What are Bully Breeds
A Bully Breed is a generic term used to refer to terrier-like breeds that were historically bred for “bull-baiting“, dog-fighting, and other aggressive activities.
Nowadays, these breeds are kept as companions and known for their loyalty, affection, and playfulness.
But unfortunately, these sweet affectionate dogs still carry the stigma of their past: aggressive and dangerous dogs that cannot be trusted.
But responsible owners of these Bully Breeds know this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Not all Bully Breeds have an aggressive past
Some breeds are called a “bully breed” because of their similarities in appearance to such breeds,
despite the breed not being used historically for bull baiting.
Popular Bully Breeds include: Bulldogs, Boxer, Pit Bulls, Pugs, Bull Terrier, Boston Terrier, and more!
For example, the Pug is often referred to as a “Bully Breed”, yet it has absolutely no history of being used in bull-baiting— it’s just because of its appearance.
Bully Breeds as a Status Symbol
Bully Breeds such as Pit Bulls, Bulldogs, and Rottweilers have long been seen as a symbol of toughness, intimidation, and aggression.
Bully breeds have been seen as a symbol of…
And despite their past of being used in such an aggressive manner being long-gone, lots of people still view Bully Breeds as tough, intimidating, aggressive dogs.
And to be fair, some do look a bit intimidating.
But with that being said…
Some of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever met have been Pit Bulls and other so-called “aggressive” breeds!
Bully Breed Characteristics
- Athletic & agile
- Highly motivated to hunt & chase prey
Why are they called Bully Breeds?
It’s not because they’re bullies!
Bully breeds get their name from their bull-baiting history… many of these breeds were bred solely for the purpose of bull-baiting.
What is Bull-Baiting?
Bull-baiting is what is called a “blood sport“, along with Ancient Roman gladiator fights, hunting, and dogfighting.
It was very popular in England during the 16th & 17th centuries and considered a form of entertainment for the masses.
Dogs were specifically bred with bull-baiting in mind, favoring traits such as large size, strength, muscularity, powerful jaws, and ferociousness.
An illegal activity
Bull-baiting was eventually banned in England in 1835 and is highly illegal in most parts of the world today…
But would you believe that dogfighting was still going on in the US until 1976 when it was banned in all states?!
List of 40 Bully Breeds
The most popular Bully Breeds are: French Bulldog, Pug, English Bulldog, and Boston Terrier.
- Alapaha Blue Blood: A rare bulldog breed developed in the 1800s in Georgia, USA for cattle driving and personal protection.
- American Bulldog: A large and powerful breed originally developed for farm work and hunting in the southern United States.
- American Pit Bull Terrier: A medium-sized terrier breed originally bred for bull-baiting and later as a fighting dog.
- American Staffordshire Terrier: A medium-sized breed originally developed in England for dog fighting and later bred in the United States as a companion dog.
- Argentine Doggo: A large, muscular, and athletic breed originally bred for big-game hunting, including wild boar and puma.
- Aussie Bulldog: A medium-sized bulldog breed developed in Australia for companionship and as a family pet.
- Bantam Bulldog: A small bulldog breed that originated in England in the 19th century, used for bull-baiting and ratting.
- Banter Bulldogge: A medium-sized bulldog breed developed in the United States by breeding English Bulldogs, American Pit Bull Terriers, and Bullmastiffs.
- Belgian Draft Mastiff: A large and powerful breed originally bred in Belgium for draft work.
- Bhote Kukur: A large, heavy, and strong breed of dog from Nepal, primarily used for herding and guarding livestock.
- Bordeaux Bulldog: A large and powerful breed of dog from France, originally used for guarding property and hunting game.
- Boston Bulldog: A small-sized breed of bulldog, bred for companionship and as a family pet.
- Boston Terrier: A small-sized breed of dog developed in the United States, primarily used for companionship.
- Boxer: A medium-sized, short-haired breed of dog developed in Germany, often used as a guard dog, police dog, and military dog.
- Brazilian Mastiff: A large and powerful breed of dog from Brazil, originally used for hunting jaguars, cattle droving, and guarding livestock.
- Bull Mastiff: A large, muscular breed of domestic dog, bred for protection and guard duty, and to hunt and hold poachers without mauling them.
- Bull Terrier: A small to medium-sized breed of dog developed in England, bred for dog fighting and later as a companion dog.
- Cane Corso Italiano: A large Italian breed of dog, used for hunting and guarding property.
- Catahoula Bulldog: A medium to large-sized breed of dog developed in the United States, bred for herding and as a family pet.
- Caucasian Shepherd Dog: A large breed of dog from Russia, primarily used for protecting livestock.
- Continental Bulldog: A medium-sized bulldog breed developed in Germany, bred for companionship and as a family pet.
