Are you fascinated by American Bullies but intimidated by their size? What if we told you that they have a mini version?

The Pocket Bully is the pawfect choice if you want a small American Bully. It’s adorable, charming, and great around kids. This compact type has it all.

But that’s not everything these cuties have to offer. These small companion dogs also have a pretty long lifespan. In short, if you’re looking for a new friend for many years to come, this might be a good match.

Here’s everything you need to know about this stunning breed:

What Is a Pocket Bully?

These sweet dogs are smaller American Bullies. The designer breed, a cross between the American Bully and the Patterdale Terrier, became popular in no time.  

But it’s not just about their looks. Pocket Bullies inherit the best personality traits from their parents. They’re loyal, affectionate, and playful, making them ideal companion dogs for families with children.

Origin and History 

Like many other designer breeds, Pocket Bullies are relatively new. There’s not much information about their origin, but they were purposely bred for the first time in the early 2000s.  

American Bully breeders wanted a dog similar to the American Bully but smaller, and they succeeded. They made one that looks pawsome, has a loving personality, and doesn’t require much exercise.

But to get the full picture, let’s look at the parent breeds:

The Patterdale Terrier

These energetic dogs were initially bred in a small village named Patterdale during the 1960s. Coming from England’s Lake District, the famous breeder Joe Bowman wanted a dog that would do well in a harsh climate. And that’s how the Patterdale Terrier was born.

These dogs have compact bodies, endless energy, and outgoing personalities. People mostly appreciate them for their working skills, but they have much more to offer. For instance, they’re excellent hunters

The American Bully Bloodline History

To change the general opinion about Pit Bulls, breeders started mixing them with other dogs. By combining the unique traits of an American Pit Bull Terrier and an American Staffordshire Bull Terrier, these medium-sized dogs became an absolute hit. They were first developed in the US during the 1980s, and they haven’t lost their popularity ever since.

American Bullies are pretty strong, and their appearance might be intimidating, but they’re true softies. They’re gentle, affectionate, and always eager to please.    

According to size, there are several American Bully sizes:

  • Pocket
  • Classic 
  • Standard 
  • Extreme 
  • XL 

Although the Pocket Bully is the smallest, it’s still big enough to fill your heart with joy.

The AKC Doesn’t Recognize Pocket Bullies  

Since they’re designer dogs, Pocket Bullies aren’t members of the American Kennel Club. Only purebred dogs get that recognition. So if competitions are on your list, it’s better to opt for a French Bulldog, Cane Corso, or even American Bulldog. 

Still, in 2004, the American Bully Kennel Club recognized the smaller dogs. 

The Appearance of a Compact Cutie 

These charming dogs usually resemble American Bullies. But like any other designer breed, their appearance depends on the genes they inherit.

The American Pocket Bully has a mighty, muscular body and a stocky build. Its defined muscles will leave you wondering how often it goes to the gym.

Pocket Bullies have broad chests very similar to the American Bully. But you can tell them apart by the Pocket Bully’s short legs.

The breed is famous for its unique square jaw and a distinctive ear-to-ear smile. The smaller dogs also have wide heads, floppy ears, and almond-shaped eyes. But their huge heads are well in proportion with the rest of the body.

pocket bully running across water

Pocket-Sized Dogs, or Are They?

Despite the deceiving name, don’t expect a tiny dog you could carry around in your pocket. They might not be the tallest, but they’re certainly not small enough to fit there.

The Pocket Bully height ranges between 13 and 17 inches, making it a perfect fit for apartment living. Females are usually shorter by a few inches.

Although they’re the smallest ones in the American Bully family, these dogs are pretty hefty. Their weight ranges from 11 to 22 pounds. But, because of their bulky look, they may seem even heavier than they are.

Various Coat Colors

Pocket Bullies have a short, smooth coat that comes in various colors. The possibilities are endless, but they’re usually single solid-colored or patterned.

It’s almost impossible to list all the color combinations. But the most common colors are:

  • Red
  • Blue 
  • Black
  • Fawn 
  • Brown
  • White 

Although rare, a tri-color Pocket Bully is among the most appreciated and beautiful ones. Dogs with tri-color coats have one base and two tan colors. Black, white, and blue are frequent base colors.

The unique names of tri-color dogs, like “Lilac,” can be quite deceiving. Don’t assume it’s a purple dog; it’s actually a silver one.

