Pocket Bully – Breed Overview

Created as a crossbreed of the American Bully and the Patterdale Terrier, the Pocket Bully is a designer dog that has become increasingly popular in recent years.

The Pocket Bully is regarded as a small version of the American Bully. While they are different dogs, the Pocket Bully shares many similarities with the American Bully.

Perhaps that is why many dog owners become confused thinking the two dogs are the same.

Pocket Bully

In this article, we will give you all the information you need to know about the pocket bully dog breed.

Focusing on the breed history, characteristics, health issues, and temperament of this beautiful breed. 

Breed History And Relationship With American Bully

The Pocket Bully is a relatively recent designer dog as it was first bred just over 20 years ago.

Bred primarily as a companion dog, the Pocket Bully inherited many of the best features of the American Bully, which is known for being a family-friendly dog.

The American Bully is a crossbreed between an American Pitbull Terrier and an American Staffordshire Terrier.

Therefore, some fear that the Pocket Bully inherits some of the historically aggressive personality traits of the American Pitbull Terrier, however, this is simply not true.

Although the American Pitbull Terrier has had a reputation over the years for being an aggressive dog, most of these traits have been bred out of the breed.

By the time the American Bully was crossbred in the 1980s, these traits were largely eliminated, producing a very calm, loyal temperament.

Originating in the 1960s, the Patterdale Terrier has proved to be a fantastic watchdog. Over the years this breed was renowned for hunting animals and having a large drive for prey.

Combining these personalities has led to the Pocket Bully inheriting a unique range of characteristics, making this dog breed particularly unique.

American Bully Classification

The American Bully breed was first recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club (AKBC) in 2004 and has since recognized five main varieties of the breed.

  • Pocket Bully
  • Classic Bully
  • Standard Bully
  • Extreme Bully
  • XL Bully

This classification is made mainly based on size, with the Pocket Bully being the shortest American Bully and the XL, being the largest. The temperament for each variety is largely similar.

Within these five varieties of American Bully, there are some further categorizations, such as the clean Exotic Bully or the Exotic Bully. However, these varieties are not recognized by kennel clubs.

Is The Pocket Bully So Small?

Given the Pocket Bully name, you may be wondering if this dog can fit in your pocket. Well, unfortunately, that’s not the case.

The Pocket Bully is also known as a Patterdale Pitbull, a Mini Pitbull, or a Teacup Pitbull, and doesn’t live up to any of these names in terms of size.

The Pocket Bully is regarded as a medium size dog. This means you can expect it to be quite larger than classic small dogs such as the Toy Poodle or a Chihuahua.

Pocket American Bully

The Pocket Bully can range in size, and it depends on the genetics of the parents to accurately work out the size chart.

However, typically the Patterdale Terrier will range from 10 to 15 inches in height, while the American Pitbull Terrier can stand up to 20 inches tall.

Based on this, we can expect a Pocket Bully to range in height between 9 and 16 inches, with males standing taller than females.

While they may seem small in size, the muscular physique of the Pocket Bully adds a significant amount of weight.

A fully grown Pocket Bully can therefore range between 11 to 24 pounds in weight.

Pocket Bully Physical Characteristics 

The key physical characteristics of American Bullies are explored below.    


Pocket Bully has an intimidating appearance and some people may think they have an aggressive personality which is not true.

This Pocket dog is unique with a mix of strength and muscle. It has a different body type from any other breed you have possibly seen.

Pocket Bully has a compact body with distinct physical features. They have well-defined muscles that will make you ask about their gym.

Body Type 

Pocket Bullies have a unique muscular body type. They received this physical trait from their American Bully parent and resembles other bully breeds like the American Staffordshire Terrier, the French Bulldog, and the English Bulldog.


The key characteristic of the Pocket Bully is the shape of the head. To get a good picture of the breed, it is a good idea to start by first describing the head.

They are similar to the American Pitbull Terrier but also different. Dogs have similar bone structures and placement.

However, the Pocket Bully has a wider head made up of strong and thick bones.

Despite the big, square-shaped, and bulky head, it is not as big as the rest of the body. This means that it is well proportionate to the body of the Pocket Bully.

