To many people, it’s the perfect blend, a breed without the game drive of a Pit Bull, yet more active and with less health issues than many of the Bulldog breeds in its makeup. The result: a calm, confident breed of dog with a statuesque build and the muscle of a bodybuilder. Despite the American Bully’s fierce and powerful appearance their demeanor is gentle, making the American Bully an excellent family companion.
The breed is known for having an affinity toward children (they love kids) and a surprising ability to pick up on the emotions of their owners. A breed with a fun and quirky personality, a zest for life and an exuberant will to please their family. They are friendly with strangers, other dogs and most other animals. Human or dog aggression, extreme shyness or viciousness is very uncharacteristic of the American Bully and is highly undesirable.
BREED'S EXPLOSION IN POPULARITY
The American Bully first became one of the fastest growing new breeds in 2014 and it has remained in the Top 5 every year since. In 2018, the American Bully breed became the fastest growing dog breed in terms of popularity and it hasn’t shown signs of slowing down since. The breed is on track to finish 2019 in similar fashion. So why are so many falling in love with this breed?
Even with the American Bully breed’s explosive growth and expansion into new countries and territories, there is still much confusion about the breed accompanied by several misconceptions and stereotypes. Inaccurate information online made worse by ill informed media have furthered misunderstanding regarding the breed. There are some who still confuse the American Bully with it’s cousin the American Pit Bull Terrier. But both are distinct and separate breeds, recognized by several respected registries as such.
So.. the American Bully breed has caught your eye, but there’s so many different types, bloodlines and classes to choose from that it can be a little overwhelming at first attempting to decide where to even begin. That’s ok, we’re here to help. For those new to the breed one of the first decisions to make is deciding on a class.
DECIDING ON A CLASS
This is one of the first and often overlooked steps when deciding to purchase an American Bully puppy or adult. Ask yourself, what size of bully best suits your interest? Do you want something smaller or shorter? In this case, you’ll probably want a Pocket. Like your dogs bigger? Then you probably want a Standard. If that’s not big enough for you and you’re wanting something over 100lbs and massive, then the XL class is probably for you.
AMERICAN BULLY CLASSES: POCKET, STANDARD, CLASSIC & XL
There are four different classes in the American Bully. The difference between them is height (with the exception of Classic, which is simply the same height as the Standard Bully,, but carrying less mass) Once you’ve decided which size you prefer, next ask yourself what is your goal? Are you simply interested in a pet, or are you considering having a litter or showing in conformation events (dog shows)?
The answer to these questions will help you with where to begin your search and can also have a big effect on the price you will be paying. If you’re simply looking for a pet, you can find one for a much lower price than if you’re looking for a show dog or breeding stock. If you do plan to show or breed in the future, it often makes sense to pay for a higher quality dog than what you would be getting a pet prices.
AMERICAN BULLY CLASSES
For those who may be new to the breed and still learning, let’s take a look at the different Classes in the American Bully breed according to the founding registry- The American Bully Kennel Club, also known as the ABKC Registry as well as the United Kennel Club, referred to as the UKC.
ABKC AMERICAN CLASSES 2014-PRESENT
This is an amendment to the basic standard which a Pocket Bully is determined by its adult height.
Males under 17″ and no less than 14″ at the withers. Females under 16″ and no less than 13″ at the withers.
The American Bully should give the impression of great strength for it’s size. It is a compact and medium/large size dog with a muscular body and blocky head. The American Bully should have the appearance of heavy bone structure with a bulky build and look.
Males 17 inches — 20 inches (43 cm — 51 cm) at the withers. Females 16 inches — 19 inches (40 cm — 48 cm) at the withers.
This is an amendment to the basic standard. A Classic Bully is determined by it’s body structure and build. Both sex dogs with lighter body frames and less overall body mass, but still exibiting “bully” traits.
Classic Bully variety is simply an American Bully dog having lighter body frames (lighter bone) and less overall body mass (less substance) than the Standard American Bully. Aside from this difference, the Classic Bully variety follows the same standard as the Standard American Bully.
This is an amendment to the basic standard, determined by it’s adult height. It is important to note that the XL Bully variety is simply taller than the Standard American Bully. XL dogs share the same build, body type and breed type as the Standard American Bully.
Males over 20″-23″ at the withers. Females over 19″-22″ at the withers.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the different classes of the American Bully breed and that that a dog’s height (and sometimes build) determine what class they fit in, let’s move on to discuss important things to consider before having a litter for those considering having puppies.
BEFORE DECIDING TO BECOME AN AMERICAN BULLY BREEDER
Before making the commitment to become a breeder and establish your own bloodline, an honest appraisal of your resources is in order. First, do you have the money and time to invest in this endeavor? A large kennel facility is usually not necessary if you get two or three quality “foundation” bitches to begin with.
Do you have cash on hand for progesterone testing, artificial inseminations, emergency c-sections, vet bills, and proper care for the puppies? What if your breeding female becomes ill or develops an infection like pyometra? Do you have 3–5K saved in the event an emergency happens? The worst possible thing that you can do is make the decision to become a breeder and then not be able to afford care for your dogs in the event of an emergency.
THE COMMITMENT INVOLVED
Perhaps even more important than space and money is the commitment to the pups that you will be producing. For a breeder to know if their breeding program is successful, ongoing evaluation of the pups is essential. Most of us do not have unlimited space, so placing pups in good homes where they will receive adequate care and nutrition, training and evaluation is going to be essential.
Once you’ve done your homework, have your resources in order, have decided on a class or type and have made the decision that you’re willing to commit to everything required to responsibly care for and breed dogs, you’re going to want to start by purchasing foundation stock. Next we cover “Purchasing Foundation Stock” in Part II in our next blog post.