American Bulldog Vs Pitbull: What Are The Differences? 

Are you struggling to distinguish between Pitbulls and American Bulldogs? Don’t worry! Due to their similarities, the American Bulldog and Pitbull are often mistaken for each other. These breeds differ in key ways so that you can choose the perfect match for your family.

Pitbulls and American Bulldogs may appear similar to many, but they have notable differences. In order to assist you in making the right decision for your family, let’s explore these differences.

This is our comprehensive guide to the American Bulldog and Pit Bull!  Get ready to compare their key features, temperaments, personalities, histories, sizes, and strengths. At the end of this journey, you’ll be able to determine which breed captures your heart. Let’s get started!

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Comparison of American Bulldogs and Pitbulls

American Bulldog vs Pitbull: Color

A notable distinction in comparing these two dogs is in their coat colors. Pitbulls exhibit diverse appearances within the breed, with their coats capable of displaying any color or pattern. However, American bulldogs possess unique characteristics. Their coats predominantly feature solid colors, although it is not uncommon to find white coats with black, brown, or red patches.

American Bulldog vs Pitbull: Face

American bulldogs and Pitbulls exhibit distinct facial features that set them apart. They are large, square-shaped faces with a broad muzzle and occasional slight underbite. Their unique charm lies in the visible facial wrinkles adorning their cheeks and around the mouth.

As for their ears, they can either be folded forwards or stand straight, adding to their individuality. Pitbulls display slightly rounded faces with ears set high. Their jaws are vast, and the nose tapers slightly upwards. Notably, Pitbulls lack an underbite and facial wrinkles, giving them a different and sleek appearance.

American Bulldog vs Pitbull: Build

There are slight differences between American Bulldogs and Pit Bulls, but both breeds are robust and muscular. Bulldogs have a stocky physique, broad shoulders, and a deep chest. In contrast, Pitbulls are leaner and exhibit a well-proportioned form. They have more defined muscles than American Bulldogs, but their chests are not as wide.

Is An American Bulldog A Pitbull?

It’s crucial to clarify that the American Bulldog and the Pit Bull are distinct breeds, despite their apparent similarities. The American Pit Bull Terrier is derived from a cross between the Bulldog and the Terrier, whose ancestry is rooted in the Old English Bulldog. This intentional crossbreeding aimed to produce a more robust and agile dog, adept at bull-baiting and ratting. The Pit Bull belongs to the Terrier family, while the American Bulldog belongs to the Molosser family.

Are Pitbulls and Bulldogs Related?

Are Pitbulls and Bulldogs Related?

The American Pitbull Terrier and the American Bulldog descend from the Old English Bulldog. English settlers brought this sturdy and muscular dog to North America during the 1600s. Back then, the Old English Bulldog was often employed in the cruel and barbaric practice of bull-baiting, a widely popular bloodsport.

The popularity of the Old English Bulldog declined after the prohibition of bull-baiting in 1835. In an effort to safeguard the breed, some enthusiasts chose to cross it with mastiffs and terriers, giving rise to two distinct breeds: the American Pitbull Terrier and the American Bulldog.

Despite their shared ancestry, these breeds were selectively bred for different purposes, leading to striking contrasts in their physical traits and characteristics.

Is An American Bulldog The Same As a Pitbull?

As mentioned earlier, the American Bulldog and the Pitbull are distinct breeds. Nonetheless, they do share some similarities in certain aspects.

Here are some notable similarities between American Bulldogs and Pitbulls:

  • They both have broad heads.
  • Short coat and a muscular build.
  • Exhibit powerful jaws and bites.
  • Display very similar temperaments.
  • Share a common ancestry.
  • Historically utilized in bull-baiting in England.
  • Served as farm dogs in various roles.
  • With proper training, they could make great family dogs.
  • They may be prone to conditions like Hip dysplasia and Hypothyroidism due to their similar health profiles.

