Is the American Bully Good for First-Time Owners?

  • Time to read: 11 min.

American Bullies are a loveable breed. Owners of Bullies will often sing their Bullies’ praises for their gentle, affectionate nature. There are many who are curious about the American Bully breed and whether they make good pets for first-time owners.

The American Bully is good for first-time owners because they are naturally loyal and loving. They are also easy to train and are relatively low-maintenance in terms of hygiene and grooming. However, American Bullies are not ideal for everyone because they are expensive and need consistency. 

This article will explore the nuances of taking on the responsibility of an American Bully as a first-time owner. If you are on the fence about whether to get a Bully, this article might help you come to an informed decision. Keep reading to learn more. 

Why American Bullies Are Good for First-Time Owners

American Bullies are an undeniably sweet-tempered breed. And that shouldn’t be surprising, considering that they were specifically created to be a companion breed. American Bully owners agree that they make excellent pets, even for first-time owners. 

Here are some reasons the American Bully is a great choice for first-time owners:

  • The American Bully is a gentle and affectionate breed.
  • Professional breeders train and socialize them before rehoming them.
  • American Bullies are pretty low maintenance. 
  • American Bullies are protective of their owners. 
  • American Bullies are easy to train.

I’ll discuss these reasons in more depth below: 

The American Bully Is a Gentle and Affectionate Breed

Many are fooled by the American Bully’s ferocious looks. Despite its muscular build and intimidating features, the American Bully was bred to be a companion. Contrary to its imposing physique and aggressive appearance, it is a happy, confident, and exuberant dog that is a joy to have in the home. 

Despite efforts to debunk myths about this breed, many people are fearful that the dog may have a suppressed propensity for aggression. However, aggression is considered an abnormality in the breed and is extremely rare. The American Bully Kennel Club is vigilant against breeding practices that perpetuate uncharacteristic traits.

An American Bully is so good-natured that it may surprise you to learn that it can even be tolerant of friendly strangers. This speaks to the extent of restraint Bullies are capable of. Not all breeds have such an innate capacity for restraint. Much of the fear and suspicion about the breed stems from ignorance about American Bullies. 

Professional Breeders Train and Socialize Them Before Rehoming Them

One of the things that are unique about the American Bully is the fact that most professional breeders train and socialize their pups before rehoming them. By the time you welcome your Bully into your home, it is already partially trained and socialized, making it easier for you to manage your pet. 

However, bear in mind that the same is not true for adopted American Bully rescues. Rescues are not subjected to the same training and socializing, so you can expect that their behavior will be different from Bullies acquired from professional breeders. You may want to consider this before making a decision on where to get your pet. 

Here are some professional breeders that train and socialize their American Bullies before rehoming them:

  • Venomline. This kennel is based in Texas, with a branch now operating in South Florida. These breeders take pride in their stock and treat them like family until they are rehomed with their new owners. They train and socialize their pets before they are rehomed. 
  • Big Mommas Bullies. This kennel is based in Florida. Their pups are provided with a loving environment until they can be rehomed. They are trained and socialized daily by the family that runs the business. 

American Bullies Are Quite Low Maintenance

When it comes to hygiene and grooming, American Bullies are pretty low maintenance. They only require a bath about once a month unless they become dirty. They have a short fur coat that does not need a lot of maintenance. Much of the grooming can be done at home if you feel confident enough to do it. 

Many first-time owners consider the level of grooming required when deciding to get a pet. Not all would-be pet owners are ready for the commitment of cleaning and grooming their pets when it takes considerable effort. With Bullies, the challenge is reduced to a simple task because of how easy it is to bathe the breed. 

American Bullies Are Protective of Their Owners

American Bullies are highly protective of their owners. It was mentioned earlier that they can be tolerant of friendly strangers, but this does not indicate that they make lousy guard dogs. They will be tolerant as long as they do not detect any threat to their owners. But if there is a perceived threat, they will, like many guard dog breeds, become aggressive towards the threat. 

