What Is A Bully Breed? – The 22 Popular Bully Breed Dogs


bully group

The term Bully breed is often associated with dog breeds that have the “bull” somewhere in their names. Think Pit Bull, Bulldog, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and Bullmastiff.

When it comes to classification however not having “bull” in their names doesn’t automatically exclude many breeds. Think Boston Terrier, Boxers, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Pugs. Yes Pugs are considered to be a Bully breed.

So what is a Bully breed? A Bully breed dog is one that has genetic ties to the ancient Molosser type dog of ancient Greece. Though hard to determine over the centuries of breeding, dogs that have a genetic relation to the ancient Bulldog and Mastiff breeds of those times can fall under the Bully breed label.

Many of the Bully breed dogs have no direct relation to one another in modern times through centuries and even milenia of breeding. There have been countless divergents further separating these breeds ties to one another, they do however usually show some similar physical characteristics.

What Is A Bully Breed?

Molosser type dogs of ancient Greece are impossible to depict beyond what we find in poetry and writings of those times. Many believe they are very similar in appearance to Mastiffs of today. Described as having large heads and short muzzles with a fair amount of wrinkles.

Through the ages various Molosser type dogs like the Bulldog and Mastiff continued on and began to be cross bred with various other breeds of dogs, like the terrier, giving us what most people associate with Bully breeds, the bull-and-terrier.

There have been some fascinating studies done that have taken place including one from 2017 on the Genomic Analysis of dog breed development. The study created an immense data set of dog breed development and arranged them into various groupings. An interesting, yet very science jargon heavy read.

breed data sheet

“There are nearly 400 modern domestic dog breeds with unique histories and genetic profiles. To track the genetic signatures of breed development, we have assembled the most diverse dataset of dog breeds, reflecting their extensive phenotypic variation and heritage.”

Cell Reports

Bully breeds are often first thought of as the Pit Bull type dogs and Bulldogs. American Bully, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, are all referred to as Pit Bull type dogs. Then you have your Bulldogs, the English Bulldog, French Bulldog, American Bulldog, and so on.

What is a Bully breed can be somewhat of an elastic term, but all can be associated with the Bulldog and Mastiffs in some way. Broad chests, proportionally large heads, and short coats are all shared characteristics. 

To dig a little deeper we can have a look at some of the more common dog breeds that are considered to be a part of the Bully breeds. Understanding some of their origins, and lineages can help connect the dots and give us a better idea of what breeds are considered Bully Breeds.

What Breeds Are Considered Bully Breeds?

There are dozens upon dozens of breeds that are considered bully breeds. Below is a list of some of the most common and popular dog breeds that you would consider a Bully breed. Followed by a list of some of the more rare and unheard of breeds that can fall under the Bully breed.

List of Popular Bully Breed Dogs:

Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog

alapaha blue blood bulldog

Origins: The Alapaha is believed to have originated from the Old English Bulldog and it’s existence came to being in the early 1800’s in Georgia.

History: Not much is known of the Alapaha before the 1970’s but they were heavily developed by PaPa Buck Lane breeding program in 1800’s Georgia. They were bred to be stock dogs and varmint eradicators for the mountaineers of the rural south. The Lane family started a breed registry with a dog called Otto, the foundation dog of the family’s breeding operation. The Alapaha carries the nickname of “Otto Bulldog” as a result.

Temperament: The Alapaha is a loyal and very trainable dog with a love of family and duty to their family. They are great with children and make excellent guard dogs. The Alapaha’s nature is to be protective, and is extremely eager to please their owners.

They need a strong leader to follow and do well with a moderate amount of daily exercise. Caution with strangers and guests in your home, as these dogs are very protective of their family. Socialization is an important part of raising a well balanced Alapaha.

American Bully

american bully head tilt

Origins: The American Bully is a newer breed that only began to develop in the 1980’s and was later refined to it’s current standard in the 1990’s.

The American Bully was initially bred from the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier, with other Bulldog type dogs such as the American Bulldog, English Bulldog, and Olde English Bulldogge to achieve their stocky muscular physique. 

History: The intent of the American Bully was to become the ultimate family companion dog. Taking the loyalty, stability and zest for life of the American Pit Bull Terrier, and some of the more amiable and social traits of the AmStaff to create an athletic and gentle family dog. 

