The American Bully has been steadily growing in popularity over the past decade. These muscular gentle giants are wonderful family companions. As an American Bully owner myself I can attest they are amazing dogs. Many people ask however what sort of maintenance is required with American Bullies.
Are American Bullies high maintenance? As a general rule American Bullies are a fairly low maintenance breed of dog. Bred as companion animals, the American Bully is a fairly chill dog that requires minimal grooming. American Bullies are also smart and training can be easy.
Although American Bullies are typically low maintenance compared with other dogs, they do require attention to keep them happy. I have had my American Bully since he was a puppy. Now that we are almost at his first birthday I have learned a great deal about the maintenance required for American Bullies.
In this post I will cover the various areas where American Bullies are low maintenance, as well some areas that are a little more high maintenance. To keep my American Bully happy, healthy, and well behaved has been some work, but it has been relatively easy once I understood what maintenance was required. Let’s dig in.
Taking Care Of An American Bully
Keeping your American Bully happy, healthy, well behaved, and balanced is simple. They are easy to groom, train, and exercise, making them a low maintenance dog. But they can be a little stubborn, require more affection and attention than most dogs, and will need proper nutrition and supplementation.
In the sections below I will outline what is needed to properly take care of American Bullies. From the very low maintenance routines, to some of the high maintenance efforts that will be required.
Grooming & Bathing American Bullies
Grooming an American Bully is one of the most low maintenance aspects of the breed. They have a short fine coat that will never require cutting. Weekly brushings to remove loose hairs, dirt, dust and allergens will keep your American Bully’s coat clean and healthy. It is also great for their skin care.
Bathing your American Bully is also a very low maintenance routine. The American Bully should have a bath roughly every 6-8 weeks, unless they get filthy outside playing. Be careful not to over bathe your dog as this can strip some essential oils from their skin leading to dry, itchy, and irritated skin. Leading to further skin problems and potential infections.
Regular weekly or bi-monthly ear cleanings and nail trimmings may be required. Some American Bullies may need more maintenance in this area than others depending on the amount of walks they get and the general environment they live. Monitor the length of their nails, and check their ears regularly for dirt and wax build ups.
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Exercise Needs Of American Bullies
American Bullies are moderately active dogs and will require around 60 minutes of exercise each day. Especially when they are younger, more energetic dogs. Compared to other Bully breed dogs however they are low maintenance when it comes to exercise.
A couple 30 minute walks each day, along with some mental stimulation with things like games, food puzzles, and training is all you need. The American Bully was bred specifically to remove some of the working dog qualities the American Staffy and Pitbull possess. American Bullies as a result are a lot lower maintenance.
Each dog will of course be a little different when it comes to energy, so be sure they are getting the right amount of exercise. Typically low intensity walks and brain games are enough, but some American Bullies will require a little more action with games of fetch, tug of war, and spring pole type games.
Training American Bullies
American Bullies are known for their eagerness to please their owners. Paired with the fairly high intelligence of the breed and training becomes a fairly low maintenance endeavor. My American Bully has picked up on the basic commands very quickly and is eager to learn when properly motivated.
Short training sessions that are fun, challenging, and consistent are the best way to ensure your American Bully learns all the basics in a short period of time. Positive reinforcement techniques are the best methods for American Bullies as they love the praise and attention from their leaders.
With that being said, American Bullies can have a stubborn streak. Due to them being rather smart, they can be a little defiant when not properly motivated. This type of behavior can make training a bit more of a high maintenance activity. There are ways to overcome your American Bully’s stubborn side however through patience, proper motivation, praise, and fun.
American Bully Attention & Affection
One of the perceived high maintenance aspects of the American Bullies is need for attention and affection. Despite their muscular and imposing looks, these dogs love to cuddle and be close to their family. My American Bully is always at my side, to the point where I’ll need to reclaim my own space at times.
American Bullies are primarily bred to be companion animals. They love their family first and foremost, are exceptionally good with kids, and need to be at your side. The American Bully is always going to be at your feet, next to you on the couch, and wanting to cuddle up in your bed with you.
Their need for attention and affection can be a little overwhelming at times, so claiming your space and setting up alone time will be needed to maintain a healthy balance. A clingy American Bully can be unsafe when cooking in the kitchen for example. Provide a space for your American Bully to spend time alone calmly.
American Bullies Left Home Alone
Because the American Bully is such a family oriented breed, being left alone can become an issue if not dealt with in the early years. Separation anxiety can become a high maintenance problem with some American Bullies, so it is important you take the steps needed to avoid this behavior from developing.
