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American Bully


Latest update: 10.05.2020



CATEGORY:  Molosser, Terriers 

UTILIZATION: Companion, family dog


SIZE: Small-Large: 33-50 cm (13-20 in)


BLOODLINES: Terriers & Bulldogs 

(Breed abbreviations, check INFO "Inscriptions"







The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it. Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.




Within the ABKC, the four varieties are separated by height without specification of weight. All these varieties are expected to follow the same standard with minor alterations. All dogs are classified and shown as Standard until they reach a year of age, at which point they are separated into the varieties and shown against their own type.



The standard American Bully type is a medium size dog with a compact bulky muscular body, heavy bone structure and blocky head. Male dogs must be 17 to 20 in (43 to 51 cm) while females must be 16 to 19 in (41 to 48 cm).


The "pocket" type is a smaller variant with full-grown males under 17 inches (43 cm), but no less than 14 inches (36 cm), at the withers and females under 16 inches (40 cm), but no less than 13 inches (33 cm), at the withers.


An XL type is determined by its adult height, with males between 20 inches (51 cm) and 23 inches (57 cm) at the withers and females between 19 inches (48 cm) and 22 inches (54 cm) at the withers.


The classic is a lighter frame dog than the standard but falls within the same height range. These dogs do not display the exaggerated features often found in the other varieties, and arguably display clearer American Pit Bull Terrier/American Staffordshire Terrier lineage.


Outside of the breed standard, dogs shorter or taller than the named variations have been bred. Smaller dogs are sometimes called "Micro" (They are offten crosses American Bully x Shorty Bull, Staffordshire Bull Terrierr, Frenchie) and larger ones are called "XXL (XXL are offten just American Bully x American Bulldog crosses", but neither are recognized by the kennel clubs as legitimate varieties.


The "EXOTIC BULLY" The Exotic Bully is more of a Bulldog phenotype and genotype than Bully. Very short nose, overshot bite and semi-pendulous lips are not uncommon. They are often crossbreed dogs with various breeds of Bulldogs even if this is fiercely denied by the breeders. Some unscrupulous breeders simply cut off the ears of an English bulldog or OEB and claim it is a bully or cross breed following breeds in 1st generation (F-1) English Bulldog x French Bulldog x Staffrodshire Bull Terrier x Shorty Bull x American Bulldog x American Bully, just to mention a few possible mixes. This type of dogs is a possible new breed in its early stage. These dogs cannot be registered as American Bully "Exotic Type" as not recognized in the official standard.




The American Bully is a recently formed companion dog breed, originally recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC). It has been recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) since July 15, 2013. It is a small to large breed which has been divided into four categories. Founded in the United States between 1980 and 1990, the American Bully was produced using a foundation of American Staffordshire Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers bred to several bulldog-type breeds. It was created with the purpose of being a family companion dogWhile some of the founding kennels, namely Razor's Edge owner Dave Wilson, affirmed that they used only the two first aforementioned breeds to produce the desired dogs, it is consensus that at least five other breeds were used to attain the more "bully" physical traits desired. These are assumed to be the American BulldogEnglish BulldogOld English BulldogStaffordshire Bull Terrier and French BulldogAccording to ABKC the initial desire for this breed was to produce a dog with a lower drive and more of the "bully" traits than the American Staffordshire Terrier. Mass and heavy bone was prioritized to ensure such a look, and due to this many of the dogs shown today display the wide front for which they were originally bred. The breed was first recognized by its breed club, the American Bully Kennel Club, in 2004. This registry first acted as a means to document pedigrees and show the breed against its written standard. During the early years of the breed, a wide spectrum of dogs were shown, many displaying physical traits of the other introduced breeds; these were penalized heavily by the registry, forcing owners and breeders of such dogs to create new means to show their style of dog without being rejected.


The American Bully should give the impression of great strength for its size. It is a compact and medium/large size dog with a muscular body and blocky head. The American Bully should have the appearance of heavy bone structure with a bulky build and look.

FAULTS: Any fault that spoils the general harmony

SERIOUS FAULTS: Heavy Bulldog type, heavy Terrier type (except for the Classic)



The American Bully is a companion breed exhibiting confidence, a zest for life, along with an exuberant willingness to please and bond with their family, thus making the American Bully an excellent family companion. Despite the American Bully’s fierce and powerful appearance their demeanor is gentle. They are great with kids, and extremely friendly with strangers, other dogs, and other animals. Human or dog aggression, extreme shyness, or viciousness is very uncharacteristic of the American Bully and is highly undesirable.

