He’s been nicknamed, the BullyPit and he’s a loyal, lovable, sometimes slow-to-grow-up dog that is athletic and as strong as a … well … a bull.
If you are looking for a dog that is talented at guarding, agility, watchdog, obedience, jogging, tracking, and competitive obedience courses, including rally obedience which is a team obedience sport that is open to all dogs, regardless of breed or mixes thereof.
Obedience trials that are performed within the AKC are open only to pure breeds at this time. Many other things exist at which the BullyPit can thrive, such as pulling competitions that involve pulling weighted sleds.
The BullyPit can make a good service animal to help a human with mobility issues, or even as an emotional support animal.
Many who love this particular mix understand that it is up to them to have a very well-trained and skilled dog that can be a breed ambassador, bringing them more positive views to help combat the bad press that is often directed towards the bully breeds.
These dogs are powerful and can be scary to the public, so owners are encouraged to highly train their dogs so that interactions with people are positive, bringing a more positive light to the breed overall.
To truly understand this mix, it’s important to understand each parent and their history so that you can be aware of the genetics that might be swirling around inside of your dog.
Some of these will be dominant traits and some will be considered recessive. Knowing the difference and what to expect as your pup grows will give you all the information that you need to
It’s also a very good thing when and if you can meet the parents of your potential puppy. You get the chance to see their personalities and intelligence first-hand.
You’ll be hoping for parents that are social, watchful without being aggressive, and well-behaved. Extreme aggression from either parent should give you pause.
You also can size them up to see how they look physically. Does either have an apparent hip issue? Limp? Skin problems? These are red flags.
If pedigrees are available for both parents, this is also ideal. You can do a little research and find out all that you need to know about your dog’s family tree if they are registered. The AKC keeps very in-depth records of registered animals. Each certificate of pedigree typically lists the last three generations.
This can help to rule out any genetic conditions that you don’t want to deal with in a dog.
Some things can become very expensive and shorten the life of your dog. Knowing ahead of time that none of the dogs in your pup’s family tree have had any bad genetic issues is a big bonus.
Let’s take a look at the traits, characteristics, colors, and special needs of each parent so you can get a closer understanding of your puppy.
American Pitbull Bulldog Overview & Characteristics
|Height / Weight||28-24in / 50-100|
|Coat Colors||Black, Fawn, White, Brindle, Tan, Grey< blue, Brown, & Red|
|Life Expectancy||10-15 years|
|Kid-Friendly||Yes, but early socialization is recommended|
|Pet-Friendly||Yes, but early socialization is recommended|
The American Bulldog
This breed is descended from the Old English Bulldog, which is now extinct. There is a lot of speculation as to why they become extinct by the most likely reason is that a law was passed that made bulldog fighting illegal,
The Cruelty to Animals Act of 1835. It was not very long after this that they began their decline. By World War I, they were all but gone. They are believed to have gone completely extinct sometime after this war.
Today’s American Bulldog retains some of the characteristics of the Old English Bulldog but is still a very different breed. The American Bulldog is considered a utility breed.
They are just as at home working as a farm dog who catches and stops an errant cow as they are doing guard dog duty. With an ability to jump six feet in the air, you’ll need more than a four-foot fence to keep him at home. He is a very agile athlete and loves to play rough.
Don’t let the rough exterior fool you, they are a very affectionate and loyal breed. They’re protective of their owners and family. You’ll need to be an active person or family to keep an AmBull happy though. They have very high exercise needs and are most happy when they are running, rolling, and jumping.
There are some variations in AmBulls because of the bulldog lines. They are divided into the Johnson type and the Scott type. There are also combinations of the two. The Johnson bloodlines are considered the more standard of the breed, while the Scott type is built for performance. This is the more active, sporting dog that has work ethics above and beyond normal.
If you take the time to work with this breed, training must be done, they can become a very sweet and loving pet that will protect you. If they are left to their own devices, they can become overly reactive and out of control. This is not a breed for the owner who prefers to remain uninvolved in the training of their dog.
If the dog doesn’t have a very clearly alpha human that is a fair and kind leader at all times, he can become difficult and hard to handle.
