5 Types Of American Bully

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Meet the American Bully, a breed that blends the strength of the American Pit Bull and Staffordshire Terrier with the steadfastness of bulldogs. Born out of a desire for the ultimate companion dog, the American Bully is known for its loving and affectionate nature towards family despite its tough exterior.

Officially recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club in 2004 and the United Kennel Club in 2013, this breed has evolved into distinct categories. From the Standard to the Classic, the XL, and the Pocket, and now the latest addition, the Extreme, each type of American Bully brings its unique characteristics to the table.

As we explore these different types, keep in mind that their lifespan can vary, often extending with excellent care, a high-quality diet, and regular vet visits. Join us as we dive into the diverse world of the American Bully, a breed that’s as endearing as it is robust.

History of American Bully 

Delving into the history of the American Bully breed, we find a breed shaped by a rich mix of influences. Originating in the United States during the late 1980s and early 1990s, this breed emerged from a blend of American Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers.

Breeders further refined its unique characteristics by incorporating elements from related breeds like the American Bulldog, English Bulldog, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

The result was a dog distinct from its ancestors – bulkier, more muscular, and with a standout presence. To formalize these traits, dog breed standards were established, categorizing the American Bully based on size.

Types of American Bully

Let’s explore the diverse world of American Bullies, from the sturdy Standard to the compact Pocket, each type showcasing its own unique blend of strength and character.

1. Classic Bully

Image credit: @bluesea_ambully on Instagram
MALE SIZE 17 to 20 inches
FEMALE SIZE 16 to 19 inches

The Classic American Bully stands out with its lighter and narrower build compared to the Standard Bully, yet it retains the robust appearance characteristic of the American Staffordshire Terrier or American Pit Bull Terrier. This type of Bully is known for its compact body, heavy bones, blocky head, and short muzzle.

Despite its slightly smaller stature, the Classic Bully shares the same outgoing, stable, and confident temperament as the Standard Bully. These dogs are immensely loyal and patient, always eager to please their owners.

The Classic Bully is not only friendly and social with children and strangers but also protective of their family and home. Known for their high pain tolerance, strength, and agility, these dogs are as capable as they are devoted, making them ideal companions.

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2. Pocket Bully

types of bullies dogs
MALE SIZE 14-17 inches 
FEMALE SIZE 13-16 inches 
LIFE EXPECTANCY 10-12 years 

The Pocket Bully is a smaller version of the Standard Bully, known for its compact size while maintaining the heavy, muscular build characteristic of the breed. Unlike typical “pocket” or “toy” breeds, this type still boasts a strong and robust physique.

Ideal for those who admire the American Bully but prefer a smaller dog, the Pocket Bully is perfect for average lifestyles with moderate time for socializing, grooming, and exercising. It shares the Standard Bully’s traits but in a smaller package: a broad chest, a strong body, a broadhead with prominent jaws, and well-pigmented eyes.

Caring for a Pocket Bully is straightforward, making them suitable even for first-time pet owners. Their short hair requires only regular brushing, and like most dogs, they need routine nail clipping and ear cleaning.

3. Standard Bully 

bully breeds list
Image credit: @kailobully on Instagram
MALE SIZE 17-20 inches 
FEMALE SIZE 16-19 inches 
LIFE EXPECTANCY 10-12 years 

The Standard Bully is a robust dog known for its compact and muscular body and broad chest, showcasing an impression of strength without being overly exaggerated. Its head is broad and heavy in proportion to its body, with well-defined jaws and prominent cheek muscles. Its muzzle is short to medium in length, ensuring normal breathing and aligning straight with the nose.

With a muscular, slightly arched neck and strong shoulders, the Standard Bully has tight skin, though a minimal amount of loose skin is acceptable. This breed is excellent with children, displaying patience and a natural inhibition towards biting and snapping.

Despite its tough appearance, the Standard Bully is very affectionate and loyal, especially towards friendly family and friends. It’s sociable and tolerates friendly strangers well, showing defensive behavior only when necessary. One noteworthy trait is its high pain tolerance, which means owners should be vigilant for signs of injury, as Bullies may not readily show discomfort.

4. XL Bully 

american bully sizes
Image credit: @_bullyxl on Instagram
MALE SIZE 20-23 inches 
FEMALE SIZE 19-22 inches 
LIFE EXPECTANCY 10-12 years 

The XL Bully, a variation of the Standard Bully, stands out due to its taller and bulkier stature. It shares the same build as the Standard but is noticeably larger and heavier, with more body mass. Despite its size, the XL Bully adheres to the same breed standards, maintaining the breed’s characteristic features without exaggeration.

As the largest type of American Bully, breeding XL Bullies that perfectly embody the breed’s traits can be challenging, making them a less common sight in dog shows. It has a large and deep chest with a large, heavy head with prominent cheek muscles and well-defined jaws.

Despite their imposing size, XL Bullies are known for their friendly demeanor towards everyone, including children, the elderly, and strangers. Due to their large bodies, they require a bit more exercise than other breeds to stay fit and healthy.

5. Extreme Bully 

different types of bully pitbulls
MALE SIZE 17-20 inches 
FEMALE SIZE 16-19 inches 
LIFE EXPECTANCY 10-12 years 

The Extreme Bully stands as a remarkable variant within the American Bully dog breeds, characterized by its substantial muscle mass, towering height, and robust build. This breed eclipses the Standard Bully in terms of size, boasting a more pronounced and broader appearance. It distinguishes itself with an increased body mass, emphasized by its thick and heavy bones, contributing to its wider look.

Its facial structure is defined by semi-close lips, although some Extreme Bullies may exhibit looser lips, a trait accepted within the breed’s standards. However, this feature can vary in preference among owners. The skin around the dog’s neck strikes a balance, being neither excessively tight nor overly loose.

Beyond their physical characteristics, Extreme Bullies are known for their role as exceptional watchdogs. Their formidable presence, combined with a natural protective instinct, makes them dependable guardians, adding to their appeal as both family pets and vigilant protectors.

What Are Micro, XXL, and Exotic American Bullies?

Micro, XXL, and Exotic American Bullies are unofficial categories not recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club. Micro Bullies are notably small and can sometimes be incorrectly sold as Pocket Bullies. XXL Bullies are even larger than their XL counterparts, while Exotic Bullies are characterized by extremely exaggerated features, which can lead to more health issues.

When it comes to competitions, be aware that showing Micro, XXL, or Exotic American Bullies might lead to penalties or disqualification, as these types don’t meet the standard height requirements. These unofficial types require careful consideration, especially regarding their health and the standards of the breed.

Which American Bully Type Is the Best? 

Choosing the right American Bully for your lifestyle hinges on what you’re looking for in a dog. If a small, lovable companion suits your apartment living, the Pocket American Bully could be the ideal match.

For those who prefer a more streamlined version of the Standard American Bully, the sleek Classic Bully is an excellent choice. And if you’re all about large, gentle family dogs, the XL American Bully might be the perfect fit.

It’s important to remember that American Bullies are energetic and have a dominant nature. They thrive best with an experienced owner who leads an active lifestyle and is ready to embrace the challenge. If this sounds like you, an American Bully could be the perfect new addition to your life.


Despite their fierce appearance, American Bully breeds are actually quite adorable and make excellent family pets due to their affection for children, obedience, and loyalty. As a relatively new dog breed, they’re recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club and are generally healthy, though they can be prone to issues like hip and elbow dysplasia, heart disease, and hypothyroidism.

The breed’s five types mainly differ in height, weight, and price, but all share remarkable features. Known worldwide for their unique looks and qualities, the Bully dogs stand out as a beloved and admired breed.

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