What Makes the Micro Bully So Controversial?

In recent years, a concerning trend has emerged in the realm of dog breeding: the breeding of micro bullies. These small and compact versions of bulldogs have gained popularity due to their cute appearance and portability. However, behind the allure lies a dark reality of unethical breeding practices and potential harm to the animals involved. This article aims to shed light on the issue and explore the ethical implications of breeding micro bullies.

Understanding Micro Bullies:

Micro bullies, also known as pocket bullies or mini bulldogs, are selectively bred to be smaller versions of traditional bulldog breeds. They are marketed as desirable companions due to their compact size, exaggerated features, and perceived cuteness. However, achieving these traits often involves breeding practices that prioritize aesthetics over the well-being and health of the animals.

Surrounded In Controversy

Like most designer dog breeds and exotic Bullies, the Micro Bully is shrouded in controversy. Questionable breeding standards and practices, combined with reports of serious health issues, have hindered the wider popularity of this breed. In fact, there are movements advocating for a complete ban on the breeding and exploitation of these dogs.

Get a glimpse into the world of micro bully dog shows and breeding.

Unethical Breeding Practices:

Bred to be as small as possible, the Micro Bully is known for its squat, wide-set stance, muscular build, and large head. Micro Bullies have a smooth coat and come in a variety of colors including white, black, blue/gray, red, tan, and more. This designer dog status makes the Micro Bully highly sought after in some circles, but a symbol of the problems with backyard breeding in others.

micro bully
  1. Overemphasis on Size: Breeding for extreme miniaturization can have detrimental effects on the dogs’ health. The pursuit of an exceptionally small size often leads to a range of health issues, such as skeletal abnormalities, respiratory problems, heart conditions, and compromised immune systems.
  2. Intensive Inbreeding: To achieve consistent physical traits and size, unethical breeders resort to excessive inbreeding. This practice increases the likelihood of genetic disorders and decreases the overall genetic diversity, making these dogs more susceptible to various health problems.
  3. Neglect of Health and Temperament: Rather than prioritizing the overall health and temperament of the animals, unethical breeders focus solely on appearance. This neglect can result in dogs with compromised immune systems, poor socialization skills, and behavioral issues.

Here, we’re covering all there is to know about the Micro Bully from the basics of the breed to the passionate debates it inspires. 

Micro Bully Basic Info

Before we learn more about the Micro Bully, it should be noted that these dogs are not purebred or an officially established dog breed. Micro Bullies are usually mixes of the Pocket Pitbull and the Patterdale Terrier or some other small terrier. Some Micro Bully breeders cross their dogs with English and French Bulldogs to help reduce size and height, but this practice is rarely disclosed to people purchasing these pups.  The Pocket Bully is also a mix with one Patterdale Terrier parent and one American Bully parent.

micro bully, can't bend it's lots or sit on the ground. Flat footed.


Following is a quote from a vet tech on Reddit:

This video shows very clearly how tea cup and micro bullies are bred to have shot squat legs, to the point of being almost deformed.

“Micro Bully dogs are more or less a status symbol to the people who breed them,”

Reddit user

So, what is life actually like with a Micro Bully? What should you expect in terms of personality, health, and trainability from a dog with no clear breed standards? 

Micro Bully Temperament

Micro Bullies are usually similar in temperament to their standard American Bully and “Pitbull” cousins. Playful, affectionate, and social, Micro Bullies make lovely family dogs that bond tightly with adults and children alike. Thanks to the strong bonds they form and their tendency to be energetic, some Micro Bullies may also be alert, reactive, or suspicious of strangers and new experiences. 

Due to a variety of health issues, Micro Bullies should not be expected to go on long walks, do lots of exercise, or play for extended periods. Instead, it’s a good idea to give your Micro Bully low-impact stimulation in the form of foraging and sensory toy or light training. 

Micro Bully Size

a micro bully
Source: breedexpert.com

How big do Micro Bullies get? Well, as the name suggests, Micro Bullies are quite small compared to other “Bully” breeds. Micro Bullies stand 14–17 inches as the shoulders and weigh 20–40 pounds. Because these dogs are bred to be small and muscular but not particularly athletic, it’s not uncommon for them to be on the heavier side. 

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Micro Bully Health

Are Micro Bullies healthy? Unfortunately, the vast majority of Micro Bullies suffer from severe health issues including breathing problems, joint pain, allergies, digestive issues, poor temperature regulation, and more. 

“ [Micro Bully breeders] would often come in,” said a vet tech in a comment on Reddit, “The dogs hardly able to walk, never seeming fully “with it” cognitively, in comparison to other dogs, and always breathing so loud that I constantly check their gum color. I mean, the breathing sounds are horrific.”