Temperament: The American Bully may look daunting with their wide stature and giant heads, but they are one of the gentlest dogs out there. Renowned for being excellent with children, and loyal loving members of your family, they are always eager to please.

American Bullies can be easy to train due to their above average intelligence and human oriented focus to please. They can do well with other pets raised in the household, but should be socialized from an early age to avoid some tendencies to not tolerate other dogs.

American Bulldog

3 american Bulldogs

Origins: The American Bulldog is believed to be a descendant of the Old English Bulldog and first arrived in American in the 1700’s

History: The American Bulldog was largely used and preserved as a breed in the American south as a farm guard, stock dog, and catch dog. The American Bulldog was great hunter and became especially important to the farmers of the south when it cames to catching feral pigs.

They have become an American icon and despite being around for over two centuries were only just recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2019.

Temperament: The American Bulldog is a loyal and affectionate family dog that is eager to please and loves spending time with the family. They have a high level of energy and do well with households that are able to provide sufficient exercise and mental stimulation.

The American Bulldog is a great guard dog and often very protective, so they can be wary of strangers and will require lots of socialization from an early age.

American Pit Bull Terrier

pit bull touch flower

Origins: The American Pit Bull Terrier was originally created by breeding the Old English Bulldog and the Old English Terrier to create the “Bull and Terrier” breed. The purpose of this was to take the agility and tenacity of the terrier and combine it with the strength of the Bulldog, to unfortunately, create a formidable fighting dog.

History: The American Pit Bull Terrier’s history has an unfortunate beginning as they were bred and used primarily for blood sport activities such bull and bear baiting, and later to dog fighting.

When the sport of bull baiting was made illegal in England in the mid 1800’s, owners soon turn to dog fighting as these sports were easier to hide from authorities.

The American Pit Bull Terrier arrived in the United States in the mid 1800’s and was officially recognized as a breed by the United Kennel Club in 1898.

To combat the stigma surrounding the breed there was an attempt to rename them to the American Bull Terrier, but the name never stuck.

Despite their bloody beginnings the American Pit Bull Terrier have successfully gone on to become excellent working, and sport dogs, as well as trustworthy companion animals, search and rescue members, and therapy dogs.

Temperament: The American Pit Bull Terrier is incredibly loving and loyal dog with their family, and is generally very good with people as a whole. They are renowned for their loving and gentle nature with children, and are excellent companion family pets. 

The American Pit Bull Terrier can have aggressive tendencies towards other dogs and small animals, so early socialization, and a strong and confident leader in the home is needed.

They are eager to please and very intelligent, so training an American Pit Bull Terrier can be quite pleasant and easy with the proper guidance and instruction.

American Staffordshire Terrier

american staffordshire terrier in the woods

Origins: The American Staffordshire Terrier has the same roots as the American Pit Bull Terrier and in many ways are the same dog. The divergence from the American Pit Bull to the American Staffordshire happened much later in the 19th century.

History: After the bull and terrier breeds arrived in America the American Pit Bull Terrier was submitted to the AKC under a different name in 1936. Initially the name was Staffordshire Terrier, but was quickly changed to American Staffordshire Terrier to differentiate them from the English Staffordshire Terriers.

Up until the 1970 breed standards were somewhat loose, until the AKC made the strict breed standard of having only AKC registered dogs breed to qualify as an American Staffordshire Terrier. Over the years the American Staffy has moved away in looks and breed standards from the American Pit Bull

Temperament: The American Staffordshire Terrier is a smart, courageous and loyal dog that is an excellent family pet. They are great with children, and are kind and gentle companion dogs.

They are one of the most intelligent Bully breed dogs, and are eager to please, making them ideal for training. A well socialized and trained AmStaff can make a terrific addition to any household. They do well with active families that can give them daily exercise and mental stimulation.

Boston Terrier

boston terrier toilet paper

Origins: The Boston Terrier can be traced back to a single dog by the name of Judge in the late 1860’s. Judge was a cross between a Bulldog and the now extinct white english terrier. Judge was a much bulkier looking fighter dog than what we know as the Boston Terrier today. He was bred with a similar female, and through selective breeding practices over the years the Boston Terrier we now know came to be.

