With their stocky, muscular bodies and intimidating appearance, American Bully puppies are saddled with unfair assumptions. But these affectionate dogs crave human bonding and make devoted family companions.
In this comprehensive guide, you’ll gain deep insights into Americans Bully history, their traits, proper handling techniques, health considerations, costs — everything you need to determine if one of these special pups belongs in your home.
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By the end, you’ll understand why Bully enthusiasts are so passionate about this breed. Let’s dig into all the details on raising an American Bully puppy!
What Exactly is the American Bully Breed?
The Americans Bully is a recently formed dog breed originating in the 1980s-1990s that combines the stockiness of bulldog-type breeds with the athleticism and trainability of American Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers.
Through selective breeding over the past few decades, a range of bull-and-terrier descendant breeds have emerged that are tailored more for docile companionship than performance or guard dog roles. The American Bully represents one of these family-oriented bully breed offspring.
To fully appreciate the background of the Americans Bully, it helps to understand how the breed first developed. Let’s trace their intriguing origins next.
The Beginning of the American Bully Breed
In the 1980s and 1990s, innovative dog breeders sought to create a new bully-type canine optimized for affectionate companionship over prey drive or dog aggression. Here’s how the American Bully breed emerged:
- It started by crossing American Pit Bull Terriers with compatible bulldog-type breeds like the English Bulldog, American Bulldog, Olde English Bulldog, and others.
- The most desired traits were the loyalty and eagerness to please of the American Pit Bull combined with the shortened muzzle, stocky build, loose skin and easygoing nature of various bulldog descendants.
- Breeders focused on selectively reproducing dogs that exhibited increased tolerance and less dog-directed aggression while maintaining physical strength.
- In 2004, the Americans Bully Kennel Club was founded to promote and ensure responsible, ethical breeding practices for this new ideal bully breed.
- Around a decade later, the official breed name “Americans Bully” was established as the most fitting representation of this hybrid bulldog-terrier mix.
Thanks to dedicated breed stewards, the Americans Bully continues to improve as a unique family-oriented breed focused on temperament and conformation instead of work drive or performance.
Next, let’s examine the American Bully’s distinct physical traits and standards in more detail.
American Bully Size, Appearance and Build
The Americans Bully breed standard calls for a strong, stocky dog of manageable size exhibiting a gentle, human-friendly nature. Defining characteristics include:
- Height ranges from 13 inches tall at the shoulder for a Pocket Bully up to 20 inches tall for an XL Bully.
- Weight also spans anywhere from 30 pounds for a small female up to 150 pounds for a very large male Bully.
- Head shape is large and square, featuring broad cheeks, a pronounced jaw, and somewhat flattened face.
- Body shape is stocky, compact, and very athletically muscular with a broad chest and well-defined hindquarters.
- Coat is uniformly short, smooth, glossy and stiff to the touch covering the entire body. Coat colors include gray, black, fawn, red, white or blended variations.
- Skin on the face and neck is loose with some wrinkles and folds around jowls and smooth-edged dewlaps.
- Ears are traditionally cropped into pointy shapes but many owners now opt to keep natural unaltered ears which can be rose, half-prick, or drop.
- Tail is medium length, tapering to a point, set low and carried low. Never curled over back or tight to hocks.
The Americans Bully breed standard emphasizes correct body proportions, sound structure, and substance over the exaggerated features like dwarfism or ventroflexion sometimes incorrectly seen. Reputable breeding maintains functional, athletic bullies.
Now that we’ve covered the physical specs, let’s explore the breed’s renowned temperament and personality in more depth.
American Bully Temperament and Personality
Despite their considerable bulk and intimidating façade, American Bullies have hearts of gold. Key characteristics include:
- Extremely affectionate – Americans Bullies bond closely and show unwavering devotion to their family. They crave and require close human companionship.
- Playful goofballs – This breed loves entertaining their family with silly antics and clownish behavior. They keep life full of smiles and laughter.
- Patient and gentle – American Bullies are nurturing, protective dogs, extremely patient and tolerant with children. They make ideal family pets.
- Eager to please – These highly trainable, biddable dogs aim to impress their owner. They respond exceptionally well to positive reinforcement training.
- Friendly with proper intro – While wary initially, American Bullies are friendly towards strangers once properly introduced. Far less suspicious than some bully breed relatives.
- Loyal watchdogs – American Bullies are brave, self-assured dogs that loyally watch over their domain without true aggression due to protective territorial instincts.
With proper training, care, and attention, the Americans Bully makes a delightful, charming canine companion ideal for the whole family.
Caring for an American Bully Puppy
Raising a healthy, well-adjusted Americans Bully puppy does require dedication. Here are some key care guidelines:
Americans Bully puppies should not perform strenuous exercise until fully mature around age 2. Lower impact activity prevents stressing developing joints. Adults require at least 60-90 minutes of vigorous daily workouts.
Early positive reinforcement training and socialization are imperative. Use reward-based methods to build focus, listening skills and confidence. Establish yourself gently as the consistent pack leader. Teach good manners.
Minimal grooming is needed beyond weekly brushing to control shedding. Frequent face wrinkle cleaning prevents fold infections. Limit bathing to only when necessary using gentle dog shampoo.
Feed a nutritionally balanced diet formulated specifically for bully breeds. Avoid filler-heavy kibble. Puppies need 3-4 meals per day. Adults do well with 2-3 feedings.
Establish a relationship with a trusted vet and stick to the recommended schedule of examinations and vaccines. Spay/neuter between 1-2 years old. Provide monthly flea/tick and heartworm prevention year-round without lapses.
