There are a few varieties of American Bullies out there and one of the most common questions is to understand the similarities and differences between the Micro Bully vs Pocket Bully. The good news is, we’re here to help!
The Micro and Pocket American Bullies are miniature versions of the Standard American Bully breed.
They exhibit most of the characteristics of the American Bully breed which is known for having the muscular build of a Pitbull combined with a calm and loving temperament.
In this article, we discuss the similarities and differences between Micro and Pocket Bully. Our discussions range from differences in physical characteristics, temperament, health issues, and maintenance.
The American Bully breed was developed in the US in the 1980s but was only first recognized by its breed club the American Bully Kennel Club (AKBC) in 2004.
The breed was developed by breeding an American Pitbull Terrier with an American Staffordshire Terrier.
The Pocket Bully was later created by mixing an American Bully with a Patterdale Terrier to create a mini-size version of the American Bully.
The Micro Bully is often called the Pocket Bully but it is recognized by the International Bully Coalition (IBC) as a different breed.
The forming of this breed is either with the Patterdale Terrier or a mix of other Bully breeds such as the French Bulldog or Olde English Bulldogge. They can also be bred by using the two smallest dogs in a litter, known as the runts.
You should be aware that Micro Bullies can result from scammers with questionable breeding practices. As some authorities don’t recognize the American Bully breed, there are many questionable Bully breeders.
American Bully is a breed that usually gets confused with Pitbull. Molosser dogs are believed to be the ancestors of this breed. It’s a mix of American Pit Bull Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
American Pitbull terriers are usually referred to as Bully. American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and English Bulldogs are some breeds that make up the Bully breeds. These breeds contribute to the overall characteristic and physique.
Micro Bullies and Pocket Bullies have behaviors and features seen in familial cousins such as French Bulldog, Exotic Bulldog, American Bulldog, American Pitbull Terrier, and Patterdale terriers.
Pocket Bullies and Micro Bullies have many common characteristics in terms of physique.
The American Bully dogs are muscular with broad chests, short legs, and thick necks. They are both stocky dogs and are shorter than long. They have tight skin with little to no wrinkles.
Pocket Bullies have muscular bodies but are a reduced version of the Standard American Bully. They have shorter legs and are more compact.
The male Pocket Bullies have a height of fewer than 17 inches, while the females are less than 16 inches.
The mature Pocket male weighs between 11-22lbs, and females weigh between 10-20lbs. The Micro Bully, on the other hand, doesn’t grow beyond 13.5 inches and weighs no more than 81.5 pounds.
Pocket Bullies come in various colors. They can have a solid color or have markings of a second color. Some have blue ticking.
Micro Bullies are the most minor type of Exotic Bully because they have all the physical features of the American Bully but are smaller.
They also have shorter legs. The Pocket Bullies and Micro American Bulldog have some critical differences in terms of physical appearance as follows:
The head of the Pocket Bully is more prominent in size than the Micro Bullies.
The Pocket Bully dog’s diameter is usually 60% more than the shoulder height. However, the Micro Bully has a smaller head with a usual diameter ratio of 50% or less of the shoulder height.
The American Pocket Bully has eyes that are wide apart and round. The Micro Bully has eyes set wide apart but with a more almond shape.
The Pocket Bullies have ears set high on the head, and they are usually cropped, while the Micro Bullies have eyes set high on the head but are usually not cropped.
The Pocket Bullies have a medium to long tail, usually docked, while the Micro Bullies have short natural tails.
The Pocket Bullies have smooth and short coats, while the Micro Bully has smooth short to medium-length coats.
The Pocket Bully coat, however, cannot be predicted because of the mixed breeds of the American Pitbull and Patterdales. Therefore, coat grooming depends on the type of coat.
Micro and Pocket Bullies have one fundamental physical feature of an American Bully: a muscular body.
Pocket Bullies have that fierce muscular body and fierce look. The body is stocky and also carries a sturdy figure. Their necks are bulky with large, broad heads.
Although American Bully breeds share the majority of physical characteristics, one of the main differences is size.
The Pocket American Bully is classed as a mini version of the Standard American Bully. The Pocket typically weighs between 30 to 50 pounds.
The Micro Bully is the smallest known version of the American Bully, weight a minuscule 20 to 40 pounds.
When comparing size, the Pocket is larger than the Micro American Bully.
