It’s a relatively new breed that first made its appearance in the early 2000s, so if you aren’t familiar with the American Bully XL, you might be curious about these big and beautiful dogs.
Would one suit your family? Will its temperament and intelligence make it an easy pet or difficult house companion?
And if you were to get an American Bully XL puppy, what do you need to do to get the best out of your animal?
In this post, we’ll work to answer all your questions, helping you to decide if an American Bully XL is the right pet for you.
American Bully XL Physique
There are four versions of the American Bully as determined by their size and build: the Pocket American Bully, the Standard, the more lightly built Classic, and the XL.
As the letters “XL” indicate, this is the largest of all the American Bullies, and it weighs a massive 80 to 150 pounds.
Females are about 19 inches (48cm) tall at the withers, while males reach a height of 23 inches (57cm).
How does a dog of reasonably mid-size stature get to be so heavy? The American Bully XL is extremely muscular and impressive-looking.
The overall tank-like impression begins with the broad skull and super-wide mouth on a mid-length muzzle.
The relatively small brown to amber eyes are almond-shaped and quite striking, and the slightly wrinkled face is expressive and appealing.
Some people are inclined to crop the high-set, triangular ears, but they look perfectly good as nature intended.
The shoulders of the American Bully XL are in proportion with the head: wide and well-muscled, leading down to a deep barrel-chest and sturdy forelegs.
But this dog is no slowpoke, and you’ll get a hint of that when you look at the nipped in waist and muscular hips and thighs. Overall, the physique of the American Bully XL is rather awe-inspiring and intimidating.
American Bully XL Coat And Colors
Like other American Bullies, the XL has a smooth, short, low-maintenance coat under which all those rippling muscles can be easily seen and admired.
It sheds a little all year with seasonal peaks, but the volume of shedding is not problematic and a little brushing from time to time will help to clear away loose hair.
Because the overall volume of shedding is not high, some people think that American Bullies are “hypoallergenic” but since most pet allergies come from dander, the flakes of dead skin that slough off naturally, there’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic pet.
American Bully XL coat colors are hugely variable, but beware of albino or merle (blotched) colors.
They occur, but these dogs’ color has been linked to eye issues and deafness. According to breed standards, all other colors are accepted.
“Blue” (actually gray) coats are among the most common, but you can also get black, white, or tricolor American Bully XLs. They’ll often have white patches, particularly on the chest.
An all-white Bully isn’t necessarily albino. All albino dogs are white, but not all white dogs have albinism.
If you’d like a white Bully, ask for a veterinary report that shows that the puppy, though white in color, isn’t albino. You can also look for signs of pigmentation. For example, on the nose and third eyelids.
American Bully XL Origins
If pictures of American bully XL dogs remind you of the American Pit Bull, you’ve touched on part of their heritage.
But before you write this dog off as “aggressive,” you need to take a look at the reason why they were bred and what else is in their heritage.
They are certainly somewhat removed from the Pit Bulls used as the basis for the development of the breed.
The primary reason why breeders set out to create the breed we now know as the American Bully was to develop a calmer, more predictable, and smarter version of the American Pit Bull that would make a safe family and companion dog.
The American Pit Bull, on the other hand, was primarily bred as a fighting dog, hence the genetic makeup that predisposes it to aggressive and unpredictable behavior when overexcited or not very well trained.
With the American Bully, including the XL variant, being purpose bred for level-headedness and companionship, we are looking at a completely different animal.
In fact, countless sources say that these dogs are extremely patient with children and will only attack if they witness direct aggression towards members of their human “family.”
Using Pit Bulls with a good track-record for a calm temperament as a starting point, breeders added bloodlines coming from the American Bulldog, English Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Bull Mastiff, French Bulldog, and Olde English Bulldogge.
There are also several variants including input from other breeds, but it would be best to discuss the mainstream bloodline here as it is the one recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC).
Is The American Bully XL A Dangerous Dog?
With its intimidating appearance, it would be easy to stereotype the American Bully XL as a vicious dog, but breeders have met and exceeded their goals for the creation of a strong, yet gentle giant.
Although any dog can become aggressive if not treated well and trained properly, American Bullies are generally disposed to be friendly, outgoing, and eager to please.
Like other dogs, they will defend their families if need be, but a well-socialized, properly cared-for American Bully XL is easygoing with visitors, gentle with children, and courteous towards other dogs.
However, the importance of training cannot be overstated. With a dog of this stature and strength, ensuring that it understands the limits of appropriate behavior is the key to enjoying a pleasant companion relationship that’s free of behavioral issues.
To reinforce this point, it’s interesting to note that the greatest number of reported dog bites per year don’t come from Pit Bulls or American Bullies.
Instead, they come from what many people would see as a completely unexpected quarter: the lazy, loveable and intelligent Labrador!
