Types of American Bully

  • Time to read: 11 min.

As a relatively new dog breed, the American Bully has only been around since the mid-1990s. The first American Bully variety was the Standard, but extensive breeding programs have resulted in more varieties. 

According to the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC), there are four types of American Bully: 

  1. Standard American Bully
  2. Classic American Bully
  3. Pocket American Bully
  4. XL American Bully. 

I’ll explain the four American Bully types in detail in this article. I’ll also discuss their appearance, health, and nutritional needs. I will also include some of the much-loved ‘unofficial’ American Bully breeds. Let’s dive in!

1. Standard American Bully

As the introduction mentions, the standard is the original American Bully form. It came about by breeding American and English Bulldogs with American Pitbull Terriers to create a friendly and gentle family dog. Over the years, American Bully breeders have only bred dogs with positive personality traits to ensure that the breed retains its excellent reputation and makes a fantastic companion. 

While all American Bully varieties are generally calm and friendly dogs, they can become aggressive and territorial if you don’t socialize or train them properly from a young age. 

As with all American Bullies, standard American Bullies usually have high pain tolerance, and owners might not notice immediately if their dog is ill or in pain. Owners should, therefore, look out for any of the below signs, which could indicate that they need to take their American Bully to the vet: 

  • Not eating normally
  • Discharge from the eyes or nose
  • Excessive drooling or thirst
  • Vomiting or diarrhea 
  • Urinating more than usual 
  • Lethargy.

Size and Appearance

Standard American Bullies are classified as medium to large-sized dogs and have broad chests and short legs, giving them a distinctive short and powerful appearance. 

Their ancestry gives them a similar appearance to the following dog breeds: 

They have oval or almond-shaped eyes, which are well-spaced out, large heads, very pronounced cheekbones, and powerful jaws. Their tails are low-set and short, often have kinks or bends, and taper toward the end. 

As with most dogs, female standard American Bullies are usually smaller than males, with the following typical sizes at the withers (or shoulders): 

  • Males: 19 to 21 inches (48.26 to 53.34cm).
  • Females: 16 to 20 inches (40.64 to 50.8cm).

Standard American Bullies can weigh between 65 and 85 lbs (29.5 and 38.5kg). 

Although standard and classic American Bullies have a similar height and length, standard Bullies can have more muscle mass and a slightly larger frame with heavier bones. 

Personality

American Bullies are a fairly new breed. Even though their appearance can look slightly scary to some people, breeders have carefully selected their Bullies to inherit only the most positive personality traits from other dog breeds. 

If you’re looking for a stable dog that is great with kids, look no further than the standard American Bully. These dogs are friendly, incredibly tolerant, love playing games with other animals and people, and enjoy acting goofy. 

They are laid back and patient but also outgoing and love receiving attention from family members and strangers alike. 

Health and Nutrition

Since the American Bully dog breed has only been around for a few decades, vets are still discovering health problems to which they may be susceptible. American Bullies generally have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years. 

Dogs with squashed-looking faces and small nostrils (like the American Bully) are prone to breathing problems, such as BOAS (Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome). If your Bully often seems to struggle to catch their breath after running, your vet might diagnose this condition and recommend surgery to rectify the problem.  

Standard American Bullies are not high-energy dogs and might become inactive if you don’t take them on a daily walk or encourage them to play. As heavy-set dogs, it’s essential to maintain healthy body weight as being overweight or obese can strain their joints. 

These dogs are not fussy eaters and will happily eat high-quality kibble for large to medium-sized dogs. Alternatively, you could feed them a breed-specific food, such as Bully Max Dog Food from Amazon.com. This meat-based food is rich in amino acids and packed with all the nutrients your American Bully needs.  

2. Classic American Bully

Classic American Bullies have been bred from Standard American Bullies, closely resemble Pit Bulls but still have many distinctive Bully traits. 

If you are looking for a suitable pet for your family and a dog smaller than a Standard American Bully, look no further than the classic. These bullies are slightly shorter and have less muscle mass than standard American Bullies. 

Classic American Bullies are more agile than standard Bullies, are easier to handle, and eat slightly less. 

Size and Appearance

Although classic American Bullies are smaller than standard American Bullies, they still fall in the category of medium to large-sized dogs. They are still larger than American Pitbull Terriers and Staffordshire Terriers. 

When measured at the withers, here is how tall Classic American bullies are: 

  • Males: 18 to 20 (45.72 to 50.8cm).
  • Females: 15 to 19 (38.1 to 48.26cm). 

A classic American Bully with an average weight will measure between 60 and 80 lbs (27.2 and 36.2kg).

Personality

Your classic American Bully may look fierce and powerful, but they are an absolute love bug and one of the most gentle companion dogs. 

They are playful and require daily walks but are not as high-energy as some breeds, making them ideal for busy families. 

Classic American Bullies are loyal to their families but are not known to become jealous or overly possessive. 