Crate training is my number one suggestion for helping prevent separation anxiety. I have crate trained both my American Bully and Staffy from the time they were puppies with great success. This type of training provides a safe, comfortable, and calming environment for them when you have to leave the house.
Another important part of preventing anxious behavior when leaving your American Bully home alone is HOW you are leaving the home. Making a big event of leaving, as well as arriving back home, can make a problem worse.
Instead, make leaving your home a non event. Simply pick up and go without creating any level of excitement. No “Mama’s gonna miss you!” or “Daddy loves his boy! Be right back buddy!”. Don’t create any fuss or excitement. Leave your dog in a calm state, and return in a calm state.
American Bullies With Other Pets
A well socialized American Bully can get along with other dogs, cats, and pets well when exposed properly from an early age. American Bullies that live in the same household as other pets treat them as a family unit or pack, and are loving and loyal friends.
Getting your American Bully used to other dogs and pets from an early age will ensure that social activities are low maintenance. Socialization should be started very early on, and be a consistent, positive practice as they get older.
Playtime with other dogs, and interactions with small pets such as cats should always be monitored. This is something every dog owner, regardless of breed, should be doing. Make sure playtime and interactions aren’t getting too rough, chaotic, or frustrating for any of the animals involved.
American Bullies are fairly healthy and robust dogs when properly bred and cared for over time. They are prone to certain health problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia. Avoid activities such as running, excessive jumping, and difficult hikes on uneven terrain to save their joints from the added stress.
Some American Bullies can have a more brachycephalic face and have breathing issues. Keep exercise with these dogs at a lower intensity to avoid exhaustion and overheating problems.
Supplementation with Omega fish oils are recommended for all dogs, but especially American Bullies. My American Bully gets some Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil in his meals to maintain strong and healthy joints, healthy skin, and a strong cardiovascular system. It can also be great for their immune system.
Skin Issues can be a high maintenance problem with some American Bullies. Like many of the bully breeds, American Bullies are prone to skin allergies related to environmental or food allergens. In many cases they just have sensitive skin that can become dry, irritated, and itchy.
A proper diet of high quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, and supplementation of Omega fatty acids can eliminate many skin issues. If your American Bully is showing signs of food sensitivities or seasonal allergies, consult with your vet to get them on the correct diet and preventative care routine.
The American Bully is an incredible family dog and overall a low maintenance breed. Grooming, exercise, training, and socialization can be a breeze when approached correctly and with consistency.
Managing your American Bullies’ need for affection and potential anxious behaviors can be high maintenance if left unchecked. Preventative training and consistent application of calm leadership will go a long way to make these needs easier to handle.
In the end the American Bully is one of the lowest maintenance bully breed dogs you could have. Despite the high maintenance days of owning a puppy, American Bullies will be an easy dog to keep healthy, happy and well balanced when you take the time. Consistent routines, training, and leadership is all the maintenance you will need.
PIBBLES & BITS TOP PICKS
King Komb DeShedding Tool – One of the best dog brushes on the market. I use the King Komb each and every week with my Pibbles. Easy to use and even easier to clean.
Wahl Dry Skin Oatmeal Shampoo – Smells great, cleans great, and best of all keeps my dog’s skin and coat looking and feeling amazing. Wahl Dry Skin Oatmeal Shampoo keeps my Pibbles skin moisturized like no other.
Earth Rated Dog Wipes – Dog wipes are an essential to keep on hand, and nothing beats Earth Rated. Hypoallergenic, biodegradable, and durable. I keep these dog wipes in the house and the car for everyday use.
Kong Extreme – Kongs are one of my most used tools to give my dogs some mental stimulation and something tough to chew. Kong Extremes are as tough as they come and will give your Pibble the entertainment they crave.
Outward Hound Food Puzzle – Outward Hound food puzzles are the best in the industry. Available from beginner to advanced. These are an excellent way to challenge and mentally stimulate your dog.
BeneBone Dog Chew – The toughest dog chew around. My dogs absolutely love the bacon flavor and peanut butter flavor BeneBone. These will keep your toughest chewers busy for weeks, if not months and years.
BarkBox Super Chewer – Variety is the spice of life, and BarkBox Super Chewer is the perfect way to keep your dog engaged. New treats, toys, and chews each and every month that your super chewer will love.
iCrate Dog Crate – The iCrate is my absolute top recommendation for dog crates. I use this for both my dogs and love the sturdy, easy to store, and versatile adjustable panel. You need the iCrate in your life.
HiKiss Long Training Lead – Recall training and puppy training outdoors requires a long training lead. My favorite to use is the HiKiss long training lead. Available in a range of lengths to suit your long lead training needs.