Get to Know the Bully Merle: A Guide

By gotpit

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The Bully Merle is a relatively new breed of dog that has gained popularity in recent years. It is a mix between a Bulldog and a Merle, and it can come in a variety of coat colors. This guide will provide an introduction to the breed, its history and biological features, the potential health risks associated with it, its characteristics and personality, the proper care needed to keep it healthy and safe, the importance of socialization, its current popularity, the pros and cons of owning one, and alternative breeds that may offer similar features. After reading this guide, readers should have a better understanding of the Bully Merle, what to expect from owning one, and how to properly care for them.

History of Bully Merle

The Bully Merle is a relatively new breed, having only been around since the mid 1950s. The breed is a descendant of American Bulldogs present in the United States since the early 1700s. It is believed the term ‘Bully’ was derived from the phrase ‘Bull Mouth’ to describe the wide, square shaped heads of the breed. The Merle coat pattern is a result of the outcrossing of two different colored animals.

In the 1960s, the breed began to gain notoriety in the southeastern United States. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1972 and continues to be a popular choice for many families today.

Biological Features of Bully Merles

The bully merle is a medium-sized breed, typically 30 to 40 pounds when fully grown. It has a short coat, often with a combination of blue and tan or white and tan shades. The coat usually has patches of color and can be smooth, long, or wirey. Some bully merles may also have a wrinkled face. They have a wide head, with a short muzzle and long floppy ears.

Health Risks of Bully Merle

When considering adding a bully merle to your family, it is important to be aware of any health risks associated with the breed. As many bully breeds in general have a reputation for being prone to various health issues, the bully merle has some of its own.

Due to their dense, heavy coats, bully merles may be more prone to skin infections and allergies. They are also prone to eye and ear infections, which can be caused by foreign objects or parasites. Additionally, they can experience joint and bone disorders such as hip dysplasia which can affect their mobility.

It is important to ensure that your bully merle receives regular examinations and preventive care from a veterinarian to help detect any health problems early on. Additionally, it is wise to obtain breed-specific health testing from reputable sources prior to making a purchase. This can help you make a more informed decision about adding a bully merle to your family.


The Bully Merle is an affectionate and loyal companion. They are known for their friendly and playful personalities, combined with their strong sense of protection. This breed is naturally curious and loves to explore new areas. They possess a strong instinct to guard against strangers and can make devoted guardians.

Bully Merles are smart and eager to please. They are quick to learn and respond well to positive reinforcement. As with all dogs, it is important to give them plenty of mental and physical stimulation. This means plenty of walks, playtime, and even some obedience classes. With consistent training and socialization, Bully Merles can become a beloved and respected member of the family.

Proper Care for a Bully Merle

A Bully Merle needs to be provided with appropriate care to ensure it remains healthy and happy. This includes providing meals of high-quality dog food, proper grooming, and plenty of exercise. Here are some tips for caring for your Bully Merle:

  • Feed your Bully Merle a diet of high-quality kibble or wet food appropriate for its size and age.
  • Brush your Bully Merle’s coat at least once a week to keep it clean and free of tangles.
  • Ensure your Bully Merle is provided with plenty of exercise, such as walks, runs, and games in the yard.
  • Visit the veterinarian for regular checkups to ensure your Bully Merle stays healthy.

Taking proper care of your Bully Merle is essential for its well-being. Providing them with the right nutrition, grooming, and exercise can help ensure that your pup remains healthy and happy for years to come.


Socializing your bully merle early in its life is essential to helping develop a happy, balanced temperament for the dog. Bully Merles are very social dogs and do best when provided with training and regular interaction with other animals and people. They will often become protective of their humans and home, so it is important to introduce them to new environments and people in a safe and positive manner. Additionally, training should be implemented to ensure that your bully merle knows how to properly behave around others. This will help keep it from becoming overly protective or aggressive.

Exposure to different types of environments during puppyhood is essential for helping your bully merle adjust to changes later in life. Taking the time to introduce the pup to loud noises (such as vacuums, thunder, fireworks, etc.), strangers, and other animals is important for helping establish a well-adjusted, confident adult dog. Training the pup regularly with positive reinforcement techniques is also important for helping them learn proper behavior.

Socializing your bully merle from an early age will help promote its overall wellbeing throughout its lifetime. It will help ensure that your pup grows up to be a friendly, confident, and well-balanced dog who will fit into any environment.

Popularity of Bully Merle

The popularity of the bully merle breed has been steadily rising over the past several years. This breed is most popular in the United States but can also be found in other countries such as Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. They tend to be especially popular in areas with warmer climates due to their short-haired coat. In addition, they are popular in rural areas due to their strong protective nature and size. The breed is also a great choice for novice owners as it is known for an even temperament.

In recent years, the bully merle has gained even more attention due to their appearance in TV shows, movies, and other forms of media. They have become a favorite of many celebrities, making them even more appealing to potential owners.

