Home of the American Bully Communities Worldwide
The trials and tribulations of Bully Breeds in the 20th century at times can seem ever growing. From BSL and MSN laws targeting the breed, at the same time these laws can target the owners, to the rising insurance rates and senseless law enforcement killings of family pets. The American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Bully face the continued magnified glare of the national media’s microscope.
Arguments dominate conversations between individuals who carry on the vision of the breed founders and preservationists, and new owners who are still in a state of amazement. They passionately debate the issue of what can and should be done to protect the breeds we all have grown to love.
The true testament of the preservation of the breed comes in the diversity of the owners. Often stereotyped as one group of individuals, the bully breed owner is thought to be of a certain social class. The poor, street, uneducated groups that only have these dogs as accessory pieces and do little to better the actual dogs. The facts are the owners of the breed comes from so many situations and circumstances that the true power of the breed is in its diverse group of owners. From Main Street to Wall Street you can find someone who owns the blockheaded American Bully, and from their place of employment to their place of residence the breed can be found anywhere and everywhere, owned by anyone and everyone.
To truly respect the diversity of the breed, one would have to go back to the diversity of the original dog the American Pit bull terrier. Dog breeds have always been owned by various contingents of groups. The owners of breeds often were determined by the tasks the dogs were bred for. So if you had a dog used to hunt deer, you probably had a little bit of money, if you had a terrier used to kill rats, you probably were poor. See in the olden days the rich went on the extravagant hunts while the poor entertained themselves with the common wildlife of their area the rat. So the poor often had a certain group of dog, and the rich had another group. Class was often determined, or at the least could be assessed by the dogs a person owned.
The American Pit Bull Terrier or Pit dog changed that, because both classes participated in the blood sport of dog fighting. Unlike deer, fox or other hunting sports that were limited to some, due to social class of the participant, dog fighting was a fair sporting event, in that both sides had representatives regardless of social status. It was one of the few venues where the poor actually had a chance to beat the class of people whom they felt often had their foot on the throat of the lesser man.
The blood sport was outlawed, and the dogs then began to compete in other sports, eventually technology took the place of many jobs once held by our canine companions, and the main purpose of most breeds became household pet, a job that almost every bully breed was great at and prevailed in. Dogs and class however were still obvious and the wealthy still purchased fancy dogs that displayed their wealth. Dogs registered by certain registries and who had paperwork dating champion ancestry back decades and decades of generations. The breeds of dogs could be found owned by a variety of people, but the quality of the dogs, were still separated by the amount of money an individual possessed. A Irish Setter from show lines, looked far different than a 200 dollar Setter out the paper.
The dog show world was dominated by the wealthy or middle class, senior or middle age American. The youthful hip hop generation had their breeds, but rarely felt welcomed at the stuffy conformation events held by the ambassadors of the commercialized dog show world. Westminster was just a place in England to most of generation next. The American Pit Bull Terrier remained popular however, and the breeders of these dogs started wanting larger and more impressive dogs. The bone increased, as did the overall mass of the breed. The head piece became its signature and the chest its trademark. A head and chest above the rest became the motto of the home and the birthplace of what would later become the American Bully.
The growing popularity of the American Bully Breed
Why the popularity amongst so many different groups of people? Well look at the breed, what other breed is as diverse in its appearance. You have dogs that fit almost anyone’s style of 4 legged companions. More colors than a pack of skittles, and they have more patterns and markings than Dennis Rodman’s wardrobe, or hair for that matter. The breed is often as diverse as its owners. In fact the diversity of dogs has had some question the standard, in saying that the standard is too generalized and needs to be more pointed, or standardized. Far from a cookie cutter breed, the breed stands out as one of the most individualistic breeds in recent creation. The American Bully, where there is a Bully for every American.
Unlike its predecessors the American Bully does not have to fight to be equal. Well, not fit in a box at least. The Am Bully has to fight for its right to be legally owned in different area of the United States. The owners have to fight, and write to keep the ugly jaws, and long arms of breed specific legislation at bay. The diversity of its owners is what often keeps the legislation from infiltrating a vast number of cities across the country. The fact that lawmakers and breed proponents cannot pigeon toe owners as a certain derogatory group such as drug dealers, gangbangers, or thugs, has limited their attempts to turn taxpayers into anti Bully rally supporters. The fact that Bully lovers can range from high ranking politicians to the local landscaper, has made the American Bully owner more powerful than even the myth of its powerful locking jaws.
