American Bulldog vs Pitbull – Breed Comparison

\The breeds American Bulldog and Pitbull are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same breed.

When comparing the American Bulldog vs Pitbull, you might see at first how they can be confused for one another, but it should also be evident that they are two different dog breeds.

The American Pitbull Terrier (APBT) is often confused for many breeds, including the Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Boxers, Bullmastiffs, Bull Terriers, Cane Corsos, as well as the American Bulldog.

While confused for many other breeds, the American Pitbull Terrier is a separate breed, although it is only recognized as a breed by the United Kennel Club and the American Dog Breeders Association. The American Kennel Club does not recognize the breed.

If you are looking to adopt either an American Bulldog or a Pitbull, you will need to understand the differences between the breeds to make sure that you are getting the right dog.

American Bulldog vs Pitbull: History

American Bulldog

American Bulldog

The American Bulldog’s history begins with Old English Bulldogs who immigrated to the United States. They were brought over with farmers as working dogs, often performing tasks right alongside of the farmers.

Even though the Old English Bulldogs were the dogs that came over, the dogs were bred specifically for the purpose of working the farm. They were excellent at hunting vermin and feral pigs, keeping farms clean.

The breed was eventually crossed with other breeds of Bulldogs, such as the Standard Type, but the records were not well-kept as how it all went down.

The assumption is that the Old English Bulldog was mixed with a couple other types of Bulldogs, which is why it is hard to get a solid grasp on how exactly one should look, why there are varieties of facial attributes, and why the weight range of the breed is so extreme.


The history of the Pitbull is actually a little bit easier to follow than the history of the American Bulldog. To put it simply, the Pitbull was made up of terriers and Bulldogs.

Breeders were looking for a dog that could manage to keep the strength of a Bulldog, but would be faster and more agile, like a terrier is.

Unfortunately, Pitbulls were often used as fighting dogs. This means that they were forced to compete in blood sports as well as baiting animals like bears and bulls.

American Pitbull Terrier

While the baiting was outlawed, the breeders moved onto dog fights that people would bet on. It has been a taboo and illegal form of entertainment for decades.

It causes the dog to put his life in jeopardy or to kill his opponent. In modern times, such events are illegal and Pitbulls are instead used for driving cattle, or even as companion dogs.  

American Bulldog vs Pitbull: Appearance & Size

American Bulldogs

American Bulldog

Looking at the appearance and size of an American Bulldog, it is important to note just how different they are from a Pitbull. An American Bulldog can weigh anywhere from 55 to 115 pounds, showing a huge range in weights between individual dogs.

Males usually weigh between 55 and 115, whereas females weigh between 60 and 83 pounds. They are muscular and stocky dogs with a large, square head. They also have a wide chest and thick bones that help with balance and agility, demonstrating how wonderfully athletic this breed truly is.

The American Bulldog can be anywhere from 23 to 27 inches in height as well. It is safe to say that this is really a large breed dog. It also has an underbite that is distinctive and makes the breed pretty identifiable.

Their faces also have wrinkles. Really, if you just look at an American Bulldog’s face, you should be able to see how it looks nothing like a Pitbull.

The fur of an American Bulldog is short and smooth. They are usually white in colour as well, something that makes them identifiable. Occasionally they will be white with another colour, but white is definitely the norm.  



Moving onto the American Pitbull Terrier, you will notice right away that they are smaller in size when compared to the American Bulldog.

The Pitbull is usually between 25 and 60 pounds, with males ranging from 30 to 60 pounds and females ranging from 25 to 50 pounds. They stand between 16 and 24 inches tall.

This means that the dog breed falls more on the side of a larger medium breed than a true large breed dog.

Pitbulls are broad in size and incredibly muscular. They have rounded heads and their cheeks don’t have wrinkly faces. They do not have any semblance of an underbite as well.

They do have low-set eyes and high-set ears as well. Their fur is short and stiff, so it is really not soft to the touch at all. They are generally very easily identifiable by their facial appearance. Their ears can either fold over or stand up.