There is also a Micro Exotic Bully which is a crossbreed of a Micro and Exotic Bully, this breed weighs between 35 and 50 pounds.
American Bullies are widely regarded as a healthy dog breed. However, canines can be vulnerable to a variety of health conditions that all prospective adopters should be aware of.
While they have a muscular physique, Pocket and Micro American Bullies are not the most active of dogs. Some common health issues of the breed are explored below.
Also known as demodicosis, this is a skin condition that is caused by mites. The mite is found in all healthy dogs but when the immune system has issues, the mites can reproduce in significant numbers to cause mange.
While demodectic mange is not contagious to humans or fellow dogs, it should be treated soon as it may lead to other infections. Symptoms include itchiness, redness, or hair loss.
Seek your vet’s advice if you suspect it occurring.
An eye condition affecting the tear gland, cherry eye can be a source of great irritation. The issue occurs in the third eyelid in the inner corner of the eye. Dogs suffering from this condition will have a prolapsed gland.
Cherry eye is quite common in young American Bullies and most cases will heal quickly. Symptoms include tearing, inflammation, and an inflamed third eyelid.
Hip dysplasia is one of the most common conditions among all dog breeds. This condition affects the hip joint and is caused when the hip joint does not grow correctly during the early years. The condition can lead to severe pain and lameness.
Hip dysplasia can be hereditary and caused by environmental factors. Check with the breeder to see if there is any history of the condition in the pup’s ancestors. In terms of environment, ensure your pup is not obese or malnourished so its joints can form correctly.
Another common condition in dogs is elbow dysplasia affects the elbow joint and can cause severe pain. The condition is caused by the elbow joint not forming correctly, leading to lameness
Similar to hip issues, elbow dysplasia can be hereditary and caused by environmental factors.
Common symptoms of the condition are stiffness, pain, and lameness in the elbow joint.
A heart murmur refers to an abnormal sound picked up on a stethoscope. The murmurs are caused by disrupted blood flow and are commonly benign. However, some cases may reveal a severe heart condition that is previously undetected.
Heart murmurs are common for Pocket and Micro American Bullies and in most cases don’t need treatment. Symptoms of heart murmurs include breathlessness, fatigue, intolerance to exercise, and abnormal heart sounds.
BOAS refers to Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome and is common for American Bully breeds who have broad skulls. BOAS affects dogs with narrow nostrils and a lengthy palate.
The condition causes challenges with breathing during exercise.
Common symptoms of BOAS include panting, snoring, intolerance to exercise, and breathing challenges. Depending on the severity of the issue, your dog may need surgery to resection the soft palate.
Dental issues are very common for Micro and Pocket American Bullies so you should check their gums regularly.
Common dental problems included the buildup of tartar, overcrowding, and gingivitis. To prevent common dental issues, ensure you brush your dog’s teeth regularly and also get them professionally cleaned by a vet every so often.
Common signs of dental problems to look out for include bad breath, inflamed gums, yellow-brown teeth, and tartar buildup.
Luxating patella is a common condition for all varieties of the American Bully breed which focuses on the knee cap. This condition occurs when the kneecap dislocates from its standard position.
Luxating patella can be a hereditary disease so you should get a full health record of your pup’s parents to see if your pup is at risk. The condition can also be caused by blunt trauma to the kneecap.
You’ll notice this condition if your dog is experiencing sharp pain when rising, or experiences a hopping gait or lameness.
American Bullies can suffer from obesity if they don’t follow a healthy diet or exercise routine. Obesity can be the gateway disease to many other severe health conditions such as joint issues, respiratory issues, or cardiovascular disease.
If you notice your pup becoming overweight, you should review their feeding schedule and reduce portion sizes, while ensuring they get at least 60 minutes of exercise per day.
Obesity is quite easy to spot through signs of excess body fat, breathing difficulties, joint issues, or fatigue.
Arrhythmia refers to an abnormal heart rate which can be caused by a variety of factors including heart diseases, nutritional imbalances, and stress.
The condition is fairly common in American Bullies but in most cases doesn’t lead to severe conditions. Spotting signs of the disease is important though and you should get a vet check-up as soon as possible.
Symptoms of arrhythmia include abnormal heart rate and breathlessness.
