American Bully breeders are generally young, urban, and although they are clearly passionate about the breed, they are just not passionate enough about dog breeding. They are guilty of several mistakes and we just wanted to address the most important ones as once rectified, results can be extremely positive and encouraging within the bully breeding community.
By breeding bullies, I do not mean putting two dogs in the same room and let them make baby bully dogs. By breeding, I mean studying the breed, understanding your dogs, knowing what traits to bring from external blood, and keep on improving the entire bloodline.
So let’s list these mistakes we (unfortunately) too often find within the bully breeding community.
Never Learning Canine Genetics
Perhaps the most important. Breeders from all breeds but even more for bully breeds and APBTs just don’t do the homework. Why? Because it takes time, it requires a lot of reading, and it needs to grasp scientific concepts and knowledge they’ve perhaps never heard of before. With that being said, we also need to explain why canine genetics are extremely important when it comes down to breeding dogs, and even more in bully breeding.
Why do we breed American Bullies and other dogs? Because we like that given breed and we like what their purpose is (working, family pet, guarding, etc.) We want to keep on improving it, so it stays as close to its breeding standard as possible while clearing the dogs from common medical conditions so it stays fit for its purpose as long as possible.
Only that way, good dog breeders leave the breed in a better situation than when they got introduced to it. Dog breeding is not about making money, or being famous for breeding the bigger badass bully ever or being a social media viral personality. Too many see these as the ultimate goal of breeding their own bloodline.
Once you clarify what the objectives are, you need to plan how you will get there. It’s called a breeding programme, or breeding plan. It’s something you’ve got on paper or in your mind and it details what traits you want to focus on, and how you want to improve these traits. By using external bloodlines (outcrossing), or other dogs of yours (linebreeding), or the same stud on several generations (backbreeding), or another method?
These dog breeding strategies are not the only ones and they can be mixed together to reach your end-goal. But fixing the desired traits is not the only thing to consider. Breeding two big bullies to get a bigger bully is not enough even if you get the bigger size you want. You need to fix the desired traits while getting rid of undesired traits, even the ones you never thought of such as avoiding too heavy frames to circumvent joint problems.
How To Learn Canine Genetics?
There is a substantial need, in our breeding community, for knowledge on the fundamentals of dog genetics and heredity. Knowing how to read a dog’s pedigree is crucial if you want to have at least an ounce of success in dog breeding.
We’ve got an entire section about canine genetics and how they influence your bloodline in our bestseller «The Dog Breeder’s Handbook». Genetics are extremely complex so it is important to not get lost in them when starting to understand the concepts. There are also several books we recommend that focus on DNA and Canine Genetics only.
There are many websites touching the topic of genetics and dogs but too many offer outdated information or just not accurate enough. Books are great in a way that the content tends to be researched and studied. We’ve also got informative articles about canine genetics that you should read right about now!
Not Understand What a Bloodline Is
When browsing Facebook Groups or Websites of bully breeders, I am flabbergasted by the misuse of the word “bloodline.” I understand the word sells a lot, and sounds wise, but please guys, respect the word and its meaning! Here is the definition, and let’s decompose it right after…
noun: bloodline; plural noun: bloodlines
an animal’s set of ancestors or pedigree, especially with reference to the desirable characteristics bred into it
First, it is a set of ancestors or pedigree. For us, dog breeders, it is dogs we either bred ourselves or purchased from other dog breeders to then start our own bloodline. And this is where shit hits the fan with bully breeders: they stop here, they buy fancy dogs from apparently great kennels and breed them together. Two famous dogs bred together does not start a bloodline, period.
Then, it is bred with reference to the desirable characteristics. That translates into having clear objectives, above and beyond breeding two dog names to then sell expensive puppies. A bloodline is great blood and defined characteristics that are specific to your kennel and bloodline.
Breeding bigger dogs isn’t a characteristic in itself! What is bigger, the muscles, the bones, the head, the height, the tail? By not targeting and defining what you breed, you leave room for imperfections and serious medical issues that will take generations to get rid of. Breeding bullies that are very muscular yet lean and with a lot of stamina in cold weather is a lot clearer and that will define you better to the community, your bullies will be unique and bring something to the table: stamina and resistance to cold weather, and you won’t need to break the breed standard to do this.
Please stop throwing around your kennel name as a bloodline as, for most of you, don’t even know what you are breeding and where you want your dogs to be in 20 years time. However, you can start creating a serious bloodline by setting clear realistic objectives and review them at each generation. To do so, you must love your dogs and the breed, not the money or the fame because building a castle takes a lot more time and sweat than building a shelter.
Betting Everything On Social Media
The only outcome after we reviewed point 1 and 2 is that these breeders end up with average bullies or pitbulls. They still have to sell them, right? So what do they do? They take badass pictures with badass collars and create some sort of aggressive social media marketing strategy. Oh and because the customers are stupid and don’t know much, they even put a massive price tag so the community thinks that these specific dogs are just awesome.
Just search the hashtag #bullypuppies or #americanbully on Instagram and you’ll see amazing pictures because they are enticing and well-made. The guys behind these kennels have thousands or tens of thousands of followers, they would almost look extremely professional. The websites of these breeders look manly and feature their bigger or most famous dogs. Some even shoot videos of their bully dogs in the action of jumping, pulling, tugging, it really looks like every single breeding is just breeding amazing dogs all-around.
Wrong. This well-thought marketing is here to hide a broken product, if I may speak that way.
Email these breeders and ask them what health checks have their dogs been through, or how do they pick the stud and the bitch for each breeding, or how do they control their dogs’ temperament, and see the answers. The majority won’t even reply to these questions because they know a sucker is about to buy their pup without asking these, and those who reply use answers we would all expect:
- “We make sure the parents have a great gentle temperament”
- “We use studs who have some Gotti or Razors Edge blood in them”
- “The vet said everything was fine, no hip dysplasia”
- “The parents are ABKC registered so they are premium dogs”
Read the description I read today on an ad posted by an American Bully breeder.
‘Gotti Girl’ is up for grabs!! 100% Mikeland on top, with a lethal hit of G2 and Dopeman on bottom!! Only has had one litter, she throws super boned up compact pups! I’m putting her at a move quick price at $1,000, cash only, no deals, no trades she’s a beautiful pocket female! UKC papers in hand! No bs plz fam, she’s priced to move!
How sad is that? Genuinely. And the worst part is that the buyers don’t really know anything about this, they just want a pup and they fall for this illusion, this lingo, this badass image the bully world showcases.
It is time for bully breeders and the bully world to get a serious education, breed better dogs that will back this heavy marketing we see. A bloodline is not a brand, it is a pledge to the breed. Have some decency or your beloved American Bully will die as fast as it came to life.
Leave your comments below on what you think about the bully community and its mistakes! Check out our comparative of the best American Bully collars out there; ones that won’t break your bank nor your dog’s neck!