Can An American Bully Be A Service Dog? The Truth No One Says

American Bullies are characterized by strong builds as well as great personalities. They’re commonly kept as family pets, but some dog lovers are interested in keeping them as service dogs.

So, can an American Bully be a service dog? An American bully can be a service dog if it is trained young. However, Bullies are not the best choice for service dogs due to their physical health problems and short lifespan, which means they would need to be replaced more often. They’re better as family pets or emotional support dogs.

Do you want to know what you need in a dog to be a service dog? And why an American bully is not the best choice? Continue reading!

What Are the Requirements for Service Dogs?

Service dogs are meant to be the all-time partner to disabled people and also for people with mental health problems. 

They’re meant to keep them company and help them perform their everyday tasks.

For a dog to be a service dog, it needs to have certain characteristics or skills. So, let’s take a look at the requirements you need in a service dog: 

Calm Temperament

Since a service dog must be focused on his handler and assist them during any situation, it must have a calm temperament.

They shouldn’t be affected by any distractions in public, such as the smell of food, loud noises, or other dogs walking by.

They should also not feel threatened or scared in tense situations and remain friendly toward others around them.

Obedience Training 

This is the requirement that will make the dog a professional service dog. 

The dog should be well trained and obedient so that anyone who sees your dog walking nearby will wonder how well-mannered your dog is!

The service dog must be with the handler every single second, except if the handler asks them to go and do something away for them.

Following Certain Rules

Service dogs must always be on standby mode, and there are some basic rules that they must follow, including:

  • Sniffing of people and groceries is not allowed.
  • Begging for food or treats is not allowed.
  • Hyperactive behaviors are not allowed.
  • Barking at other animals or people on the street is not allowed.
  • Jumping on objects or people is not allowed.

When Should You Train a Dog to Be a Service Dog? 

It’s highly recommended to start training your dog when he is a puppy, you still can be teaching an adult dog, but it will be much harder and will take a longer time.

How Long Do Service Dogs Need to Be Trained?

According to international standards, it’s recommended that service dogs train for about 120 hours over six months. At least 30 hours of that time should be spent in public to help the dog get used to the distractions and situations it will face.

What Tasks Are Service Dogs Required to Do?

The training is based on the type of tasks that the dog will do, and there are many tasks that service dogs are required to do, such as:

  • Pulling wheelchairs
  • Reminding the handler to take medicine on time and fetching the medicine for them
  • Alerting when the blood sugar is not stable or if there are any oncoming seizures.
  • Providing stability to those who can’t walk steadily on their feet.
  • Opening drawers and reaching for items that the handler can’t reach.
  • Guiding people with visual problems.
  • Calming people who suffer from anxiety and stress.

Can An American Bully Be A Service Dog?

a bully on a bench to show how can an American bully be a service dog

Although American bullies are characterized by their muscular, strong build. They are considered excellent as family dogs, however, they are not the best option for being a service dog.

Let’s take a look at the reasons why American Bullies are not the best as to service dogs:

Their Health

American bullies have brachycephalic noses. Because of their nose shape, they can’t walk very long distances without getting winded They are also prone to getting extremely cold, which leads to many health problems in the long term. 

They are vulnerable to many types of heart diseases and other genetic diseases. While diet management can reduce the risk of getting sick, it will not eliminate it completely.

They are also prone to develop problems with their eyes, such as the cherry eye condition.

 Cherry eyes are a prolapsed gland of the nictitans, it usually doesn’t hurt them very much, but it will make their eyes itchy.

Their Life Spans

American bullies have a short life span compared to other dog breeds.

So, it can be a service dog for a relatively short time; then, you are going to need to replace it with another dog and train it all over again.

If you have an American bully, you will replace him every 5-10 years, but with a service dog, it will be every 10-15 years.

Their Training Period

American bullies take a lot of time to be well-trained than other dogs. However, when they are trained well and with some positive reinforcement, they will be friendly, loyal, and obedient. 

Can American Bullies Be Emotional Support Dogs? 

American bullies can be great emotional support animals.

Bullies are naturally friendly and loyal, and they always love being close to their owners and bonding with them.

They are also very protective and would do anything to see that their owner is safe and happy. 

What Other Dog Breeds Are Best As Service Dogs? 

When choosing a service dog, there are some dogs that you must think of first due to their great characteristics that allow them to be wonderful and professional service dogs.

So, here are the top 5 breeds for service dogs:

Labrador Retrievers

Labrador retrievers are one of the most wonderful dogs that make a great service dog. They are super loyal, friendly, and love doing jobs.

Also, they are large breeds, which are great for people who need stability during walking or standing.

Golden Retriever

There is no doubt that the golden retriever is one of the best service dogs.

It’s trained easily and gets well-mannered so fast. It handles physical work perfectly too. Also, it loves people and is always nice and sweet to them.

German Shepherd

The German shepherd has all the characteristics you are searching for in a service dog. They are usually to be police dogs, but they can be perfect service dogs.

They are fast learners, smart, well-behaved, loyal, and protective dogs.

Not only that, but they also bond easily with their owners.


Many people think of poodle dogs as small dogs with cute haircuts, but actually, they are strong dogs that love to do jobs and are trained easily.

And if you are going to choose a poodle for a service dog, choose the standard poodle size.


Boxer dogs are large enough to perform physical work, and their size is suitable to take with the handler in crowded places.

They also love children and adults so much and like bonding with them.

Related Questions 

Can Mixed dogs be service dogs? 

Mixed dogs and any dog breed can be service dogs as long as they are trained properly. They should also have the requirements for being a service dog, such as calm temperaments and obedience training.

Can Service Dogs Be Small? 

Service dogs can be small or of any size. The size doesn’t matter when registering the dog as a service dog. The main requirement you need in the dog is the ability to assist you in any situation. However, keep in mind that small dogs might not be strong enough to do certain tasks for their handler.

Can a Pit Bull Be a Service Dog?

A Pit Bull can be a service dog if it was trained from an early age. However, Pit Bulls might not be the best service dogs. Instead, they are more suitable as guard dogs due to their large size and protective tendencies. 

Helpful Resources

4 Common Health Problems in Bully Breeds

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