I appreciate the diversity within the realm of the canine kingdom, where various breeds exhibit their unique traits, contributing to the individuality of each pup. Nonetheless, certain breeds often find themselves compared or even confused, as is the case with the Pitbull and the American Bulldog, also known as the American Bully.
At first glance, individuals unfamiliar with American Bulldogs or Pitbulls may easily mistake one for the other. However, upon closer inspection, distinctive differences become apparent.
Despite their unique qualities, both these bully breeds unfortunately share a commonality—they face unwarranted negative reputations based on stigmas and biases rather than factual evidence.
Pitbull vs Bulldog: Analyzing the Differences
The American Pit Bull Terrier, widely misunderstood, is not officially recognized by the AKC. It is believed to be a mix of terrier breeds, possibly including the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, combined with an Old English Bulldog. Originally bred for blood sports like dog fighting, the Pitbull was trained to be aggressive towards other dogs but kind to people. Despite the outlawing of dog fighting, the breed continues to face undeserved criticism.
The American Bulldog, bred for hunting and guarding, was commonly used in bull baiting. Often confused with Pitbulls, the American Bulldog has faced unjust scrutiny by association. Once used as farm dogs, they have evolved into great human companions, thanks in part to the efforts of JD Johnson, who played a crucial role in saving the breed from extinction.
Height and Weight
A notable distinction in the American Bulldog vs Pitbull comparison lies in their sizes. The American Bulldog is visibly larger, standing between 19″ to 28″ tall and weighing 60 to 120 pounds. In contrast, the Pitbull is a medium-sized dog, standing around 17″ to 20″ tall and weighing 30 to 60 pounds. There is also a smaller variant known as the pocket Pitbull, ranging from 12″ to 16″ in size.
Color and Coat Type
Differences extend to coat color as well. The Pitbull, being a mix, lacks standardized coat colors and can display a variety, including solids, merle, brindle patterns, or a combination of colors. The American Bully typically appears in solid colors, with white being the breed standard. However, many also feature patches in black, brindle, tan, and brown. Both breeds share short hair and a smooth coat with light shedding throughout the year.
Facial structures distinguish the American Bulldog from the Pitbull. American Bulldogs possess a larger, square face with a broad muzzle and sometimes a slight underbite, adding to their charm. Their faces often feature wrinkles. Pitbulls, on the other hand, have a softer, more rounded face with high-set ears. While some opt to crop their ears, the natural state sees them flopping down to the side.
Upon comparing the American Pitbull Terrier and American Bulldogs, the latter appears more solid with a stocky, muscular build. American Bulldogs showcase well-defined muscles, while Pitbulls, while still muscular, maintain a leaner physique.
American Bulldogs are affectionate and playful, with loyalty and eagerness to please. Despite their undeserved reputation, they require ample exercise and may display stubbornness at times. The American Pitbull Terrier shares affectionate qualities with the American Bulldog but tends to be less stubborn. Pitbulls are content being around people, including children, exhibiting playfulness and loyalty.
Both breeds, like many others, face specific health concerns. American Bulldogs may be prone to hip dysplasia and skin problems, typical of large breeds. American Pitbull Terriers commonly experience Patella Luxation, a non-life-threatening but potentially painful condition involving sliding kneecaps.
American Bulldogs have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years, while American Pitbull Terriers generally live from 12 to 14 years.
Both breeds are highly trainable, with the American Bulldog occasionally displaying a strong-willed nature. The American Pitbull Terrier demonstrates quick learning and retention of information.
Social Skills with Other Dogs
American Bulldogs tend to have a higher tolerance for other dogs, making them a preferable choice for multi-pet households. Pitbulls may exhibit a high prey drive, potentially perceiving other animals as prey. Early socialization and training can mitigate these issues.
Social Skills with Kids
Both breeds are exceptional with children, displaying guarding tendencies and forming strong bonds with kids.
Social Skills with Other People
Both breeds are loving towards their owners but may be initially wary of new people. Proper introductions and socialization are essential to ensure positive interactions.
In summary, while the American Bulldog and Pitbull share certain characteristics, their differences in size, appearance, and temperament make each breed unique. It is crucial to approach each dog as an individual, recognizing that negative stereotypes often stem from misinformation and bias rather than inherent traits within the breeds.