Difference Between American Bulldog & Pitbull

Here are some of the key differences between American Bulldogs and Pitbulls:

  • American Bulldogs were bred in the United States, whereas Pitbulls originated in the United Kingdom.
  • In general, Pit Bulls are smaller than American Bulldogs.
  • Pit Bulls are known for their high-energy nature, while American Bulldogs tend to be more subdued and laid-back.
  • Pit Bulls have sadly become victims of unwarranted breed discrimination.
  • They have a stocky build with broad shoulders and a wide, deep chest, whereas Pitbulls are slightly leaner and well-proportioned.
  • Pit Bulls typically have a longer life expectancy, ranging from 12 to 16 years, compared to American Bulldogs’ 10 to 12 years.
  • There is no official recognition of the Pit Bull breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC), but the AKC recognizes the American Bulldog.
  • Pitties may exhibit more aggression toward other animals compared to American Bulldogs.

Different states and cities have different breed-specific legislation (BSL). Many BSL regulations prohibit the ownership of Pitbulls and other specific breeds in certain areas. It is crucial to conduct thorough research on local laws and housing regulations before deciding to bring either dog breed into your home.

Remember that American Bulldogs may or may not be subject to BSL in your location or any places you plan to visit. Avoid making this discovery after committing to a pet, as it could lead to heartache and difficulties.

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Bulldog vs Pit Bull

Now compares the American Bulldog and Pit Bull based on research-based comparisons. The breeds have many differences and similarities, such as their history, breed characteristics, and appearance.

American Bulldog vs Pitbull: History

When comparing Pit Bulls and Bulldogs, it is possible to recognize the differences between them.

American Bulldog

The American Bulldog (AB) can be traced back to the English Bulldog. In the 1800s, working-class immigrants imported Old English Bulldogs into the USA. These dogs served multiple essential roles: farm guardians, herding dogs, and hunting companions. In the beginning, the breed was developed to provide personal and property protection as well as aid small farmers and ranchers in handling large animals such as cattle and hogs. 

After World War II, the American Bulldog faced the threat of extinction. Yet, thanks to the dedication of some passionate breeders, particularly in the southern states, the breed was preserved and redefined as family companion dogs instead of working on farms. Interestingly, the name “Bulldog” was not chosen for its appearance but rather due to its historical involvement in the English sport of bull-baiting. 

In this cruel practice, a bull was shackled to a stake, and dogs were encouraged to bite the nose of the bull. Fortunately, the breed’s purpose evolved, and they found new roles as loyal and loving family pets.

American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) was intentionally bred by crossing Old English Bulldogs with terriers, according to the United Kennel Club. This crossbreeding combined Bulldogs’ strength with Terriers’ gameness and agility.

In the British Isles, the Pit Bull Terrier gained popularity for the cruel sport of bull-baiting. However, with the prohibition of bull-baiting, the APBT found a new role in dogfighting and ratting. During ratings, people bet on which Pit Bull would eliminate the most rats in the shortest time.

In the United States, bull-and-terrier crosses were brought by immigrants. As cruel sports waned in popularity, the talents of the APBT were recognized, and they found roles as farm dogs and family companions. The term “Pit” in Pit Bull originates from ratting, where rats were placed in a pit to prevent their escape.

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American Bulldog vs Pitbull: Appearance

Pit Bulls and American Bulldogs are primarily distinguished by their appearance.

The American Pit Bull Terrier has a medium-sized, robustly built dog with a short coat, displaying well-defined musculature that gives it an athletic appearance. An adult male typically stands 18 to 21 inches tall and weighs between 35 and 60 pounds. On the other hand, females stand around 17 to 20 inches tall and weigh between 30 and 50 pounds.

In comparison, the American Bulldog is considerably larger. A male American Bulldog can reach a height of 22 to 25 inches and weigh 75 to 100 pounds, while a female can reach a height of 20 to 23 inches and weigh 60 to 80 pounds.

