Is an American Bulldog a Pitbull? Bully Guide 2021

Most of the time, the American Bulldog is interchangeably recognized as the American Pitbull. Although the two breeds share few commonalities, they still have differences that separate them apart. Knowing this, many are asking the question is an American Bulldog a Pitbull?

As we go along, we will be going to understand more about these two dog breeds. We will try to explore where they come from, their personality, temperament, and their looks. All of these aspects will help us to get to know more about the American Bulldog and the American Pitbull Terrier.

Is an American Bulldog a Pitbull?

Since these two dog breeds resemble the looks of each other, many dog fanatics are asking is an American Bulldog a Pitbull? The answer to this is a big NO. The looks are similar and closely the same but these two dog breeds are completely different.

is an american bulldog a pitbull

How do they differ? Actually, the Old English Bulldog is the ancestor of both breeds. From that breed, it was crossed with the Terrier resulted in the birth of the American Pitbull Terrier. When they successfully have it, the Old English Bulldog and the American Pitbull Terrier then were crossed together which created the American Bulldog.

Pitbull is generally a member of the Terrier family while it is in the Molosser dog family to which the American Bulldog belongs. Moreover, when we talk about “Pitbull”, it basically pertains to American Pitbull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and other dog breeds that look closely the same as the breed. On the other hand, the word “Bulldog” particularly refers to the American Bulldog itself.

Looking Back on their Blood Lines

Based on what we’ve discussed, the Old English Bulldog runs on the blood of both the American Bulldog and the Pitbull. This is basically the reason why they have the same appearance making most people think is an American Bulldog a Pitbull.

The Ancestors of the American Bulldog

Way back in history, there were some farmers who immigrated to America with the Old English Bulldog. This dog breed conducted lots of responsibilities together with the farmers. But, the bloodlines were not maintained by the breeders and they only chose dogs according to the task performed.

Eventually, John D. Johnson revived the American Bulldog breed. In fact, there are lots of variants under the Johnson type bulldog that you will encounter. One of those is the Scott-Type Bulldog or the standard type. Another crossbreeding with the English bulldog popularly happened in the Northern states which gave birth to the Classical Type.

The Ancestors of the American Pitbull Terrier

Basically, the Pitbull occurred due to the crossbreeding of the bulldog breed and terriers. This concept came out because of the desire of the breeder to have a dog with Terrier’s agility but the strength of that of a Bulldog. Most of the time, blood sports is the field wherein the Pitbull typically used for. That includes bull-baiting and bear-baiting.

However, those activities were outlawed giving way for the Pitbull to join dogfighting events that were easier to conceal from the authorities. Generally, the purpose of dogfighting is for entertainment and with a little bit of gambling on the side. As time goes, this dog breed was already used for driving cattle and hunting purposes.

Getting to Know the Looks of the Bullies

At first glance, many would say that they are the same especially those who are just starting to own a dog, but somehow they have a few differences.

The Appearance of the American Bulldog

Average Weight: 55 to 115 pounds

(FEMALE: 60 to 83 pounds / MALE: 57 to 115 pounds)

Average Height: 21 to 27 inches

(FEMALE: 21 to 25 inches / MALE: 23 to 27 inches)

Basically, if you look closely at the American Bulldog and Pitbull, you will notice that the American Bulldog has a muscular and stockier body build. They have a large, square-shaped head. Moreover, the American Bulldog has short and smooth fur compared to that of the Pitbull.

When it comes to the coat color, the American Bulldogs of the past generally have a white coat with red or black patches. But, nowadays, the American bulldog showcases a variety of colors such as brown, black, red, white, and brindle patterns. Their chest is usually wide and deep which greatly supports their agile feature.

The Appearance of the American Pitbull Terrier

is an american bulldog a pitbull

Average Weight: 25 to 60 pounds

(FEMALE: 25 to 50 pounds / MALE: 30 to 60 pounds)

Average Height: 16 to 24 inches

(FEMALE: 16 to 20 inches / MALE: 18 to 24 inches) 

In terms of appearance, you can answer is an American Bulldog a Pitbull due to the broad and well-proportioned body of the latter. Generally, the head of the American Pitbull Terrier is a little bit rounded with cheeks that do not have any presence of wrinkles. Moreover, if you see a slightly tapered nose and wide jaw, keep in mind that it is a Pitbull and not an American Bulldog.

Moreover, the fur of the American Pitbull has various colors and patterns that are all acceptable by the National Kennel Club. But, the distinguishing feature to identify is an American Bulldog a Pitbull is the fawn coat color having white patches of the latter. Additionally, Pitbull has short and shiny fur compared to the American Bulldog.

Is an American Bulldog a Pitbull in terms of their appearance?

If you are considering the looks of these two dog breeds to know is an American Bulldog a Pitbull, you may notice that they both have a muscular structure. However, the Amerian Pitbull Terrier has more defined muscles compared to the bulldog. Meanwhile, when it comes to their chest, the wider chest can be seen on the American Bulldog.

Both of them generally have short and shiny coats but the one in Pitbull is stiffer. The coat color is almost the same as the fawn color is commonly seen on them. But, the white coat color is more pronounced with the American Bulldog. Another thing that easily determines an American Bulldog from a Pitbull is the uniqueness of their ears in which the ears of the bulldog are folded over unlike the straight-up ears of the Pitbull.

Understanding Their Temperament

The next in line to answer our query “is an American Bulldog a Pitbull” is their temperament. Even though they shared few things in common, they also have uniqueness with their personalities.

