Seven Things You Should Know About the American Bully
He Isn’t a Pitbull
During the early 1900’s, Pitbulls were very popular and cherished dogs; nearly every dog lover wanted to own one. Thanks to illegal dog fighting on top of overwhelmingly negative media attention during the past 50 years or so, the American Pitbull Terrier has earned a frightening reputation as very dangerous animal (though very few ‘educated’ dog enthusiasts would agree).
Because of his muscular physique and intimidating stature, not to mention the intimidating name, the average passerby might automatically assume the American Bully they are looking at must be a dangerous Pitbull, bred for nothing more than to fight and kill. The actual truth might surprise you!
According to the United Kennel Club, the American Bully was in fact developed as an extension of the American Pitbull Terrier (that part is correct), focusing on strengthening the absolute best characteristics Pitbulls already have. The American Bully breed was developed from several other breeds as well, including many Bulldog types.
What was the American Bully bred for? In an attempt to get the ideal family dog, the American Bully is first and foremost a fantastic companion, truly one of the absolute most sociable dogs you could ever meet!
That’s pretty far from the intimidating ‘bully’ creature most people think of, isn’t it?
The American Bully Comes in Four Recognized Sizes
The standard American Bully is a heavily muscled, bulky dog, first and foremost a companion breed (despite his intimidating appearance). In fact, the breed standard says the Standard Bully should give the appearance of great strength for his size. Males stand 17-20 inches, while females 16-19 inches.
A Pocket Bully is actually determined by his height as an adult, males less than 17 inches tall and females under 16 inches tall. When most people think of ‘Pocket’ they think of a toy breed, but a Pocket Bully is simply shorter than his standard sized brother. They both share the same build, and can be just as heavily muscled or bulky appearing.
3. Extra Large
Extra large American Bullies are often just a few inches taller than other sizes, adult males reaching heights of over 20 inches and females at least over 19 inches. To put that into perspective, an adult male Boxer reaches an average height of 23-25 inches (slightly taller).
Rather than height like the others, a Classic Bully is determined by both build and body structure. According to the American Bully Kennel Club, classic Bullies should give the appearance of older style American Pitbull Terriers or Staffordshire Terriers.
Classic Bullies follow the same height requirements as standard versions, except they tend to show lighter body frames. These dogs may still appear muscular and bulky, but aren’t as muscular and bulky as other versions.
The American Bully is a Young Breed
Compared to most other dog breeds, some thousands of years old and others so old we have no records of their origins, the American Bully is pretty young. In fact, the American Bully is a young breed even compared to most other young breeds.
Though his ancestor Olde English Bulldogge (among others) boasts a much deeper history stretching back hundreds of years, the United Kennel Club just recently recognized the American Bully on July 15, 2013. He was just recently recognized by the UKC, the American Bully breed was actually developed around the mid 1990’s by breeders in various locations throughout the United States.
Though they are registered with the UKC, the American Kennel Club, the largest breed registry in the united states, still hasn’t registered the American Bully as an official breed.
American Bullies are Easy to Train
Because he was developed to be the ideal family companion, a well-trained American Bully is highly sociable and very eager to please his handlers. Any professional dog trainer today, or any with even a tiny bit of education, will tell you the idea behind dog training shifted dramatically in the last century. The main focus any good trainer emphasizes is: discovering what desires best drive the dog they are working with, and how to fulfill those desires.
In other words, dog training of old once focused on dominance, and recommended punishing dogs into submission. While they worked short term, these principles were cruel, damaged pet/owner relationships, and many handlers were injured when their dogs finally lashed out in defense.
Today’s training has evolved a complete 360 from its youth. The idea is to make the dog Want to perform for you in expectation of the reward you give. Trainers will sometimes use praise, treats, or any kind of toy to accomplish this and reinforce their efforts.
Training is easiest by-far when all the dog wants is praise and recognition for his efforts. Most dogs will want a little more, but this is all it takes with the American Bully- such is his immense desire to please his owner!
His AKC registered cousin, the American Staffordshire Terrier, is considered to have above average intelligence, setting him at the spot for 34th most intelligent breed in the world. Since there are over 400 recognized breeds out there in the world today, this number means a lot! This also means the American Bully is capable of catching on to training very quickly.
They Can Live 10-13 Years
When it comes to dogs, very few breeds boast a life expectancy over 15 years, and it is all but unheard of for dogs to live much over 20 (though it is said the oldest dog in the world, an Australian Cattle Dog, lived to 29). Smaller breeds tend to enjoy longer lifespans on average, and unfortunately many giant breeds suffer shorter life spans.
Ex. Great Dane life expectancy: 8-10 years
Ex. Shih Tzu life expectancy: 10-16 years
Though the American Bully easily falls in the larger dog group for his weight, his life span falls in the middle, at 10-13 years on average. In ‘human years’, if you were going by the 7-1 rule (every 1 human year is considered 7 for dogs), that would put American Bullies at a ripe old age of 70-91. That is pretty close to a human’s life expectancy!
American Bullies Require Little Grooming
Adopt a northern breed with a thick double coat suited for subzero temperatures, like an Alaskan Malamute or Siberian Husky, and your house will be full of fur if you don’t brush every other day. Sometimes it seems like you can brush a completely new dog out of these two.
Adopt an American Bully, on the other hand, and grooming is a breeze! Most owners rarely have to groom at all, minus flea & tick treatment, heartworm meds and nail trimmings (like every other dog).
Unlike the first two mentioned above, or many other dogs bred to endure colder temperatures, the American Bully has a Smooth Coat of short, fine fir that doesn’t shed much. It is still a good idea to brush your pup on occasion, but he won’t need it very often at all. The American Bully can do with the occasional bath, once a month for example, but usually won’t need anything more often than that.
It is still important to trim your dog’s nails about every two weeks, or every week if you want to keep the quick as short as possible and your pet doesn’t mind you touching his nails (but it isn’t necessary).
The American Bully is One of the Friendliest Breeds You’ll Ever Meet!
When the average person sees an American Bully, they often feel intimidated by this muscular, fearsome animal before them. Indeed, very few dog breeds can boast the solid build of an American Bully. Fanciful myths abound, and many mothers will quickly snatch their children up in fear. Several court districts have banned the breed simply because they look like Pitbulls (even though Pitbulls are also very friendly). Even the Bully’s name is intimidating.
To understand the personality of an American Bully, you need to understand his predecessors. The American Pitbull Terrier was originally bred partially for their loyalty to humans, and the instinct is very strong in them. In fact, when they came to America during the early 1900’s along with immigration, these dogs were extremely popular! They even earned the Nickname ‘Nanny Dogs’ for their affinity for children and gentle nature.
Pitbulls were first used in the sport of ‘Ratting’ before anything else.
But they were also bred to fight other animals after their own predecessor, the Bulldog, was banned from participating in the violent English sport of Bull Baiting. Because they are agile and strong at the same time, these dogs became unwilling participants in illegal American dog fighting, earning them a very bad reputation. The biased American media, which loves to latch onto any negative situation and make it seem much worse, also made the Pitbull breed seem like some type of killer monster.
Even ‘Time Magazine’ wrote an article demoting the breed, which they’ve since recanted.
American Pitbull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier are two of the absolute friendliest dog breeds on Earth. Both of these breeds, along with several others, were mixed to produce the American Bully- bred specifically to be the ‘Ideal Family Companion’. Only the best characteristics of the others were promoted.
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