American Bully VS American Bulldog: What’s The Difference?

Last Updated on April 22, 2023

The American Bulldog and the American Bully share a very similar name and many of the same characteristics.

You may have thought initially that the American Bulldog and the American Bully were the same.

They look virtually identical, their names sound the same, and their personalities are very similar. But they are two different dog breeds!

Confusing right? To make matters worse, these dog breeds are also often confused with the American Pitbull Terrier, who also shares a similar name and look to these dogs. 

So what exactly is the difference between these two dogs, and just how do you tell them apart?

Keep reading to discover all this and more in our handy guide to distinguish between the American Bulldog and the American Bully.

Breed Comparison: A Quick Overview

The American Bulldog and the American Bully share many similar characteristics.

However, some key differences between these breeds make distinguishing between the two dogs easier. Let’s take a closer look at those in the table below.

  American Bully American Bulldog
Height 13-20 inches
(33-51 cm)
19-26 inches
(48-66 cm)
Weight 110 lbs (50 kg) 120 lbs (54 kg)
Average Lifespan 8-12 years 14-16 years
Energy levels Moderate Moderate
Grooming needs Low Low
Family-friendly Yes Yes
Trainability Difficult, but necessary Difficult, but necessary

Breed History

American Bully and American Bulldog outdoors
The American Bully (left) and the American Bulldog (right) outdoors

The American Bulldog is the older of the two breeds, having descended from the now extinct Olde English Bulldog.

The Olde English Bulldog is also the ancestor of the modern English Bulldog.

American Bulldogs were developed in the 17th century to hunt feral dogs, guard livestock and protect property and, as such, were bred to be strong, muscular, and large.

The American Bully, on the other hand, only developed in the United States in the 1980s. These dogs were created as a more child-friendly version of the American Pitbull Terrier. 

They are essentially a cross between many different breeds, including American Pitbull Terriers, American Bulldogs, Staffordshire Terriers, English Bulldogs, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and French Bulldogs.

How Can You Tell the Difference Between an American Bulldog and an American Bully?

American Bulldog lying down and American Bully standing
A White American Bulldog (left) and a brown American Bully (right)

Both the American Bully and the American Bulldog are strong and powerful dogs with muscular build.

They both feature a boxy body with a square head, broad chest, short coat, and strong jawline, making it quite difficult to tell the two apart.

The American Bulldog, however, is significantly taller than the American Bully and is also quite a bit heavier. 

On the other hand, the American Bully is much squarer than the American Bulldog, with taut skin spread over bulging muscles and very pointed ears.

He doesn’t have the same loose wrinkles that an American Bulldog may exhibit. 

Temperament and Personality

Smiling American Bully and American Bulldog dogs
The equally loving American Bully (left) and American Bulldog (right) – Source: @blackiconbullies / IG

Both the American Bully and the American Bulldog are strong dogs, not just in a physical manner but in temperament too.

Both these dogs are considered aggressive, but that has more to do with their fearsome looks and not actually their personalities.

They can be gentle, calm, and loving dogs with the right owner and proper training.

While they need firm training, the American Bulldog and the American Bully are not prone to aggression and can be active fun-loving breeds.

Are American Bulldogs calmer than American Bullies?

The American Bulldog can be quite a stoic watchdog. They are very loyal and will do anything to protect their family from intruders.

That said, they still love a big backyard where they can roam around and play. On the other hand, the American Bully is an exuberant breed with a real zest and energy for life.

Is the American Bully stronger than the American Bulldog? 

Both the American Bully and the American Bulldog are extremely strong dogs. The exact strength of your dog will have to do with its size.

American Bulldogs only come in one size, which is bigger than any variation of American Bully. 

The Bully breed, on the other hand, can be found in four different sizes, namely the Standard, Pocket, Extra Large, and Classic, with the Pocket being the smallest and the Extra Large the biggest.

The Classic is the same height as the Standard but is not as muscular or strong.

Which dog is more aggressive?

The American Bully is known to seldom show any aggression towards humans, and they are also very stable dogs, never becoming jumpy or nervous.

These dogs are not very fearful or suspicious and are very gentle, affectionate, and friendly towards their family and humans it has met before.

On the other hand, American Bulldogs are very protective by nature.

They should be socialized with other dogs and humans at a young age to prevent any aggressive tendencies from creeping in. 

Which breed is more dangerous?

Both the American Bulldog and the American Bully are strong, muscular dogs that can be pretty boisterous.

They are more likely to hurt you during play than actually meaningfully attack a human, especially if they are trained and socialized appropriately.

That said, due to their protective nature, the American Bulldog is likelier to strike out if he feels that his home and family are under threat.

On the other hand, the American Bully is bred to lack aggression and is a very gentle and calm dog.

