If you’re a Pitbull fan or a Bully Breed enthusiast, then prepare to fall head over heels for the adorable Bully Pit. This hybrid dog is equal parts goofy and intelligent, and he makes an excellent companion for experienced dog owners.
But before you decide to bring a Bully Pit into your home, there are a few things you should know about this dynamic crossbreed. And that’s where we come in.
Today, we are going to learn all about the Bully Pit and help you decide whether or not he would make the right addition to your home and lifestyle.
But First, What Is A Bully Pit?
The Bully Pit is a cross between the American Bulldog, left and The American Pitbull Terrier, right
The Bully Pit is a crossbreed created by breeding the American Bulldog and the American Pitbull Terrier. Both the American Bulldog and the American Pitbull Terrier are considered true types of Pitbulls, which means your Bully Pit would be considered a Pitbull as well.
That said, the Bully Pit is a newer crossbreed to the canine kingdom, so it can be difficult to nail down an exact breed standard. With that in mind, we are going to look at the average standard for a Bully Pit.
The Average Bully Pit Breed Standard:
Weight: 70 to 120 Pounds
Height: 20 to 25 Inches
Temperament: Devoted, Trainable, Intelligent, Protective, Gentle, Affectionate
Ideal For: Experienced Dog Owners, Active Families, Singles and Couples
Lifespan: 10 to 13 Years
Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Allergies, Skin Infections, Respiratory Issues, Exercise Induced Collapse, Bloat, And Heat Intolerance
Designer dogs like the Bully Pit are newer to the scene, but that hasn’t stopped canine enthusiasts from falling in love. These dogs are energetic, outgoing and family-oriented. For this reason, they can make excellent dogs for those with children, though it’s important Bully Pits are properly trained and socialized.
They also require a specific diet and can be prone to a multitude of health issues. Furthermore, some Bully Pits are banned in certain regions throughout the United States.
If you’re thinking about getting a Bully Pit, then here are the 12 things you should consider first.
1. There Is Controversy Surrounding Crossbreeds Like The Bully Pit
The Bully Pit is a mix between the American Pitbull Terrier and the American Bulldog.
As a crossbreed, the Bully Pit already comes with his fair share of debate. Add on the fact that this mix is a cross between two Pitbulls with a bloody history and you’ve got a whole lot of canine-controversy on your hands.
Pitbulls And Bulldogs – A Controversial History
Pitbulls – and many Bully breeds, for that matter – come from a very controversial background. It all began in 13th century England, when blood sports like bull baiting, bear baiting and dog fighting became a popular pastime.
Dogs with large heads and powerful jaws were mixed with terrier breeds known for their tenacity and courage. This combination led to a variety of different bully breeds including the English Bulldog and a number of different Pitbull types.
While Pitbulls and bully breeds are most famous for their sad and violent origin, it should also be known that these dogs played many other important roles throughout history.
In fact, Pitbulls were popular farm dogs, guard dogs, police and military dogs, and even service dogs.
And while many people still fear these dogs based on their appearances and the myth that they are inherently aggressive, studies have proven that bulldogs and Pitbulls are no more aggressive than most other breeds.
The Crossbreed Controversy
The Bully Pit already gets a bad rep for being a Pitbull. Unfortunately, he’s also a crossbreed, which comes with its own set of pros and cons.
Unlike purebreds, who have been bred for generations in an effort to maintain their breed standard, Bully Pits are newer to the scene.
This means they are often considered less predictable when it comes to their health, temperament and appearance. This is especially true if Bully Pits are first, second or third generation hybrids.
However, crossbreed dogs like the Bully Pit might have a leg up when it comes to health. According to a theory known as hybrid vigor, crossbreed dogs may be less likely to develop certain genetic health issues as they have a larger gene pool than their purebred parents.
However, their list of health issues is also longer, as they come from two different breeds that are susceptible to different types of ailments.
All of this should be considered before you decide to commit to a crossbreed like the Bully Pit.
2. The Bully Pit Is A Common Victim Of Breed Bans And Breed Discrimination
Bully Pits come from a long line of breeds that have suffered breed discrimination due to their bloody history.
One of the more important things you’ll need to look into before you commit to a Bully Pit is whether or not these dogs are legal in your region.
Though breed bans are loosening up in many states, the US still has a high number of cities that ban specific dog breeds.