Health and Nutrition

Classic American bullies love a delicious doggie treat and will gobble up their food at mealtimes. Unfortunately, classic American Bullies can put on weight easily, so it’s important not to feed them human food from the table or too many treats. 

One of the only negative traits of this delightful dog is their propensity to pass gas, so you may need to experiment with different high-quality dog foods until you find one that doesn’t cause this issue. 

Apart from regular vet visits and vaccinations, you should monitor your classic American Bully for signs of allergies or skin problems. If they scratch excessively or have inflamed or flaky skin, consult your vet about the best treatment. 

Common health problems in this breed are elbow and hip dysplasia, so take your Bully to the vet if you notice that they are walking strangely or are reluctant to play. 

3. Pocket American Bully

The name “pocket bully” is slightly misleading because these are the smallest American Bully varieties, but they can’t fit inside your pocket! 

Many pocket American Bully parents refer to their dogs as the compact version of larger American Bully subcategories, and they are often mistaken for puppies due to their diminutive size. 

Pocket Bullies originate from the Patterdale Terrier and the Standard American Bully, making them a mixed breed. 

If you love American Bullies but live in a small house or apartment, a pocket Bully is an excellent choice because they don’t need as much space as other Bullies. 

Size and Appearance

Pocket American Bullies have a small and adorable appearance and are considered medium-sized dogs. Some pocket Bullies have inherited Patterdale Terrier characteristics, including: 

  • Rough-textured coat
  • Tightly-folded, triangular ears
  • Gently arching loins
  • Short muzzle.

Here is how tall you can expect an adult pocket American Bully to be: 

  • Males: 13 to 17 inches (33.02 to 43.18cm).
  • Females: 12 to 15 inches (30.48 to 38.1cm).

Healthy pocket American Bullies can weigh between 30 to 60 lbs (13.6 to 27.2kg). They have large-proportioned heads and small, high-set ears. 

Their short legs and square-shaped noses give them a neat, small, and box-type shape. 

Personality

A pocket American Bully’s temperament is similar to that of other American Bullies. They are friendly, sociable, and relaxed dogs who love being around people and other animals. 

If you have infants or older kids, pocket American Bullies blend in well with the family and tolerate boisterous playing styles and children’s sometimes rough handling. 

Health and Nutrition

Pocket Bullies need less food than their larger Bully counterparts but will try to convince you otherwise. Since they have less muscle mass, they need fewer calories, and you should follow the directions on your dog food label closely to ensure your pocket Bully doesn’t put on weight (which can strain their already-short legs). 

Pocket American Bullies can develop dermatitis (skin inflammation) in their skin folds, and it’s a good idea to examine the area beneath the folds when you brush your Bully. If you notice that the skin looks irritated, take your Bully to the vet for treatment. 

4. XL American Bully

As their name suggests, XL American Bullies are larger, heavier, and taller than classic, standard, or extreme Bullies. 

XL American Bullies are one of the newer breeds, and breeders developed their massive size by breeding the following dogs: 

  • Olde English Bulldog
  • English Bulldog
  • American Bulldog
  • American Pit Bull Terrier. 

Size and Appearance

XL American Bullies are large dogs and eat slightly more than other American Bully varieties. They have huge and powerful-looking chests, thickset necks, and stocky legs. It’s common for their necks to have a little bit of loose skin around them, and they have prominent and well-defined cheeks due to their bulging muscles. 

Below is how tall you can expect an XL American Bully to grow: 

  • Males: 21 to 24 (53.34 to 60.96cm).
  • Females: 20 to 23 (50.8cm to 58.42cm).

XL American Bullies can weigh between 80 and 140 lbs (36.2 and 63.5kg). 

Personality

If you don’t know much about American Bullies, you’ll be forgiven for thinking that XL American Bullies are aggressive and dangerous. However, this American Bully type is quite the opposite, and most owners believe their XL Bullies wouldn’t hurt a fly.  

Owning an XL American Bully is an enriching experience, and you will find it very amusing how they act like lap dogs, despite their size! They are sweet, affectionate, and docile and won’t mind being bossed around by smaller animals, such as cats. 

The only time XL American Bullies will become aggressive is when they think someone is trying to harm a member of their pack or family. However, this reaction is normal for any dog who feels threatened or scared. 

Health and Nutrition

As large and muscular dogs, XL American Bullies need plenty of food, and their diet should consist of good quality, high-protein food. XL American Bullies need the most food out of all the Bully varieties, and you should consider the cost of food before you adopt one. 

If you decide to feed your XL American Bully a diet of raw or organic food, it can get costly. However, XL American Bullies appear to thrive on a diet including the following fresh produce: 

  • Organ meat
  • Hard-boiled eggs 
  • Vegetables 
  • Fresh meat (including lamb, beef, or chicken)
  • Salmon.

If you take your XL American Bully to the vet at least once a year and ensure they are always current on their vaccinations, they don’t typically have serious health issues. 

