Are American Bullies Good Pets?

by Yvette Sajem
    American bullies are active, energetic dogs who require daily exercise.

    American bullies are active, energetic dogs who require daily exercise.

    George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    The American bully was developed in 1990 as a variation of the American pit bull terrier, a breed that had been around for 100 years. On July 15, 2013, the United Kennel Club deemed the American bully unique enough to be recognized as a distinct breed. According to the United Canine Association, American bullies are cheerful, people-oriented dogs. American bullies make ideal pets for most people, with a few exceptions.

    The standard American bully has a powerful, compact body with a broad, deep chest. His structure is heavy-boned, muscular, well-balanced and well-proportioned. His head is broad but devoid of exaggeration and is in correct proportion to his body. His coat is smooth and glossy. Despite his heavy appearance, the American bully is quite active and agile, possessing a springy gait.

    According to the American Bully Kennel Club, American bullies are excellent family companions. Exceptionally devoted and loyal, bullies are focused on pleasing their owners, eager to learn and highly trainable. They're gentle and affectionate with children, amiable with family friends and even tolerant of strangers. As guardians, they're intelligent, stable, alert and quite capable of defending their homes and families.

    Aggression toward humans is atypical of American bullies. In fact, they tend to prefer the company of humans and may not accept the presence of other dogs or animals. According to the United Kennel Club website, a certain degree of aggression toward other dogs is characteristic of the breed. If you want to bring a bully into a home where other dogs or animals reside, it's best to adopt and train a bully puppy. An American bully puppy who is socialized with other dogs and animals is more likely to accept them as an adult.

    American bullies are athletic dogs who need adequate exercise, not only to keep them fit and healthy, but also to prevent boredom. A bored bully may develop behavioral problems and become destructive, noisy or hyperactive. If you wish to adopt an American bully, be sure that you have the time and space to exercise him for at least 45 minutes per day. A large, fenced yard is ideal, but even an apartment-dwelling bully will do fine if he gets a proper daily walk or a dog park outing.

    The American bully is not a good breed for beginners or passive owners. Although willing to please, these dogs can be stubborn and won't generally obey commands blindly. They require consistent training from an owner who is confident, composed and firm. The bully's owner must understand the instinctual need possessed by dogs to fit into a pack order, and must be capable and proficient enough to achieve pack leader status. Consistency is crucial; the bully must know what is expected of him and be given a clearly defined and regularly enforced set of rules.

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    About the Author

    Yvette Sajem has been a professional writer since 1995. Her work includes greeting cards and two children's books. A lifelong animal advocate, she is active in animal rescue and transport, and is particularly partial to senior and special needs animals.

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