Pocket Bully: Dog Breed Characteristics & Care In 2024

Last updated on March 27th, 2024 at 12:32 pm

In recent years, the pocket bully has become an increasingly popular dog breed among pet enthusiasts. With its compact size, muscular build, and friendly demeanour, this breed has captured the hearts of many. If you’re considering bringing a Pocket Bully into your home, it’s essential to understand its characteristics and care requirements.

The American Bully, a modern breed developed for companionship, gained recognition in 2004 by the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC). They are described as impressively strong for their size. While recognized by the EBKC and UKC, the AKC and The Kennel Club have not accepted them as purebred. The ABKC classified them into Pocket, Standard, Classic, and XL, while the UKC follows a consistent size standard.

This breed has various sizes and temperaments, requiring proper training and attention.

Pocket Bully Highlights

dog is watching its prey
  • Appearance: The Pocket Bullys may have an intimidating appearance, but contrary to some misconceptions, it does not indicate an aggressive personality. This unique dog boasts a mix of strength and muscle, setting it apart from other breeds. Its compact body and well-defined muscles give it a distinctive and potent look.
  • Body Type: Pocket Bullies have a unique muscular body inherited from their American Bully parent, resembling other bully breeds like the American Staffordshire Terrier, French Bulldog, and English Bulldog.
  • Head: The critical characteristic of the Pocket Bullys is its broad head, composed of solid and thick bones. Despite its bulky appearance, the charge is well-proportioned to the body, distinguishing it from the American Pitbull Terrier.
  • Jaw: The Pocket Bullys features a broad, powerful jaw with a wide, deep lower jaw. Their ear-to-ear smile is easily recognizable. Contrary to myths, no dog can lock its jaw, and the Pocket Bully’s lower jaw is not as strong as believed.
  • Neck: Pocket Bullies have short to medium-sized necks that are muscular and heavy, standing on a broad back. They lack excessive dewlap or wrinkles, and their medium-sized channels give them a bulkier appearance.
  • Chest: The Pocket Bully’s broad and muscular chest is prominent. This unique chest structure makes their forelimbs stand more apart than average dogs, contributing to a low-level back posture.
Breed groupHybrid
OriginUnited State
HeightMale 15-20 inches
Female 15-19 inches
WeightMale 10-25 pounds
Femail 10-20 pounds
Lifespan10-14 years
ColorsBlack, White, Grey, Brown, Blue, Tan, Fawn, Red and rarely merla
EyesOval to almost eyes that can be brown, amber, and blue
Exercise need Moderate
TemperamentSweet, Plucky, and confident

History & Origin Pocket Bully

The Pocket Bullys shares its history with the larger American Bullies. Developed in the 1980s and fine-tuned in the nineties, American Bullies originated from a mix of American Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers bred for a calmer temperament. The early 2000s saw the development of the Pocket Bullyies, a smaller and more compact version of the American Bully.

The American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) recognized the breed in 2004, and the United Canine Association (UCA) followed suit in 2008. Known for their warm and friendly personality, Pocket Bullies have become popular with families and first-time dog owners.

They are a crossbreed between American Pitbull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers, and their temperament is calm and loyal. The influence of the Patterdale Terrier has led to the Pocket Bullies inheriting a unique range of characteristics, making it a distinctive breed.

What Does A Pocket Bully Look Like?

The owner is holding up the beautiful Pocket Bully dog

The Pocket Bully is a small dog with a strong and muscular body. It is characterized by its stocky figure, broad head, large neck, and short legs. Their floppy ears are sometimes cropped, and they have a solid and robust overall build, complemented by a medium-length tail. The breed’s fast and smooth coat comes in various colors, such as black, blue, brown, brindle, fawn, and white.

Pocket Bully Maintenance And Grooming

The Pocket Bullys is a relatively low-maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. Their short, smooth coat requires minimal effort to keep them in good condition. Here are some essential maintenance and grooming tips for this breed:

  1. Brushing: Regular brushing is sufficient to keep their coat healthy and free from loose hairs. A soft-bristle brush or a rubber grooming mitt can remove dead hair and keep their skin shiny.
  2. Bathing: The Pocket Bullys should be bathed as needed, typically every 6 to 8 weeks or when they get dirty. Use a mild dog shampoo to avoid drying out their skin.
  3. Ears: Check their ears regularly for signs of wax buildup, redness, or irritation. Clean their ears gently with a damp cloth or a veterinarian-recommended ear cleaner.
  4. Nails: Trim their nails regularly to keep them at a comfortable length. Long nails can cause discomfort and affect their gait.
  5. Teeth: Dental hygiene is essential for the Pocket Bully’s overall health. Brush their teeth regularly with a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste to prevent dental issues.
  6. Skin and Coat Health: Watch their skin for signs of irritation, dryness, or allergies. A balanced diet and regular exercise contribute to healthy skin and coat.
  7. Eye Care: Check their eyes regularly for any discharge or redness. If needed, gently clean their eyes with a damp cloth. If you notice persistent issues, consult a veterinarian.
  8. Trimming: Some Pocket Bullies may have naturally floppy ears that don’t require trimming. However, consult a professional groomer for occasional touch-ups if their ears are cropped.
  9. Professional Grooming: While Pocket Bullies don’t need elaborate grooming, occasional visits to a professional groomer can help with nail trimming, ear cleaning, and ensuring a neat appearance.

READ ALSO: Blue French Bulldog

How Much Exercise & Training Does A Pocket Bully Need?

