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History Of The American Pit Bull Terrier & The Evolution Of The American Bully

To better understand the emergence of the Exotic Bully and Clean Exotic, the history of the American Bully must be taken into account.

As a true living ancestor, the American Bully has fought a similar battle for acceptance in a dog community that frowned upon its recognition and controversial history.

The American Bully originated in the United States in the 1980s, bred for both differing physical traits and temperament. To achieve the personality of a family dog and companion, its base genealogy is derived from the American Staffordshire Terrier and several bulldog-type breeds.

For the “bully” and muscular physique, the American Pitbull Terrier was the foundation.

Although the breed originated during the 1980s, it was first recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club in 2004. It was an attempt by the registry to begin documentation of pedigree and present the breed at shows against its written standard.

Prior to the efforts lead by the ABKC, the American Bully fought a battle to be embraced like the Exotic Bully fights today. It was a struggle that lasted roughly twenty years and was also a precedent to be learned from to shorten the timeline for this go-round.


The despised history of the American Pitbull Terrier plays a major role in the extended road to validity. Today, Pitbulls are stereotyped by a dangerous and vicious persona due to maltreatment and even abuse.

Their roots are widely believed to date back to the Molossian family of dogs, named after the Molossi tribe who lived in ancient Greece. Dogs of the Molosssi were large, muscular dogs used in warfare.

From the year 50 AD to about 410 AD, these dogs were mixed with indigenous breeds across Europe and used as fighting dogs in the colosseum and for local entertainment. As these forefathers of the American Pitbull Terrier thrived into the year 1066.

The Normans who invaded England would use them to subdue bulls that were too wild to tame. The dogs would bite and lock onto the bull’s nose for handlers to regain control.

By the 16th century, this was called Baiting and was extremely popular throughout England. Baiting was now done for sport and entertainment instead of necessity. In 1835 the British parliament banned Baiting, making it illegal.

However, this did not redirect the use of these dogs to more humane practices. A sport called Ratting emerged in which the dogs were thrown into a pit with rats and raced to see which could kill the most rats faster. The “pit” in Pit Bull comes from ratting pits used during this time period.

As the authorities became more efficient at shutting down Baiting and Ratting events, dog fights took over as the next phase of cruelty and misuse. Agility, ferociousness, and focus were the traits newly desired by the handlers and breeders.

pit bull dog fight

This version of the Pit Bull was bred for direct combat with other dogs. Unfortunately, dog fighting has stood the test of time better than the previous heinous events.

To achieve crazed and relentless dogs ideal for fighting, warrior Pit Bulls were starved, deprived of sunlight, and familiarized with killing other animals.

English immigrants to America would eventually bring the dogs with them and dogfighting was common throughout the 19th century. When the American Kennel Club (AKC) was founded in 1884, dogfighting was illegal and the Pit Bull was far from its recognition.

It wasn’t until 1898 that the breed would be recognized by the newly formed United Kennel Club (UKC), and finally, 38 years later in 1936, the breed was recognized by the AKC as a subcategory of the Staffordshire Terrier.

The Independence of the American Bully


The American Pit Bull Terrier and American Bully are two different breeds. After its recognition, the Pit Bull spent decades reshaping its image. Pit Bulls were used in World War I, as mascots for marketing campaigns, and even presented in a new light on T.V. shows.

There is a fading stigma still intact but knowledgeable members of the dog community understand that Pit Bulls are not inherently bad dogs. With love and the right family and training, they are a remarkably capable breed.

The American Bully was created to take the American Pit Bull Terrier in a new direction – one that can finally defeat the engrained shame and tainted history. It’s stockier and shorter than its Pit Bull cousin, with a heavier bone structure and dense muscle mass.

The American Bully is its own breed, which means, simply breeding a Pit Bull with a Bulldog is not the same thing. Varieties of Bulldogs were used for its origin but to breed American Bullies is to mate two American Bullies.

It has taken more than 25 years to refine bloodline both in America and internationally. The American Bully was registered by its own kennel clubs as early as 2004 but both the American Dog Breeders Association (ABDA) and the UKC in July of 2013.


It’s amazing to see the success in the breeds change of direction from its Pit Bull cousin and its ongoing climb out of the pigeonhole a violent history placed it in. American Bullies are truly companion dogs, bred to achieve this temperament and personality.

In fact, viciousness and extreme shyness are disqualifications according to the breed standards of kennel clubs like the UKC. Despite an intimidating muscular appearance, their character is tender and friendly.

Owners of the American Bully and dog lovers within the community universally describe it as an amazing family dog.

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