American Bulldogs have wrinkles on their faces, underbites, broad chests, and less defined muscles than American Pit Bull Terriers. At first glance, the resemblance might confuse the two breeds. However, you can easily distinguish an American Bulldog by its distinctive “bully” face and demeanor, which sets it apart from the Pit Bull.

While both boast strong, robust, and muscular appearances, they have distinct differences. The American Bulldog stands out with its pronounced cheek muscles and broader chest compared to the APBT. It has a large, wide head, a broad muzzle, prominent cheek muscles, a large and wide nose, and powerful jaws. Compared to the American Bulldog, the Pit Bull has a leaner body, more defined muscles, and a wider skull.

American Bulldog vs Pitbull: Intelligence

The American Pit Bull Terrier Intelligence Index (ABI) indicates that this breed possesses average to above-average intelligence. The Stanley Coren Intelligence Test indicates that dog breeds in the pit bull category, such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier, demonstrate average to above-average intelligence.

According to this research, the dogs are able to comprehend a new command after 15 to 25 repetitions and follow a known command (on the first attempt) around 70% of the time. Because of their intelligence, American Bulldogs are highly trainable due to their strong working drive.

Although no official intelligence tests specifically for American Bulldogs, their history as working dogs proves their aptitude. Due to their breed, these dogs require decision-making skills, intelligence, and concentration, which set them apart. Their brilliance and ability to excel in various roles make them well-suited for training and fulfilling tasks demanding cognitive capabilities.

American Bulldog vs Pitbull: Temperament

Pit Bulls and American Bulldogs share remarkably similar temperaments and personalities.

American Bulldog

Their temperament shares similarities with that of the English Bulldog. The gentle, affectionate nature of these dogs makes them excellent companions for families, including children. Often, they can be considered large lap dogs due to their loving and cuddly disposition. When properly trained from a young age, American Bulldogs tend to be friendly and family-oriented, enhancing their role as cherished pets.

The American Bulldog is known for its bravery and strong will. They thrive under owners who confidently establish themselves as firm pack leaders. These dogs are typically alert, exhibiting protective solid instincts, and may appear reserved around strangers. 

One outstanding trait of American Bulldogs is their unwavering loyalty. However, due to their natural prey drive, caution is advised around unfamiliar smaller animals, such as cats or dogs, and supervision is recommended.

American Pit Bull Terrier

The ASPCA’s Animal Behavior Center’s vice president, Pamela Reid, Ph.D., says Pit Bulls are generally non-aggressive toward people but may display “less tolerance” towards other dogs.

There are some misconceptions about Pit Bulls, but they are actually among the most affectionate, tolerant, and least aggressive breeds.

American Bulldog vs. Pitbull: Cost

There is a wide range of prices for Bulldogs and Pit Bulls. The following is a general idea of what each breed will cost.

For American Bulldogs, the cost typically ranges from $1,700 to $8,000, and in some cases, even more for dogs with a superior pedigree. On average, American Bulldogs are sold for around $800.

The average cost of an American Pit Bull Terrier is $1100, slightly more than the cost of a Standard Pit Bull Terrier. However, the price range for American Pit Bull Terriers varies widely, going from $3,700 to $10,000.

American Bulldog vs Pitbull: Health Issues

American Pit Bull Terriers and American Bulldogs have similar health concerns

  • Demodectic mange
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Thyroid defects
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Elbow dysplasia

The American Bulldog and the APBT can suffer from genetic health issues like other breeds. However, you can take proactive measures to mitigate these risks. One such approach is by conducting an at-home dog DNA health test, which can help identify potential medical complications and enable you to take appropriate preventive measures for your pet’s well-being.

