Is An American Bully An Aggressive Breed? 5 Bully Facts

The American Bully is a recent breed of dog developed in the early 80’s and refined further in their appearance by the late 90’s. American Bullies are a hybrid breed of the American Pit Bull Terrier , American Staffordshire Terrier and Bulldog breeds like the Olde English Bulldogge.

Despite their name and formidable appearance, an American Bully is not an aggressive breed of dog. American Bullies were in fact specifically bred to be incredible family companion dogs. Signs of aggressive behavior towards humans is uncharacteristic of the breed, and highly undesirable.

Aggressive behavior in an American Bully towards people is extremely uncommon, and not a natural behavior for the breed. Behaviors like aggression can happen with any dog, and oftentimes this is a result of poor training, handling and care of the dog. The American Bully’s default position is that of a loving, gentle, and affectionate family companion dog.

Are American Bullies Dangerous Dogs?

Fact #1 – The American Bully breed is, first and foremost, a companion. They possess a gentle and friendly temperament, and make excellent family dogs.

american bully not aggressive mouth open

The American Bully is a strong, stocky, and rather intimidating looking dog. Once you get past the formidable appearance you will quickly realize that American Bullies are not dangerous dogs. They are, in fact, one of the sweetest family oriented dog breeds around.

American Bullies are energetic and highly intelligent dogs. Their eagerness to please nature can make them very easy to train under the right leadership. They can also display a bit of the Bully breed stubborn streak as well. Giving your American Bully the care and attention they need will produce a balanced and well behaved dog.

Any dog that displays aggressive behaviors is generally due to poor care and leadership from the owner. Regardless of the breed. Neglecting exercise, training, and care will lead to bad behaviors.

In some cases this can be dangerous. Pent up energy, lack of leadership, and poor treatment can produce fear, aggression, and anxiety will result in dangerous behaviors.

Getting an American Bully as a first time owner will require knowledge of the breed, their needs, and how to handle their training. Commit to providing the appropriate amount of exercise and leadership and American Bullies can be a great first dog for people. The risk of the American Bully becoming a dangerous dog approaches zero when provided for responsibly.

Fact #2 American Bullies are not a dangerous breed of dog. A loving family that provides them with exercise, training, and care will have a friendly well balanced dog in their home.

Are American Bully Dogs Safe?

american bully tongue out

American Bully dogs are safe for you, your family, your guests, and the mailman. The American Bully is a very friendly breed of dog and very loving towards people. A well socialized American Bully dog is a joy to have around the home and will make friends quite easily. 

The American Bully is a gentle giant of a breed. You are safe from any aggressive or dangerous behaviors with a well managed Bully. They are, however, still BIG. Managing their behavior to avoid over excitement and accidental household damage, or knocking someone over is something to watch.

Fact #3 An American Bully is a safe dog in regards to temperament. Uncontrolled enthusiastic behaviors need to be controlled to avoid accidents however.

I’m reminded of the phrase “like a bull in a china shop”. When it comes to an over enthusiastic American Bully, this phrase holds true. These thick and stocky dogs can create a bit of chaos if they are allowed to run, jump, bump, and crash into furniture and people. Proper training to control this enthusiasm is needed. For everyone’s safety.

Though the American Bully is very friendly, they can be a little protective of their family at times. The American Bully is not a very vocal breed of dog and does not bark often. They will however warn of a potential threat, or at something they deem not safe. This type of territorial behavior is more of a general dog behavior and not specific to the American Bully.

If you are considering getting an American Bully as a guard dog or for personal protection, work with a professional. The American Bully is an extremely powerful and tenacious dog. Any kind of guarding or protection work must be done under the handling of a highly trained expert. Attempting to do this yourself without expertise is very unsafe and should be absolutely discouraged.

Are American Bullies Good With Other Dogs Or Cats?

american bully friends

A well socialized American Bully can get along just fine with other dogs. Getting your American Bully out to meet and interact with other dogs from an early age is very important in their development. The American Bully can at times have a little less tolerance for other dogs, so socialize them early and often to mitigate any potential problems in the future.

It is important to monitor playtime and interactions with your American Bully and other dogs. They are sweet and friendly, but also very strong and powerful. A challenge or provocation from another dog towards your American Bully can lead to a scrap really quick, and breaking things up can be difficult due to their size. 

