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Pocket-Bullys: The New Welfare Concern

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

Micro-bullys, Mini-bullys, Pocket-bullys- the new designer kid on the block. However yet again veterinary professionals are picking up the pieces of this extreme and unethical breeding practice.

What are micro-bullys?

Micro-bully is a designer breed developed through selective breeding, they are not pure breeds and not recognised by the UK kennel club. They are being bred with more and more extreme traits which is detrimental to their health and welfare

Saw one which had been imported and could barely stand. Owners were planning to breed

What problems do they face?

Limb deformities

Micro-bullys are bred to be short but often have severe limb deformities as a consequence of this. Vets are commonly seeing them for hip and elbow dysplasia, hyperextension in the carpus alongside proprioceptive issue.

Cropped Ears

Sadly many of these dogs are imported for breeding with cropped ears. This is an unnecessary mutilation and illegal in the UK. Those dogs born in the UK sadly there are people illegally cropping ears. This is a distressing trend.


As if painful limbs and malformations wasn't enough these dogs are also often bred to be brachycephalic (flat faced) This comes with a host of issues that are associated with Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS).

... bought what he thought was an XL bully puppy but is actually a young adult pocket bully and her legs are so deformed that she can't even get up the front steps to get into the house! And she has got cropped ears!

A word of caution

The UK Animal Welfare Act stipulates that dogs cannot be used for breeding if their health, genotype and phenotype are likely to have adverse health effects on their offspring. This obviously could be applied to a number of modern breeds but In this instance many pocket-bullys clearly are in breach of the Animal Welfare Act.

This may be an upsetting message to breeders or owners of these breeds but going forward we suggest:

  • Please do not support unethical breeding practices

  • Please do not buy these puppies that have cropped ears or that are bred with extreme looks like brachycephalic or short legged

  • Please do not breed from these dogs

  • They are suffering as a result of unbelievably poor breeding

In a recent poll a whopping 99% of veterinary professionals believed this designer trend compromised these animals health and welfare.



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