“Micro Bullies Only Live For 5-7 years”

With all this in mind, you might be wondering: how long do Micro Bullies live? Unfortunately, these pups do not have much longevity and only live for about 5–7 years. Some examples of the breed may live a little longer to around 10.


Where To Find a Micro Bully Puppy

micro bully puppy

Often, the people purchasing Micro Bullies are entirely well-intentioned and have simply fallen in love with the idea of a shorty Bully. Unfortunately, when a “designer” or “exotic” breed becomes popular, people don’t always put in the research to find ethical breeders or learn more about where their puppy will come from. It is not uncommon for backyard breeders producing Micro Bullies to lie to their customers about the health, age, and genetic background of their puppies. 

“Many breeders sell dogs as Micro Bullies when the father or mother of the pups are actually straight English Bulldogs or Frenchies,” said a Reddit user’s comment explaining one of the dishonest practices used by some Micro Bully breeders. Even if the breeder is honest about their puppies’ genetic makeup, many Micro Bully breeders keep their adult dogs in less-than-ideal conditions, and neglect to bring them in for routine care. 

Do Not Get A Micro Bully From A Breeder

For these reasons and many more, we absolutely do not recommend buying Micro Bully puppies for sale from a breeder. However, if you find a Micro Bully at a shelter or dog rescue by all means adopt! 

My Favorite Breed Is Rescue!

Of course my favorite breed is always going to be RESCUE. The satisfaction of providing a second chance to a pup in need is beyond rewarding. However, I understand that some people may have specific preferences when it comes to breed—maybe it’s about temperament, appearance, activity level, or even allergies. But now, the shelters are so full you might be able to find a pocket bully or micro bully.

It’s absolutely possible to find your dream dog at a shelter.

Rocky Kanaka, Pet Rescue Advocate

It All Changed During The Pandemic

You might recall that during the pandemic, many well-intentioned people, stuck at home, decided to welcome new puppies into their lives. But as life gradually returned to normal, they realized they didn’t have enough time for a dog. Consequently, shelters are now experiencing an influx of dogs once again.

Purebreds Now Represent 25% Of Dogs In Shelters

Interestingly, a study from 2015 revealed that only 5% of dogs in shelters were purebred. Fast forward to 2023, and that statistic has changed. As a shelter volunteer and pet rescue advocate who travels around the country visiting shelters and rescues, I can tell you firsthand that between 20-30% of dogs in shelters today are purebred. You’ll find an abundance of Huskies, German Shepherds, Frenchies, Pugs, English Bulldogs, Pocket Bullies, and even designer breeds like Goldendoodles.

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Believe me, it’s absolutely possible to find your dream dog at a shelter. In fact, I have two purebred dogs of my own who were once shelter dogs!

Meet 5 Micro Bullies

Not all micro bullies are bred with such extreme features. Here are five Micro Bullies whose owners share them on Instagram to help you visualize this designer breed as you read. These dogs appear to have been bred properly, unlike the ones in the video above.

1. Lucky Thanos

Lucky Thanos the micro bully
Source: @Lucky_Thanos

Lucky Thanos is a blue-eyed fawn Micro Bully living in Vancouver! With a smile like that, all Lucky needs to do is lounge in the grass and wait for admirers to approach. 

2. Mickey

Mickey the micro bully
Source: @MicroBully.Mickey

This little Micro Bully is Mickey from Toronto! Mickey loves to get dressed up and go on adventures, but also never misses a chance for a good nap.

3. Rosco

Rosco the micro bully
Source: @RoscoTheBoss_

Rosco has that classic wide stance that the micro bully is known for! Take a look at that muscular build—that’s one strong little dog.

4. Hazel

Hazel the micro bully
Source: @Its_Crazy_Hazey

Miss Hazel is small enough to fit comfortably in a lap! A beautiful combination of chocolate and white, Hazel is a love bug who is deeply attached to her two tiny humans. 

5. Ziggy

Ziggy the micro bully
Source: @ZiggyTheMicroBully

Ziggy is a merle Micro Exotic Bully—which means his parentage includes more than one variety of the “Bully” dog breeds. This three-year-old pup is playful, mischievous, and a huge fan of the beach!

Micro Bully FAQ

Struggling to find clear answers to your questions about the Micro Bully? We’re covering all of the most pressing queries from dog lovers just like you. 

What’s the best food for a micro bully?

What is the best food for your dog?

The three foods that are super healthy and that almost every dog loves, even the pickiest dogs, are:
1. The Farmer’s Dog.

This is a fresh-frozen food that’s delivered to your home in just the right amounts for your dog. There are a number of fresh frozen dog foods available on the market and I tested them all. The Farmer’s Dog came up the winner with my picky dogs. You can see the fresh frozen food test here.