This is a dog that doesn’t do well as an apartment dweller. He’s just too active for that. When it comes to friendliness with strangers, he is in the middle of the road. He requires a lot of socialization as a puppy and plenty of obedience training. He will be wary of strangers and accept them only once it is clear that you are okay with them. He will still be watchful.
The AmBull sometimes is not good with other dogs, so having one with other pets in the home may prove to be difficult. Keeping several of them together could lead to some fighting amongst them. The females can be especially territorial, preferring to be the only female.
They aren’t known for barking or howling. This is a plus. They are very easy to train, being highly intelligent. They’re easy to groom because they have fine, short hair. One downfall is that they have a propensity to drool. A lot.
They vary in size a great deal. An American Bulldog could be 20 to 28 inches tall at the shoulders and weigh between 60 and 120 pounds. It’s also possible for them to be smaller than this or even much larger. It depends on the bloodlines. That is where knowing some of the pedigree histories is a good thing.
Traditionally, this breed has always been mainly white with patches of other colors, such as brindle, brown, or black. They can come in other colors with variations.
When it comes to children, AmBulls can be awesome as long as they are introduced at an early age and socialized early and often. You’ll want to take your dog places where he can meet people of all ages, get used to loud noises, crying children, screaming children, and the erratic behavior that children can be known for.
It’s also highly advisable that you teach children how to properly interact with a dog and what is not okay. Never approaching an eating dog, a sleeping dog, or pulling ears, tails, and poking eyes are all good things to teach. In a home where the dog is respected by children, and parents supervise, AmBulls can be excellent family pets.
The American Pit Bull
Pit Bulls have reputation for also being fighting dogs and used in illegal dog fighting underground that continues today, all around the world. Despite being illegal, dog fighting rings are constantly found and broken-up, usually with multiple arrests.
Sadly, the Pit Bull has been exploited by this illegal activity and gained a reputation that is not necessarily true. Yes, they can be aggressive. Any dog can. Some dogs that have been raised from fighting lines may have more of a genetic tendency to be aggressive and display dominant traits as such.
This is, again, why it is so important to be able to meet the parents of any puppy that you get. Unfortunately, pounds, rescues, and kennels all across America are packed with these dogs.
An American Pit Bull that comes from pure bloodlines should be calm, good with family members, including children, yet protective. He’s known for being a clown, for sometimes being stubborn, loyal, courageous, and strong-willed. These can all be good traits if the dog is handled correctly.
Pit Bulls are very powerful and athletic, much like the American Bulldog. The two breeds are often mistaken for each other by those without discerning eyes.
The Pit Bull is not nearly as large as the American Bulldog, being only 30 to 65 pounds, on average. The females are slightly smaller than the males, but like most bully breeds, the females are quite often more territorial than the males.
Being highly intelligent dogs, they are easy to train, however they are famous for some pushback. They often like to do things their way and may not always be in the mood for training, choosing to be goofy and playful instead. They don’t fully mature until they are approximately three years old, and this means that they take about a year longer than most other breeds of dogs.
The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) can be found in virtually any color or combination of colors. He may have brown eyes, amber, hazel, and even blue eyes. He could have one eye of each color.
This breed is also a powerful jumper and can be extremely strong. They are labeled an aggressive chewer, meaning that they need something to chew on that is hard and can stand up to punishment because they have very powerful jaws. Chewing is how they keep their teeth clean and exercise their jaws.
The APBT can lock his jaws so tight that they cannot be pulled apart. There are competitions where these dogs are baited to jump and grab a rope that is tied to a stand or a tree. The dogs are timed for how long they can hold on until needing to let go and drop off. They can hold on for surprising amounts of time.
There are videos on social media of these competitions and of APBTs jumping and climbing up walls over 4 meters high to retrieve a fetching dummy or ring. This is the equivalent of 13 feet!
Essentially, they power up the wall in a dead run and make a final leap. It’s incredible to watch and when you see it, you’ll realize that no fence can keep an APBT in if they want out. You can imagine that this is not a dog for the faint of heart, or who has no experience with dogs and training them.
He is a very strong and stocky dog. They don’t grow very tall but they are built low and powerful. This is traced back to their dogfighting history. They are hard to knock off of their feet. They are built like a wrestler, with bulging muscles, and a stance low to the ground.