History: From the Boston Terriers origins stemming from the dog Judge, the breed went through a number of developmental years reducing their size from roughly 44lbs down to 20-25 lbs. The dog as it’s name suggests became a popular breed of dog in Boston, and were nicknamed “roundheads” and fans of the dog soon started the American Bull Terrier Club, later renamed to the Boston Terrier Club.

The Boston Terrier was not only the first breeds of dog to be recognized by the AKC, but was also one of the few breeds that originated in the United States, and the first non-sporting dog in the United States.

Temperament: The Boston Terrier is a gentle, highly alert, enthusiastic, and often entertaining dog. They are highly intelligent and can be very easy to train under the right leadership.

They can suffer the small dog syndrome personality mixed with the Bully breed stubborn side, and become rather wilful and bossy. A strong leader in the household is needed to set the rules.

The Boston Terrier is also athletic and fairly high energy, requiring daily exercise and mental stimulation. When they are not given enough exercise and attention they can become rowdy and misbehaved, so proper care is needed with this breed.

Boxer

boxer smile

Origins: The Boxer was a breed of dog that originated in Germany in the early 19th century and was a cross between an Old English Bulldog and the now extinct Bullenbeisser dog.

History: The Boxer was first exhibited in Munich in the late 1800’s and later introduced to the United States in the early 1900’s. They were a tremendous dog during the World Wars acting as excellent messenger dogs, as well as personal protection and guard dogs. 

After the Wars, soldiers brought these dogs home and they quickly became great companion family pets, and one of the most popular breeds in the United States. The AKC first recognized the breed in 1904, and for the past several years have been in the top 10 most popular dog breeds in the US.

The name Boxer is rumored to have come from the dog’s manner of playing with other dogs by rearing on their hind legs and “boxing” with their playmates.

Temperament: The Boxer dog is a very energetic, bright, and playful family dog that is excellent with children. They are fairly easy to train under the right leadership, but can have a lot of that Bully breed stubbornness too. They require a high amount of exercise and can become bored easily and misbehave.

Bullmastiff

bullmastiff

Origins: The Bullmastiff was originally bred with the English Mastiff and the Old English Bulldog in the 1800’s as a guard dog for gamekeepers against poachers. They were bred with the intent of being a large intimidating dog with the strength and athleticism to chase off any intruders.

History: Also known as the Gamekeeper’s Night Dog, the Bull Mastiff was first recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1924, followed by the AKC in 1934.

The original breeders preferred the brindle coloring to help keep them camouflage at night to would be intruders. The Bullmastiff was specifically trained and bred to tackle unwanted guests to the property and hold them down.

Temperament: Despite their size the Bullmastiff can be a very gentle and affectionate dog. They can be very willful however, and will require extra efforts when it comes to training.

Early socialization and a consistent training regime is needed from a strong leader to curb some of the strong and stubborn behaviours from this breed.

Bull Terrier

bull terrier profile

Origins: The Bull Terrier comes from very similar roots as the American Pit Bull Terrier by breeding Old English Bulldogs and Old English Terriers.

The breed took on it’s own uniqueness when James Hinks took the “bull-and-terrier” dog and used Dalmatian, Spanish Pointer, and Whippet to increase elegance and agility; and Borzoi and Rough Collie to reduce the nose stop (the space between the forehead and muzzle)

History: James Hinks is credited as being the driving force behind the creation of the Bull Terrier. He wanted to take the “bull-and-terrier” breed of dog and create a true gentleman’s companion.

The original Bull Terrier was intended to be pure white to show it’s elegance and gentlemanly stature. However, due to inherit genetic disorders with the pure white breeds being prone to deafness, breeding with Staffordshire Bull Terriers was later introduced to add more color variations.

The original Bull Terrier bred by Hinks though similar to the modern Bull Terrier, still had some of the nose stop remaining in the breed. Over the years of selective breeding the nose stop was gradually reduced to the curved, egg shape head, that the Bull Terrier is now famous for.

Temperament: The Bull Terrier is described as a fun loving, courageous, and high spirited dog that is very people oriented and fantastic with children. The Bull Terrier can be an ideal family dog for experienced owners.

