Your Guide To The Pocket Bully Dog Breed

Choosing the right dog for you and your family is essential for a long, happy partnership between people and dogs. You might have been eyeing American Bully dogs, thinking they would be the perfect dog for you if they were not so big. Well, you are in luck! Today you can learn about Pocket Bullies.

A Pocket Bully is a crossbreed between American Bullies and Patterdale terriers. They are powerful, muscular dogs, smaller than American Bullies. Pocket bullies are friendly, making them ideal for families with children. They usually look like American Bullies, but some resemble Patterdale terriers.

As an experienced veterinarian with my own rescued Bully dog, I have a special interest in and love of Bully breeds. I want to provide you with an ultimate guide to the Pocket Bully Dog Breed.

What Is A Pocket Bully?

Dog breeders have been looking at ways to produce smaller dogs so that people living in smaller spaces can enjoy the dog breed of their choice.

American Bully breeders discovered that many people who wanted to own one of their dogs had a space problem and wanted a smaller dog. Older pet owners also had problems as they could not manage a full-size American bully dog.

The breeders set about developing a breed that would fit these needs. The Pocket Bully dog was born, making it the newest recognized Bully breed.

Pocket Bullies usually look just like American Bullies, just a smaller version. Although they are not tall, they have the same impressive muscles and sturdy build as their bigger cousins.

pocket bully

Is A Pocket Bully A Purebred?

A Pocket Bully is not a purebred dog. It was developed by crossing American Bulldogs with Patterdale terriers, making it a mixed or hybrid dog.

You should not be discouraged by the fact that they are hybrid dogs. Most breeders try to select their dogs carefully to produce the perfect Pocket Bully.

What Are The Origins Of The Pocket Bully?

There is no documentation to show who bred the first Pocket Bully. The idea to mix Patterdale terriers and American Bully Dogs probably came from a few accidental litters.

Breeders first intentionally started breeding Pocket Bullies about twenty years ago. Initially, their following was small, but it quickly gained popularity as more people became aware of the opportunity to own a miniature American Bully.

Patterdales originally came from the United Kingdom before being taken to the United States. They are tough, feisty little dogs known for being excellent with children and loyal to their families.

This made them an excellent choice to breed with American Bullies that are friendly, loyal dogs with sociable temperaments.

Pocket bullies cannot be registered with the American Kennel Club as they are hybrid dogs. The American Bully Kennel Club first recognized them in 2004.

What Are The Breed Characteristics Of Pocket Bullies?

The name Pocket Bullies may give the idea of small dogs that could fit in a handbag. If you tried to put one of these in your handbag, you would need an outsize handbag and a large amount of muscle to tote it.

Although Pocket Bullies are smaller than standard-size American Bully dogs, they have chunky, stocky physiques with large heads. They give the impression of being immensely strong dogs, despite their short legs.

Pocket bullies have short, broad muzzles with slightly flattened faces. Their ears flop over and are set high on the head.   

They typically resemble standard-size American Bullies, but some may look more like their Patterdale parent. The ones with more Patterdale characteristics have a lighter build and may have a different coat.

What Is The Temperament of The Pocket Bully?

Pocket Bullies were originally bred as companion dogs. They did not have any other ‘job’ such as other dog breeds like Labradors bred to retrieve. Their main function is companions, so they must have reliable, friendly temperaments!

Pocket Bullies are renowned as sociable, even-tempered dogs that love people. Most Pocket Bullies are friendly to strangers welcomed by their owners, and can be relied on to be social with the young and old.

Despite their general friendliness, they are loyal to their family and will defend them if there is a threat.

Pocket Bullies with temperaments similar to their American Bully parent typically have a low prey drive meaning they will not chase or hunt small animals. This characteristic makes them more reliable with children and small pets who often behave like prey.

Pocket Bullies are well known for having extreme tolerance for children. Some people call them nanny dogs because they are so good with children. Pocket Bullies are playful, energetic dogs, making them ideal companions for children.

As with all breeds, some breeders are not ethical, and one problem with irresponsible Pocket Bully breeders is that they may breed dogs with aggressive traits. This is frowned upon by all Bully clubs, and dogs displaying aggression may not be registered.

The American Bully Kennel Club notes that extreme shyness, human or dog aggression, and vicious behavior are undesirable and do not meet the breed standards.

