AMERICAN BULLY BREED STANDARD
The American Bully is presented as powerful and strong. Varying from compact to a medium – large size dog with a well-defined muscular body and a blocky head. Powerful in it’s movement and should display effortless motion at the same time. The American Bully gives the appearance of a heavy-boned structure with a Bully build and look. The length of the front leg (measured from point of elbow to the ground) is never to be more than to one-half of the dog’s height at the withers but the dog’s leg length must always be proportionate to the body and give the dog a compact (stocky) appearance. This breed combines strength, athleticism, flexibility and agility. It should never appear fine-boned and rangy. Balance and harmony of all parts are critical components of the breed.
Characteristics of The Breed
The essential characteristics of the American Bully are strength, confidence, and vigor for life. This breed is eager to please with enthusiasm. The American Bully makes an excellent family companion and has always been noted for their love of children. The American Bully requires an owner who will carefully socialize and obedience train the dog. Aggressive behaviour toward humans and other dogs is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable.
The American Bully head is unique and a main feature of the breed. It is massive in appearance, substantial and impressive, large and broad, giving the impression of great power, but not disproportionate to the size of the body. Viewed from the front, the head is a broad, brick shape. When viewed from the side, the skull and muzzle are parallel to one another and joined by a well-defined, distinctive stop. Supra-orbital arches over the eyes are well defined but not pronounced. Cheek muscles are well pronounced with some wrinkles. The head is well chiselled, blending strength, elegance, and character.
The muzzle is short – medium, with a blocky upper side or slightly square – shaped. Broad and deep from the stop to the nose; and falling away abruptly under the eyes. The length of muzzle is shorter than the length of skull, with a ratio of approximately 1:2 or 2:3. The topline of the muzzle is straight. The Jaws are well defined. The lower jaw is strong and well developed; wide and deep. The lips are semi close and even, some looseness accepted, but not preferred.
The nose is large with wide, open nostrils. The nose may be any colour.
Eye shape is almond to oval, low down in skull and set far apart not exceeding the side of the skull.
Ears are high set and may be natural or cropped. If natural, semi-prick or rose are preferred. Prick or flat, wide ears are not desired.
Note: All cropped ears after February 2014 will not be allowed to enter for the American Bully Federation SA KUSA shows.
Complete set of evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissor bite.
The neck is heavy-set and short. There is a slight arch at the crest. The neck widens gradually from where it joins the skull to where it blends into well laid-back shoulders. The skin on the neck is tight and without dewlap.
The shoulder blades are long, wide, muscular, and well laid back. The forelegs are straight, short, strong and sturdy with substantial bone mass and pronounced muscle. The elbows are set close to the body. Viewed from the front, the forelegs are set noticeably wide apart (to accommodate broad, deep chest) and perpendicular to the ground. The pasterns are short, powerful, straight, and flexible. When viewed in profile, the pasterns must be erect with a slight arch. From the front profile, the amount of space from the ground to the chest drop should be the same distance from fore leg to fore leg giving the appearance of a square.
The body appears compact, powerful, substantial, massive and extremely muscular which are hallmarks of the American Bully breed. The chest is very broad, deep, wide and well filled in with ample room for heart and lungs, but the chest should never be wider than it is deep. The ribs extend well back and are well sprung from the spine, then flattening to form a deep body extending to the elbows. The back is strong, firm and moderately broad and muscular when viewed from above. The topline inclines very slightly downward from the withers to be broad and muscular. The overall appearance of the topline is roughly level (withers, back and hips approximately the same height) or slightly sloping from wither to hips with slightly rounded rump. The loin is short, muscular and slightly arched to the top of the croup, but narrower than the rib cage and with a moderate tuck-up. The croup is slightly sloping downward. Females can be slightly longer due the carrying of their offspring.
The hindquarters are very powerful, strong, muscular, and broad. The powerful hindquarters is the source of the American Bully’s strength, drive and forward motion and is responsible for providing the strength and agility necessary to perform the physical demanding tasks the American Bully is capable of performing. Both thighs and rump are noticeably filled with tightly bunched muscles. The rump is very well filled in on each side of the tail and deep from the pelvis to the crotch. The thighs are extremely well developed with thick, easily discerned muscles. The bone, angulation, and musculature of the hindquarters are in balance with the forequarters. Viewed from the side, the hock joint is well bent and the rear pasterns are well let down and perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are straight and parallel to one another. TAIL: The tail is set on as a natural extension of the topline, and tapers to a point. When the dog is relaxed, the tail is carried low and extends approximately to the hock. When the dog is moving, the tail is carried level with the backline. When the dog is excited, the tail may be carried in a raised, upright position (challenge tail), but never curled over the back (gay tail).
The feet are round, proportionate to the size of the dog, well arched, and tight. Pads are hard, tough, and well cushioned. Anyway slight turning outwards is accepted but should not surpass 10 degrees in a clockwise position. Toes should tight together and well proportioned to the leg and bone.
The coat is glossy and smooth, close, and moderately stiff to the touch.
All colors and except merle.
Size & Weight
The American Bully must be both powerful and agile so actual weight and height are less important than the correct proportion of weight to height. The American Bully should appear sturdy, stocky and compact with shorter, stouter, sturdier legs, back and neck that all lend to the impression of a massive, powerful dog possessing great strength and ability in a compact physique.
Males 43 cm to 51 cm at withers
Females 40 cm to 48 cm at withers
Although the original American Bully is the ‘Standard type’, breed varieties are recognized by the terms ‘Pocket’, ‘Extreme’ and ‘XL’ . The variations from the original standard for the Pocket and XL are the heights, whilst ‘Extreme’ varieties in heavier frame and overall body mass, but still keeping the original standard height.
Pocket Variety Height Amendment to Standard
Males 37 cm to 42,9 cm at withers
Females 35 cm to 39,9 cm at withers
XL Variety Height – Amendment to Standard
Males Above 51,1 cm to 57 cm withers
Females above 48,1 cm to 54 cm at withers
Extreme American Bully
Amendment to Standard
The Extreme Bully is a variety of the American Bully which displays a heavier frame with increased body mass, but still be kept well proportioned. The height of the Extreme Bully is the same as the Standard
Move with a confident attitude, conveying the impression of alertness and excitement. When trotting, the gait is effortless, smooth, powerful, and well coordinated, showing good reach in front and drive off the rear. When moving, the backline remains level with only a slight flexing to indicate suppleness. Viewed from any position, legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward center line of balance.
Insufficient bone and overall mass
Overly Short tail
Glass, Pink or Albino eyes
Severe turn fronts
Severe turn to rears
cryptorchidism undescended testicle
Spayed or Neutered Dogs
Displaying or possessing aggressive behavior towards humans
Note: Although some level of dog aggression is a rare characteristic in dominant males and females, handlers will be expected to comply with ABFSA policy regarding dog temperament at ABFSA and ABRSA events.