American Bully: A Gentle And Loving Giant

The American Bully does not live up to its name.

These intimidating looking dogs are actually a sweetheart.

Underneath their rough and tough appearance lies a sweet and gentle soul that just wants to be your friend.

This is one of the best family dogs around and thrives in a home where they will be loved and pampered.

These gentle giants are playful and very smart.

What is an American Bully?

The American Bully was born from the crossbreeds of Pitbulls and English or American Bulldogs.

They are their own unique breed and gained Kennel Club recognition in 2013.

This dog is born to be a family’s best friend. Behind their serious expression and visible muscle definition, they are one of the sweetest dogs that you will ever know.

An American Bully is the definition of a gentle giant.

In spite of their appearance, they are not good guard dogs. They are so friendly that they are much more likely to hug an intruder than to deter them.

American Bullies are lower maintenance and more even-tempered than other breeds of their kind.

They do their best when surrounded by the love of a whole family.

  • Overview: Purebred.
  • Purpose: Companion.
  • Weight: 60-120 pounds.
  • Size: 16-20 inches.
  • Temperament: Gentle, docile, and loving.

American Bully Appearance

American Bully Pit

When you take one look at this dog their inspiring muscles are the first thing you will notice.

A healthy pooch resembles a canine bodybuilder!

This dog has wide broad shoulders and thick forequarters.

The body should always be proportionate and look well-angled when the dog is standing – they should not be too bulky or walk with a clumsy gait.

Their facial expression is usually tense and rigid and their ears should be high and erect.

Height and Weight

The official breed standard states the Classic American Bully dog should stand between 16 and 20 inches tall.

You can now find XL varieties that stand up to 23 inches tall and even pocket varieties that are around 13 inches tall.

The weight range is 60-120 pounds for all varieties.

Breed Colors and Coat

Just about any color or fur pattern is possible except for merle. Grey, brown, and tan are the most common colors.

Usually, their chest will be white on an otherwise solid-colored dog.

This breed’s coat is very short and stiff and similar to a Pitbull’s coat. It is closely cropped to the body and you can feel their muscles underneath. They shed very little and do not need as much grooming as other dogs.

Brushing them each week will help keep their coat clean and neat.

5 Fun Facts About American Bullies

American Bully Puppy Walking

  1. The name bully does not describe their personality. It actually refers to the breed’s Pitbull and Bulldog ancestry as many of these breeds were affectionately nicknamed bullies.
  2. This is actually still a very new breed and only gained official recognition in 2013.
  3. In addition to the 4 recognized varieties, there are several unofficial varieties. These include micro and extreme sizes which go outside of the breed standard and often suffer from health problems.
  4. This dog is often mistaken for a chunky Pitbull however they are distinct breeds.
  5. The strength and raw power of these dogs make them great for pulling. You can train yours to pull carts, wagons and small bundles.

American Bully Personality and Temperament

American Bully Dog

This dog is a giant love bug.

If you keep one of these dogs expect plenty of cuddles and kisses.

An American Bully is the kind of dog that will follow you around the house and walk at your heels. At bedtime, they will sleep curled up at your bedside or even at the foot of your bed.

Your dog should never be aggressive or vicious, and any pushy tendencies should be corrected as soon as possible.

Overall these often misunderstood pups just want your love.

Despite their bulky appearance they are actually quite energetic.

A long hike at their owner’s side will keep their muscles strong and keep them feeling happy.
This is the type of dog that wants to accompany you on all of your outdoor adventures.

They should live indoors but spend most of their day outside.

Your dog may let out a deep, short bark while they are having fun or if they see something that alarms them. Loud barking at neighbors or strangers should be corrected immediately.

Loud arguments are possible when interacting with other dogs.

Socialization is the most important aspect of care for any bully breed, and this one is no different.

These pups want to be around people and will need to be socialized throughout their entire life.
Around other pets you may see them act like real bullies. They get along much better with humans than with cats and other dogs.

Is The American Bully A Good Family Dog?

As a companion group dog, this pooch was bred to be the perfect addition to a family. It does much better in families than it does with one single owner.

