Behaviors and Training

American Bulldog vs Pitbull: Distinctions and Similarities

Often mistaken due to their comparable physical attributes, the American Bulldog and the American Pitbull Terrier are two distinct breeds with unique traits, history, and behavior. In this ‘American Bulldog vs Pitbull’ comparison, we’ll dive into the captivating world of these two breeds, unraveling their unique characteristics and shared traits — stick around to explore the wonderful world of these canine companions!

American Bulldog
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Is a Bulldog a Pitbull?

Contrary to common misconceptions, a Bulldog is not a Pitbull. The Pitbull breed involved a careful crossbreeding process between Bulldogs and Terriers, seeking to combine the Bulldog’s muscular physique with the agility inherent to Terriers. While the Pitbull is a member of the terrier family, it is essential to note that both breeds share ancestral lineage with the Old English Bulldog.

Breed History and Origin:

American Bulldog

Origins of the American Bulldog trace back to its ancestors, the English Bulldogs. People bred these dogs for hunting and guarding purposes. In earlier times, the breed was utilized for the sport of bull-baiting and as guardians. The American Bulldog we see today is the product of the commendable efforts of Dr. John D. Johnson, who played an instrumental role in saving this breed from the brink of extinction.


The American Pitbull Terrier, more commonly known simply as the Pitbull, was created by crossbreeding Old English Bulldogs and Old English Terriers from Ireland and England. Like its American Bulldog counterpart, the Pitbull had a historical breeding purpose for blood sports like bull or bear baiting. Authorities subsequently banned these activities.

Appearance Contrast: American Bulldog vs. Pitbull

American Bulldog

The American Bulldog, known for its strength and robust physique, exhibits a muscular and strong build. Males typically stand between 22-27 inches tall, while females measure 20-24 inches. Notable features include a large head and powerful jaws. Despite being short and soft, their coat offers various color variations, including red, black, brown, or brindle patches. The breed boasts a deep, broad chest, symbolic of their strength and physical prowess. Weighing in at an average of 34-57 kilograms, these dogs are a testament to power.


Characterized by powerful jaws, a broad skull, and a streamlined physique, the Pitbull Terrier presents a distinctly athletic appearance. This breed comes in many colors, with males typically weighing 16-29 kilograms and females ranging from 14-23 kilograms. Their relative shortness compared to Bulldogs gives them an advantage in agility and athleticism. The breed boasts a glossy coat in various colors, including grey, blue, red, and black.

Temperament Contrast: American Bulldog vs. Pitbull

American Bulldog

Overflowing with energy and a keen desire to please, American Bulldogs display an unshakeable loyalty. They deeply value the companionship of their families and mirror this fidelity in their actions. However, these lively dogs require much attention and exercise to expend their high energy levels.

American Bulldogs are often surprisingly tolerant towards other animals despite their formidable appearance. Nonetheless, these dogs must undergo thorough training and socialization as a puppy to establish positive conduct. Bred as labor-intensive dogs for guarding and hunting tasks, they might present a formidable demeanor. Yet, they can blossom into exceptional family dogs with the proper training and dedicated attention.


Pitbulls are frequently misrepresented as aggressive and dangerous, resulting in a total ban in various regions. However, this viewpoint does not capture the complete picture of their personality. When handled by the right owner, they reveal their affectionate and loyal side, making them an excellent choice for active, outdoorsy families.

Unlike Bulldogs, Pitbulls demonstrate a strikingly different attitude toward other animals. Owing to their historical involvement in dog fighting, they inherently exhibit more aggression towards other animals. However, dedicated training and timely socialization can significantly help control such behavior.

Energy and Exercise Contrasts: American Bulldog vs. Pitbull

Both American Bulldogs and American Pitbull Terriers are very active dogs. Having been bred to work for long periods, they have a lot of energy. They must exercise for at least an hour daily, making them excellent jogging partners. However, caution should be exercised with American Bulldogs due to their tendency to overheat, especially those possessing shorter muzzles.

Pitbulls thrive on active engagements and require dedicated periods of intense physical activity each day to effectively manage their abundant energy. Inadequate exercise can lead to negative repercussions, inducing destructive habits and rowdy antics.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Pitbulls have a locking jaw?

Indeed false. Despite Pitbull’s notorious reputation for possessing a locking jaw, its jaw has no distinctiveness compared to other canine breeds’ formation, structure, or form. Their tenacious temperament often compels them to grip onto things longer than other dogs, which has likely contributed to the misconception of the ‘locking jaw’ theory.

Is an American Bulldog a dangerous dog?

Inherently, American Bulldogs do not pose a threat. However, they possess abundant energy and require substantial daily exercise to maintain their wellness and happiness. Exceptionally loyal and defensive of their family, this breed can exhibit aggressiveness if provoked or endangered.

A lack of appropriate care and training might make an American Bulldog more aggressive. Nonetheless, American Bulldogs raised in a nurturing environment with proper socialization will evolve into amiable dogs.

Is a Pitbull dangerous?

Despite their violent reputation, Pitbulls aren’t naturally aggressive towards individuals. Instead, they are known for their tender affection and solid loyalty. The negative traits attributed to Pitbulls are often the result of their owner’s encouraging aggression or involving them in dog fights.

Is the American Bulldogs and Pitbulls the same?

Simply no. It is common for people to confuse Pitbulls and Bulldogs. Both breeds share roots in the Old English Bulldog lineage, but the Old English Bulldog was crossbred with the Terrier to enhance agility.


American Bulldogs and Pitbulls share several similarities but diverge in numerous ways. People crafted these breeds for their strength. Regrettably, the selection process for Pitbulls focused on their fighting capabilities, a trait that persists in the breed today. When considering these breeds, an essential factor is their size. Larger dogs do require more food and resources, but on the other hand, they make excellent family members.

Another vital aspect is the temperament of the breed. Pitbulls are easily provoked and can prove challenging to calm, while American Bulldogs can display stubbornness. Both breeds need early socialization and consistent, assertive training. Despite their strong, muscular build, Pitbulls and American Bulldogs can make excellent family pets given the right amount of love and attention.