Health Issues Facing American Bulldogs

According to PetMD, American Bulldogs are susceptible to the following health problems:

  • Kidney issues
  • Bone cancer
  • Cherry eye
  • Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (inflammation of some retinal cells and swelling of the nervous system)

Having wrinkles on their faces makes American Bulldogs more susceptible to chafing, heat, and moisture-related skin problems. You can address these concerns by using Squishface Wrinkle Paste, an effective product designed to protect and clean wrinkles, tear stains, and tail pockets. This can help maintain their skin’s health and prevent discomfort and irritation in those sensitive areas.

Health Issues with American Pit Bull Terriers

American Pit Bull Terriers can develop a number of health problems, including:

  • Aortic stenosis
  • Heart disease (i.e., abnormal heart rhythms and valve malformations)
  • Kneecap dislocation
  • Diabetes
  • Cataracts
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Sensitive to allergies

You can determine your genetic predisposition to drug sensitivity, vision problems, weight problems, mobility problems, and more.

American Bulldog vs. Pitbull: Training

American Bulldog

Early socialization and enrollment in puppy training classes are highly recommended for both the American Bulldog and Pit Bull breeds. While intelligent and eager to please, they can also be stubborn. These dogs have an agreeable nature and enjoy pleasing their owners. However, training might pose a challenge for those who need to assert themselves as pack leaders.

It’s essential to assume a natural leadership role while being consistent and kind. This approach helps channel their energy and establish necessary boundaries effectively. The United Kennel Club reports that some APBTs exhibit dog aggression due to their powerful physique, emphasizing the importance of obedience training and socialization by responsible owners. Proper training ensures these dogs develop into well-behaved, balanced, and socially adept companions.

For American Bulldogs and Pit Bull Terriers, structured activities such as regular training and play are crucial. These breeds can quickly become bored without proper exercise and mental stimulation, leading to undesirable and destructive behaviors. When raising or training an American Bulldog, instilling a sense of extraordinary calmness and obedience is paramount.

Pitbull Training

The K9 Training Institute’s workshop is an excellent resource if you need assistance housebreaking your dog. They offer valuable methods utilized by service dog handlers with their pups. For American Bulldog owners, the renowned Canine author Matthew Masterson has written a comprehensive guide titled “The Bible for American Bulldog Owners.”

This valuable resource offers insights on caring for, training, and fostering a successful partnership with your beloved pup. Similarly, if you own a Pit Bull Terrier, this book is the definitive resource for both seasoned Pit Bull owners and novices, providing essential information to help you understand and nurture your furry companion effectively.

Pitbull vs American Bulldog: Exercise Needs

American Bulldog

The American Bulldog is one of the most energetic and athletic breeds of Molossers. This breed requires vigorous daily physical activity, ranging from 45 minutes to an hour, to maintain their well-being. Engaging American Bulldogs in activities like jogs, hikes, tug-of-war games, and training exercises can stimulate them mentally and physically.

In case of bone and joint issues, American Bulldogs require caution. To mitigate these health risks, aim for non-impact exercises that place less strain on their joints.

Terrier of the American Pit Bull breed

It is notable that American Bulldogs require a lot of exercise. Insufficient exercise can lead to behavior problems in an American Bulldog. A dog with such issues may exhibit destructive behavior, excessive barking, hyperactivity, overexcitement, nervousness, or aggression.

A Pit Bull needs 30 to 45 minutes of vigorous exercise every day to maintain their health and prevent behavioral problems.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most commonly asked questions about American Bulldog Vs Pitbull.

Is The American Bulldog Better Than a Pit Bull?

If The American Bulldog and Pit Bull Terrier are both excellent pets that can make a wonderful companion for any family. They are equally loyal and fun-loving. Their primary distinction may be their size, as the American Bulldog is larger and might require more food. 

Both breeds share common traits, including high energy levels, a love for playtime, friendliness, ease of training, and being excellent around children and larger households. Furthermore, they are protective, making them well-suited as house dogs.

Are American Bulldogs or Pit Bulls Good Guard Dogs?

Pit Bull Terriers and American Bulldogs are generally too friendly to be considered excellent guard dogs, despite their physically intimidating appearance, power, and protective nature.

