What is the difference between a "Pit Bull" and American Bully?
The only true "pit bull" is the American Pit Bull Terrier, registered with a pedigree through ADBA. American Pit Bull Terriers were bred and designed for combat - they have intense focus, perseverance and drive. They were designed to be hardcore athletes with a "no quit" attitude, and they are extremely impressive dogs to watch in sports (weight pull, wall climb, etc.) because of this! Due to their heritage, it is very common to see dog aggression in this breed as well as prey drive, which makes proper containment and management of them imperative. Physically, the American Pit Bull Terrier is quite slender built and very athletic looking. It is typical for them to stick around 30-55lbs.
American Bullies on the other hand, were created with more of a focus on being "cool looking" without as much of the hard-to-manage stuff, so they have bulk muscle rather than lean, they are thick boned instead of thin, etc, while pulling most of the intense dog aggression, energy & drive out of them. Bullies tend to be pretty easy going in day to day life and are much less motivated to stay focused on a task than their APBT cousins. (That being said though, they are still very physically capable dogs and some degree of dog aggression, selectivity and prey drive is still somewhat common in certain lines of the American Bully)
To sum it up as simply as possible - American Bullies were designed to be the cool looking body builder cousin of the bad*ss athlete that is the American Pit Bull Terrier. They each have a purpose, they are each valuable, and it really just depends on the owner what would fit better with their lifestyle, wants and needs...but the fact remains that they are very different dogs and that prospective owners need to do thorough research to determine which breed best fits their lifestyle before committing to one or the other.
What is Health Testing?
Health Testing is a way for breeders and owners to test their dog(s) for health problems that have been found to have genetic components such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and cardiac irregularities. Many of these tests require x-rays, consultations with specialists, etc. Most of these tests are governed and graded by OFA (Orthropedic Foundation for Animals) and all results are available to view on their online database!
Is Health Testing the same as an Annual Exam at the Vet for Vaccines?
Absolutely not. An annual exam with your vet is very very basic - they listen to the heart, they may check eyes and ears and palpate your dog to see if they can find any obvious soreness or issues. Health tests are very thorough individual exams requiring x-rays, blood work, urinalysis', cheek swabs, etc. that guarantee the dog as not carrying the health issues that are associated with being genetic.
Why is Health Testing Important?
Studies show that hip dysplasia and other inherited diseases can be controlled by careful, selective breeding programs. Information regarding test results from the sire and dam, as well as close relatives like siblings, half siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc allow breeders to apply greater selective pressure to produce normal healthy offspring while avoiding creating more affected unhealthy puppies.
Basically - these tests help us ensure the future generations will be healthier than the last - it helps us build a solid healthy foundation for our dogs and breed, so it is extremely important when considering each dog's quality of life as well as the future of the breed entirely.
What can you test for in American Bullies?
Why is Health Testing Important for the American Bully?
OFA Statistics show that our breed is #2 worst scoring for Elbows and #10 worst scoring for Hips, and #1 worst scoring for Basic Cardiac out of ALL breeds ever tested - those are NOT top 10 lists we want to be on! Our breed is unfortunately only passing Hips & Elbows at about 50% of those tested. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that is not good, and something we absolutely need to work on as a breed community. We also have documented fails on Cardiac, Patellas, Shoulders, Dentition and Thyroid, as well as Genetic Disease Tests have picked up DM (Degenerative Myleopathy), NCL-A (Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis 1 Cerebellar Ataxia), PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), ICH (Ichthyosis), and HUU (Hyperuricosuria and Hyperuricemia or Urolithiasis) in our breed. This is something that ALL American Bully Breeders need to take very seriously, as the future of our breed depends on us testing our breeding dogs and making educated breeding decisions with those results.
What is "Puppy Culture"?
Puppy Culture focuses on setting puppies up for success by building and fine tuning skills before they can even open their eyes, that otherwise most puppies would not work on until headed to their new home. The Puppy Culture Program includes early neurological stimulation, emotional resiliency exercise, safe early socialization, the enrichment effect, weaning set up, developmental & fear periods, how to host a "puppy party", puzzles games an problem solving, anti-aggression protocols, leash walking, recall, potty training, crate training, manding, setting up socialization sessions, and problem prevention (resource guarding, separation anxiety, etc). You can go to the Puppy Culture website for more information here.
