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American bully outside in the grass.

American bully breed overview

  • Average Weight (Male)* — 63 pounds
  • Average Weight (Female)* — 46 pounds
  • Breed Size* — Large
  • Height — 14 to 22 inches
  • Life span — 10 to 13 years
  • Breed Temperament — Loving, loyal, and energetic
  • Coat length & texture — Glossy and rich short coat
  • Coat color — Black, grey, brown, white, blue, tan, red, pie bald (i.e., having a mix of two or more colors)  and fawn. Puppies are not known to have a significant coat color difference compared to adult American bully breed members.
  • Exercise needs — Moderate
  • Hypoallergenic — No
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Intelligence — High
  • Origin — United States
  • Breed group — Companion group (United Kennel Club)


*Methodology: Average male weight, female weight and breed size are based on calculations from our database of more than 1,400,000 pets. 

American bully temperament and characteristics

American bullies don’t live up to their name, as they are one of the softest-tempered and sweetest dogs around! They are happy, sociable, and borderline boisterous, offering owners a bubbly and infectious personality similar to Old English bulldogs and Staffordshire bull terriers.

American bully dogs would love to play all day and are comfortable indoors. They are happy with outdoor environments as well such as doggy daycare or a dog park. Plus, they are very smart and versatile in their play styles, making  anything a fun game.

The American Kennel Club’s breed standard notes that these bulldog-type breeds are intelligent yet obedient, which makes them a great choice for families and solo owners alike. American bullies do well with other four-legged family members and are kind to newcomers, so long as they don’t think they’re a threat.


The American Bully is a medium-sized, short-coated dog with a powerful physique. The breed is recognized for its broad head, muscular frame, and short muzzle. They boast various coat colors, including white, brown, black, blue, brindle, red, chocolate, and more. The United Kennel Club says any color, color pattern, or combination of colors is acceptable, except for merle. We teamed up with FidoTabby Alert, and according to their database, the most common color for the American Bully is (58%) brown.

History of the American bully

The American bully came about as a result of strategic and scientific crossbreeding in the mid-80s and 90s, serving as one of the first official U.S. created dog breeds. Dog breed types such as the American pit bull terrier and the American Staffordshire terrier were considered in this process, with the ultimate goal of making a family-friendly pup that would be loved for years to come.

We’re pleased to say that they were very successful in doing this, since it’s one of the most versatile, loving, and family-friendly dogs we know today. While their ancestor breed types were known for their hunting and defense capabilities, American bullies walk the line of being sweet, caring, and loyal to their pet parents. In short? They’re one of the best companion dogs around!

Caring for your American bully

Caring for a new American bully can feel overwhelming. As with any new pup, you’ll need to consider booking your first trip to the vet, and scheduling your dog’s vaccinations. We also encourage you to think about puppy-proofing your home and preparing for teething now. You’ll thank us later. 

A final tip: We recommend that all pet parents invest in FidoAlert. It’s completely free, and covers your pet with a Fido ID and tag so you’re prepared just in case they get out unexpectedly.

Here’s some more information you can use to give your American bully the best possible experience in your home.


American bullies are highly energetic and love to romp and play. Because of this, homes should have plenty of safe, comfortable space (indoor or outdoor works fine!) Unlike other mid-sized breeds, these dogs don’t need quite as much exercise as their counterparts. American bullies can thrive in both a high energy family, or a cozy, quiet household.

While not especially needy on the exercise front, your bully loves attention — and will want to get their paws on as much as possible. Making time to be with your American bully is essential for their growth and development, and can help you establish their temperament and patterns of socialization.


American bullies are known for their short, coarse coat and their significant lack of shedding compared to other breed types. However, grooming is still just as important to these furry friends — keeping dirt, dander, and skin issues to a minimum with regular care and upkeep.

Your bully may rarely need a haircut due to their coat type and general rate of growth. However, weekly brushing can help give their coat a luxurious sheen and keep both the skin and the fur as healthy as possible.

While frequent brushing is encouraged, frequent bathing may not be. Unlike longer-haired breeds who may require bimonthly baths, American bullies may only need baths once per month in the summer, or every one to three months in cooler weather. (Of course, if they get dirty from romping around outside, there may need to be an exception!)

The more infrequent bathing schedules for this shorthair breed reduces the risk of dry skin, as bathing too frequently can disrupt the health of their coat and distribution of naturally moisturizing oils.

Like other breed types, nail trimming and ear cleaning should still occur semi-frequently — approximately once per month in most cases. Teeth brushing should also happen at least once every other day, keeping oral bacteria and plaque buildup at bay.

Diet and nutrition

Feeding your American bully a well-rounded and healthy diet is key to giving them the happiest and healthiest life possible. As American bullies are particularly muscular, you may find that they require a food blend with an extra powerful punch of protein to truly be satiated.

Before modifying your pup’s diet or determining the final word on food portioning, however, we do recommend consulting your vet for personalized recommendations for your bully pup. They’ll be able to provide the right guidance for feeding your dog, helping them have the highest quality of life possible.

We do want to note — your vet may recommend different portions based on your bullies weight. Bullies in the average range of 40 to 70 pounds, typically about two to three cups of food per day works best (for adult dogs). Puppies, seniors, and American bullies with special needs or health concerns may eat less.

Training your American bully

Bullies are extremely intelligent and eager to please — which means that they are known to be very trainable! You can begin the process from puppyhood, working on basic leash etiquette and socialization skills. From there, you can move on to more advanced tricks and behaviors that are sure to WOW at your next trip to the dog park.

