XL American Bully: Understanding This Loyal and Protective Breed

XL American Bully dog close up face

The XL American Bully is a distinct breed that has been gaining attention and notoriety for its imposing size and muscular build. A taller variant of the Standard American Bully dog and this breed encapsulates a unique blend of strength, loyalty, and a gentle demeanor, making them a topic of interest among dog enthusiasts. In a snapshot, XL Bully dogs present an intriguing mix of characteristics, embodying the robust physique typical of bully breeds while often maintaining a friendly and approachable personality.

This breed was created by Dave Wilson with the intent of introducing more “bully” or bulk characteristics to the modern Pitbull breeds, but with a more relaxed temperament to make better companion dogs. However, anybody that wants an XL Bully puppy needs to be aware of the controversy around this dog.

Understanding the XL American Bully involves looking at their needs, characteristics, and the implications of ownership. Their origin and development as a breed showcase a deliberate push towards a certain aesthetic and temperament. However, with their impressive physique, these dogs require proper exercise, socialization, and training to truly thrive. Owners should also be aware of the breed’s specific health concerns, costs, nutritional requirements, and grooming needs to ensure a happy and healthy life for their canine companion.

So, What Is An XL American Bully? Dog Breed Overview

The XL American Bully is a larger variant of the Standard American Bully, known for its height over 20 inches for males and 19 inches for females. It features a muscular, bulky build, a distinctive blocky head, and a short, glossy coat. Despite its robust appearance, it is known for its gentle and friendly nature, making it an excellent family companion.

The XL American Bully is a larger variant of the American Bully breed. It shares the same history, having originated in the United States as a cross between the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and other bully breeds like Bulldogs and Mastiffs. This breed saw its development start in the ’90s, aiming to produce a family-friendly pet with a muscular build and a gentle temperament.

Key Takeaways

  • The XL American Bully is a strong and loyal breed with a friendly nature.
  • They require diligent care, including exercise, socialization, and proper nutrition.
  • Understanding their specific health and temperament traits is crucial for responsible ownership.

Here are some other varieties of American Bully:

VarietiesAmerican Bully
Standardyour original size
Pocketsmaller than standard
Classiclighter frame, less bulk
XLlarger and heavier
XXLheaviest and most muscular

Breed Recognition:

They may not be recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), but they have gained popularity as a distinct breed.

The XL variety stands out due to its size. Adults can weigh anywhere from 80 to 150 pounds, with males usually being larger than females. In terms of height, they stand taller than the Standard size, with a powerful frame and a strong head and neck. You can get a bigger Bully called the XXL Bully, but this is not a recognized sub-type.

XL American Bully Origin and History

Dark Brown American Bully dog XL size standing on beach

So, what breeds make the XL American Bully?

Ancestral Breeds

In the 1980s, the foundation for the XL American Bully began to take shape with significant development happening in the 1990s alongside the rise of hip-hop culture. They are classified as status dogs because of their tough appearance. 

Key to the breed’s origins, the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier (Amstaff) served as a starting point, providing characteristic traits for over a century. From the robust APBT, different strains emerged, tailoring distinct physical qualities. 

A particular strain of APBT was initially misrepresented as purebred but later recognized as different enough to warrant a new breed identity. This led to breeders crossing it with the American Bulldog, English Bulldog, and Olde English Bulldogge to enhance specific features and temperaments, creating the distinct Bully.

Historical Significance

The American Bully breed became famous for embodying a stocky physique and a friendlier temperament compared to its ancestors. It embodied a cultural symbol in the United States, mirroring the bold and confident attitude prevalent in the era of its inception. As the breed evolved, it gained a unique identity separate from its forebears such as the American Staffordshire Terrier.

The Breed Today

In the modern day, breeders continue to prioritize mass and a characteristic wide front, shaping the American Bully into a companion dog. While its appearance can be formidable, the breed is known for having a lower prey drive and displaying the desired “bully” demeanor.

