Pocket Bully (“Mini Bulldog”) buyer & care guide

The pocket Bully is the smallest variety of the American Bully often referred to as the Mini Bully, Mini Bulldog, or Nano Bully. This is not a toy or pocket-sized dog. He is medium-sized standing at 13 to 17 inches and weighs as much as 85 pounds.

The pocket Bully is also not a mix between an American Bully Patterdale Terrier mix, despite the common belief. He is a standardized recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC), and the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) among others.

Breeding began in the 1990s to create a compact, versatile, muscular but mellow companion. He is a member of the wider Pit Bull family of dogs.

With the confusion and misinformation surrounding this dog, let’s demystify what you can expect from this dog as a prospective owner. Scroll on.

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Pocket Bully Overview

Height13-17 inches
Weight50-85 lbs
Lifespan8-12 years
ColorsWhite, Black, Red, Brindle, Fawn, Tricolor, Lilac
TemperamentFriendly, loving, Goofy, Playful, Loyal, and sometimes stubborn

The American Bully was created as an offshoot of the American Pitbull Terrier in the 1990s. This was done by infusing several breeds that include the American Pitty, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and other Bulldogs breeds such as the American, English, and Olde Bulldog among others.

He was primarily bred to have a family-friendly disposition, to pack more muscle mass, and with gameness bred out. From its inception till now, this dog has increasingly become popular.

There are 4 versions/classes of the American Bully based on size that include;

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

In this guide, we will focus on the smallest version- The Pocket Bully.

Before we continue, it’s vital to clarify that this is not a mix between a Patterdale Terrier and an American Bully but simply a variety of the American Bully. There is also no such thing as a Mini Pitbull or Mini Bulldog, at least where the official classifications are concerned.

The Pocket Bully is recognized by several registries with the most notable ones being UKC which recognized this dog in 2013, and ABKC which is a registry created in 2004 focussing on the American Bully.

Despite the smaller size, this dog has a heavier bone structure compared to the American Pitty or Staffordshire for the Bully appearance. Consequently, the gameness and high prey drive was intentionally bred out to make this a calm, stable, confident but non-aggressive dog to create a true companion.

Height and weight

This dog does not live up to his name as he is neither teeny nor toy-sized and is surely not going to fit into your purse.

The Pocket or Mini Bully is a medium-sized dog that weighs between 50 and 85 pounds. Males are slightly taller standing at 14 to 17 inches compared to the females 13 to 16 inches at the withers.


Pocket Bullies reflect the appearance of an American Pitbull Terrier blended with Bulldogs. In essence, it looks like a Pitty on roids.

They have heavier bone structures, muscular bodies, shorter legs, curly tails, slightly round medium-sized eyes, broad shoulders, and boxy heads which gives them that Bully look. Their bodies and heads are proportional and should be free of exaggeration that may affect their functionality.

These pooches defining features are their well-toned muscles that aid in strength and agility making it easier for them to complete tasks.

Coat appearance and shedding

Bullies have smooth, glossy but stiff-to-touch coats that should not be long nor wavy. Unfortunately, they shed moderately all year round and will require regular brushing to keep shedding at bay.

They can come in various color or color combination that includes;

Red FawnBlackChocolateBlue

Merle is not an accepted color due to the health complications associated with the gene responsible for the coloration such as blindness and deafness.

Temperament & Personality traits

The Miniature Bully is a perfect combination of strength and softness.

Despite having a powerful and intimidating appearance, the Pocket American Bully is known for being full of life, having a friendly and gentle demeanor, and exuding a lot of confidence.

He is not naturally aggressive but can be described as overall well-rounded stable, happy, outgoing, loving, goofy, and eager to please but can be stubborn.

This ball of fluff can be quite humorous, and courageous and is very protective of his owner making him a perfect guard dog. Extreme shyness or aggression is very uncharacteristic of this dog and highly undesired.

However, he is not suitable for new or passive dog owners. Only get this dog if you understand dog instincts and pack order.

Nonetheless, he should be trained and socialized from an early age to help him better discern different situations and to prevent the development of aggressive tendencies.

And being descendants of terriers, these dogs have a fairly high prey drive and fast-moving objects can trigger their predatory tendencies. You can manage this high prey drive using the tips provided in this guide.