Pocket Bully dog is catching the ball during training
  • Exercise: Aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes each day. Activities can include brisk walks, jogs, or playtime in the backyard. Regular exercise helps to prevent obesity and keeps them active and healthy.
  • Mental Stimulation: Besides physical exercise, mental stimulation is essential for Pocket Bullies. Incorporate obedience training, agility, or interactive games that challenge their mind. Mental exercises help to build their confidence and strengthen the bond between you and your dog.
  • Training: Training is not just about obedience; it is also a mental exercise for your Pocket Bullies. Regular training sessions help them learn new commands, improve their behaviour, and ensure they understand your expectations. Positive reinforcement-based training methods work best with this intelligent and eager-to-please breed.
  • Bonding: Training sessions offer an excellent opportunity for bonding with your Pocket Bullies. It fosters trust and strengthens your relationship, leading to a happier and more well-behaved dog.
  • Engagement: Keeping your Pocket Bullies mentally engaged and physically active is crucial to prevent boredom and unwanted behaviours. Rotate different activities and toys to maintain their interest.

Are Pocket Bullies Good With Kids?

Pocket Bullies are known for their patient demeanour and sweet temperament, making them excellent companions for families with children. These dogs display remarkable tolerance, even towards rowdy behaviour, although it’s important for children to learn proper interaction with dogs.

A well-socialized Pocket Bully will seamlessly integrate into a family dynamic, getting along well with children of all ages. They have a knack for keeping kids active and engaged, and with just enough space and a ball, they can provide hours of entertainment for the entire family.

Are Pocket Bully Dogs Aggressive?

Pocket Bullies are not inherently aggressive; in fact, they’re considered one of the least aggressive dog breeds. Like other American bully dogs, they typically only exhibit aggression if they feel threatened. Proper socialization is key to preventing aggression or overprotectiveness in Pocket Bullies.

Even if they lack socialization during their early years, they can still be trained to be gentle companions later in life. Don’t let a Pocket Bully’s past deter you from adopting one from a shelter; with patience and love, they can thrive in a caring environment.

What Is The Lifespan Of A Pocket Bully?

Pocket Bullies generally enjoy a longer lifespan, averaging 10 to 14 years. This longevity is influenced by their parent breeds, with the American Bully inheriting its 12 to 14-year lifespan from the American Pitbull Terrier.

Health conditions also play a significant role, as some genetically inherited issues may arise earlier or later in life. Proper nutrition, a nurturing environment, and attentive care contribute to their well-being.

When choosing a Pocket Bully puppy, awareness of potential inherited illnesses can lead to your beloved furry friend’s healthier and happier life.

Food & Diet Requirements

Pocket Bully dog is lying sown to eat protein

Pocket Bullies require a protein diet (at least 30%) to maintain their high muscle mass. Their stocky build can make it challenging to identify weight gain, so lean meat with omega-3 fatty acids is crucial, especially considering their susceptibility to thyroid issues.

Opt for poultry and fish-based diets with high fish oil content. Additionally, it includes mixed fibre and probiotics to support a healthy gut. Consulting a professional veterinarian can help determine these dogs’ best food and eating routines.

Health Issue Of A Pocket Bullies

Pocket Bullies are robust dogs but are not immune to specific health conditions, particularly musculoskeletal disorders like hip dysplasia and heart problems. Other health issues associated with this breed include:

Severe Health Issues:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Congenital heart problems (subaortic and pulmonic stenosis, septal defect, and mitral valve disease)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Eye issues (entropion, glaucoma, resulting in eye loss and cloudy eyes)
  • Brachycephalic airway syndrome in those with short muzzles
  • Different cancers (mast cell tumours and melanoma)

Common Health Issues:

  • Skin allergies
  • Dental issues
  • Skin diseases (eczema, seborrhea, and hot spots)
  • Obesity

How Much Do Pocket Bullies Cost?

Well-bred Pocket Bullies from a reputable breeder typically range from $2,000 to $10,000. Due to their increasing popularity as a designer dog breed, prices have risen in recent years.


Pocket Bullies is a unique and fascinating breed with much to offer as a companion dog. Despite its intimidating appearance, it is a gentle and affectionate canine known for its loyalty and friendly demeanour. With proper training and socialization, Pocket Bullies can thrive in various living environments, making them an ideal choice for families and individuals seeking a devoted and loving furry friend.


1. Are Pocket Bullies aggressive dogs?

No, Pocket Bullies are not aggressive dogs. This misconception is due to the actions of a small minority of owners. In reality, they are sweet and loving companion dogs that are loyal, open to meeting strangers and other dogs, and can be trusted under supervision around young children.

2. What health issues are common in Pocket Bullies?

Pocket Bullies can be prone to musculoskeletal disorders like hip dysplasia, heart problems, eye issues, skin allergies, dental problems, and obesity. Regular vet check-ups and proper care can help manage and prevent these health concerns.

3. Are Pocket Bullies good guard dogs?

No, Pocket Bullies are not considered to be guard dogs. They are more suited to being companion dogs due to their loving and friendly personality.

4Do Pocket Bullies require a lot of exercise and training?

While Pocket Bullies have medium energy levels, they still need daily exercise and mental stimulation. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day and incorporate training sessions to keep them engaged and well-behaved.

5. Can Pocket Bullies live in various living environments?

Pocket Bullies are adaptable and can do well in different living situations, including apartments or larger homes. They can thrive in various environments as long as they receive adequate exercise and mental stimulation.


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