Is an American Bulldog a Pitbull? American Bulldog vs Pitbull Guide

You have heard the term ‘American Bulldog’ and the term ‘Pitbull’, people are every so often confused about both. The question then is, is an American Bulldog a Pitbull? Oftentimes, an American Bulldog is taken for an American Pitbull because they look alike; as a matter of fact, they are different.

Is an American Bulldog a Pitbull? American Bulldog vs Pitbull Guide

Both the American Bulldog and Pitbull are the descendant of the Olde English Bulldogge. The American Bulldog is identified as part of the Molosser dog family while the Pitbull is part of the Terrier family.

So, is an American Bulldog a Pitbull? No, an American Bulldog is not a Pitbull. It is just very easy to take them as the same because they have some similarities which they share and they equally have their differences.

Let’s get to learn more about the American Bulldog and the Pitbull,

General Information about American Bulldog and Pitbull

This section of the article will give you general information about both the American Bulldog and the Pitbull.

History of the American Bulldog

The American Bulldog is also known as the ‘American Bully’, we might interchange the use of those words in this guide.

In 1835, the American bully was developed from dogs that were used for bull-baiting before it was outlawed in England.

American Bulldogs were once used as farm dogs before they were bred as family companion dogs after the end of World War II when they were almost annihilated. They are also much known to be loyal dogs.

History of the Pitbull Dogs

The Pitbull are dog breeds that are used in dog fight rings. Another name for Pitbull is American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and American Pitbull Terriers.

The American Pitbull Terriers were generally used in dogfighting rings and also for ratting after they were brought over from England.

The Pitbull Terriers were a result of the crossbreeding between the Old English Bulldogs and Terriers.

They were crossbred in order to get a dog with the combination of both the intensity of a Bulldog and the quickness in motion with the quality of being game of a Terrier.

Pitbulls can both perform the work of a farm dog and also as family companions. This means they are used as farm dogs and family companions.

American Bulldogs vs Pitbulls

In this section, we will discuss the similarities and differences between American Bulldogs and Pitbulls.

There has always been a question and confusion on whether an American Bulldog is a Pitbull. So, here, we will talk about the similarities and differences between the American Bulldog and Pitbull.

Though it is true that the American Bulldog is not a Pitbull but we will be looking into their similarities on why there is always confusion and also the difference on why they are not the same.

Similarities shared by the American Bulldog and Pitbull

  • Both American Bulldog and Pitbull can be used as farm dogs
  • They are both the descendant of the Old English Bulldogge
  • American Bulldog and Pitbull were both used for bull-baiting in England
  • They are both strong dogs

Differences between the American Bulldog and Pitbull

  • The Pitbull is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), while the American Bulldog is.
  • The American Bulldog can be disobedient sometimes while the American Pitbull can get frustrated and angry easily.
  • The Pitbull was once identified and recognized as the American family dog or nanny dog.
  • American Bulldog is a breed that comes from the mastiff lineage while the Pitbull is considered to be part of the Terrier family.

So, the answer to the question: is an American Bulldog a Pitbull is ‘NO’. From the historical background of the two breeds, we know that they are not the same; although, they both have the Old English Bulldog in their lineage.

The Appearance of the American Bulldog and Pitbull

This part of our ‘is an American Bulldog a Pitbull?’ guide will talk about the appearance of the American Bulldog and Pitbull.

The American Bulldog Appearance

The American Bulldog is brawny and sturdy. They can weigh 55 to 115 pounds (male: 57-115 pounds, while female, 60 to 83 pounds) and they can be 21 to 27 inches tall (male 23-27 inches tall while female, 23-27 inches tall).

In the past, the American Bulldog color was mostly white with patches of red or black, but they are known to have many colors today which are red, brown, white, black, and all brindle patterns.

An American Bulldog can easily be recognized by his bully face and behavior. He also possesses a wide and large head, powerful jaw, a large and wide nose, a wide muzzle, and conspicuous cheek muscles.

The American Pitbull Terrier Appearance

The Pitbull general weighs between 25-60 pounds and stands around 16-24 inches tall.



Male: 30-60 pounds
Female: 25-50 pounds

Male: 18-24 pounds
Female: 16-20 inches

The most common color for this breed is the fawn color with white patches. Although, all colors and patches are accepted by the National Kennel Club.

American Pitbull Terrier has a slightly rounded head and the cheeks are free of wrinkles. They are also broad.

To the said question, is an American Bulldog a Pitbull? The most factual answer is the difference in their appearance. The most significant disparity between the American Bulldog and Pitbull is their appearance.

Temperament Comparison of American Bulldog and American Pitbull Terrier

The American Bulldog and Pitbull both have similar temperaments. The principal difference between both breeds in their temperament is how well they can put up with other animals.

Let’s dig in to see whether an American Bulldog is the same as a Pitbull or vice versa.

The American Bulldog Temperament

The American Bulldogs are generally regarded as large lap dogs. They are very brave, tough, and also strong-willed. They are also known to be very loyal dogs.

The temperament of an American Bulldog is similar to that of an English Bulldog. They possess powerful protective natural impulses and are also known to act reserved towards strangers. They also need supervision when it comes to them being around unfamiliar and smaller animals.

Pitbull Temperament

Pitbulls are not hostile and they are known to be playful. They are as loyal as the American Bulldog. In comparison to many other dog breeds, Pitbulls are less tolerant to other dogs and other pets such as cats – they sometimes see them as prey.

They have been banned in so many areas in the world due to their negative reputation for being very mean, cruel, and violent.

Pitbulls can really make a great family companion dog if they are in the right hands. They are active dogs so they can be unruly and destructive if not given proper exercise.

Temperament Similarities and Differences of American Bulldogs and Pitbulls

Both the American Bulldog and the Pitbull need to be trained inpatient, peaceful and confident manner, as they are eager to please their owners.

The American Bulldogs are known to be more stubborn than the Pitbulls; the Pitbulls however require more exercise than the American Bulldog.

At a young age, the two breeds need to be trained on how to interact with young children and other dogs. They both have high prey drives and are both tenacious dogs.

The Pitbull has higher energy and can be more aggressive towards other animals than the American Bulldog. However, it is very important to know that the American Bulldog is not the same as a Pitbull as there are clear differences between the two.

Health Issues related to American Bulldog and Pitbull Terrier

This part of the guide discusses health issues that are peculiar to each American Bulldog and the Pitbull.

American Bulldog Health Issues

American Bulldogs are likely to suffer from the following health issues:

  • Kidney issues
  • Cherry eye
  • Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis
  • Bone cancer

American Pitbull Terrier Health Issues

Below are numbers of health problems a Pitbull can be prone to:

  • Cataracts
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Kneecap dislocation
  • Sensitive to allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Degenerative myelopathy


The two breeds have short hair and are both assuasive to moderate shedders. The grooming needs for both the American Bulldog and the American Pitbull Terrier are more or less the same.

To make the two breeds stay very clean and shiny, they will need frequent bathing with a shampoo that is made for dogs.

READ: All to know about the English Bulldog

Final Thoughts on ‘Is an American Bulldog a Pitbull?’

As discussed in this guide, there are a lot of similarities and differences between the American Bulldog and the Pitbull. The fact that several differences can be established shows that both dogs are different breeds.

Both dogs are a great addition to the family, if you are looking forward to adding a pet to the family, you can go for either of these adorable pets.

Do you own any of American Bulldog and Pitbull? Let us know your experience with them so far.

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