Do American Bullies Make Good Emotional Support Dogs?

Explore the temperament of an American Bully Dog and how they can serve to make the best emotional support dogs!

Why Are American Bullies Amazing Emotional Support Therapy Dogs?                  

            Compared to other breeds the American Bully variety is at the top of any list for best pedigrees to act as emotional support animals. They have all of the right traits which fit the excellent characteristics of a sensitivity supporting pet, but many people overlook this dog type due to the common misconceptions that surround these beautiful creatures.                    

What are the usual misunderstandings with USA Bullies?                    

           The simplest way to describe why they are misjudged as "aggressive or mean" is their similarity to the looks of American Pitbulls & Bulldogs, which hold a more "threatening" reputation among general owners. Even that rep is a broad generalization (since most large canine types have the potential to be dangerous) but nothing could be further from the truth when looking at Bullies, especially when looking at well bred examples such as our Affinity kennel ones.                    

How is the Bully different from other large hounds?                    

           Although they can be extremely similar in image to those tail-waggers mentioned earlier, their personalities are completely different. Bullies have a fairly new family tree first popping up in the 1990‘s by combining genes from mainly the American Staffordshire Terrier, with desired traits from Pitbulls, Bulldogs, and the Old English Bulldogge through generations of selective breeding.                    

           However, the American Bully fits into its own unique category out of this list of tail-waggers because it was specifically created to be in the 'companion' category rather than the 'work' one that the rest of those traditional hounds fall into.                    

           Because of this large and strong figure yet kind and loving nature Bullies are commonly known as "gentle giants" by dog owners that know them well. If you wish to learn more about their physical & mental nature, please read the official breed standardization document from UKC                    

           "The American Bully breed is, first and foremost, a companion, exhibiting confidence with a zest and exuberance for life. Despite its powerful appearance, their demeanor is gentle and friendly. This breed makes an excellent family dog. The ideal American Bully possesses the athleticism to do well in performance events. Aggressive behavior towards humans is uncharacteristic of the breed, and highly undesirable." -United Kennel Club (UKC).                    

Companion vs. Working breeds, what’s the difference?                    

           A working dog refers to the identity of more traditional 'Mastiff' or large tail-waggers that were bred to achieve a special task such as hunting, herding, tracking, or any general field (or farming) assistance.                    

           Oppositely, a companion pooch is bred not to work but to provide warmth, love, and company to any human owner. That's why American Bullies make perfect family dogs while still holding strongly majestic appearance that is a good representation for owners who don't want a small 'toy' dog which would also fall into the companionship category.                    

           With the Am. Bully you get the best of both worlds, having the added benefit of being easier to train/maintain than 'working' dogs due to their nature to fight off loneliness instead of a specific task which requires specific exercises to release energy (such as a retrievers' need to fetch object and return them to you simulating hunting work).                    

           Although, It's important to keep in mind that a companion dog is generally better suited for an emotional support animal rather than a service assistance pet, both of which serve very different purposes in an owners day-to-day lifestyle.                    

           Bullies can be efficient in both roles, with the right training they can be conditioned to become service dogs and work within a healthcare or caregiving setting or they can be sentimental supporting hounds where they are ranked one of the highest breeds that provide comfort for individuals that need it most. Since they are capable of both servial roles, it all depends on the capabilities of the individual pooch.                    

Emotional Support compared to Service Assistance:                    

           Helping (or 'facility') dogs are often confused with canines that provide affection and comfort (or 'therapy') dogs, but there are several important differences between these two.                    

Facility Assisting Service Dog Traits:                    

           These pups are highly trained from birth by accredited schools to provide medical or critical support to their owners who may suffer from some form of physical or mental disability that requires them to need constant attention.                        

An example would be someone who suffers from epileptic seizures and require their dog to search for people that can render medical aid in case of suffering from an injury without anyone in the immediate surroundings that observe it. The aid is provided by the extremely specific training of the dog in such an event. Because these pups deal with life-threatening situations they are a necessity for the owners well-being therefore need to follow them into places where normal pet dogs wouldn't be allowed to enter.            


           Because of this special permission they follow the following strict guidelines:                    

Must be specifically trained to reduce the owner's disability dangers in at least one way.                    

           For example; opening doors, detecting high blood sugar or allergens and notifying of such, alerting to a ringing phone, leading those who are visually or mobility impaired.                    

Must be highly disciplined not to be a bother when in a public or restricted setting.                    

           This means they must be trained well enough to be safe with the general population and overall very civil, such as having good health and cleanliness.                    

Must have an owner that it helps with a medical disability and meet the legal definition of said disability in the specific country or region that it operates in.                    

           Generally the law will vary depending on the location of the pup human pair but for the most part as long as they act as if they behave in a manner that is polite and non-disruptive then they should be allowed into any place where the owner needs them, but this is level of obedience and task training is usually not possible without the special training certification schools.                    