FAULTS A dog who appears hyperactive in the ring, nervous 

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS: overly shy or aggressive. Human aggression  


a) Shape  & Proportions 

The head in proportion to the body is large, distinct heavy, large and broad head of the American Bully exemplifies breed type. Medium in length, deep throughout, broad skull, well chiseled with very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct and deep stop. The height of the head is equal to the width, can be less wide in the Classic.

b) Front view

Blocky with a rather triangular, than square muzzle

c) Profile view 

Medium in length, the muzzle about 1/3 of the length of the skull from the occiput to the tip of the nose, well developed cheek muscles. The forehead is slightly domed and high and the neck heavily muscled, forming a distinct arch.

d) Top view 

The skull is wide with a strongly muscular forehead, the muzzle measured from the median furrow to the tip of the nose is about 1/3 of the total skull length.


FAULTS A head that appear to small or narrow, Any other deviation from the standard, Bulldog head type. 



a) Setting: The ears are set wide apart on the sides of the skull and high.

b) Type: Either button or rose ears, without preference or semi-prick. Ear cropping is forbidden in most of the EU countries and import of cropped dogs too. It is also forbidden to show cropped dogs in conformation classes. 

c) Size: Medium

FAUTLS: Asymetric ears, incorrect setting, to large in size  

large drop ears and hound ears, fully pricked ears

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS Cropped ears (in some EU countries) unilateral or bilateral deafness.


The forehead is square, wide & well muscled


There is  a median furrow present between the eyes, less pronounced in the Classic


The stop is well defined, less in the Classic type 

FAUTLS Any depature of the standard

10 EYE BRIDGE Well defined 




a) Setting : They eyes are set wide apart and low down in the skull in the same line as the median furrow, well away from ears. 


b) Shape:  Oval to almond

c) Size: Moderate size.


d) Colors: dark brown, hazel or adapted to coat color, amber for red nose and grey for blue gene dogs.

FAULTS Odd eye. eyes set to narrow, Round eyes are undesirable

SERIOUS FAULT 2 "Husky blue eyes, "bulging eyes

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS  strabismus, asymmetric eyes, cherry eye, albinism red eyes, congenital blindness.

NOTE: Avoid line breeding with odd eye dogs as it is a genetic trait 


The eye rims upper and lower should be tight around the eye with no looseness and well pigment. Black or adapted to coat color for dilutes coats. Minimal visibility of the haw is allowed. 

FAULTS Lack of pigment, tendency to entropion or ectropion, surgically corrected

eye rims

SERIOUS FAULTS haw (conjonctive tissues) showing more than minimal. 

DISQUALIFYING FAUTLS Haw showing severely "droopy St Bernard eyes". 


Cheek are prominent due to the strong development of muscles, well rounded and extended sideways beyond the eyes from under the temples. They are very slightly wrinkled with closed mouth, more wrinkled with open mouth, giving them the typical wrinkled bully smile.

FAULTS Underdevelped cheek muscles, loose skin, heavy wrinkles


a) Shape: The muzzle is blocky or slightly squared to fall away abruptly below eyes, The muzzle topline is straight. 

b) Proportions: The length of the muzzle is about 1/3 from the total length of the skull measured from the occiput to the tip of the nose. 

d) Chin line: the chin is well defined and straight, parallel to the muzzle line, never turned up.

FAULTS A muzzle too short or too long. Exaggerated wrinkles, a snipey muzzle, turned up jaws, any depature of the standard

DISQUALIFYING FAUTLS Any that is serious 

15 LIPS 

Lips- semi close and even, minimal looseness accepted but not preferred. Full pigmentation, black or adapted to coat color if dilute. 

FAULTS Excessive flews, lack of pigment. Judged following the severity of the fault.

16 NOSE 

The nose is of medium size. The nostrils are large and wide open to allow good breathing, the nose has a straight well defined vertical line between. Good pigment black or adapted to coat color. 

FAULTS A butterfly nose (unpigmented spots) is judged following the missing amount of pigment, pinched nostrils, any sign of respiratory distress. Skin excess (roll) over the nose. 

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS severly pinched nares and severe respiratory distress (from the nares or soft palate) A dudley nose (entirely pigmentless).


The lower jaw is well developed wide, deep and set straight and must fit perfectly into the upper jaws, never turned up.


FAULTS Offset jaws or slightly wry jaws




The ideal bite is a scissors bite.

FAULTS Level bite, overshot bite, undershot bite and wry or offset bite.

SERIOUS FAULTS Serious Faults: Severely overshot or undershot bites, measuring 1/4 inch (0.6cm) or more.

DYSQUALIFYING FAULTS  Excessive undershot, lower incisors or canines teeth visible when mouth closed, severely wry jaw, parrot mouth, any other if severe 



Full set of 22 white and large teeth on the lover maxillary, 20 to 22 on the upper maxillary. 6 incisors are set in a straight row between the 2 canines set wide apart, behind the canines are the premolars 4 on each side at the lower and upper maxillary, followed by 3 molars each side on the lower maxillary and 2 molars  each side on the upper maxillary.


