Published on: 11/25/2021, updated on: 11/27/2021

Know the Difference: American Bully vs American Bulldog

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There are many dog breeds and some of them look quite similar. Because of this, it is very common for people to confuse between the two breeds or mistake one for another. This scenario occurs quite often when it comes to differentiating the American Bully from the American Bulldog.

These two dog breeds are commonly mistaken as the same breed but they are completely different breeds. Some people also mistake both of these dogs for American Pitbull Terriers. 

If you want to be able to tell the American Bully and American Bulldog apart, this article will easily guide you through understanding the differences between the two.

American Bully vs American Bulldog
Photo by unsplash from David Taffet

History of the American Bully and American Bulldog

The first step to being able to distinguish between these two breeds is knowing their history and background. For starters, the word “bulldog” was coined before “bully”. Simply remember that the American Bulldog is an earlier and older breed than the American Bully.

Both breeds are quite muscular and have sturdy bodies. Due to their physique, some people have a misconception that they are aggressive dogs. This is not true. Both are amazing furry companions that are incredibly compassionate and loyal.

History of the American Bulldogs

Know the Difference: American Bully vs American Bulldog
American Bulldog

The parent breed of the American Bulldog is the Old English Bulldog. The Old English Bulldog is now, unfortunately, on the brink of extinction. It was introduced to America by immigrants from England. In the 17th century, the English dogs were brought to America to help farmers guard their property and livestock. These dogs were great at catching wild pigs and cattle on farms.

The only Old English Bulldogs remaining are in the rural regions of the South. This breed was saved from extinction by John D. Johnson from Summerville, Georgia. He located and gathered the healthy dogs from the rural South and bred them to replenish its population.

This breed then mixed with other bulldogs and thus the American Bulldog was introduced. This modern breed is perfect as both a family pet and a working dog. When distinguishing the English Bulldog and American Bully, just remember that the bulldog is an almost extinct and older breed.

History of the American Bully

Know the Difference: American Bully vs American Bulldog
American Bully

The American Bully was developed in the United States and has been mixed with multiple different breeds. Introduced in 1990, the predecessors of this young breed are the American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pitbull Terrier, and other similar type breeds.

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Despite having the American Pitbull as the parent breed, American Bullies are a completely different breed from Pitbulls. The parent Pitbull has been bred with many other breeds and so the resulting offspring is no longer considered Pitbulls. On July 15, 2013, the United Kennel Club established that the American Bully is a separate breed. The main difference between Pitbull and American Bully is that the first one is the parent breed while the latter is a mixed breed.

The positive traits of the different dogs have been selectively bred to develop the American Bully. For example, the American Bully got their loyalty from their parent breed, the American Staffordshire Terrier. Undesirable characteristics such as aggressiveness have been bred out. The main aim of developing this mixed breed was to have a friendly dog that was not aggressive.

An Overview of the Differences Between the American Bully and American Bulldog

Know the Difference: American Bully vs American Bulldog

Here is a short profile on the differences between the American Bully and American Bulldog.

CategoryAmerican BulldogAmerican Bully
GroupBoth working and companion dogCompanion dog
OriginUnited StatesUnited States
SizeMedium dogLarge dog
Average Height (Male)21 - 28 in12 - 20 in
Average Height (Female)20 - 26 in12 - 20 in
Average Weight (Male)70 - 120 lb66 - 111 lb
Average Weight (Female)59 - 100 lb66 - 111 lb
Life Expectancy14 - 16 years8 - 12 years
Size of Litter10 - 12 puppies4 - 8 puppies
CoatShort and smoothShort
Coat ColorsWhite, brindle, white with brown or red, piebald.Black, brindle, tan, white, fawn, brown, red, and grey.
TemperamentLoyal, protective, courageous, affectionate, gentle, loving, intelligent, friendly.Social, loyal, friendly, intelligent, cheerful, alert, affectionate.
GroomingLow maintenanceLow maintenance
Kids FriendlyYesYes
New Owners FriendlyYesNot often
TrainabilityEasy to Semi-difficult, but requiredEasy to Semi-difficult, but required.

Nutritional Requirements 

Whether you have an American Bulldog or an American Bully, as a dog parent, it is your responsibility to take account of their nutritional needs. It is best to ask for recommendations from a reputable vet.

Nutrition Requirements for the American Bully

The best dog food for the American Bully should contain all the essential nutrients it needs to thrive and fend off any diseases. American Bully puppies need at least 22% protein content due to their large muscle mass, as recommended by the MSD Veterinary Manual.

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Real meat contains the essential amino acids that make up the required protein content. Dog food should also contain glucosamine to boost and upkeep their joint health, and omega fatty acids for brain function, eye strength, and overall development. These fatty acids also maintain and nourish the skin along with folic acid, biotin, and vitamin E.