Some of the most common breeds to be banned in the United States are breeds or mixed breeds of the following dogs:
- Pitbulls (Including any dog or mix with a square-shaped or box-shaped head)
- The Persa Canario
- The Rottweiler
- The Doberman Pinscher
- The American Bulldog
- The German Shepherd
- The Chow Chow
- And The Wolf Dog
But why are these breeds discriminated against at all?
Well, while some of it does have to do with breed biased and fear-based myths, there is some science behind breed bans. Pitbulls, for example, include several breeds with some of the strongest dog bite forces in the canine kingdom.
So, while these dogs may not be the most likely to bite, if they do bite they can cause quite a bit of damage.
Part of being a responsible pet parent, especially if you own a dog that could potentially cause fatal injuries to a person or pet, is to educate yourself on these facts and know the stats, the facts, and the regions in which Pitbulls are banned.
You can learn more about breed legislation based on states here.
3. Bully Pit Dogs Are Incredibly Gentle And Affectionate
Bully Pits are gentle, affectionate, and very comedic.
In spite of their bloody history and amazing jaw strength, Pitbull types like the Bully Pit have actually been found to be quite friendly, gentle and affectionate. In fact, these are highly sensitive dogs who become incredibly bonded with their human families.
They do not do well in homes where owners are gone most of the day and can be prone to depression, anxiety, stress and destructive behaviors if their emotional needs are not met.
For this reason, the Bully Pit is best suited for owners or families who are home often and able to provide their dog with plenty of love and attention.
4. Bully Pits Love Children
It’s a myth that Bully Pits are aggressive and unpredictable. In fact, many studies have shown otherwise.
There was a time when Pitbulls were considered nanny dogs. This was due to their sweet and patient nature, especially when it comes to children.
Bully Pit dogs are known to be sweet natured and playful as well, and also just as gentle with youngsters. They are calm and laid back, and very protective of the little ones in their home.
Of course, keep in mind that all dogs can bite, especially if they are not properly raised or socialized. It’s also important to ensure children in the home are monitored around the family dog.
Refrain from allowing children to sit on, tug on, wrestle with, tease, or otherwise roughhouse with your Bully Pit, no matter how gentle and patient he seems.
Instead, teach youngsters how to respectfully and gently interact with their Bully Pit and take the time to learn basic canine body language.
Doing so will help reduce the chances of a bite as well as strengthen the bond between you and your dog.
5. Bully Pits Are Hilarious, But They Can Have A Stubborn Streak
Bully Pits live to make you laugh. However, they can be stubborn from time to time.
Natural class clowns, Bully Pits are known for their goofy nature. This is evident even in photos, in which they are famous for sporting that big, tongue-out grin.
Bully Pits love to make you laugh, and will do just about anything to see you smile. However, these dogs can also have a stubborn streak. Remember, Bully Pits are part terrier, and that terrier streak is sure to show itself.
They respond best to praise and treats, so begin early with your Bully Pit when it comes to training. Be sure to teach him a solid recall off the top to ensure you can always get his attention if you need to.
6. Training And Socialization Are Key To Raising A Happy, Healthy Bully Pit
Training and socializing your Bully Pit at an early age is key to ensuring your dog is well-rounded, confident and relaxed.
As we touched on briefly above, training should begin early with your Bully Pit. Because these dogs can be willful, it’s best to start training during puppyhood. Of course, it’s never too late to train a dog, so don’t be discouraged if you have recently rescued an adult Bully Pit.
The trick to training is consistency, patience and technique. Like all dogs, Bully Pits respond best to positive reinforcement training techniques as opposed to punishments.
In fact, because they are so sensitive, Bully Pits are much more likely to shut down when scolded, which can hinder their ability to retain information and which can erode the bond between you and your dog.
Instead, be patient with your Bully Pit during training sessions. Keep them short and gamelike, and give him breaks often. Use lots of enthusiastic praise to hold your Bully Pit’s attention, as well as quality training treats.
You can also use praise and training treats when socializing your Bully Pit dog. Just like training, socialization is best when it begins during puppyhood, but it’s never too late to work with dogs who have been undersocialized.
However, dogs who have not been properly socialized during puppyhood are at a higher risk for behavioral issues stemming from fear, anxiety and depression.
This is one of the reasons it’s so important to ensure your dog has positive experiences with the world around him early on.
Introduce your dog to as many new people, places, experiences, animals, sights and sounds as you can while he is young. You can encourage him to associate these things with something good by providing him with treats along the way.