It is important when choosing a puppy to choose your breeder with care. Always ask to see the parents, noting their temperament. You can also ask for the names of people who have bought previous puppies from the breeder and phone them to get an independent opinion.

What Are The Weight And Size Of Pocket Bullies?

The United Kingdom Bully Kennel Club, in agreement with their American counterparts, states that male Pocket Bullies should be 14 to 17 inches (36 to 43 centimeters) at the shoulder. Females should be 13 to 16 inches (33 to 40 centimeters). 

Male Pocket Bullies weigh 11 to 22 pounds (5 to 10 kilograms), and females weigh 10 to 20 pounds (4.5 to 9 kilograms).

The large weight range is because some Pocket bullies may inherit a lighter build from their Patterdale parent, and others may have the stocky, heavy build of the American Bully parent.   

The Lifespan Of A Pocket Bully

Pocket Bullies can be expected to live between ten and thirteen years. Choosing a Pocket Bully puppy bred from healthy parents will ensure the dog has the best chance of living a long life.

A good diet and veterinary care help to keep your Pocket Bully healthy, living its best life with you.

How Much Exercise Do Pocket Bullies Need?

Pocket bullies need about one hour of exercise a day. This can consist of a walk, which may be what older dogs enjoy most. Younger dogs will enjoy the added stimulation of playing games such as tug and catching flirt toys.

Exercising and playing games with your dog increases the bond between you. It is a mutually beneficial time.

It is essential to remember that puppies younger than a year should not do exercise, which places stress on their joints. Puppies also need less intense exercise than adult dogs.

Do Pocket Bullies Come In Different Colours?

Pocket Bullies come in a wide range of colors. The Bully Kennel clubs specify which colors are accepted.

  1. Black Pocket Bullies are a common color. The coat is predominantly shiny black, with some possible white markings on the face, chest, and paws.
  • Chocolate coats should be a rich dark color in Pocket Bullies. Chocolate coats that lighten or fade in the sun are less desirable. White markings on the chest, face, and paws are often seen.
  • Blue Pocket Bullies are not truly blue. They have a greyish-colored coat that can look bluish in certain light. The color is similar to that seen in blue Great Danes.
  • White Pocket Bullies are predominantly white, but there may be some black, chocolate, or other colored spots on the dog. White Pocket Bullies need more protection from the sun than other colors.
  •  Black, red and blue brindled Pocket Bullies are sought-after colors by some people. They like the alternating light and dark stripes, with many people saying they resemble the stripes on wild cats.
  • Tricolor Pocket Bullies have a base color, usually black. Tan or blue may also form the base color, but this is more unusual. Tricolors with a black base have tan markings on the face and legs and white patches on the chest.

Tan or blue-based tricolors will have two additional colors. Blue is usually combined with white and tan. Tan-based tricolors generally have darker brown or chocolate face and feet markings with white on the chest.

  • Merle is the most unusual color for Pocket Bullies and, as a result, is often highly favored by potential clients. Merle is a color mutation and consists of diluted reddish-tan or blue with some darker spots. The color mutation affects the eye color, and they have blue eyes.

Grooming And Shedding In Pocket Bullies

Pocket bullies may inherit coats from their American Bully parent, in which case the coat will be short and smooth.

Patterdale terriers have three coat types, which can be passed onto pocket Bully offspring.

  1. The smooth coat is straight with coarse, dense, stiff hair.
  2. The broken coat has long, coarse, wiry guard hairs, and there may be a beard, mustache, and prominent eyebrows.
  3. The rough coat has long, coarse, wiry hair over the entire body.

Grooming for all coat types seen in Pocket Bullies is not difficult. A good brush two or three times weekly will suffice to keep the coat looking good. The brushing will not take long as the coat is easy to brush and does not tangle.

An important aspect of grooming Pocket Bullies is regular bathing and cleaning their skin folds. Cleaning should be done every two to three days. This could be just wiping out the folds in the skin with a sponge or gauze. 

Pocket Bullies should be bathed every six to eight weeks. It is essential not to bathe too often as it will strip the skin of its natural oils. Make sure the skin folds are thoroughly dried after bathing. Wet skin folds give rise to fungal and bacterial infections.

If your Pocket Bully gets wet, towel it dry, paying special attention to the skin folds.

Pocket Bullies are classed as low-shedding dogs. Individuals with coats similar to the Patterdale terrier may shed slightly more, especially in summer. The shedding is easily managed by regular brushing.     

How Trainable Are Pocket Bullies?

