3 Bully Breeding Mistakes That Will Kill The Breed

bully breeding mistakes

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.

Don’t forget today — The American Bully Bundle is on offer!

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.

dog canine karotype
The canine karyotype (the complete set of chromosomes in the dog.) (credits: breenlab.org)

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 program, or a 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

razors edge bullies and pitbulls
Razors Edge, perhaps the most iconic Pitbull and American Bully bloodline.

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…

bloodline ˈblʌdlʌɪn/
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 a 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 points 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 act 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.

american bully instagram
An example of how bully breeders portray and market themselves on Instagram and other social media.

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 and not keep up with other bully breeds.

Don’t forget today — The American Bully Bundle is on offer!

Leave your comments below on what you think about the bully community and its mistakes! Check out our comparison of the best American Bully collars out there; ones that won’t break your bank nor your dog’s neck!

23 comments on « 3 Bully Breeding Mistakes That Will Kill The Breed »

  1. This image you have of American Bully breeders is a false image in every way. You are talking about a small percentage of breeders. Most real breeders are very knowledgeable and love there dogs. You called most breeders “young and urban” what’s that supposed to mean?? All breeders are dumb youngetrs from the ghetto? You set yourself up to be a great breeder and so smart about genetics when you don’t know the real truth about these bully’s. And to set the record straight, bloodlines are a brand!! Get with it or get lost and shove the derragatory comments where the sun don’t shine!!

    1. Most real breeders, yes. But bully breeders are MOSTLY not real breeders. If everything was fine then there wouldn’t be the issues we find within the bully world today.

      Young and urban is supposed to mean young and urban. A bloodline can absolutely be a brand IF the quality of breeding backs it up. Clearly not happening currently for most breeders who simply market their average “products” (dogs……..) and this bubble will collapse at some point because the world knows that great marketing does not fix broken products.

    2. hahaha agreed! The words they used could have been less derogatory but I do think they have some things right. Heres what I dont get, why are they saying the are not a brand but mention these books they are trying to sell? that’s branding, right? making money off of a breed doesn’t mean you dont care about these animals just saying. Your comment is exactly what I would say, so thanks for putting it out there!

  2. I couldn’t agree more that most Bully breeders could use a lot more education on genetics and the science behind the art of breeding quality animals (myself included, I’m always learning more) but let’s be honest…
    Most bully breeders won’t even read the breed standard!!! Haha.
    There are many excellent American Bully breeders in the community though that are happy to help educate. If you look you can find them.
    Those that truly care for the breed figure it out and find a way. Shows, groups, forums, and sites like this one are all great places to start. The knowledge always pays off..
    We just need more positive advocates for the breed and care about more than “quick riches”.

  3. I agree that most breeders need to educate themselves on genetics…. I disagree that most breeders are the way ur portraying them to be… the same was said about APBT breeders 20 years ago…. stop with the bashing of breeders just because this is a breed that most Urban folk like, own, and breed…. uneducated ‘yes’… Thugs (which is what ur saying without saying) ‘NO’…. there are good breeders and bad breeders PERIOD!!!

    1. No, I never used thug or anything of the sort. Clearly the breed is fancied by a young and urban population. This is factual… And it seems like the breed is clearly perishing year after year because uneducated (dog breeding-wise) people within that population is simply not doing enough.

  4. Some of your info. is quite accurate, but the breed if anything is looking better each year at least at the ABKC shows that is. I am mostly a fan boy, going to shows as often as I can, studying the bred, taking notes, pictures and so on, doing my own judging on my own according to the breed standard. I stand firm in my opinion not as subjective, but with an objective eye. I attended my first bully show in 2004, I was appalled, the deformities of these poor creatures, from brachycephalic, to dolichocephalic, dematitis, swayback, easty westy, dear lord the list goes on. I could see the writing on the wall, hip and elbow dysplasia were just screaming. I vowed to never support this type of scene, I was saddened as I spoke to a particular and had no clue of how to even conduct a punnett square, or even what OFA evaluation was, but my friend convinced me to go to a show 3 years ago, all I can say night and day, standard is enforced, but most importantly they are dogs competing holding the standard, from judges to handlers and breeders, the ABKC an the breed in my opinion is flourishing, I make my claims with evidence, pictures from 11 years ago at the show and pictures just from a recent show in Antioch, night and day.

