Home About Search Events News Dog Care Breed Standards Breeders Corner People Groups Blogs Forums Articles Help More
American Bully Breed Standards

American Bully Breed Standards


The American Bully is a direct descendant of the American Pit Bull Terrier, (APBT). The American Bully was created in the late 1990's and early 2000's as an intentional development with great attention being given to the increase in the size and mass of the breed without trying to lose any of it's drive and physical stamina or vibrancy. While APBT has managed to maintain a unique uniform appearance and temperament for nearly 100 years, the American Bully was created to take those appearances to another level.

The American Bully breed was at first gradually and secretively mix-bred with other physically similar Bully breeds to create the desired look over time. In the beginning, breeders were shrouded in secrecy as to how they were so quickly, drastically and consistently changing the breed's physical appearance. For many years the breed continued under the rouse of being an APBT. Quickly however, many people began to become suspicious of the drastic changes in certain dogs owned by certain groups of people, largely because the new breed being developed was beginning to take on a lot of strong physical characteristics of the English Bulldog.

The American Bully Breed however was infused with many other Bully breed of dogs such as The American Bulldog (which gives the AM Bully the more rounded head and tri-color gene), The English Bulldog (which added to the AM Bully's new found shortness, mass and wrinkled face) and some even speculate the Olde English Bulldog (which may have also added to it's shortness and mass). The AM Bully has truly developed a very unique and meaty appearance while yet being able to maintain the traditional look of it's well respected ancestor, the American Pit Bull Terrier.

In time, many dog registries began to catch on as well and when the American Bully had finally emerged from the shadows, many registries refused to recognize the breed for several more years. Though no one person or group can directly be accredited for the development of the AM Bully, one thing is certain, this breed of dog has created a fire that will be around for a VERY long time.

Personal Observation
Real Life Interviews With AM Bully Breeders
ASPCA, (aspca.org)


The American Bully should give the impression of great strength for its size. Compact to medium/large size dog with a muscular body and blocky, boulder-like head. Powerful in its movement and should display purposeful movement at the same time. Keenly alive and alert to its surroundings. The American Bully should have the appearance of heavy bone structure with a Bully build and look.

The American Bully breed is recognizable by its characteristic compact, strong, thick-set structure and build. Their appearance reflects a strong American Pit Bull Terrier foundation, blended with stock from other bull breeds such as the English Bulldog.

The overall balance and correct proportions of an athlete are essential, and absolute soundness and proper muscle tone is a must.

Head properties are in proportion to the body, reasonable, and free of exaggeration so as to not compromise breathing and/or obstruct normal vision.

It is a smooth coated dog that possesses great strength for its size. Although quite muscular, it is active and agile. Its presence is a picture of tremendous power and stamina that belies its kind and loyal temperament.


  Head :
The head of the American Bully is large and of medium length, broad skull, very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop, short fore-face and high set ears.

The American Bully's head appears to have been chiseled, combining strength, elegance and character. Should give the impression of enormous power, but should not be disproportionate to the overall size of the body. The head size is usually measured in circumference around at the largest point just BEFORE the ears and typically measure between 17” to 24” in circumference.

Broad and of medium to medium short in length, tapers slightly from the head to the nose.

The length of muzzle should be shorter than the length of head, with a range of length from approximately 3” to 5” in total length. (measured from below the eyes to the tip of the nose). Lips are clean and not overly loose, floppy or too saggy. The upper lips should never overhang excessively, giving a flappy skin look. Acceptable overhang is approximately 1” to 1-1/2”

The face of the American Bully should always be tight, somewhat boxy or squared with a slight roundness to moderate roundness. There should never be excessive wrinkles under the eyes caused from excessive skin folds. There should minimal to no wrinkles where the muzzle meets the face.

Round, wide apart, deeply set and of moderate to large size. Any eye color is acceptable for the American Bully, however, odd colored eyes (one dark, one blue or light) should be considered non-desirable. Lacking pigment around the eyes is undesirable.

The nose of the American Bully should be a solid color. Lacking pigment should be considered non-preferred. Any shade or grey, charcoal or black is acceptable. Red-ish/Pink noses are acceptable providing they are not splotchy and are solid color.

The American Bully should have large, evenly spaced teeth. The preferred bite is a scissor or even bite. A reverse scissor or slight undershot should be considered non-desirable.

The ears of the American Bully should be set high and alert. If natural, semi-prick or rose-bud ear are preferred. Pricked or flat, wide ears are non-desirable.

The neck of the AM Bully breed should appear strong and muscular, clean in outline and gradually widening toward the shoulders. No looseness of skin and Medium to short in length. There is a slight upward curve at the crest just before the withers. The neck appears to be very thick and can-shaped where it joins the back of the skull. It then gradually widens out considerably to where it joins the withers.

  Forequarters: (front shoulder area
American Bullies have strong and muscular shoulder blades that are wide and sloping. The shoulders should never arch outward like an upside down letter “U” causing the legs to have an outwardly over-excessively bull-legged appearance. This is a serious disqualifying breeding defect. Instead, the shoulders should closer to the body, only outset enough so as to appear that the dog is puffing it’s chest out.

The upper legs before the lower joint are the same approximate length as is the shoulder blade and joins it the shoulder blade at an apparent strong and thick right angle.