How Trainable Is The American Bully XL?
An enormously strong dog that easily forgets his training in a pinch is a danger to everyone – even his owners. But the American Bully XL responds well to training.
Eager to take the lead from its owner, the XL Bully is a quick learner when trained using positive reinforcement methods and is able to master a multitude of commands with surprising rapidity.
Because they’re usually so gentle, a lot of people worry that they may not be good guard dogs, but the mere sight of an American Bully, especially an XL, acts as a wonderful deterrent, and as previously noted, they will defend home and family if a threat presents itself.
Choosing An American Bully XL Puppy
When looking for an American Bully XL puppy, begin by choosing a reputable breeder. Enquire into the bloodline.
You should be able to see the mother, but the father might not be around. Nevertheless ask about him too and look at pictures – they should be available. Both parents should be big, strong, and healthy dogs.
Ask whether there is any veterinary report you can look through, and watch out for flaws in the pups.
If they have bulging eyes, an overbite, a kinked tail, the blotched, merle pattern or the pink albino nose, the pups have an unfortunate combination of genes and may not exhibit all the characteristics you’d want from an American Bully XL.
Do remember that certain flaws can only become apparent in time.
In addition, a litter of pups from a pair of American Bully XL parents may include some smaller individuals who won’t grow big enough to be accepted as XLs. Instead, they’ll be regarded as Standard Bullies.
Adult height is the primary determining factor that sets the XL apart from the Standard. A stature of less than 20 inches (19 in females) means that your dog will be classed as a Standard American Bully, even if both of its parents were XL Bullies.
Choose a healthy, alert, active puppy, however, and you’ve a good chance of a satisfactory outcome, even if it doesn’t achieve XL Bully status later on.
How To Socialize An American Bully XL
Whether you’re getting a chihuahua or a big breed dog like an American Bully XL, socialization is what makes your pet safe around children, other dogs, and guests who visit your home.
The earlier you start with socialization training, the easier it is. However, even an adult dog can be socialized – it’s just a longer and more complicated process.
Since socialization begins with the breeder, observe how they treat their dogs. They should be family pets rather than “puppy breeding machines.”
The breeder should have an affectionate relationship with the dam and the pups, picking them up, playing with them, and encouraging visitors to interact with them as soon as they are ready to move around and start exploring their world.
Socialization continues after you’ve brought your new puppy home. Ensure that it experiences safe, positive interactions with other people and animals.
Take it out for walks to experience new sights and smells, and if you can enroll in puppy classes, do so, since this serves the dual role of basic obedience training and socialization with other people and strange dogs.
Feeding An American Bully XL
With a lot of growing to do, your American Bully pup should get a specially formulated, nutrient-dense puppy food to help it get the best start in life.
However, changing a dog’s diet suddenly can cause issues, so begin by finding out what food the breeder provided.
If you think you have a better option, make a gradual transition, mixing increasing amounts of the new pet food with the breeder’s choice and monitoring your pup for signs of digestive upsets.
As your puppy grows into an adult dog, prepare yourself for the change to a dog food that’s formulated for adults. At about 12 months, it’s time to introduce the new diet.
Though your dog’s calorie needs are not as great as a puppies, do choose dog foods that are free from grain-based fillers and remember to make the transition to a new pet food gradual.
You might decide to feed your American Bully XL a protein rich diet that you prepare from fresh ingredients at home.
Though this can be a very healthy option, it’s costly, and you should take great care to ensure that the food you prepare for your dog contains a good balance of all the essential nutrients it needs.
Never overfeed your Bully. It will make your dog prone to a host of health issues.
Your dog should have a pronounced waist, good muscle definition, and ribs that, though not visible at a glance, can be felt just beneath the skin.
American Bully XL Health Issues
Every breed has its health issues. Because of their genetic diversity, XL Bullies are actually relatively healthy dogs.
Nevertheless, there are certain conditions to which they are somewhat predisposed and which you should keep an eye out for.
To limit your dog’s chances of experiencing problems, ensure that it has access to good nutrition, plenty of exercise, and regular veterinary checkups. Relatively common health issues in XL American bullies include:
Cherry Eye is a relatively common issue in XL American Bullies. It occurs when the third eyelid becomes displaced and covers the eye.
It’s also not unusual for a portion of the eyelid to turn inward, a condition known as entropion. Eye infections are fairly common in Bullies and should receive prompt attention.
Big,heavy dogs are often prone to hip dysplasia, and the American Bully XL does not escape this issue.
This condition usually manifests later in life. The femur doesn’t fit properly into the hip, and the dog is inclined to limp or seems to have weak hind legs.Regretfully, there is no cure for hip dysplasia.
