet slender and lithe.
The alert eyes complement the friendly face of the gentle four-legged friend.
Due to the relatively massive appearance, however, the dog appears dangerous for many, which can be refuted on closer inspection.
In addition, the education of the American Bulldog is relatively uncomplicated, if one takes enough time for it and proceeds lovingly.
In addition, the American Bulldog can be socialized very well with conspecifics and loves to romp and play.
The American Bulldog and children
The American Bulldog is an open and friendly dog.
Although it was originally often bred and used for hunting or criminal bullfighting, it is now a perfect family dog when properly trained.
She is very fond of children and can also play and cuddle with small children.
She acts carefully and cautiously, not at all rough or too rough.
If you get the American Bulldog used to the youngest as early as possible, there will be no danger or problems in dealing with children or within the family.
Instead, the dog becomes an affectionate family member, which gives love and lives faithfully by the side of its owner.
Prejudices and susceptibility to diseases
Unfortunately, due to its history, the American Bulldog is often still considered an aggressive dog, which is considered dangerous or even avoided by many.
However, this prejudice can be refuted, because due to wrong education and overstraining of inexperienced dog laymen the attentive and faithful dog often ends up sadly in the animal shelter.
Absolutely undeservedly, because if one argues in detail with the breed in advance, one will find out that the loving and correct socialization makes the prejudiced four-legged friend the perfect companion.
Unfortunately, typical breed diseases are not uncommon, so unfortunately the American Bulldog is often suffering from chronic hip dysplasia.
This disease is inherited and is only curable in very rare cases.
Therefore there is the danger that affected dogs, although on the other hand they are completely healthy, are completely invaded and crippled by the terrible disease until in the worst case they have to be put down.
It is therefore extremely important to consider these dangers before buying a gentle four-legged friend and to ensure that the puppy comes from a healthy family of experienced breeders or that the adult dog from the shelter is not affected.