American Bully Association

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American Bully Association Q&A

  • Why is pet registration important?


    Registration indicates one's pride in ownership. As such registration helps insure greater responsibility in ownership and thus reduced levels of neglect, abuse, discard and shelter turn-ins. Additionally registration helps maintain and add value to purebred pets, helps insure better genealogical tracking, improves scientific and social understanding and acts as a management mechanism for a breeds history.

  • Do the parents of my bully breed have to also be ABA registered?


    No. As long as your dog is purebred bully / molosser or listed as one of our developing breeds then the parents are not required to be registered. At the American Bully Association we accept bullys that are both registered with other registries or in some cases not registered at all as they have in some manner fallen from the registration process. At the ABA we also accept both pedigrees from other registries as well as privately kept and managed pedigree data.

  • What is the fee for registration?


    Basic single dog registration is $35. Litter pups are $10 each. Both single dog and litter registration material receive free shipping and handling. Litter pup transfers are free but a fee of $4 is necessary to cover shipping and handling for the new owner. Registration includes a certificate, pedigree up to 7 generations based on submitted genealogy information, free inclusion and upgrade on our social network with access to many additional benefits and services.

  • Does the ABA offer any registration discounts?


    Yes. We offer multiple dog discounts as well as discounts based on the level of pedigree provided. We even offer FREE litter registration. To see the full details of registration options and all our various discounts please see our Registration page.

  • What types of payments do you accept?


    Online debit, credit or check payments using PayPal online processing. We also accept Bitcoin online. Payments of money order, cashiers check or cash are accepted by mail. Checks are also accepted by mail for US residents but will first be confirmed by your bank before processing takes place. If mailed checks do not clear a processing fee may be charged in the amount of $26 US.

  • Is my bully / molosser breed ABA recognized?


    To see the list of qualified ABA breeds please visit our HOME PAGE with provides a list of accepted breeds and links to more information about each bully breed.

  • Does the ABA accept Exotic Bullies?


    Exotic Bully is basically a new name given to what is already accepted in the industry as falling under the American Bully designation. If you have an exotic bully that has both parents that are within the accepted breeds of the ABA we can register it under the American Bully developing breed standard.

  • What is the purpose of a registry and what makes a registry legit?


    The purpose of a registry is first and foremost in managing registration and genealogical records. While different registries may or may not provide services beyond this core purpose it is this aspect which dictates whether or not a registry is legitimate. If a registry does in fact keep and properly manage genealogical records it is in fact legit.

  • How long does the registration process take?


    The standard time frame in the industry for individual pets is 6 weeks. We try to meet or exceed this level. For litter associated material we do place a priority on such processing and complete it within a 2-4 week time frame.

  • Does the ABA offer a paid option for expediting registration?


    No. We do not feel this is fair to allow people to pay to jump the line in front of others that have already been entered into the registration process. In certain situations where processing timeframes are critical that they are expedited we can review these on a case by case basis for consideration. In most cases these would involve litters for new members who are unaware initially of our standard time frames. In such cases exceptions may be made but will not be considered as a standard method of business practice.

  • If I have a litter should I register the parent(s) first before registering the litter?


    No. If you have a litter and one of both parents need to also be registered then they should all be registered at the same time. The reason for this is that by registering the adult(s) then waiting on that material to arrive to then register the litter unnecessarily delays the processing of the litter for that added period of time. For example if you have a litter but first register the parent(s) and wait on that material this can add an unnecessary 6+ weeks to the process. Add another 2-4 weeks to process the litter then you are looking at not getting the litter material until the pups are around 8-10+ weeks old. Since most new owners expect their paperwork at the time of transfer it is best to register both the parent(s) and litter at the same time so that the litter material is available at the time of transfer or as soon thereafter as possible.

  • Is there a deadline to submitting my ABA registered pup transfer to my ownership?


    No. Unlike most registries the ABA does not place a time limit on the transfer of a pup to its new owner. We do however encourage the process to be completed as soon as possible. There is NO REASON not to complete a transfer. Transfers validate your ownership. Many people are under a false premise that registration transfer is only necessary when considering breeding. This is NOT TRUE. Whether or not you are considering breeding you should always complete the proper transfer of your new pet.

  • What types of registries are there?


    There are two primary types of registries which include closed registries and open registries. A closed registry is a registry that essentially requires that when registering a pet that both its parents also be registered with that registry. On the other had an open registry does not have the requirement that the parents both be registered with that registry in order to register a pet.

  • Am I required to provide a pedigree or genealogy data to register my bully / molosser?


    No. But you should provide one if available and if so the largest one you have. At the American Bully Association we actually reward members based on the size of their submitted official pedigrees from other registries. The larger the official pedigree you can provide the greater the discount you can qualify for. For dogs registered with no genealogy or registered using privately held pedigree / genealogy data these are recorded as Foundation Stock.

