Bully Dog Breeds: Fun Facts and Myths Busted!

Do you have a Bully Dog? If so, congrats on owning one of the best dog breeds out there! But what exactly makes them so great?

When it comes to Bully Dog breeds, one word that comes to mind is “power”! These strong, muscular canines have been bred for centuries to guard people, livestock and property. But don’t be fooled – these amazing dogs are just as lovable as they are powerful. Whether you’re looking for an incredibly loyal companion or a watchdog with heart of gold, a Bully Dog breed could be the perfect fit for your home!

Read on to gear up to school anyone who may not fully understand why you choose to be a bully dog owner.

What Are Bully Dog Breeds?

The term “bully dog” is a blanket term that describes a variety of dogs, all stemming from an original ancestor – the Old English Bulldog. Through selective breeding, some of these dogs developed into the Bully breeds we know and love today.

Bully-type dogs share a strong flat facial structure, wide chest, and muscular body

Bully dogs are typically extraordinarily loving and loyal. They yearn to make you happy and will go to great lengths to make you laugh.

A few bully dogs you may have encountered could include:

  • English Bulldog
  • French Bulldog
  • American Bulldog
  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • Bull Mastiff
  • Bull Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Boston Terrier
  • Cane Corso
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier

These breeds tend to be very loving, devoted and protective of their owners. They can make excellent family pets. Although some may require a bit more training than other types of dogs due to their independent nature.

Bully Dog History

The ancestry of bully dog breeds goes as far back into history as Greece, pre-1800s. The Molossus was a large, muscular dog with a short snout and pendant ears. The ancient molossus dogs were bred for protection and war, and when the Romans invaded Britain in AD 43, these dogs were brought to England.

In the 1800’s, the Molussus was bred with various strong breeds like the Mastiff, resulting in a fully-functional fighting machine that could take down much larger animals. The Old English Bulldog was created.

As animal blood sports became illegal in Britain in 1853, English Bulldogs found themselves without a purpose. They had been bred and trained to be vicious, dangerous animals.

Breeders began mixing them with other breeds of lapdog and terrier breeds to create smaller, companionable animals such as the highly popular French Bulldog -the most popular breed today.

Despite their reputation, bulldogs are highly trainable and can become the epitome of positive behavior when given proper guidance and care. Just like all other dogs, they will return your love tenfold if you take the time to show them how much they’re valued.

bully dog breeds The frenchie
Ideal weight

What Dogs Are Considered Bully Dog Breeds?

Bully dogs stem from a common ancestor – the Molossus breed. Regardless of what other breeds are included in their ancestry, these pups all share this link to one another.

11 major varieties of bully dogs that you have likely heard of or encountered include:

  1. English Bulldog
  2. French Bulldog
  3. American Bulldog
  4. Bull Mastiff
  5. Bull Terrier
  6. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  7. Cane Corso Italiano
  8. Great Dane
  9. Pug
  10. Rottweiler
  11. Boxer

There are a great deal more bully dogs. If you are interested in finding out if your dog is a bully dog, consider conducting a DNA test or researching your dog’s lineage as far as you can.

Why is the American Pitbull Terrier not on this list?

 The American Pit Bull Terrier is not on this list because it is not considered a purebred bully breed by the American Kennel Club or most registries – rather it is a mix of bully breeds.

Common Characteristics Of Bully Breeds

Breeders have worked for many years to enhance the good qualities of bully breeds. Some breeders have also exaggerated certain characteristics that have impeded some breeds’ ability to live a normal doggy life – such as the English Bulldog and French Bulldog.

1.     Loving Pets

Bully-breed dogs are renowned for their intense devotion, loyalty and playfulness. They strive to please and make you happy – nothing brings them more joy than receiving your love in return!

Notoriously devoted companions, they don’t enjoy periods of isolation or loneliness – it can cause them to exhibit behavior that isn’t typical of their usual sweet nature.

They make great family dogs and are sometimes called “nanny” dogs because of their love for children. They need to be part of the family and will make themselves right at home in the center of the house and in your heart.

2.     Territorial

Bully-breed dogs are known to express their loyalty through fierce protection. When they feel threatened, these pups can become a bit territorial – that’s why it’s important to socialize and train them during puppyhood! Doing so will ensure your pup has the best chance of being an even-tempered guard dog (and buddy) for years to come.

