American Bully dogs are one of the friendliest and most loving breeds you can bring into your home. But they are strong and muscular, so what if you could have one in a miniature size?
The Pocket Bully, also known as the Miniature or Pocket Pitbull, is just that.
It looks exactly like the American Bully except that it is smaller by four to eight inches.
You get all the qualities people love from their American siblings, but in a more compact size. This dog has the same body type, friendly face and loyal personality.
Want to know more about this pocket-sized breed? Keep reading to learn seven facts about this breed and what makes them great for families.
Table of Contents
1. What Is A Pocket Bully?
Pocket Bullies are the miniature version of the American Bully.
However, unlike some miniature breeds like the Labrador, they are not true purebreds. They are actually a cross between the American Bully and the Patterdale Terrier.
Since it is a mixed breed it is not recognized by any major Kennel Club. But they are members of the American Bully Kennel Club.
Breeders began to cross the American Pitbull Terrier with the American Bulldog in the 1980s to produce the American Bully. Shortly after, the American Bully was bred with the Patterdale to produce this perfect ‘pocket’ Pitbull.
American Pocket Bullies are the newest of the Pitbull breeds.
These stocky dogs were bred to get all of the love, playfulness, and ‘nanny’ qualities from their American siblings into a dog that fits better in smaller homes.
Do not let the ‘pocket’ in their name fool you into thinking that these dogs are tiny.
Miniature Pitbulls might be four to eight inches smaller than the American Bully, but they are not small dogs. They are actually medium in size, growing to be as much as 16 inches tall.
Their small size comes from their Patterdale parent. Most of the time that’s all the Pocket Bully will get from the Patterdale.
In most cases it will look exactly like an American Bully, but shorter. They are not any less exciting or energetic. They also have the same muscular body and broad head. Many even act just like a Pitbull too.
This means that even though it is small, it will still be a very energetic dog.
There is a reason why it is known as the Miniature Pitbull!
2. Appearance & Pictures
Most of the time a Pocket Bully will look like a miniature American Bully.
However, as it is a crossbreed, it can take on a variety of appearances depending on the genes it inherits from its parents. Some can look more like their Patterdale parent, but most look more like the Bully.
A normal Pocket Pitbull will have a large head with a broad, short muzzle and a slightly flattened face. Their ears should be set high and naturally flopped, they should not be cropped.
Its body is stocky and muscular just like the American Bully and it has a broad and deep chest. However, it has slightly shorter legs by around four few inches.
The coat is shiny, smooth and close cut to the body.
Their coat can be many different colors since their parents have a very wide range of possibilities which they inherit.
If they inherit more of the Patterdale’s genes, then their coat will be rough with a dense undercoat. Dogs with a smooth coat will have coarse and stiff hair. Those with a rough coat have slightly longer hair that is wiry.
Pocket Bully Size and Weight
Pocket Bully dogs can grow to be anywhere between 12-16 inches in height and 11-22 pounds in weight. They are medium sized dogs so they are larger than other ‘pocket’ breeds like the Teacup Poodle which measures no more than 10 inches!
Females tend to be about an inch shorter and there can also be a difference in weight.
While females weigh between 10 and 20 pounds, a male can grow up to be as much as 22 pounds.
They are not meant to fit into your bag, but they are convenient for people who cannot have the large American Bully. If you live in an apartment or have small children, you might find that it’s more convenient to have this mini bully dog.
Standard American Bullies are much taller and measure 16-20 inches, which is four to eight inches more.
The American Bully can actually come in four different sizes, pocket being just one of them. The Pocket is the smallest out of all of four, but what really makes it different are its shorter legs.
All four sizes are recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club.
The following chart shows how the Pocket Pitbull compares to all these other types of Bullies.
|Bully||Female Height (inches)||Male Height (inches)|
Pocket Bully dogs can come in practically any color or combination, just like their American Bully parent. There is such a large variety of color possibilities that each one of these puppies is unique.