Kennel Club Recognition

By 2004, the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) formalized the breed’s status, establishing a breed club and a written standard for showing these dogs. The ABKC’s efforts consolidated the Bully’s reputation, emphasizing its role as a companion rather than a working dog, differentiating it from other bulldog-type breeds.

Physical Characteristics

XL American Bully dog lilac or blue color sitting on grass

So, let’s look at the XL Bully Breed Standard:

Size and Build

Height20 inches – 23 inches19 inches – 22 inches
(51 cm – 57 cm)(48 cm – 54 cm)
  • Description: The XL American Bully is distinguished primarily by its height, with males standing between 51 to 57 cm and females between 48 to 54 cm at the withers. Despite their larger size, they share the same heavily muscled, massive, and bulky body type as the Standard American Bully.


  • General Impression: This breed exudes great strength relative to its size. It’s a compact and medium/large dog, characterized by a muscular build and a blocky head. The breed is designed to look robust with heavy bone structure and a bulky build.
  • Head: Features a distinct, heavy, large, and broad head. The skull is broad, and cheeks are very pronounced. Ears can be natural or cropped. The muzzle is short to medium in length, blocky, and falls away abruptly below the eyes.
  • Eyes: All colors are accepted except albinism. Preferred shapes are oval to almond, set far apart and low in the skull. Visibility of the haw should be minimal.
  • Neck and Forequarters: The neck is heavy, muscular, slightly arched. Shoulders are strong, muscular with wide blades. Forelegs are straight, strong, and sturdy.
  • Body: Characterized by a heavily muscled, massive, and bulky body. The chest is broad, deep, and well-filled.
  • Back and Hindquarters: The back is fairly short to medium, with a slight slope from withers to rump. Hindquarters are well-muscled, and legs are straight and parallel when viewed from the rear.
  • Tail and Feet: The tail is medium in length, low set, tapering to a fine point. Feet should be rounded, moderate in size, compact, well-arched, and tight.

Coat and Colors

  • Coat: It is short, glossy, close, and stiff to smooth to the touch, not exceeding ½ inch in length.
  • Colors and Patterns: All colors and patterns are permissible except the Merle/blotched pattern. The Merle pattern is a disqualifying fault in competitions. The UKC also does not allow albino (pink) dogs.

The XL American Bully is a breed that combines physical power and strength with a gentle and friendly temperament, making it an excellent companion. Despite its formidable appearance, it is known for its friendly nature towards kids, strangers, and other animals.

Health and Lifespan

sitting Blue American XL Bully dog lake in background

What do you need to know about this dog’s health and how long they live?

Average Lifespan

The XL American Bully is a strong and robust breed, but like every dog breed, it has a specific lifespan you should know about. On average, you can expect your XL American Bully to share your life for about 10 to 12 years. Proper care and a healthy lifestyle can influence their time with you, sometimes even extending it.

Common Health Issues

Your buddy might face some health challenges along the way. Watch out for these common health issues:

  • Hip Dysplasia: This is when the hip joints don’t fit together perfectly, which can be painful and cause limping.
  • Heart Problems: Your XL American Bully could inherit or develop heart conditions.
  • Allergies: Just like humans, they can have reactions to food, the environment, or fleas.

It’s important to keep an eye on your pet’s health and visit the vet for regular check-ups to catch these problems early.

Preventative Care Tips

Taking good care of your XL American Bully can help prevent some health problems and keep your pet happy. Here are some preventative care tips:

  • Nutrition: Give them high-quality food that’s right for their age and size.
  • Exercise: Regular walks and playtime help keep their weight in check and joints healthy.
  • Regular Vet Visits: Yearly check-ups can help spot issues before they become serious.
  • Dental Care: Keep those teeth clean to prevent dental diseases.

By staying informed and proactive, you can help ensure your XL American Bully lives a full, healthy life. Remember, you’re the best advocate for your pet’s well-being!

Temperament and Personality

A lot of people wonder if the XL Bully is aggressive and dangerous. And there is also a lot of debate over whether these dogs are wonderful family pets or dangerous. The short answer is generally, no, the XL American Bully is not a dangerous dog. However, any dog can bite and because of the unusual power this breed has, when they bite, the results are a lot more tragic than if a Chihuahua bit.