A diverse community of bully lovers
Diversity has always been reached for by the American Bully Kennel Club, reaching out to those that had been shunned by other registries; the ABKC has held barbeques and expos that have brought these owners from the corners to the show ring. The ABKC has also reached out to the faction of owners that come from corporate America, asking them to stand in the same ring as individuals who they themselves may have deemed the problem only a couple months prior.
One look at the Breeders Block in Atomic Dogg Magazine, and you will see the diversity amongst owners of this magnificent breed. Dog owners from different regions of the country, different in age, class, race and musical tastes, but similar in what they hold on a leash. The freak at their feet, brings them together the breed inspires success, entrepreneurial spirit, and love. The dog itself will bridge gaps that politics, workplaces, and in some cases marriage could not bridge. The breed that has had rivals come together to compete in peace, to share something that they have created, from an idea of a breeding, to a beloved family member that has blessed the lives of many families.
Diversity could be the answer to the American Bully persevering through the adversity facing it daily. The media paints the picture of what an American Bully owner looks and acts like, but the diversity amongst the breed is the eraser that will change the mind of the viewers of the most popular news programs. When the news is made by the owners and the news shows the passion in which the owners love this breed. The fact that the dogs are not in one specific area, but can be found in every corner, of every city, downtown to uptown, the true story of city mouse meet country mouse, with a twist, maybe City Bully meet Country Bully.
Now the American Bully is branching out even further, bringing in diversity from not only other neighborhoods and cities, but from other countries and continents. The popularity of the breed in places like Thailand and the Philippines has inspired internet forums, Bully Shows, and viral videos. The American Bully has bridged the oceans and connected people that had little in common, before they discovered this magnificent breed. In Europe the American Bully is in high demand, countries where BSL, is a reality and the where the American Pit Bull Terrier has long since been banned. The American Bully has found a place and has a chance to change public opinion. The breed and the owners can change the perception, just by being seen, and showing what is natural, their adoration for the breed.
Bringing the community together
Back in the states, law enforcement has taken notice of the diversity in the breed, by noting that in places like Southern California, individuals that were from rival neighborhoods, could be found at Bully shows, laughing and stacking these dogs. If asked before attending the show if these groups could be around each other and not have any altercations break out, most officers would respond with a resounding “NO!”, and get in their riot control gear and head out to the event to advert any oncoming violence. In places where racism is still prevalent, where individuals of different races rarely communicate, the dogs have opened conversation between the races. Friendships have been made amongst people who would never have spoken, and now speak on a daily basis. These stories are the stories that the media doesn’t cover and these are the stories that could change public opinion polls on the breed.
The Bully community has to realize the power in this diversity and utilize it to make a difference in the battle against public perception, legislation, and media reports that face the breed. The community has to come together to show the true identity of not only the breed, but the individuals who own it. The fact that these animals are not exclusive to drug dealers and thugs, that in many cases these dogs have changed the lives of the individuals who formerly lived these lives. That these dogs are owned by PTA moms, school teachers, and principals of elementary schools, and that the breed has changed their lives as well. These individuals, who may have been fearful of the breed and who had at one point may have believed the media hype and persona that had been attributed to the breed due to the actions of a few irresponsible owners, and coverage by a large amount of media. These two scenarios show the diversity amongst the breed and its owners, these stories of change, change of a destructive lifestyle and change of a stereotype, are the testaments of diversity amongst the breed.
The Future of the breed
The future of the American Bully is bright and it doesn’t seem to have a ceiling, the sky is the limit for the breed. The media is beginning to come around and see the positives of the American Bully community, and the key component is the diversity and the ability of the breed to attract a coalition of individuals from different backgrounds to promote the breed in a positive light and carry the Bully torch for future American Bully owners.
Diversity is a big part of the American Dream, and now this same piece of the American Dream, has become a big part of the new American breed, the American Bully.