The American Bully is an athletic and muscular breed, and should the need arise; they are formidable foes when forced to act to protect their families. The sight of an American Bully on your lawn alone could be enough to discourage would-be felons or criminals from coming near you, your family, or your home.

American Bullies Are Easy To Train

When you adopt an American Bully, they are usually already partly-trained and socialized. However, the continuity of that training is mainly up to you unless you enlist the help of a professional to continue the training for you. 

Luckily, the American Bully is a highly intelligent breed that is relatively easy to train. Training should be picked up where it left off with the breeder when your Bully comes home with you. With some consistency and patience, your Bully will soon master new commands. 

Why American Bullies Aren’t Good for All First-Time Owners

While we have established that the American Bully can be an excellent fit for first-time owners, a strong case can be made for why the same isn’t true for some people. The Bully may check off all the boxes when it comes to its winning personality and lovability rating. Still, there are some realities that need to be factored in when deciding to get an American Bully.

We are duty-bound to inform you of both the whys and why nots of getting an American Bully as a first-time owner. Here are some reasons why an American Bully may not be the right fit for you:

  • American Bullies are expensive.
  • American Bullies can have complex health conditions.
  • American Bullies need consistency.
  • Living conditions need to be appropriate for your American Bully. 

American Bullies Are Expensive

American Bullies are expensive. The average American Bully comes with price tags that range from $2,000-$10,000. For the high-quality bloodlines from reputable breeders, those prices can go as high as a staggering $20,000 to $30,000. And these are just the buying prices. These figures haven’t factored in the initial costs, monthly costs, and yearly costs. 

What makes American Bullies so expensive, you ask? Here are some reasons they will cost you an arm and a leg: 

  • Health certifications. Reputable breeders are responsible for the health and well-being of their stock before they are rehomed. Many American Bully pups are brought home from the breeders with health screenings and certifications completed. All the expenses incurred by the breeder go towards the price tag of the Bully.
  • Food. As a medium-sized breed, the American Bully needs at least one to two cups of high quality food daily (this can vary according to the dog’s size and weight). It’s not advisable to try and save money with food for your American Bully as sound nutrition is vital.
  • Training & socialization. Training and socialization are essential preparations breeders make before their dogs meet their new owners. This makes the pup more adaptable to new people and environments. Training and socialization cost a substantial amount, and that will increase your Bully’s buying price.
  • Breeder standing. The breeder’s reputation and standing can also influence the prices of their stock. The best breeders are sought-after because they spare no expense to invest in their stock. And that expense is billed to you because it goes towards your Bully’s buying price.
  • Class & bloodline. As already discussed, the American Bully is classified according to size: standard, pocket, and XL. These variations in size have their respective price ranges due to the specific care requirements demanded by the distinct body mass types. 

As a first-time owner, you will need to assess your own financial readiness for the economics of raising an American Bully. Professional breeders even have a vetting process where they evaluate the capabilities of interested buyers to provide and care for an American Bully. Some breeders also have an age requirement, and will only sell to buyers aged 25 and above.

It’s a serious business. And if that doesn’t convince you, the table below might. Here is a summary of what your expenses will look like once you decide to bring an American Bully home:

Total Initial Cost$337 – $470
Total Monthly Expenses$185-$305
Total Yearly Expenses$4,800-12,600
Lifetime Cost$17,720 to $45,510

If you’re still interested in getting an American Bully, you may want to consider less costly options such as adoption. Here are some rescue centers where you can obtain a Bully from $200 to $800. Below are some great kennels from which to adopt your American Bully:

  • New York Bully Crew. NYBC is a non-profit rescue that saves Bullies from kill shelters. Their adoption fee isn’t indicated on their website, but you can reach out to them privately to find out. 
  • California Bully Rescue. CBR is an international Bully rescue that advocates for legislation and policies that save and protect the breed. An adoption form is available on their website to help you get started on the adoption process. 
  • Brave Bully Rescue . BBR is a Texas-based non-profit rescue. Adoption fees for younger Bullies are around $325, while adult Bullies can be adopted for $275. 