The Temperament of the American Bulldog

Actually, based on their temperament, the American Bulldog is an energetic dog breed that is also confident, sociable, and active. They also tend to be quite emotional. A very loyal dog and a loving companion with their family are the characteristics of the American Bulldog.

Moreover, this dog breed also wants your full attention and can get along well with kids. However, socialization especially at an early age is highly needed by the American Bulldog. Socialization with other dogs is also important for this dog breed. The American Bulldog is a great family dog aside from being a guarding and working dog.

The Temperament of the American Pitbull Terrier

Basically, the Pitbull had been banned from many countries because of the impression that they imparted. This dog is actually mean and tends to attack other dogs. The Pitbull is also a loyal furry buddy and an excellent outdoor partner once they grow in the right way.

Just like the American Bulldog, this dog breed may have the tendency to be aggressive and attack strangers. That’s why they also need proper socialization and must carefully keep an eye over them as the fighting roots still runs in their blood.

Is an American Bulldog a Pitbull when it comes to their temperament?

Early socialization is needed by both breeds. Aside from that, a trainer’s patience is also required. More so, the American Bulldog and the Pitbull are both loyal and have the eagerness to please. But, in terms of stubbornness, the American Bulldog tends to have more of this behavior than the American Pitbull Terrier.

Meanwhile, both of the breeds want to have an active lifestyle and always desire to mingle with every family member. Yet, the activity level of the American Bulldog is generally higher compared to the Pitbull. At the end of it all, the American Bulldog and the American Pitbull Terrier are great family dogs. So, with that, is an American Bulldog a Pitbull?

How to Train the Bullies?

The American Bulldog and the American Pitbull Terrier both require puppy training sessions and socialization at an early age. They are generally intelligent dog breeds that really wanted to please. Yet, when it comes to training, it may be a little bit difficult for the trainer especially if he is not a pack leader.

So, if you want to properly train the American Bulldog and the Pitbull, you need someone who has an innate leadership skill, highly consistent and kind attitude. These traits are important during the training of these bullies in order to set the energy of the dog as well as to build proper boundaries.

Keep in mind that lack of activities such as training, playing, and exercising, these two dog breeds become bored easily. This will eventually result in more destructive behaviors. With this, it is important to provide them with the best harness.

Exercise Requirements of the Two Breeds

Another aspect to determine is an American Bulldog a Pitbull is the exercise requirement of these two dog breeds. It is actually important to know the amount of exercise that the American Bulldog needs compared to the Pitbull.

Exercising an American Bulldog

Among the other dog breed, the American Bulldog is highly energetic and athletic among the Molosser family. They require at least 45 minutes to one hour of exercise or active outdoor activities daily. You can subject them to jogging, hiking, tug-o-war, and training exercises.

But, be very careful in giving vigorous activities to the American Bulldog because they are highly susceptible to developing damage over their bone and joint. So, in order to address this health-related condition, consider giving less pressured activities.

Moreover, keep in mind that the American Bulldog requires relatively high exercise. Meaning, this dog breed with a lack of exercise may eventually encounter various behavioral problems including hyperactivity, aggression, nervousness, destructiveness, and excessive barking.

Exercising an American Pitbull Terrier

Just like with the American Bulldog, the Pitbull also requires about 30 to 45 minutes of exercise every day.

Is an American Bulldog a Pitbull based on their exercise requirements?

Both dog breeds are energetic dogs and in order to develop their athletic skills, the American Bulldog and the Pitbull need to be fit and happy. It is better to give them some toys to have a fun workout. Also, consider offering mental stimulating activities to them.

Learning Their Grooming Needs

Since both the American Bulldog and Pitbull Terrier have the same short coat, many are confused is an American Bulldog a Pitbull. They are seasonal shedders which makes grooming them actually a breeze.


The way to groom these breeds requires once a week coat brushing through a soft to a medium bristle brush. This grooming tool supports the distribution of natural oils and the removal of hair and debris.


Additionally, once the American Bulldog and the Pitbull Terrier accumulate dirt on their fur, bathing is highly required on an occasional basis. Consider using dog shampoo to keep them clean and lustrous.


Another grooming requirement for the American Bulldog and the Pitbull Terrier is the trimming of their coat every few weeks.

Cleaning the Ears

Moreover, it is also important to clean their ears regularly every month. This is generally more applicable for the Pitbull as they have ears that are prone to infection.

Health Problems of these Dog Breeds

is an american bulldog a pitbull

Actually, even on health-related issues, you may identify is an American Bulldog a Pitbull because there are also some conditions that affect them both and that are just specific only to one breed. Here are some of the health-related problems that may occur on both breeds:

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

Health-related Conditions Particularly Seen on American Bulldog

The following health issues may be observed only on the American Bulldogs.

  • Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis
  • Kidney damage
  • Cherry eye
  • Cancer of the bone
  • Skin problems due to chafing, moisture, and hot temperature

Health-related Conditions Particularly Seen on American Pitbull Terrier

Health problems that only the American Pitbull Terrier may experience include:

  • Valve malformation
  • Heart rhythm irregularities
  • Diabetes
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Cataracts
  • Allergy sensitivity
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Kneecap dislocation

Final Thoughts

There are actually lots of similarities that exist between the American Bulldog and the American Pitbull Terrier. Because of that, many are asking “is an American Bulldog a Pitbull”. Yet, despite the number of shared commonalities, few differences are also on the line to separate these two breeds apart.

History wise, the same ancestral root runs in their blood but the way they were grown for distinguishes them from each other. Apparently, their looks are closely similar with slight distinction on their ears and coat color. Also, their temperament and health conditions come with uniqueness. Yes, they are both great furry buddy but still, they are two different dog breeds that you will fall in love with.

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