Watch for over excited or rough play, and any aggressive body language. Remove your American Bully from any situation where the potential for tensions to overflow might happen.

When it comes to cats an American Bully can get along fine with a cat that they have been raised with in the same household. The American Bully does have a decent prey drive however, and the fast movements of a cat in the house or yard can bring out that part of their nature. 

Exercise precaution when introducing a cat into your home with an American Bully. Socialization and training to not chase kitty will be required. An American Bully with a very high prey drive may not be able to live with a new cat in most situations. Evaluate the situation and consult with a professional if you see any potential for problems.

Are American Bully Dogs Kid Friendly?

American Bully dogs are extremely kid friendly. They do very well in homes with children. The American Bully in fact adores children. They are very sweet and gentle with kids, but also need to be taught manners to avoid accidents, like bumping and knocking a child over. They are thick and stocky dogs, and accidentally knocking over a toddler is not hard to do.

Fact #4 American Bully Dogs are very kid friendly. Teaching everyone to not get over excited can prevent accidents like accidental bumps and falls.

With any breed of dog it is important to always monitor interactions between kids and dogs. This is important as you need to be sure everyone is playing nice and interactions are fun and friendly. Teaching both your dog as well as your children how to properly play with each other is crucial in any household to avoid accidents and injuries.

Are American Bullies A Restricted Breed?

american bully head tilt

The American Bully can be a restricted breed in some states and provinces in various countries. Often referred to as Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), certain breeds of dogs, or dogs similar in appearance to certain breeds are restricted or banned.

I could write an entire article about how terrible and wrong breed specific legislation can be. Not just for dog owners of a “pit bull type dog” but the slippery slope this kind of law making creates for all dog owners. An example of the wording used by some cities to describe what kind of dog would fall under these kinds of restrictions.

“It [is] unlawful for any person to have, own, possess, keep, exercise control over, maintain, harbor, transport, or sell within the city any pit bull or restricted breed of dog.

“Pit bull” … is defined as any dog that is an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of any one (1) or more of the above breeds, or any dog exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics which substantially conform to the standards established by the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club for any of the above breeds.

SourceCity Code of the City of Aurora Colorado

Before looking into owning an American Bully it is very important to check with the city, state, or provincial government to ensure your dog will not be a restricted breed or similar in appearance to a restricted breed.

Rental And Condo Restrictions Of American Bullies

Outside of government legislation there can be issues with owning an American Bully in rental units or strata condos.

Landlords and community boards can, and will often, restrict certain breeds or dogs, and/or certain sizes of dogs. It is not uncommon to find restrictions to “pit bull type dogs” in many rental and condo listings.

Fact #5 American Bullies can be a restricted breed in some cities, states, and provinces. They are also subject to rental and condo restrictions set by boards and landlords.

I myself being the owner of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier have had many issues finding rentals. Before becoming a homeowner, finding a rental apartment for me and my 35lbs Staffy was near impossible. This might deter some people from getting an American Bully, and I understand why. Know that if you are planning to get any dog, you may face these kinds of restrictions.

Final Thoughts

american bully sad face

Things like breed specific legislation, and prejudice based on appearance is one of the challenges the American Bully will face. Many believe them to be an aggressive, or dangerous breed, when the fact is the complete opposite. The American Bully is not only safe, but loving, gentle, friendly and affectionate.

Overcoming the stereotypes and misconceptions of others is one of the biggest challenges you will face as an owner of an American Bully. I have had to deal with this as a Staffy owner. Though it can oftentimes be frustrating, it is also a great opportunity to prove the naysayers wrong. 

Raising a well balanced dog should be everyone’s goal, but as an owner of a “pit bull type dog” it is that much more important. Proving to the world that dogs like the American Bully are outstanding canine citizens, and a friend to all people. 

This isn’t a difficult task. As I mentioned the American Bully is an easy dog to train, and their default position is that of a sweet family dog. Proudly show the world your safe, well behaved, lover of a dog. When breed restrictions are suggested, prove that American Bullies are not aggressive. Show the community what an amazing family dog they were intended to be from their inception.

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