Pocket Bully: Dog Breed Overview

Pocket Bully

In the incredibly diverse world of canine breeds, one very special pet has been making waves. The pocket bully or miniature American bully is a fairly new mixed-breed dog that is growing in popularity. This pint-sized powerhouse is a unique subset of the American bully breed that is known for its compact size, muscular physique, and friendly disposition.

In this comprehensive article, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about the pocket bully.

Pocket bullies are becoming popular pets for many reasons. This mixed-breed dog is the perfect small size to keep at home. Just like their larger counterparts, pocket bullies tend to be friendly and non-aggressive. Like other brachiocephalic breeds, pocket bullies also come with a plethora of health issues that can be managed through good ownership.

This guide will delve into everything about pocket bullies, including their breeding history, characteristics, variations, exercise and grooming, requirements, common health problems, lifespan, and of course, pricing. By the end of this article, you’ll have a thorough understanding of this captivating breed.

What Is A Pocket Bully (Miniature American Bully)?

Pocket bullies are a bully breed that can also be called miniature American bullies. There are tons of variations of these dogs that we’ll discuss below. If you’ve never heard of this “breed” of dog before, it might be a little confusing.

We’ve put quotations around the word breed because technically pocket bullies are not purebred dogs. This breed is actually a cross of two popular pit bull breeds that was created to make a more compact version of the pit bull.

A pocket bully is the result of breeding an American pit bull with a British Patterdale terrier. So, in order to understand what a pocket bully really is you need to look closely at what American pit bulls and British Patterdale terriers are known for.

Despite the bad reputation that pit bulls have gained in society, they’re incredibly popular pets. Pit bulls can make great dogs for first-time owners because they’re loyal, friendly, pretty low maintenance, and easy to train.

Pit bulls aren’t super high energy and only need about 45 minutes to 1 hour of exercise each day. A love for cuddling, and overall good health are just some of the other reasons why these dogs are so popular.

Though you’ve definitely heard of the first ingredient of a pocket bully, you’ve probably never heard of a British Patterdale Terrier. Patterdale terriers are small working terriers that specialize in squeezing through small passages underground.

These dogs tend to be bold and confident and have the high energy level typical of a terrier. Though these dogs are kept as pets, they may be too high-strung for a sedentary household.

A combination of the relaxed and loving pit bull and the tiny but bold Patterdale terrier gives us the pocket bully!

What Does A Pocket Bully Look Like?

Combining these two breeds results in an absolutely adorable pup. Imagine a pit bull that has been sized down and has become a little bit more energetic. You’ve got a pocket bully!

If you’re wondering just how big a pocket bully gets, there’s no easy answer. Usually, pocket bullies will fall somewhere between 10 and 25 pounds. But, there are tons of size variations and categories of pocket bullies we’ll go over in more detail later.

Physical Appearance

Pocket bullies are small but they have incredibly muscular builds. Some of the defining features of a pocket bully are abroad, chest and shoulders, a well-defined square-shaped head, and a short straight back. Pocket bullies have very muscular, back legs and thick, short tails.

Typically, pocket bullies have the same thoughtful and expressive eyes that pit bulls have. They are ears are naturally floppy but are sometimes cropped by breeders.  Pocket bullies can either have a soft, silky coat, or a rough wiry coat, depending on their genetics.

Color Variations

It seems like pocket bullies can come in all sorts of colors. Pocket bullies can range from a light fawn color all the way to a deep black color. Oftentimes, these dogs have spots on their bodies or markings on their eyebrows and chests. A white stripe down the center of the head can also be a defining characteristic of the pocket bully coat.

The one color you probably won’t see in this designer crossbreed is a pure, all-over, white color. That’s because Patterdale terriers, by definition, can’t be white!

Are Pocket Bullies Expensive?

Pocket bullies are expensive!

This crossbreed is truly a designer dog. It’s specialized breeding makes it hard to get and breeders capitalize on this shortage. The cost of purchasing a pocket bully puppy is usually in the thousands of dollars.

This particular website has female pocket bully puppies, listed at $8,500.00 and $6,500.00 each. It’s possible to find a pocket bully adult dog for a lower price point.

If a few thousand dollars seems like a lot to spend on one puppy, you might consider checking local animal shelters or breed-specific rescues. Plenty of animal rescue organizations specialize in bulldogs.

You can reach out to one of these rescues and let them know what kind of dog you’re looking to adopt. That way, you can not only save a little bit of money by adopting but also save a life.

What Kind Of Personality Do Pocket Bullies Have?

Despite their small size, pocket bullies do not have small personalities!

Because of their association with pit bulls, bulldogs have a reputation for aggressive behavior. But, most bully breed owners know that this reputation couldn’t be further from the truth. Pit bulls and bulldogs were often used as nanny dogs who spent their days with children.

Pocket bullies are similar to pit bulls in personality because they’re gentle and protective. Pocket bullies are loving and playful and enjoy spending time with their families. How pocket bullies interact with strangers depends on their upbringing.

