National Kennel Club
American Bully Standard
Recognized by the NKC June 2017
Head - 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
Eyes- All colors accepted except albinism
(pinkish to red) which is a disqualification.
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.
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.
Upper Teeth- to meet tightly outside lower
teeth in form or scissor bite.
Nose- Large with wide open nostrils. All
colors/pigment acceptable except albinism (light pink in color)
Both eyes not matched in
Overly visible haw
Bulging or protruding eyes
Muzzle too long or snipey
Lack of pronounced/deep
Level bite, overshot bite,
undershot bite and wry bite. Serious Faults: Severely overshot or
undershot bites, measuring 1/4 inch (0.6cm) or more.
Underjaw turning up
Nose turning up or pushed
Heavy, muscular, slightly
arched, tapering from shoulder to back of skull. Compact to medium size
should have minimal or no loose skin.
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.
Upright shoulders; steep
and forward scapula (shoulder blade).
Heavily muscled, massive
bulky body type of compact/medium length.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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). Kinked, knotted, or fused tail.
Extremely short tail. Disqualifying Faults: Screwed, bobbed, or docked
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 the touch.
Curly or wavy coat. Serious
Faults: Long coat.
COLOR AND PATTERN
All colors and patterns are
acceptable except the pattern merle.
COLOR DISQUALIFYING FAULT
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.
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.
Dogs should be healthy and
should NOT reach the point where it is considered obese.
Height and weight should be
in proportion of the body frame for Variety.
See Sizes below.
Males under 17 inches (43
cm) and no less than 14 inches (36 cm) at the withers. Females under 16
inches (40cm) and no less than 13 inches (33 cm) at the withers.
Important to note that Pocket Bully variety is simply shorter than the
Standard American Bully. Pocket Bully dogs share the same build, body
type, and breed type as the Standard American Bully, and are not to be
penalized for exhibiting heavily muscled, massive, bulky body type.
STANDARD AMERICAN BULLY
Males 17 inches 20 inches
(43 cm 51 cm) at the withers. Females 16 inches 19 inches (40 cm
48 cm) 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.
This is an amendment to the
basic standard which a XL Bully is determined by its adult height. Males
over 20 inches (51 cm) - 23 inches (57 cm) at the withers. Females over
19 inches (48 cm) 22 inches (54 cm) at the withers. Important to note
that the XL Bully variety is simply taller than the Standard American
Bully. XL Bully dogs share the same build, body type, and breed type as
the Standard American Bully, and are expected to carry a heavily
muscled, massive, bulky body type.
Displaying or possessing
Pink or Albino eyes
Unilateral or bilateral
cryptorchidism (missing one or both testicles)
Unilateral or bilateral
Neutered or Spayed dog