As such, it is vital to research this breed thoroughly before getting a puppy. It is also vital to understand that many of these dogs are not suited to inexperienced or first-time dog owners. Because of breed specific legislation (BSL) and dog bans, it is vital that anybody that owns one of these dogs takes every precaution to make sure their dogs are never in a risky situation. The recent spurt of dog attacks by this breed is just one reason why responsible ownership is so essential for anybody consider and American Bully XL.

General Disposition

The XL American Bully is a standout for its devoted and loving nature. They are intelligent and confident, making them quick learners and assertive companions when trained properly. While these dogs can be friendly and loyal, they embody a unique dichotomy — a gentle spirit toward family coupled with an innate power that demands respect.

Interaction with Children and Other Pets

When it comes to your family, these dogs are usually loving and protective. They often do well with children, displaying patience and a gentle demeanor. However, their powerful stature requires diligent supervision, especially around younger ones who may inadvertently trigger a dog’s instinctive response. 

With other pets, the situation can be more complex. XL American Bullies may show aggressiveness toward other dogs or pets, so you’ll need to guide and supervise their interactions closely.

Common Behavioral Traits

Your XL American Bully might not always signal before becoming aggressive, earning them an unfair reputation for biting unexpectedly. As a responsible owner, you should be well-informed about their triggers and stress signals which can quickly escalate. Redirected aggression — when a dog lashes out at a nearby person due to frustration or because they are fighting with another dog and somebody tries to intervene — can be an issue. To manage this:

  • Always supervise interactions with others.
  • Keep your dog on a leash in public spaces.
  • Invest in proper training, focusing on socialization.

Remember, owning a powerful breed like the XL American Bully means taking measured precautions to ensure the safety of those around them, including yourself. Their temperament may be sweet and gentle, but their capacity for strength requires an experienced hand.

Exercise and Housing Needs

Now how much exercise does one of these gentle giants need?

Daily Exercise Requirements

You’ll want to keep your XL American Bully healthy and happy, which means daily exercise is a must. Aim for at least one to two hours of physical activity each day. This can include:

  • Walking: A brisk walk around the neighborhood.
  • Playtime: Tug-of-war or fetch in a fenced yard.
  • Training: Short, fun training sessions for mental stimulation.

Remember, these pups have lots of energy, so breaking exercise into two parts of the day is a smart move.

Space Requirements

XL American Bullies are big dogs, and they need space to move around. If you’re living in an apartment, daily park visits are essential. In a house:

  • Yard: A securely fenced yard where they can play safely.
  • Indoors: Enough room inside to stretch out and not feel cramped.

Suitable Living Conditions

Your bully’s home should be comfy and safe:

  • Shelter: Protection from extreme weather — keep it cool in summer and warm in winter.
  • Bedding: A cozy spot with a durable bed for those powerful jaws and heavy bodies.
  • Attention and love: Lots of positive interactions with you and family members.

Creating a loving home with enough space and regular exercise will help ensure your XL American Bully is a joyful and well-behaved companion.

Training and Socialization

Two XL Bully dogs chewing on a stick

So how do you train one of these giant dogs?


Training your XL American Bully should start as early as possible. Known for their intelligence and responsive nature, these dogs can easily grasp basic commands and advanced training if you remain consistent and patient. Since they are a powerful breed, establishing clear leadership is crucial to ensure your dog understands your role as the pack leader.

Socialization Needs

Socialization is imperative for your XL Bully. It’s essential that your dog learns to be neutral around strangers and other dogs. Begin socialization early by introducing them to various people, sights, and sounds. This helps them become well-adjusted adults. While they can be friendly, it’s best to avoid dog parks to keep them from unruly dogs that are not under control.

