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The Exotic Bully and The Clean Exotic Bully: Your Complete Guide

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

If you’re interested in the American Pit bull types, you may have come across the Exotic Bully or the “Clean Exotic” and wondered if this is the dog for you. This is a new and emerging Bully-type dog, so information is still sparse and sometimes misleading.

For one thing, the Exotic Bully goes by several different names, including:

  • Exotic American Bulldog;
  • American Bully Dog Exotic; 
  • American Bully Exotic Pocket; and
  • American Bully Pocket Exotic.

So, to answer all your questions about this rare and emerging dog breed, we spoke to Exotic and Micro Bully Breeder Daniel Ribeiro from Blue Label Designer Bullies. 

The Exotic Bully is not recognized by the American Kennel Club or the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC). The ABKC only acknowledges the following:

  • Pocket American Bully;
  • Standard American Bully;
  • Classic American Bully; and
  • XL American Bully.

The appearance of new types of Bullies has led to some controversy, including the Exotic Bully, Micro Exotic Bully, XXL Bully, and Extreme Bully. In 2013, the US Bully Registry recognized the Exotic.

What Breeds Are Used To Create The Exotic Bully?

What Breeds Are Used To Create The Exotic Bully?

According to breeder Daniel Ribeiro, an Exotic and a Micro Bully can be bred from pedigree Pocket American Bullies. Since it is a matter of breeding for more extreme features, such as smaller sizes, broader chests, and more oversized heads, breeders can select Pocket Bullies for the features they want in the Exotic.

“Your Micro Bully and your Exotic Bully is not dependent on the pedigree,” Daniel explains, “it’s more dependent on the look. Once you’ve produced a litter, you can tell which ones are more exotic looking.”

However, the Exotic can also be come from mixing Pocket Bullies with English and French Bulldogs. In this way, the Exotic Bully is comparable to the Pitbull French Bulldog mix.

Exotic Bully History

The Exotic Bully is a newer type of American Bully. The breed was created by breeding American Pit Bull Terriers (APBT) and American Staffordshire Terriers (AmStaff) with various bulldog breeds, such as the American Bulldog, Shorty Bull, and the English Bulldog. 

The goal was to create a compact dog with the muscular build of the Pit Bull, combined with the Bulldog’s distinctive head and body shape. Over time, breeders began to breed more different American Bully types. This led to the development of the Exotic Bully, which has a distinctive appearance that sets it apart from other bully breeds.

The first Exotic Bully is said to to be bred in 2008, most likely by Jorge Soto who founded the The International Bully Coalition (IBC).

Many sites report that the Patterdale Terrier is a breed that went into creating the Pocket Bully, Exotic Bully, and Micro Bully. This may be misinformation as the Patterdale Terrier is a very sleek dog that does not have the Bulky Bully build. Indeed the DNA tests of this Redditor’s Pocket Bully show only French & English Bulldogs mixed with American Bully ancestry. So, it’s unlikely the Patterdale Terrier really exists in Bully history.

Appearance: What Do The Exotic Bully and Clean Exotic Look Like?

There are several types of Exotic Bullies, including the Exotic, the Clean Exotic, and the Micro Bully.

Standard Exotic Bullies can range from 12 to 16.5 inches (30 to 42 cm) at the shoulder and typically weigh between 40 and 90 pounds (18 and 37 kg). They have a short, smooth coat that can come in various colors and patterns.

In the video below, you can see some of the many colors in these dogs, including:

  • Merles;
  • Lilac;
  • Tri-color (including trindle, blue tri, black tri, and champagne tri);
  • Black and tan;
  • White;
  • Cream;
  • Black;
  • Brindle;
  • Merle (ticked);
  • Fawn;
  • Blue;
  • Chocolate;
  • Champagne;
  • Smutt; and
  • Piebald.

The difference between the Exotic Bully and the Clean Exotic lies mainly in their appearance and breed standards. Keep in mind, different registries have different breed standards for the Exotic.

The Exotic Bully is known for its extreme “look,” such as a larger head, shorter muzzle with more wrinkles, and more muscular build with a much broader chest than the traditional American Bully. These dogs often have exaggerated features, such as a wide chest and broad shoulders, and may be bred specifically for these traits. The Exotic Bully may also be bred with other breeds, such as French or English Bulldogs, to look far more like a Bulldog.

In contrast, the Clean Exotic has a more traditional Bully or Pitbull appearance, looking more like a smaller Pocket Bully. These dogs still have a muscular build and blocky heads, but their features are less exaggerated than those of the Exotic Bully. The Clean Exotic usually only comes from American Bully bloodlines and is not mixed with Bulldogs.

The Exotic Micro Bully is a smaller variation of the Exotic Bully, typically weighing between 30 to 60 pounds.

Exotic Bully Temperament

Exotic Bully Temperament

The Exotic Bully often has a mellow, laid-back temperament similar to smaller American Bullies or English Bulldogs. However, they also tend to have the prominent personalities common in French Bulldogs and can be far more “goofy” and fun companions than most other Bully breeds.

This means they thrive on attention and can be prone to attention-seeking antics. They are also known for having charming natures, and most people who own this breed fall in love with their sweet personalities.

They may also be little divas, prone to demanding food and cuddles and being very vocal when they want to be. However, they are a relatively quiet breed not given to excessive barking. They can be prone to temper tantrums if they don’t get what they want. And occasionally, they may be a bit territorial of their favorite people and places.

