American Bully: Breed Info, Pictures, Varieties, & More

Three American Bullies side by side

American Bullies are loving and gentle companion dogs. Although these dogs usually get a bad rap, they are fantastic pets for the right kind of owner. Interestingly, there are different variants of the American Bully.

In this guide, we’ll explore the different types of the American Bully breed. We’ll also touch on their origin, common health problems, appearance, size, and more. If these sound interesting to you, stick around to learn more!

Breed Overview

Group:Terrier Group
Height: Pocket American Bully: 13 – 16 inches
Standard American Bully: 16 – 20 inches
Classic American Bully: 16 – 20 inches
XL American Bully: 19 – 23 inches
Weight:Pocket American Bully: 11 – 22 pounds
Standard American Bully: 44 – 132 pounds
Classic American Bully: 35 – 120 pounds
XL American Bully: 80 – 150 pounds
Life Expectancy:8 – 15 years
Coat Colors:White, black, brown, blue, grey, fawn, tan, red, brindle, and piebald
Temperament:Loving, gentle, playful, caring, and friendly
Suitable for:Active couples, individuals, and families

What Is an American Bully?

American Bully tongue out

The American Bully is a relatively new companion dog breed. This breed is known for its muscular body and bulky stature. Despite their intimidating looks, American Bullies make fantastic family members. They are loyal, intelligent, and protective canines.

It was only between the 1980s and 1990s that the American Bully was developed in the United States. This breed is a combination of different Bully breeds.

Unsurprisingly, the American Bully is considered a part of the Pitbull family of dogs. Some of their cousins are the American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and American Pit Bull Terrier.

Contrary to popular belief, the American Bully is different from the American Bulldog. American Bulldogs are known to be descendants of the English Bulldog. This breed is also older than the American Bully.

American Bullies come in a few variants: Standard, Pocket, XL, Classic, and other non-standard sizes. You’ll learn more about these in a later section.

American Bully Breed Origin and History

The American Bully originated in the United States. According to many experts, this breed resulted from the culmination of breeders on the West and East Coast of the country.

American Bullies are combinations of many dogs. Some notable ones are purebred American Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, and other Pitbull dog breeds.

Unfortunately, the exact combination of breeds that gave us the American Bully is not well-documented. We only have a good grasp on the different breeds that contributed to the development of the American Bully.

As you can expect, this bully breed acquired its name from its place of origin and its “bull type” physique. However, unlike its name, its actual lineage is not that straightforward.

Before it became its own breed, the American Bully went through 25 years of development.

According to many, the breed standard for this dog was developed by people affiliated with the American Dog Breeders Association (ADBA) and United Kennel Club (UKC).

Unlike other Pitbull breeds initially bred for dog fights, the American Bully is bred for companionship. This is probably one of the reasons why the development of the breed took quite a long time.

In terms of kennel club recognition, the American Bully was only recognized in 2004 by the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC). Note that this differs from the American Kennel Club (AKC).

American Bully Types and Varieties 

American Bullies playing on the grass

There are a handful of types of the American Bully breed. Originally, there were only four kinds — Standard, Pocket, XL, and Classic. However, as the population of the breed grew, non-standard sizes joined the mix.

As you can expect, the major difference among the different types of American Bully is their size. However, they also have a slight variation when it comes to their origin and purpose. Let’s take a closer look at each kind.

Standard American Bully

The Standard American Bully is one of the original sizes of the breed. This type was first developed somewhere between the 1980s and 1990s.

Interestingly, despite its huge size, the Standard American Bully is considered a medium-sized dog.

When fully grown, a Standard American Bully measures 16 to 20 inches in height and weighs 44 to 132 pounds. On average, males are taller and heavier than their female counterparts.

The Standard American Bully is about the same size as show dog versions of the American Pit Bull Terrier. However, these dogs have significantly thicker and more muscular bodies, larger heads, and broader chests.

Pocket American Bully

The Pocket American Bully is very similar to the Standard American Bully. In fact, the only striking difference between them is size. Usually, the largest Pocket Bully is around the same height as the smallest Standard Bully.

