American Bully.jpg
Breed Group Group 4: Bull Breeds
Sub-group 4-B: Bull-and-Terrier Breeds
Origin Country United States
Weight Males: 50-85 pounds. Females: 40-80 pounds.
Height Males: 16-21 inches. Females: 15-20 inches.
Other Name(s) Bully, Pit Bully
Breed Type Pure
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American Bully

Breed Group Group 4: Bull Breeds
Sub-group 4-B: Bull-and-Terrier Breeds
Origin Country United States
Weight Males: 50-85 pounds. Females: 40-80 pounds.
Height Males: 16-21 inches. Females: 15-20 inches.
Other Name(s) Bully, Pit Bully
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Origins

The American Bully is a relatively new breed that was developed in the 1990s to accommodate the bulkier body style preferred by some American Pit Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier fanciers, which was a style considered incorrect by most breed organizations. While many claim that the breed was developed from using heavier and bulkier strains of the purebred American Pit Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier, it is rumored by many that other bulldog breeds, such as the English Bulldog, were included. The claim appears to be supported by the English-Bulldog-like phenotype found in the more extreme specimens, which is not found in any purebred APTB or AST breeding populations.

Many organizations will interchangeably register APBTs and ASTs as American Bullies; however, Continental Kennel Club does not register the breeds interchangeably, and considers the American Bully to be a separate breed from the APBT and AST.

Please note: The American Bully breed is not eligible for CKC's Picture and Witness (PAW) Program.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Mesaticephalic skull type, appearing somewhat moderately large in size, but never disproportionate to the entire body. The head may be shaped like a thick, blunt wedge, or it may be cubical, but it should never appear brachycephalic and “upturned” in appearance. The head is powerfully muscled, especially in the cheek and temporalis areas, with prominent, discernible muscle lines. The heavy muscle of the head gives the head a deep and broad appearance. The head is clean-cut and without excess skin or wrinkle, although very slight wrinkle may be visible when the dog is brought to alert.
Eyes: Moderate in size, open oval, almond, to lemon-shaped. Eye colors, including blue, gray, green, amber, hazel, or medium to dark brown in color are equally permissible. Blue is possible, but not preferred. The eye corners may be set horizontally or slightly oblique. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging or with exposed or visible haws. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed. Eyes should not be set excessively wide apart, or with excessive skull fill between the eyes. The ideal distance between the eyes is two-and-a-half eye distances between each inner corner.
Ears: Fairly small to medium in size. Set somewhat high on the skull, above the level of the eyes. They are spaced well apart, on the outer edge of the topskull. They may be natural or surgically cropped. Natural ears may be rose or drop, and triangular in shape, with rounded tips. Drop ears hang with the inner edges and tips falling close to the head. The ears are never long, overly large, broken, or fully erect.
Muzzle: The muzzle is full, deep, and broad. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight and level. The muzzle may taper slightly from a broad base to a slightly less broad muzzle end, or the taper may be almost imperceptible, keeping the width from the broad base almost to the blunt end. Upper and lower jaws are well-developed, approximately equal in length, and have good bone substance, never appearing snipy or weak. There should be no upturn to the lower jaw.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened. The nose should sit flush with the vertical line of the end of the muzzle, never appearing “pushed-in,’ like that seen in brachycephalic breeds.
Neck: Moderate length allows for good head carriage and movement. It is thick and powerfully muscled, with a good arch. The neck tapers slightly and smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut, with only a slight amount of loose skin at the throat area, but without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well-developed without being excessively pronounced. It should not protrude well beyond the point of the shoulder. The chest is of a good length.
Body: Compact, close-coupled, deep, solid, and of powerful substance, yet never so heavy or wide as to detract from athleticism and stamina. The body is never racy or refined, nor is it excessively broad, heavy, and cloddy. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters. Shoulders should never appear to be so broad as to interfere with efficient and effortless movement.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.
Tail: Set somewhat low, or neither high nor low on the croup, but as a natural extension of the topline. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, usually level with the topline, but never tucked or carried up over the back. The tail should never be surgically docked. The tail is of a moderate length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be straight, gently curved, or pump-handled. The tail should never be kinked, knotted, short, “bobbed,” screwed, or fused.
Movement: Smooth, effortless, efficient, and energetic, the characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: The American Bully was developed first and foremost as a companion. That being said, the rootstock used to develop the breed are notorious for intraspecific and extra specific aggression. Therefore, some instances of intraspecific (especially same-sex) aggression have been observed in the breed. For this reason, it is recommended that early socialization and puppy training be implemented as soon as possible. Well-adjusted, well-trained, and well-socialized dogs are confident, tolerant, and overall friendly to neutral with strangers. They are also intelligent and quite willing to please, making training for dog events and sports easy and enjoyable. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 4: Bull Breeds

Proportions: Rather rectangular with length of the body, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump being slightly greater than the height at the withers. The ideal body height to length ratio is approximately 5:4. The body is well-put together, with sturdy substance and moderate (yet sturdy) bone. Males should appear masculine, being more substantial in size and mass, while females should appear more feminine and slightly less substantial. Neither should lack overall type.

