Are American Bullies Fearless? What You Need to Know

american bully waiting for its owner

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Are you planning to buy or adopt a puppy (or dog) but aren’t sure of the ideal breed for you and your family? American bullies are known to be loyal and loving and are incredibly affectionate for such fierce-looking pups. But are they the type of dog to protect their pack?

American bullies are fearless dogs with unmatched confidence, and they will go to any lengths to protect their families. Provided they are well socialized and cared for, owners can expect loving yet protective pets with this breed. That said, as with any dog, past abuse can cause fearful behavior.

The American bully is intense and intimidating, and though they’re sweet dogs, they have a fearlessness that gives them an abundance of confidence. In the rest of the article, I’ll discuss these personality traits more so you can better understand your beloved pup.

Will My American Bully Protect Me?

Most people feel intimidated by the American bullies, and it’s clear why: they have muscular physiques and appear quite intense. However, they’re not as aggressive as they look.

American bullies will protect you from danger or when provoked. These dogs love to please their owners, which makes training quite easy. In addition, their loving nature makes them ideal for family protection, and though they’re not typical guard dogs, they will react if they feel threatened.

As mentioned, American bullies are very protective and will always ensure that their owners are safe. 

Moreover, it’s unlikely that people with ill intent (thieves or muggers on the street) will approach such a strong and angry-looking dog. So, you’ll not have to worry about leaving your kids (not infants, though) playing in the backyard with the dog.

Apart from being naturally confident, you can quickly train your bully to protect you and your family members. 

In most cases, these dogs are intelligent and will only attack when provoked. But given their willingness to please, you can train them to alert on command. In this case, the dog could bark or display its teeth as a show of aggression. You might use this if you’re walking late at night and feel uneasy.

Check out this video to see how it’s done:

Factors That Affect an American Bully’s Temperament

Keep in mind that American bullies can become extremely dominant over other animals if not allowed to socialize early with other dogs and humans. They can also be suspicious of strangers and become territorial in their homes if you don’t introduce them to new people the right way.

As mentioned above, this breed is generally considered to be sweet, loving, and incredibly loyal. 

They’re also more than willing to defend themselves and their pack should they feel a threat is present. 

When raised in a good home, these dogs are fearless, and it’s their confidence that makes them such great pets. They don’t bark often, and they’re happy to live in even the most chaotic homes with kids running around. 

Unfortunately, not all bullies get a good start in life, and as with any other breed, it’s possible to see fearful behavior that displays as aggression. This is generally found in bullies that have experienced abuse of some kind. 

On the other hand, extreme experiences with loud noises at a young age could also provoke fear in your pup. 

If your bully is a puppy, this kind of thing can be trained away with patience and time. But if you adopt an older dog that appears fearful, it may take a lot longer to see them become confident. Either way, the best thing you can do is to give your dog love and affection and be mindful of their triggers. 

Personality Traits of American Bullies

american bully with a big head

American bullies have many admirable character traits. They’re friendly, loyal, confident, outgoing, intelligent, and gentle. In addition, they make excellent family dogs, as they’re compatible with children and adults alike. 

However, they’re best-suited for active families as the dogs are highly energetic and playful.


Despite their intimidating looks, American bullies are friendly and affectionate. They’re typical lap dogs, and they always express their love toward their owners by wagging their tails, licking (kissing) them, or tilting their heads. This makes them a perfect companion dog.

Remember, though, that these dogs require attention. Much like the golden retriever, they crave love and affection. So if you don’t think you have the time to give your dog, this might not be the breed for you.


Shyness is not what you’ll expect to see in a well-bred American bully. On the contrary, these dogs are very confident and outgoing. 

Moreover, they’re courageous, making them ideal guard dogs. So don’t be surprised to see your ordinarily sweet and happy bully spring into action if it feels threatened. 


American bullies are among the world’s most loyal dogs. They always seek to please their owners and stand by their side. 

This trait is also one of the reasons why American bullies are so protective of their families.

However, it’s also why socialization is so important. If you don’t socialize them with other animals and people, they could perceive anyone they don’t know as a threat, making having guests over a challenge. 


Apart from being confident, their intelligence makes these dogs trainable. An American bully will quickly learn instructions, especially if you start training the dog while it’s still young (at around one year).

To achieve the best results, incorporate positive reinforcement, such as rewarding your dog with training treats. For instance, my XL American bully loves lamb-based kibble, and one terrific way to train a puppy is to use their food rather than fattier treats. 

Since you’ll give many treats in one training session, it’s advised to portion out their standard meal allowance and use that to keep from overfeeding with higher calorie treats.

Save the higher reward treats for more important exercises, such as recall training.   


Though fierce-looking, the American bully is as gentle as a lamb. In addition, unlike other dogs that can’t stand kids, American bullies adore children. 

Like with other family members, an American bully will form a tight bond with children. You may expect most dog breeds to become impatient while interacting with children. However, American bullies are patient and won’t mind cuddling your kids.

So, like Pitbulls, American bullies are well known for being therapy dogs.

How the American Bullies Got Their Traits

american bully that smells good

American bullies have an interesting history. Their development as companion dogs began in the 1980s when breeders crossbred several breed strains without a clear standard. However, after about twenty years of breeding, the American Bully Kennel Club registered the American Bully as a breed in 2004.

The American bullies acquired their appealing traits from successive selective breeding. Their parental breed, the American pit bull terrier (APBT), is aggressive, so breeders crossed it with four breeds to eliminate undesirable characteristics. 

The others included: 

  • The English bulldog
  • The American Staffordshire terrier
  • The American bulldog
  • The old English bull dogge

There are many stereotypes toward the American bully as it resembles the pit bull terrier. Pit bulls came to the United States in the 1800s, and unfortunately, due to their prey drive, their owners engaged them in fights. 

To this day, this breed is misunderstood and wrongly thought of as aggressive. The same goes for the American bully due to its history with the breed and the fact that they still carry most physical traits of the APBT. 

They are muscular, fierce-looking, strong, and athletic. Moreover, they have large heads, pointed ears, and square-shaped muzzles.

However, years of successive breeding have gradually removed undesirable character traits, including prey drive and aggressiveness from American bullies. Nowadays, the dog breed has gained popularity due to its positive characteristics. Hence, it has emerged as one of the most sought-after companion dogs.

American bullies currently fall under four categories. The American Bully Kennel Club recognizes these sub-types and provides directives on breeders’ standards when developing them.

American Bully versions have varying heights and almost similar weights. The four categories include:

  • Standard American Bully – a medium-sized American Bully variety. 
  • Pocket American Bully – the shortest of the American Bully categories. 
  • XL American Bully – the tallest variety of the American Bully. 
  • Classic American Bully – lighter body frames but almost similar heights to the other three categories. 

Wrapping it Up

American Bullies are among the best companion dogs. Despite their ferocious appearances, they are the friendliest, gentle, affectionate, and loyal dogs you’ll ever come across. Moreover, they are fearless and protective when provoked.

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