Behavioral Training Tips

  • Neutral Encounters: Accustom your Bully to ignoring other animals rather than playing with them.
  • Controlled Introductions: Introduce your dog to new scenarios cautiously and keep interactions positive.
  • Obedience Training: Inspire good behavior with obedience classes that challenge and stimulate your dog mentally.
  • Avoid Dangerous Situations: Protect your breed by avoiding scenarios where they might feel the need to defend themselves or end a conflict.

Remember, training is a lifelong commitment. Frequent, structured training sessions will help maintain your XL Bully’s demeanor and ensure they are a positive example of the breed.

Diet & Nutrition

What is the best diet for XL American Bully?

Dietary Needs

Your XL American Bully has specific dietary needs to maintain its health and vitality. A balanced diet rich in protein is crucial because it supports muscle development and energy levels. High-quality dog food, either commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your vet’s supervision, is necessary. Proteins should come from real meats like chicken, beef, or fish. Carbohydrates are also important for energy but choose complex carbs like sweet potatoes over simple sugars.

  • Proteins: Essential for muscle and overall growth.
  • Carbohydrates: Provide energy; opt for complex carbs.
  • Fats: Necessary for energy and healthy skin.
  • Vitamins & Minerals: Crucial for overall health.

Feeding Schedule

A feeding schedule helps manage your XL Bully’s dietary intake. Puppies typically require three to four smaller meals a day to accommodate their fast-growing bodies. As they mature, you can reduce feeding to twice daily. Consistent meal times aid in digestion and help prevent overeating.

  • Puppies (under 12 months): 3-4 meals per day.
  • Adults: 2 meals per day.

Special Dietary Considerations

Keep an eye on your dog’s weight to prevent obesity, a concern for XL breeds. Treats should be given in moderation and should not be more than 10% of their total diet. Special dietary considerations may arise, such as food allergies or sensitivity. If you notice symptoms like excessive itching or gastrointestinal upset, consult with your vet for appropriate dietary adjustments.

  • Weight management: Monitor and adjust food intake as necessary.
  • Treats: Give sparingly to avoid obesity.
  • Allergies: Be vigilant and consult a vet if symptoms arise.

Remember, always have fresh water available to keep your Bully hydrated.

Grooming Needs

When you have an XL American Bully, it’s important to keep up with their grooming to maintain their health and appearance. Their short coat can be deceptively low-maintenance, but they do need regular care.

Grooming Frequency

For your XL American Bully, regular grooming is key. You’ll want to:

  • Brush their coat at least once a week to keep it shiny and reduce shedding.
  • Bathe your dog with dog shampoo as needed, which is typically every 6-8 weeks, unless they get especially dirty.
  • Check their eyes and dental health regularly, and clean them as part of your grooming routine.
  • Clip nails as soon as they get too long, roughly every month, to prevent any discomfort or issues walking.

Grooming Tools

To stay on top of grooming, here are the tools you’ll need:

  • A bristle brush or glove to remove loose fur and dirt
  • Nail clippers or a grinder designed for dogs
  • Canine shampoo formulated for your dog’s coat and skin type
  • Dental kit with toothbrush and toothpaste made for dogs
  • Eye wipes to gently clean any discharge or crust around the eyes

Grooming Tips

  • Be gentle around sensitive areas like the eyes and mouth.
  • When brushing, go in the direction of the coat to make it a comfortable experience.
  • When clipping nails, be careful not to cut too close to the quick as it can be painful and may cause bleeding.
  • Incorporate teeth cleaning into your dog’s routine, aiming for a few times a week.

Your XL American Bully will thank you for keeping them well-groomed, healthy, and happy!

Cost of Ownership

Young XL American Bully puppy blue with white rawhide bone

So, How much does an XL American Bully puppy cost?

Initial Cost (XL Bully Puppy Price)

When you’re considering bringing home an XL American Bully, the initial purchase price is something you can’t ignore. Depending on the breeder, pedigree, and even color, you could be paying anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 or more for a puppy. This hefty price tag often reflects the breeder’s investment in health testing, quality food, and care for the puppies and their parents.

Ongoing Costs

Once your XL Bully is comfortably wagging its tail in your home, your wallet isn’t off the hook just yet. Owning any dog comes with its set of recurrent expenses, but XL Bullies, with their sizeable stature, come with a few more.