Ideally, they should be the only pet in the household.

Caring for an American Bully

American Bully

While this dog is much easier to manage than other bully breeds they still need certain care requirements meeting.

This is a born family dog and needs lots of attention.

Anyone looking to take one in should be able to manage the energy and physical strength of a large dog. For this reason, they are not good for elderly or sedentary owners.

The American Bully Pit is an expensive breed to raise. The puppy itself will be expensive enough without adding in the costs of feeding and maintaining a dog of this size. It is certainly a dog you will have to budget for.

Exercise Requirements

You can think of this dog as a canine bodybuilder (they want to spend a lot of time working out).

The best way is to take them walking.

They can manage most terrain and will appreciate a change in their daily walking courses (think hiking trails and woodland). These dogs are strong enough to pull small loads. So you can load up a wagon or a small cart with sticks, stones or even small packages and have them pull it.

Just remember do not let your pooch push themselves too hard. Carrying around all that bulk is exhausting!

  • Number of Walks Per Day: 1.
  • Total Exercise Needed Per Day: 60 Minutes.

Grooming and Shedding

American Bullies

Even during the shedding season, an American Bully will only drop a few hairs here and there.

Brushing them once a week will help keep their coat smooth and glossy.

They will need a bath every 2 or 3 months, with a shampoo and conditioner that is safe for dogs. If your pooch has a droopy face then you should use wet wipes to keep those folds clean.

Feeding and Diet

As mentioned earlier this is a big dog with a big appetite.

The bigger an American Bulldog is, the more dog food they will need. Put aside a monthly budget for high-quality, protein-packed kibble.

Pocket varieties will need only 2-3 to compensate for their smaller size. Still their kibble should have protein as the primary ingredient.

American Bully needs about 2 to 4 cups of dry dog food per day, divided into two meals. You can give your dog wet food or raw meat every so often, replacing a cup of kibble with a can of wet food or a raw cut.

Calories Per Day:Cups of Kibble Per Day:

Known Health Problems

Large muscular dog breeds often have problems with their joints. Patellar luxation is a condition with the kneecap and is a common concern.

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The condition is diagnosed by x-rays and surgery is needed for more severe cases.

Occasionally these pups can suffer from a cleft palate. In most cases, this does not need medical attention.

Only when they have trouble breathing is surgery required.

How Long Does an American Bully Live?

The American Bully has a life expectancy of 10-12 years.

How Much Does an American Bully Cost?

This is a very expensive dog to buy and care for.

They cost around $2000 to buy but remember this does not include the cost of feeding and care which can be significant.

How To Train American Bullies

American Bully Puppy

When training your new puppy you must remain involved and engaged with their dog training at all times.

Your American Bully will need to feel as though the two of you are working together.

They will learn very fast when they are motivated by their need to see you happy. Always show them when you are pleased and never skip out on the cuddles and treats.

Bad behavior should never be validated but do not physically punish a naughty puppy either. Although these dogs are very smart they can get bored very easily. A bored puppy will be pushy, noisy and potentially destructive.

Thankfully they are also easily amused.

Running and chasing games will keep them entertained for hours. Setting up puzzles and obstacles around the house can keep their big brains hard at work all day.

A backyard obstacle course is a fun way to train your Bully.

Have fun watching your smart pup try to find their way around every obstacle and practice commands like sit, stay and leave it while you play with your dog.

Socialization is the most important part of training.

This is best done in the neighborhood rather than at daycare or a puppy class. Find dog-friendly community events and play dates for your pup.

At home, you should focus on curbing pushy behavior and nuisance barking.

Buyer’s Guide

One of the best family dogs.Feeding them can be expensive.
Loves to spend time with their owners.Can be clingy and needy.
Very cuddly and affectionate.Large size and strength can make them difficult to manage.
Low shedding and grooming requirements.Gets pushy with other pets.
Easier to keep than other bully breeds.

