What Is A Bully Breed

Last month, in our blog we approached the “What is a Pit Bull?” topic. Today, we are going to dive in to “What is a Bully Breed?” Seriously, these 2 things are enough to drive a seasoned dog person crazy. Truly, since both of these are kind of “catch-all” terms, one can argue that anything a person decides is a Pit Bull qualifies to be a Pit Bull, and anything a person decides is a “Bully Breed” qualifies to be called a Bully Breed, and, well, that doesn’t help us narrow down a definition.

For all intents and purposes we are going to stick to a pretty traditional definition of a “bully breed”. There is often a misconception that “Bully” refers to attitude or personality when we talk about Bully Breeds, or about discriminated breeds. For example, some breeds that I have heard referred to as bully breeds based on discrimination, pre-conceived ideas about what the breed behaves like, are Huskies, Malamutes, Chows, German Shepherds, Heelers. These guys are being referred to as “bully breeds” because they can sometimes be pushier with other dogs, kind of “bullies” in the sense of their attitudes. But, truly, the term refers to dogs with a shared lineage that includes bulldog somewhere in their breeding lineage. This visual is the most inclusive representation I have seen about “What is a bully breed.”

the bully breeds

These are representations of purebred dogs, keep in mind that variations of these breeds and mixes of these breeds will still qualify as “Bully Breeds”. Bully Breeds can trace a common lineage back through Ancient Greece to a a particular breed of dog called Molosser dogs. (This is a whole 2 hour presentation from this point forward… no, really. Its really interesting information, though. If you’re interested, let me know and we can talk about doing a “History of…” blog.)

In this day and age, saying the word “Bulldog” typically conjures up the following images:

But, the truth is, bulldogs don’t just look like this. They look like this:

And they look like this:

And they look like this:

And when you start crossing them with certain Terriers you start to get these:

Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier

And these:

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Annnnnd these:

Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier

And all of the other breeds that you see represented in the first visual aid. Truly, a bully breed is any dog, with shared physical characteristics, through breeding lineages that can trace a lineage back to a bulldog. Keeping in mind, that may not look now, like it looked when the breeds were created.

Point being… “Bully Breed” is another term that is pretty open to interpretation. Its pretty fluid and pretty inclusive of so many potential breeds and mixes. If there is any sort of bulldog, any breed derived from any bulldog lineage, any breed mixed with a bulldog or a breed derived from a bulldog, then it qualifies as a “bully breed” type dog. Most share the same characteristics as dogs that are commonly called “Pit Bulls”.

So, now that we have made this muddy subject as clear as milk, and clarified well, nothing, really. We hope you at the very least enjoyed this little wander through bully breeds.

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