No Bully puppy will be exactly alike.
The Pocket Pitbull normally has one solid coat color with white markings which are usually found over their face, chest and paws.
Which patterns or markings they inherit will be unique to each puppy.
Pocket pit bulls are described as having many colors which can include:
- Variety of brindles
- Red and Fawn Sable
- Seal Brown
Other colors like merle can also be inherited by the Pocket Bully but they are not accepted as standard.
Want to know what some of these pups look like? See the table below for some of the colors you can find on the coat of a Pocket Bully.
|Black||A shiny black is the main coat color on almost the entirety of the body. White markings are commonly present on the face, chest and paws.|
|Chocolate||A rich chocolate coat covers almost the entirety of the body. Like the black coat, white markings can be seen on the face, chest and paws.|
|Blue||Puppies with a blue coat are not blue, but rather have a grayish hue that appears bluish. It is similar to the blue german shepherd’s coat.|
|White||These dogs are mostly white, but very often you will find them with markings or spots of other colors like black.|
|Brindle (including black brindle, red brindle, and blue brindle)||The standard brindle pattern is usually a light brown, with stripes of a darker color. The brindle pattern is often associated with that of a tiger.|
|Tri-color||Pitbulls with the tri-color pattern have three colors on their coat. Normally the base color is blue or black with tan and white. The most common base color is black. Tan colors are found over the eyes, and on the snout, chest and legs. A bit of white is usually seen on the chest.|
|Merle||Dogs with merle are incredibly rare as it is a mutation. Puppies with this patterns have a base coat of diluted colors that can be blue or red with spots of a darker color overlaying it. They also have blue eyes.|
|Ease of Training||★★★★★(4)|
The Pocket Bully might be small, but they do not have a small personality. Just like the larger American Bully, they are incredibly loyal and caring dogs.
For decades this breed had a reputation for being aggressive because of their history. Pitbull dogs did not start on the right side of history as they were used for blood sports and dog fighting in the 1800s.
When this sport was banned Pitbulls made their way to America and people started discovering how charming, loving and hard-working these dogs really are.
Pitbulls have always been ‘nanny’ dogs who are incredibly gentle and protective of children.
The Pocket Bully will also inherit this quality which is what makes it an exceptional family dog. Their ‘nanny’ instincts makes them gentle and playful. This breed loves being around their family and does anything to please them.
Whether they get along with other pets and strangers will depend on their training from puppyhood.
They are very suspicious of anyone they do not know, a trait they get from their Patterdale side, and will bark when something does not seem right to them.
Some also inherit the high prey drive of the Patterdale hunting dog. If they do, you can expect them to be chasing everything that moves.
All Pocket Pitbulls are highly energetic and agile, regardless of their prey drive.
A Pocket Bully needs about an hour of exercise every day. It is important that you get it moving, especially if you do not have a yard, so that it can free all of its energy. There will never be a boring moment with your Pocket Pitbull, they always try to have fun!
These dogs not only need to have their body exercised, but also their brains.
They need a lot of mental stimulation to keep those brains happy.
A great way to keep their minds happy is through training. This will give you time to bond with them and teach them to be well-behaved and obedient puppies.
By keeping their minds engaged with training, you will prevent them from getting bored and developing destructive behaviors which no dog owner wants.
Most just want to please you so training will not be hard. But some can inherit the independent nature of their Patterdale parent and be very stubborn. Lots of patience will be needed for these puppies.
4. Are Pocket Bully Dogs Aggressive?
For years people have claimed that Pitbulls are aggressive.
This belief comes from their bull baiting history. It is true that Pitbulls were raised to be dog fighters, but in reality they are in nature one of the sweetest and most loving breeds.
Today you will most likely find American Bullys in homes cuddling up next to their favorite person rather than getting into trouble.
The same is true of the Pocket Bully. Looking for trouble is just not their thing.
These dogs were raised to be loyal and protective companions, which is how they got their reputation for being ‘nanny’ dogs.