If a pocket bully is well socialized at an early age, they should have no problem meeting new people or dogs. However, when a pocket bully isn’t well socialized, they may be suspicious of new things.

Occasionally, some pocket bullies may have a high prey drive because of their relation to the British Patterdale terrier. Like other terriers, this instinct can cause them to chase, dig for, and bark at small animals! Remember that even though pocket bullies look like miniature bulldogs, they’re actually a combo of a bulldog and a terrier.

Overall, pocket bullies have loving and gentle personalities.

American Bully Variations

The pocket bully is just one variation of the American bully. American bullies were first created by breeding American pit bulls and American Staffordshire terriers to create different bulldog-type dogs. Each of these variations has pros and cons and the distinction between each category is usually based on size.

This video gives a great quick overview of each bully variation and what they look and act like!

Standard Bully

The standard bully is the “typical” American bulldog.

Male standard bullies are 17 inches to 20 inches tall while females are 16 inches to 19 inches tall. Standard American bulldogs usually reach an adult weight of about 50 to 70 pounds.

Standard bullies are thick, stocky, and strong. They have large chests and shoulders. Standard bullies have large square-shaped heads and jaws. Standard American bullies have short squished muzzles. Like many bully breeds, standard American bullies are sweet, loving, and protective of their families.

Classic Bully

Classic bullies are the same in height and size as standard bullies. The big difference between these two bully breeds is that classic bullies are less heavy and muscular.  They’re a little bit lighter overall. Overall, classic bullies are very similar to standard bullies in every other way!

XL Bully

As you can imagine, XL bullies are the larger versions of the standard bully!

Male XL bullies are 17 to 20 inches tall while females are around 16 to 19 inches tall. Unlike the bully variations mentioned above, XL bullies weigh anywhere from 80 to 140 pounds.

XL bullies have the same builds as standard bullies but are taller and even thicker! These dogs are so big that they can be difficult to breed. That’s because these dogs are so muscular and thick that both mating and birth puts stress on the dogs involved.

Extreme Bully

This next bully variation is called the extreme bully and is similar in height to the standard bully. Extreme bullies are 17 to 20 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 75 to 120 pounds.

These bullies are both wider and stouter than standard bullies. At the same height, this variation packs a lot of extra weight. This variation can sometimes have loose and hanging lips and of course a big smile.

Sometimes, extreme bullies will have the rear end higher up in the air than the other variations. Because of the extra weight they carry, extreme bullies often have hind legs that are turned outwards.

Pocket Bully

As we now know, pocket bullies are the shortest and smallest of all bully varieties. That’s because this dog is specifically bred to be smaller and more space-friendly.   Though pocket bullies are smaller than the other bully variations, they have the same proportions and personality traits.

Male pocket bullies are 14 to 17 inches tall while females are 13 to 16 inches tall. As mentioned above, pocket bullies, usually weigh anywhere from 10 to 25 pounds as adults.

Teacup Micro Bully

So the pocket bully is typically the smallest recognized bully variation, but there are even smaller variations.

Teacup micro bullies are also known as micro pocket bullies, micro exotic bullies, micro American bullies, and micro pocket pit bulls. Micro bullies are typically about 13 to 16 inches tall and weigh even less than pocket bullies. These are one of the smallest luxury dog breeds in existence.

Micro bullies are somewhat controversial because of their small size and extravagant breeding comes at a cost. These dogs typically have far more health concerns than their slightly larger relatives.

What Is The Smallest Bully Breed?

Technically, pocket bullies aren’t purebred. However, pocket bullies, or American miniature bullies, are recognized as a bully breed, and they are definitely the smallest recognized ones. These have all of the characteristics of a bully breed like a large chest, a square head, and a loving and affectionate personality.

Caring For Pocket Bullies

Pocket bullies are a special breed all of their own, and have special care requirements to go with them. Like many other designer dog breeds, caring for a pocket bully is often more than people expect it to be.

Designer dogs are the result of a lot of human intervention in dog breeding. Unlike other dog breeds that were traditionally bred to be functional working dogs, designer dogs are bred for looks only.

This focus on beauty rather than function can create some challenges for these pets. Caring for them is often more involved than caring for a typical mixed-breed dog. Let’s talk a little bit about what goes into taking care of a pocket bully.

Pocket Bully Diet And Nutrition

One of the best elements of taking care of any dog is providing them with food and nutrition. The best diet for bully breeds is any balanced diet that is appropriate for their life stage in meets their caloric needs. Good diets include a combination of high-quality proteins, vitamins and minerals, fat, and fiber from plants.

Usually, commercially produced dog food is the safest option to make sure your pet is getting everything they need. If you decide to make your pet food at home, make sure that you can spell with your veterinarian to ensure that the diet you’re providing is wholly nutritious.

Because pocket bullies are deep-chested, this dog breed may be at a higher risk of getting bloat. Bloat is a complex and devastating medical issue in which gas accumulates in the stomach and the stomach twists over on itself. One great way to prevent bloat is to break your dog’s meals up into two separate portions.

