XL Bully dogs: applying the conformation standard

Sets out the physical conformation standard for the XL Bully breed type in Scotland.

Conformation standard: XL Bully type

Use this Blue Cross UK video to see how to measure your dog's height.

The XL Bully breed type is a variant of the wider American Bully breed type. The XL Bully breed type is typically larger (both in terms of height and body shape) and more muscular than other American Bully breed types such as the ‘Micro’, ‘Pocket’, ‘Standard’ and ‘Classic’.

General impression

  • Large dog with a muscular body and blocky head, suggesting great strength and power for its size. Powerfully built individual.


  • Adult male from 20 inches (51cm) at the withers.
  • Adult female from 19 inches (48cm) at the withers.


  • Heavy, large and broad.
  • The length from the tip of the nose to a well-defined stop (indentation between muzzle and the head) is equal to around one-third of the length from the tip of the nose to the back of the head.
  • Muzzle blocky or slightly squared to fall away below the eyes. Topline of muzzle straight.
  • Prominent cheek muscles with strong, well-defined jaws and lips semi-close. Often having prominent wrinkles on face.
  • Nose is large with well opened nostrils.


  • Level or scissor bite.


  • Heavy, muscular, slightly arched, tapering from the shoulders to the base of the skull
  • Medium in length.


  • Shoulder blades are long, well-muscled and well laid back.
  • Upper arm length is about equal to the length of the shoulder blades and joined at a 35-45 angle to the ground.
  • Front legs straight, strong and very muscular with dog standing high on the pasterns. (area between feet and ankles).
  • Elbows set close to the body.
  • Distance from the withers to elbows about the same as the distance from the elbow to the bottom of the feet.


  • Heavily-muscled.
  • Large, blocky body giving impression of great power for size. Broad, deep chest with well sprung ribs.
  • Chest may be wider than deep. Topline level and straight.
  • Loin short and firm.
  • Generally appears square shaped from point of the shoulder to the point of the buttocks compared with the withers (tallest point on the dog’s body excluding head and shoulders) to the ground.


  • Strong, muscular and broad.
  • Thighs well developed with thick musculature.
  • From behind, both pasterns are typically straight and parallel to each other. Muscular development, angulation and width in balance with forequarters.


  • Rounded, medium in size and in proportion to body.
  • Compact and well arched.


  • Medium length and low set.
  • Tapers to a point to end at about the level of the hocks.
  • Generally assumes a straight or pump handle shape when dog relaxed.


  • Glossy, smooth, close, single.


Email: xlbullydogenquiries@gov.scot

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