  • Food: Given their large size, they can go through a bag of dog food much faster than smaller breeds. Be ready to budget about $80 to $150 monthly for a high-quality diet.
  • Vet Visits: Regular check-ups aren’t optional. Preventive care such as vaccinations, flea, and heartworm prevention can set you back an average of $100 to $200 annually, not including any unexpected health issues.
  • Pet Insurance: To mitigate the cost of any health surprises, pet insurance could be a wise choice, averaging $30 to $50 per month.
  • Accessories and Toys: XL Bullies are strong and may go through toys quicker than smaller dogs. Set aside some cash for durable toys and big beds!
  • Training and Socialization: These friendly giants benefit from training to ensure they’re well-mannered. Group classes or private sessions vary, but expect to budget around $50 to $200 for starter sessions.

Remember, your XL American Bully isn’t just another expense; it’s a commitment to a living being who will depend on you for its well-being and happiness.

Adoption and Buying Tips

Where to Adopt/Buy

When you’re looking to adopt or buy an XL American Bully, consider reputable organizations like the American Bully Kennel Club or local shelters that specialize in bullies. Networks affiliated with the United Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club might also have listings or be able to point you in the right direction.

What to Look for in a Breeder

A reputable breeder should:

  • Prioritize the health and wellbeing of their dogs.
  • Offer a complete history of the puppy, including vaccinations.
  • Have a clear return policy and provide a health guarantee.
  • Be willing to answer your questions and provide after-sale support.
  • Give you a complete picture of their bloodlines so that you can check if there are any known aggressive dogs related to your puppy.

Choosing the Right Puppy/Dog

Your new companion should be:

  • Active and curious.
  • Comfortable being handled and not display aggression or excessive fear.
  • Physically healthy: clear eyes, clean ears, and a glossy coat.

Ethical breeding practices

Ethical breeders will:

  • Follow breeding practices that prioritize the health of the breed over physical extremes.
  • Often be associated with breed clubs with a commitment to raising the standard of the XL American Bully.
  • Not overbreed and have a deep knowledge about the breed’s genetic health concerns.

Remember, by choosing to adopt or buy your dog from reputable networks or breeders, you’re more likely to find a healthy, well-socialized XL American Bully that can be a loving addition to your family.

Breed-Specific Considerations

So, what else do you need to consider before looking for an XL Bully puppy for sale?

Climate Suitability

You should be aware that the XL American Bully can adapt to a variety of climates, but it’s crucial to provide shelter from extreme temperatures, both high and low. During hot days, ensure they have shade and water, and in cold weather, they should have a warm, insulated space.

Compatibility with Lifestyle

If you’re considering an XL American Bully, it’s important to reflect on your lifestyle. These dogs need regular exercise and space to move around. They are also potent and strong-willed, which means consistent, firm training is essential from an early age.

Special Needs

XL Bullies might require a diet that supports their substantial build and energy levels. Be prepared for the potential financial and time commitment involved in their care, including routine veterinary check-ups to prevent and monitor health issues that can affect larger breeds.

Breed-Specific Legislation

You should be cognizant of local laws regarding ownership of XL Bullies. For instance, in Ireland, they are classified as a ‘Bandog’ and specific restrictions are in place like mandatory muzzling in public. In contrast, Turkey prohibits owning or breeding this breed altogether. It’s wise to familiarize yourself with these regulations to stay compliant.

Recent legislative moves in the UK highlight the importance of understanding and adhering to breed-specific laws. With changes to the legality of ownership of the XL Bully in response to public safety concerns, it’s vital to stay informed on regulations that might affect your capacity to own this breed.

Furthermore, it’s been reported by the breeder of a well-known bloodline that misuse of substances like steroids in XL Bullies can contribute to aggressive behaviors. This emphasizes the importance of responsible breeding and ownership practices. If you’re considering an XL Bully, ensure you’re getting one from a credible source, and educate yourself on the potential risks and responsibilities, including avoiding unethical breeders who may mistreat their dogs for enhanced features or size.