Zuke’s Mini Training Treats
We like Zuke’s Minis when it comes to quality training treats because they are small, highly palatable, and they are only three calories per treat. They also come in several different flavors so you can find out what your Bully Pit likes most to keep him engaged.
The best way to utilize treats during training is to ensure they are of high-value, so you should only provide your Bully Pit with these special treats when you’re working on training and socialization.
7. The Bully Pit Dog’s Appearance Can Vary
Your Bully Pit may favor one parent breed over the other.
Since your Bully Pit is a crossbred, chances are his appearance is going to vary. That said, the American Pitbull Terrier and the American Bulldog do look somewhat similar and have some common traits.
Both the American Bulldog and the American Pitbull Terrier have short, smoothe coats that come in a variety of colors and patterns.
They also both have naturally floppy ears, a stocky build, and long tails.
However, American Pitbull Terriers are generally smaller than American Bulldogs, so the height and weight of your American Bulldog can vary depending on which parent breed he takes after most.
On average, the American Bully can grow to be between 20 to 25 inches and weigh between 70 to 120 Pounds. He is available in a variety of colors including brown, red, fawn, brindle, blue, white, grey, tan, and a combination.
8. Bully Pit Dogs Need Lots Of Space, Daily Exercise And Playtime
Bully Pits are energetic dogs that require plenty of routine exercise.
Bully Pits are high-energy mixes with lots of muscle and stamina. They enjoy free playtime and will need routine exercise each day in order to stay happy and healthy. As such, the Bully Pit does best in homes with securely fenced backyards where they can run and play freely.
However, the Bully Pit can be an escape artist. He’s been known to scale fences that are under six feet and dig his way under fences that are not reinforced. Be sure to take precautions on your property with a Bully Pit in order to keep him safe.
When it comes to exercising your Bully Pit, do so gently. While these dogs are energetic, they can also be prone to a variety of respiratory issues that can make them more susceptible to exercise induced collapse and heat sensitivity.
About 35 to 45 minutes of routine exercise should suffice, and this exercise can include walks, gentle hikes, and games of fetch or frisbee.
When you are walking your Bully Pit, be sure to avoid using prong collars or choke chains. While it is true these dogs are strong and may pull on leash, using equipment that puts pressure on their throats can be dangerous.
PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness
If you’re looking for a good no-pull harness for your Bully Pit, we recommend the PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness listed above. This dog harness is designed to gently reduce pulling by redirecting your Bully Pit back to you on walks.
It does not put pressure on your dog’s throat and will not harm him or choke him if he does pull or lunge when you’re out and about. This makes the PetSafe harness one of the safer options for brachycephalic dogs like the Bully Pit.
9. The Bully Pit Becomes Very Bonded With His Family
Bully Pits are very people oriented. They won’t do well left alone for too long.
The Bully Pit is a large dog and due to his history, many people might assume he is independant, tough-minded and aloof.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Bully Pit is actually a highly sensitive dog that requires lots of extra attention and affection from his owners and family. This is not an outdoors-only dog, and he will be happiest living his life inside along with his people.
If left alone for too long during the day or if not given the proper attention, Bully Pits can suffer from separation anxiety leading to them become bored, depressed, destructive and even aggressive.
10. Bully Pit Dogs Are Pretty Easy To Groom
Thanks to their smooth, short coats, Bully Pits are easy to care for
Although the Bully Pit can be prone to a number of skin and coat issues, grooming is still relatively easy.
These dogs have short coats that only shed moderately year round. However, they do shed heavier during the shedding season in spring and fall. During this time, you may need to brush your Bully Pit a few times a week using a quality deshedding brush.
Otherwise, you can brush your Bully Pit once a week. Along with routine brushing, you’ll also need to bathe your Bully Pit once every six weeks. Be careful not to overbathe your Bully Pit, as this can strip his skin of the natural oils it produces, thus exasperating skin and coat issues.
Experts recommend bathing a Bully Pit with a quality dog shampoo and conditioner.
Veterinary Formula Hypoallergenic Pet Shampoo
The above hypoallergenic pet shampoo is designed for dogs and cats with skin sensitivities and allergies. This makes it the perfect shampoo to use on a dog like the Bully Pit. We like that this shampoo is free of any harsh ingredients. Best of all, it is vet recommended.
You can order this shampoo for your Bully Pit in two different sizes depending on your needs as well.
Along with occasional bathing, the Bully Pit will also need his nails trimmed routinely to prevent them from growing too long and breaking. His ears can be prone to developing ear infections, so clean and check them regularly to keep them free of moisture and debris.