Weight-wise, Pocket Bullies are about half of the standard. To be exact, Pocket Bullies are around 13 to 16 inches in height and 11 to 22 pounds in weight.

Overall, the Pocket American Bully has the same look as the Standard American Bully. These dogs only come in a much smaller, compact form.

Unsurprisingly, this size difference made the Pocket Bully an attractive choice to people who want smaller dogs. If you admire the American Bully’s appearance but want the smallest variant, this small bully is the way to go.

Watch this video to learn more about the Pocket Bully:


XL American Bully

If you are looking for the biggest and baddest-looking American Bully, the XL is the one for you. This variant is undeniably huge at around 19 to 23 inches in height and 80 to 150 pounds in weight.

The XL American Bully was bred for pet owners who love large-breed dogs. Like other American Bully variants, the XL has a powerful presence. Its broad shoulders and large heads can easily dwarf other dogs.

There are slight differences between the male and female XL American Bully. In general, males are larger than females by one to two inches in height and 10 to 20 pounds in weight.

Compared to other variants, the XL American Bully is the hardest to breed. The litter of these dogs is so large that birthing problems are quite common.

Classic American Bully

The Classic American Bully is traditional-looking. The simplest way to think of this dog is that it is a leaner variant of the Standard American Bully.

Classic American Bullies are between 16 and 20 inches tall and weigh around 35 to 120 pounds. These dogs are the second lightest variant next to the Pocket American Bully.

Compared to the other variants, the Classic American Bully is the most athletic and agile. This is to be expected from their lighter body weight and muscular build. On some occasions, this dog also resembles Pit Bull.

Like the other American Bully variants, Classic Bullies have deep chests and well-sprung ribs. However, their rear legs are noticeably slimmer.

According to most enthusiasts, Classic American Bullies are also the least intimidating among the bunch. However, this is not to say that these dogs are timid. They are still very dominant dogs.

Other Non-standard Sizes

Non-standard American Bullies are combinations of the other American Bully variants. Unfortunately, these dogs have no official size and weight ranges. However, they have a few telltale features.

Usually, non-standard American Bullies have tighter lips and higher-raised ears. Moreover, their hindquarters are out-turned compared to the other variants.

On some occasions, a non-standard American Bully may also sport larger skulls and broader chests. There may also be slight variations in muzzle length and tail length.

Interestingly, it is also possible for some non-standard-size American Bullies to be even smaller than Pocket Bullies! Some examples of non-standard American Bullies are the extreme Bullies — Micro and XXL.

American Bully Appearance

American Bully up close

The American Bully breed is known to share similarities with Pitbull breeds. With just one look at this dog, you’ll spot their resemblance right away.

Like its cousin breeds, the American Bully is a big dog built like a bodybuilder. This dog should have proper muscle tone and very pronounced cheek muscles.

Other striking features of this breed are its large head, broad shoulders, and pointy ears.

The American Bully tends to be a bit blocky in terms of gait. It is not the most elegant pooch around when moving, but it is a confident dog. In fact, they look a bit goofy when walking with their oversized shoulders.

That said, the American Bully is still a pretty well-balanced pooch. Their proportions are on point, albeit having oversized body parts. Other telltale features of the American Bully are their straight tails and laid-back shoulders.

When it comes to coat colors, the American Bully comes in plenty of variations. Some of them are fawn, blue, striped, and tri-color. American Bullies can also be brindle, sable, ticking, and piebald.

On top of these colors, American Bullies can also sport various markings. These markings may come in the form of patches or stripes. Unsurprisingly, no two bully dogs sport the exact same coat color and marking.

American Bully Size and Weight

A fully grown American Bully can range in height between 13 and 23 inches. Weight-wise, these dogs can weigh anywhere from 11 to 150 pounds. The biggest factor affecting the size of an American Bully is its variety.