How strong are American Bully and American Bulldog’s bite forces?

The American Bulldog and the extra large American Bully have an identical bite force of 305 PSI. This is slightly more than the American Pitbull Terrier.

The smaller American Bully variants are likely to have a bite force of between 200 and 300 PSI.

Which breed is the perfect family dog?

The American Bully has been specifically created as a family pet, and through breeding the American Pitbull Terrier with various other breeds, he is not likely to be aggressive at all.

In fact, these dogs are known to be quite gentle and loving around all ages. 

They are still powerful animals and must be watched around small kids as they could accidentally hurt them.

Which Breed is Easier to Train?

American Bully and American Bulldog training
The intelligent American Bully (left) and American Bulldog (right) dogs training

Both the American Bully and the American Bulldog are stubborn dogs that need plenty of training and socialization from a young age.

These dogs need a strong leader that is consistent and firm in their training, and they are not well suited to first-time pet owners. 

These dogs are both highly intelligent and can pick up training easily, particularly the American Bully, who is known to be a quick learner.

These dogs are often trained as service animals.

The American Bulldog is still intelligent but also quite independent, so he has to want to listen and obey his owner.

Which Dog Breed Has Higher Maintenance?

American Bully running and American Bulldog sitting
The more active American Bully (left) and the American Bulldog (right)

The American Bully and the American Bulldog have similar needs regarding maintenance, and both don’t take a lot of effort to look after.

The American Bulldog requires slightly more care because he can sometimes have skin folds that need to be wiped out every week to prevent any bacteria from forming in the crevices, which can lead to infections.

Which dog is more energetic?

Both the American Bully and the American Bulldog love to be active and thrive when given a job to do.

The American Bully is the more athletic of the two breeds and will also enjoy competing in agility challenges or weight pulling.

Both breeds will also love walking, running, and tug of war.

Which dog sheds more?

American Bully and American Bulldog have short coats with relatively low grooming needs.

Their smooth coats do not need to be bathed or brushed regularly. While both dogs do shed, it is not excessive.

Nutritional needs

As large dogs, feeding the American Bully and the American Bulldog is not a cheap exercise.

As both the American Bully and the American Bulldog love to eat, you need to be careful not to overfeed these dogs, or they could be prone to developing obesity.

In their later years, you may need to put these dogs on special weight-control diets, which can be pretty pricy.

Average Lifespan

The American Bully lives on average between 8 and 12 years, while the American Bulldog enjoys a longer lifespan of between 14 and 16 years.

These breeds are susceptible to developing hip and joint issues such as hip dysplasia during these years.

Certain bloodlines of American Bulldogs are also prone to thyroid and kidney disease.

Puppy Cost and Price

American Bulldog puppy and American Bully puppy
The equally adorable American Bulldog (left) and American Bully (right) puppies

The cost of purchasing an American Bulldog puppy is between $1,500 and $3,500, with the price dependent on your location, the breeder, and the lineage of the parent dogs. 

On the other hand, the puppy price for the American Bully varies significantly and can range between $2,000 and $10,000 for one of these dogs.

As a new breed, they are pretty trendy, and a dog from a well-known bloodline can fetch a significant amount of cash.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Close-up images of the American Bully and American Bulldog
The cute American Bully (left) and American Bulldog (right) dogs

Which is more popular?

At one point, the American Bulldog faced extinction, but there is now quite a healthy population with these dogs favored as working dogs and protectors of the home and farm.

In the UK, they are rated as the 25th most popular breed of 241. 

The American Bully, however, is quickly outshining the American Bulldog in terms of popularity as this new breed is now the trendy companion to have, not only because of their looks but also their kind and gentle personalities.

Do American Bulldog and American Bully get along?

The American Bully is a very gentle, calm dog that is unlikely to show aggressive tendencies toward other animals, including the American Bulldog.

The American Bulldog, however, is more likely to be on the defensive around other animals, particularly if he perceives them as a threat.

Thus, he needs plenty of socialization from a young age.

Check out this sweet video of an American Bully meeting an American Bulldog:

Conclusion: Which is Better, American Bully or American Bulldog?

As you can see, it is incredibly easy for the American Bulldog and the American Bully to be confused. They share many similarities in terms of look, coat, and personality.

While both dogs may be perceived as aggressive, they are unlikely to attack, especially if trained and socialized correctly by a firm and consistent owner.

While the American Bulldog may not be well suited to first-time pet owners, he makes a fantastic watchdog.

At the same time, the American Bully is an excellent choice for families due to his gentle and calm demeanor. But watch out, as these trendy dogs fetch a pretty price tag!

Do you have an American Bulldog or American Bully at home? We would love to hear about your furry companion in the comments below.

Further reading: More Dog Breed Comparisons

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