Difference Between Pitbull and American Bulldog – An In-Depth Comparison


Interested in understanding the distinctions between Pitbulls and American Bulldogs? If that’s the case, this guide has been specifically crafted for your needs.

Here, we explain the key differences between the two breeds so you can distinguish between them and know the exact traits of each breed.

What Are the Main Differences Between Pit Bulls and American Bulldogs?

The major difference between American Pit bull terrier and American Bulldogs lies in their temperaments. Since Pitbulls were bred to fight, they are known to be somewhat aggressive. American Bulldogs are a lot friendlier. Another key difference is their size. American Bulldogs are larger than Pitbulls.

5 Key Differences Between Pitbulls and American Bulldogs

  1. American Bulldog vs Pitbull – Pitbull is a ‘Term’ Whereas Bulldog is a ‘Type’

When you use the term Pitbull, you could be referring to any dog breed from the Terrier family such as American Staffordshire, American Pit Bull Terrier, or the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. 

On the other hand, when you talk about an American Bulldog, you are referring to a separate dog breed or distinct dog breed recognized by the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club. The AKC does not recognize the Pit bull as a breed.

  1. American Bulldog vs Pitbull – Temperament Differences

According to the ASPCA, Pit bulls were bred to bait, pull down, and even bite bulls, feral pigs, and bears. This led breeders to breed aggressive dogs. Thankfully, the cruel sport was banned after world war ii.

While Pitbulls today are bred mainly to be household companions, sometimes, these dogs retain their original instincts. This is why most Pit bulls are known to be aggressive and dangerous dogs. Of course, good breeding practices can tone down this aggression in the pit bull breed, but we must not forget the breed’s past.

Check Out – How To Train an Aggressive Pit Bull

On the other hand, according to the AKC, American Bulldogs were bred to be a utility on farms or farm dogs. This led them to have docile and friendly temperaments. Today, American Bulldogs are also used as companion animals. Despite its size and muscular looks, the American Bulldog breed is well-known for its docile, friendly, and affectionate temperament.

They are not only friendly toward people but also get along with children, cats, and other animals. Naturally, an American bulldog puppy will need socialization and early obedience training but they do not have a high prey drive that may be seen in some other breeds.

  1. American Bulldog vs Pitbull – Differences in Sizes

Most American Bulldogs are taller than the standard, purebred Pitbulls. Purebred American Pit Bull terriers weigh around 35–60 pounds (15–27 kg) while Staffordshire bull terrier weighs between 24-38 lb. American Bulldogs tend to be large and muscular dogs weighing between 60-110 lb. (27-45 kg).

To tell the difference between Pit bull and American Bully- the American Bulldog is squat and wider than it is tall. In a sense, they look like English bulldogs but with greater width and more muscles.

  1. American Bulldog vs Pitbull – Differences in Coat Colors

Purebred standard American Bulldogs may be white, red, brindle, fawn, tan, or brown. Pit bull coats could be black, red, or brindle with 20 different colors and patterns. American Pit bull terrier also has a lighter coloring on the belly – known as tuxedo coloring.

  1. American Bulldog vs Pitbull – Differences in Lifespan

American Pit bull Terrier tends to live for 12-14 years. Common health issues seen in the Pit bull breed are gastric dilation volvulus, certain cancers, Pit bull syndrome, hip dysplasia, and congenital heart disease.

Lifespan American Bulldogs live for 10-12 years. Common health issues seen in the American bulldog breed are eye issues, thyroid problems, hip dysplasia, cardiac issues, obesity, etc.

Also Read: How to Potty Train a Pitbull Puppy – Step-by-Step Guide

Is an American Bulldog the Same Breed as an American Pitbull Terrier?

No. The American Bulldog is not the same as the American Pit Bull Terrier; it is a distinct breed. As can be seen, there are several differences between the American Bulldog and Pitbulls which can be American Staffordshire terriers or other dog breeds mentioned above.

The common factor between the two breeds is that both the American Bulldog and Pit Bull have descended from the Old English Bulldog. The two dog breeds used in making the modern American Bulldog are the American Johnson Bulldog and the Scott Bulldog lines. Also, some Mastiffs and the Molosser dog family dogs may have been used.

Other similarities between the two breeds are that they can both be a well-behaved dog with proper training. They are both highly intelligent breeds. Both are good with kids if socialized from a young age and can even make nanny dogs.

Which is Stronger – The American Bulldog or Pitbull?

There is a chance that Pit bulls may be stronger than American Bulldog even though the latter is stronger, heavier, and more muscular than the former.

Pit bulls were originally bred for fighting. Pit bulls were used for bull baiting and dog-fighting which were popular sources of entertainment until they were banned. Because of this heritage of bull baiting, Pit bulls and other bully breeds often show a propensity to attack other animals.

Good breeding practices can tone down this tendency to some extent. Both breeds are also genetically prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, which is why you must buy your pet from a reputable breeder.

FAQs – Differences Between Pitbull and American Bulldog

Are American Bulldogs healthier than Pit bulls?

There is general consensus that smaller breeds are healthier. Therefore, in this case, it may be said that American Pit bull terriers could be healthier and may live longer than the muscular American Bulldog.

Who will win in the breed comparison- a Pit Bull or an American bulldog?

Pit bulls might win in terms of athleticism and physique. American bulldog – although larger – is less aggressive and ferocious than these fighting dogs.

Is an American Bulldog a good family pet?

With proper training and early obedience and socialization, an American bulldog can make great family pets and companion for kids and other pets.

Are Pit bulls good with kids?

Pit bulls are generally good with kids and other pets as long as they are socialized to them from a young age.

Are American Pit Bull Terriers aggressive?

No. With good breeding, early socialization, and training, you can have a non-aggressive American Staffordshire terrier and an American pitbull terrier..

Are American Staffordshire Terrier a bully breed?

Yes, the bully breed is a term given for different bulldog breeds which include Staffordshire bull terriers, English bulldog, French bulldogs, Boxers, Pitbull terriers, American Bulldog, and other dogs of the Bulldog family.

Are Pitbull Terriers good guard dogs?

Yes, with training pitbull terrier or American pitbull terriers can make excellent guard dogs. Pitbull terrier dogs are amazing dogs and great companion dogs.

Are Pitbulls a great family dog?

Yes, with good breeding, socialization, and early obedience, pitbull terrier can make great family dogs.

What are Pit bull’s puppy prices?

Pit bulls’ price can be between $1000 and $2500.

Do American Bulldogs have a lot of energy?

Yes, the American bulldog is an active breed. This is an agile dog of large breeds that needs a lot of exercise. You must walk this energetic breed for at least 45 minutes a day.

Can my Pitbull terrier be a therapy dog?

Yes, with training in obedience and specialized service dog training, Pitbull terrier could become therapy dogs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *