ABKC american bully standards


The Amer­i­can Bully should give the impres­sion of great strength for its size. It is a com­pact and medium/large size dog with a mus­cu­lar body and blocky head. The Amer­i­can Bully should have the appear­ance of heavy bone struc­ture with a bulky build and look.


The Amer­i­can Bully is a com­pan­ion breed exhibit­ing con­fi­dence, a zest for life, along with an exu­ber­ant will­ing­ness to please and bond with their fam­ily, thus mak­ing the Amer­i­can Bully an excel­lent fam­ily com­pan­ion. Despite the Amer­i­can Bully’s fierce and pow­er­ful appear­ance their demeanor is gen­tle. They are great with kids, and extremely friendly with strangers, other dogs, and other ani­mals. Human or dog aggres­sion, extreme shy­ness, or vicious­ness is very unchar­ac­ter­is­tic of the Amer­i­can Bully and is highly unde­sir­able.


  • •The dis­tinct heavy, large and broad head of the Amer­i­can Bully exem­pli­fies breed type.
  • • Medium in length, deep through­out, broad skull, well chis­eled with very pro­nounced cheek mus­cles, dis­tinct and deep stop.
  • • Ears- Set high and can be either nat­u­ral or cropped.
  • • Eyes- All col­ors equally accepted except albinism (pink­ish to red) which is a dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion. Blue eyes, lack of pig­ment around the eyes are unde­sir­able.
  • • Eye shape is oval to almond shape, low down in skull and set far apart. Round eyes are unde­sir­able, and bulging or pro­trud­ing eyes are a fault.
  • • Vis­i­bil­ity of the haw should be min­i­mal.
  • Faults: Overly vis­i­ble haw. Both eyes not matched in color. Bulging or pro­trud­ing eyes. Dis­qual­i­fy­ing Faults: Albinism eyes. 
    • • Muz­zle- Short-Medium in length and broad in width. Length to be shorter than the length of the skull with dis­tance from the tip of the nose to the stop approx­i­mately one- third of the dis­tance from the tip of the nose to the occiput; but not so short as to inter­fere with nor­mal breath­ing. The muz­zle is blocky or slightly squared to fall away abruptly below eyes. The topline of the muz­zle is to be straight with nose nei­ther pointed nor turned up in pro­file.
    • • Jaws- well defined.
    • • Under jaw- to be strong and par­al­lel to muz­zle, never turn­ing upward.
    • • Lips- semi close and even, min­i­mal loose­ness accepted but not pre­ferred.

    Faults: Muz­zle too long or snipey; muz­zle so short as to inter­fere with nor­mal breath­ing; lack of pro­nounced cheek and deep stop; weak under jaw; under jaw turn­ing up; nose turn­ing up or pushed back; exces­sive flews.

    • • Upper Teeth- to meet tightly out­side lower teeth in form or scis­sor bite.

    Faults: Level bite, over­shot bite, under­shot bite and wry bite. Seri­ous Faults: Severely over­shot or under­shot bites, mea­sur­ing 1/4 inch or more.

    • • Nose- Large with wide open nos­trils. All colors/pigment accept­able except albinism (light pink in color).


    • • Heavy, mus­cu­lar, slightly arched, taper­ing from shoul­der to back of skull. Com­pact to medium size should have min­i­mal or no loose skin.

    Faults: Neck too thin or weak; neck too short or too long.


    • • Shoul­ders to be strong and mus­cu­lar with wide blades set wide; and well laid back. The upper arm is approx­i­mately equal to the length of the shoul­der blade and joined at an angle of approx­i­mately 35 to 45 degrees.
    • • Forelegs- straight, strong, and sturdy with large or round bones, pasterns are strong, short and nearly erect. Feet- straight for­ward.
    • • Dis­tance from the with­ers to the elbow is equal to the dis­tance from the elbows to the bot­tom of the feet. Dogs that are slightly shorter in dis­tance from the elbows to the bot­tom of the feet are accept­able but not desir­able.

    Faults: Upright shoul­ders; steep and for­ward scapula (shoul­der blade). Upper arm too short. Feet toe­ing either in or out; front legs bowed; down at the pasterns; splayed or flat feet; long toes.


    • • Heav­ily mus­cled, mas­sive bulky body type of compact/medium length giv­ing the impres­sion of great power for its size and exem­pli­fy­ing the breed type of the Amer­i­can Bully.
    • • Ribs well-rounded cre­at­ing a bar­rel chest with all ribs close together; rib cage to extend to the elbow or slightly below.
    • • Forelegs set rather wide apart to per­mit chest devel­op­ment.
    • • Chest- should be broad, deep, and well filled in; but should not be exag­ger­ated as to inter­fere with nor­mal move­ment.


    • • Fairly short to medium back, slight slop­ing from with­ers to rump or straight accepted with gen­tle short slope at rump to base of tail. The Amer­i­can Bully should give the appear­ance of a square body, equal in length when mea­sured from point of shoul­der to point of but­tocks and from the with­ers to the ground.

    Faults: Back too long; rear higher than with­ers; weak or swayed topline; roached or wheel back.


    • • Well mus­cled, let down at hocks, turn­ing nei­ther in nor out.
    • • Mus­cu­lar devel­op­ment, angu­la­tion and width of the hindquar­ters should be in bal­ance with that of the fore­quar­ters.
    • • When viewed from the rear legs are to be straight and par­al­lel.
    • • Croup should have a slight down­ward angle.