We’ll talk more about this below but pocket bullies are also prone to obesity. Focusing on and controlling their diet can help you prevent your dog from dealing with the negative side effects of obesity.

Pocket Bully Exercise Requirements

Even though pocket bullies seem to be made of muscle, they are not overly active dogs and can adapt well to apartment living.

However, pocket bullies still require regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight and mental state. Here are some considerations you should make when thinking about exercise for a pocket bully.

Pocket bullies should have a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise each day. Ideally, these dogs should get somewhere between 30 to 60 minutes of exercise. Good activities to exercise a pocket bully include brisk walks, playtime in a fenced yard, or playing with a toy at home.

Another good form of exercise for a pocket bully is providing them with a puzzle. Puzzle toys are both mentally and physically engaging and can keep your dog entertained for hours at a time. These puzzle toys can help prevent boredom and destructive behaviors.

Pocket Bully Grooming Requirements

Pocket bullies have relatively low grooming needs, making them a suitable choice for owners seeking low-maintenance pets. Here’s what you need to know about grooming your bully.

Pocket bullies typically have short dance coats that require minimal grooming. Their coats act as a great barrier against dirt and mud. Brushing these dogs once a week will help remove any loose hairs and keep a healthy shine in the coat.

Just like for a Rottweiler, or any other short-haired dog breed, bathing should only be done as needed. Ideally, you’ll only bathe a pocket bully every 2 to 3 months or if they get too dirty then you don’t need to wait. Bathing your dog more often than that isn’t necessary, and can actually be damaging to their skin and coat.

Because of their short coats, pocket bullies are susceptible to skin issues such as allergies, dryness, or sensitivities. Regularly check their skin for any signs of irritation, like redness, or swelling. If you notice any of these signs showing up make sure to talk to your veterinarian.

Common Pocket Bully Health Problems

Pocket bullies are prone to a good amount of health issues. As I mentioned above, this has a lot to do with the fact that they were bred for looks, and not for function. Being informed about these potential problems is crucial for responsible ownership of these tiny bullies.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition in which the hip joint doesn’t develop properly. This eventually leads to joint problems, lameness, and arthritis. Hip dysplasia is commonly seen in geriatric dogs, but can also be seen in puppies. Pocket bullies are prone to hip dysplasia, because of how small their hind legs are compared to how heavy their bodies are.

Responsible breeding should involve screening for this condition and avoiding further breeding of those individuals. Pocket bullies should be kept away from stairs as puppies to prevent any possible damage to the hips.

Brachycephalic Issues

Due to their square-shaped heads and short noses, some pocket bullies may experience brachycephalic syndrome.

Brachycephalic syndrome can cause breathing difficulties, especially in hot weather or during exercise. In worst cases, these breeds may even have trouble breathing under normal circumstances. This issue is chronic, lifelong, and debilitating, and can severely affect the quality of life for many bully breeds.

Proper care for dogs with brachycephalic issues includes avoiding strenuous exercise and keeping them away from hot weather. Some individuals may need surgical intervention to live comfortably.

Skin Allergies

As we mentioned above, pocket bullies are prone to skin allergies and sensitivities. Common allergens for pocket bullies include certain foods, environmental factors, or insect bites.

Something as commonplace as a carpet in your house can be enough to set an allergy off in one of these sensitive dogs. The only thing that you can do to prevent allergies is to regularly monitor their skin and make changes to address any issues that pop up.


Pocket bullies are bred specifically for their stout and short figures. Unfortunately, this puts them at risk of developing obesity. Pocket bullies can pack on weight a lot easier than other breeds. Since their legs are short, and they’re not the most athletic dogs, it can be hard for them to lose weight that they’ve gained.

The best way to treat obesity is to prevent it by maintaining a balanced diet and ensuring that your pocket bully gets enough exercise. That will help keep your pocket bully from experiencing any weight-related health problems.

How Long Do Pocket Bullies Live?

The typical lifespan for a pocket bully is about 10 to 12 years. This is the maximum lifespan and only comes with proper care and a healthy lifestyle.

Providing regular veterinary checkups, a balanced diet, and meeting their exercise and grooming needs can help extend their lifespan. Some members of this breed do not live to see the full extent of their lifespan, because of the many problems that can come up for pocket bullies.

Final Thoughts

There’s no denying that pocket bullies might be one of the cutest dog breeds ever created.

These dogs are small, but sturdy, and have a loving, energetic personality to match. Pocket bullies have short coats that are easy to keep groomed and they have low exercise requirements. Pocket bullies are great with children and can be trained and socialized to be friendly, even with strangers.

Because of their specialized breeding pocket bullies often have brachycephalic issues that make breathing difficult. They are also prone to other health problems and can end up being a very expensive dog breed to take care of. Medical issues combined with the purchase price can make pocket bullies one of the most expensive dogs to own.

However, if you are fully committed to owning one of these precious pocket bullies, they are well worth the investment!

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