Pocket American Bully Jaw


The Pocket Bully has a broad and muscular jaw that is very powerful. They have a wide and deep lower jaw with their lips hanging downwards in the adult Pocket Bullies.

The Pocket Bully jaw structure makes the Pocket Bully ear-to-ear smile very recognizable.

You might also be aware of the myths about the Pitbull’s “jaw lock”. However, no dog can lock their jaws.

Lockjaw usually describes the dog’s behavior when it grabs something and can’t let go. This also does not mean that the dog is aggressive or vicious. To say the least the Pocket Bully’s lower is not that strong.


Pocket Bullies have short to medium-sized necks. They have their broad heads standing on the broad back. The neck and the head are muscular and heavy and do not have excessive dewlap or wrinkles.

The dewlap is the chunk of skin hanging from the neck of Bloodhounds and Mastiff-type dogs. The pocket Bully is all muscle and hence has no dewlaps seen.

Their necks are medium-sized and retract from the shoulder to the back of the skull. The Pocket bully-wide structure makes them look like their heads are directly connected to the body making them look bulkier.


When you look at the Pocket bully, the first thing to notice is their wide and muscular chest.

This makes their forelimbs stand more apart from each other than average dogs. Their shallow chest and short legs make Pocket Bullies have a low-level back posture.

Pocket Bully Colors

Typically, Pocket Bullies’ color scheme is known as tri-color, meaning they come in three different colors. The tri-color pattern normally works as one base color and two tan colors.

As the Pocket Bully is the designer breed, there is a vast array of color options available. Pocket Bullies will inherit the colors of their ancestors.

Pocket Bully Colors

The most popular base color of Pocket Bully is black. However, other base colors can include light brown, blue, red, or white. Some less common base colors include smart, brindle, sable, and fawn.

It is also common to find Pocket Bullies born in just a single color, while others will have some distinct markings.

Below we list some of the most common tri-color patterns found on Pocket Bullies.

  • Chocolate
  • Blue
  • Ghost
  • Piebald
  • Champagne
  • Lilac and black

Pocket Bully Coat

The Pocket Bully coat is available in a variety of colors, but also different lengths.

The length of a Pocket Bully depends on the genetics of the parents. For example, if a Pocket Bully has American Bully parents, then the coats will reflect the short, smooth coats of an American Bully.

The American Bully coat is known for being shiny smooth and short-haired. Typically, Pocket Bullies don’t have an undercoat.

This means that they may get cold in winter, so you should invest in some warm clothes to keep them warm.

The advantage of short hair is that they don’t shed much, which can save you time hoovering up hairs in your living room.

If a Bully has more Patterdale Terrier genetics, then the coat will be slightly different. There are three coat styles associated with Patterdale Terriers, these are smooth, rough, and broken.

Pocket Bullies with these coat types will likely shed more but be able to keep warm.

Pocket Bully Maintenance And Grooming

The great thing about Pocket Bullies is that they are easy to maintain.

As they have short coats which don’t shed much, they really won’t give you much of a handful at home.

However, we recommend you invest time to groom them regularly to ensure their skin remains silky, smooth, and shiny. This will also remove any dead skin cells from their body.

Pocket Bully Grooming

Pocket Bullies don’t need regular bathing, but every week or two will be sufficient.

While excessive bathing may seem to relax your Pocket Bully, it can remove the natural oils from the body, which can lead to long-term skin problems. Whenever you do bathe your Pocket Bully make sure you use dog shampoo.

If you have a busy schedule and can’t invest the time to groom your Pocket Bully, consider hiring groomers or dog maintenance firms to ensure your pup is kept well and healthy.

Are Pocket Bullies Aggressive?

Due to the muscular physique of Pocket Bullies, many wonder whether the breed is an aggressive dog breed. In short, the answer is a resounding no!

Pocket Bullies are the exact opposite of an aggressive dog breed. They are known for being remarkably calm, good-natured, and very well-behaved with humans.

This is why the breed has become so popular with households, especially those with young kids.

Thanks to a series of high-quality breeding programs, Pocket Bullies have inherited the best traits from parent breeds.

These personality traits include obedience, intelligence, ease to train, and being supremely loyal. These traits also mean that Pocket Bullies require a decent amount of exercise to be stimulated.

Sometimes Pocket Bullies will resemble the Patterdale Terrier with a moderate prey drive and stubbornness.