Cancer is a risk for all dog breeds. For Micro and Pocket American Bullies, the most common type of cancer is lymphoma and bone cancer. If the disease is not caught early, these issues can be fatal.
Signs of cancer can include weight loss, appetite loss, lameness, or lethargy. If you spot these signs you should consult a vet as soon as possible. Early cancer detection is key to reducing the risk of fatalities.
Taking Care Of Micro And Pocket American Bullies?
American Bully is a mixed dog breed and therefore needs some maintenance and grooming practices to ensure they are kept in great shape and look their best.
Some recommended caring activities you should do with a Micro or Pocket American Bully include:
Like most dogs with a short, smooth coats, American Bullies don’t need to be bathed regularly as they can naturally keep themselves clean.
However, bathing one every couple of months is recommended to remove any possible skin infections or issues that can occur if left uncleaned.
Ensure you use dog-friendly shampoo when bathing to prevent the risk of your dog contracting any allergies.
Most common dental problems can be prevented by brushing your American Bully’s teeth once a week. This will prevent the build-up of tartar and also ensure healthy gums.
Find a dog-friendly toothbrush to administer the cleaning.
American Bully nails should be trimmed every couple of weeks to prevent overgrowth. Overgrowth can lead to discomfort while walking and also issues such as ingrowing toenails which are very painful.
A sign that they are too long is if you hear them clicking on the floor.
Ear cleaning should be conducted on a Micro or Pocket American Bully once a week. The cleaning reduces the risk of ear infections that can be very painful for your pup.
Ear infections can lead to more severe hearing issues and other health issues so you should keep on top of it.
Anal Gland Expression
Anal glands of an American Bully need to be expressed regularly and this can be done by yourself or a professional.
Signs they need to be expressed are when your dog licks his bum a lot or scoots brown material on the floor.
Food And Diet
Micro American Bullies need higher levels of protein in their diet compared to Pocket American Bullies. This is true of any exotic Bully breed due to their fast growth and need for strong muscle development.
Both Micro and Pocket Bullies need a high-quality diet with a balance of nutrients. Below we explain typical diet options for Micro and Pocket American Bullies.
The BARF diet refers to “Bones and Raw Food” and is popular among American Bullies. The diet comprises raw food items such as meat, bones, fruit, and vegetables.
Proponents of the BARF diet argue it is the healthiest way to feed their dogs as it imitates the diet of their ancestors. However, others believe the BARF diet is too high in protein and fat and can cause health issues if not supplemented with other foods.
The BARF diet is the most natural way to feed your American Bully and you can give foods that are ordinarily in your weekly shop. However, the cost can stack up as their appetite grows.
The BARF diet, which stands for “Bones and Raw Food,” is a popular diet among American Bullies. This diet consists of raw meat, bones, vegetables, and fruit.
The raw diet has similarities to the BARF diet, the only difference being no cooked food is included. A raw diet also includes raw meat, bones, fruit, and vegetables.
A raw diet is also championed because of the similarities it has to the food of your pup’s ancestors but can contain excessive protein and fat.
Raw meat can also contain harmful bacteria which can cause illness in your dog. Initially, the portion size may also be tricky to work out.
The most popular diet for Micro and Pocket American Bullies is the kibble diet. This is processed dog food that is specifically designed for canine consumption.
Proponents of the kibble diet like the ease and clarity that it provides. Kibble food products are normally targeted for certain age groups and provide clear instructions on the portion size and recommended regularity of feeding.
Kibble is also easy to store and is long-lasting.
The downside of kibble is that it is not as nutritious as other diets by missing out on raw ingredients.
You should discuss the diet options with your vet before deciding the best course of action. Some diets suit dogs with certain characteristics or behavior traits so it’s always best to have a consultation first.
How often to feed Micro and Pocket American Bullies?
When they are puppies, Micro and Pocket American Bully puppies should feed three to four times per day.
If using kibble, this can range from 0.25 to 1 cup per meal, depending on their age. As they enter adulthood, Micro and Pocket American Bullies should eat twice per day with 1 kibble cup served per meal.
Temperament And Intelligence
There are no significant differences in temperament or intelligence between the Micro and Pocket American Bully, they both exhibit the well-loved American Bully traits of affection, intelligence, and loyalty.
Despite their small size, both Micro and Pocket Bullies show protective traits for their families when they feel under pressure. This makes them great guard dogs for your home.
