American bully puppy

How To Buy A Show Quality American Bully Puppy

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The American bully is one of the best family dogs to adopt. It is a smart, friendly, and very affectionate dog. Also, American bullies make great show dogs because of their amazing physique and temperament. But not every American bully puppy cuts when looking for a show-quality dog. 

So what should you consider when looking for a show-quality American bully puppy?

In dog show competitions like the ABKC champions, the dog with the best physique takes the prize home. There is a standard physique that a show quality American bully puppy should have, and the ABKC website gives us a comprehensive description.

Characteristics of a show quality American bully puppy

American bully puppy
American bully puppy

The Head

The head of an American bully dog should be large, broad, and heavy. The bully’s head is of medium length with well-defined cheek muscles and a deep stop. The ears are erect and some pitbull breeders will crop the ears to give the dog its distinctive bully look. Ear cropping is banned in states like Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, and Pennsylvania. Find out if cropping is allowed in your State before attempting it. Cropping or natural ears are both accepted at dog show competitions. 

The muzzle should be short and medium in length. In addition, American bully puppy muzzles are blocky and square-shaped; the muzzle’s topline is straight to the nose. The nose should never be turned or pointed.  

The jaws should be defined with the under-jaw being strong and parallel to the dog’s muzzle. An upward-facing lower jaw is considered a flaw in dog shows. The lips should appear even and slightly closed. Loose lips are not a flaw per se but they can reduce the dog’s chances of winning if competing with other dogs.

Another main focus when considering a show quality American bully puppy is the bite. A bully puppy should not have an overbite or an underbite. 

The Neck

American bully puppies have a heavy, slightly arched, muscular neck. The neck tapers from the shoulder to the head. Also, the neck should look medium-sized and compact. If the dog has a thin or weak neck, it is considered a flaw. An American bully xl puppy with a neck that is too short or too long cannot compete as well. 


A show quality American bully puppy should have strong muscular shoulders that are set wide. The upper arm should be the same length as the shoulder blade. The forelegs should be straight and sturdy. Moreover, the forearm bones should be large, round, and with strong pasterns. The feet should be straight and facing forward as well. 

Another thing to look for is the distance from the withers (which is the ridge between the shoulder blades) to the elbow. This distance should be proportional to the distance from the elbow to the paws. Some American bully puppies are born with a shorter forearm to hindquarters which is not a flaw per se but can ruin their chances of winning in competitions.

On the other hand, there are defects in the forequarters that can disqualify an American bully puppy as show quality. One of them is east-west facing feet (easties and westies) which is unacceptable in dog shows like the ABKC. other faults to consider include;

  • Extremely short upper arms
  • Inward facing feet
  • Bowed front legs
  • Flat feet
  • Abnormally long toes
  • Splayed feet


A show quality American bully puppy should have a medium-length body that is bulky, compact, and with well-defined muscles. This physique gives the impression of power and sets the dog apart from the standard pit bull terrier. 

The ribs are close together giving the chest a barrel look. In addition, the rib cage extends to the elbow or is slightly lower. The forelegs should be set wide apart to allow room for the chest to bulk up. A show quality American bully puppy should have a broad and deep chest but not too exaggerated as this can tamper with normal growth and development. 


When American bully enthusiasts consider a show quality American bully puppy, they put a lot of emphasis on the back or topline. The standard American bully back is medium-sized and straight, a slight slope from the shoulder blade is acceptable so is a sloping rump towards the tail’s base. 

A disqualifying topline is one where the rear is higher than the withers. Also, a swayed or weak topline is not considered ABKC quality, so is a wheeled back. In addition, a back that is too long is a breeding defect and will bar an American bully puppy from competing. 


An American bully puppy should have a short, glossy coat with stiff hairs that feel smooth. Coat hair should be ½ an inch long and no longer than that. American bully dogs should not have wavy or curly hair as this is a fault. 


Consider the hindquarters too when looking for a show quality American bully puppy. The hind legs should be muscular and let down at the hocks. The toes should be tight together and not turn inwards or outwards. 


American bully dogs have a medium-sized that tapers to a fine tip and extends to the hock. A relaxed American bully tail should sit low at all times. The tail only raises level with the topline when the dog is moving and raised higher when the dog is excited, otherwise called a challenge tail. An American bully’s tail should never curl over the topline. It should not have any knots, curvature, or kinks either. 


American bully puppies have a variety of colors. Common colors include fawn, red, blue, brindle, solid, and tri-color. Pitbull fans also talk about red-nose and blue nose American bully dogs. They normally describe the dog’s nose color while the coat can adorn a different shade. 

American bully puppies with a Merle or blotched coat cannot compete at dog shows. They may not be show quality, but their different colored coats do not harm their quality of life. They still make excellent pups.

Manmade Kennels breeds show quality American bully puppies

At Manmade Kennels, we pride ourselves in producing show quality American bully puppies for sale. We have been in the pitbull breeding business for 16 years now and have produced some of the best quality American bully XL puppies that compete at dog shows. 

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