Even though he is stocky, he’s a very fast dog. His powerful legs push him to speeds remarkable for a dog of his build. They’ve been trained to do several jobs and have even finally been accepted for use as police dogs, with a pit bull recently being commissioned as a police dog in November of 2019.
One thing that is their nemesis is cold weather. Pit Bulls have virtually no coat. They only have very short, fine hair that provides for no warmth. If you live in a cold region, you’ll need to provide shelter and warmth for your Pit Bull, even providing them with a jacket for those winter walks. They’ll appreciate you and love you for it.
Speaking of love, they adore children. Pit Bulls were nicknamed nanny dogs in the 1920s in America. They were often left with the children playing in the yard, to watch over them. No one would dare snatch a child with a Pittie on duty.
The downside to this is that parents sometimes find that they cannot discipline their children without putting the dog away first. You could find the family dog stepping between you as you wag a finger at little Jimmy.
APBT has found jobs working as police dogs, guard dogs, watchdogs, service dogs, therapy dogs, emotional support dogs, and competing dogs in things like agility, flyball, frisbee, and Bully Breed weight pulling competitions.
The BullyPit – The Best of Both Worlds
Congratulations if you have gotten one of these fine, athletic dogs. If you are thinking about it and just doing some research, you’re doing the right thing. You’ve already read about both parents of the breeding pair. They are very similar in personality, with the biggest differences being in size.
You can be assured that your BullyPit (BP) will be jovial, a bit of ham at times, but also quite serious when the need arises. He will protect you and love you and your family, prepared to take on anything to keep you safe.
By now, you should realize that your BP will need training and socializing from day one. The day you bring him home, even at eight weeks old, he is ready to start learning. Register in a puppy class as soon as he’s had his last shots but start teaching him to sit and lay down at home before then.
Begin taking him places as soon as his shots have given him immunity. Take him to the pet store, to the outdoor cafe, and on errands when you can. He needs to be introduced to other friendly dogs, other people, and children. If you socialize early and for the rest of your life, your dog will be more reliable in public, not getting overly excited.
At home, he’ll be wary of strangers but learn that when you invite guests into your home that they are to be tolerated, though he may or may not be overly friendly until he’s had a chance to get to know them. A well-socialized dog will be more friendly than one that has not been.
You will want to introduce your dog to leash training as early as possible as well. If not, as you can see, they’ve been bred for the ability to pull extreme weight. You’ll find yourself being towed right down the street one day, possibly injuring yourself and your dog could get away from you and be injured by a car as well.
A well-behaved dog that doesn’t pull on the leash is in your best interest. Hiring a trainer is a good idea if you don’t know where to begin.
Your BP could come in virtually any color and vary in size anywhere from 35 pounds to 150 pounds, depending on the size and genetics of both parents. He will have short hair, making him easy to keep looking nice. A damp cloth will wipe him clean and a soft brush will make his fur shine.
You’ll need to feed him a high-protein food for all the energy he will have and you shouldn’t expect him to be a couch potato. A BP will have tons of energy and need to do some very intense exercise for at least an hour out of every day. If he doesn’t get this exercise, he’s likely to become destructive.
Being a powerful dog, the destruction can be devastating to your home too. They need loads of hard things to chew on to keep their jaws busy.
A BP is an athlete, plain and simple. He needs to have a job to do of some sort or he will be difficult to live with. As he ages, his activity level will gradually drop off but given that both parents are long-living breeds, he will likely be with you anywhere from 10 to 15 years, with the average being about 12.
This breed is a long-term commitment. He’s also a time-consuming dog in that he needs a lot of attention and training. They aren’t for everyone but if you’ve been smitten with a bully breed, you’ll fall in love with the BullyPit.
They are very affectionate, despite the muscles and tough-guy appearance, he’ll smile at you from under the covers on the sofa or your bed. They love to be warm and cozy. They don’t like to be cold. He’ll find a warm, cozy place and make himself comfortable. Sometimes, it will be in your lap, even if he weighs a hundred pounds. They are surprisingly great big babies with the people that they love.
If you have children, they will love them and watch over them. When your son or daughter is laying on the sofa with the flu or a strep throat, your BP will be right there, snuggled close and just watching them breathe. He’ll watch them like a sentinel. His job is always to watch over those he loves, you see.