Head

General Appearance: Mesaticephalic skull type, appearing somewhat moderately large in size, but never disproportionate to the entire body. The head may be shaped like a thick, blunt wedge, or it may be cubical, but it should never appear brachycephalic and “upturned” in appearance. The head is powerfully muscled, especially in the cheek and temporalis areas, with prominent, discernible muscle lines. The heavy muscle of the head gives the head a deep and broad appearance. The head is clean-cut and without excess skin or wrinkle, although very slight wrinkle may be visible when the dog is brought to alert.
Expression: Powerful and imposing in appearance, gentle and friendly in interactions. Alert, noble, capable, self-composed, and intelligent. Expressions of sluggishness caused by excessive or “droopy” skin, exposed haw, pendulous flews, and dewlaps are incorrect.
Stop: The stop is definite and abrupt.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio may range from 2:3 to 4:5, with the topskull being slightly longer than the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is slightly convergent.
Muzzle: The muzzle is full, deep, and broad. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight and level. The muzzle may taper slightly from a broad base to a slightly less broad muzzle end, or the taper may be almost imperceptible, keeping the width from the broad base almost to the blunt end. Upper and lower jaws are well-developed, approximately equal in length, and have good bone substance, never appearing snipy or weak. There should be no upturn to the lower jaw.
Lips or Flews: Lips are clean and fit tightly to fairly well over the teeth and jaws. The lips should never extend beyond the lower plane of the bottom jawline. They should never appear loose, “wet,” or pendulous.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nostrils are well-opened. The nose should sit flush with the vertical line of the end of the muzzle, never appearing “pushed-in,’ like that seen in brachycephalic breeds.
Cheeks: The cheeks are well-developed and powerfully muscled. They give the head and face breadth and depth. They should never appear chiseled or flat.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level, scissor, or reverse-scissor. Contact must be made between the top and bottom incisors.
Eyes: Moderate in size, open oval, almond, to lemon-shaped. Eye colors, including blue, gray, green, amber, hazel, or medium to dark brown in color are equally permissible. Blue is possible, but not preferred. The eye corners may be set horizontally or slightly oblique. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging or with exposed or visible haws. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed. Eyes should not be set excessively wide apart, or with excessive skull fill between the eyes. The ideal distance between the eyes is two-and-a-half eye distances between each inner corner.
Ears: Fairly small to medium in size. Set somewhat high on the skull, above the level of the eyes. They are spaced well apart, on the outer edge of the topskull. They may be natural or surgically cropped. Natural ears may be rose or drop, and triangular in shape, with rounded tips. Drop ears hang with the inner edges and tips falling close to the head. The ears are never long, overly large, broken, or fully erect.

Body and Tail

General Description: Compact, close-coupled, deep, solid, and of powerful substance, yet never so heavy or wide as to detract from athleticism and stamina. The body is never racy or refined, nor is it excessively broad, heavy, and cloddy. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters. Shoulders should never appear to be so broad as to interfere with efficient and effortless movement.
Neck: Moderate length allows for good head carriage and movement. It is thick and powerfully muscled, with a good arch. The neck tapers slightly and smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut, with only a slight amount of loose skin at the throat area, but without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well-developed without being excessively pronounced. It should not protrude well beyond the point of the shoulder. The chest is of a good length.
Topline: Straight and level from withers to croup. The back is short broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is taut, flat and level, or slightly arched, yet supportive. The back is never elongated, swayed, or roached.
Croup: Broad, powerful, and gently sloped.
Underline: Slight to moderate tuck-up present, or the underline may run parallel to the topline. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, and oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Tail: Set somewhat low, or neither high nor low on the croup, but as a natural extension of the topline. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, usually level with the topline, but never tucked or carried up over the back. The tail should never be surgically docked. The tail is of a moderate length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be straight, gently curved, or pump-handled. The tail should never be kinked, knotted, short, “bobbed,” screwed, or fused.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well-angulated with well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The point of the elbows is approximately half the dog’s height at the withers.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, of moderate (yet sturdy) bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are equal in length, strong, of moderate, yet sturdy bone, and powerfully muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: Short, glossy, smooth, close, and stiff to touch.
Coat Color or Pattern: CKC recognizes two color varieties of the American Bully breed: the standard color and nonstandard color variety.
Standard coat color variety: All coat colors and patterns are permissible with the exception of the merle color pattern.
Nonstandard coat color variety: Merle on any standard coat color or pattern. Large patches or amounts of white indicating homogenous merle genotype/phenotype are undesirable.

Movement

Smooth, effortless, efficient, and energetic, the characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

The American Bully was developed first and foremost as a companion. That being said, the rootstock used to develop the breed are notorious for intraspecific and extra specific aggression. Therefore, some instances of intraspecific (especially same-sex) aggression have been observed in the breed. For this reason, it is recommended that early socialization and puppy training be implemented as soon as possible. Well-adjusted, well-trained, and well-socialized dogs are confident, tolerant, and overall friendly to neutral with strangers. They are also intelligent and quite willing to please, making training for dog events and sports easy and enjoyable. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.