Note that the ABKC doesn’t recognize all color combinations. For example, a Merle Pocket Bully doesn’t meet the standards, so it’s not accepted.


Although their appearance might be intimidating at first glance, these stocky dogs are true love bugs. Pocket Bullies are usually gentle, loving, and highly social. At the same time, they’re very protective and courageous. If they sense danger, these fierce dogs will do anything to defend their humans.

Pocket Bullies are brilliant and tolerant. But remember that early socialization is a must if you want a well-behaved dog.

These affectionate softies adore spending time with their owners. Whether playing in the park or spending a lazy afternoon on the couch, they’re always happy when their owners are around. But since they easily get attached to family members, some may suffer from separation anxiety.  

Overall, the Pocket Bully temperament is cuddly, sweet, and friendly.  

Are They Good Family Dogs?

Yes, Pocket Bullies are excellent family dogs. After all, they were initially bred as companion dogs.  

children adore them because of their mini size, and the feeling is mutual. These dogs are super patient and tolerant, making them a good choice if you have children.

Pocket Bullies are playful, gentle, and caring, and they proudly wear the “Nanny Dogs” nickname. Still, we don’t recommend leaving them alone with the smaller kids. They can quickly become overexcited, and that might scare the little ones.

The dogs’ kind yet protective nature makes them ideal for senior households

Are Pocket Bullies Dangerous?

No, Pocket Bullies are generally sweet-natured dogs that love being around people. They’re not aggressive at all. It’s just the opposite; they’re very calm and gentle.

This common misconception comes from the Pit Bull Terrier’s bad reputation. Pit Bulls were used for dogfighting, and they got famous for it. Fortunately, this so-called sport was banned, but they’re still marked as aggressive. 

All American Bullies, including Pocket Bullies, are social butterflies. They might be a bit more protective, but that doesn’t make them aggressive or dangerous.

Pocket Bully Health Issues

Similar to other designer breeds, Pocket Bullies are pretty healthy. But they can still inherit some issues from their parents.  

So, let’s check the list of the most common problems they might experience.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is pretty common in all Bully dogs, and Pocket Bullies are no exception. It occurs when the ball and socket of the hip joint don’t grow equally.

Although it doesn’t affect how long the dogs will live, it’s painful. A surgical procedure or physical therapy is necessary. If not treated properly, your dog might experience difficulty walking.

Eye Problems

A Micro Bully is prone to:

  • Cataracts — the result of protein build-up, causing cloudy eyes. The dogs often inherit this from their parents, but diabetes or an eye injury can also cause cataracts.
  • Glaucoma — a result of a fluid build-up. The pressure damages the retina, leading to blindness. 


Hypothyroidism is a disease that affects a dog’s thyroid gland. The gland cannot produce a sufficient amount of the thyroxine hormone, causing lethargy, hair loss, and weight gain.  

Unfortunately, this condition isn’t curable. But with proper medicines, your furry friend can still live a happy life.

Skin Problems 

A Mini American Bully inherits a higher risk of skin problems. Among the most common is skin fold dermatitis.

It’s a bacterial infection that usually occurs in dogs with wrinkles. The skin folds are moist, and that’s the ideal environment for bacteria accumulation. Unpleasant odor, itchiness, and redness are common symptoms, so if you notice them, contact your vet ASAP.

Breathing Difficulties  

Since these are brachycephalic dogs, they might have breathing difficulties. Due to their flattened faces, they aren’t meant for extreme exercise, especially in hot weather.

pocket bully lying in the forest

Nutrition — A High-Quality Food to Meet Its Needs 

A proper diet plays a significant role in every dog’s life. So if you want a healthy pet, ensure it has a well-balanced diet.

Generally, Pocket Bullies’ diet should consist of food rich in protein. For muscle and bone growth, they also need plenty of fats, so investing in high-quality kibble that’ll meet their nutritional needs is a good idea. 

Some owners prefer to feed their dogs a raw diet, which is an excellent choice for Pocket Bullies. Although a bit more expensive, it has many benefits for their overall health.

Homemade Dog Food Is Welcome

Homemade dog food is cheaper. So if you have spare time and want to cook some delicious meals for your Micro Bully, don’t hesitate.  

Based on your dog’s preference, choose a DIY dog food recipe and start cooking. Just ensure the meal has all the essential nutrients. 

Healthy Treats Are Inevitable

What dog doesn’t like snacks?