Eczema, seborrhea, a condition that causes scaly looking patches and inflammation, and Acute Moist Dermatitis (also known as hot spots) are also relatively common in American Bullies including the XL.
If your dog has eczema or hot spots, work with your vet to determine their cause. Food allergies could be to blame, but so could hormonal issues or even an allergy triggered by parasites.
Early treatment is important, so don’t hesitate to take an XL Bully with skin problems to the veterinarian.
American Bully XL genes may confer many advantages, but unfortunately congenital heart disease is part of the package for some animals.
Help your pet to stave off cardiovascular issues by monitoring its weight and preventing obesity. As with human beings, a healthy diet and exercise routine can help to maintain heart health.
Although this isn’t necessarily a sign of something being wrong with your American Bully, you can expect flatulence to occur.
You should certainly check it out to ensure that all is well and to determine whether dietary changes might help. However, if a flatulent dog is something you can’t live with, the Bully may not be for you.
General Veterinary Care
Certain diseases are common to all dogs if they are not vaccinated. Annual visits to the veterinarian to update inoculations and do a general health check are always advisable.
Keep anti-parasite medications like deworming tablets, tick and flea control, and heartworm control up to date.
American Bully XL Lifespan
Big, heavy dogs rarely live as long as smaller, lighter ones. An American Bully can be expected to live to be 8 to 12 years old on average, although some pet bullies have been known to live longer lives.
Is An American Bully XL A Good Choice For You?
It’s hard not to fall in love with the beautiful American Bully XL. However, this dog is not for everyone.
Bear in mind that all puppies are inclined to chew things, and with even a pup having a very powerful mouth, an unsupervised puppy can wreak havoc.
Even once they are adults, American Bully XLs easily become bored if they’re left to their own devices for too long.
From wrecking your garden to shredding your furniture, huge damage can result.
In fact, many American Bully owners will lock their dogs into an enclosure when away from home to prevent this type of damage.
Since this is clearly not an ideal state of affairs, having someone at home who is ready to keep an eye on the Bully should be the norm rather than the exception.
Your American Bully XL needs plenty of exercise, and it will need thorough training.
Many Bully owners engage in canine sports, but as long as you can ensure that your dog gets a good workout every day, it’s not a must.
Games of fetch give your Bully a chance to run and jump, and weight pulling is a popular choice for these muscular dogs.
The bottom line? Don’t expect your American Bully XL to be a passive companion and nothing more. It will require time, effort, and careful attention to keep your Bully healthy and well-adjusted.
Your yard should also match your American Bully XL’s need for physical activity. A yard with lots of space to run and play will be the ideal.
If you do try to keep one in a smaller space, ensure that you can make daily forays to a safe area where your dog can stretch its legs off-leash.
Ideally, you should have the place to yourself since many people will find the sight of even the friendliest XL Bully intimidating.
This breed is for active dog owners who are willing to make time for their dogs. The question may as easily be “Are you right for an American Bully XL?”
If you aren’t, your dog will suffer the consequences of that, and by inference, so will you. Consider your pet parenting capacity carefully before choosing one of these gentle giants as a companion.
As an intelligent, active dog, the American Bully XL requires an active pet parent who is willing to provide stimulating, fun activities for their pet.
To sum up, let’s look at American bully XL pros and cons:
American Bully XL Pros
The American Bully XL has a lot going for it. It’s a strong, beautiful dog that will interact positively with family members, other pets, and visitors to your home – as long as it is properly socialized.
Forming a close bond with its owner, this dog is very eager to please you, and its intelligence makes it easily trainable.
Finally, its fierce-looking appearance makes it an excellent deterrent against intruders, and its protective nature means that any aggression towards its family will be met with a vigorous defense.
American Bully XL Cons
Although American Bullies aren’t very tall, they’re still big, active dogs that will need lots of space.
They’re fun and playful, but they may not always know their own weight and strength, so although a well-adjusted Bully would never deliberately harm a member of your family, they might do so inadvertently.
The scary appearance that makes it such a good watchdog may also lead to you picking up problems with your neighbors, or even strangers.
Many people mistake it for the American Pit Bull and associate the Bully with the same negative traits.
It’s possible that this can lead to conflicts and confrontations, especially in public places where others may see the presence of your Bully as a threat to their safety.
Finally, you can’t expect your American Bully XL to be a “low maintenance” pet dispute its easy-to-care for coat.
It will need a lot of input from you. Good training, and daily exercise lasting an hour or more plus lots of the love and attention it craves are only the beginning.
Your dog is perfectly likely to become bored and act out if it isn’t getting the attention it needs throughout the day.
If you’re confident that your pet parenting style will overcome these potential drawbacks, then there’s good news.
You’re an ideal XL Bully-owner and you’re sure to enjoy getting the best out of a dog that’s a muscular bundle of potential and a loving pet rolled into one.