American bullies are very emotionally attuned to their owners and have a drive for obedience. You can use this to maximize their training experience, praising them heartily for good behaviors and varying your tone to keep things fresh and fun. A great way to do this is with healthy dog treats or some pup-safe veggie bites as you train.

Clicker training can also effectively reinforce good behavior, giving your bully a goal to work towards as they master new skills. (Our tip? Boost your click power with a special treat or bite to give them a bit of an extra “congratulations”  as they learn and grow!)

Finally, you also might want to keep training sessions shorter than you otherwise would. While smart, they can get bored easily, making them feel apathetic or noncompliant during too long of a training sesh.

Breeds similar to the American bully

Not quite sure that an American bully is right for you? Even if you are, it’s worth taking the time to research and consider other similar breeds. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Cane corso. Like their American bully counterparts, these special pups are incredibly smart, emotional, and loyal to their owners. They’re a fun and energetic mid-sized breed that’s a great addition to any family.
  • American bulldog. Also a part of the bully breed family, American bulldogs are loyal, obedient, and trainable family pals. They are generally larger and a bit stronger than your average American bully.
  • Bullmastiff. Bullmastiffs are sweet, family-friendly pets who love to learn and play. They are especially amicable and slightly larger than American bullies, bred for companionship and loyal defense of their pet parents.

Common American bully health problems

While the American bully is generally healthy, it’s important to remain aware of any genetic predispositions they can have to their breed type’s common health issues. This info can help you take steps to proactively look out for your pup and get them the proper care they need for genetic skin diseases or other illnesses they can get from a young age. We’ve summarized a few common American bully illnesses below:

  • Hypothyroidism. This condition is a hormonal disorder that can cause lethargy and malaise, as well as weight gain and hair loss.
  • Hip dysplasia. American bullies can be prone to hip dysplasia, which is when the femur (thigh bone) and hip do not align well — which can strain the surrounding ligament network. This can lead to local arthritis, general discomfort, and a loss of mobility over time.
  • Congenital heart conditions. While exact conditions may vary, American bullies may be born  with septal defects (such as abnormalities on the heart wall)  or mitral valve disease. This can be addressed with your vet or surgically to promote a higher quality of life for your pup.
  • Skin issues/eczema: Eczema is a formal name for the red, scaly, and dry skin that American bullies might have to deal with. Many potential causes include stress, topical irritation, and food allergies.

👉 Your vet can help you to support your dog with topical treatment and medication.

Cost of caring for American bullies

On average, your first year with an American bully can be about $2,000-$3,000. This cost would cover any registration fees, purchasing fees, and welcome-home treats, toys, and puppyproofing items. After this initial cost you’ll likely tally up $1,000-$1,500 per year, going toward pet food and toys for your furry friend, as well as regular vet visits and hygiene items.

While American bullies are generally happy and healthy, unexpected health issues may arise. The costs you can expect for each pup may vary — but we estimate that vet costs can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand if your bully has a congenital heart condition that requires surgery.

Preventative care can be a great first-line defense to help give your American bully the highest quality of life possible.

To help prepare yourself for the unknown, you might consider investing in health insurance. Pet insurance can help  reduce out-of-pocket expenses and give you coverage when you need it most. Additionally, you can create a pet budget to help save money and have more flexibility when it comes to caring for your pup, should unexpected medical needs arise.

American bully fun facts

👉 Coming up with a pet name can be fun but tricky. Search no further! According to PetScreening’s 2024 database, the majority of our users name their male American Bullies Zeus; Ace is the 2nd most popular male name. Meanwhile, most of our users with female American Bullies love Luna, then Nova.

  • American bullies are a relatively new breed and were originally bred in the United States in the 1980s. They’ve even gotten enough attention to form their American Bully Kennel Club, acting as a registry for all bullies since 2004.
  • This breed is powerful for its stature, averaging a muscular build between 50 to 70 pounds. While many compare them to pure pitbull types or different breeds, this isn’t entirely accurate — as American bully breeds feature a shorter build and heavy bone structure. There can be small, medium, or XL bullies.
  • The American bully breed subtype of dogs comes from American pitbull terrier and English bulldog breed(s) and is considered a type of crossbreed.

American bully frequently asked questions

Are American bullies good family dogs?

American bullies are known for their social temperament and gentle nature, making them ideal for families with multiple pets, people, or children. If a family has recently welcomed a newborn, however, we do encourage careful supervision due to the size and weight of your average American bully.

What’s a tail pocket?

A “tail pocket,” referring to the fold of skin just under a dog’s tail, can be common in bully breeds. This area can trap dirt and oily buildup and should be cleaned regularly to keep your pet’s skin healthy.

Can American bullies be left alone?

While you can train your bully to be alone for your work shift or time out, it’s not generally recommended to leave them alone for more than eight hours. You’ll want to work up to this gradually with consistency, training, and lots of affection and cuddles when you return. They are very attached and can be anxious during long periods of solitude.

What are the bumps between my American bullies’ toes?

Among other things, these may be interdigital cysts. Limping, excessive chomping, and licking can all be signs that there’s a cyst forming. Your vet can test these cysts to make sure there’s nothing more serious going on, and may choose to refer you to a veterinary dermatologist for further treatment. Medicine, carbon dioxide laser therapy, and surgery are all ways to address interdigital cysts.

Do American bullies shed a lot?

American bullies are not known as a high-shed breed, thanks to their short coats and coat structure. Frequent brushing can keep your bully’s coat as healthy as possible and minimize shedding even more.