They will more likely keep your children away from danger. This is why they are such great family dogs. They will take care of you and your family no matter what because they have big hearts.
Inside those tiny bodies there is a lot of affection and they will not shy away from showing you how much they love you.
5. Common Health Issues
Mixed breeds like the Pocket Bully tend to be healthy dogs and can live for between 11 and 13 years.
There are some genetic diseases that they can inherit from their parents that potential owners should be aware of.
Some of their most common health problems are: hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, skin fold dermatitis and eye problems such as glaucoma.
Hip dysplasia is one of the most frequent health issues that can be inherited by a Pocket Bully. Hip dysplasia causes abnormal growth of the hip joint, which can cause it pain and as a consequence you might see a Pitbull with lameness. It will also predispose them to arthritis later in life.
Pitbulls are also prone to many skin problems, one of the most common being skin fold dermatitis. This is an infection of the skin because of an accumulation of bacteria within the folds.
The Pocket Pitbull can inherit folds on their skin which if not properly cleaned could lead to skin fold dermatitis.
American Bully dogs are also a brachycephalic breed, so the Pocket might also have troubles breathing, especially during exercise.
The severity of their breathing difficulties will depend on how flattened their face is. You should take care not to over-exercise or let them play out in the heat for too long.
This breed is also prone to developing a variety of eye problems. One of these is glaucoma which is a condition caused by the build-up of pressure in the eye because of improper fluid drainage in the eye.
6. How Much Is A Pocket Bully?
If you are hoping for the American Bully Pocket to cost less than the larger American Bully, unfortunately you are out of luck. They actually cost much more!
The Pocket Bully can cost anywhere between $1,500 and $2,000.
You will likely end up paying from about double to triple the cost of an American Bully which only costs between $500 and $700.
Why such a big difference?
They are very popular because they have everything that people love about the American in a smaller body. Because of this they are in higher demand than their purebred siblings.
It is also not as easy to find one as it is to find an American Bully. There are many American Bully breeders, but these breeders do not necessarily breed miniatures.
The Pocket Pitbull is also not accepted as standard and many reputable breeders tend to only breed Pitbulls to the standard.
These dogs only come from specialized breeders that cross the Patterdale with the American Bully.
It takes specialized breeding to get this puppy so finding a reputable breeder that sells one will take more time. Therefore, this designer dog is rarer than its parent, will cost more and is not easy to find.
If you are determined to get a Pocket Bully, it might take a while to find one. Know that you will have to search for breeders that specialize in breeding the Pocket American Bully.
Puppy mills might offer you a puppy but their aim is to mass produce and sell puppies. They are not focused on the breed or health of the puppy.
A reputable breeder will always health test the parents and provide a pedigree.
Do not fall prey to puppy mill breeders who might offer you a puppy at a lower price. Their offer might be tempting but you should pay for the quality of a puppy from a reputable breeder.
7. American vs Pocket Bully Differences
The Pocket Bully is a relatively new type of Pitbull breed,just like the Exotic Bully.
They were first bred just two decades ago when the American Bully was crossed with a Patterdale Terrier. Their sole purpose is to be companion animals for families.
The American Bully is also a new Pitbull breed. It was bred when the American Bulldog and the American Pitbull Terriers were crossed. This breed only became recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club in 2004.
Pocket Bullies are the miniature version of the American Bully.
They measure between 12 and 16 inches tall and weigh 11 to 22 pounds. They are just smaller by a couple of inches, but are not designed to be so small that they can fit in your bag.
American Bullys are very burly compared to the Pocket breed and can weigh between 30 and 60 pounds. Some will weigh twice as much!
|Size||Pocket Bully||American Bully|
There is no difference in color between the Pocket and the American Bully.
The Pocket Bully can inherit its color genes from its Patterdale parent, but these colors overlap with those of the American Bully. These colors can include black, chocolate, all types of brindle, tan, fawn, white, red, tricolor, and merle.
