Golden Retriever Vs American Bully

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When adopting a dog, it is very important to get the right breed for your family. Here is what you need to know about a Golden Retriever Vs American Bully.

Every family wants a dog; however, getting a new pet is more than just heading to the nearest dog rescue. If your family selects a breed that isn’t the right fit, it results in a tragic rehoming that leaves you with sad kids and a sad dog. It is best to research good family dogs, then choose a breed that will thrive in your home and get along with your kids.

Two of the best dog breeds for families are golden retrievers and American bullies. Both breeds are friendly, playful, large breeds, and they get along great with kids. The biggest difference between a golden retriever vs American bully is their build, their grooming needs, and their versatility.

Golden retrievers are known for wanting to be everyone’s friend. They do not make good guard dogs, but they are loyal to their humans and love playing with kids. While American bullies get a bad rap because they look mean, the breed is actually very loving and friendly. Compared to golden retrievers, American bullies are lower maintenance pets because they have a shorter coat and require less grooming.

Sources for breed information and history include My Dog Breeds, American Bully Daily, PetMD, and Animal Corner.

In this article

‍What Are the Characteristics of an American Bully?

The American bully is known for its short coat, muscular build, and rounded face. American bullies are commonly mistaken for pit bulls, but they are actually two distinct breeds. Breed experts highlight how this breed is ideal for families because American bullies are loving, gentle with kids, loyal, obedient to their owners, and have lots of energy.

Don’t let their tough-looking, pit bull-like appearance fool you. American bullies are a safe breed to have around children. Underneath the tough exterior, American bullies are teddy bears on the inside. This breed is perfect for families with lots of kids because they have enough energy to play all day, and are good at being gentle with little ones of all ages.

The History of the American Bully Breed

Unlike golden retrievers, the American bully has had something of an uphill battle to be recognized and appreciated as a breed.

The American bully breed was founded sometime in the 1980s or 1990s.  American pit bull terriers and American Staffordshire terriers were used as the foundation for the bully breed. In order to hone and bully’s look and temperament, additional breeds were crossed with the pit bull foundation; these breeds include: the French bulldog, American bulldog, English bulldog, Staffordshire bull terrier, and olde English bulldog.

Due to the bully’s pit bull-like appearance and muscular build, the breed has struggled to be recognized and appreciated as much as other family dogs, like golden retrievers. Although the breed has been around since the 90s, it was only recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club in 2004. It was not recognized by the American Dog Breeders Association and the United Kennel Club until July 2013.

How Big is an American Bully?

American bullies are classified as large dogs, although they are normally slightly shorter than golden retrievers. American bullies range from 12 inches to 20 inches tall. Because they carry so much muscle, they are a little heavier than golden retrievers. A healthy range for a full grown American bully is between 66 and 111 pounds.

Whereas golden retrievers only come in one size, American bullies are a little more versatile. Much like bulldogs, there are 4 different types of bullies: standard, classic, pocket, and extra large.

Standard American Bully

The standard bully was bred to be both a companion dog and a show version of the pit bull. Standard bullies have a wider and more muscular body than other variations of the breed. Properly bred dogs should be perfectly proportional with a muscular neck, arched shoulders, and a wider stance. Standard American bullies are normally 16 to 20 inches tall, and live an average of 10 to 12 years.

Classic American Bully

Classic American bullies are the same size as standard bullies and have a comparable lifespan. The key difference between the two types is their muscle tone and their build. Classic bullies are not as muscular as standard bullies, so they are lighter in weight, appear less wide, and look more like a traditional American Staffordshire terrier.

Pocket American Bully

Much like bulldog breeds, the American bully comes in a smaller size. The pocket bully is not a true pocket breed because it is larger than other pocket breeds. This variation is the smallest option for an American bully. Pocket bullies have the same overall appearance as standard bullies, but they only grow to be 13 to 17 inches tall, making them a slightly smaller, more compact option.

Extra Large American Bully

This type of bully is a variation on the standard bully, but it stands a few inches taller. Extra large bullies range from 19 to 23 inches tall. They have the same muscular build and proportional body as standard bullies; they are just a little larger.