With attentive care in all aspects, your Americans Bully puppy will mature into a happy, healthy adult companion dog. Next, let’s go over the health issues they may potentially face.
Common Health Problems in American Bullies
As with any pure breed, certain health conditions are more likely to occur in American Bullies. Potential concerns to be aware of include:
- Joint Dysplasia – Malformed hips and elbows. Maintain lean weight and joint supplements. X-ray breeder dogs.
- Brachycephalic Issues – Shortened muzzles increase risk for breathing difficulties, snoring, stenotic nares, eye problems, and overheating.
- Skin Problems – Allergies, fold infections, and skin yeast are common. Keep folds clean and watch for hot spots.
- Heart Disease – Some lines prone to mitral valve disease or cardiomyopathy. Discuss with your vet.
- Cherry Eye – Prolapse of gland in third eyelid. Usually corrected with simple veterinary surgery.
- Demodectic Mange – Common skin mite issue in young puppies. Treat with prescription topicals.
Selecting a breeder who screens for health and temperament helps minimize the chances of genetic disease. Still, pet insurance provides peace of mind should any issues emerge.
With attentive veterinary care, a high quality diet, proper exercise, and avoidance of obesity, most American Bullies enjoy relatively good health and longevity, able to thrive into their senior years.
Training and Socializing American Bully Puppies
Proper training and socialization starting young gives Americans Bully puppies the best chance at becoming well-adjusted adult dogs. Be sure to:
- Start positive reinforcement training the moment your Bully puppy arrives. Enroll in group puppy obedience classes for priority socialization during this critical developmental stage.
- Establish yourself firmly yet kindly as the consistent pack leader. Reward-based training methods work extremely well, as this breed aims to please their owner. Never use punishment, which can backfire.
- Practice basic obedience commands like sit, stay, come, down, heel, and touch daily until your pup has them mastered. Then continue expanding training to teach fun tricks and advanced skills.
- Socialize your Bully puppy extensively to build confidence by introducing them to a wide variety of people, animals, places, sights, sounds and experiences in a positive way. Always pair new exposures with high value food rewards and praise.
- Immediately discourage any early signs of resource guarding surrounding food, toys or space. This helps prevent escalation of possessive behaviors over time.
An Americans Bully wants nothing more than to bond wholeheartedly with their family. Laying the right training foundations early on sets them up to become that affectionate, obedient companion.
Finding an American Bully Puppy
In search of adding one of these special dogs to your household? Be sure to:
- Seek out ethical, conscientious breeders who fully health and temperament test all parent dogs, not just mass produce trendy dog breeds. Try to meet both parents in person whenever possible to evaluate temperament.
- Check local shelters, rescues and Americans Bully specific rescues in case an adoptable Bully in need of rehoming fits your home best. Some Bullies end up in shelters through no fault of their own.
- Expect to be placed on a substantial waitlist with quality breeders. Good things are worth waiting for! Be very wary of instantly available Americans Bully puppies advertised online.
- Make sure you can properly care for, train, exercise, and provide supervision to this active, muscular breed with unique needs before making the major commitment of bringing a Bully home.
Taking your time to find a stellar breeder or rescue source is the key to finding your perfect Bully puppy companion! The right one will absolutely be worth the effort.
American Bully Puppy Ownership Costs
Here are the estimated expenses to budget for when adding an Americans Bully pup to your family:
One Time Initial Costs
- Purchase price from quality breeder: $2000 to $5000+
- Initial supplies like leash, crate, toys: $500 to $1000+
- Initial vet examinations and vaccines: $400 to $1000+
- Spay/neuter surgery when older: $100 to $500
- High quality dog food: $500 to $1000+
- Routine annual vet exams and vaccines: $350 to $700
- Heartworm and flea/tick prevention: $200 to $300
- Miscellaneous supplies, medications, license: $250 to $500+
- Pet insurance: $500 to $1000
Potential Other Expenses
- Professional training: $500 to $1000+
- Boarding per day when traveling: $25 to $50+
- Medical emergencies or surgeries: $1000+
- Replacement of destroyed furniture: $500+
Properly caring for these active, strong dogs does require significant financial investment. But their wonderful companionship and loyalty more than make up for it!
Answers to Frequently Asked American Bully Questions
Below are quick answers addressing some of the most common Americans Bully FAQs:
Is the American Bully a safe family dog?
Absolutely! With proper training and socialization from puppyhood, the American Bully forms incredibly strong bonds with their human family. They can develop unwarranted aggressive reputations simply due to their imposing muscular appearance.
Is the American Bully the same as a bull dog?
The American Bully does share some bull dog lineage but it is uniquely developed by combining bulldog-type breeds with American Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers. The American Bully is its own distinct dog breed.
Do American Bullies make good family pets?
Yes! The loving, playful, loyal American Bully breed lives to bond closely with their family. Their gentle, affectionate nature makes them fantastic companions and “nanny dogs” with proper supervision around small children.
Are American Bullies intelligent dogs?
Absolutely! American Bullies are highly intelligent, eager to please, and very trainable dogs when provided with patient positive reinforcement methods. Their aim to impress their adored owner makes reward-based training extremely effective.
How strong are American Bully breeds?
Thanks to their stocky, heavily muscled build, American Bullies definitely are extremely strong dogs capable of pulling over 1500 pounds on a harness and generating a bite pressure of over 500 PSI if they decided to. But this considerable strength is tempered by their inherently gentle, easygoing natures.
I hope this guide has provided helpful insights into this often misunderstood breed. Let me know if any other American Bully questions come up! While powerful, these dogs ultimately want nothing more than to be loyal beloved protectors and cherished companions.