Crooked teeth, missing teeth, supernumerary teeth, small teeth

NOTE: Broken tooth are not penalized in a show ring or for confirmation. For extracted teeth, the owner must provide a vet certificate to avoid to have them judged missing.


Any severe 

20 NECK 

Heavy, muscular, slightly arched, tapering from shoulder to back of skull. Compact to medium size.

FAULTS Neck too thin or weak; neck too short or too long, stop transition from neck to shoulders. 


21 THORAT  No loose skin or very slight 

FAULTS Too much loose skin, dewlap, faults judged by it's severity 



23 MUSCLES The muscles are naturally well developed all over the body and apparent. Conditioning must be good with no tendency to over or underweight. 



24 CHEST: Wide and deep. You should be able to imagine a rectangle, line drawn from inner of the feet to corner to corner of the armpits about 100-120% in height x 100% in width. Less wide in the Classic type.

FAULTS Any departure of the standard


25 BACK: The body appear square 

FAULTS A body too long or too short is a fault

SERIOUS FAULT A noticeably too long body, preventing good movement, making the dog static



A level topline with a slight raoch over the lions is preferred, a level topline ia acceptable, appearance of being slightly higher in the rear is acceptable.

SERIOUS FAULTS A topline dropping from the croup to the withers, sway or camel back

DISQUALIFYING FAULT Any fault that is severe 

c) TOP VIEW: The forelimbs are set wider apart that the rear limbs. The shoulders are larger than the hips and the waist thinner.

d) REAR VIEW: Hips medium width, thighs muscular, legs straight and parallel, feet straight, well defined pump handle tail. 



Well rounded ribs 




Moderately tucked up, more tucked up in the Classic type 



A straight belly line, pendulous line

FAULTS BODY: Any deviance of the standard 



The hips are less wide than the shoulders but not narrow nor too wide

FAUTLS Hips higher than the withers, narrow or too wide



30 FORELEGS  FRONT VIEW Forelimbs are straight and set wide apart (wider apart than rear legs) and parallel to each other. The Forearms are stout and well muscled. 

31 SHOULDERS PROFILE VIEW The shoulders should be well muscled with good definition and wide sloping blades, giving the appearance of great strength. The humero-radial angulation of about 135° 

32 ELBOWS are close to the body

33 FRONT PASTERNS (Metacarpus)

FRONT VIEW Short, straight and strong

PROFILE VIEW the pastern that is about half of length of rear pastern and is moderately inclined. A dewclaw is present. 

34 FOREFEET Straight or very slightly turned outwards of medium size and moderately round. Toes compact and thick, well split up, making knuckles prominent and high.

FAULTS  Lack of bone is a serious fault, feet toeing out too much our toeing in, loose elbows, incorrect angulation: pasterns, shoulders, bandy legs, barrel front, fiddle front, east/west, pigeon toed

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS splayed feet, flat feet or any other fault if severe.



35 HINDLEGS Rear view: set straight, wide apart (but less wide apart than front legs) and parallel, strong with long muscular thighs.

36 STIFLES (knees) Profile view: the tibia-metatarsus angle should be about 140°.

37 REAR PASTERNS (Metatarsus) straight and strong, about double in height comparing to front pastern with no dewclaw.

38 HINDFEET round and compact. Toes compact and thick, well split up, making knuckles prominent and high. 

FAULTS incorrect angulation at the hocks, bandy legs, cow-hocks, barrel hocks, dewclaw at rear 

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS any fault that is severe 



Medium in comparison to size, low set, tapering to a fine point and extending approximately to the hock. When relaxed tail is to be carried low. When moving tail is carried level with the topline or in a raised position when excited (challenge tail), but should never be carried curled over, breaking the plane of the back (gay tail). Tail to be clear of any kinks, knots or any curvature.

FAULTS Tail to long or too short approximately up to an inch (about 2,5 cm) above or below point of the hock. Gay tail (carried over the plane of the back).


SERIOUS FAULTS  Kinked, knotted, or fused tail. Extremely short tail. 

DISQUALIFYING FAULT  Screwed, bobbed, or docked tail.


The American Bully moves with a confident and proud attitude, while keenly alive and alert to its surroundings. Gait should be effortless and powerful. The action must, be unrestrained, free and vigorous with powerful drive off the rear. Front reach should be moderate and in balance with the rear. Dog moving on the same plane – Each leg moving in the same plane shared with the other leg on the same side with minimal convergence.

Backline should remain level, with flexing to be very slight. Legs turn neither in nor out, nor ever cross or interfere with each other.