What is "Avidog"?
The AVIDOG Program is a more broad spectrum program than Puppy Culture that covers everything from Sire & Dam care prior to breeding, to timing breedings and using health test results to better your program, to of course puppy rearing protocols & thorough temperament evaluations. It is interactive for breeders in the sense that, you pay for a monthly/yearly membership and can take part in live chats and webinars with professionals on all sorts of different topics, whereas Puppy Culture is a DVD set on Puppy Rearing only. You can go to the Avidog website for more information here.
Do you use Puppy Culture or Avidog with your litters?
We currently use both programs with our puppies. We primarily focus on Avidog simply because there is much more to take in with Avidog, but we do include most Puppy Culture methods into our daily strategy once our puppies are born. Our puppies start ENS (early neurological stimulation) from birth and are exposed to everything we can thing of! If you have any questions or want to learn more about these programs, I would be happy to get nerdy and explain the logistics of it. For now, I will keep it simple!
What is an APET?
APET stands for Avidog Puppy Evaluation Test - it is an extremely thorough evaluation process done at around 8 weeks of age that helps breeders determine which puppy may be best suited where. This evaluation also gives puppy owners a "game plan" when they get their puppy, and takes all of the guesswork out of figuring out what works and doesn't work for your puppy. It's basically a cheat sheet, and we pay to have this done on all of our litters. For an example of this type of evaluation from one of our past litters, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.
Do I get to pick my puppy, or let a puppy pick me?
Neither - but let me explain. The temperament testing and structural evaluations that are performed at 8 weeks of age help us pinpoint and determine which puppy is best suited for you and your lifestyle. Based on your needs and wants, the temperament evaluations make it essentially "fool proof" for us to choose who best fits where. If you are local or able to, we encourage everyone to come and observe our puppy evaluations so that you can gain a deeper understanding of why we make the recommendations that we do.
What about gender and color preferences?
While gender preference is important and something we work with, we will not make any placement recommendations based on color and/or marking preferences alone. I always tell people "You are not going to care about the 'pretty' marking/color that you wanted so badly when you hate living with this dog in 6-12 months because it doesn't mesh well with your lifestyle", and I stick by that! A puppy is a 10+ year commitment - trust me when I tell you that you WILL NOT CARE about the coat color, markings, etc 1, 2, or 5 years down the road - you will love your dog for what they bring to your life assuming that it is an ideal fit for your family and lifestyle. That being said, if someone is dead set on a certain color and gender, that is fine - we can work with that, but you may have to wait longer to get the gender, color AND temperament that you need all in one package. It is possible that one might work for you that has everything you think you want, but realistically we can't promise that it will, and it would be irresponsible of us as breeders to place a dog in a home that we knew wasn't a good fit simply because of it's colour/markings.
I live pretty far away. Do you ship puppies?
Yes we do, though I am usually the shipper! I prefer to hand deliver each puppy to their owners and I have drove everywhere from NY, NJ, CT back over to WA the next weekend to get puppies from the same litter to their homes all across the continent. Hand delivering also makes it possible for the new owners to meet one or both of the parents in person, which I think everyone appreciates. The right dog in the right home is a very special thing, and we don't let distance dictate where a puppy goes. There are additional costs associated with transporting puppies but it is 100% an option!
What does "Lifetime Breeder Support" mean?
It means that for the lifetime of the puppy, we will be here. If unforeseen circumstances make it unrealistic for you to be able to keep your dog at any point throughout it's lifetime, we will be here to take it back and find it a suitable forever home. Every puppy we sell is contractually held to this - they cannot be re-homed under any circumstances without our involvement. We want to make sure that every puppy we produce lives the best life possible, and part of that is ensuring that they don't get passed around from home to home.
AMERICAN BULLY AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER