Exotic Bully Vs. American Bully: What Is The Difference?

It would be understandable if you are confused about all the kinds of Bully Dogs. There are many different types of Bully Dogs, each slightly different from the others. In this article, I will help you by comparing the Exotic Bully and the American Bully. If you are considering these two types of Bully Dogs, you will have more information to help you choose.

Exotic Bullies are mixed breed dogs that are smaller than American Bullies in both height and weight. Exotic Bullies have exaggerated features, more like Bulldogs. Exotic bullies are a newer breed than American Bullies and have no official standard. Exotic Bullies have more health problems.   

I am a veterinarian with a special interest in Bully Dogs. I own a rescued Bully Dog and know the breed well.

What Is An American Bully?

American Bullies were developed first by breeding American Pitbull Terriers to American Staffordshire Terriers. The result of this mix can be seen in the Classic type of American Bully Dog.

Some breeders added different kinds of Bulldogs into the breeding program to enhance the head size and broaden the chests. With the addition of Bulldog blood, American Bullies developed brachycephalic features (squashed, shortened faces).

American Bullies are recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC).

American Bullies have a breed standard that breeders must adhere to if they want to register their dogs. American Bullies are now bred to each other to perpetuate and improve the breed. 

American Bullies are bred in four types and sizes: pocket, classic, standard, and extra large (XL). Classic and Standard American Bullies are the same size but a different type.

Classic Bullies lack the Bulldog influence and have lighter builds with a more balanced body shape than Standard American Bullies.

Both Classics and Standards are powerful, muscular breeds but the Standard Bully has a larger head and chest. Their body shape makes them like John Wayne in the dog world – their center of gravity is very clearly in their chests.    

XL American Bullies are the largest type. They owe their size and extra height to the addition of Mastiff or Boxer blood. These dogs are big powerhouses with imposing muscles.

In this article, we will compare Exotic Bullies to Standard American Bullies.

American bully
American Bulldog

What Is An Exotic Bully?

Exotic Bullies developed as an offshoot of American Bully dogs. In 2008 some breeders decided to try and produce a different type of dog. They added Olde English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, and Shorty Bulls into the breeding pot.

They selected smaller offspring than American Bulldogs as their optimal dog type. The result is that Exotic Bullies are short, squat dogs with powerful builds and distinctive features.

Exotic Bullies have very large heads. The circumference of their heads is the same size or bigger than their height. The combination of the large head on short legs often makes these dogs look like they have dwarfism.

The enhanced influence of bulldogs has given Exotic Bullies more pronounced brachycephalic features with accompanying wrinkles. The wrinkles are not just found on the face but may also be seen on other parts of their bodies.

There is no official breed standard, and breeders produce a wide range of dogs that they market as Exotic Bullies. The ABKC and UKC do not recognize Exotic Bullies, but the US Bully Registry and the International Bully Coalition ( IBC) acknowledged them as a breed in 2013.

Exotic Bully Breeders have begun producing dogs with unusual colors to attract buyers. Unfortunately, the desire to breed extreme body types and rare colors has resulted in dogs with compromised health.

Exotic Bullies are relatively energetic dogs, especially when they are young. The problem is that they do not have good conformation for exercise and as a result are prone to injuries. Despite their muscular bodies, they are prone to spinal injury and disorders, which lead to pain and mobility issues.

Exotic Bullies cannot tolerate exercise for long periods because of their shortened faces which interfere with their breathing. Exercise increases the need for oxygen, and Exotic Bullies cannot get enough through their altered respiratory tracts.

Their pronounced brachycephalism also makes them heat intolerant. As Exotic bullies heat up during exercise, there is a high chance of fainting or having seizures. Owners of Exotic Bullies must be careful not to allow them to overheat or exercise when it is hot. 

exotic bully

What Is The Difference Between American And Exotic Bullies?

Although Exotic Bully breeders used American Bullies as the base breed for their dogs, they are quite different.

Exotic Bullies have flatter, more squashed faces, with underbites being common. Although American Bullies have some brachycephalism, it is much less prominent. Exotic Bullies usually have more facial and body wrinkles than American Bullies.

American Bullies are larger dogs with longer legs than Exotic Bullies. Both have sturdy, muscular physiques, but Exotic Bullies look out of proportion due to their reduced height.

American Bullies can breed and reproduce naturally. Exotic Bullies usually need to be bred artificially and have complicated pregnancies and difficulties giving birth naturally.

The breeding challenges in Exotic Bullies lead to breeders charging exorbitant prices for puppies. American Bullies generally are better priced and more affordable.     

The Showdown: Which is better – The Exotic Bully Vs. American Bully?

 Exotic Bullies are still developing, and breeders do not adhere to a breed standard. Purchasing an Exotic Bully is a risk as the ultimate appearance and health of the dog is unpredictable.

American Bullies are an accepted breed, and breeders must adhere to standards to register their dogs. This makes purchasing an American Bully less risky as you have a better idea of what the adult dog will look like.

Exotic Bullies are known for having severely compromised health and shortened life expectancy. American Bullies live longer with fewer health complications, making them the better dog.

Comparing Exotic Bullies And American Bullies

 Exotic Bully  American Bully
HeightThe height varies due to a lack of breed standards. Some say the maximum height should be 16 inches (41cm), and some breeders say 13 inches (33cm).   The height of females is less than males of the same litter but is also variable.Males measure 17 to 20 inches (43 to 51 cm) at the wither.       Females are 16 to 19 inches (41 to 48cm)
WeightVariable, with some sources citing weights of 30 to 50 pounds (13 to 23 kg)50 to 70 pounds (22.6 to 31.75 kg)
Life Expectancy5 to 7 years10 to 12 years
HealthHip and elbow dysplasia Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome Allergies Prolific wrinkles worsen skin fold dermatitis Moist eczema (hot spots) Hypothyroidism Heart conditions Entropion Ectropion Dry eye The eyes may pop out from a mild bump to the head Dental abnormalities such as too many teeth, too few teeth, and abnormal bite patterns Reproductive difficulties Difficulty walking Spinal and other joint injuries are common  Hip and elbow dysplasia Anterior Cruciate ligament rupture Allergies Skin fold dermatitis Pyoderma Moist eczema (hot spots) Hypothyroidism Heart conditions Cherry eye Entropion Ectropion Dry eye Cataracts
TemperamentSociable with people and other animals. Tolerant of children and other pets. Can be stubborn.A good family dog that is tolerant of children. Loyal and protective.
Price$5000 to $40 000$2000 to $5000

My Final Thoughts

Exotic Bullies have many health issues, which give them a severely shortened life span. Due to the lack of breed standards, it is difficult to purchase an Exotic Bully puppy and know how big it will be and what its appearance will be like. These problems in Exotic Bullies make American Bullies a better option.

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Emily Andrews