They are strong willed and oftentimes stubborn making them a challenge to train for first time dog owners. Bull Terriers do respond well to strong leadership and are quite smart, so training can be achieved with consistent leadership. 

Cane Corso

cane corso laying down

Origins: The Cane Corso, or Cane Corso Italiano are one of the closest descendants of the above mentioned Mollasser type dogs, and have been around for centuries.

It is believed the ancient Molosser dogs were brought over to Italy and crossbred with the Neapolitan Mastiff to form the Cane Corso.

History: Dating back to the ancient Greek era the Molosser type dogs were fierce war dogs that later migrated to Italy and breed with local Italian breeds. After the years of war and conquest these dogs became used for large game hunting and guarding of homesteads.

The Cane Corso came to the brink of extinction in the early 1900’s due to political unrest and mechanization of farming. In the late 1970’s a group of Cane Corso enthusiasts began to rebuild the dwindling breed and soon formed the The Society Amorati Cane Corso in 1983 and managed to save the Cane Corso from the history books.

Temperament: The Cane Corso, despite its imposing appearance and larger than life size, is described as extremely affectionate, loyal and intelligent. The Cane Corso bonds very strongly with their family and are also very protective.

They are eager to please making the Cane Corso easy to train for owners that display strong leadership. Cane Corsos do require a lot of early socialization and training should begin from an early age as they can end up thinking they are the boss of the household.

Consistent training and presenting strong leadership are a must for the Cane Corso

Dogo Argentino

dogo in the grass

Origins: The Dogo Argentino was a breed developed exclusively by Dr. Antonio Martinez in the early 1920’s Argentina. The Dogo was breed with a now extinct breed of dog called the Cordoba. A ferocious fighting dog and excellent game hunter.

The Cordoba was breed with the Great Dane, Boxer, Spanish Mastiff, Old English Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Pyrenean Mastiff, English Pointer, Irish Wolfhound and Dogue de Bordeaux so Martinez could have the ultimate big game hunting dog, that could also be a companion animal.

History: Dr. Antonio Nores Martínez set out to create a fierce game hunting dog that would be as loyal and loving of a companion animal. The original Dogo Argentino is believed to have been bred in 1928 and through selective breeding Martinez was able to establish his perfect game dog. 

The Dogo Argentino was recognized by and accepted by the FCI as the Argentinian breed. The AKC didn’t recognize the Dogo Argentino officially until 2020. 

Temperament: The Dogo Argentino is a very versatile, loyal, and loving family dog. They can be fiercely protective of their family and can make great guard dogs. They are working dogs and can perform a variety of duties from search and rescue, to police work, to therapy and guide dogs.

The Dogo Argentino is highly intelligent and eager to please his family, so training the Dogo Argentino can be easy. They love being around their family and require a fair amount of exercise.

They can thrive in an active household with strong leadership. Early socialization is a must as the Dogo Argentino can be wary of strangers and protective of their owners. 

English Bulldog

english bulldog woods

Origins: The English Bulldog, or British Bulldog has been around since the early 1600’s and was a shorter, and stockier version of the Mastiffs of the time used in the blood sport of Bull baiting.

History: The English Bulldog was first mentioned in the early 1600’s in correspondents referring to them as the Butcher’s Bull and Bear dogs. The early Bulldog was used in place of the long legged Mastiffs in the sport of bull baiting because of their superior strength and jaw power. 

As the blood sports became illegal in Britain, and other dogs were crossbred with the Bulldog to create fiercer, more tenacious “bull-and-terrier” breeds, the English Bulldog began to be bred as a companion pet and not the gladiator of previous times.

Through selective breeding practices over the years, the modern English Bulldog bares very little resemblance to its more athletic ancestors. They are also renowned for having a variety of health problems due to selective breeding over the years, and can be high maintenance.

The English Bulldog remains the iconic dog of Britain as a beloved symbol and extremely popular family pet.

Temperament: The English Bulldog is described as having an equable and kind disposition; and is resolute and courageous. They are affectionate family pets, that despite their bulky stature believe themselves to be lap dogs.

