Official UKC Breed Standard
@Copyright 2013, United Kennel Club.
The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges.
Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated.
Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
Quality is never to be sacrificed in favor of size and mass. UKC is unwilling to condone the validity of using exaggerated specimens of this breed in a breeding program and, to preserve its health and vibrancy, cautions judges about awarding wins to these representatives.
The American Bully breed developed as a natural extension of the American Pit Bull Terrier. The APBT has maintained a characteristic appearance and temperament for over 100 years. As with any long-standing breed, several types evolved from the parent breed, with one in particular taking on a specific build and structure that is so unique it was wise to recognize it as a different breed altogether. That being the American Bully breed.
The American Bully breed was subtly influenced by the infusion of several other breeds, which include the American Bulldog, English Bulldog, and Olde English Bulldogge.
The American Bully breed was recognized by the United Kennel Club on July 15, 2013.
The American Bully breed is recognizable by its characteristic compact, strong, thick-set structure and build. Their appearance reflects a strong American Pit Bull Terrier foundation, blended with stock from other bull breeds.
The overall balance and correct proportions of an athlete are essential, and absolute soundness and proper muscle tone is a must.
Head properties are in proportion to the body, reasonable, and free of exaggeration so as to not compromise breathing and/or obstruct normal vision.
It is a smooth coated dog that possesses great strength for its size. Although quite muscular, it is active and agile. Its presence is a picture of tremendous power and stamina that belies its kind and loyal temperament.
Eliminating Faults: Any disproportionate, overdone characteristic that would interfere with physical activity or working ability.
Disqualifications: Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
The American Bully breed is, first and foremost, a companion, exhibiting confidence with a zest and exuberance for life. Despite its powerful appearance, their demeanor is gentle and friendly. This breed makes an excellent family dog. The ideal American Bully possesses the athleticism to do well in performance events.
Aggressive behavior towards humans is uncharacteristic of the breed, and highly undesirable.
Disqualifications: Viciousness or extreme shyness.
The American Bully breed head is unique and a key characteristic. It is large and broad, but never disproportionate to the overall dog. There is a well-defined, moderately deep stop. The flews are deep, but always clean. Cheek muscles are prominent and free of wrinkles.
MUZZLE - The muzzle is broad and blocky, or slightly square. The length of the muzzle is shorter than the length of the skull, being from 25 to 35 percent of the overall length of the head. The top of the muzzle is straight. The lower jaw is well-developed, wide and deep.
The overall structure of the lower jaw, muzzle, stop and skull planes should bear little to no characteristics of the English Bulldog.
NOSE – The nose is large, with well-opened nostrils. All colors of nose pigment are acceptable. Nose color is usually in harmony with coat color.
Eliminating Faults: Excessively large, heavy, head disproportionate to the body. Muzzle so short and blunt as to interfere with normal breathing. Snipey muzzle. Weak lower jaw. Excessive flews. Muzzle slightly turned up at the nostrils.
The American Bully has a complete set of evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors or even bite.
Serious Faults: Missing teeth. Overshot.
Eliminating Fault: Undershot. Wry bite.
Eyes are medium size, oval to slightly round, and set well apart and low on the skull. All colors are equally acceptable except blue. The haw should not be visible.
Fault: Blue eyes.
Serious Faults: Eyes not matched in color.
Ears are set high, and may be natural or cropped, without preference. Prick, or flat, wide ears are not preferred.
Disqualifications: Unilateral or bilateral deafness. Bat ears.
The neck is of moderate length and muscular. There is a slight arch at the crest. The neck widens gradually from where it joins the skull to where it blends in to well laid-back shoulders. The skin on the neck is without excessive dewlap.
Faults: Neck too thin or weak; ewe neck; excessive dewlap.
Very Serious Faults: A short neck that would interfere with functional ability. Neck too long as to be out of proportion with body.
The body is close-coupled, with a broad, deep chest, and well-sprung ribs. The chest may be wider than it is deep, but free from exaggeration. The forechest does not extend forward much beyond the point of the shoulder. The back is wide, strong and firm. The topline is level and straight. The croup slopes slightly downward to the base of the tail. The loin is wide and short.
