The History & Evolution of American Bully

The American Bully breed was developed in the mid-1990s in the US and has grown in popularity to become one of the most popular dog breeds.

The breed was developed by breeding an American Pitbull Terrier with an American Staffordshire Terrier.

The rise in popularity of the breed hasn’t been an easy journey. The breed has tried to shake off the reputation associated with Pitbull breeds, while the sudden rise in demand for the breed has encouraged a swathe of unethical breeders.

In this brief article, we explore the American Bully history to give you insight into the evolution of one of the most popular breeds in the US.

american terrier

Breed Creation

The purpose of breeding American Staffordshire Terriers with American Pitbull Terriers was to create a breed with a strong muscular physique and a calm, loyal temperament.

This was successfully achieved, with the breed becoming a popular companion for families.

Although the breed was conceptualized in the 1990s, it was first certified by the American Bully Kennel Club in 2004 and then by the United Kennel Club in 2013. The American Kennel Club is still yet to certify the American Bully breed.

American Pitbull Terrier History

The American Bully dog breed is partly derived from American Pitbull Terriers.

The history of Pitbull Terriers is long and complex, with the legacy of the breed still shaping perceptions of modern-day American Bullies.

Pitbulls can be traced back to Ancient Greece where they were large dogs built for warfare.

Throughout the Roman Empire and Norman Conquest, these dogs continued to be bred for their aggressive tendencies. They were helpful guard dogs and also bred for dog fights in public arenas.

Pitbulls were also practical working dogs at this time who could help control cattle, by locking on a bull’s nose.

From the 16th to 18th Centuries, Pitbulls continued to have an aggressive reputation, as they were used for bull baiting and ratting, which were both popular entertainment activities.

Pitbulls were also bred for dog fighting, with the public paying to watch dogs fight each other to the death.

Pitbulls migrated to the US once European settlers moved over in the 19th Century. As the kennel clubs were established in the 20th Century, it was not until 1936 that the American Pitbull Terrier was a recognized breed by the American Kennel Club.

American bully

American Bully Perception

As the American Bully is derived from the American Pitbull Terrier, the breed is often lumped into the ‘Pitbull’ category. This has led to many perceiving American Bullies as aggressive and dangerous dogs, with some states demanding a license to own one.

However, this perception is somewhat exaggerated.

Scientists have revealed that most dog attacks on humans are done by purebred American Pitbull Terriers and not American Bullies.

Unfortunately, the mainstream media will often associate the American Bully with the American Pitbull Terrier as the same, which continues to feed this negative perception.

Over the years, the historical aggressive behaviors of Pitbulls have been bred out, with the American Bully an example of this.

While isolated cases exist, American Bullies are loyal companions and safe to have in your home. Provided owners train their Bullies well and foster a loving home environment, American Bullies are perfectly safe.

Fastest Growing Breed

Despite many negative perceptions of the American Bully breed, it has continued to grow in popularity, largely since certification by the United Kennel Club in 2013.

The breed is globally popular, and in 2016 was listed as the fastest-growing breed in the world.

The combination of a Pitbull physique with a calm temperament makes the breed very popular. Also, the breed is very Instagram-able.

Breeding Practices

The meteoric rise in American Bullies has led to an unfortunate rise in unethical breeding practices, which churn out puppies for the sake of profit rather than welfare.

These practices also seek to crossbreed the American Bully with other breeds without due care.

As demand has increased, so has the cost for an American Bully, which can range anywhere between $5,000 and $30,000. It is not hard to work out why this has fuelled an increase in unethical American Bully breeding.

Types of American Bully

Since certification, there are five known types of American Bully:

  • Standard
  • Classic
  • Extreme
  • Pocket
  • XL

All American Bully breeds have similar temperaments, but the key difference between them is the size. The largest variety, XL American Bullies stand at up to 23 inches tall, while Pocket American Bullies stand up to 17 inches tall.

Final words

The American Bully breed has evolved from the historical roots of the American Pitbull Terrier to a lovable, globally popular dog breed.

The breed is loved for its physique and temperament and is hugely popular among families with kids.

The evolution of the breed has had some downsides though, with a mixed public perception and a rise in unethical breeding practices.

American Bully owners need to be responsible when acquiring these beautiful dogs, to avoid fuelling illegal breeding practices.



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