They only require a moderate amount of exercise each day. A good walk around the neighborhood will keep them happy.

French Bulldog

Origins: The French Bulldog may seem like a far stretch from the Molosser dogs of ancient Greece, but French Bulldogs are in fact a Bully breed from this lineage. They are also originally from England, not France. They directly descend from Bulldogs and became part of the Toy Bulldog group of dogs, believed to have been bred with other small ratter type terrier dogs.

History: The French Bulldog’s story began in England as companion pets for the mid 1800’s lacemakers of England. They were specifically bred as companion dogs and ratters, and would often spend their days warming the laps of the lacemakers as they worked.

As the industrial revolution took hold of England and the lace making industry fell under threat, many of the lacemakers migrated to parts of the French countryside. Once introduced to the cafe culture of Parsian France, they became instantly popular, and we the favorite pet of the country. 

Through years of development in the breed, they soon came to be known as the French Bulldog. They remain one of the most popular dog breeds in the world today.

Temperament: The French Bulldog, or Frenchie as they are affectionately called, are affectionate companion dogs first and foremost. They crave and need human contact and can suffer from separation anxiety as a result.

They are kind and gentle family pets that rarely bark, and are great with children and often referred to as “Clown dogs” due to their appearance and fun loving nature.

The Frenchie is not the brightest pup in the litter, and can have a stubborn streak, so training a French Bulldog can be a challenge. Consistency and patience with their training will be required to achieve some basic obedience and adherence to house rules.

Great Dane

great dane in the woods

Origins: The Great Dane can be traced back to the early 1600’s as a crossbred of English Mastiffs and Irish Wolfhounds, used primarily for hunting large game animals.

History: The Great Dane has been credited as a German breed of dog that has gone through a variety of names from English Mastiff, to German Mastiff eventually in 1878 Berlin.

This German Mastiff is what we now know as the foundation for the Great Dane. How they got the name Great Dane is murky, but the change from German Mastiff was due to the conflicts and tensions the rest of the world had with Germany at the time.

Temperament: Known as the “Gentle Giants” the Great Dane is an affectionate, loyal and loving family dog. They are known to get along with most everyone including other dogs, animals, and people.

They make decent guard dogs as they can be fairly protective of their family, and training a Great Dane can be moderately easy.

Due to their large and imposing size, early training and socialization are a must, as they can be a giant handful because of this cartoonish size.

Olde English Bulldogge

olde english bulldogge laying down

Origins: Despite the name the Olde English Bulldogge is a very new breed of dog started by David Leavitt in the early 1970’s. Leavitt wished to recreate what the English Bulldog of the 1800’’s resembled and began to breed several dogs to achieve the Olde English Bulldogge.

The modern Olde English Bulldogge consists of one-half Bulldog, one-sixth Bullmastiff, one-sixth American Pit Bull Terrier and one-sixth American Bulldog.

History: David Leavitt had the goal of creating the English Bulldog of the past. The modern English Bulldog looks very unlike it’s ancestor and is riddled with numerous health issues as a result of selective breeding practices.

Leavitt wished to reverse this and created the new Olde English Bulldogge in the 1970’s. The breed was later recognized and accepted by the UKC but has yet to be accepted by the AKC.

Temperament: The Olde English Bulldogge was bred first and foremost as a companion family dog. Though they still have a “rough-and-tumble” playfulness to them, they are gentle, affectionate dogs.

They make great family pets and are excellent with children, as well as most strangers. They are fairly intelligent and eager to please so training the Olde English Bulldogge can be easy.

Presa Canario

presa canario

Origins: The Presa Canario, or Perro de Presa Canario, origins are unknown but date back as early as the 15th century. A Molossar type dog that was believed to have been brought to the Canary Islands by the Spanish Conquistadors , or perhaps had always been on the islands.

History: The Presa Canario is a Mastiff type dog that is very similar in appearance to what the ancient Greek Molosser dogs looked like. The mixture of a dog called the Ganado and the Bardino Majorero brought together the strength, intelligence, imposing demeanor and superior guard dog skills that we know as the Presa Canario of today.

Like most Bully breed dogs of formidable size, these dogs were exposed to and used in dog fighting in the past. Once the blood sports became illegal the Presa Canario numbers began to dwindle to the near point of extinction.

