American Bully Dogs at Coney Island

from the Artsology series The Arts Adventurer

I was on a visit to Coney Island in Brooklyn, and walking along the boardwalk, when I spotted a mass of people congregating in the middle of the boardwalk in front of me. As I got closer, I noticed lots of dogs - everywhere! At first glance I thought they were all pit bulls, but a closer glance revealed a number of dogs that looked like they had a little bit of pit bull, and a little bit of bulldog ... and then I heard someone say "American Bully." I could see why there were so many people crowding around - this dog "meetup" was pretty fun to see!

crowds on the Coney Island Boardwalk

My own dogs are mystery mix rescue dogs, and I've never been very familiar with formal aspects of dog breeds, but a little research on the "American Bully" reveals that in the world of dog breeders, it's a relatively recently recognized dog breed, but not accepted by all breeding organizations. You'll see in the pictures below that clearly not all of these dogs are the same breed, and I'm sure there were some dog walkers who happened upon this group and just joined in. I also see that the American Bully is considered to have four categories within its breed, including "pocket," "standard," "classic," and "XL." There's definitely some XLs in the pictures below, as I was amazed by how massive some of these dogs were!

There were two groups of people in this crowd - the dog owners, and passers-by who were all looking and taking pictures. It was funny to see how much the dogs appeared to be enjoying the attention, as you can see in the dog's face, below left. In the picture below right, if you look closely, it appears that the Tony Soprano tattoo is looking cautiously at the dog next to him!

American Bully dog on the Coney Island Boardwalk

American bully dog and owner with leg tattoos

One thing that surprised me about this group of congregating dogs was how calm they all were! There was no barking, no confrontations, everything was very peaceful, and everyone - humans and dogs alike - appeared to be having a good time. Check out the two below left, going nose-to-nose with their friendly greeting. And below right, it looks like a pair of friendly American Bully puppies, saying hello to the others as well! Can you see now why this it was so much fun to be in the middle of all this?

American bully dogs checking each other out with some sniffing

friendly American bully dogs

I guess bringing your dog to the Coney Island boardwalk involves a bit of showing off - check out this trio, below left, showing off their "doggy bling" with their gold collars! The dog below right also has a gold collar, and he's being watched by a Buddha tattoo ...

dogs at Coney Island sporting some dog bling with gold collars

American bully dog with gold collar bling

I'll leave you with two more pictures from this accidental discovery of a dog convention of sorts ... I'm not sure what kind of dog this is below left, but look at that face! See how his ears appear to be curled up on top of his head?

And check out the two below right, with their "intimidating" spiky collars - they were as calm and sweet as could be as I stepped in closer to get this photo.

dogs at the Coney Island boardwalk in Brooklyn

American Bully dogs with spiky collars at the Coney Island boardwalk in Brooklyn

For a look at dogs in art history, check out our feature on Dog Paintings At The Louvre.

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