A new breed of dog came to town November 21–the American bully, a hybrid cross primarily between the American pit bull terrier and the American Staffordshire terrier. The American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) convened at the Santa Clara Convention Center for its 2015 nationals competition.
ABKC founder and president David Wilson established the American bully breed in 1990, breeding dogs to have the positive characteristics of both the pit bull terrier and the Staffordshire terrier and to eliminate canine traits of aggression and gameness. He wanted to make it “the ultimate companion breed.”
“It takes a lot of years of breeding to breed in and out certain traits,” says Wilson. “I wanted to make an appealing version of the American pit bull without any of the negative traits and stigma. The American bully is a muscular dog but friendly. It looks like a muscular body builder. It looks macho but it’s sweet.”
According to the ABKC, “The American bully should give the impression of great strength for its size. It is a compact and medium/large size dog with a muscular body and blocky head. The American Bully should have the appearance of heavy bone structure with a bulky build and look.”
“This is the Super Bowl for these dogs,” says breeder Emiliano Banda from Fresno. “People from all over the world are here.”
Indeed, Wilson spotted owners and breeders he knew in the crowd from Italy, England and Spain and throughout the U.S., from Hawaii to Iowa and Indiana.
Richard and Annmerida Mujagic are breeders from Sacramento (visit Magic Kennel on Facebook). Their four-year-old son, Richard, took first place as a Junior Handler for showing Dakota, a three-year-old, approximately 50-pound pocket-size bully. Dakota took first place in the three and up, pocket female class and overall best female at the 2015 ABKC Nationals.
“The Bullies are a bunch of babies, and they all think they’re a lap dog. They like to get up in your lap and cuddle,” says Annmerida. Two of the Mujagic’s bullies are used as service dogs, one for a blind person and the other for a veteran with PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury).
American bully prices range from $2,500 to $5,000, depending on body structure and bloodline. Breeders in the U.S. ship them to buyers in other countries as well as all states.
Jamie Ross said that her one-year-old classic female bully Ramos Tough Cookie was the youngest Best in Show winner in the world.
“This is amazing. This is my own personal dog. She was a Christmas present from my mom,” says Ross, from Richmond, CA. “She’s a great show dog, but she’s also my best friend.”
Show vendors offered everything from handmade spiked and studded dog collars (visit Bully Farm and Pet Supply on Facebook) to bully calendars. Local South Bay vendor and former Santa Claran Becky Rivera (bullyfans.com) donates a portion of her sales to a nonprofit no-kill, bully rescue and to education programs.
“I want to help promote a positive image of the bully,” she says.
Wilson established the ABKC in 2004 to sanction and validate the new breed of companion dogs and bring together their owners. The ABKC (www.theabkcdogs.org) is a multi-breed international registry specializing in bully breeds.