The distance from the withers to the elbow is equal to the distance from the elbows to the bottom of the feet. Dogs that are slightly shorter in distance from the elbows to the bottom of the feet are acceptable but not desirable.
Eliminating Fault: Chest so wide as to interfere with normal movement.
The shoulder blades are long, wide, muscular and well laid back. The upper arm is roughly equal in length to the shoulder blade, and joins at an apparent right angle.
The forelegs are strong and muscular with a slight turn to the forearm. The elbows are set close or just slightly away from the body. Viewed from the front, the forelegs are set moderately wide apart, and are perpendicular to the ground. The pasterns are short, powerful, flexible, and set at a slight angle.
Eliminating Faults: Front legs so bowed as to interfere with normal movement.
The hindquarters are strong, muscular and broad. The rump is well-filled-in, and deep.
The thighs are well developed, with thick muscles. Viewed from the side, the hock joint is well bent, and rear pasterns are well let down and perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are straight and parallel to one another.
Serious Faults: Narrow hindquarters. Lack of muscle. Straight stifle. Cow hocks. Sickle hocks. Bowed legs.
The feet are tight, round, proportionate to the size of the dog and well-arched.
Removal of rear dewclaws is preferred, but not mandatory.
Eliminating Fault: Splayed feet.
The characteristic tail is often referred to as a crank or pump handle tail. Straight tails are also acceptable. The tail is set on as a natural extension of the topline, and tapers to a point. When the dog is moving, the tail is carried level with the topline. When the dog is excited, the tail may be carried slightly higher, but never carried over the back. When the dog is standing and relaxed, the tail is carried low and extends approximately to the hock.
Eliminating Fault: Bobbed tail.
Disqualification: Screw tail.
The coat is glossy and smooth, close, and moderately stiff to the touch.
Faults: Curly, wavy, or sparse coat.
Disqualification: Long coat.
Any color, color pattern, or combination of colors is acceptable, except for merle.
Disqualifications: Albinism. Merle.
The American Bully breed moves with a jaunty, confident attitude, conveying the impression that he expects any minute to see something new and exciting. When trotting, the gait is effortless, powerful, and well-coordinated, showing good reach in front and drive behind. When moving, the backline remains level with only a slight flexing to indicate suppleness. Viewed from any position, legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward center line of balance.
Faults: Legs over reaching; legs crossing over in front or rear; rear legs moving too close or touching; pacing; paddling; sidewinding; hackney action; pounding.
The ideal height range for mature males is from 17 to 20 inches at the withers; for mature females it is from 16 to 19 inches at the withers.
It is important to note that dogs slightly over or under these height ranges are not to be penalized unless they are disproportionately massive or rangy.
Overall balance and the correct proportion of weight to height is far more important than the dog’s actual weight and/or height.
Eliminating Faults: Excessively tall, excessively short or overly massive dogs, and dogs with a height so far from what is desired as to compromise health, structure, movement and physical ability.
(An Eliminating Fault is a Fault serious enough that it eliminates the dog from obtaining any awards in a conformation event.)
Any disproportionate, overdone characteristic that would interfere with physical activity or working ability.
Excessively large, heavy, head disproportionate to the body.
Muzzle so short and blunt as to interfere with normal breathing.
Weak lower jaw.
Muzzle slightly turned up at the nostrils.
Front legs so bowed as to interfere with normal movement.
Chest so wide as to interfere with normal movement.
Excessively tall, excessively short or overly massive dogs, and dogs with a height so far from what is desired as to compromise health, structure, movement and physical ability.
(A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement in a conformation event, and must be reported to UKC.)
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
Viciousness or extreme shyness.
Unilateral or bilateral deafness.
Note: Although some level of dog aggression is characteristic of this breed, handlers will be expected to comply with UKC policy regarding dog temperament at UKC events.
The docking of tails and cropping of ears in America is legal and remains a personal choice. However, as an international registry, the United Kennel Club is aware that the practices of cropping and docking have been forbidden in some countries. In light of these developments, the United Kennel Club feels that no dog in any UKC event, including conformation, shall be penalized for a full tail or natural ears.