We’ve told you the good and the bad because you need to know. They aren’t a perfect breed for everyone, but if you are a dominant personality that can be a good leader, they are a dog that will suit your personality. If you want a dog that will be loyal and compassionate, sensitive to you, and possibly become your service dog or emotional support dog, then they may just the right dog for you.
They will smile with a big grin that bully breeds are known for. Sometimes you will feel that he is actually trying to crack you up and perhaps he is? They seem to be very intuitive because of how strongly they bond with their people. So while they are a lot of bull, there is a lot of bull that is spread about them too. Overall, this is a great breed.
Facts About Bully Breeds
Both the American Bulldog and Pitbull are classic archetypes of the diverse and wonderful dog group we call the Bullies. Here are our five favorite facts about them.
1. There Are A Lot Of Them
When you ask someone to name a bully breed, you’ll overwhelmingly hear the American Pitbull and Bulldog. But many breeds fall into the group we call bully dogs.
All bullies descended from the Molosser dog, who prowled the streets of Ancient Rome and Greece. These dogs won the Romans and Greeks over for their versatility to hunt & retrieve, protect the home, and herd livestock.
The easiest to recognize bully breeds are for sure the ones with “bully” in their name: American Bulldog, American Pit Bull Terrier, Bull Mastiff, Bull Terrier, English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Olde English Bulldogge, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
While these next dogs may not have “bully” in their name, they are just as many bullies like the ones who do: American Staffordshire Terrier, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Cane Corso Italiano, Caucasian Shepherd Dog, Dogo Argentino, English Mastiff, Great Dane, Neapolitan Mastiff, Pug, and Rottweiler.
2. The Bully Controversy
There are a growing number of those who have a bully dog but hate the term, and wish it would go away. The term “bully” comes from the fact that extinct bully breeds were often used for bull-baiting.
This is a bloodsport like bear-baiting where dogs are used to grab onto these large animals and restrained them so they could be killed. These practices have long been outlawed, allowing much of the aggressiveness to be bred out.
It’s not so much aggression that made the old Bully breeds good at bloodsports, but kindness …
3. Why Kindness Is The Bully’s Crutch
An aggressive dog is unruly and unpredictable, and when you’re trying to hunt large and dangerous animals without modern medicine, you do not want a hunting companion that’s just as much of a risk.
So it’s often said that it’s not so much that the old bully breeds were more aggressive than the average dog, but that they were loyal to a fault and too kind to their owners. This made them easy to … well … take advantage of.
When you take power, durability, and unwavering love even when in danger, you have a combination for a weapon.
However, you can all take their strength and love and put it to noble use. That’s why today, you see bully breeds in many different roles from helpers on the farm to therapy puppers.
4. The American Vs The English Bulldog
While both dogs are closely related, today the American and English Bulldog have quite a bit of difference between them. While both loving and sweet, English Bulldogs can be more stubborn and outlandish than their American cousin.
As well, they see quite a few more health issues due to breeding practices that have left them prone to respiratory and cardiac issues along with numerous other issues.
While not quite the agile athlete as the American Pit Bull, the American Bulldog still moves gracefully at blazingly high speeds where the English Bulldog prefers cruising along on skateboards.
Most American Bulldogs are capable swimmers, but swimming is completely off-limits for the English Bulldog. Last, where most American Bulldogs healthy live past the age of 10 and up to age 15, the life expectancy for today’s English Bulldog is only 6-8 years — nearly half the life expectancy.
Make no mistake about it, the reason bulldogs and pit bulls have gotten such a bad rap is because of humans. So many took an amazingly loving and trusting animal and took full advantage of their abilities.
This has led to bans on pit bulls and similar dogs in many areas. But as the Canadian province of Ontario found, banning pit bulls doesn’t solve the human problem.
While the American Pit Bull was the second most frequently cited breed for dog bites in 2004 — after German Shepherds — their ban only served to drop the number of recorded bites by the breed; the overall number of dog bites increased.
Because of stats like this and the internet bringing to attention how incredibly loving bullies can be, we’re seeing the bans disappear, and more bullies are being adopted than ever before!