    Faults: Hocks turn­ing in or out; cow hocks; sickle hocks; nar­row hindquar­ters; straight or over-angu­lated sti­fle joints; bowed legs.


    • • Medium in com­par­ison to size, low set, taper­ing to a fine point and extend­ing approx­i­mately to the hock.
    • • When relaxed tail is to be car­ried low. When mov­ing tail is car­ried level with the topline or in a raised posi­tion when excited (chal­lenge tail), but should never be car­ried curled over, break­ing the plane of the back (gay tail).
    • • Tail to be clear of any kinks, knots or any cur­va­ture.

    Faults: Tail to long or too short approx­i­mately up to an inch above or below point of the hock. Gay tail (car­ried over the plane of the back). Seri­ous Faults: Kinked, knot­ted, or fused tail. Extremely short tail. Dis­qual­i­fy­ing Faults: Screwed, bobbed, or docked tail.


    • • Should be rounded and of mod­er­ate size in pro­por­tion to the dog, com­pact, well arched and tight.

    Faults: Splayed or flat feet, long toes.


    • • Short, glossy, close, stiff to smooth to the touch.
    • • Coat no longer than ½ inch in length.

    Faults: Curly or wavy coat. Seri­ous Faults: Long coat.


    • • All col­ors and pat­terns are per­mis­si­ble except the pat­tern merle.

    Dis­qual­i­fy­ing Faults: Merle pat­tern


    • • Dogs should be healthy and should NOT reach the point where it is con­sid­ered obese.
    • • Weight- There is no par­tic­u­lar weight for the breed.
    • • Height and weight should be in pro­por­tion of the body frame.
    • • Height-Please see Vari­ety Amend­ments.
    • • All vari­eties to exhibit “Bully” char­ac­ter­is­tics and breed type traits as described in the Amer­i­can Bully Stan­dard, which are key ele­ments of breed type for the Amer­i­can Bully breed.


    Males 17″ – 20″ at the with­ers. Females 16″ – 19″ at the with­ers. Impor­tant to note that the Stan­dard Amer­i­can Bully dogs are not to be penal­ized for exhibit­ing heav­ily mus­cled, mas­sive, bulky body type.


    • • The Amer­i­can Bully moves with a con­fi­dent and proud atti­tude, while keenly alive and alert to its sur­round­ings.
    • • Gait should be effort­less and pow­er­ful. The action must, be unre­strained, free and vig­or­ous with pow­er­ful drive off the rear. Front reach should be mod­er­ate and in bal­ance with the rear.
    • • Legs turn nei­ther in nor out, nor ever cross or inter­fere with each other.
    • • Dog mov­ing on the same plane – Each leg mov­ing in the same plane shared with the other leg on the same side with min­i­mal con­ver­gence.
    • • Back­line should remain level, with flex­ing to be very slight.

    Faults: Rolling; pac­ing; sidewind­ing; hack­ney action; pad­dling or pound­ing. Not mov­ing on the same plane; legs over reach­ing; legs cross­ing over in front or rear; rear legs mov­ing too close or touch­ing.


    Faults to be penal­ized but not dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tions for show­ing are:

    • • Both eyes not matched in color
    • • Overly vis­i­ble haw
    • • Bulging or pro­trud­ing eyes
    • • Muz­zle too long or snipey
    • • Lack of pronounced/deep stop
    • • Weak under­jaw
    • • Under­jaw turn­ing up
    • • Albinism nose (light pink)
    • • Nose turn­ing up or pushed back
    • • Tail too long or too short (approx. 1″ from point of hock)
    • • Curled tail (gay tail)
    • • Level or flush bite
    • • Over­shot or Under­shot bite
    • • Wry or cross bite
    • • Neck too thin or weak
    • • Neck too short or too long
    • • Upright shoul­ders; steep and for­ward scapula (shoul­der blade)
    • • Upper arm too short
    • • Sev­ere turned fronts (in or out)
    • • Bowed front legs
    • • Down at the pasterns (weak pasterns)
    • • Splayed or flat feet
    • • Long toes
    • • Hocks turn­ing in or out; cow hocked
    • • Curly or wavy coat
    • • Move­ment: Rolling, pac­ing, sidewind­ing, hack­ney action, and pad­dling or pound­ing
    • • Not mov­ing on the same plane – legs over reach­ing, cross­ing over in front or rear, or rear legs mov­ing too close or touch­ing


    Faults to be heav­ily penal­ized but not dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tions for show­ing are:

    • • Severely over­shot or under­shot (1/4 inch or more)
    • • Kinked tail
    • • Twisted tail
    • • Knot­ted tail
    • • Fused tail
    • • Overly Short tail
    • • Long coat


    • • Dis­play­ing or pos­sess­ing aggres­sive behav­ior towards humans
    • • Pink or Albino eyes
    • • Merle pat­tern
    • • Uni­lat­eral or bilat­eral cryp­torchidism (miss­ing one or both tes­ti­cles)
    • • Uni­lat­eral or bilat­eral deaf­ness (deaf­ness in one or both ears)
    • • Screwed tail
    • • Bobbed tail
    • • Docked tail

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