Bully Breeds as a “Bully dog” may be a name you’ve heard used to characterize a variety of canine breeds. But what exactly does “bully dog” mean?
You might guess from the name that any breed that includes the term “bull” is a Bully Breeds. Many dog breeds, including American Pit Bull Terriers, English Bulldogs, Bull Mastiffs, and Bull Terriers, fall under this category.
Many other dogs, such as Boxers, Boston Terriers, and American Staffordshire Terriers, are called bully dog breeds despite not having the term “bull” in their titles.
So, what about these dogs makes them all “bully breeds,” and where did the label come from?
Which Bully Breeds Are Classified as Bully Dogs?
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Bully dogs are diverse breeds with widely disparate appearances, temperaments, and breed histories. So, why do we group them all together as “bully dogs?”
They all have one thing in common, though. They are descended from Molosser dogs, who were huge, muscular dogs with pendant ears and short muzzles that originated in Greece.
Originally, breeders blended these enormous animals with other breeds to make canines that would protect livestock, guard property, and assist with day-to-day tasks.
Unfortunately, several bully breeds were later bred for bloodsports, such as bull-baiting and bear-baiting. After these heinous games were banned, many of these dogs were bred as companion animals; however, some were raised for dog fighting rings.
Bully dog breeds are generally not aggressive when given a decent home and socialization training, but people may teach them negative tendencies just like any other dog. The majority of bully dogs are happy, family pets who are protective and caring, particularly toward children in their families.
There are numerous breeds that have Molosser origins and are classified as bully dogs. It would be impossible to list them all. However, here are a handful of the most popular and well-known bully dog breeds:
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- Pit Bull Terrier of America
- American Staffordshire Terrier (Staffordshire Terrier)
- Boston Terrier
- Mastiff Bull
- The Bull Terrier
- Cane The Italian Corso
- Dogo Argentino,
- Caucasian Shepherd Dog
- The English Bulldog
- Mastiff English Mastiff
- Great Dane French Bulldog
- Mastiff of Naples
- Olde Pug English Bulldogge
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier (SBT)
Want to know if your dog is a bully breed? Try this doggy DNA test to learn more about your dog’s breed ancestry!
Why Are They Called Bully Dogs?
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You may believe that the phrase “bully dog” means that these canines are aloof, nasty, or violent. On the other hand, the name “bully dog” has nothing to do with these canines’ personalities and is instead based on their past.
Because these canines were utilized in bloodsports such as bull-baiting, the term “bully” was coined to describe them, and it stuck. Describing them as “bully dogs” does not help to remove these breeds from their heinous history.
Combine that with the fact that many bully dog breeds have been used as status symbols to instil toughness, intimidation, and violence — as well as those who continue to use them in illegal dog fighting rings — and it’s easy to see why their undeserved reputation endures.
Despite these concerns, bully dogs are often good family dogs, with many being referred to as “nanny dogs” due to their protective nature toward youngsters. Bully dogs make terrific friends and pets when properly trained and loved.
However, breed-specific legislation sometimes prohibits bully dogs, particularly if they are classified as “Pit Bulls” or resemble Pit Bulls.
Laws predicated on fear and insufficient training for law enforcement to accurately identify breeds can be disastrous for dogs of all kinds and their families, even if they aren’t Pit Bulls or bully dogs.
It is critical to disseminate knowledge and information so that bully breeds can shed their poor reputation and accept them for the loving animals they are.
Which bully breed do you prefer? Do you have a bully dog at home? Please leave your opinions and your thoughts in the comments section below!