Pros & Cons of Owning a Bully Merle

Once you’ve done your research on the bully merle breed, you’ll likely have noticed that they are a large and strong breed with plenty of energy and personality. But as with any dog breed, there are pros and cons to owning a bully merle.


  • Bully Merles are very loyal and make great family companions.
  • They are usually very easy to train and quick to pick up commands.
  • They tend to be healthy and active with minimal health issues.
  • Bully Merles are great guard dogs and can be easily taught to protect their human family.


  • Bully Merles are large and energetic dogs and require plenty of exercise and space.
  • Their thick coats require regular grooming and special care.
  • They may not be friendly to other animals since they have a tendency to be territorial.
  • Strong willed, they can be quite stubborn and require consistent training.

Owning a bully merle is a long-term commitment so it’s important to consider all of the pros and cons before making a decision. It’s also important to recognize that while there may be potential challenges associated with owning a bully merle, with proper care, training and socialization, they can make wonderful additions to any family.

Alternatives to Bully Merle

If you like the look and characteristics of a Bully Merle but feel they may not be the right fit for you, there are several alternative breeds that may offer the same features. These breeds range in size, coat colors, and other physical characteristics.

One option is the American Bulldog, which boasts similar muscular body frames and thick coats. They also have a shorter snout than a Bully Merle but are still strongy built with a height of 19-23 inches. The American Bulldog is usually white or tan, but sometimes can have patches of brown or grey.

The Catahoula Leopard Dog is another alternative breed that resembles the Bully Merle. They have long ears, a large build, thick fur, and striking eyes. This breed can come in almost any color variation, from grey to blue to black to merle. Catahoula Leopard Dogs are known to be loyal and courageous yet independent.

The Bull Terrier is a playful option for those seeking a Bully Merle. It has a sturdy frame, thick coat, and broad head. Color variations include black, white, red, fawn, brindle, and tri-color. Bull Terriers are very friendly, outgoing, and clever.

The last breed we will review is the American Pit Bull Terrier. Like the Bully Merle, Pit Bulls have a large head, robust muscles, and a short tail. This breed comes in a variety of colors, including fawn, white, black, brindle, and blue. Pit Bulls are known for their intelligence and loving personality.

There are various breeds that offer similar features to the Bully Merle. All of these breeds have their own set of unique characteristics. Be sure to research more about each breed and find the best fit for you.

The bully merle is an interesting and unique breed that has been around for centuries. While it can be a great companion to have, it is important to take into account its distinctive characteristics and traits. In this guide, we discussed the history of the bully merle, its physical features, possible health risks, its personality and care requirements. We also looked at its current popularity, advantages and disadvantages of owning one, and alternative breeds which may offer similar traits or characteristics.

To conclude, owning a bully merle requires dedication and patience. It is essential to do your research beforehand to ensure they are provided with the best possible care and environment. If you think a bully merle could be the right fit for you, it is always recommended to speak with breeders and other owners before making any decisions.

Plus, don’t forget to evaluate any resources you use along the way. This will help provide you with reliable information about the breed, enabling you to make well-informed decisions.

Resources & References

It is important to rely on reliable sources when researching the bully merle breed in order to ensure you are receiving accurate and up-to-date information. Below is a list of references that were used in the creation of this guide:

  • American Bully Merle – Dog Breed Information. (n.d.). Retrieved May 17, 2021, from
  • Bully Merle History | Official American Bully Kennel Club. (n.d.). Retrieved May 17, 2021, from
  • Bully Merle Temperament | Official American Bully Kennel Club. (n.d.). Retrieved May 17, 2021, from
  • Herrman, Lauren. (2019, April 15). Everything You Need to Know About the Bully Merle. Retrieved May 17, 2021, from

FAQs About Bully Merle

  • Q: What is a bully merle?
    A: A bully merle is a designer breed of dog. It is a mix between a Bulldog and a Pit Bull, and typically has a unique merle coat.
  • Q: Where did the bully merle originate from?
    A: The bully merle is thought to have originated in the United States in the early 2000’s.
  • Q: What does a bully merle look like?
    A: A bully merle typically has a short, stocky body and a broad chest, along with a short, dense coat, usually sporting a unique merle color.
  • Q: Are there any health issues associated with the bully merle?
    A: Yes, bully merles can be prone to some health issues, including skin problems, hip dysplasia, and eye diseases.
  • Q: How should I care for a bully merle?
    A: To properly care for your bully merle, make sure to provide them with proper nutrition, regular exercise, grooming, and socialization.
  • Q: What are the pros and cons of getting a bully merle?
    A: Some pros of owning a bully merle are that they are loyal, friendly, and great family pets. However, some cons include higher vet bills due to some common illnesses, as well as a need for regular grooming and exercise.
  • Q: Are there any alternatives to the bully merle?
    A: Some other similar dog breeds include the Boxer, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Cane Corso.

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