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American Bully

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 cropped.
  • 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 color
  • Overly visible haw
  • Bulging or protruding eyes
  • Muzzle too long or snipey
  • Lack of pronounced/deep stop
  • Level bite, overshot bite, undershot bite and wry bite. Serious Faults: Severely overshot or undershot bites, measuring 1/4 inch (0.6cm) or more.
  • Weak underjaw
  • Underjaw turning up
  • Albinism nose
  • Nose turning up or pushed back


  • 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 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.


  • 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.


  • 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 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 the touch.


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


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


  • Merle pattern


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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 aggressive behavior
  • Pink or Albino eyes
  • Merle pattern
  • Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchidism (missing one or both testicles)
  • Unilateral or bilateral deafness
  • Neutered or Spayed dog
American Bully
American Bully