To boost their immunity, supplements like antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are also required. They are naturally found in fruits and vegetables. They are also found as additional supplements in any pet store. Since puppyhood plays a key role in their general health, it is imperative to set a healthy diet.

When feeding puppies, you need to be aware that their kibbles are specifically developed for puppy consumption and nutrition needs. Dogs have strong immunity and a generally healthy physique when their nutrition is ensured in this stage.

When you are feeding senior American Bullies, make sure that they are being fed a higher content of glucosamine and chondroitin for their joint health. They need to be fed fewer calories as they need less energy and have slower metabolic and digestive systems. They also need a higher amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to ward off any ailments.

Nutrition Requirements for American Bulldogs

Since American Bulldogs are muscular, they are prone to becoming overweight over time. Hence, they need to be fed a low amount of carbs to avoid weight gain. Like American Bullies, they also need high amounts of proteins, omega fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, glucosamine, and chondroitin.

For healthy joints and bone strength, they need glucosamine and omega 3 fatty acids. Senior dogs need a larger amount of these ingredients to strengthen their joints. Both puppies and adults need high amounts of proteins for their muscles and overall immunity.

Appearance & Size Differences of the American Bulldog and American Bully

Both of these breeds are large and powerful. However, the American Bulldog is slightly larger and heavier when compared to the American Bully.

Both breeds have muscular bodies and boxy heads. In comparison, the Bully is much more muscular than the Bulldog while the Bulldog has a lot of common traits with the English Bulldog, especially the wrinkly loose skin. American Bulldogs have a powerful broad chest but their muscles are not as defined as the Bullies. Both breeds have smooth and short coats that come in a wide range of colors and patterns.

Temperaments of the American Bully and American Bulldog

The temperament of both these breeds may be similar but they do have some distinct differences.

The Temperament of the American Bully

Despite their frightening appearance, the Bully is friendly and gentle and makes exceptional family pets. Their breed was developed to be incredibly loyal and not aggressive. The best feature of this breed is that they rarely get nervous or jumpy. They are quite affectionate and will warmly welcome any of your guests, even ones they’ve never met before.

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The Temperament of the American Bulldog

Bulldogs are known for their loyalty and protective instincts. They will protect their families from strangers and are affectionate, gentle, and friendly towards known people. They need some time to trust strangers and make exceptional watchdogs.

Since they are protective and loyal by nature, they must be socialized with other people and dogs early on. Fortunately, Bulldogs are very intelligent and can be trained to be sociable. It must be kept in mind that they do not do well living in apartments. They need large backyards to play, roam around, and exercise.

Training & Exercise Needs

Know the Difference: American Bully vs American Bulldog

Both breeds are highly athletic and energetic. However, the American Bulldogs need more exercise as their predecessors were catch dogs. They typically require 1 to 2 hours of physical exercise every day. The American Bullies do not have such high energy levels but they need high activity nevertheless.

Bullies need 30 minutes to an hour of exercise every day. To minimize health problems, American Bully and American Bulldog puppies should only be exercised for 10-20 minutes every day until they are completely grown. Their exercise needs should never be neglected. Bored dogs who are full of energy and not exercised will likely develop disruptive behavior like aggression and excessive barking.

Health Issues

If not properly taken care of, both breeds will encounter serious health problems.

Health Problems of the American Bully

Some breeders give drugs to the Bully to give them a glossy coat and a muscular body. The dog reverts to its normal size once the drugs are stopped, leading to hair fall, joint, and organ problems. It is best to opt for a reputable breeder who does not practice this.

If the Bully has cherry-colored eyes, they are prone to be affected by entropion and ectropion disease. This causes the eyelid to turn away from the eyeball and outwards.

Health Problems of American Bulldog

If not exercised and fed well, the American bulldog will be vulnerable to hip dysplasia. It is a painful genetic disorder that causes the joint bones to separate. If the skin folds of the Bulldog are not properly cleaned and taken care of, they are susceptible to ear infections. This breed tends to overeat – if its diet is not controlled then it will become obese and have multiple disorders linked with obesity.


American Bulldog the Same as American Bully?

No, they are not. They are two different breeds.

How to Identify an American Bully?

They have toned muscular bodies and have shorter pointed ears. They are incredibly loyal and very friendly, even with strangers.

How Do I Identify an American Bulldog?

They have distinct foreheads, V-shaped ears that hang on either side of their cap, and their dainty is upside down.

Are American Bulldogs Good with Kids?

They need some training, but they are unique and playful with children

How Much Does Each Breed Cost?

Bulldog puppies cost around $1,200 to $1,500, whereas American Bully costs between $2000 – $5000.


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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