American Bullies Can Have Complex Health Conditions

We’ve already talked about how expensive American Bullies can be. But those costs can increase even more if your American Bully becomes sick. While more experienced pet owners may be able to cope with the demands of such a responsibility, first-time owners might find themselves overwhelmed by the enormity of it. 

Part of the reason American Bullies end up as rescues is due to abandonment which can follow when owners find themselves emotionally and financially unprepared for the obligations and challenges of having a pet. 

American Bullies can have complex health conditions, and here are the most common ones:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Demodicosis/Demodex mange/Demodectic mange
  • Cleft lip/palette
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Ichthyosis
  • Luxating patella
  • Zinc responsive dermatosis
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Atrophy
  • Brachycephalic Syndrome
  • Gassiness
  • Congenital heart failure
  • Cataracts
  • Cerebellar abiotrophy

Some of the above-mentioned conditions will call for intensive or lifetime treatment. This can rack up a large vet bill. In addition to this, there is also the emotional pain that illness in a beloved pet can cause. Seasoned pet owners may be capable of dealing with these issues, but first-time pet owners may find themselves severely unprepared. 

American Bullies Need Consistency

As mentioned earlier, the business of taking an American Bully into your home is a serious commitment, and breeders often vet interested buyers, and only sell to people over a certain age. This age requirement is way above the legal age to drive and drink, and speaks to the maturity required to undertake the task of raising a Bully. 

An American Bully is highly trainable and relatively low-maintenance. However, there needs to be consistency in its life to keep it healthy and happy. American Bullies need to have a daily walk lasting 45 to 60 minutes to ensure optimal health. This takes commitment, time management, and prioritization. 

Neglecting to walk your American Bully on a daily basis and for the required amount of time can lead to the development of health conditions that will only lead to more expenses. Sadly, many dog owners leap at the idea of owning an American Bully while being thoroughly unprepared to make a commitment to ensure the well-being of their Bully.

Living Conditions Need To Be Appropriate for Your American Bully

You will need adequate space in order to keep an American Bully. Although they can thrive in small spaces, bear in mind that they are an athletic and energetic breed. If you live in an apartment, you will need to take your Bully out for daily walks. 

It is cruel to keep them cooped up in the apartment for extended periods of time. While on the topic of dogs and apartments, there is also the issue of pet policies in many apartments or homes for rent. 

If you are considering an American Bully, consult with your landlord to learn more about the building’s pet policies. Some places have pet restrictions, some have pet-specific restrictions, and others allow pets for an additional rental fee. 

You will need to consider all of these before deciding to bring home an American Bully.

Is an American Bully the Right Fit for You?

American Bullies may be real sweethearts, but there is more to the idea of a loving furry companion to consider when making the decision to get one. To assess your readiness for an American Bully, you should be able to answer yes to the following questions:

  • Are you financially ready for an American Bully? 
  • Can you provide consistency and stability for your American Bully?
  • Is your living situation safe and ideal for an American Bully?
  • Is your lifestyle a good fit for an American Bully?

Financial readiness is a major consideration when it comes to deciding to get an American Bully. Financial readiness does not mean being able to afford the asking price of a Bully. It means being prepared for a rainy day. It entails having the means to provide for your Bully’s daily needs as well as appropriate veterinary care when it becomes sick.

You will also need to make time for your Bully. They are a human-centric breed and require your constant attention and affection. There needs to be some consistency and routine to keep them both healthy and happy. If your lifestyle is a hectic one that demands plenty of time away from home, the American Bully breed is most probably not the right fit for you. 

You also need to be able to provide a safe environment for your Bully. Even though they can thrive living in a small apartment, the space should be adequate to enable play and other activities to occupy their time. You should also consider the building or neighborhood you live in. What is their attitude towards dogs, especially a Bully breed?

Final Thoughts

It is generally agreed that the American Bully is a great breed for first-time owners when it comes to their temperament and trainability. However, some argue that the breed is not ideal for first-time owners because of the financial responsibilities it requires and the amount of time and consistency it demands.