A routine vet examination will determine if your XL American Bully has any of the following common health issues: 

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Obesity
  • Hip dysplasia.

Unofficial American Bully Types

Although there are only four official American Bully types that the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) officially recognizes, other unofficial American Bully breeds exist. 

Some common American Bully breeds that aren’t officially recognized include the following: 

  • Extreme 
  • XXL 
  • Extreme Pocket.

Below is some more information about these breeds: 

Extreme American Bully

Extreme American Bullies are also sometimes called ‘exotic’ American bullies. This subcategory has been bred from the standard American Bully so that the dog can be taller and slightly wider than its classic and standard counterparts. 

Like other American Bullies, they are fantastic family pets but are better suited to a larger home due to their sheer size. 

Size and Appearance

The extreme Bully differs from classic and standard American Bullies in that it has fewer terrier traits and more American Bulldog characteristics, giving it a more boxy and bulkier appearance. 

It has small ears, a heavy body frame, and a slightly raised rear. Extreme Bullies also have more wrinkling and loose skin than other Bully varieties, and their hind legs turn slightly outwards.  

Here is how tall (at shoulder height) you can expect your extreme American Bully to grow:

  • Male: 18 to 20 (45.72 to 50.8cm).
  • Female: 17 to 19 (43.18cm to 48.26cm).

Extreme American Bullies with a healthy body mass can weigh between 70 and 135 lbs (31.75 to 61.2 kg).

Personality

An extreme American Bully may look big and intimidating, but this belies their soft nature and sweet personality, giving them the nickname of “gentle giant.” 

They may seem like serious-looking dogs, but their jaunty walk and propensity for silliness prove that they are fun-loving. 

Extreme Bullies are intelligent dogs, easy to train, and adaptable to busy and chaotic households. If you are looking for a large and reliable dog for your family, an extreme Bully should be one of your top considerations. 

Health and Nutrition

As one of the larger American Bully varieties, extreme Bullies need more food than smaller dogs. To live a long and healthy life, you should feed them a respected brand of nutritious dog food. 

Look for dog food high in protein and Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids to promote healthy organs and a shiny coat. 

Your extreme American Bully might prefer fresh or wet dog food, but kibbles help to keep tooth decay and plaque at bay. The Wellness Natural Large Breed Dog Food from Amazon.com doesn’t contain filler ingredients that offer no nutritional value. Instead, it’s made from meat and vegetables and contains added vitamins and minerals. 

Extreme American Bullies are susceptible to the same health conditions as other Bully breeds. However, with their heavy bone structure and high muscle mass, they are more prone to joint issues, so you should monitor your dog’s weight and take them to the vet at the first sign of walking difficulty. 

XXL American Bully

XXL American Bullies are the largest, unofficial American Bully variety and are a fantastic option for those who like large dogs with big personalities. 

Size and Appearance

XXL American Bullies are larger than XLs but only in height. Both males and females will be about two inches (5.08cm) taller than their XL Bully counterparts. 

Aside from height, XXL Bullies have similar features to Standard American Bullies: 

  • Well-defined jaws and prominent cheekbones
  • Broad and muscular shoulders
  • Deep chest 
  • A short and tapered tail.

Personality

XXL American Bullies are calm-natured, fun-loving, and gentle dogs. They readily welcome strangers into the home and can adapt quickly to new pets or family members. 

Although they can sometimes be mischievous and naughty, they are well-behaved dogs and rarely cause problems. 

Health and Nutrition

XXL American Bullies are considered a large dog breed and require high-quality food. The amount of food you give your XXL Bully will depend on their weight, but they eat the most out of all the Bully breeds.

XXL Bullies are usually healthy dogs but are prone to the same health conditions as other Bullies, namely, elbow and hip dysplasia and heart conditions. 

Extreme Pocket American Bully

Extreme pocket American Bullies are currently the smallest Bully variety, and only a handful of breeders have succeeded in breeding this Bully type. 

Size and Appearance 

Extreme pocket Bullies are shorter than regular pocket Bullies but are just as wide. This diminutive stature gives them an even more boxy and stockier appearance, only with the added cute factor.

Their size is typically:

  • Male: 17-20 inches (43-51cm) at the withers
  • Female: 16-19 inches (40-48cm) at the withers. 

They have short and glossy fur and come in a range of colors, including: 

  • Fawn
  • Black and white
  • Merle 
  • Brindle.

Personality

Extreme pocket American bullies might be diminutive in size, but they are a delightful presence in any household. Their calm and friendly nature and love of people and other animals make them a fantastic, small family pet. 

Health and Nutrition

Extreme pocket American Bullies have short and muscular legs with heavy bones. If they are even a few pounds overweight, this can strain the joints, risking damage. It’s, therefore, vital to ensure that your Extreme Pocket Bully doesn’t overeat and exercises regularly.