The American Bully should give the impression of great strength for its size. It is a compact and medium/large size dog with a muscular body and blocky head. The American Bully should have the appearance of heavy bone structure with a bulky build and look.
The American Bully is a companion breed exhibiting confidence, a zest for life, along with an exuberant willingness to please and bond with their family, thus making the American Bully an excellent family companion. Despite the American Bully’s fierce and powerful appearance their demeanor is gentle. They are great with kids, and extremely friendly with strangers, other dogs, and other animals. Human or dog aggression, extreme shyness, or viciousness is very uncharacteristic of the American Bully and is highly undesirable.
•The distinct heavy, large and broad head of the American Bully exemplifies breed type.
• Medium in length, deep throughout, broad skull, well chiseled with very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct and deep stop.
• Ears- Set high and can be either natural or cropped.
• Eyes- All colors equally accepted except albinism (pinkish to red) which is a disqualification. Blue eyes, lack of pigment around the eyes are undesirable.
• Eye shape is oval to almond shape, low down in skull and set far apart. Round eyes are undesirable, and bulging or protruding eyes are a fault.
• Visibility of the haw should be minimal.
Faults: Overly visible haw. Both eyes not matched in color. Bulging or protruding eyes.Disqualifying Faults: Albinism eyes.
• Muzzle- Short-Medium in length and broad in width. Length to be shorter than the length of the skull with distance from the tip of the nose to the stop approximately one- third of the distance from the tip of the nose to the occiput; but not so short as to interfere with normal breathing. The muzzle is blocky or slightly squared to fall away abruptly below eyes. The topline of the muzzle is to be straight with nose neither pointed nor turned up in profile.
• Jaws- well defined.
• Under jaw- to be strong and parallel to muzzle, never turning upward.
• Lips- semi close and even, minimal looseness accepted but not preferred.
Faults: Muzzle too long or snipey; muzzle so short as to interfere with normal breathing; lack of pronounced cheek and deep stop; weak under jaw; under jaw turning up; nose turning up or pushed back; excessive flews.
• Upper Teeth- to meet tightly outside lower teeth in form or scissor bite.
Faults: Level bite, overshot bite, undershot bite and wry bite. Serious Faults: Severely overshot or undershot bites, measuring 1/4 inch (0.6cm) or more.
• Nose- Large with wide open nostrils. All colors/pigment acceptable except albinism (light pink in color).
• Heavy, muscular, slightly arched, tapering from shoulder to back of skull. Compact to medium size should have minimal or no loose skin.
Faults: Neck too thin or weak; neck too short or too long.
• Shoulders to be strong and muscular with wide blades set wide; and well laid back. The upper arm is approximately equal to the length of the shoulder blade and joined at an angle of approximately 35 to 45 degrees.
• Forelegs- straight, strong, and sturdy with large or round bones, pasterns are strong, short and nearly erect. Feet- straight forward.
• Distance from the withers to the elbow is equal to the distance from the elbows to the bottom of the feet. Dogs that are slightly shorter in distance from the elbows to the bottom of the feet are acceptable but not desirable.
Faults: Upright shoulders; steep and forward scapula (shoulder blade). Upper arm too short. Feet toeing either in or out; front legs bowed; down at the pasterns; splayed or flat feet; long toes.
• Heavily muscled, massive bulky body type of compact/medium length giving the impression of great power for its size and exemplifying the breed type of the American Bully.
• Ribs well-rounded creating a barrel chest with all ribs close together; rib cage to extend to the elbow or slightly below.
• Forelegs set rather wide apart to permit chest development.
• Chest- should be broad, deep, and well filled in; but should not be exaggerated as to interfere with normal movement.
• Fairly short to medium back, slight sloping from withers to rump or straight accepted with gentle short slope at rump to base of tail. The American Bully should give the appearance of a square body, equal in length when measured from point of shoulder to point of buttocks and from the withers to the ground.
Faults: Back too long; rear higher than withers; weak or swayed topline; roached or wheel back.
• Well muscled, let down at hocks, turning neither in nor out.
• Muscular development, angulation and width of the hindquarters should be in balance with that of the forequarters.
• When viewed from the rear legs are to be straight and parallel.