Rolling; pacing; sidewinding; hackney action; paddling or pounding. Not moving on the same plane; legs over reaching; legs crossing over in front or rear; rear legs moving too close or touching, bunny hopping (sign for hip dysplasia), any limping. Excessively wide gait. 




Please refer to the 4 types mentioned above 

42 WEIGHT : 

CLASSIC TYPE Please refer to the 4 types mentioned above 

NOTE: Size & weight must be in perfect harmony, the dog must appear well conditioned and muscular. The Classic type can be leaner.


FAULTS Any departure of the standard 

43 COAT 


a) Type: Short, dense, glossy & smooth with no undercoat, moderately stiff to the touch.


c) Colors:  Solid white or patched with black, chocolate brindle, fawn, red, blue brindle, also version of these colors in piebald.

SERIOUS FAUTLS even mixed with white, solid blue, solid chocolate, solid lilac

NOTE avoid black x black breedings as you will get the highly undesirable solid blue, solid chocolate and lilac. 

c) STANDARD: solid white or patched with brindle, fawn, red or piebald

FAULTS  sparse or dull coat

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS Long, fuzzy or wavy coats, albinismus.

STANDARD Any blue, solid chocolate, lilac solid or brindle. 

Tricolor or tan markings pattern on any color and merle for both types. Full black mask. 


NOTE  a dog with surgical or accident scars should not be penalized

e) Grooming: Low maintenance, very easy due to their short hair. 


Like all molosser breeds in general, the American Bully must be protected from great heat in summer and also from excessive coldness in winter due to their short hair.



Males tie naturally or AI and female give birth naturally or C-Section. 

Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding. As dogs are not perfect, the breeder should never double up on health or conformation faults, even if minor and do his utmost to meet the ideal of the standard that is used as guideline.

Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated. 



Thanks to their sociable character, they make perfect family dogs and playmates for children and get along generally well with other animals. The American Bulldog is also a great working and hunting dog. NOTE: in some EU Countries, bite training "Schutzhund" and hunting activities are forbidden for the American Bulldog. 


Health problems vary within the breed, and span the entire spectrum; with some varieties being plagued by problems, and others being well documented for health and quality.[Testing is not as common place in the breed as in older breeds; though hip and elbow scoring are the most frequently conducted. Cherry eye, ectropion and entropion are often seen affecting the eyes; while Brachycephalic Respiratory Syndrome can be seen in the shorter muzzled dogs.

48 LIFE EXPECTANCY  estimated at 8-10 years



Faults to be penalized but not disqualifications for showing are:

  • • Both eyes not matched in color

  • • Overly visible haw

  • • Bulging or protruding eyes

  • • Muzzle too long or snipey

  • • Lack of pronounced/deep stop

  • • Weak underjaw

  • • Underjaw turning up

  • • Albinism nose (light pink)

  • • Nose turning up or pushed back

  • • Tail too long or too short (approx. 1 inch (2.5 cm) from point of hock)

  • • Curled tail (gay tail)

  • • Level or flush bite

  • • Overshot or Undershot bite

  • • Wry or cross bite

  • • Neck too thin or weak

  • • Neck too short or too long

  • • Upright shoulders; steep and forward scapula (shoulder blade)

  • • Upper arm too short

  • • Severe turned fronts (in or out)

  • • Bowed front legs

  • • Down at the pasterns (weak pasterns)

  • • Splayed or flat feet

  • • Long toes

  • • Hocks turning in or out; cow hocked

  • • Curly or wavy coat

  • • Movement: Rolling, pacing, sidewinding, hackney action, and paddling or pounding

  • • Not moving on the same plane – legs over reaching, crossing over in front or rear, or rear legs moving too close or touching



Faults to be heavily penalized but not disqualifications for showing are:

  • • Severely overshot or undershot (1/4 inch (0.6cm)or more)

  • • Kinked tail

  • • Twisted tail

  • • Knotted tail

  • • Fused tail

  • • Overly Short tail

  • • Long coat



  • • Displaying or possessing aggressive behavior towards humans

  • • Pink or Albino eyes

  • • Merle pattern/Blotched per competition

  • • Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchidism (missing one or both testicles)

  • • Unilateral or bilateral deafness (deafness in one or both ears)

  • • Screwed tail

  • • Bobbed tail

  • • Docked tail

Any mentioned in the standard

Any evident fault that is severe 

Any dog clearly showing physical of behavioural abnormalities 

Moderate to severe HD (D2-E1-E2)

NB: Males should exhibit 2 testicles, fully dropped in the scrotum.



X-Rays hips 

DNA Profiling



X-Rays Elbows (ED)


Make the American Bully great again !


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