  • How do I submit a pedigree or other genealogy information?


    Simple. If it is an official pedigree from another registry all you need to do is take a high quality digital photo and upload it/them using this form. If you maintain a private pedigree or other genealogy data including pictures or any relatives you can download this MS Word Template to complete and then upload or you can use this PDF template. Once the images are ready and/or the template is complete simply upload it/them using this form.

  • What size pedigrees can the American Bully Association provide?


    Pedigrees provided to us by members are researched based on current database information. When researched and matches are found these matches are all linked together using a family relationship system. Based on what research reveals FREE pedigrees are provided ranging from 2-7 generations. If advanced Platinum Pedigrees (8+ generations) are available based on research an option will be provided for upgrade purchase.

  • Does registration prove purity?


    No. Registration is a symbol of purity when representing a purebred pet but in and of itself does not prove purity. While an argument is often waged against open registries making the claim that they are allowing registration of impure pets within a breed evidence actually supports the opposite to be true and that greater motivation exists to attempt to erroneously register impure pets with closed registries. Closed registries such as the AKC regularly report attempts of paper hanging in their annual reports. Another closed registry the UKC also admits to the inclusion of such registrations. Erroneous registration is known as paper hanging and is a issue that all registries must deal with whether they are open or closed.

  • What is paper hanging?


    Paper hanging is the registration of a pet erroneously with a registry under the prospect of it being purebred or from a different lineage than indicated.

  • Can DNA tests prove purity of a breed?


    No. Unfortunately many registries and labs have misrepresented the purpose and value of what genetic tests can do. Basic genetic tests can only validate parentage in which all prospects parents are available and have also been tested by which all tests can then be compared against. If both parents have been validated and are both considered of the same pure breed then the offspring can then be considered also purebred but the test itself does not prove such.

  • Can DNA tests determine lineage?


    No. Such tests can validate parentage but can not determine such. For example if a pet is tested its prospect parents must also be tested and validated to verify the offspring actually belong to them. If the parents are not also tested and validated then there is no way that the tests can be compared and thus there is no way that the test can determine the parents. So if the parents are either not known or not available for testing by which to compare the offspring's test against there is no way to actually determine who the parents actually are without proper genealogy data. This is why registration is so important so as to maintain proper genealogy records and thus be used as a validation tool for determining lineage.

  • How can I get replacement ABA paperwork and what does it cost?


    Simply request it and provide us your current mailing address. This is FREE to ABA members and provided for any reason without question. In the process you must provide us your current mailing address along with your pets information. The reason we require a verification of address is that you may have moved and we want to insure that the material is properly sent and received.

  • How do I transfer my already ABA registered pet to another owner?


    Simply complete an ownership transfer form. The process is FREE for ABA members and the new owners. We provide both an online form as well as a printable form option. This form can be found by logging into your social account at then selecting the Members Extras option in the top menu.

  • If I do not want a new owner to breed how can I prevent this?


    The only sure fire way to prevent a new owner from breeding is to have a pet spay / neutered. A contract or agreement can be drawn up to state that breeding is not to take place but this will not guarantee that it will not happen. Such an agreement can only discourage the process.

  • Can the ABA help me re-home a pet?


    No and yes. What we can do is help a member help themselves. We do this by providing free advertising space. At this point however ti is dependent on the owner to do the work in preparing the ad and insuring that it is properly distributed to the greater community such as inclusion on additional social media outlets, notice at vets, etc. We also can not take in pets needing to be re-homed. We do not have the facilities to manage such intakes. We also can not help non-members as we have limited resources.

  • When is the earliest a female should be bred?


    A female should not be bred until at least her second heat cycle. During a females first heat cycle she is still not mature enough to properly manage a pregnancy in a healthy manner. Breeding a female in her first heat cycle can have significant long-term health impact on both the mother dog and her offspring. Due to the lack of maturity there is a significantly higher level of mortality risk for both mother and pups during the birthing process.

  • Is inbreeding and line breeding the same?


    Yes. The term line breeding is a term used by many breeders to soften the perception of the inbreeding process. Inbreeding is any breeding to any relative. Science has shown there to be over 500 genetic related illnesses. The single best way to create positive health impact within a breed is by limiting or eliminating the inbreeding process. Inbreeding leads to genetic depression, which can have impact for many generations even if a particular offspring does not appear to be impacted. Inbreeding depression can take as many as 3 generations of separation before its negative impacts begin to be mitigated. To learn more about the potential negative implications of inbreeding click here to see an article on the subject in the Canadian Veterinary Journal.

  • Is there any reason that would justify inbreeding?