Emotional Therapy Dog Traits:                    

           These hounds trained to provide sentimental care, soothe and cooperate with people who suffer from mental conditions that make it hard to function within stressful or demanding situations or settings such as hospitals, courthouses, or educational centers. These ailments can range anywhere from anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), issues with social communication, or mild to severe depression.                        

While this category doesn't require the strict training and certification that facility hounds do, there are still regional organizations who provide the requirements necessary to provide emotional relief and become a therapeutic resource.            


           Generally the guidelines follow a more flexible set of requirements:                    

Properly handle external distractions from the surrounding environment.                    

           Anything such as unexpected loud noises, physical touching, odd behaviors from people who aren't their owner, or any other strange form of stimuli without causing a noticeable reaction that could be interpreted as dangerous or annoying.                    

Be friendly and very patient with everyone they interact with, especially seniors and/or children.                        

           They must be able to handle long periods of these social communications without having a scary or confrontational reaction in their behavior such as biting or barking in a threatening manner.                    

Provide emotional stimulation to the owner or affected user.                    

           Ideally in a manner which encourages them to engage in positive cognitive and social activities/behaviors to relieve some of the symptoms that their condition causes.                    

What does this mean for a potential American Bully owner looking for these therapeutic aspects in their pet?                    

           We know this may be a lot of info to take in at first but dog ownership is a big responsibility so it is always advised to learn as much as possible about the dog breeds you are considering adopting, but also keep in mind the things that you are looking for in a canine pet.                        

If you're looking for a loving family dog that gets along with everyone with no aggressive habits while still maintaining a certain level or size and strength then choosing a bully puts you on the perfect track.            


           Maybe you want man’s best friend as a guard hound to protect your property or certain valuable items or your searching for a work dog that fits certain careers that could provide significant help in (like farming) or match an extremely active lifestyle (such as pro athlete). In these cases you are better off with a more traditional working pedigree that will match those needs better than the bully.                    

           Here at Affinity Kennel we strive to be an industry leader not just in our bully puppies' health and ethical breeding standards, but also exceptional customer service that redefines breeder standards with free education and assistance in a professional, courteous manner with no strings attached.                        

This means that you are encouraged to contact our American Bully expert breeder and kennel founder, David Lloyd, with any questions, comments, or concerns that you may have about the bully lineage even if you are just starting your search for a puppy that's for sale, or you don't end up buying from us at all or decide that another canine breed would suit your individual needs better.            


Because of our dedication to these values we are confident that no matter what choice you decide in the end, it will result in a lifelong bond with you and your pet puppy! Please don't just take our word for everything discussed in this article, read how one of our past customers who became a Affinity Kennel Family Member and highly benefited from the traits that make American Bullies an excellent example of an emotional support therapy dog pet.            


A real world example of how our American Bully Pup became an emotional support necessity for a former military member who struggles with certain things after participating in active service:                    

           Below is the story of how one of our bully lineage pups affected the life of veteran Daniel j. Dougherty of Levittown, Pennsylvania in his own words:                    

Mending a broken heart and finding my new soul mate all in the same week.                    

           "I am a 100% mentally disabled veteran with PTSD and i lost my previous emotional support angel 😇. That same week i randomly found a picture of this beautiful angel and i immediately knew i had to have her she is the 1 so i nervously called and spoke with David himself. Right away i knew by speaking with him he wasn't only a breeder he was a breeder that loves every dog hes has and or has produced. So my level of comfort discussing my interest in a puppy he had for sale was very pleasant not only that but he started off saying when you buy a puppy from me you become part of a family, and that was awesome and refreshing at the same time. I was looking for a pitbull and didn't know as much about this specific breed the XL American Bully, so i was honest and David fully educated me on the breed which was great because i knew exactly what i was getting down to the exact sweetness she perpetuates. The transaction was very simple to make payment and David doesn't play once you puppy is purchased he hand picks the person who will fly your angel to you very easy airport exchange which David walked me through being my first time. Naming her my wife and i love the character Harley-Quinn. As she began to grow we noticed little differences from our last puppy she was built like a tank and has a heart bigger than i could ever imagine. She was also a natural emotional support dog because she is very intuitive and can tell if someone is hurting inside without you crying she started out by laying across me to stop my flashbacks, she would lick me until i woke up from a nightmare, and she would hug me literally hug me every time i cried which is very often. She now frequents PTSD wards where other veterans like myself could use a little love and she plays the part a born natural. These dogs as far as quality these guys are Rolls Royce of dogs, not because of there cost but because of there quality. David also has the best guarantee with every puppy he sells no one else is willing to guarantee you as much as David will health wise with your purchase. I would definitely buy another puppy from him in the future as well for my 2nd addition coming hopefully in the next 6 months.                        


The biggest take away is you have David who loves these dogs and he becomes family he takes every call asks for Christmas photos just like i do with my grandchild. David also can educate you on why these dogs are so loving, faithful ,obedient ,and truly the best dogs to own.            



Thank you Affinity Kennels and David Lloyd 5 🌟 review."