American Bullies come in various sizes, from the smallest Pocket Bully to the largest XL American Bully, with the Standard and Classic variations in between, as shown in the table below:

American Bully VariationHeightWeight
Pocket Bully13 – 16 inches11 – 22 pounds
Standard American Bully16 – 20 inches44 – 132 pounds
Classic American Bully16 – 20 inches35 – 120 pounds
XL American Bully19 – 23 inches80 – 150 pounds

Aside from these size variants, there are also the so-called extreme American Bullies. These are dogs that are incredibly tiny or incredibly huge. Some extreme Bullies are the Micro American Bully and XXL American Bully.

However, there are times when these variants are not considered purebreds. On some occasions, extreme Bullies are achieved by mixing purebred Bullies with a different dog breed.

American Bully Kennel Club Recognition

American Bully standing outdoors

The American Bully is recognized by different kennel clubs. One of the first kennels to recognize this breed is the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC). American Bullies are also recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC).

These two kennels have set breed standards for the American Bully. However, the American Bully is not recognized by the much more renowned American Kennel Club (AKC).

According to some sources, the reason for this is actually quite simple. Fanciers of the American Bully are simply not pursuing recognition. Unfortunately, the reason why this is the case is not clear-cut.

That said, there are many unofficial breed standards for the American Bully. The most important things you should know about these standards are the disqualifications.

Most breed standards for these Bullies cite narrow hindquarters, straight stifle, and lack of muscle as serious faults. It is important to look for these faults whenever buying or adopting an American Bully.

Unfortunately, ownership of American Bullies in some places in the United States is heavily restricted, if not totally banned.

Some major cities that either prohibit or heavily restrict the ownership of Pitbull breeds, including American Bullies, include Maimi, Florida; San Francisco, California; North Chicago, Illinois; New York City, New York; and Washington, D.C.

So, if you live in any of the mentioned cities, make sure to search about your neighborhood’s dog regulations or laws before taking home an American Bully to avoid conflicts.

Furthermore, American Bullies are also heavily regulated, if not banned, in the United Kingdom, some provinces in Canada, France, Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Brazil, to name a few.

American Bully Lifespan and Health Issues

American Bullies can typically live from 10 to 13 years. In general, they are pretty healthy dogs that live relatively long lives. However, their health is far from perfect.

Here are some health issues common to American Bullies:

  • Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is the misalignment of the ball and socket joint. This is usually caused by deterioration due to age or being overworked. A dog experiencing hip dysplasia will experience pain when moving. It will also affect its working ability.
  • Cherry Eye: Cherry eye occurs when the gland under a dog’s third eyelid protrudes. This can obstruct a dog’s vision and also lead to discomfort. Surgery is often needed to treat this eye condition.
  • Luxating Patella: This health issue occurs when a dog’s knee cap becomes dislocated. Like dysplasia, a luxating patella is also brought about by age and overworking.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: Progressive retinal atrophy is another eye problem common in American Bullies. This condition is usually genetic and inheritable. Sadly, there are no known treatments for this condition.

Unfortunately, this list is by no means a complete list of health issues for the American Bully. These are only the most common ones.

As always, the best way to keep your dog in tip-top shape is by taking it to the vet for routine check-ups. Doing so will give you a better chance of recognizing the onset of some of these problems.

American Bully Temperament and Personality

American Bully playing with a ball outdoors

Despite their seemingly bossy appearance, the American Bully can be a tameable dog. When trained properly and socialized at an early age, this dog is capable of becoming an excellent family dog.

In general, the American Bully has a sound and stable temperament. This dog is often calm, gentle, and patient. They are neither too boastful nor aggressive.

Moreover, American Bullies are extremely loyal and courteous dogs. They have the potential to be effective personal guard dogs, especially when trained to do so.

American Bullies can also prove useful in protecting property. Their strong and intimidating presence can surely threaten any intruder.

I have a lot of friends who are American Bully owners, and one of their common feedbacks about these dogs is that they are super sweet. They love getting belly rubs, and they always look forward to bonding activities with their families.

They also mentioned that their American Bullies are also very affectionate with kids and other pets. This is especially true if they were raised alongside them.

That said, the personality traits of American Bullies will vary from one another. Factors such as environment, diet, exercise, temperature, and health can affect their behavior.

