Can an American Bully Live in an Apartment?

oso american bully puppy

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There are several breeds of dogs that don’t usually make it onto the approved list for apartments. The reasons are usually due to fears of aggressive behaviors associated with these particular breeds (ex: Pitbulls or German Shepherds). So, can an American bully live in an apartment?

American Bullies can live happy and healthy lives in an apartment home. However, many apartments restrict the breeds allowed to reside in their buildings. Often, dogs classified as being in the “bully” breed are excluded from the permitted breeds. It’s always best to speak to your landlord.

Let’s take a closer look at why an American bully can live in an apartment.

American Bully vs Pitbull in an apartment

There is plenty of confusion surrounding the American bully and pitbull breeds because it’s commonly misunderstood that American bullies are pit bulls. This is not true. While they have some pitbull breeding in their genetic makeup, they are mixed with other bulldog breeds too.

This mixed breeding was intentional. It was used to get the look of a pitbull with the mild temperament of the bulldog. It took a long time for the breed to be recognized as an official breed, and it wasn’t until 2004 that the American Kennel Club accepted it as a breed.

American bullies usually do not have anywhere near the same energy levels as pit bulls. They are usually more quiet, and although you will have to get them out to exercise for at least an hour every day, most can be happy couch potatoes too.

What Are Breed Restrictions?

Breed restrictions are common practice in apartment complexes and privately owned apartments. These restrictions are in place to protect tenants from exposure to potentially dangerous breeds of dogs. These restrictions are often a source of controversy among owners of the breeds on these lists. An example of a usually restricted breed from apartments or leased dwellings is the pit bull terrier, whose DNA is also in the American bully.

Dogs of these breeds were once taken into fighting rings and forced to fight for their survival. No matter how domesticated dogs have gotten since then, they are still animals with profound hunting instincts. Dogs in fighting rings have been abused and conditioned to believe they had to fight the other animal in the ring. This abuse can make them dangerous, and many people fear them regardless of the pet’s actual past.

When treated properly, dogs in these breeds can be some of the most loving canines you’ll find. American bullies are no different. They love to love their owners and will tolerate children and other animals well if suitably socialized.

Be Upfront With Apartment Landlords

The best thing you can do if you have a dog that falls into one of these “aggressive” breeds is to be upfront with your landlord before renting from them. You want to make sure your family member can move with you into the new home, but you may need to pay an extra fee per month. It’s essential to consider these possibilities before signing your lease.

Contact the landlord and set up a pet interview to explain your dog’s disposition. Use that time to show your dog off for them. Give them research that shows an American bully isn’t the same as a pit bull. You may even need to get a letter from a vet confirming that your dog isn’t a pit bull. 

While you take these steps to prove your dog’s case, be prepared for rejection. When it comes to animals, people can get nervous because it is a wildcard for them, and landlords don’t want to risk a potential lawsuit.

Dogs Often on Breed Restriction Lists

There are a few dogs that almost always make the list of breed restrictions. These dogs have a history of being aggressive and attacking people and other dogs if provoked. As mentioned above, it isn’t all dogs of these breeds, but there have been enough of them to worry landlords.

Here is a list of some breeds that are typically banned from apartments. These aren’t the only breeds, and it’s likely your landlord has a more extensive list. Always be transparent with your landlord about your dog’s breed.

  • Pitbull terriers
  • German shepherds
  • Rottweilers
  • Mastiffs
  • Doberman pinschers 

Helping Your American Bully With Apartment Living

If your landlord does permit American bullies onto the property, it’s your responsibility to ensure it’s a good fit. Here are a few tips for helping your bully adapt to apartment life:

Give an American Bully Plenty of Exercise Every Day

Dogs in the bully breed are typically high-energy dogs. American bullies can live in apartments (breed restrictions permitting) as long as they are appropriately exercised every day. If they are left to their own devices, they can get bored quickly, leading to destructive behavior, such as chewing and digging.

Destructive behavior is another reason that dogs end up unwelcome in apartments and other leased locations. Landlords don’t like replacing floors, doors, and other areas that high-energy dogs can chew through in their moments of boredom.

Make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise to wear them out. It gives them an outlet to let off any frustrations they’ve had during the day. Just like people, pets get tired of constantly following rules and being cooped up in the house all day. Find a nice park and let your American bully run off that energy, so they don’t chew up your shoes or your floor.

Make Sure They Maintain a Balanced Diet

A well-balanced diet is another crucial point to keep in mind for apartment-dwelling American bullies. A dog who is overweight and under-exercised can develop other health issues as it gets older.

American bullies are most prone to being obese. They are also more likely to have bad bloating, skin allergies, and heart problems. 

It’s important to note that this article isn’t meant to provide any sort of diagnostic advice. If you feel your dog is suffering from an illness, it’s essential to reach out to your dog’s vet.

Socialize American Bullies Early and Often

One of the biggest things to do when you get an American bully puppy is to socialize it as early and as often as possible. When properly socialized, an American bully will be tolerant of children and other animals without any issues. This is especially important if you live or plan to live in an apartment complex. 

Below is a list of great ways to socialize your dog:

  • Go for a walk every day. Take your dog on a walk every day to a location with many people and other animals. It gets them comfortable with the world.
  • Bring them around as many different people as possible. Remain calm and confident as you introduce them to new people and animals, so they know the strangers are safe to be around.
  • Take them to dog classes. Consider taking your dog to a dog class where they can learn new skills and socialize with other animals at the same time.


There are many concerns about bully breeds, most specifically when it comes to their living arrangements. Whether it concerns breed restrictions or their overall health, pet owners strive to know if their pets will be welcome in their home. Hopefully, this article has shown that an American bully can live in an apartment as long as they are permitted.


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