3.     Jokers

Ever wanted to own a ‘class clown’ of the canine world? Look no further! Bully breeds are not only funny and entertaining – they will always find ways to make you smile. Plus, they thrive on affection so every interaction with your pup is sure to be an absolute blast!

4.     Differing Exercise Needs

Because bully dog breeds are so diverse, your dog may need up to an hour of exercise per day (think of the American Bulldog) or a maximum of thirty minutes divided into short, gentle sessions. (The English and French Bulldog fit into this category.)

Exercise and training should be tailored to suit the specific needs of certain bully breeds

Keeping your four-legged buddy healthy and happy isn’t just about regular exercise—it’s also about giving them the mental stimulation they need! Bully breeds, in particular, require frequent activities to keep their minds active. So why not have a blast with some fun training games? Your pup will thank you for it!

5.     Stubbornness

Remember that these breeds are stubborn by nature. Bully breeds may be strong in stature but that doesn’t mean that they have to take a heavy-handed approach when it comes to training.

When providing exercise and instruction for your dog, remember the impact of positive reinforcement! Keep each session short and sweet – throw some treats around along with loads of praise; give lots of cuddles and affection – this will keep them motivated.

6.     Predatory Behavior

Bully dogs have an innate drive to hunt and capture, developed from their history of being used as hunting dogs. Even a seemingly small thing like someone riding by on a bicycle could trigger the instinctive need for chase in these breeds!

micro bullies are a type of bully breed

Bully Dog Myth Busters

Bully dogs are often seen as aggressive animals, but it’s time to bust the myths! Although their ancestors were bred for fighting sports like bull baiting and dogfighting due to their desire to please owners, today’s Bully breeds have come a long way.

They can just be loving companions in your family home – not symbols of strength or power.

So let’s look at some common misconceptions by joining “Bully Dog Myth Busters” and clearing up any outdated notions about these wonderful pooches once and for all!

Myth #1: Bully Dogs Have Jaws That Lock

One of the most notorious rumors about bully breeds is that their jaws are designed to “lock”. This myth probably comes from their powerful jaw muscles and strength.

But rest assured: no bully breed has any sort of locking mechanism that turns them into a beyond-hope version of Cujo. Instead, bully breeds possess all the same capabilities as the average dog when it comes to panting, yawning, and yes, biting – in fact, it’s often pointed out that their intelligence gives them better bite inhibition than other dogs!

Myth #2: Bully Dogs Attack Children

Another untrue myth. Bully dogs are actually particularly good with children. They are sometimes called “nanny” dogs because of their affinity for children. Remember Nanny in Peter Pan?

More energetic bully dogs may need to be supervised when playing with children since they may knock them over in excitement. In general, though, bully dogs simply adore children and love to spend time with them in a loving and fun way.

I would always recommend children be fully supervised when around your dog. More often than not a bite has occurred due to the child hurting or scaring the dog – biting is one of their first responses.

The ASPCA has a great article I recommend that you read.

Myth #3: Bully Dogs Do Not Feel Pain

Contrary to myth, bully dogs do feel pain just like any other canine or mammal. Whether they sport a muscular body or big bully head doesn’t mean they can tolerate more than any other pet.

They’ve got a strong nervous system and can get quite sensitive when hurt, so it’s important to be gentle with them. As with any pet, their health should never be taken lightly and owners should look out for signs that their pup is feeling under the weather. So don’t believe the myth – bully dogs feel pain, too!

Myth #4: Bully Dogs Are Highly Aggressive

Contrary to popular belief, bully dogs are not naturally aggressive and do have the potential to be great family companions! The truth is they do have a relatively high prey drive and they just need proper socialization and training like any other breed.

That said, it’s important to remember that these dogs should be monitored around children since their strength could cause accidental injury. With a supportive owner who is willing to teach them how to properly interact and behave in different situations, they will become more comfortable with humans and learn when barking is appropriate.

Ultimately, bully dogs can love and enrich households with their lively character and loyalty – though owners should always be mindful of potential aggressiveness through attentive monitoring.

One last note. If you are considering a bully breed please consider adopting one from your local shelter. The best dogs I have ever owned have been bully rescues.

Emily Andrews