Quick Breed Summary Table

Breed Characteristics
Size:16-20 inches
Lifespan:10-12 years
Coat:Smooth single coat
Color:Grey, brown, tan, black, white, red and yellow
Do They Shed:Very little
Temperament:Docile, sweet, loving, friendly, and gentle
Socialization:Must be socialized throughout their whole life
Destructive Behavior:Yes if they are under-stimulated
People Skills:Gets along naturally with people
Good with Children:Loves children
Activity Levels:High


Despite their intimidating appearance and name, you will not find a more loving dog than the American Bully.

They were born and bred to make the perfect family dog.

This is a highly intelligent and capable canine athlete. You must keep their brains working as hard as their bodies.

Life with one of these lovable dogs is full of cuddles and kisses.

You will never find a friend more willing to stay by your side through thick and thin.

Things to Consider

American bully dogs are strong and rather intimidating due to their heavy bone structure, but in your home, they are loving dogs that just want to look after you and your home. Because of the classic American bully dog’s reputation, you must take the time out to think about whether they are the right dog for you. 

American bulldogs and English bulldogs are not the same; the American bully breed was created in 1990,  whereas English bulldogs were created in the 1200s. Below are a few more important things to consider before bringing home your new fun-loving, furry friend;


American bulldogs are expensive; if you decide to buy one rather than rescue a bully from the shelter, they could cost you anywhere from $500 and $1,500 in the United States. American bullies can grow to weigh 100 pounds, so feeding them may become costly over the years. You can look to spend between $30 to $50 per week on dog food for your American bully if they are on the larger side of the spectrum. 

When it comes to your bully’s health insurance, some companies do not ensure certain bully breeds due to their ‘aggressive’ reputation. You should inform your insurer too if you are an owner of a bully breed as it may need to be noted in your files. 


American bully breeds have a lot of medical issues, the main one being with bowing of their front legs. Medium-sized and larger-sized American bullies suffer the most from bowing of the front legs. The breed standard for American bully dogs is for them to have straight front legs, with their feet facing forward. Leg issues become more prominent over time and are more likely if the puppy’s parents suffer from it too. 

When it comes to general bully maintenance, American bullies are super low maintenance. Their hair does not shed very much, so brushing their coat with a firm brush is more than enough to keep shedding under control. 

Good dental hygiene will keep your bully healthy and happy. Give them a dental chew to chomp on frequently and regularly take them to the vet for a dental checkup. 


It is important to note that American bullies are not inherently an aggressive dog breed. They are strong and dominant, and because of that, training your bully well is vital. 

Set clear boundaries for your bully and they will grow to be well-behaved companion dogs. We recommend signing your American bully up to a dog training program so that they learn healthy behavior at an early age. 


With the right guidance, American bullies are irreplaceable members of the family. They are great with kids and show a lot of affection. They will guard your home and are extremely territorial, so you must commit to bringing them up in a responsible way. 


American bullies are not hypoallergenic. Their coats do shed, although they are considered to be low shedding dogs. Taking them to the groomers weekly, or ensuring that you wash them often and brush their coat daily, light allergies are unlikely to be triggered with an American bully in the house. 


Q: Is an American bully aggressive?

A: They are not inherently aggressive, although they do require the right training to prevent aggressive outbursts. 


Q: What breeds make an American bully?

A: American Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers were bred to make American bullies. 


Q: How much does an American bully cost?

A: Anywhere from $500 to $1,500 or more. 


Q: What are American bullies good for?

A: American bullies are amazing furry companions that look great when photographed. 


Q: Can you leave an American bully puppy alone?

A: no, American bullies need to be entertained quite a lot and require plenty of mental stimulation. 


Q: Are American bullies good house dogs?

A: The American bully Kennel Club states that they are brilliant dogs to have at home. They are loyal and look for every opportunity to please their owner. 

About Thomas Woods 224 Articles
Thomas has been a dog lover since he was 6 years old when his parents got him a rescue Labrador. Since then his love for dogs has lead him to study Animal Behavior & Welfare. He now keeps a six year old English Bullmastiff and educates pet parents through his online publication Perfect Dog Breeds.

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