It’s important to note that breed alone does not shape a dog’s character as behavior can be influenced by a host of factors such as training, socialization, how he is raised, and what he is exposed to on a daily basis.

As family dogs;

Because he was bred as a mellow companion, the pocket Bully is a well-rounded family-friendly dog. He forms strong bonds with his owner and is playful and tolerant of children. They are active outdoors and double as couch potatoes indoors.

However, any interactions between this dog and children should be supervised.


Do Pocket Bullies have locking jaws?

Pocket Bullies and Pit Bulls in general do not have locking jaws. The American Pocket Bully does not have any special mechanism for locking his jaws. In fact, no healthy dog breed has locking jaws.

However, they do have strong jaws and pack a strong bite.

Can Pocket Bullies run?

This a moderately active dog that requires low-intensity exercises of around 45 minutes a day. However, running is not a Pocket Bully’s cup of tea as it can be too strenuous. Alternatively, it is possible to go on short distance walks and jogs without much of a problem.

Is the Pocket Bully Aggressive?

Pocket Bullies are not naturally aggressive despite their imposing and intimidating presence. Aggression in this dog is rare and should not be an issue if he is well-socialized from an early age.

Any dog can be dangerous or aggressive when exposed to scary situations or when not socialized regardless of the breed.

Can Mini Bullies swim?

Pocket Bullies have fairly heavy heads and necks which makes them bad swimmers. However, they can enjoy water activities with some creativity and effort. This will require you to invest in a doggie life jacket before taking him on a swim.

Buying a Mini Bully

Before making any purchase decisions, you will need to do your research to determine if this is the dog for you. Dogs are a huge commitment and buying or adoption decisions should not be taken lightly.

Ensure you can fit this dog into your schedule and can match his energy levels.


On average, a Pocket Bully will cost you between $2000 and $10000 to upwards of $20000 for top-of-the-line and show pups. The cost will vary depending on the location, the breeder, puppy availability, and other variables.

A higher price is not a guarantee of quality but you should be wary of cheaper than usual pups. Don’t buy your pup online as this is a hotbed for unethically sourced pups.

Find a reputable and responsible breeder. An honest breeder will always put the pup’s welfare over money, will allow you to meet the pup’s parents, and will give health guarantees signed in the contract. Meeting the pup’s parent will help gauge what to expect and is also a good chance to check the breeding conditions.

The breeder should provide you with sufficient documentation of qualification and should be well versed with the breed.

Keep in mind that there is no shortage of unscrupulous individuals just after “The Mighty Dollar$“.

A great place to start the search for a pup is word of mouth or the American Bully events organized by registries such as UKC, ABKC, BRC, or online pedigree databases.

If you are lucky enough, adoption is another safe bet.

Pocket Bully puppies
Pocket Bully puppies

Bringing a Pocket Bully Home

You will need to adequately prepare before bringing your pup home for a smoother adjustment by doing the following;

  • Get the right supplies
  • Puppy-proof your home
  • Crate setup
  • Introduce the pup to the family
  • Establish routine and house rules
  • Potty training


These are some of the supplies that will be required to make your American Bully feel at home;

  • A leash
  • Name tag
  • Grooming supplies such as shampoo
  • Puppy pads for potty training
  • Chew toys
  • Age-appropriate treats
  • A crate that fits
  • Food and water bowls
  • Beddings


Puppy proofing will involve getting rid of items that are potentially harmful to the dog and putting your prized possessions out of his reach.

This will include;

  • Poisonous houseplants and garden plants
  • Shoes that the pup could chew on
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Small items that could choke the dog
  • Electrical Cords
  • Hanging objects and drapes within the pup’s reach

If you own a garden/yard where the pup can roam and sniff around, ensure it is escape-proof. However, the pup should not be allowed outdoors without proper supervision.

Crate setup

During the first days, you will need to limit the pup’s exploration area to prevent sensory overload that can overwhelm him. This is best achieved using pet barriers and a crate which will be his safe space, feeding, and sleeping area.

His kennel should be cozy and should have chew toys to redirect his energy when he gets bored. You can place the crate in your bedroom or a room close to yours but don’t let him sleep on your bed. Let him get used to the crate but monitor him if he needs to go potty or is in distress.