Which Is More Dangerous Pitbull or Bulldog?

It is difficult to determine which breed is the most dangerous. Some experts point to the Pit Bull’s history of being bred for fighting, making it potentially more challenging. On the other hand, others argue that the American Bulldog’s larger size and greater power could make it more dangerous. We cannot definitively determine which breed is more dangerous. To prevent aggression, both breeds must be owned responsibly and socialized early on.

Are American Bulldogs Pit Bulls?

There is a distinct difference between the American Bulldog and the Pit Bull. Originally bred to work on farms, American Bulldogs are now cherished family pets. Their stocky build and broad heads are indicative of their strong and athletic physique. However, Pit Bulls are originally fighting dogs with leaner bodies and narrower heads. While both breeds are now known for their gentle and affectionate nature as companions, they remain distinct and separate. As a result, American Bulldogs are not Pit Bulls.

Do American Bulldogs Shed Less Than Pit Bulls?

The American bully is considered to be a moderate shedder. In the change of seasons, they shed their coats more; they “drop their coats”. Pit Bulls also shed year-round and tend to shed the most during late winter, spring, and fall into winter. 

American Bulldog vs Pitbull Who Would Win?

In comparing American Bulldogs and Pitbulls, there is no clear winner as it depends on size, weight, training, and fighting style. It is generally true that American Bulldogs are larger and heavier with a longer reach, while Pitbulls are more agile with a stronger bite. Pitbulls, being bred for dog fighting, may display higher aggression levels. However, it’s essential to note that dog fighting is cruel and illegal, and we do not condone or support such activities. Ultimately, it is not appropriate to determine a winner in a fight between these breeds.

Are American Bulldogs or Pit Bulls Hypoallergenic?

We must realize that no dog is utterly hypoallergenic. Allergies triggered by dogs are not solely due to their hair. Instead, different proteins found in dog dander, hair, saliva, and urine contribute to the problem. All dogs, to varying degrees, shed these proteins. While both the American Bulldog and Pit Bull Terrier have short coats and moderate shedding, they are not hypoallergenic breeds.

Is The American Bulldog a Better Family Dog Than The Pit Bull?

It is generally considered that American Bullies shed moderately. Their shedding increases during seasonal changes, where they “drop their coat” as one season transitions. Similarly, Pit Bulls also shed year-round, with their heaviest shedding occurring during late winter, spring, and fall through to winter. Regular grooming and maintenance can help manage shedding for both breeds.

Do Pit Bulls Have Locking Jaws?

In comparison to any other dog breed, Pit Bull’s skull does not have a unique locking mechanism or bone structure that allows them to “lock” their jaws. Even though Pit Bulls are tenacious and determined, they may appear to have locked jaws when they bite into something. In reality, this behavior is simply a reflection of their inherent nature.

Do American Bulldogs Have Locking Jaws?

Like the Pit Bull, American Bulldogs do not possess any specific mandibular structure that would enable them to lock their jaws.

Are American Bulldogs & Pit Bulls Aggressive Towards Humans?

It is a myth that all Pit Bulls are inherently vicious. Dog aggression and people aggression may occur if a Pit Bull or American Bulldog has been poorly bred or intentionally trained to be aggressive toward humans and other animals. Their affectionate nature, however, makes them among the most loving, loyal, friendly, and dedicated companions.

Final Words

Let’s clarify the American Bulldog vs. Pit Bull debate – both options are lovely if you consider getting either pup. Pit Bull Terriers and American Bulldogs are both excellent dog choices. They are sociable and derive great joy from pleasing their owners.

There are two main differences between the American Bulldog and the American Pit Bull Terrier: their size and energy level. The Pit Bull is slightly smaller yet more athletic and energetic, while the American Bulldog is more laid-back in temperament but equally enjoyable.

Both breeds make wonderful additions to any family. The dog you choose will be adored and loved by everyone in your family!