What Are the Characteristics of Golden Retrievers?

Golden retrievers are known as the classic family dog because they are loving, intelligent, loyal, and love to play. While this breed is a terrible guard dog, they are great with kids and will easily make friends with visitors and other dogs. This breed needs lots of room to roam, so families should only adopt a golden retriever if they have a large yard. Because they have so much energy, your golden retriever will need frequent, long walks.

The History of the Golden Retriever Breed

Unlike American bullies, golden retrievers have a much more straightforward history as a breed. Golden retrievers were first bred in the 1800s in Scotland because aristocrats wanted companion dogs for their hunting trips. Throughout the 1800s, golden retrievers were prized for their ability to be helpful as gundogs, as well as for their beauty.

In 1911, The Kennel Club in the UK formally recognized golden retrievers as a breed. They were later recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1925 and the Canadian Kennel Club in 1932.

How Big Are Golden Retrievers?

Golden retrievers are taller, lighter, and less wide than American bullies. Whereas American bullies are between 12 and 20 inches tall for standard breeds, golden retrievers range from 20 to 25 inches tall. Because this breed has less muscle mass than bullies, they range from 55 to 80 pounds when full-grown and at a healthy weight.

How Much Grooming Does a Golden Retriever Require?

One factor to consider when deciding between a golden retriever vs American bully is how much grooming they will require. Because golden retrievers have a longer coat, they shed a lot more. It is recommended that families with golden retrievers brush them at least 3 times a week and bathe them using a dog shampoo that contains omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. This will keep their coat healthy and reduce the amount of shedding.

Groomers and breeders frequently warn families against shaving their golden retrievers. While it will reduce shedding, shaving your goldie will not keep them any cooler in the summer months. In fact, it can permanently damage their coat and make their skin vulnerable to sun burns and infections.

If your family is not prepared to meet the grooming needs of a golden retriever, it may be a better choice to adopt an American bully instead. Due to their shorter coat, bullies only need to be brushed once a week or once every other week. Unless their coat is dirty, they only need to be bathed once every 1-2 months.

Golden Retriever Vs American Bully - Which Breed is Healthier?

Every dog breed has certain health problems that it is predisposed for. When you adopt a new pet, it is very important to be prepared for any health problems that may arise as your pet ages.

What Are Common Health Problems for Golden Retrievers?

Compared to other breeds, golden retrievers are generally a very healthy breed. As these dogs age, they may face some minor health problems, which can include:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Sub-Aortic Stenosis
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Mast Cell Tumors
  • Osteosarcoma

The best way to keep your golden healthy is to have a vet run tests to identify these conditions early.

What Are Common Health Problems for American Bullies?

American bullies are also a breed that is generally very healthy. The best way to ensure the health of your bully is to only adopt from reputable breeders. There are several different types of American bullies, including certain types that are not formally recognized by kennel clubs. If you are adopting a bully, only adopt a formally recognized variation of the breed. This is because unrecognized types of bullies, such as exotics and micro bullies, may face additional and avoidable health problems.

Here are 5 common bully health problems to look out for:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Luxating Patella
  • Congenital Heart Failure
  • Ichthyosis
  • Hypothyroidism

Is an American Bully or a Golden Retriever Better for Families with Kids?

Both golden retrievers and American bullies are excellent family dogs. They are loving, loyal, gentle, and great with kids. Because golden retrievers are such a popular breed, your family will probably run into many neighbors who also have golden retrievers.

Even though American bullies are bred to be friendly, they are often stereotyped as being aggressive, mean, and unsafe. This misconception occurs because American bullies look so much like pit bulls, and the breeds are sometimes abused and used in dog fighting rings.

The truth is that American bullies are perfectly safe around children of all ages. Pit bulls, which were used as the foundation for this breed, used to be considered “nanny dogs” because of how good they were with children. Bullies inherited this temperament, and are known for being patient and calm as little kids climb on them and play with them.

Before your family adopts an American bully, be sure to check your local laws and ordinances to be sure that there are no breed restrictions in place in your area. Golden retrievers, on the other hand, are not stereotyped as being aggressive, so your family will face fewer restrictions when adopting a goldie.