  5. Razors edge is and had never been a pit bull bloodline, lets not post negative information. Secondly , the bullies habe NOT gotten better if anything they’ve gotten worse. I left the bullies here recently after spending 8.plus years with them due to this. The ABKC judges dont know a lick about structure or healthy animals because if they did their breeding programs would reflect that.

  6. I agree with Flex on his first comment in his first sentence. Also there are Bully breeders from around the world so I wouldn’t categorize everyone in one group especially since there are breeders from out of the U.S. who breed, and are actually rich or make enough to spend good money on these dogs.

  7. It’s all about money and fame folks. Just be honest. Everyone wants to produce the baddest bully in the game to get some recognition and fame. At the same time, try to make as much money out of these poor bullies. If you don’t breed them then I’m not referring to you but if you breed every single female you have in the yard, yes I’m talking about you. Good genetics don’t sell anymore. Razors Edge type of bullies are history and done. They had their time and made a lot of money breeding and selling dogs. In are these mutt looking ugly exotics. Even more expensive than the edge dogs of the past.

  8. I can agree with all you say in the post. Not all Bully breeders are like that. We started with the breed some 4 years ago. Testing the dogs we breed on HD, ED, Patella luxation, heartproblems. Hard to find other breeders who do the same, but there surely are some! Because of the problems in the breed and the heavy line- and inbreeding some do, we only do out-cross breeding at the moment. We now have our 3 generation tested dogs that are free of the problems mentioned above. I hope we are on the right track and that more and more breeders will get serious about testing all of their breeding dogs and keeping the standards of the breed.

  9. Im no dog expert and definitely not a breeder but for the most part the bullys that i keep seeing come up for sale are unhealthy looking disasters waiting to happen i mean (and im not saying all just a big majority of them) dont even really know what they are selling they are being advertised as xl and xxl “pitbulls” which to my knowledge doesnt exist maybe xl or xxl bully but not pitbull like i said im not an expert so if im wrong i appologize but thats just what i see

  10. poeple thinkx crossing two lines is good enough but dont look furter than their noise is long and every body thinkx it makes all the divverent s how you raise your dog and forget what s allready is in its dna i good a bully i love him to dead but he can be suts an unpridctebel baster abd is comimg from good lines gets nothing but the best food work outs to get rit off his energie it s me first dog i have him no for 3.5 years i keep him til he dies but i advies people read yourself in because it s no aesy cheese

  11. You hit the nail on the head. Just scroll down this page’ list and look how many bunk ass dogs are being put up for sale. Ain’t worth shit maybe $50-$100 and these dudes asking 1k and up for shit lol. Talking names and bloodlines like they know what they’re doing smh…

  12. Ive read all comments and can agree with most but one thing…some one said exotocs are mutts….wait a minute…all dogs are mutts because they have to come from some where and the exotic breed is very new…no older than 9 yrs old unlike the pit bull which comes down from 100s of yrs of breeding or even like the american bully which has at least 35 to 40 yrs behind it. Of course there are breeders that dont know what they are doing. But instead of bashing them..how about mentoring. Alot of people talk to big time breeders and cnt get a reply or get scoled for simply asking questions. As far as pricing. If i create something..who are any of you to tell me the worth on my art? Especially if that art is perfected. Health tested, bred through and through on my yard so i know the characteristics that im producing..and i do agree that social media is ruining the game.

  13. I’m in Texas, in Dallas, where bully breeds are woefully overpopulated, and straight-out idiots are breeding in their muddy back yards year-round.

    Comments that start with “But not all…” SORRY, it’s not about YOU. It’s about the problem. (It’s like trying to talk about rapists and having some guy jump up and say “but not all men….!” Well, duh. No one would include you in the conversation if we thought you were a rapist, dude. Hush, and try to listen to what is being said.) If you are not ignorant about the 3 things, then this is not an article about you.