Pocket Bullies attach closely to their people and want to please them. This characteristic makes them easy to train.

Although Pocket Bullies are small, they are still powerful dogs and must be trained early. They should receive basic obedience training, including walking on a lead, sitting on command, and staying when instructed.

Teaching recall is essential for any dog, and Pocket Bullies are no exception. It is especially vital for Pocket Bullies that have inherited a higher prey drive from their Patterdale parent. These dogs are prone to taking off after some perceived prey, and a strong recall helps keep them under control during walks.

Pocket Bullies can be trained to complete tasks or tricks and to participate in dog sports. The time spent training strengthens the relationship with the owner, and it becomes even easier to train your Bully.

Owners should be careful of training and exercising their dogs outside when it is hot. Pocket Bullies are prone to overheating and can collapse quickly, resulting in possibly fatal consequences.

Who Is The Pocket Bully Good For?

The Pocket Bully is a good dog for anyone who enjoys power breeds but prefers a smaller dog.

They are excellent for older people who do not have the physical strength to manage a bigger American Bully. Most Pocket Bullies do not jump up against people, and this feature makes them safe dogs for older people who might be knocked over.

Pocket Bullies are good dogs for families with children. They are patient and tolerant of children. It is always critical to train your children as much as you train your dog.

Children should never be allowed to sit on dogs, climb on them, ride them or abuse them. Even tolerant dogs can become uncomfortable and irritated with such behavior.

Pocket Bullies can be successfully kept in apartments or small homes if the owner is committed to daily walking and stimulation. They are equally happy in larger properties where they can enjoy more space.

An important point is that Pocket Bullies do not cope well in households where they are left outside and excluded from the family.

Common Health Issues In Pocket Bullies

Pocket Bullies have some health issues.

  1. Elbow and hip dysplasia
  2. Skin fold dermatitis
  3. Hypothyroidism
  4. Glaucoma
  5. Pocket Bullies with flatter faces are known as brachycephalic dogs. This increases the chances of breathing problems and overheating. It also makes them more likely to have anesthetic complications if they need surgery.

Are Pocket Bullies Aggressive?

Pocket Bullies typically have low aggression levels. Socialization from young is important for all dogs. Socializing your Pocket bully ensures that your dog becomes a well-rounded canine citizen. 

Some unethical breeders may breed aggressive Pocket Bullies. Avoid buying dogs or puppies from these breeders.

How Much Is A Pocket Bully?

Pocket Bullies tend to be more expensive dogs. As with most dogs, the price often depends on the breeder’s experience and the dog’s quality.

Inexperienced or unethical breeders may sell their dogs for as little as $500 to $700. These puppies are usually litters from parents that have no health testing. They may not be correctly fed, dewormed, and vaccinated. In most cases, you should be cautious about buying one of these Pocket Bullies.

Breeders who do health testing and raise their puppies carefully ask between $2000 and $7000 for a puppy. Unusually colored puppies and puppies from proven parents fetch higher prices.

How Smart Is The Pocket Bully?

Pocket Bullies are considered to be intelligent dogs. This conclusion is based on their trainability.


What Is The Difference Between A Pocket Bully And a Micro Bully?

Bully Kennel Clubs accept Pocket Bullies as one of the size variations of American Bullies. Micro Bullies are smaller than Pocket Bullies and are not accepted by Bully Kennel Clubs. Micro Bullies are prone to many health issues, making them often unhealthy dogs.

Can Pocket Bullies Swim?

Pocket Bullies are not usually good swimmers. Their heavy chests and dense bodies make it harder for them to keep afloat in the water. Pocket Bullies with a physique similar to their Patterdale terrier parent are better swimmers.

Do Pocket Bullies Shed?

Pocket Bullies are low shedders. They shed a little and may shed slightly more in spring and summer.

What Does Pocket Bully Mean?

Pocket Bully means this dog is an American Bully that is shorter and smaller than the typical size of the breed. The size is achieved by breeding American Bullies with Patterdale terriers.

How Tall Is A Pocket Bully? 

Pocket Bullies are 13 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder.

Should I Crop My Pocket Bullies Ears?

No, you should never crop your Pocket Bullies ears. There is no advantage to cropping your dog’s ears. It can cause many health complications and is a cruel practice that is illegal in many countries.


Pocket Bullies are charming dogs, despite their fierce, bad-boy looks. They are gentle dogs well suited to families.

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Emily Andrews