50 Best Names For An XL American Bully

When you pick a name for your XL American Bully, you might want something that reflects their strong and impressive presence. Here’s a list to get you started:

Bold and Powerful:

  1. Titan
  2. Hercules
  3. Brutus
  4. Khan
  5. Thor
  6. Tank
  7. Goliath
  8. Hulk
  9. Maverick
  10. Magnum

Tough Yet Cute:

  1. Bubba
  2. Bubba
  3. Bruno
  4. Spike
  5. Rex
  6. Duke
  7. Rocky
  8. Boss
  9. Bear
  10. Loki
  11. Diesel

Big and Gentle:

  1. Moose
  2. Buddy
  3. Samson
  4. Bentley
  5. Bruno
  6. Caesar
  7. Apollo
  8. Griffin
  9. Beast
  10. Ace

Cool and Edgy:

  1. Blade
  2. Ghost
  3. Jax
  4. King
  5. Phoenix
  6. Rebel
  7. Viper
  8. Ryder
  9. Scout
  10. Storm

Feminine and Fierce:

  1. Athena
  2. Diva
  3. Koda
  4. Nova
  5. Onyx
  6. Queen
  7. Raven
  8. Sheba
  9. Venus
  10. Xena

Remember, the name you choose should be one you love saying and one that fits your dog’s unique personality!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you’re intrigued by the XL American Bully breed, you probably have some questions. Let’s explore the most common inquiries about these dogs.

What’s the average price range for an XL American Bully puppy?

The price for an XL American Bully puppy can vary widely, typically ranging from $2,500 to $5,000. Factors like pedigree, breeder reputation, and coat color can influence the price.

Can you tell me about the temperament of XL Bullies?

XL Bullies are known for their friendly and affectionate nature. They are loyal to their families and can be surprisingly gentle, despite their powerful appearance.

What is the typical size and weight for an XL American Bully?

An XL American Bully can stand anywhere from 20 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 80 to 150 pounds, with males usually being larger than females.

Are XL American Bullies considered a good choice for families with kids?

Yes, XL American Bullies are often excellent with children. They are patient and protective, making them a popular choice for families.

Is it true that some places have bans on owning XL Bullies, and why?

Yes, certain areas may have restrictions or bans due to the misconception that they are aggressive. Always check your local laws before deciding to bring an XL American Bully into your home.

How does the XL American Bully differ from the standard American Bully breed?

The XL American Bully is larger and has a more muscular build compared to the standard American Bully breed. While they share a similar temperament, the XL variety stands out for its distinctive size and strength.

Final Thoughts

When you’re looking at the XL American Bully, it’s clear that they have become a topic of significant discussion. This breed is often recognized for its size and muscular build. It’s important to remember that, like any dog, they need responsible ownership. They require your attention, proper training, and socialization.

It’s pretty simple: XL Bullies are powerful dogs. They will look to you for guidance and discipline. Training should start early to ensure they grow up to be friendly and well-behaved. Moreover, exercise is key — if they don’t get enough, they could end up getting bored and possibly destructive.

Given the recent concerns, government regulations are something to keep an eye on. Make sure you’re up to date if you’re thinking of getting an XL Bully.

Remember, they might look tough, but they need your love and care. It’s up to you to help them become the gentle giants they can truly be. If you want loyalty and affection, and are ready for a big commitment, an XL American Bully might just be the perfect addition to your family. Just be aware of the investment in time and energy they require.

Finally, always consider adoption when possible. There are often many XL Bullies looking for a home that can provide them with the care and environment they need to thrive.

Tamsin de la Harpe

Tamsin de la Harpe, with a lively spirit and 15 years of experience in dog training and behavior, brings a unique flair to the team. Based in South Africa, she is deeply engaged in rehabilitating dogs, focusing on their mental and nutritional health. Tamsin's approach to dog behavior is hands-on and heartfelt, shaped by her life with her own dogs and horses. Her journey in canine behavior is ongoing, as she continues advanced studies in this field.

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