A small group of enthusiasts did manage to bring their numbers back up and save the Presa Canario from extinction.

Temperament: The Presa Canario is an obedient and docile family dog with a balanced temperament and deep loyalty to their family. The Presa Canario is an excellent guard dog and protector.

They require a good deal of exercise and are not great first dogs for new owners as their size requires adequate socialization and training to handle this large strong breed.

Pug

pugs

Origins: Believe it or not a pug is considered a Bully breed. Often referred to as mini-molossers, the pug is a very ancient breed of dog dating back 2000 years.

They were originally from China and though their lineage is hard to trace back, they do resemble the Mastiff or Molosser in features. Compare pictures of a Pug to a Bullmastiff puppy and you will see how they could have evolved over time.

History: Pugs originated in China and were cherished companion dogs of Emperors and Monks alike. They were introduced to the European cultures in the 1600’s and their popularity as companion dogs soon spread.

They have been affectionately referred to as “multum in parvo” a Latin phrase meaning “a lot in a little” referring to their small, yet muscular builds.

Temperament: Pugs are known as amazing family pets for people looking for an affectionate and cuddly couch potato of a dog. The Pug can be as lively, charming and fun loving, as they can be docile and lazy. They thrive on human contact and are great with children.

Pugs are not the brightest of the dog breeds, and can have a stubborn streak, so training a Pug can be hard at times. Patience and consistency will be key in basic obedience and adhering to house rules.

Rottweiler

rottweiler

Origins: The Rottweiler is one of the most ancient breeds known today, dating back to the early Roman empire as descendants of the Asian Mastiff. The Rottweiler is considered a Bully breed because of this ancestor to the Asian Mastiffs that formed the foundation of the modern Rottweiler we know today.

History: The ancient Romans would bring large herds of animals and their large dogs along on conquests to keep food stocks plentiful, and use the dogs as herders as the armies would proceed forward.

As the Romans battled the Germanic tribes, and as the Roman empire eventually fell, these dogs became a part of the Germanic culture and found work in the cattle town of Rottweil as cattle guards.

The Rottweiler soon became an all purpose working dog, and was utilized in a variety of jobs from personal protection to heavy duty blue collar type jobs.

The breed standard for the Rottweiler was established in 1901 and has changed little since. The Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub was founded in 1914, and the Rottweiler was officially recognized by the AKC in 1936

Temperament: The Rottweiler is a good natured, loving, and affectionate family dog that is highly devoted, and eager to work. Rottweilers are highly intelligent and eager to please, so training a Rottweiler can be very easy.

The Rottweiler can have a tendency to be possessive and exhibit herding instincts that will need training to overcome. They are calm and confident dogs, that with early training and socialization can be an excellent member of a household.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

staffy on a bench

Origins: The Staffordshire Bull Terrier originated from the crossbreeding of the Old English Bulldog and the Old English Terrier to form the “bull-and-terrier” breed of dog.

The same as the American Pit Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier, and American Bull Terrier. All share a similar past, though the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was developed in Staffordshire England in the early 1800’s.

History: The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or Staffy share the same history as other Pit Bull type dogs, and were once used in the horrific blood-sports of Bull baiting, and eventually pit dog fighting.

The same man who is credited with creating the “gentleman’s companion” the modern Bull Terrier, is also responsible for the creating the Staffy. 

James Hinks set out to refine the bull-and-terrier breeds to have a clean appearance and remove some of the aggressive tendencies, what came about were two different bull-and-terrier breeds. One being further bred with Dalmations and collies to produce the modern Bull Terrier, and the other the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Temperament: The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, with responsible breeding over the years has been transformed from a pit fighting gladiator, to a loving, caring, clever, and loyal family dog.

They are naturally sweet natured and love people, especially their owners who they are incredibly eager to please. The Staffy is famous for their love and care of children, making the Staffordshire Bull Terrier a great family dog.

Staffies are very clever and intelligent. Pair this with the willingness to stand on their heads to please their owners and you have a very easy dog to train. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier responds well to positive reinforcement training, but also respects strong leadership.