When looking at the colour of a Pitbull vs an American Bulldog, you should notice that they have a lot more variety of colour than the American Bulldog does.

Pitbulls can come in any colour, but they are most commonly seen in a fawn colour with white patches. 

American Bulldog vs Pitbull: Temperament

American Bulldog

When it comes to the temperament of an American Bulldog, it is important to know that they are an energetic breed that needs a lot of activity.

They are eager to please their owners and are incredibly loyal as well. They need lots of reassurance and attention to prevent any kind of unwanted behaviour.

American Bulldogs need to be socialized with children at an early age if they are going to be safe around them. They can be very good with children, but if you are introducing children to an older American Bulldog who has no experience, you are setting yourself up for trouble.

Likewise, American Bulldogs need to be socialized with other dogs as a puppy. This way, they will be able to get along well with other dogs without getting defensive.

American Bulldog Temperament

That said, there is a reason that they are depicted as guard dogs. They are naturally fierce and intimidating, since their breeding was specific to those attributes.

They are great at catching animals as well as guarding your home. They can also be very stubborn so having your American Bulldog trained well as early as possible is an absolute must to being able to enjoy him as a family dog.  


Pitbulls have a worldwide reputation of being vicious attack dogs. In fact, the breed has been outlaws in several places because of this assumption. Yet, the breed is not vicious by nature, but can become vicious with training. When brought up in a loving home, Pitbulls become loving, loyal companions.

Pitbulls do have a lot of energy to burn and must be given a good exercise regimen in order to keep them happy. They can be rambunctious and destructive if kept locked up with energy to burn.

When you are training your Pitbull, remember to do all of the commands in a calm manner. They do not have very good attention spans, so keep all training to quick instruction and then lots of play.

It might take a little longer for the dogs to respond to training, because their natural attention span is so poor.

One of the biggest concerns that Pitbull owners should have has to do with training. Because of the intense strength of their jaws, when they do bite someone or something, the bite is going to do serious damage.

They can be provoked and will not usually back down from a fight. This is why training is so essential. When properly trained, they will not be as dangerous. 

American Bulldog vs Pitbull: Training & Exercise

American Bulldog

When looking at the training and exercise needs of the American Bulldog, the first thing to note is that when an American Bulldog is left up to its own devices, it is likely to get into trouble.

To avoid your dog getting into trouble, he needs a lot of good training and exercise. American Bulldogs need about 40 minutes of vigorous exercise a day to keep themselves healthy and happy.

On top of that, if you would like to be able to control your American Bulldog, you will need to train him and train him early. These dogs have a reputation for being aggressive, so to prevent them from maintaining the reputation, you need to train them.

They also need to be introduced to other dogs, babies, and older children early in order to prevent them from being aggressive. They are working dogs and will do a lot better with a job.


Comparing the exercise and training needs of a Pitbull vs the American Bulldog might seem like it is pretty straightforward and that they are the same.

They are pretty similar. Pitbulls also need a lot of exercise. On average, you should give your Pitbull 30 to 40 minutes of vigorous exercise a day. This will help keep them healthy and happy and will reduce the risk for the dog to get into different kinds of trouble.

American Pitbull

Like the American Bulldog, Pitbulls need a lot of good training. Because the breed is thought of so poorly, a poorly trained Pitbull could be putting himself in danger. Train your Pitbull young and socialize him well.

That way, he will not be so defensive and likely to attack strangers. It is so important for your dog that he get good training. It would be good to have your dog trained professionally to ensure that he knows how to behave well.  

American Bulldog vs Pitbull: Health Problems

American Bulldog

Let’s move onto the health problems that are commonly associated with the American Bulldog. The breed itself is generally pretty healthy.

They are at risk of hip dysplasia, which is a joint condition that causes movement issues as your dog ages. The breed is also subject to bone cancer and thyroid deficiency.