The forelegs are strong and muscular and should never be lanky, boney or tall and skinny. The elbows are set slightly out form the body but even with the shoulders. Viewed from the front, the front legs are set modestly apart giving the appearance of a super wide, puffed out chest, without crossing the line of being bull-legged. Providing the legs stay in line with the furthest most outer part of the shoulders and not bull-legged, there are no limits to the width the front shoulders and legs can be set apart. The lower legs are relatively short in length, although still thick and strong. They should point straight forward and be loosely flexible.

  Hindquarters: (rear legs)
The hindquarters of the American Bully are always strong, muscular and superbly thick in mass all of which should be muscle. The appearance from behind should resemble that of a strong and healthy rhinoceros. The hindquarters poses such mass that it’s difficult to tell where they stop and the rump begins.

The rump is also very thick from side to side (not outwardly from behind). The rump area is deep reaching all the way from the pelvis to the crotch. The bone mass angulation, and muscular structure can seem somewhat slightly large for the body.

Viewed from the side the hock joints are well bent even when resting but appear as though the dog is thinking about sitting. Viewed from the back, the legs are straight and parallel to one another never set outward more than the muscle mass itself or hindquarters themselves.

Moderately short in length. Slight rise from shoulders to rump, but level back is just as acceptable. Ribs should be well sprung (rounded) and the chest wide, broad and deep. The body can resemble that of a whiskey barrel or beer keg.

A sagging or “U” shaped rib cage is not a desirable quality and is considered a point eliminating flaw by the UBKC breed standards.

The chest of the AM Bully breed is wide, somewhat rounded from the front and deep reaching into the upper rib cage, however the chest should never be any wider than it is deep. Additionally, the chest should graduate down into a smooth transition into the rib cage. The ribs should extend back about two/thirds of the torso length. The rib cage should be a slight oval shape coming off of the spine before rounding out on the bottom without drooping at the lowest point.

The back of the American Bully breed is strong, thick and very firm with little excessive skin. The loin is short generally about one/third of the total length of the torso. A high rear end is not a desirable trait, however the rear end can appear high because of the low point of the back caused form the muscular shoulders.

The American Bully tail is undocked, of medium length, low set, tapering to a point and carried rather low. It should not curl much and may be likened to an old-fashioned water pump handle.

When the AM Bully is relaxed the tail will hang at an approximate 4 o’clock angle to just slightly downwards from the back line but may curve very slightly up towards the tip. When the dog is active to any degree, the tail is carried level with the back-line and may curve ever so slightly upward. When AM Bully is excited or anxious the tail may be carried in a raised and upright position with a very slight upward curve. The tail should never curl up over the back, this is referred to as “Gay Tail” and is an undesirable trait.

  Coat / Color:
The coat of the AM Bully should be shiny with a slight sheen giving it the appearance that it was just conditioned. The coat should be stiff and course to the touch but smooth and not rough. The coat should be short. The coat should also resist water well.

The UBKC finds that any color pattern or combination is acceptable except for Merle. A Tri-pattern color is considered acceptable as it originated with the English Bulldog.

  Height & Weight:
The UBKC finds that the preferred weight for an adult male AM Bully of sound health should be between 60 to 110 lbs according to height/weight proportion.

The UBKC finds that the preferred weight for an adult female AM Bully of sound health should be between 50 to 95 lbs according to height/weight proportion.

The desirable height for a healthy mature male AM Bully is approximately 15 to 21 inches tall at the withers; for mature females the desired height is from 14 to 20 inches tall at the withers.

  Gait / Movement:
The A Bully is a confident yet casual dog breed, however a little on the thunderous side. The American Bully will move with a carefree, yet cocky and confident stride. When the AM Bully is in a relaxed mode and trotting, the gait is kinda like a marching soldier.  The stride of the American Bully should be semi-hard pounding, yet appear as though the dog is in no hurry to be anywhere for any reason. Viewed from any position the legs will never bow in or out or become wobbly, even on unstable terrain. As the American Bully dog breed speed increases, the feet may stomp downward with more of a thunderous and forceful yet controlled pounding. The movement will resemble that of a rhinoceros.


Over or under-bit, flews or weak jaw line or level bite
Excessively loose wrinkle skin on face or around muzzle
Too short or too long of a muzzle
A neck that is too short or too long
A neck that is too thin and not proportionate to the body/Head mass
Overly large heads that do not match body mass proportion
Pigeon toed feet, known as Easty-Westy feet, splayed feet or feet abnormally bent over
Hindquarters too narrow or set too high, bow legged, cow hocks or sickle hocks
Drooped rib cage, or a “U” shaped rib cage hanging lower than proportionately correct
Over weight or underweight
Overly long, too short of a tail
Curly, wavy, patchy of a coat
Legs not moving in sink while in gait, too short or too long of strides, legs crossing paths
Legs touching during gait, paddling, sidewinding; hackney action, or hard pounding.
Overly wide ears, flat ears or unevenly shaped ears
Bulging or displaced eyes, eyes with no outline pigmentation


Bowed legs, legs pointing outward, otherwise known as Bull-legged
Legs too long or too short
Screw tail, Bobbed tail and Kinked tail,
A coat that is too long or too short
A color pattern or genetic history merle color or Albinism
Overly massive dogs that are just “large” or “freaks” ( not the same as dogs that are just overweight0
Front legs from elbow to ground no more than half the total height at the withers.
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid ( missing or irregular testicles)
Viciousness towards dogs or people, timid personality or extreme shyness around strangers
Deafness in either or both ears
Blindness at birth
Nose color spotty with red or pink coloration (solid color noses are acceptable)
Eyes not matching in color