“Bully dog” is a well-known term to describe a certain type of dog breed. Bully breed types are often muscular with large heads, which means that several different breeds of dogs are considered bully dogs. As could be expected, some breeds of dogs are easily identifiable.
English Bulldogs, Bull Terriers, and American Pit Bull Terriers are easily put under the umbrella of bully dogs. However, the list of bully breed dogs expands well beyond what most people would expect.
What Dogs Are On The Bully Breed List?
It is important to understand that a pit bull is not a breed of dog. It is another term like bully dog that describes large, muscular dogs with certain traits. American Pit Bull Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, along with cross-breeds are the most well known of the “pit-bull” type.
Below is the official bully breed list:
- American Bully
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- American Bulldog
- Staffordshire Terrier
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Boston Terrier
- Bull Mastiff
- Bull Terrier
- Miniature Bull Terrier
- English Bulldog
- Olde English Bulldog
- Cane Corso Italiano
- Caucasian Shepherd Dog
- Dogo Argentino
- Dog De Bordeaux
- English Mastiff
- English Bulldog
- French Bulldog
- Great Dane
- Neapolitan Mastiff
Some of the dogs listed on the list are not traditionally thought of as bully dogs. Pugs, and some of the terriers, most people would be surprised to learn fell on the list. However, the dogs on this list, along with their owners are often subjected to more distrust and hate than other dogs.
The owners of these dogs can be forced to give up their pets, driven out of a neighborhood or perceived as more violent just by owning these kinds of dogs.
Visit The American Kennel Club website, where more information can be found about each breed of dog listed. Doing further research about the different types of bully dogs is a great way to understand their temperaments and how they aren’t aggressive as might be believed.
The History Of The Bully Dog
Further back in history, these dogs were never called what they are today. All breeds of bully dog came from one root: Molosser, a dog that came from Greece.
These dogs were strong, with large heads, a stocky stature, and short muzzles. Over time, the more familiar dog breeds like Rottweilers, or Bulldogs came to be from the Molosser.
The Molosser breed was first used to protect livestock. Their large size allowed them to save sheep, pigs and cattle from predators that would have been able to take on a smaller animal. These dogs could also help with other farm tasks, like hauling carts full of farm tools, or goods to the market.
Nobody feared these dogs unless they were a thief, or a predator trying to kill livestock. They were valued, and trained well throughout their lives. Some owners would keep multiple dogs and breed a lineage so they could train them from the youngest age possible.
It was only later in history that people started to train them for other purposes and create breeds that branched off from the Molosser.
During the 19th century, people pitted these dogs against one another in fights against other animals like bulls, or against each other. That is where the term “bully dog” was born.
Do Bully Dogs Deserve A Bad Reputation
To put it simply, no. Bully dogs do not deserve the reputation they have acquired.
The term bully dog encourages negative thoughts right from the beginning. The word bully makes people think of aggressiveness, negativity, cruelty and anger. The term should be dropped altogether, but that would be hard to do.
Due to the bully dogs history of fighting, and continued use in illegal dog fighting rings, the name will probably stick around. Since the 1980s. gangs have also use the dogs to guard their homes and as a method of intimidation and attack.
The ASPCA has stated that the media has contributed to the problem, misidentifying dogs who attacked their owners or others. It is easier to label an attacking dog as a pit-bull or bully dog. The media should conduct more thorough research to find out the actual breed of a dog that is involved in an attack.
In some places, laws have prevented people from owning bully dogs at all. This is even more prevalent if they fall under the pit bull breed type.
Sometimes, even if the dog is a mixed breed, but has the characteristic large head, they can be removed from a home and euthanized. Bully breeds are also far more likely to be shot by law enforcement when they enter a property.
People associate these dogs with their bloody history and that won’t change without a fight.
However, even with their past, bully dogs are not what they appear. Across the country, people have adopted and continue to adopt bully breed types without issue. Bully dogs make wonderful family pets with the right amount of training, just like any other breed of dog.
Sometimes bully dogs have been known as “nanny dogs” because they are protective towards the children they live with. When cared for properly, bully breeds are gentle, loveable members of any family.
They are athletic and smart, able to learn new tricks and skills with ease. Like every other dog breed, they should be supervised while introducing them to a new member of the family, like a child, or someone else.
They can be stubborn and willful, but that isn’t a bad thing. Show them patience and determination and their training will go smoothly.
There is no doubt that poor information about bully dogs has been spread far and wide. Correct information about these dogs needs to be put out there. By lowering the unfounded fear of bully dogs and their owners, their poor reputation will decrease.
Bully dogs deserve to be treated the same as any other breed of dog, despite their history of criminals training them to be aggressive and violent.