However, typically the dominant trait in terms of physique and temperament seems to derive from the American Pitbull Terrier.

The key to maximizing the potential of the breed is to ensure early socialization and training.

Most reputable breeders will conduct early socialization to ensure that they are well-suited to moving in with a household.

Taking these steps to train your Pocket Bully early will reduce potentially aggressive behaviors later in life. They will also appreciate all the love and affection.

Public Perception Of Pocket Bullies

Unfortunately, Pocket Bullies like the American Bully have been characterized wrongly over the years for being an aggressive dog breed.

This is due to the ancestry of the American Pitbull, which in the 1800s, and 1900s, was famous for participating in sports such as baiting and ratting, where paying customers would see them aggressively attack bulls and rats.

This combined with contemporary examples of Pitbull aggression has led to some states in US and countries around the world banning Pitbulls.

Because the American Bully breed continues to look similar to Pitbulls. Some authorities still regard them as aggressive dogs.

However, as the Pitbull became domesticated in the US, these aggressive traits have been largely removed from breeding programs.

A combination of American Pitbull Terriers known for affection and loyalty, with the intelligence and energy of the Patterdale Terrier creates a remarkably calm and loving Pocket Bully breed which somewhat contradicts the public perception of an aggressive breed.

Ultimately, it is down to humans through taking good care, training, and nutrition of their Pocket Bully to ensure that the breed’s reputation doesn’t suffer.

Pocket Bully Health Issues

Crossbreeds resulting from quality breeding programs typically are healthier than purebred dogs. Pocket Bullies are known for being a healthy dog breed.

Pocket Bully Health

However, they do still suffer from common health issues that owners should be aware of.

These health issues are explored below.

  • Hip dysplasia – is very common among Pocket Bullies and Bully dogs in general. The issue occurs when the socket and ball of the hip joint don’t develop properly. While this condition doesn’t affect lifespan, a surgical procedure or therapy may be necessary to relieve the pain. If it is not properly treated, your dog may experience discomfort while walking.
  • Eye issues – common eye issues suffered by Pocket Bullies are cataracts and glaucoma. Cataracts are a cloudy eye condition that is the result of excessive protein buildup. This condition is inherited from parents. However, it can also be caused by a one-off eye injury or diabetes. Glaucoma refers to a build-up of fluid that damages the retina in the eye and can lead to blindness.
  • Hypothyroidism – impacts the thyroid gland which is unable to produce sufficient thyroxine hormone and this can cause weight gain, hair loss, and lethargic behavior.
  • Skin problems – commonly suffer from skin issues called dermatitis. This issue is a bacterial infection and is common in dogs who have wrinkles. Due to the folds in the skin, an ideal environment for the accumulation of bacteria is present. This can cause a bad odor, redness, or itchiness.
  • Breathing difficulties – The flat faces of Pocket Bullies cause them to be brachycephalic dogs. This means they are not suited for intense exercise in hot weather conditions and cause breathing challenges.

If you purchase your Pocket Bully from a reputable breeder, they will pay close attention to the bloodlines of the puppies they produce.

Choosing quality bloodlines reduces the chance of many genetic health conditions. Before purchasing you should ask to see a record of the genetic health of the dog’s parents.

Pocket Bully Diet And Nutrition

Pocket Bullies have no special diet or nutritional requirements compared to other dog breeds.

They do, however, have a large appetite, so you should carefully monitor the amount of food you give your dog.

As with any dog breed, owners have three main diet choices to choose from raw, dry, or wet dog foods.

Each diet has its benefits and drawbacks, but you should always prioritize quality nutrition no matter which diet plan you follow.

Best Food For Pocket Bully

After transitioning from their mother’s breast milk, it is most common to give your puppy dry food, also known as kibble.

Kipple can be easily portioned depending on the age and growth trajectory of your Pocket Bully and contains all the nutrients required to support healthy growth.

There is a wide range of dog food products out there, but we recommend you invest in quality nutrition for your Pocket Bully to ensure they develop the strong muscular characteristics of the Pocket Bully breed.

Pocket Bully Feeding Schedule

To ensure that your pocket bully gets enough nutrients, you should have a feeding schedule that shows the amount of food that they are eating per day and frequency.

