2020 got you down? The American Bully has a cure.
The 5th Annual Bully Fun Show delivered a day of friendships and love as this remarkable breed took center stage and reminded us all that we are one people. Take away the distractions and add dogs, you get one amazing day.
In 1990 Dave Wilson at his Razors Edge Kennels wanted to produce a dog with a “bullier” appearance but depressing or eliminating the aggressive features of the Pit Bull and associated breeds. He discovered other kennels following similar path at Grey Line, Gotti Line, and others collaborated to start the Bully “movement” in California.
In the beginning the American Bully breeders found themselves treated as outcasts by the mainstream breed registries. Despite their goals of providing a positive future for the breed and community, gaining recognition and overcoming stereotypes were an immediate hurdle in the early days and the ABKC was created in 2004.
“The American Bully is a companion breed exhibiting confidence, a zest for life, along with an exuberant willingness to please and bond with their family, thus making the American Bully an excellent family companion. Despite the American Bully’s fierce and powerful appearance their demeanor is gentle.” - ABKA
In 2013 the United Kennel Club (UKC) formally recognized the breed and registered dogs may compete at sanctioned conformation shows in N. America. Currently, the AKC still does not recognize the breed.
Prejudice and Paws
Fact. The bulldog is generally viewed as potentially dangerous and many high-profile cases concerning the “Pit Bull” brought this to the forefront of national attention over the years. The response by local officials and law makers has led to very broad and prejudicial laws concerning all bulldog breeds.
Probably not helpful is the lack of specifics when presenting the bulldog breeds. The English Bulldog is capable of intense bite power but has one of the lowest incident reports for biting of humans of any breed. American Bullies are specifically forbidden from showing human aggression according to ABKC breed guidelines, but the UKC breed guidelines describes aggression is a “characteristic” of the breed.
Despite the continued efforts of the reputable breeders, this perception remains a challenge today. It also continues to fuel common public misconceptions and must be considered if deciding on this breed for your own home.
Talk to any American Bully owner and you get a very different view and one that attending any American Bully show supports. This is a friendly and loving breed with more in common with the typically friendly Golden Retriever and the most affectionate pound puppy than any “pit” or fighting dog.
The number of families and children at these events far exceeds any I have seen at any other dog show in Florida. In fact, it's common for the children to be the ones handling the dogs. All of this with a great amount of excitement and stimulus at these events. Yet, the dogs are commonly quite indifferent to all the activity.
Though not a recognized breed by the American Kennel Club, the registry opposes “Breed Specific Legislations” (BSL) and affirms its support of studies concluding responsible ownership being the real issue, and not the breed.
“...the time an owner spends caring for and training a dog is inversely correlated to the level of aggressive behavior the dog exhibits.” - Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances
The HBK Fam’
Jess Reyes is the founded Heavy Blades Kennels over 16 years as a breeder and collective of American Bully owners. It’s technically a business but the bonds within this breeds community run deep and is widely referred to as the “Bully Fam” in no small part because of Jess. known to most as “Jess HBK”. She is passionate about the breed and educating the world to redefine the broken image of these dogs she loves.
“When they made the American Bully they bred all that negativity out .. it’s more family orientated.” - Jell Reyes, Heavy Blade Kennels
Several years ago, Jess invited owners to the first “Bully Walk” in Orlando, FL to promote the breed and educate more about the differences. The “Fun Shows’ where the next step and have been a great success. She’s most happy about the expanding community and increasing interest from the general public about the American Bully. Through the Fun Show’s she can introduce more people to the breed, teach more about what it is and how to get involved in conformation or even breeding themselves.
America is a country of underdogs. We are mighty when we stand together, but as fierce individuals. We don’t like to be what we are told we must be. We don’t conform to “norms” readily and always look for that next new adventure. It’s in our breed.
The American Bully is a canine reflection of many of our best cultural traits. From stubborn to loyal to loving, once you get to really know one, it can change your world.
The community is Florida continues to flourish and hopes to build bonds across other states in the future. It is an incredibly welcoming and relaxed environment at Bully Fun shows, with family run food vendors, BBQ and even a DJ. Kennels, both large and small from around the state attend and the variety of participants and spectators are incredibly diverse.
For Hero Dogz
Veterans with disabilities
Veterans know first-hand the sense of a community set apart from the mainstream and the importance of protecting the “under dog”. The American Bully community, or “Fam’ (family), is a truly unique and accessible community. The lack of formalities and no apparent judgements beyond the dogs themselves makes it a great experience for anyone, but especially for those of us who just want to have a day with our dog and no pressures.
The events are usually held at public facilities and therefore ADA compliant restrooms and access are normal, but always check ahead on any event to make sure any special needs you may have can be accommodated. Jess HBK’ and her husband are very responsive to any questions you may have and can be reached through their Facebook link below.
Bad Azz Dogz Special Photo-Feature: 2020 HBK Bully Fun Show Over 500 photographs from the day. HBK Bully Fun Show Gallery Dozens of dogs from around the region participated. From Urban to Rural. Of every color and type. It was a day of Americans and their Bully breeds.
Are you a photographer?
Even if you don't have dogs, but love them and want to photograph them for fun, I strongly encourage and welcome you to join me at Bad Azz Dogz events. I don't bite and love to see more and more of you helping promote our Florida Dog community. If heading out alone?
Be aware, that if events are on private property, the property owners may have restrictions while physically on their property, but this is rare and unless clearly posted, not assumed unless it is reasonable to believe their may be*. *Military or secure facilities for example.
Bad Azz Dogz
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By Dogz 4 Dogz
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Heavy Blades Kennel (HBK)
American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) http://theabkcdogs.org United Kennel Club (UKC) https://www.ukcdogs.com/
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