Healthy treats are great as positive reinforcement. So if you want your dog to be a fast learner, use them. But try not to go overboard with the snacks, as they should take up only 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake.

How Much Is Enough?

Pocket Bullies love food, but that’s not an excuse to overfeed them. They’re prone to obesity, so try to look away when they give you the famous puppy eyes.

The ideal portion for a Micro Bully puppy is 0.4 lbs of food per day divided into 3 or 4 meals. As for the adult dogs, 0.8 lbs of food divided into two meals will be enough to cover their daily needs. 

Grooming Is a Piece of Cake

Pocket Bullies are easy to groom. These low-maintenance dogs have short, sleek coats, and people often call them “velvet hippos.”

Still, regular brushing is necessary. Once a week will be enough to keep your dog’s coat nice and shiny.

If you want a clean doggo, weekly baths are a must. But if your Fido loves to play in the mud, you’ll have to bathe it even more frequently. Remember always to use dog-friendly shampoos and lukewarm water.

Pocket Bully Shedding — How Bad Is It?

Due to their short, single-layered coat, Pocket Bullies are light to medium shedders. So, you won’t have to deal with tons of hair, but they still shed.

The amount of shedding depends on the genes they inherit from their parents. For instance, if your dog gets dominant Patterdale Terrier genes, it’ll shed more.

More Care Tips

Trimming a dog’s nails might seem exhausting, but don’t give up. You only have to do it once a month to keep the nails short and neat.

Dental care is also essential. Brush your dog’s teeth twice a week to prevent diseases.   

The ears need care, too. But if you aren’t sure how to do it, check out these handy tips on cleaning a dog’s ears.

Pocket Bully Training & Exercise 

Pocket Bullies are brilliant, so they’re effortless to train. By starting their training as early as possible, you’ll achieve the best results.

Whether they’re learning useful commands or new tricks with daily 10–15 minutes training sessions, they’ll remember them fairly quickly. Pocket Bullies are always eager to please, so you won’t have any problems.

Remember to train them with positive reinforcement. You can try that with treats like peas that are healthy and delicious for your dog.

Reward-based training will do wonders. Just be patient.                

Engage Those Muscles

Besides a well-balanced diet, these dogs need some physical activity. They’re energetic and agile, so a Pocket Bully exercise should last 30–60 minutes per day.

Movement is essential to keep those muscles working and prevent weight gain. Plus, they’ll burn down excess energy, putting off destructive behavior.

A game of fetch or a walk to a nearby park will keep your dog occupied. They also love to play, so it’s good to have some good and engaging dog toys by your side to add more fun.

How Long Do They Live?

An animal’s health condition has a huge impact on its lifespan. And since Pocket Bullies are pretty healthy, they live relatively long.

A Pocket Bully’s lifespan is between 11 and 13 years. But with a healthy lifestyle, this mixed breed can live even longer. Prevention is always better. Remember to take your dog to regular vet check-ups.

Finding Pocket Bullies 

Pocket Bullies aren’t easy to find. Although they’re high in demand, breeders often don’t work with them. In contrast to their parent, the American Bully, you won’t find them on every corner. There are two ways to get one of these dogs:

  1. Breeders

Nowadays, finding a reputable breeder is a difficult task. There are many dog scams online, and some may even use Photoshop. So before buying, do thorough research to ensure you’re getting real Pocket Bully puppies.

  1. Shelter

Adoption is cheaper, but it can take a while to find a dog. Shelters aren’t usually full of designer breeds but don’t lose hope. You never know; luck may be on your side.

How Much Do They Cost?

Pocket Bullies are very charming dogs, but they’re hard to find. Their muscular yet compact body and sweet nature make them quite popular.

Since it’s a fairly new and rare designer breed, Pocket Bullies cost more than their parents. The cost also depends on the bloodline and colors. Generally, the Pocket Bullies’ price ranges between $1,000 and $8,000.

The most expensive is a dog named Venom that went for $500,000!   

Final Thoughts 

The Pocket Bully is a designer dog that resembles an American Bully to the core. Except for the height difference, they’re pretty much the same, so people often think they’re one breed.

Although Pocket Bullies may be small, they have big hearts. They’re gentle, loving, and adore cuddling with their humans. Being protective and highly tolerant makes them excellent family dogs.

A Pocket Bully is generally healthy. But some still inherit health issues like eye problems.

The designer breed is quite expensive. So, if you want to get a pup from a reputable breeder, be prepared to spend a whopping amount of money.

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