• Croup should have a slight downward angle.
Faults: Hocks turning in or out; cow hocks; sickle hocks; narrow hindquarters; straight or over-angulated stifle joints; bowed legs.
• Medium in comparison to size, low set, tapering to a fine point and extending approximately to the hock.
• When relaxed tail is to be carried low. When moving tail is carried level with the topline or in a raised position when excited (challenge tail), but should never be carried curled over, breaking the plane of the back (gay tail).
• Tail to be clear of any kinks, knots or any curvature.
Faults: Tail to long or too short approximately up to an inch above or below point of the hock. Gay tail (carried over the plane of the back). Serious Faults: Kinked, knotted, or fused tail. Extremely short tail. Disqualifying Faults: Screwed, bobbed, or docked tail.
• Should be rounded and of moderate size in proportion to the dog, compact, well arched and tight.
Faults: Splayed or flat feet, long toes.
• Short, glossy, close, stiff to smooth to the touch.
• Coat no longer than ½ inch (1 cm) in length.
Faults: Curly or wavy coat. Serious Faults: Long coat.
COLOR AND PATTERN
• All colors and patterns are permissible except the pattern merle.
Disqualifying Faults: Merle pattern
• Dogs should be healthy and should NOT reach the point where it is considered obese.
• Weight- There is no particular weight for the breed.
• Height and weight should be in proportion of the body frame.
• Height-Please see Variety Amendments.
• All varieties to exhibit “Bully” characteristics and breed type traits as described in the American Bully Standard, which are key elements of breed type for the American Bully breed.
STANDARD AMERICAN BULLY
Males 17 inches – 20 inches (43 cm – 51 cm) at the withers. Females 16 inches – 19 inches (40 cm – 48 cm) at the withers. Important to note that the Standard American Bully dogs are not to be penalized for exhibiting heavily muscled, massive, bulky body type.
• The American Bully moves with a confident and proud attitude, while keenly alive and alert to its surroundings.
• Gait should be effortless and powerful. The action must, be unrestrained, free and vigorous with powerful drive off the rear. Front reach should be moderate and in balance with the rear.
• Legs turn neither in nor out, nor ever cross or interfere with each other.
• Dog moving on the same plane – Each leg moving in the same plane shared with the other leg on the same side with minimal convergence.
• Backline should remain level, with flexing to be very slight.
Faults: Rolling; pacing; sidewinding; hackney action; paddling or pounding. Not moving on the same plane; legs over reaching; legs crossing over in front or rear; rear legs moving too close or touching.
Faults to be penalized but not disqualifications for showing are:
• Both eyes not matched in color
• Overly visible haw
• Bulging or protruding eyes
• Muzzle too long or snipey
• Lack of pronounced/deep stop
• Weak underjaw
• Underjaw turning up
• Albinism nose (light pink)
• Nose turning up or pushed back
• Tail too long or too short (approx. 1 inch (2.5 cm) from point of hock)
• Curled tail (gay tail)
• Level or flush bite
• Overshot or Undershot bite
• Wry or cross bite
• Neck too thin or weak
• Neck too short or too long
• Upright shoulders; steep and forward scapula (shoulder blade)
• Upper arm too short
• Severe turned fronts (in or out)
• Bowed front legs
• Down at the pasterns (weak pasterns)
• Splayed or flat feet
• Long toes
• Hocks turning in or out; cow hocked
• Curly or wavy coat
• Movement: Rolling, pacing, sidewinding, hackney action, and paddling or pounding
• Not moving on the same plane – legs over reaching, crossing over in front or rear, or rear legs moving too close or touching
Faults to be heavily penalized but not disqualifications for showing are:
• Severely overshot or undershot (1/4 inch (0.6cm)or more)
• Kinked tail
• Twisted tail
• Knotted tail
• Fused tail
• Overly Short tail
• Long coat
• Displaying or possessing aggressive behavior towards humans
• Pink or Albino eyes
• Merle pattern
• Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchidism (missing one or both testicles)
• Unilateral or bilateral deafness (deafness in one or both ears)
• Screwed tail
• Bobbed tail
• Docked tailh here.
Copyright 2009. Chicago Bullies. All rights reserved.