Daniel notes that he has seen aggression in the Exotic Bully, but they’re not dangerous dogs because of their small size. However, good socialization and training are essential for these dogs and should not be neglected to avoid any behavioral problems. Training is not always easy, as they can be stubborn, but they do well with positive reinforcement, patience, and consistency.

General Care Of The Exotic Bully

As with any dog, Exotic Bullies have specific exercise, diet, grooming, and housing needs. 

Exercise Needs

A daily 20 to 30-minute walk or play session in a fenced yard is usually sufficient since these are not very active dogs. They only need low-impact exercise to keep them from becoming overweight.

Dietary Needs

Exotic Bullies should be fed high-quality dog food that meets their nutritional needs. It’s important to avoid overfeeding these dogs, as they can easily become overweight due to their tendency towards a stocky build. Their dietary needs change depending on their age and health.

Grooming Needs

Grooming requirements for Exotic Bullies are relatively low. Their short, smooth coat only requires occasional brushing to remove loose hair and keep it looking healthy. They do shed moderately, so regular brushing can help to get rid of excess dead hair.

Be sure to clean their ears with ear wipes for dogs, and trim their nails regularly with guillotine clippers. They may be prone to dental issues, so keep an oral hygiene additive for their water bowl. 

Housing Needs

Regarding housing, Exotic Bullies can adapt to various living situations, but Daniel notes that these are indoor pets meant to stay close to you and love to snuggle on your lap. They can do well in apartments or smaller homes as long as they get enough exercise and mental stimulation. 

What Kind of Health Issues May You Find in the Exotic Bully?

The health of the Exotic is a matter of heated debate. For reputable breeders like Daniel, the aim of the Exotic is to have a “healthier version of the English Bulldog.” This is commendable since health problems in the Bulldog are a major concern for anyone that loves the breed. Daniel emphasizes Exotic Bully Breeders’ responsibility only to breed healthy dogs.

The less extreme proportions in the Pocket Bully bloodlines do relieve some of the health issues so common in French and English Bulldogs. A well-bred Exotic and Pocket Bully should have fewer respiratory issues and better movement than their Bulldog ancestors. This is particularly true for the Clean Exotic Bully, which has less extreme features.

However, Daniel points out that most Exotic Bullies do not have a pedigree. This means they don’t yet have a closed gene pool. Once they have a closed gene pool, genetic health issues may become more of an issue for the Exotic Bully. 

Another issue is that this dog can still be bred to unhealthy extremes, like the short noses that lead to Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS). Excessive wrinkles can make problems like skin fold pyoderma common

Protruding eyes lead to many eye problems in short-nosed dogs, such as Brachycephalic Ocular Syndrome, corneal ulcers, dry eye, and cherry eye or canine multifocal retinopathy. Deformities like entropion or ectropion are also a problem.

Extreme skeletal proportions also lead to more joint problems like dysplasia or spinal issues like Intervertebral Disc Disease.

A number of genetic tests can be done for American Bullies to screen them for genetic problems. With the heavy influence from the French Bulldog and English Bulldog (two breeds known for their health issues), the exotic Bully is at risk of significantly more problems.

These include:

It’s essential to work with a reputable breeder who screens their dogs for these and other health issues and to schedule regular vet checkups to ensure that any potential problems are caught.

Color And Health In The Exotic Bully

Breeding for color can also become a problem. Rare colors like the Tricolor American Bully fetch higher prices. Merle Exotic Bullies also fetch higher prices. Merle coloring is associated with several health problems, and breeding two merle dogs together can create a “Double Merle,” a dog more prone to hearing and eye problems. 

The ABKC accepts neither Merle nor Albino, but an Exotic Bully can be both. Albino dogs are also more susceptible to problems like skin cancer or light sensitivity. Below is a video of an albino Exotic Bully.

Even the dilute colors that are common in the Bully can have health issues related to color dilution alopecia, which can cause itchy skin and patchy hair loss. Dilute colors include light shades of blue, cream, or lilac.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do Exotic Bullies Get On Well With Children?

Exotic Bullies are great family dogs that get on well with children. Nevertheless, always supervise young children with dogs to ensure that both parties interact respectfully. 

Are Exotic Bullies Okay With Other Animals?

Exotic Bullies can get on fine with other animals, especially when they are well-socialized as puppies. However, it’s best not to keep two adult dogs of the same sex together. Adult males may fight with other males and females with other females. So keeping dogs of the opposite genders together in the same household is safer.

How Much Does An Exotic Bully Puppy Cost?

An Exotic Bully Puppy typically costs between $3000 and $10 000. However, dogs from special bloodlines or colors may often cost up to $50 000 (or more if the dog is a good option for breeding). It’s not unknown that Exotic Bullies fetch exotic prices.

How Long Does An Exotic Bully Live?

Sadly, the exotic Bully does not have a very long lifespan, typically 5 to 8 years. 

Final Thoughts

The Exotic Bully breed can make a great companion for the right owner. They are sweet, charming, and excellent family dogs. These dogs can lead happy and healthy lives with moderate exercise, a high-quality diet, and occasional grooming. However, potential owners should always do their research and be prepared to meet the specific needs of this breed before bringing one into their home.

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.