Friday, June 12, 2009

Fad Alert!

The 'bully movement' is yet another exploitative subset propagated by unscrupulous individuals in the Pit Bull world: unethical backyard breeders, abusive 'gamedog' breeders, puppy millers under the guise of 'show dog producers', and now the 'bully style' or 'American Bully' breeder. Each of these groups are uniquely problematic from the standpoint of Pit Bull rescue and advocacy, but share commonality in that the dogs suffer in the name of selfish human endeavor.

The American Bully fad is the result of breeders wanting bigger, beefier Pit Bulls that are meaner looking and carry a higher price tag. The American Bully breeders blatantly ignore APBT breed history and standards, breed whatever sort of 'look' best suits them (the Pocket Bully is another version of the bully style dog - what comes next is anyone's guess), and then peddle the dogs to the public. The dogs are simultaneously represented as Pit Bulls through registration with the UKC, and as a 'new breed', the American Bully, through registration with the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC). And although the fad claims that the American Bully is just a 'cross' of AmStaff and APBT bloodlines, it seems obvious that many of these dogs are actually mixed with mastiff and bulldog breeds to create the huge heads, and short, fiddle-fronted bodies seen on many American Bullies.

American Bully breeders that we've talked to have made a lot of claims. The ironic thing is that they have ALL quickly admitted there are MANY unethical, irresponsible bully style breeders out there who are giving the 'movement' a bad name. These same breeders have all insisted they were 'different'. Still, none of these breeders were able to offer proof of health certifications from organizations like OFA or PennHip, none of their dogs had legitimate all-breed titles (from AKC, UKC, ARBA, or any other legitimate all-breed registry), and while all of these breeders registered their dogs as American Pit Bull Terriers with the UKC, it was obvious they were blatantly snubbing their noses at the UKC standard for the breed – of course, because by definition, the American Bully does NOT conform to the APBT standard. If it did, it wouldn’t be an ‘American Bully’.

But confusingly, all of these breeders seemed to think of their dogs both as APBTs *and* as this supposedly new 'breed', the American Bully. No wonder the public is confused!

"BULLY, WHERE'S YER BREEDER?" This guy would be considered an 'American Bully'. He ended up in a shelter, but thankfully was adopted into a wonderful home where he is spoiled and loved.

Despite the huge price tags these dogs carry, they are still ending up in shelters in record numbers. From single dogs to whole kennels-full, American Bullies are finding themselves homeless and on death's doorstep. These are nice dogs, who, through no faults of their own, are ending up in bad situations. No need to spend thousands on a dog from a bully style breeder - you can adopt your own American Bully from your local shelter or rescue group.

For more on the 'bully style' fad, please see the RPB article, Bully: This, That and the Other Thing.


EmilyS said...

And it leaves a terrible dilemma for "pit bull" rescuers.

You can see dogs of this type on almost every pit bull rescue site. Many of them are evidently adorable and sweet dogs.

But certainly not American Pit Bull Terriers, even if they are registered with the UKC (and shame on the UKC for accepting them).

Does it validate these dogs as APBT if a "pit bull" rescue saves them? Does it validate the very fad that is degrading the true breed?

GiGwriter said...

The "Hippo" dogs. So sad, crazy people trying to create live versions of gryphons. (SIGH)

Our Pack said...

It does leave a terrible dilemma for rescuers. Unfortunately you don't always find dogs in shelters with perfect conformation, exactly what they're suppose to look like with papers. You get what you get. You get what the latest "thing" is.
We go by temperament. Good ole fashioned Pit Bull temperament. We also try and get the conf. along with that. We do take mixes but we don't compromise on temperament.