Last, keep in mind that dental disease is one of the most common health issues in all breeds and mixes. You can reduce your Bully Pit’s chances of developing dental disease and early tooth loss by ensuring you brush his teeth daily using a dog-safe toothbrush and toothpaste.
11. The Bully Pit Can Have A Number Of Unique Health Issues
Bully Pits can suffer from some unique and serious health issues which can be exasperated if you get your dog through an irresponsible source.
All dogs can be prone to genetic health issues, and the Bully Pit is no exception. While it is true that hybrid vigor could lower his odds of inheriting some diseases from his parent breeds, there is no guarantee.
As with all crossbreeds, it’s important to look at the health issues common in both purebred parent breeds to get a better idea of what your dog could be susceptible to.
The Average Bully Pit Lifespan: 10 to 13 Years
Most Common Bully pit Health Issues:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Skin Infections
- Respiratory Issues
- Exercise Induced Collapse
- And Heat Intolerance
What To Know About Bloat And The Bully Pit
Also known as gastric dilation-volvulus or GDV, Bloat is a serious and sometimes life threatening condition that can come on suddenly. It occurs when air or gas fills the intestines and causes the organs to flip. This stops blood flow to the lower part of your dog’s body, sending him into shock.
Bloat is common in large, deep chested dogs like the Bully Pit, so it’s important to know the symptoms and causes of this condition and to seek immediate medical care if you notice signs.
Some common symptoms of Bloat include:
- Excessive Panting
- Excessive drooling
- Unproductive vomiting
- Obvious pain
- Extended abdomen
- And collapse
You can work to prevent Bloat in your Bully Pit by ensuring your dog is on a quality diet and by investing in a slow feeder for large breed dogs. It’s also important not to allow your dog to eat or drink immediately following play or exercise.
What To Know About Respiratory Issues And Your Bully Pit
The Bully Pit is what is known as a brachycephalic dog, which means he can be prone to some serious respiratory issues due to the formation of his skull. These respiratory issues make it more difficult for your dog to regulate his body temperature, and can lead to a variety of problems like exercise induced collapse and heat intolerance.
For this reason, refrain from over exercising your dog, especially if the weather is warm. It’s also important to never leave your Bully Pit outside alone without a safe place to cool off and fresh, cool water.
Other Tips On Keeping Your Bully Pit Healthy And Happy
- Get your Bully Pit through a reputable breeder or shelter
- Consider having your Bully Pit health screened
- Keep up with routine vet visits and wellness checks
- Keep your Bully Pit on a healthy diet specified for his age, weight and activity level
- Maintain a good grooming routine
- Don’t slack on exercise and mental stimulation
12. The Bully Pit Is Best Suited For Experienced Dog Owners
The ideal Bully Pit owner will have plenty of time to commit to training, exercise and socialization.
Bully Pits do make wonderful companions to the right owner, but they also require a lot of time, attention and commitment. As high-energy dogs, they need a specific amount of exercise each day to stay happy and healthy.
Their exercise routines need to be done with caution, however, to prevent them from developing any serious health issues.
Bully Pits also have some unique emotional needs and do best with owners who are around often. And remember, a Bully Pit is one of the most common types of dogs to be banned in certain regions across the United States.
For these reasons, bully Pits may not be not ideal for first time dog owners.
How To Find The Bully Pit Of Your Dreams
Do plenty of research when looking for a Bully Pit through a rescue or breeder.
If you’ve decided that you’re going to invest in a Bully Pit, then we would like to congratulate you. These dogs are filled to the brim with love and you’re sure to be rewarded beyond your wildest dreams once you commit.
If you would like to get a Bully Pit puppy through a breeder, you’re likely to spend between $500 and $900. This is relatively affordable in the hybrid dog world, considering some mixed breeds can cost you well over $1,500 ( and that’s on the low end).
However, it’s still important to do your due diligence. Take your time when picking a breeder and be sure to go with licensed breeders who can provide you with paperwork proving your dog’s health and pedigree.
You also have the option of rescuing a Bully Pit. Sadly, Bully Pits and Pitbull breeds like them are some of the most common dogs to be turned over and euthanized in shelters throughout the United States.
For this reason, there are several shelters that specialize in these types of dogs and we highly recommend you check them out below:
Whichever road you choose to take when it’s time to get your Bully Pit, we hope the journey is pleasant, educational, and that you and your Bully Pit make a wonderful match.
Thanks for reading and keep us posted!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.