Thyroid issues are easily treated by your vet, though bone cancer is generally fatal. The dogs can also suffer from skin issues and bladder issues, including bladder stones.

Overall, they do not usually have allergies or other issues that can be harder to maintain, so they should be able to make it near the average life expectancy without trouble. It is best to take your American Bulldog to the vet regularly in order to prevent these conditions or stop them before they progress to a point where they are difficult to treat.  


The health of Pitbulls vs American Bulldogs is actually pretty different. Since the breed is smaller than an American Bulldog, they are not prone to the hip dysplasia that comes up in larger dog breeds.

They do have allergies, where the American Bulldog does not usually. They also can develop heart disease as well as cataracts. Because of their risk of cardiac issues, it is best to exercise your Pitbull well and to make sure that you are taking him to the vet regularly.

Cataracts is easily treatable, but allergies will usually require a special diet to make sure that your dog is staying as health as possible.

Their lives are not usually cut short by disease, but unfortunately are put to death for different issues, before their time. Training can prevent this, by stopping any bad habits before they progress into something much worse. 

American Bulldog vs Pitbull FAQs

Pit Bull

Are American Bulldogs And Pitbulls The Same Dog?

A common misconception is that Pitbulls and American Bulldogs are the same dogs. This is not true. The two breeds are different, though Pitbulls do have some bulldog mixed in.

American Bulldogs are bigger and the breed is more recognized than the Pitbull breed is. They both are muscular, but otherwise they do not have facial attributes that are the same. They both require exercise and good training.

Are Pitbulls Or American Bulldogs Dangerous?

Both American Bulldogs and Pitbulls are considered dangerous by many, though this is a bit of a misconception. In general, Bulldogs are more defensive than Pitbulls are, though Pitbulls are unlikely to back down from a fight.

Pitbulls do have a powerful bite that can inflict major damage, which is why they are considered dangerous. So under certain circumstances, you could say that the breeds are dangerous, but they are not dangerous without provocation.  

Which Breed Is More Intelligent

Looking at the intelligence of both breeds, you will find that both breeds are, in fact, smart. They are both dog breeds that appreciate jobs and work well at tasks.

They are both stubborn, but they can be trained if you are willing to put in the work to do it. Otherwise, you should have them sent to a dog school for proper training and allow them to make use of their intelligence.

Pitbull vs American Bulldog Cost

When comparing the costs of the two breeds, you will find that American Bulldogs cost more than American Pitbull Terriers. This is because the American Bulldog is an AKC recognized breed and getting a purebred dog that will be able to compete in shows is expensive.

Pitbulls are mixes of several breeds and therefore less expensive to purchase. On average, an American Bulldog puppy runs about $800, whereas a Pitbull puppy can cost up to $500.

Which Breed Has A Longer Lifespan

When comparing the life expectancies between an American Bulldog vs a Pitbull, the Pitbull generally lives longer. Pitbulls have an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years, where an American Bulldog has a lifespan of 10 to 12 years.

This is because Bulldogs are larger in size and it generally goes that larger dogs have shorter lifespans. Their lifespans can be extended through proper care and routine vet visits.

Do American Bulldogs And Pitbulls Bark A Lot? 

When it comes to barking, neither American Bulldogs nor Pitbulls bark a lot. They will bark when they are excited, like many breeds, but they are not big barkers like smaller dogs have a bigger tendency to.

Pitbulls do have a reputation for “talking,” however, where they make howling like sounds in an attempt to communicate, but that is not the same as does that continuously bark.

Final Words 

From this, you should have been able to see that the American Bulldog and the Pitbull Terrier are not the same breed of dog. While they do have some qualities that are similar, including their need for training and exercise, they also have many differences.

The important thing to remember with these breeds is that they both have reputations of fear for many. While the Pitbull is more commonly banned from places, both breeds can cause people to be afraid of them.

It is essential that you give these dogs the care, attention, and the training that they really need in order for them to be able to live their lives to the fullest.

Similar Posts