    Yes. first and foremost the process may be necessary when there is an extremely low level of purebred specimens. In such a scenario inbreeding may be the only way to bring a breed back to a level of stable populations. Another reason one may consider inbreeding is to set specific desired traits. Breeding for this reason however can be a double edged sword as it may also set or bring forth negative genetic traits. If inbreeding is being considered alternative options that meet the same desired goal should be first explored. If no good alternatives to inbreeding exist then the practice should be done in a well managed manner in which to promote the optimum health and least negative long term impact on offspring or a breed.

  • What is the ABA position on cropping ears and docking tails?


    Cropping and docking is first and foremost a personal decision of a pet owner. As long as the process is managed in a humane manner and the proper time in a pets life for such procedures and it is appropriate to the breed then the ABA has no problems with such procedures. In some places around the world however the practice has been made illegal so one should first understand their local laws before undergoing such procedures. While some argue that it is merely aesthetic and thus unwarranted this is not necessarily true. Most humans would not have a second thought to having a sixth finger or toe removed yet this too could be considered as merely aesthetic. In some cases the procedure may go beyond aesthetic to one of necessity. For example with owners who use blood thinners such as coumadin / warafrin. In such cases tail docking may actually be a life saving measure to prevent injury to an owner by whipping tails that could cause uncontrolled internal bleeding that could lead to death.

  • When is the best time to start vaccination?


    It is important to understand that the primary immunization to an animal is provided by its mother during the breast feeding period. Through the mother's milk an animal gains important antibodies necessary to fight off infections and build the immune system. While an animal is still breast feeding the antibodies actually work against clinical immunization preventing vaccines from being fully effective. Once an animal stops breast feeding this is the time to implement the first vaccinations. During this period an animal is at its highest susceptibility. During this period one should take the greatest care to reduce risk of exposure. This means not allowing pups access to other pets or outside ground exposure. Other precautions such as not allowing the mother direct ground exposure and disinfecting her paws each time she goes outside should also be considered. Also exposure to people should be limited and only allowed after they have thoroughly washed and disinfected their hands.

  • What basic set of shots should be given to new pups?


    This can vary based on region but typically a 5 in 1 or 7 in 1 is the preferred option. A 5 in 1 includes vaccination against canine distemper, canine hepatitis, adenovirus cough (kennel cough), parainfluenza, and parvovirus. A 7 in 1 additionally include vaccine for two types of leptospirosis.

  • What is the time frame for initial vaccinations?


    All pets are different and are weaned at different time frames. Once the weaning process begins is when immunizations should first be given. Booster shots should then be followed on a three week schedule thereafter to incorporate a total of at least three sets of shots. At the one year mark another booster should be given and then once each three years afterwards.

  • What additional vaccinations should be considered beyond the basic?


    Rabies first and foremost and is typically required by most municipalities. Others that can be considered are Coronavirus, Bordetella, Lyme and Giardia. Additionally a regimen should be developed to prevent heartworms in regions where heartworm is a risk.

  • When does a dog have full immunity?


    Technically a dog is never fully immune and follow-up boosters are required throughout life. A dogs immune system reaches full maturity typically between 6 months and one year.

  • Is Merle a color?


    Technically no. Merle is a genetic trait that causes dilution of coat and or eye color. Merle however is often referred to in the same speech as color as it has a direct impact on it. When Merle affects coat color it is a pattern the same as brindle and piebald. The Merle coat pattern typically reveals itself as darker or lighter splotches or in some cases ticcing/spotting.

  • What is piebald?


    Piebald is the patching pattern many pets exhibit. Patches may be large or small and may be solid colors or patterns such as Merle and brindle.

  • Does the ABA discriminate against any colors or patterns?


    No. As long as they are natural to the breed being registered we do not use such as a method for penalization or discrimination. To make this determination check the breed info page for your breed of interest.

  • Does the ABA hold dog shows?


    No. Dog shows are not typically held by a registry but instead by a local club. When a local club holds a show it then seeks the sponsorship by registries for the purpose of recording and managing points and moving dogs through larger competition processes such as state, country and international level events.

  • Can the ABA help me set up a local club?


    Yes. The first thing one should do if interested in showing their dog is to see if any local clubs already exist that can be supported by the ABA. If not or such clubs do not promote a member focused and supportive environment then we are happy to work with our members to help develop and manage clubs on the local level. In such cases the ABA can provide free guidance, marketing and member recruitment assistance.

  • How many administrative members does it take to start a club?


    Starting a club will typically take around 5 founnding administrative members in the beginning phases. As the club grows and moves toward holding events this number will need to be increased based on the size show one wishes to hold and the number of events included. At the time of show a core of 9 administrative members along with a handful of volunteers can typically work to pull off a sucessful event.

  • Can the ABA help me with marketing?


    If you are a member of the ABA we offer many options for both free and paid for marketing assistance. Whether simply needing to market a litter of pups, promote ones kennel or advertise a local club and shows the ABA is happy to work with our members to create the greatest impact and reach for our members marketing message.

