6 Special Considerations for Adopting “Bully” Breed Dogs

6 Special Considerations for Adopting “Bully” Breed Dogs

Thanks to their adorable faces and cuddly nature, “bully breeds” have become among the most popular dogs in North America. There is some contention about which dogs could be considered as part of the bully breed category, but it’s widely understood that dogs descending from terrier types that were once used for animal baiting before the 20th century are the ultimate progenitors of today’s modern bully breeds.

Animal baiting may no longer be a legal pastime in most parts of the world, but the legacy of that sport lives on in some of the physical characteristics of bully breeds. Modern breeds belonging to this category include larger and medium-sized dogs like the American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and Mastiffs, as well as smaller bully breeds like English Bulldogs and Boston Terriers. Despite their varied looks, these breeds all share wide, muscular bodies, short snouts, and square heads—traits once thought to have been advantageous for sport.

Contrary to widely held belief, bully breeds don’t share that many behavioral characteristics. Most of them do have terrier lineages and, as such, possess remarkable intelligence as well as a strong prey drive. Coupled with their often-surprising physical strength, bully breeds can be quite a handful for unprepared owners. But as many adoring parents of bully breed dogs can attest, a number of these dogs are among the sweetest, most affectionate, most loyal, and most protective souls their families will ever know.

Are you thinking about adopting a bully breed into your own family? Let’s look at some of the most important things you should know about caring for these lovable dogs:

1) They’re Just Like Any Other Dog

When caring for bully breed dogs, you won’t need special accessories—just things that other dogs of similar size and disposition need. In particular, happy bully pups need safe, reasonably durable toys that will keep them engaged and happy. Be sure to check out PrideBites.com's custom dog beds to keep the special bully dog in your life warm and cozy.

2) They Require Proper Training

All pets require training and socialization, but getting it right is very important for many bully breeds because of their strength relative to their size. Many bully breeds retain a strong prey drive due to their lineage, and untrained dogs may be apt to run after cars and other animals—sometimes with tragic results. Because they’re so strong and agile, they can easily get away from an owner who isn’t prepared, necessitating proper training to avoid accidents.

3) Bully Breeds Can Get Along with Other Animals

Many bully dogs can effortlessly socialize with people and other pets, but their strength and prey drive means that some special care is needed. Socialization is generally much easier if you acquire a dog as a puppy. If you adopt an adult dog of any breed that hasn’t been socialized, temporarily segregate them from other animals in your home until they’ve grown accustomed to your other companions.

4) They Need Plenty of Exercise

Daily walks are an almost non-negotiable aspect of caring for a bully breed. Though some individual dogs will be quite chill and prefer to stay on the couch, most bully dogs will appreciate frequent opportunities to let off some steam.

To keep your bully dog happy, include exercise in their daily routine, sprinkle in plenty of fetch sessions, and offer engaging toys that let them safely unleash their prey drive.

5) They’re Highly Intelligent

Bully breeds are among the most intelligent out there, with thousands of them currently working as service animals and search and rescue dogs. They’re highly trainable, so take full advantage by frequently engaging them in training sessions.

Consistent training, plus special items like puzzle toys, will enhance their mental well-being and channel their intelligence into constructive activities, turning them into well-behaved members of your family.

6) Bully Breeds are Loyal

Intelligence is only one reason why bully breeds can fill many key service roles. They’re also exceptionally loyal, with many willing to risk themselves to please their owners. If you reciprocate this loyalty with genuine love and attention, you will get even more love and loyalty in return. Of course this can be said of many other dog breeds, but bully breeds are especially well known for this endearing quality.

The Reality of Bully Breeds

Unfortunately, there’s historically been a lot of misinformation and fearmongering surrounding bully breeds. Urban legends purport that these breeds are unusually aggressive, have a so-called “locking bite,” and have immunity to pain. These are all untrue, and bully breeds are not especially different from other popular dog breeds, particularly when compared with other terriers. Their baseline physiological and behavioral characteristics are the same as those of any other dogs, with many individuals even bucking the trends associated with their breeds.

That said, your canine companion’s specific characteristics tend to be more important than their breed or the category their breed belongs to. So long as you remain compassionate to their needs, bully dogs will reward you with years of love and friendship, just like any other dog would, and perhaps more.