However, many people claim that the American Bully suffers from behavioral issues. Of course, all dogs tend to throw tantrums every now and then, but this doesn’t mean that they are aggressive.

American Bullies may also exhibit human aggression at times. This is especially true if they have a past experience of abuse. The only time these dogs become aggressive is when they feel threatened.

How Much Does an American Bully Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses

American Bully puppy playing in the backyard

The American Bully costs about $2,000 to $10,000, depending on a couple of factors.

Usually, the XL variant and the pocket variant are the most expensive among the bunch. Meanwhile, the standard and classic are somewhere in the lower price range.

If you want a dog from a champion bloodline, expect to pay as high as $20,000 for a puppy. Needless to say, these dogs are by no means cheap. In fact, they are one of the most expensive dogs out there.

Aside from the cost of the American Bully itself, you’ll also need to shell out a couple of hundred dollars for some essentials.

Places to Find American Bully Puppies for Sale and Adoption

American Bullies are very popular dogs, especially in the United States. This means that these dogs are quite easy to find.

However, this also means that there are too many options, and it can be pretty daunting to choose the right one.

Here are some of the reputable American Bully breeders:

  • Venomline – Venomline is a reputable breeder home to extreme build Bullies. Their dogs often star in magazines such as Bully King and Rolling Stone. All dogs from Venomline are health-tested and guaranteed free from inheritable diseases.
  • Big Mommas Bullies – If you are looking for big American Bullies, Big Mommas Bullies is the way to go. This breeder is located a few hours west of Jacksonville, Florida. They specialize in breeding XL and XXL American Bullies.
  • Monster Bully Kennels – Specializing in XL American Bullies, all of Monster Bullies’ dogs are DNA health-tested and are of the best quality. Each puppy from them comes with health guarantees and certificates, a full registration, updated vaccinations and deworming, and is potty trained and well-socialized.

If you prefer adoption over buying an American Bully puppy, here are some reputable rescues to consider:

  • New York Bully Crew (NYBC) – NYBC is a non-profit rescue that aims to rehome unwanted American Bullies. They foster Bullies from high-kill environments like shelters and streets and rehabilitate them for adoption. Head over to their site to see their adoptable dogs.
  • Brave Bully Rescue – Brave Bully Rescue is a foster-based rescue in Houston, Texas. Their adoption fees range from $275 to $325. All dogs from Brave Bully Rescue are spayed or neutered, fully vaccinated, and checked. They have quite strict guidelines for adoption.
  • California Bully Rescue (CBR) – California Bully Rescue is the rescue to check out if you reside in the state of California. Like other reputable rescues on this list, CBR has hundreds of positive customer feedback. Needless to say, their service is exceptional. Plus, they’re very active on social media.

If these sources don’t work out for you, you can always use social media to your advantage. Nowadays, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of American Bully groups on Facebook and Reddit.

Frequently Asked Questions

American Bully side profile

Is American Bully a Pitbull?

The American Bully is a part of the four dogs under the Pitbull-type breed umbrella. These include the American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and American Bully.

Are American Bullies Dangerous?

Several people consider this breed to be a dangerous dog. However, American Bully fanciers believe that it all boils down to training. They claim that a well-trained American Bully is not dangerous to other animals and humans alike.

Can American Bullies Be Left Alone?

Usually, American Bullies can be left alone. Unlike other dog breeds, American Bullies are not prone to separation anxiety. This is what makes them capable of guarding property and homes.

Do American Bullies Bark a lot?

American Bullies are usually not heavy barkers. Like other Pitbull dogs, they may growl and bark occasionally, but not in an overly manner. The American Bully may also whine when seeking attention or when in discomfort.

Do American Bullies Shed?

The American Bully sports a short and smooth coat. Because of this, their fur does not shed much. In fact, they can be considered a low-shedding breed.

That said, American Bullies are still non-hypoallergenic. These dogs are still not ideal for people who are sensitive to fur. One way to manage the American Bully’s shedding is by brushing its coat regularly.

Do you think you are fit to own an American Bully? Let us know your thoughts about this extraordinary breed in the comments below! Do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have about any aspects of this wonderful breed!

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