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American Bulldog vs. American Pit Bull: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 20, 2023
The American Bulldog is a strong, stocky breed originally used for farm work, while the American Pit Bull Terrier is a medium-sized breed known for its strength and agility.

Key Differences

The American Bulldog and the American Pit Bull Terrier, though sometimes confused, are distinct breeds with unique histories and characteristics. The American Bulldog has its origins as a farm dog, used for various tasks such as guarding livestock and hunting. Its physical appearance is robust and powerful, reflecting its working background.
On the other hand, the American Pit Bull Terrier's origins trace back to dogs bred for bull-baiting in the UK, before evolving in the US into a versatile farm dog. The American Pit Bull is more medium-sized, athletic, and has a sleeker appearance than the more muscular American Bulldog. While both breeds can exhibit a determined nature, they are also known for their loyalty and affection towards their families.
Training and socialization are essential for both the American Bulldog and the American Pit Bull Terrier, given their strength and energy levels. The American Bulldog often showcases a protective instinct, making it a vigilant guardian. In contrast, the American Pit Bull Terrier, despite its undeserved negative reputation, is known for its friendly and even temperament, especially when raised in a positive environment.
Despite the similarities in their names, the American Bulldog and American Pit Bull Terrier differ in breed standards, with different specifications for size, coat, and appearance. Both breeds, however, require responsible ownership, understanding, and care, as their powerful nature, combined with poor training, can lead to undesired behaviors.
Both the American Bulldog and the American Pit Bull Terrier have faced challenges in terms of breed-specific legislation in various regions due to misconceptions about their temperaments. It's crucial to understand that both breeds, when raised with love and proper training, can be excellent companions, showcasing loyalty, intelligence, and affection.

Comparison Chart


Farm work in the US.
Bull-baiting in the UK, then farm work in the US.


Generally larger and stockier.
Medium-sized and more athletic.


Robust, muscular build.
Sleeker, more streamlined appearance.

Typical Use

Farm tasks, guarding livestock.
Originally for bull-baiting, then varied farm tasks.


Protective, loyal, can be more reserved with strangers.
Friendly, even-tempered, loyal to family.

American Bulldog and American Pit Bull Definitions

American Bulldog

A loyal and affectionate companion.
Despite his size, the American Bulldog loved to cuddle on the couch.

American Pit Bull

Known for strength and agility.
The agility course was no match for the swift American Pit Bull Terrier.

American Bulldog

Originated in the US for farm tasks.
Historically, the American Bulldog was indispensable to farmers.

American Pit Bull

A medium-sized, athletic dog breed.
The American Pit Bull Terrier elegantly ran across the field.

American Bulldog

A muscular and sturdy dog breed.
The American Bulldog stood guard at the farm's entrance.

American Pit Bull

Originated from bull-baiting dogs in the UK.
The American Pit Bull Terrier's ancestors had a tumultuous past in the UK.

American Bulldog

A breed known for its protective nature.
The family felt safe with their American Bulldog watching over them.

American Pit Bull

Often misunderstood but is friendly and even-tempered.
Contrary to myths, the American Pit Bull Terrier played gently with the children.

American Bulldog

A breed with a strong and powerful appearance.
The American Bulldog's strong build was evident as he played in the yard.

American Pit Bull

A sleek and streamlined appearance.
The American Pit Bull Terrier's coat shone brilliantly in the sun.


What is an American Bulldog?

An American Bulldog is a muscular dog breed known for its strength and protective nature.

Can American Bulldogs be apartment dogs?

While possible, American Bulldogs need regular exercise and can be better suited for homes with yards.

Why do some people fear American Pit Bulls?

Due to negative media portrayal and misconceptions, some people mistakenly believe American Pit Bulls are inherently aggressive.

Are American Bulldogs good family pets?

Yes, with proper training and socialization, American Bulldogs can be loyal and affectionate family companions.

How should American Pit Bulls be trained?

With consistency, positive reinforcement, and early socialization to ensure they're well-behaved and sociable.

How often should an American Pit Bull be groomed?

Regularly, due to their short coat, but they aren't high maintenance in terms of grooming.

Is the American Bulldog the same as the English Bulldog?

No, the American Bulldog is larger and has a different appearance and history compared to the English Bulldog.

Are American Pit Bulls good with kids?

Yes, when raised and trained properly, they can be gentle and loving with children.

What's the temperament of an American Pit Bull?

They are known for being friendly, loyal, and even-tempered when raised in a positive environment.

Do American Bulldogs need a lot of exercise?

Yes, they are active dogs and benefit from regular physical activity.

Are American Bulldogs good guard dogs?

Yes, they are protective by nature and can be vigilant guardians.

Why choose an American Pit Bull as a pet?

They are loyal, affectionate, and can be great companions with proper training and care.

How does an American Pit Bull differ from an American Bulldog?

An American Pit Bull is medium-sized, athletic, and has origins in bull-baiting, whereas the American Bulldog is larger, stockier, and was used for farm tasks.

What do American Bulldogs typically eat?

A balanced diet of high-quality dog food, tailored to their age, size, and activity level.

Can American Pit Bulls be therapy dogs?

Yes, with proper training, many have excelled as therapy or service dogs.

Are American Pit Bulls aggressive towards other dogs?

They can be if not properly socialized, but with training, many live peacefully with other pets.

Do American Bulldogs drool a lot?

They can, especially after eating or drinking.

Why are American Pit Bulls often in the news?

Often due to negative incidents amplified by the media, leading to misconceptions about the breed.

What health issues are common in American Bulldogs?

Hip dysplasia, certain genetic disorders, and allergies can be common in the breed.

How old do American Bulldogs typically live?

With proper care, they can live around 10-15 years.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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