    I wish so much that this article had spelled out what the breeders SHOULD be doing, the correct genetic tests, etc.

    Trying to educate the people who are stubborn enough to want to pay money for a pit (here) on how to select a quality breeder is a nightmare. (Yes, they will ask you hard questions, may want to inspect your home, know how your last dog died, get references, and you may have to wait months or years, because REALLY good breeders are treating their dogs correctly and not breeding them to death for volume. No, they won’t advertise on a wet piece of cardboard in a parking lot.)

    Mind you, we have purebred, top quality dogs ending up in rescue here all the time because sadly, people are stupid and have more money than sense, and are often too proud to take their dogs back to the breeders when they can’t keep them (despite right of first refusal contracts). So ideally, people wanting one will adopt from rescues who specialize in the breed, love them, and can educate people about their needs.

    But yes, genetics is very complex, and too many people are far too lazy to learn it or try to figure it out, just like the “designer dog” idiots who think putting two purebred dogs together magically makes a new breed. So congenital defects are all over.

    Thanks for this article.

  14. This is disgusting! There is APBT, Amstaff, Staffy Bull and bull terrier. Plus the backyard bred red nosed pit dog. Now people love these breeds should of help To get a nice pure Amstaff line and an Apbt line going, because the lies and mixed breeding have us seeing less and less true examples of those breeds.

  15. Guys, help… Iryni here.
    I feel sooo dumb after reading your posts, we ( my family ) managed to make like eeehhh ..every mistake in the Book of Bully.. The 2 pups we purchased charmed us to smithereens, but the boy appears to have HD, artroses /? artritis, rachitis, eye inflammation and God knows what else we’ll here from our Vet next time. Plus the breeders promised to send us their pedigrees later because they odered it by TICA USA.. It’s a cat club for Christ sakes but we believe it anyway..
    How do i find the breeders or the pedigrees or the club they belong to or any info at all? Both pups are microchipped under and the kennel posts ads on Instagram as ” Color splash bullies”.
    Please teach us to fight for our lovely broadface babies and to spear other people

  16. I am so glad that there are concerned people talking about this issue. I have owned and raised bully breeds specifically english bull dogs. When I did have a litter which was rare, every puppy went through a thorough examination, which included ultra sounds on their hearts. Most of the time I kept the puppies until 6 months of age to ensure crate training, potty training and leash training. My main goal was that everyone should feel as special as I did to have a bull dog as a family member. Health was the main concern. When we lost our beloved Frenchie, we were so heartbroken that we saw and chose two pocket bully puppies in our area. One had a heart murmur grade 3. and the other is knuckling over. and has severe allergies to everything. This is not being responsible breeders.
    It is heart breaking to anyone to have to give back a puppy. We did give back the one with the heart murmur, after having to practically threaten the breeder, who said , I am only a back yard breeder, I then sent him the california laws concerning back yard breeding. He not only owed me my purchase price , but also the vet bills that it took to get the diagnosis. Which by the way I told him I was not asking for. I spent a considerable amount of money at the cardiologist. He finally agreed to give me back my money. I have kept the other boy , and am committed to getting him the help that he needs. Sad to say my story is not isolated. I have spoken to alot of other people in similar circumstances. And let me tell you Most of the breeders of these “Pocket bullies” are not concerned with health. They want the most freakish looking dog they can produce. I am appalled at the reply’s that these guys give you when you ask if the puppy has had a thorough exam including a ultrasound on the heart. They say they have been dewormed and have a set of shots. People taking your puppies to these mobile vet services at petco and petsmart is not getting a thorough exam. My puppy I gave back was seen at one of those, that’s what the breeder calls a vet check . Those are student vets. and sometimes only vet techs. So in conclusion, not only DNA, but if the Dam or sire has undesirable traits , such as food or environmental allergies, congenital problems, etc. you should not be breeding these problems back in. people want a family member that is healthy. For the love of the breed please do better!!!!!

  17. “Bullies “ have been doomed from the beginning. The whole premise of its creation and the total idiots that are the breeders allow it to be nothing but doomed.

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