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ADBA American Bully Conformation Show Standard

By May 16, 2016October 21st, 2016Conformation Standards


The American Bully was developed in the mid 1990’s by breeders on both the East and West coasts of the United States. They used, as their foundation stock, United Kennel Club (UKC) and American Dog Breeders (ADBA) registered American Pit Bull Terriers mated with American Kennel Club (AKC) registered American Staffordshire Terriers; different varieties of the same breed based on bloodline history. These dogs were first known as “bully type” American Pit Bull Terriers. For the past 25 years, these dogs have been bred, bloodlines refined, and promoted across the U.S and overseas. The breeders of these dogs have developed this breed for a specific build and temperament so unique that they have been recognized as a breed separate from the American Pit Bull Terrier. These dogs were first registered as the American Bully with their own kennel club in 2004. Recent speculation that the breed was influenced by the blending of other bull breeds into their gene pool prompted the UKC to recognize the American Bully as a separate breed on July 15, 2013. Beginning in March 2015, dogs exhibiting these physical characteristics unique to the American Bully breed, or being bred from brood stock that consistently produce dogs with these unique physical characteristics, are being registered with the American Dog Breeders Association Inc. as the American Bully.


 Because the American Bully was developed from the blending of select strains of the American Pit Bull Terrier along with a major influence of the American Staffordshire Terrier for size and temperament, the attributes of these foundation breeds of overall balance, health and soundness are essential for quality specimens within the American Bully breed. Any excessive physical or temperament extremes within the American Bully breed that overshadow these essential qualities should not be used in a breeding program and will not be rewarded in the ADBA show ring.

 The American Bully, in overall appearance, should reflect their American Pit Bull Terrier/American Staffordshire Terrier foundation. The dogs should appear solid, powerful and heavily muscled with a blocky head, short and wide muzzle with a deep stop and prominent cheeks. The dog’s ears can be trimmed or natural. Dogs with any terrier refinement of head or body should not be rewarded in the ADBA American Bully show ring.

The body shape of the American Bully is rectangular with wide shoulder and hips, a wide barrel chest, and heavy bone with compact feet. The American Bully is a short coated breed with a smooth, glossy, slightly bristled coat of any color or combination of colors, excluding the merle color pattern. Dogs with the merle color pattern will not be accepted for registration due to the associated detrimental health issues related to this color pattern.

This breed was developed for a unique temperament. Dogs being accepted as an American Bully must exhibit the temperament of confidence, vitality and alertness, along with a strong willingness to please and bond with their owners. Dogs will be friendly with children, strangers and other animals. Human or canine aggression of any degree or extreme shyness is uncharacteristic and is highly undesirable within this breed.

There is no weight limit imposed within the American Bully breed standard. Two varieties will be recognized within the ADBA breed standard. The Classic and the Standard. Height of the Classic variety should ideally be 17 to 22 inches at the withers, and height for the Standard variety can range from 16 to 20 inches at the withers.

Conformation Standard

 Overall Appearance – 20 pts

The Breed is characterized as solid, powerful and thick-set. The breed is heavy boned, stocky with muscles well developed, and toned. It is a dog that possesses great power for its size. Head is in proportion to the body set upon a thick neck that transitions into the back with a slight arch. Although quite muscular, the breed is active and has the willingness and ability to compete in performance events. The American Bully was bred as a companion dog so its temperament as being friendly, confident, full of vitality with a willingness to please its owner is paramount. Dogs should be socialized showing alertness and interest in it’s surrounding, but showing no aggression to other canines, or humans, in the ring.

Download: Conformation Standard