What Is A Bully Dog?

If you have heard the term ‘bully dog’, then you might be wondering what it means.

Whilst you might associate it with common bulldog breeds such as the English Bulldog, a Bull Terrier, a Bull Mastiff, and an American Pit Bull, the name is also used to refer to other dogs.

For example, Boston Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and even Boxer dogs are called bully dogs, so how come?

What Is A Bully Dog?

They are all called bully dogs because each and every one of these breeds are descended  from a breed called Molosser.

Some of the dog breeds above also have the characteristics of this Greek dog which had a muzzle which was short, and were quite muscular and large.

So, with this in mind, let’s take a look at bully dogs in more detail. 

The History Of The Bully Dog

Bully dogs can be difficult to recognize under the untrained eye, but they were once known as Molosser and based in Greece.

Their large size and muscular frame made them pretty intimidating, a little how some people find certain bulldogs today.

However, over time, breeders began to mix Molosser dogs with other breeds to create protective dogs. These would protect property and livestock, as well as help with the day-to-day jobs.

Sadly, over time the breed was then bred to take part in blood sports for fun. Once it became illegal, the dog was back to being bred as a regular companion dog, though some were still bred to take part in fighting.

Whilst they do have a sketchy history when it comes to violence, a bully dog can be a wonderful and happy dog to have as a pet.

So long as they are properly trained and take part in socializing, then a bully dog is considered to be a great dog for a family – and far from its aggressive stereotype.

What Breeds Are A Bully Dog?

There are many dogs that are considered to be a bully dog due to being connected to the Molosser dog. Here are just a few of them (in no particular order):

  • French Bulldog
  • American Bulldog
  • English Bulldog
  • Pug
  • Boston Terrier
  • Bull Terrier
  • Bull Mastiff
  • Great Dane
  • Cane Corso Italiano
  • Boxer
  • Rottweiler
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Caucasian Shepherd Dog

Why Is A Bully Dog Called A Bully Dog?

Why Is A Bully Dog Called A Bully Dog?

The term bully dog might have you thinking that the dog breeds associated with it are, well, bullies. Due to stereotypes, you can see why people might think that they are aggressive and perhaps selfish.

However, this isn’t true. They aren’t called bully dogs due to their characteristics or behavior, and instead the reason they are called bully dogs is all down to their past.

They were bred for blood sports and fighting, and during this time they were called bully dogs. 

The name eventually just stuck, and whilst it has become a collective name for dogs descended from Molosser dogs, it doesn’t help remove the stigma that they are dangerous to own. 

The Stigma Of A Bully Dog

Bully dogs have a stigma, despite them being a loving companion to have by your side once they have been professionally trained as a puppy.

Unfortunately, the breeds have become status symbols for strength, and often masculinity too.

Their reputation has been ruined by those who used them for fighting, which breeders still illegally do today. This, as well as poor training, has caused the bully dog types to become banned in certain areas.

It can be difficult for many to identify a bully dog when banning its breed, as law enforcements may consider it a Pitbull if it looks like one, or they think they are a part of the bully dog label. It can cause upset to many families.

Despite this, bully dogs can be wonderful and loving animals if they have had the proper training.

Their bad reputation is usually uncalled for, and is usually down to lack of care and terrible breeding – which the same can be said for any breed of dog. 

They are known for being good dogs around children, and protective too without the need for aggressive behavior. 

Final Thoughts On The Bully Dog

Most people assume that a bully dog is a personality trait that refers to a dog being aggressive and having a bullying nature.

Whilst that is an understandable thought to have, it actually refers to a collective of dogs who share the same history.

These dogs – usually Bulldogs and Rottweilers – are descended from a Greek breed which was used to help with the day-to-day running of owning livestock, and to help protect the animals.

Over time, the breed was bred with other dog types to create a plethora of new breeds. These went on to be bred as participants in blood sports.

Fortunately, now it is illegal, but these bully dogs still have a bad reputation that they are finding it hard to shake.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a couple of questions about bully dogs:

Are Bully Dogs Good To Own?

So long as they have been trained well, just like any other dog, bully dogs are wonderful to have as a companion. They are super loyal and are protective of the family they live with.

Over time, the aggressive behavior that they were once bred for to be used in bloodsports has been removed. Whilst they can make a great family pet, the stigma is still there.

Does A Bully Dog Bite?

When it comes to dogs, each one is different. Whilst one bully dog might bite, another probably won’t. It is all down to their training, and what kind of life the dog has had.

If you are considering adopting one, find out as much as you can about the bully dog, and whether it has been abused by the previous owner, and what kind of training it has had.

It may need extra care, and biting (or nipping of the fingers) may occur. But this isn’t different from any other dog breed.

Emily Andrews
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