Dogue de Bordeaux

dogue de bordeaux

Origins: The Dogue de Bordeaux’s origins stretch so far back that this French dog is believed to be older than France itself. Believed to be a direct descendant from the Molosser type dogs of ancient Greece.

History: The Dogue de Bordeaux is a large mastiff type dog that is believed to either have been developed in what we know as France today over thousands of years. It is also believed they may have come to the area as a close cousin to the Tibetain Mastiff or the Molosser type dogs of the era of Julius Caesar.

The earliest mention of the breed comes from the 1400’s France in a city known as Bordeaux, hence the name. The large powerful breed was used as a hunting and hauling dog, but was also unfortunately involved in the early blood sports of that era as a pit fighting dog.

The Dogue de Brodeaux didn’t have a breeding standard until 1920 and it wasn’t until 1997 that the UK Kennel Club recognized the breed.

Temperament: The Dogue de Bordeaux can be a sweet and gentle giant to his family. Affectionate and loyal are among their traits. They are however notoriously stubborn, and will take control if not well trained and socialized from a very early age.

The Dogue de Bordeaux can make a good family pet, but may not be a good choice for first time owners. Training will need to be consistent and from a place of strong leadership for them to achieve the desired level of obedience and adherence to house rules.

Banter Bulldogge

banter bulldogges

Origins: The Banter Bulldogge is one of the newer designer breeds that have only been around for about 30 years. Developed by Todd Tripp of Ohio in the 1990’s, Tripp aimed to recreate the Brabanter Bullenbeisser of the 1700s that was found in the central Belgium province known as Brabant, by cross breeding purebred Boxers with Bulldogs.

History: The Banter Bulldogge has a very short history, but has been gaining popularity due to their amazing temperament and bulldog like qualities without the extensive health issues the Bulldog often carries. They are not yet recognized as an official breed by the AKC, but as a hybrid breed.

Temperament: The Banter Bulldogge is a loving, affectionate, and playful breed of dog, making them a great family pet. They are intensely loyal to their family, excellent with children, and can be protective yet not aggressive. The Banter Bulldogge is very intelligent and eager to please, making them easy to train.

Victorian Bulldog

victorian bulldog

Origins: The Victorian Bulldog is also a fairly new breed developed by Ken Mollet in the 1980’s by crossing the English Bulldog with a variety of other bull-and-terrier type breeds.

History: Ken Mollet set out to restore the appearance of the Victorian era Bulldogs after seeing how selective breeding over the years has caused so many problems with the modern English Bulldog.

Mollet bred English Bulldogs, Bull Terriers, Bull Mastiffs, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers to restore the original look and produce what is now known as the Victorian Bulldog.

Temperament: The Victorian Bulldog is as playful, fun-loving, and rambunctious as they are couch potatoes. A great dog to keep you entertained with their antics, and keep you company curled up on the couch.

They are a great family dog that adores children and being close to the family. Training the Victorian Bulldog can be easy due to their willingness to please, and moderate level of intelligence.

Rare Bully Breeds

  • Australian Bulldog
  • Bhote Kukur
  • Brazilian Mastiff
  • Bantam Bulldog
  • Catahoula Bulldog
  • Majorca Mastiff
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Pyrenean Mastiff
  • Renascence Bulldog
  • Belgian Draft Mastiff
  • Boston Bulldog
  • Bordeaux Bulldog
  • Old Boston Bulldog
  • Spanish Mastiff
  • Continental Bulldog
  • Serrano Bulldog
  • Gull Terr (Pakistani Bull Terrier)
  • Leavitt Bulldog
  • Valley Bulldog

Final Thoughts

As you can see the Bully breed category is a large and extensive list of many different types and sizes of dogs. The basic way to categorize whether your dog is a Bully breed is to look to their history and how that might tie back to the Molosser dogs of ancient Greece.

From the long and ancient history of dogs like the Dogue de Bordeaux, to the bull-and-terrier breeds like the Staffordshire Terrier, to the Toy Bulldogs like the French Bulldog, the bully breeds come in a wide variety of temperaments, and qualities.

Choosing the right Bully breed for your house will depend on a variety of factors, and I hope this extensive list is able to provide you with a good starting point to understanding the many pros, and few cons of each.

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