What Kennel Clubs Do Recognize The American Bully Breed?


The American Bully is a modern dog breed that has become increasingly popular across the globe. The breed is a cross between an American Pitbull Terrier and an American Staffordshire Terrier, though some variations derive from the American Bulldog and English Bulldog.

For a breed to grow in popularity it requires the accreditation of reputable kennel clubs to provide standardization and industry legitimacy for the breed. Currently, the American Bully is recognized by three leading kennel clubs, the United Kennel Club (UKC), the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC), and the UK Bully Kennel Club (UKBKC).


American Bully


This brief article outlines the American Bully breed and the role of kennel clubs and highlights the kennel clubs that currently recognize the American Bully breed.

American Bully Breed History

The American Bully is a fairly modern breed created in the 1990s in the US. Descended from American Pitbull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers, the American Bully combines a muscular physique with a calm and loving temperament, making them much-loved dogs.

There are several American Bully varieties including the Standard, Classic, and Pocket Bully.  The breed physique, temperament, and public perception are explored below.


Although there are a variety of American Bully breeds each share a similar physique which is characterized by a wide stance, muscular build, and large blocky head.

American Bullies are very robust, agile, and athletic, with the ability to perform most tasks you ask them to do.


One of the main perks of the American Bully breed is its temperament. Although they may seem fierce, the aggressive Pitbull instincts have been bred out to create a highly affectionate and loyal dog breed.

The American Staffordshire Terrier genetics also ensure the breed is very sociable and amiable to strangers.

Because of this calm, loving temperament, American Bullies make wonderful household companions and are particularly good with children.


Although American Bullies are a calm and docile dog breed, they do continue to be stigmatized as aggressive due to their Pitbull heritage. Mainstream media continues to associate isolated incidents of dog aggression with all Pitbull dog breeds – the American Bully included.

But this is wrong. Any incidents with Pitbulls are mainly from American Pitbull Terriers and not the American Bully. Also, there is a high likelihood that aggressive incidents are due to the dog being abused or mistreated by its owner.

This mixed public perception means that not the American Bully is not universally accepted by all kennel clubs and in some states in the US, owning any Pitbull is illegal.

What is a Kennel Club?

A kennel club is an organization that is concerned with the canine affairs of specific or multiple dog breeds. The kennel clubs focus on breeding practices, organizing meet-ups and shows, and are responsible for promoting the dog breed to a wider audience.

Kennel Club Role

In addition to being ambassadors for dog breeds, kennel clubs also play a critical role in the standardization and safety of dog breeds.  Most kennel clubs will record all the pedigrees for a breed, issue breeding criteria, provide the entry rules for breed dog shows, and provide the roster of expert judges.

To maintain breeding standards and maximize the potential of the breed, kennel clubs also provide breed-specific training events and registration services.

Kennel Club History

The first kennel club, known as the Kennel Club was founded in Birmingham, England in 1874. It was created due to the need for independent governing on the certification of dog breeds.

Following this, kennel clubs started to emerge across Europe and the US. The American Kennel Club (AKC) was founded in 1884, while the United Kennel Club (UKC) was founded in 1898. The AKC and UKC are now two of the most known kennel clubs across the globe which provide a respected authority on the standards and certification of dog breeds.

Kennel Clubs That Recognize the American Bully

Three main kennel clubs recognize the American Bully breed, the American Bully Kennel Club (AKBC), the United Kennel Club (UKC), and the UK Bully Kennel Club (UKBKC).

American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC)        

The ABKC was the first kennel club to recognize the American Bully breed which happened in 2004. The kennel club was created with the mission of being the first authority to recognize and standardize the American Bully dog breed.

The ABKC currently recognizes four varieties of the American Bully, Standard, Pocket Bully, XL, and Classic.

In terms of breed standards, the AKBC identifies a large blocky head as a key characteristic, as well as other specifications listed for all body zones.

The AKBC also recognizes all color patterns as permissible for American Bully breeding, with the only exception being Merle.

United Kennel Club (UKC)

The UKC recognized the American Bully later than the ABKC in 2013. The UKC is clear in distinguishing the difference between the American Bully and the American Pitbull Terrier, with the American Bully known for its strong, thick structure and build.

The UKC only recognizes one size of the American Bully, which is deemed to be 17 to 20 inches for males and 16 to 19 inches for females. This would be the size of the Standard variety that is recognized by the ABKC.

The recognition of one size variety is largely due to the UKC being wary that breeding different size American Bullies can compromise the quality of the breed in the long term.

UK Bully Kennel Club (UKBKC)

The UKBKC is the most far-reaching kennel club for American Bullies, with seven American Bully varieties recognized. These varieties are Standard, Micro, Pocket, XL, Exotic, Classic, and Athletic.

It is not known when the UKBKC first recognized the American Bully, but it certainly goes further than other kennel clubs to officially recognize breed varieties such as the Micro and Exotic that are often subject to criticism in the US as there are many cases of unethical breeding practices for these varieties.

What Doesn’t the Kennel Club or the American Kennel Club (AKC) Recognize the American Bully?

The Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club are two of the largest registries of dog breeds in the world. It may then lead you to ask why the American Bully does not feature as an accredited breed in either of these two kennel clubs.

The answer is largely due to the stigma attached to Pitbull dogs, with kennel clubs very wary of recognizing dog breeds that are descended from Pitbulls. Over the last few hundred years, Pitbulls were bred for their aggressive traits to participate in dog fights, bull baiting, and ratting. If abused or trained poorly, Pitbulls can still have aggressive traits and display them against humans.

Still, in certain parts of the US, a license is required to own a Pitbull.

This skepticism has led to some authorities being reluctant to register the American Bully as a purebred, despite the aggressive Pitbull traits being bred out.

However, given the recognition of other authorities and the growth in popularity of the breed, it is surely a matter of time before these two distinguished kennel clubs recognize the American Bully.

Final words

The American Bully has divided opinion in the kennel club world with the breed not yet universally recognized by all of the leading kennel clubs. The ABKC, UKC, and UKBKC are three prominent kennel clubs that recognize the breed, with each recognizing a different number of breed varieties.

If you own an American Bully, it is always useful to register your dog with a reputable kennel club as it will provide you with access to breed-specific events and training to ensure you best maintain its potential.

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