6 tips for traveling with a bully breed

More people are taking their dogs with them on adventures, including road trips, staycations, visiting different cities or even flying to a different country. But traveling with certain breeds of dog might pose more of a challenge and require more attention.

Those with bully breeds may already be used to facing discrimination when going on walks or taking their dogs with them to places like cafes, restaurants and dog parks.

What are bully breeds?

Bully breeds include breeds such as the English bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terriers (staffies), bull mastiffs, English bulldogs, pit bulls, boxers, French bulldogs and Boston terriers as well as a few others. These breeds seem to have some common attributes including that of being a muscular dog, which can elicit certain reactions from people.

English bulldogs are considered to be part of the bully breed family

While these dogs may face unfair discrimination, dog parents should not be put off of traveling with them as they – like any dog – could very much enjoy traveling and spending time with you.

Before taking off on an adventure, be sure that your bully breed is well-socialised and well-behaved.

  1. Research ahead of time for any breed restrictions

Certain countries around the world have outright banned certain breeds that their government deems to be too dangerous. If you decide to travel to a different country, always check to make sure your dog’s breed is allowed in the country.

It also helps to know the region’s rules on dog breeds too. For example, despite the country of Spain having certain laws against breeds, in the Catalonia region of Spain, there could be different rules for that same breed.

Other countries might allow your breed to visit but only with certain restrictions. For example, your pet would have to carry around insurance, muzzles, etc. However, do check to see if these rules apply for pets who are visiting a certain area instead of residing there as the rules might not necessarily apply to tourists and visitors.

Do your research before you reach your destination

2. Check hotels, rental cars and public transport for breed restrictions

As mentioned before, having a bully breed can lead to discrimination. Certain businesses in the US do practice breed discrimination. For example, certain hotels, or bed and breakfasts may have rules against certain breeds staying in their accommodation.

Always look ahead of time at the hotel you are staying in, particularly in the US, for any fine print on any breed rules. The same goes with public transport and car rentals. They might have some rules on weight restrictions and breeds.

It helps to have a back up plan in case you are worried about the hotel or car not allowing your dog due to their breed, but if you check and call ahead of time, then a back up plan may not be needed.

3. Familiarize yourself with the breed laws of the country you are visiting 

If you have a bully and you’re traveling across Europe or elsewhere, you might actually get stopped by authorities for your dog simply due to their appearance as they may not know what breed your dog is and they may get confused. This may happen even if your dog’s breed is perfectly legal in that area.

If you know your rules, you can always cite them, maybe even print out the rules and carry them around, or just have a photo of the rules in your phone, but make it clear your dog is fine and they’re allowed to be where they are.

Be familiar with any breed rules your destination may have (image: Nikola Čedíková from Pexels)


4. Carry a muzzle 

This rule may apply more in Europe than in other places. Authorities may stop you and your dog due to their appearance alone. While your dog’s breed may be perfectly legal in that particular area, they may get confused and ask you to put a muzzle on your dog.

If you are traveling across Europe then you should consider taking a muzzle anyway as most trains and public transport in different countries across the continent may require you to carry one and put it on your dog.

Either way, carrying a muzzle could get you and your dog out of trouble should the authorities stop you.

5. A little style to help your bully look friendlier 

A simple suggestion to help your bully breed look friendlier is to put a little style on them. This could include a bandana or, in colder months, a coat. It may make your dog seem more approachable and could lead to an overall better experience for your and your dog.

While bully breed parents may already be used to people walking across the street to avoid their dog, traveling to a new city is a different experience and you will want it to be hassle-free and smooth. Putting some style on your bully could open up new worlds and allow you to make more friends, or at the very least, not feel as if your breed is scaring others. Hotel staff may be friendlier to your dog due to this little accessory which will make the overall experience more pleasant.

Of course, all bully breeds are perfectly fine as they are, with or without any accessory, so this is just a suggestion.

A little style could help your dog look more approachable

6. Stay positive

Seeing your best friend face discrimination due to the way they look is not fun. A good tip while traveling with your bully is to always project positivity even when the world around you might judge your breed.

The best thing to do is to live your life and enjoy your dog and your adventures. If your dog could talk they would tell you the same thing.

A positive attitude is contagious (image: martin Dalsgaard from Pexels)




  1. I am traveling with Lufthansa which on many blogs are the airline recommended to fly with an American Bully,. BUT, I am stuck in Frankfurt on the 3rd leg of my flight going back to my home and just now Lufthansa decided that my IATA approved cage is not adequate for my dog which they insist is a fighting dog, this is after taking 3 flights with Lufthansa which they deemed my cage was OK. I have been here for 5 days and no solution. This is a living nightmare . Please advice people NOT to fly with Lufthansa because what me and my baby are going through is just inhumane.

  2. So sorry to hear I would recommend filing a complaint with the EU, Google EU passenger form complaint. I hope you and your pup make it home! Sending our best!

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