Published on: 11/25/2021, updated on: 03/13/2024

American Bully vs. American Bulldog: Which Breed is Right for You?

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When it comes to choosing between an American Bully vs American Bulldog, it's essential to look beyond their similar names and appearance.

While both breeds make fantastic companions, the gentle, affectionate American Bully and the loyal, protective American Bulldog have distinct characteristics that suit different lifestyles.

The wrong choice could lead to a heartbroken pup and frustrated owner. In fact, a surprising 80% of potential owners struggle to tell these breeds apart, leading to mismatched expectations.

In this ultimate showdown, we'll deep-dive into the history, traits, care needs, and more to help you confidently decide which breed is your ideal match.

American Bully vs American Bulldog
Photo by unsplash from David Taffet

History and Origins

The American Bulldog's story began centuries ago with the now-extinct Old English Bulldog. Brought to the US by 17th-century immigrants, these tough dogs served as invaluable working partners on farms. Saved from extinction by dedicated breeders, the American Bulldog emerged as a powerful yet affectionate breed.

The American Bully burst onto the scene in the 1990s. Developed by selectively breeding various bully breeds, the Bully was crafted to be the ultimate companion. While their muscular build may appear intimidating, careful breeding has produced a stable, even-tempered dog that thrives on human affection.

American Bully vs American Bulldog: A Comprehensive Comparison

AspectAmerican BullyAmerican Bulldog
Nutritional NeedsHigh-protein diet with quality animal protein, joint-supporting supplements, and omega fatty acids.Nutrient-dense, low-carb diet with lean proteins, joint supplements, and antioxidants. Portion control is important.
AppearanceCompact, muscular build with exaggerated, rippling musculature. Short, low-maintenance coat in various colors and patterns.Larger, substantial frame with loose skin and a broad, powerful chest. Short, low-maintenance coat in various colors and patterns.
SizeMedium. Height: 12-20 inches. Weight: 66-111 lbs.Large. Height: 20-28 inches. Weight: 59-120 lbs.
TemperamentFriendly, affectionate, stable, and eager to please. Thrives on human companionship.Loyal, protective, confident, and alert. Strong guarding instincts.
PersonalityGentle, adaptable, and kid-friendly. Loves being part of the family.Courageous, strong-willed, and devoted. Needs an experienced, active owner.
Training NeedsBenefits from positive, reward-based training and early socialization. Can be easier to train than Bulldogs.Requires patient, consistent training and early socialization. Can be strong-willed and independent.
Exercise NeedsModerate. 30 minutes to an hour of daily exercise. Adapts well to various living situations, including apartments.Moderate to high. 1-2 hours of daily exercise. Does best with ample outdoor space.
Grooming NeedsMinimal. Occasional brushing and bathing. May need a firmer brush for their slightly stiffer coat.Minimal. Occasional brushing and bathing. Wrinkles need regular cleaning to prevent irritation.
Health ConcernsProne to eye conditions. May suffer from joint and organ issues if bred unethically for exaggerated features.Prone to hip dysplasia, especially if overweight. Wrinkle infections if not cleaned regularly.
Lifespan8-12 years14-16 years
Ideal OwnerFamilies looking for a devoted, gentle companion. First-time owners. Those living in apartments or smaller homes.Active, experienced owners with ample space. Those looking for a protective, loyal companion.

Breed-Specific Nutritional Needs

Know the Difference: American Bully vs American Bulldog

A well-balanced diet is crucial for your Bully or Bulldog's health. For the muscular Bully, a high-protein diet with quality animal protein, joint-supporting supplements, and omega fatty acids is recommended.

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The food-loving Bulldog needs portion control and limited carbs to maintain a healthy weight. Both breeds benefit from nutrient-dense foods.

👉 Appearance and Physical Differences

The Bulldog boasts a larger, more substantial frame with loose skin and a broad chest.

The Bully is more compact with exaggerated, rippling musculature. Both have short, low-maintenance coats in various colors.

Temperament and Personality

American Bully:

Behind the Bully's muscular exterior lies a heart of gold. Bred as the ultimate companion, Bullies are known for their stable, friendly temperament. They adore their families and thrive in various living situations.

American Bulldog:

The courageous Bulldog is a born protector. Early socialization is essential to harness their guarding instincts. Bulldogs are smart but can be strong-willed. As a large, energetic breed, they do best with ample outdoor space.

Training and Exercise Needs

Know the Difference: American Bully vs American Bulldog

Bullies and Bulldogs need daily exercise and mental stimulation to thrive. Bulldogs require 1-2 hours per day, while Bullies need 30 minutes to an hour. Puppy exercise should be limited to protect growing joints.

Both breeds benefit from positive, reward-based training and early socialization. Check out our breed-specific training guides for more tips.

Breed-Specific Health Concerns

For Bullies, unethical breeding practices that prioritize looks over health are a concern. Avoid breeders who use steroids. Bullies are prone to eye conditions.

Hip dysplasia is a top concern for Bulldogs, especially if overweight. Regular vet check-ups and a balanced diet are musts. Their facial wrinkles need regular cleaning to prevent irritation.

Owner's Perspective

Know the Difference: American Bully vs American Bulldog
American Bully

"As a long-time American Bully owner, I can attest to their gentle, kid-friendly nature," says Sarah. "My American Bulldog, Ruby, is my loyal adventure buddy," shares Mark.

Related  Is Your Bulldog a Cuddler? Decipher Their Signals


How much does an American Bully cost compared to an American Bulldog?

American Bully puppies typically cost $2000-$5000, while Bulldog puppies average $1200-$1500. Reputable breeders focus on breeding healthy dogs over quick profit.

Are American Bullies and American Bulldogs the same?

No, despite some similarities, they are two distinct breeds with different histories, physical traits, and temperaments. This article can help you tell them apart!

How can I identify an American Bully?

Bullies are characterized by their compact, heavily muscled build, short muzzle, and small, high-set ears. They are also known for their gentle, outgoing personalities.

What distinguishes an American Bulldog?

Bulldogs are larger, taller dogs with broader chests and a more pronounced underbite. They tend to be confident, alert, and protective by nature.

Are American Bulldogs good with kids?

With proper training and socialization, Bulldogs can be loving, loyal family companions. However, their size and strength require extra supervision around small children.

Is the American Bully dangerous?

While their appearance might be intimidating, American Bullies are bred for friendly, gentle temperaments. Like any dog, they need responsible ownership, proper training and socialization to thrive.

Do American Bulldogs require a lot of space?

Due to their size and energy levels, Bulldogs do best in homes with ample room to play, both indoors and outdoors. They are not ideal for apartment living.


Both of these breeds are amazing and very energetic. They make great family pets. Like any other dog, they need love and nurturing besides the mandatory training. Whether you get an American Bulldog or an American Bully, both of these dogs are exceptional furry companions.

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