The American Bully is a high-energy dog from a line of working breeds. Because it is a muscular dog, it requires several workouts to help it stay in shape. Although there are several exercises you can have your American Bully do to keep it healthy and strong, there has been increasing speculation on whether you can run with an American Bully.
You can run with an American Bully because they have a high energy threshold. They are not built for sprinting long distances but can run at a moderate pace in short intervals. A good rule of thumb is to provide 60 mins of daily activity and 16 miles (25.7 km) of walking or running weekly.
In the remainder of this article, I’ll explore a brief history of the American Bully, followed by the different variations in the breed. I’ll also explore some common health issues this breed is prone to and specific activities and exercises you can implement to prevent health issues.
Is Running Good for an American Bully?
Running is good for an American Bully if you don’t run too far or fast. American Bulldogs are prone to joint issues that may make endurance sports challenging or painful. However, running in sporadic intervals, such as when playing fetch or jogging, is suitable for Bullies.
You mustn’t push your American Bulldog too hard when running since Bullies are prone to developing health conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia. Overstressing your dog’s joints can lead to these issues, introducing joint pain for the rest of their lives.
However, if you keep the running slow and sporadic, your Bully can benefit from the cardio. So, don’t expect your Bully to run miles with you daily.
Origin of the American Bully
The American Bully is a relatively new breed developed in the 1980s and 1990s. They are bred to be companion dogs and are very attached to their owners. These dogs are a predominant cross between the American Pitbull Terrier and The American Staffordshire Terrier.
The American Bully is recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club) and the UKC (United Kennel Club).
Since this breed derives from the American Pitbull Terrier, many believe these two dog breeds share the same personality traits. However, the American Bully has less prey drive and aggression – it is ultimately a family dog.
Types of American Bullies
There are four American Bully types, each recognized based on height, weight, and appearance.
Pocket American Bully (Pocket Bully)
Pocket Bully is a miniature version of the American Bully and usually measures under 14 to 17 inches (35.56 to 43.18 cm). This type is essentially the same dog in a smaller size. However, don’t let the size fool you. They are pretty tough and muscular.
Standard American Bully
The Standard Bully has a medium build with a muscular body and prominent bone structure. They also have blocky heads and usually measure between 16 and 20 inches (41 – 51 cm) tall at the shoulder. Standard American bulldogs are much more active than classic bullies, and they would make an ideal running partner.
Classic American Bully
The Classic has a lighter structure and almost the same height as the Standard. It still shows the bully traits but is less bulky. These bullies generally display features resembling the breed’s ancestors – the Staffordshire Terrier and Pit Bull Terrier.
XL American Bully
The XL American Bully is taller than the Classic and shares the same muscular body, heavy bone structure, and a blocky head as the Standard Bully. They are between 19 and 23 inches (48.26 – 58.42 cm) tall at the shoulder.
There are additional classes within the American Bully, but any central authority does not recognize these. Despite the type of variation, they all share similar personality traits.
Common Health Issues in American Bullies
Although this breed is strong and healthy, it is prone to certain illnesses, primarily because of inbreeding. If you have an American Bully, you should keep a lookout for the following ailments and use preventive measures, which I will discuss in the next section.
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Heart disease
Some of these ailments may prevent you from running with your American Bully, and not every Bully has a build suited to endurance running.
How Do You Exercise Your American Bully?
To exercise your American Bully, you can run, walk, jump, and play outdoors to get their hearts pumping and help them stay in good health. To ensure that your American Bully stays at its optimum health, you should dedicate 60 minutes daily to your dog’s activity.
You can also run with your American Bully at a moderate pace since these dogs are not very good at sprinting. A good number to hit when it comes to running and walking is 16 miles (25.7 km) weekly.
I will also mention a few indoor exercises or games on the off chance you cannot take your American Bully outdoors.
- Fetch. Fetch is the age-old and effective exercise that helps maintain your American Bully’s health and keeps them happy and entertained.
- Tug-of-War. Tug-of-War is another good exercise to do with your dog. It will work their jaws and neck and exert the rest of their body. A little tip for the owners, if done the right way, it can also help you build your forearms, biceps, and triceps.
- Stairs. If you can’t take your dog outside to exercise, have them run up and down the stairs in your home. You would typically stand on top of the stairs, throw a toy at the bottom, and have your dog fetch it. This activity is an effective workout since it helps the dog’s coordination.
- Swimming. Swimming is an excellent way to exercise your dog’s muscles, and most dogs love to swim. Swimming is also gentle on a dog’s joints, which is ideal for the stockier Bullies who may have joint issues.
The American Bully is a high-energy dog, and having them do the above exercises should not be a problem. However, if you face trouble getting your dog to play, you should consider introducing positive reinforcement techniques.
The American Bully is an active, loving dog breed. They might look fierce and dangerous, but they are wonderful with people and children.
Whichever variation of the breed you choose, be mindful of their limitations and know their stamina. Knowing that will allow owners to prevent health issues without overworking the dog.
Finally, running with your American Bully is a good activity that will keep you and your dog strong and healthy for the years to come. However, never push your Bully too hard, and keep in mind that Bullies may have joint pain when you run too much.
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