The adjustment will take time, so have patience and be consistent with crate training.

Introducing the pup to the family

Once everyone is on board, you will need to introduce your doggo to each member of the family one at a time. This will include an existing dog that may be part of the family.

When introducing your pocket bully to another dog, do it in a neutral environment- outdoors. Pay attention to their body language and interrupt them calmly if they exhibit signs of aggression such as growling, prolonged stares, and so on.

What’s more, you should provide them with separate cages and allow them to sniff and get used to each other from a safe and secure distance.

Routine and rules

You will need to put the dog on a well-structured and consistent routine that will specify;

  • The sleeping hours
  • When to potty,
  • Exercise times
  • The feeding schedule

You will also need to educate the rest of the family on how to safely handle the dog. They should learn that the dog is not to be scared or disturbed as he sleeps or eats.

Potty training

Potty training should begin once your pup gets home. Choose an appropriate potty spot outdoors where he can complete his business and reward him once he does it correctly. Figure out what motivates and use it to reinforce desired behaviors.

Don’t punish accidents but manage them. This will involve thorough cleaning to get rid of the odor.

To reduce the number of accidents the pup should be taken out;

  • After Meals
  • After an exercise or training session
  • After a nap
  • Before he goes to sleep
  • After he has had a drink

Additionally, watch out for signs he might need to potty such as sniffing and circling.

Pocket Bully Care

Proper care will be required to raise a healthy Mini Bully and will involve proper hygiene, nutrition, and exercise.

1. Grooming

These dogs have short coats that are fairly low maintenance and don’t need a lot of brushing or bathing to stay in top-notch condition. Brush the coat twice a week with a hand mitt or slicker brush with soft bristles.

Only bathe the dog once a month or when it is necessary. Bathing the dogs too often strips the coat of essential oils and dries out the skin.

Apart from the coat, you will also need to take care of the dog’s ears, clean off any tear stains, brush his teeth at least twice a week and keep the nails short using nail clippers or a grinder.

2. Diet and Nutrition

This dog’s diet should meet his energy and nutritional needs.

To meet his energy needs, you will need to know the number of calories to feed him depending on his weight, the weather, age, activity level, and so on. Every dog will be unique but as a general rule of thumb, every dog requires about 30 calories per pound of his weight. Your vet should be able to recommend the right diet and calorie estimates.

Older dogs will have lower energy needs than younger puppies and it is easier for them to put on extra weight. Puppies will be different from older dogs and should be fed on smaller portions of food.

Calories600 to 1300
Cups of Kibble2 to 3

The diet should be nutritional and should be high in protein and fat content. Proteins should make up around 30% of the diet and 20% fat with healthy carbs. Trace amounts of vitamins, minerals salts, and supplements should be added to the diet.

3. Exercise requirements

Pocket Bullies require around 45 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises. This could be a walk to the park or indoor games to physically and mentally stimulate him.

Exercise will not only burn energy but is also a great bonding experience. Walking your dog will also help in socialization and focus which will come in handy during training.

After exercise, give your dog enough time to rest and recover.

Watch out not to strain or over-exercise him because he is prone to overheating which can cause breathing problems and heat strokes.

Signs of overheating include;

  • Excessive panting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of co-ordination
  • Sluggishness

If your Mini Bully is struggling with the heat, stop all exercise and provide him with cold water to drink. Don’t submerge him in cold water as he will lose heat too quickly and cause other complications.

Number of walks2(20 minutes each)
Exercise needs~45 minutes

Health concerns

This is a fairly healthy breed but is susceptible to complications such as;

  • Obesity
  • Skin problems
  • Congenital heart complications
  • Hip dysplasia

And with all these health concerns and risks, the Pocket Bully has a lifespan of 8 to 12 years.

To Conclude

The Pocket Bully is a loyal, fun-loving, confident, and low-maintenance dog. However, he is not a dog for a passive owner.

Before bringing this dog home, you should know that it is a huge commitment and there are expenses involved in raising any dog.

Have you had any previous experiences with a Miniature Bully? Share your thoughts and feedback in the comment section below.

There you go, WOOF!