While they inherit the same coat colors it can inherit a different coat.
Generally they are bred to look like their American Bully parent, but in a smaller version. This means that most commonly you will see a Pocket Pitbull with a short and shiny coat that sheds very minimally.
Sometimes they can inherit the coat genes from its Patterdale parent.
The Patterdale is a double-coated dog and has three types of coat: smooth, broken and rough. They could potentially inherit any of these and look slightly different than the American Bully.
A mix that inherits the coat genes from the Patterdale will always have a dense double coat that moderately sheds. They will look fluffier, almost like a Fluffy Frenchie!
Grooming shouldn’t be a problem with either style of coat.
The Pocket Bully is probably easier to groom just because it is smaller so it is easier to handle. You won’t have to deal with a 50 pound dog!
Weekly brushing is plenty for keeping this coat healthy and looking its best.
These dogs also do not need a lot of bathing. You should only really be bathing them when they get really dirty. If you wash them too much you could dry out their skin which can lead to developing skin problems.
They will differ slightly from the American in personality because it does have Patterdale genes.
Patterdales are high energy hunting dogs and are very territorial.
They therefore might be more hyperactive and will have an increased prey drive. If you have other pets in the house, they might even chase after them. It can also be more jealous and act more protective around their owners.
In general they are a bit more suspicious than American Bullys.
People love American Bullys for their loving, playful, protective and gentle nature. But not everyone wants or can have such a large and powerful breed in their home.
This is why the Pocket Bully is perfect for them.
American Bully Pockets are just like their American siblings. What makes them different is that they have shorter legs and are a bit less bulky. If you ever saw one, you would be fooled into thinking that it is a purebred dog.
They are actually a cross between the American Bully and the Patterdale Terrier.
If you do decide to adopt this breed know that you will be paying much more for it than an American Bully. These puppies tend to cost $1,500 to $2,000 because they are in such high demand.
Do you want your own mini version of an American Bully? The Pocket Pitbull comes with the whole package. They have lots of love, energy, and protective instincts to bring to the family.
I find it super difficult to find a dog without cropped ears.
We just got a 6 week old tricolor pocket bully that hasn’t had her ears clipped. It was actually one of the main reasons we choose her! She’s adorable as is and definitely wouldn’t want her beauty to be changed.
We have a boy a Merle with blue eyes and he has lovely floppy ears. Do you know if you have to register these dogs or have insurance?
Good for you! Dogs don’t need ear clipping
I’ve had many American Bully, but never a pocket one. I recently learned about this breed and that an old friend of mine and his family breed them. They are extremely attentive, they keep their areas and dogs very clean and I don’t ever see one with cropped ears or tails. I have never owned an American bully or any dog with clipped ears, I’d say it’s a bad sign and you should avoid this.
Some pocket bully dogs weigh a lot more than than 20 pounds. They can weigh at least 40 pounds!
Yes! My pocket bully is a year old and she is already 32 pounds!!
For sure mine is only 13wks and weighs 22lbs!
Our pocket bully is 6 months old and already tips the scales at 16KG and hasn’t an ounce of fat on her!
I have a 12 month old pocket bully, she is tri-color. Only problem I have she is scared to go outside or have her harness on? Any ideas please?
Mine too, she is 18wks and it has been a slow process. Patience and persistence has got me to completing a small walk.
My pocket bully is 6 months old, but his ears haven’t flopped & stuck up like a Frenchie. Is this normal or is it to do with his food?
I have one that is 4 months and his ears stick straight up 24 hours a day. Everyone thinks he is a large eared frenchy!
I’m in UK and have a pocket bully Frenchie and she is just amazing. 6 months old and 16kg (35 pounds) and still space to grow. She has a longer nose than a Frenchie and the Bully tail, but has the loving and playful nature of both breeds. We are so blessed to have her and she adores our 8 year old Doberman.
I have a brown merle pocket bullie, 23 months.