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2. Sundays Food For Dogs
Sundays For dogs woman pouring into bowl
This is an air-dried food. It has the convenience of kibble (just pour it in the bow) but is much much healthier. It’s like little pieces of jerky, so dogs go crazy for it. There are a number of air-dried foods on the market. My dogs tested 3 of them. You can see the results of the air-dried food test here.

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3. We Feed Raw.

This raw food for dogs comes delivered to your home is perfectly sized portions for your pup. They primarily source their ingredients from trusted U.S. farmers, with two exceptions: venison and lamb. These ingredients are sourced from New Zealand, where some of the highest-quality and most ethically raised venison and lamb can be found. Pasture-raised and grass-fed and finished, we highly recommend trying these formulas if you’re interested in the best-quality ingredients. Save 25% on your first order.


I highly recommend using a supplement on your dog’s food, not matter what you feed them, to ensure the meal is balanced and they are getting all the right supplements to help them stay healthy. The supplement I use is called The One from Front of the Pack. It has 12 ingredients that have been clinically-proven to keep your dog’s joints, skin, heart, digestion, and even their breath in tip-top shape. It’s also a powder, so easy to sprinkle on your dog’s food. For a limited time, when you buy one month you get a second month free.

What’s the difference between a Micro Bully vs Pocket Bully?

Pocket Bullies are accepted and recognized as a legitimate size/version of the American Bully by the American Bully Kennel Club. Most Pocket Bullies are a mix of American Bully and Patterdale Terrier, but there are some examples of the breed that are primarily American Bully. These pups are slightly larger than the Micro Bully and have less exaggerated features and fewer health concerns. 

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Micro Bullies are not recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club and are always a mix of Pocket Bully and at least one other breed. For this reason, you might hear them referred to by different names like Micro Pocket Bully or an American Micro Bully.

What is a Micro Bully Mixed with?

What are Micro Bullies Mixed with if they aren’t purebred? Usually, the Micro Bully is a mix of American Bully and Patterdale Terrier. Often a third breed like the English or French Bulldog or a small Terrier will also be introduced to the bloodline. The only way to truly know what your Micro Bully is mixed with is by doing a DNA test. 

How much does a Micro Bully cost?

Because they are not an official or regulated breed, Micro Bully price is determined entirely by the breeder and is not standardized. You may find advertisements for a Micro Bully for sale for just $500, while other breeders may ask for as much as $5,000 or more. In some extreme cases, Micro Bullies have sold for as much as $10,000. 

If you find a lovely little Micro Bully at a rescue, you’ll pay between $150–$500 for your new best friend!

Can Micro Bullies breed naturally?

Yes. However, many Micro Bully breeders (and dog breeders of other dog varieties) use artificial insemination to breed their dogs. 

Can Micro Bullies have natural birth?

Sometimes. The vast majority of Micro Bullies must deliver via c-section. In some cases, Micro Bullies are unable to give birth naturally due to their skeletal structure. This is one of the key issues cited by people who are anti-Micro Bully, since giving natural birth could put the life of the mama dog at risk. 

How many puppies can a Micro Bully have?

2–6 puppies are standard for Micro Bullies, though some litters may be as large as 8. Unfortunately, pregnancy can be extremely uncomfortable and somewhat dangerous for the pregnant Micro Bully. Small and low to the ground, pregnancy can make movement, breathing, eating, sleeping, and everything else very difficult for these pups.

What is a Micro Exotic Bully?

“Micro exotic bully” may be used to refer to micro bullies with unique physical traits, such as exaggerated features or unusual coat colors/patterns. It is important to note that these variations may involve breeding practices that prioritize aesthetics over health and well-being.

What is a Teacup Micro Bully?

A “teacup” Micro Bully is the same thing as a Micro Bully but bred to be even smaller. Considered an unethical practice by most reputable breeders and animal welfare advocates, teacup Micro Bullies are really just an advertising gimmick created by unethical breeders to make money. 

Should you crop your Micro American Bully’s ears? 

No. Regardless of size, American Bullies do not need their ears cropped. Ear cropping is steadily becoming an outdated practice, and many vets no longer offer this service. There are no medical reasons to crop the ears of any Bully breed, and this practice is often done purely for aesthetics or to make the dog look “tough.” 

How tall is a micro bully (or micro exotic bully)

micro bullies are bred to be very small, often times they can't walk properly

Micro Bullies stand between 14–17 inches at the shoulder.

The breeding of micro bullies highlights the ethical dilemmas present in the canine world. While their adorable appearance may attract many, the unethical breeding practices behind these dogs should give us pause. Prioritizing the health and well-being of animals, supporting responsible breeding, and considering adoption from shelters are crucial steps in promoting a more compassionate and ethical approach to canine companionship. Let us strive for a world where the welfare of animals

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