The key difference in temperament is that the Micro Bully is generally more reserved with strangers while the Pocket Bully is more sociable and outgoing.
The American Bully breed is highly intelligent so Micro and Pocket Bullies can learn a variety of stunts and tricks. These include:
- Hoop jumping
- Rolling over
- Playing dead
The temperament of the Micro and Pocket Bully makes them very suitable as household companions. They get along great with other pets and are also very calm and patient with children.
There is no difference in lifespan between the Micro and Pocket American Bully.
Both varieties can expect to live between 12 to 14 years. This assumes they are well looked after and follow and healthy balanced diet with daily exercise.
The two leading registries for the American Bully breed are the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the International Bully Coalition (IBC).
The IBC recognizes both the Micro and Pocket Bullies, stating the Micro Bully is the smallest variety of American Bully that is characterized by a small muscular body and a square-shaped head. The IBC also states the same description for the Pocket Bully.
The American Kennel Club only recognizes one American Bully type, the Standard.
It may come as no surprise to learn that American Bullies cost a significant sum to purchase. The high desirability of the breed has elevated the price in recent years.
Micro and Pocket American Bullies can vary in price based on the breeder’s reputation, bloodline, supply, and demand. Typically, you can expect to pay in the region of $2,000 to $7,000 for a Micro or Pocket American Bully.
The method of training is pretty similar when comparing Micro and Pocket Bullies. As with all dog breeds, early training is a priority to ensure good habits become their foundation.
The first commands training session only needs to be 5-10 minutes long. Micro and Pocket Bullies respond well to positive reinforcement so be sure to provide lots of treats whenever they respond well to a command.
The only subtle difference is that Pocket Bullies require slightly more engagement as they are more energetic than Micro Bullies. Think of extra activities for them to use this energy.
As both breeds are highly intelligent, you should remain calm while training and be stern when you are seeking their attention.
Both Micro and Pocket Bullies will appreciate more stimulation compared to Standard American Bullies as they grow physically and mentally.
All American Bullies have a muscular build with plenty of energy to burn off. You should therefore ensure there is at least one hour a day set aside for exercise.
Good exercises to utilize the energy include a daily walk in a park as well as running around the garden. Consider dog toys too as a great way to keep your American Bully stimulated. Toys can be handy when you are in a flat or have limited space available.
Micro and Pocket Bullies will likely have a higher octane level than Standard Bullies so be prepared for one hour of exercise not being enough some days.
If you want to provide the stimulation you can also consider intellectual toys like treat dispensers. These toys occupy your dog for a while (allowing you to do some chores) while also supporting their cognitive development to work hard to receive a treat.
How To Find A Reputable Breeder
Identifying a reputable breeder is a very important thing to do when looking for a Pocket Bully or a Micro Bully.
As some of these breeds are not universally recognized you should be wary of the presence of unethical breeders who may doing the practice for a quick buck, without consideration for the long-term health of the breed.
The following tips can help you when finding a reputable breeder:
- Find a reputable breeder by asking for a referral from a trusted ally or your veterinarian, or you can also contact the local breed clubs and visit dog shows.
- Personally, visit the dog’s breeder facility before getting your puppy. Find out where they were born and raised.
- Go through the breeder’s social media and website accounts because every reputable breeder should have an active social media account and a professional-looking website.
- The website should contain information about the breeder, their facility, and their dogs.
- The social media accounts should be up to date with photos and videos of their dogs.
- The breeder allows you to visit their facility.
- Reputable American Bully kennels should also have all the registration papers and proof of dog vaccination.
Hopefully, this article has shed light on the key differences and similarities between the Micro and Pocket American Bully. Our article may have sealed the deal in terms of which Bully variety you prefer.
The key differences between the breeds are that Micro Bullies are smaller than Pocket Bullies and have a slightly longer coat length.
Pocket Bullies meanwhile have a larger head in proportion to their shoulders and eyes that are set wider apart. In terms of temperament, both breed varieties demonstrate classic Bully traits of loyalty, affection, and companionship.
Regarding health issues, care and maintenance, adopting a Pocket or Micro Bully will incur the same health risks and maintenance practices.
Be sure to take the steps to find a reputable breeder to give you a loving Micro or Pocket Bully that will loyally serve your household.