  • Is invisible fencing a responsible method of containing my dog?


    While invisible fencing can be used by some as a means to help manage their pets it should not be considered a method of confinement. Any time one uses invisible fencing they should also be there to manage their pet in the event of failure. Failure can happen for many reasons ranging from power surges to adrenaline rushes by the pet that renders the system useless. For example if a pet likes to chase small prey, cars, bicycles, etc. the rush they receive from the initial drive to chase may overwhelm the deterrent that the invisible fence provides. Worse yet if the pet does decide to return home after escape they are then effectively locked out since their adrenaline will not have the same influence to bring them back in.

  • Can micro-chipping help me find my lost pet?


    No and Yes. Many people are mislead by the name to believe that somehow the chip allows their pet to be tracked using a GPS system. This is not true. The chip is merely a system that can be used once your pet is found and turned over to an appropriate vet or humane care organization that has the proper technology to read the micro-chip. Since different technologies exist even if a vet or humane care organization does have a chip reader this does not necessarily mean that it will read the specific chip that is implanted. The best bet is to double up on precaution and also have your pet properly collared and tagged. This allows for immediate return by a conscious citizen as the first line of defense against lost pets and dramatically increases the odds of return of lost pets.

  • Are there any negative impacts to spay / neutering?


    While spay / neutering is a personal choice not enough attention is honestly given to the risks involved. All to often the concept is pushed by the humane industry as a risk free procedure to control pet population. The truth however is that some breeds do not respond well to anesthesia resulting in risk of death or long term health issues. Additional issues related to such procedures include increased risks of various cancers and hormonal changes that can impact the pet's long-term health and well being. Other issues can also result such as mood and mental changes that may result in actions and attitudes that are undesired.

  • What is the best way to insure my pet does not get pregnant or impregnate another?


    By far the most effective form of birth control for pets is proper confinement either inside or behind a well secured fence. Using this method of birth control responsibly will help insure no pregnancy happens and that there is not risk of health impact associated with such procedures as spay and neutering. Using this method also gives an owner control of future responsible breeding decisions and management.

  • Is there a purebred pet overpopulation problem?


    No. This is a popular misconception even within the humane care industry. For most purebred dogs there actually exists a demand and not an oversupply. Over 85% of pets to new households come from breeders vs. the so-called humane care industry. The real issue with overpopulation lies with mix-bred animals that have been bred irresponsibly either out of lack of proper confinement and management or out of selfish motivation without regards to broad impact.

  • Why do so many in the humane care industry speak so often of pet overpopulation?


    For the most part the intent is to bring attention to a situation that most in the industry do not have a sincere interest in fixing. This mantra has been touted and taught for over 3 decades with ever more ferver and less honest impact. Making the number of animals the issue vs. the methods by which the industry works to honestly find surplus pets new homes and educating people on proper well planned breeding and pet management insures that such individuals will continue to earn a paycheck while at the same time many would be great pets die unnecessarily every year. The truth is, is that more would be pets needlessly die as a result of insincerity in the humane industry and by the hands of their workers than all other reasons combined including abuse and neglect. Until the real idea of making a paycheck and increasing funding is put away then the concept of pet-overpopulation will only continue to be falsely perpetuated and millions of would be great pets will continue to be needlessly destroyed by their own hands.

  • What is the ABA position on PETA?


    There is a disconnect between most of those who support PETA and the actual organization. Most who support PETA do so based on the premise to help advocate against inhumane care and treatment of animals. While this is a worthy enough ideology the truth is that the organization itself maintains a militaristic position that has nothing to do with the humane care of animals. This is evidenced by the fact that they use deceit to gather pets from shelters, rescues, etc. under the auspice of caring for them to then only take them and destroy them. The co-founder for example has actively engaged in promoting the destruction of the Pit Bull breed. These actions simply do not square with the message they put forth to the public. Don't eat chicken destroy a dog! Don't hunt for food yet gather and destroy cats. If most PETA supporters knew that PETA actively engaged in the needless destruction of thousands of would be wonderful pets every year then they would themselves see the hypocrisy that exists between the organization's words and actual deeds and reomove themselves as members and supporters.

  • What is the ABA's position on Breed Specific Legislation (BSL)?


    BSL is unfair to responsible owners and disregarded by those who are not and as such is arbitrary and capricious. The use of BSL is often proposed by politicians in a knee jerk reaction to dog bites as a means in which to try to use such situations as a means of gaining votes by pandering to fear and irrationality. The truth is, is that most municipalities have laws that require proper confinement. These laws however are not enforced thus perpetuating irresponsible ownership that thus leads to greater community risk by roaming dogs. If a municipal body is derelict in their job in enforcing existing laws there is no reason to believe they would suddenly change their ways especially when such laws are often considered unconstitutional and unfairly infringe on liberty.