- Dogo Argentino: A large, muscular breed of dog from Argentina, originally bred for big game hunting, and also used as a police dog, military dog, and family companion.
- English Bulldog: A medium-sized breed of dog originating in England, bred for bull-baiting, and later used for guarding, companionship, and as a family pet.
- English Mastiff: A giant breed of dog originating in England, used as a guard dog and as a companion.
- French Bulldog: A small-sized breed of domestic dog, bred for companionship and as a family pet, characterized by its large “bat ears”.
- Great Dane: A giant breed of dog from Germany, originally bred for hunting wild boar, and later used as a guard dog, police dog, and family companion.
- Gull Terr (Pakistani Bull Terrier): A medium-sized breed of dog from Pakistan, bred for dog fighting, hunting, and as a family pet.
- Leavitt Bulldog: A rare breed of dog developed in the United States, bred for companionship and as a family pet.
- Majorca Mastiff: A medium to large-sized breed of dog from Spain, used for guarding and as a family pet.
- Neapolitan Mastiff: A large, ancient breed of dog from Italy, used as a guard dog and as a family companion.
- Old Boston Bulldog: A medium-sized breed of bulldog from the United States, bred for companionship and as a family pet.
- Olde English Bulldogge: A muscular and athletic breed of dog from the United States, bred for companionship andas a family pet, resembling the original bull-baiting bulldogs from England.
- Pug: A small breed of dog with a wrinkly, short-muzzled face, originating in China and popularized in Western Europe in the 16th century, bred for companionship and as a family pet.
- Pyrenean Mastiff: A giant breed of dog from Spain, used for guarding and herding livestock, as well as for companionship and as a family pet.
- Rottweiler: A medium to large-sized breed of dog from Germany, used as a police dog, guard dog, and as a family companion.
- Serrano Bulldog: A rare breed of dog from Spain, used for herding and guarding livestock, as well as for companionship and as a family pet.
- Spanish Mastiff: A large breed of dog from Spain, used for guarding and herding livestock, as well as for companionship and as a family pet.
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier: A medium-sized breed of dog from England, originally bred for dog fighting, and later used as a family pet.
- Valley Bulldog: A medium-sized breed of bulldog from Canada, bred for companionship and as a family pet.
- Victorian Bulldog: A medium-sized breed of bulldog from the United Kingdom, bred for companionship and as a family pet, resembling the original bulldogs from the Victorian era.
Bully Breed Myths
Myth 1: Bully Breeds have “locking jaws”
The truth: Studies have shown that Bully Breeds (such as Pit Bulls) don’t have any “jaw locking” mechanism. Their jaw structure is not different than any other breeds and don’t have a stronger bite force or “locking” mechanism.
Myth 2: Bully Breeds are naturally aggressive
The truth: Bully Breeds are not inherently mean & aggressive dogs, however, many irresponsible owners give
these breeds a bad rep.
Any dog that is improperly socialized and raised in a negative environment can become aggressive— not just Bully Breeds.
Myth 3: Bully Breeds are not good with children
The truth: Bully Breeds can be great with children and are often known for their loyalty and affection towards their families.
However, as with any breed, proper socialization and training is important to ensure they interact appropriately with children.
Myth 4: Bully Breeds have a higher bite force than other breeds
The truth: While Bully Breeds have strong jaws, they do not necessarily have a higher bite force than other breeds.
In fact, some smaller breeds such as the Jack Russell Terrier have been found to have a higher bite force than some Bully Breeds.
Myth 5: Bully Breeds don’t feel pain
The truth: Bully Breeds, like all dogs, are capable of feeling pain and it is important for owners to recognize and address any signs of discomfort or injury.
Myth 6: Bully Breeds are more likely to bite than other breeds
The truth: No breed is inherently more likely to bite than another. It is important to recognize that any dog, regardless of breed, can become aggressive if not properly trained and socialized.
Myth 7: Bully Breeds don’t get along with other animals
The truth: Bully Breeds can coexist peacefully with other animals if they are introduced and socialized properly.
Like any dog, it is important to monitor their interactions with other animals to ensure they are safe and appropriate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Bully Breeds Aggressive?
No! Many people will mistakenly assume that Bully Breeds are aggressive and mean… this couldn’t be further from the truth!
They make great family dogs— that is, if they’re properly trained.
Obedience training is key for any dog, especially Bully Breeds.
Do Bully Breeds feel pain?
Yes, Bully Breeds feel pain just like any other dog— this is just a common myth spread about Bully Breeds (specifically dogs like the Pit Bull)
What Organizations Recognize Bully Breeds?
- American Kennel Club (AKC)
- American Bully Association (ABA)
- American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC)
- American Canine Association Inc. (ACA)
- United Canine Association (UCA)
These are just some of the