Although its roots are firmly grounded in the crossbreeding craze of the mid-1990's, the American Bully is currently being promoted as a new pure breed apart from the American Pit Bull Terrier, under whose name it has been bred and sold for the past 15 years or so. Originally a result of crossing the APBT, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bulldog, Olde English Bulldogge, Bullmastiff, Dogue de Bordeaux, English Bulldog, Neapolitan Mastiff and various bandogges with the aim of developing a larger and heavier Pit Bull, this American creation has been very successful in gaining acceptance and popularity in its homeland, all while its breeders firmly maintained that their dogs were pure American Pit Bull Terriers. As with most bandogge programmes, the initial gain in size resulting from crossing a bull-n-terrier type dog with a larger mastiff breed quickly disappears in subsequent generations and the American Bully stock soon suffered from its breeders' desire to maintain their lines, with most present-day examples of the breed being much shorter than their ancestors. Even though considered an abomination and an insult to the great APBT breed by most Pit Bull enthusiasts, the lines which would eventually become what is now a separate breed carrying the American Bully name had arguably surpassed its original small gamebred parent breed in popularity, while helping create more confusion and misinformation about the APBT itself in the eyes of general public and the media.
Unlike a true American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Bully hadn't been created for the fighting ring, although many of these dogs have been used for amateur level street fights by their ignorant and oftentimes criminal owners who believe them to be actual Pit Bulls, but the greatest blow the APBT breed has been dealt has been the promotion of these dogs which were commonly misrepresented as actual Pit Bull Terriers as good property guardians and protection dogs in the United States. With the massive popularity of what was the "alternative Pit Bull" type at the time, coupled with a long streak of indiscriminate breeding of these dogs who often ended up in the wrong hands, the incidence of attacks on humans with the APBT receiving the blame and its current media-fueled notoriety as a dangerous breed has also been steadily rising.
With the constantly increasing pressure on the promoters of the "new" Pit Bull by the lovers of the original APBT over the unjustified bad reputation being attached to what was once regarded as an ideal family pet, traditionally known to be harmless to humans and a bona fide American legend, as well as the growing difficulty of proving that these "alternative" strains hadn't been developed by crossing other breeds into the APBT, the breeders of the American Bully finally decided to "step away" from the APBT breed and establish a new breed out of their existing stock. Unfortunately, there is still a great number of owners and breeders who continue to maintain that their dogs are proper Pit Bull Terriers, whether their pedigrees are falsified or not. While the push for the separation of the American Bully from the APBT is most definitely a positive thing, many promoters of the new breed claim that no other breeds apart from the AmStaff and the APBT have been used for its creation.
Apart from being much heavier, having greater bone mass, larger heads and wider chests than real American Pit Bull Terriers, the majority of the dogs belonging to the American Bully group also lack the superb athletic qualities, stamina and temperament of their parent breed. Certainly more of a bulldogge than a bull-terrier, both in appearance and personality, the American Bully is a massive, yet sufficiently agile and territorial dog with good guarding instincts and watchdog capabilities. Although it can be stubborn at times, the breed is quite trainable and makes a good companion for experienced owners. Not as confrontational with other dogs as the APBT, this powerful American creation needs responsible handling and supervision nonetheless, as well as a great deal of socialization with people, due to its background involving breeding away from traditional APBT character traits. One of the most popular activities for the fans of the American Bully has always been the sport of Weight Pull, for which the breed had basically been created according to some and still excels in today, but it's also gaining acceptance in the world of Personal Protection for its drive and physical strength.
The breed type isn't fully set yet, with some dogs resembling animals of the Olde English Bulldogge type and others being similar to smaller American Bulldogs and oversized Staffordshire Bull Terriers in appearance, but the breed Standard does exist and the future selection based on its points may bring a greater deal of uniformity for the American Bully. A handsome dog, this powerful breed tends to have muscular, stocky bodies, with short backs, broad heads and wide, short muzzles with reasonably loose lips and well-developed jaw muscles. The ears can be cropped or left natural, while the tail must remain unaltered. The nose may be black, blue, brown, liver or red, depending on the coat colour.
The coat is short, smooth and flat, most commonly seen and sought after in blue, grey and red colours, but is accepted in any colouring. Average height for the modern American Bully is around 21 inches, but taller dogs can still be encountered.