Typically, adult Pocket Bullies need about 400 to 500 calories per day. Since they are active dogs, they will burn most of these calories if they engage in proper daily exercise.

Feeding them breakfast and dinner is enough and each meal should contain high-quality dog food that provides all the necessary nutrients to help them grow and develop well.

Occasionally, feed your Pocket Bully snacks and treats in between meals but this should have a limit to avoid obesity. This is because this breed is prone to gaining unnecessary weight and being obese.

Treats can also be used during training for positive reinforcement as this will help them learn better and quicker. 

Foods To Avoid For Pocket Bully

As a Pocket Bully owner, there are certain human foods and drinks that you should avoid feeding your dog as they can be toxic and fatal.

These foods include macadamia nuts, dairy products, chocolate, corn, onions, candy, and garlic.

Speak to your vet and do your research about the types of foods you should not feed your dog to prevent illnesses and potential death. 

Pocket Bully Training And Exercise

Training and daily exercises are great activities for both the owner and the dog. You must spend quality time with your four-legged best friend in the park.

Both you and your dog will benefit from the everyday quality playtime and exercise. Luckily, you will keep up with your Pocket Bully because they are not too energetic.

However, Pocket Bullies are active and energetic dogs that need some running time every day.

To help your Pocket Bully achieve a muscular build, include jumping, running, playing fetch, and similar activities in their playtime.

Pocket Bully Training

When your dog is exercising, its body is burning all the excess calories and each muscle is in full function and this keeps your dog healthy and fit.

Since Pocket Bullies are intelligent and obedient dogs, training them should not be very difficult.

Positive reinforcement is always a good idea during training as your dog will get a yummy treat when they do a task correctly.

Early socialization is also important because it prevents undesirable behavior from developing as your puppy grows.

When your Pocket Bully is younger introduce them to other people and pets as it will result in good behavior when they are older.

Pocket Bully Lifespan 

Pocket Bullies live a fairly long life and their lifespan varies between 10 to 14 years. To estimate the lifespan of a Pocket Bully, consider the parent breed since they are a mixed breed.

The American Bully inherited their long lifespan from the American Pitbull Terrier which is about 12 to 14 years. This contributes to the lifespan of Pocket Bully.

Another factor that contributes to the longer lifespan of your Pocket Bully is their health condition.

There are health issues that are genetically inherited and appear earlier while others may appear later in life. These all depend on nutrition, environment, genetics, and overall care.

When choosing a Pocket Bully puppy, ensure that you are aware of the inherited illnesses that may cause a shorter lifespan. 

Pocket Bully Cost

In recent years, the price of Pocket Bullies has increased because of their popularity as designer dogs and high demand.

However, the prices vary depending on the quality of their genetic family tree and the breeder that you get them from. The price is also higher because it is not easy to find this breed even with high demand.

The price of a Pocket Bully puppy can be as low as $500 or $700 or as high as $5000 and above.

Pocket Bullies that are most expensive are the ones bred from bloodlines that are proven and have recorded family trees that stretch back for generations.

The cost of a Pocket Bully can also be affected by certain factors such as your location and the color of the Pocket Bully as rare markings and colors are expensive.

When looking for a Pocket Bully puppy, search for reputable breeders who are qualified in breeding this dog to ensure you get a quality dog.

Final Words

Hopefully, this article has given you all the key information about the Pocket Bully dog breed. It is no surprise why the breed become so popular in recent years.

The mixture of a sturdy physique with an amenable temperament makes Pocket Bullies perfect dogs for households. Also, their limited size makes them very easy to maintain.

If you are interested in owning or adopting a pocket bully, make sure you take time to seek out a reputable breeder and invest time to explore different purchasing options. 

You certainly won’t regret having this loveable companion as part of your household.


Hi there, my name is Blake and I have an American Bully named Rocky. I fell in love with the breed around ten years ago after seeing some of my friends adopt a Bully. I love the combination of the muscular physique and calm, loyal companionship that the American Bully breed has to offer. My enthusiasm for the breed has led me to train as a dog behavioralist and trainer. Over the last ten years, I have supported many households in raising their American Bully and maximizing the potential of the breed. I’m delighted to share my knowledge and expertise on this site.

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