The American Pitbull Terrier, commonly called a Pitbull, was created in the early 1800s in the United Kingdom. When fully grown, they are medium-sized dogs that can reach a max height of 21 inches and weigh up to 60 pounds. They come in many different colors, including fawn and brindle.
Pitbulls have gotten a bad reputation over the years. Many people have labeled them as one of the most aggressive dog breeds. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Ask almost anyone who’s owned a Pitbull dog, and they’ll tell you that these dogs are fun-loving members of their family.
They are intelligent, friendly, affectionate, obedient — and even clownish at times. Although they can have stubborn and strong-willed tendencies, with the right training, they do well with all ages, including young children.
Many factors play a role in people mistaking other dog types for Pitbulls. Let’s look closer at this and examine the top dog breeds that look like Pitbulls but aren’t.
- 1 25 Dog Breeds That Look Like Pitbulls But Aren’t
- 1.1 1. American Staffordshire Terrier
- 1.2 2. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- 1.3 3. American Bulldog
- 1.4 4. Olde English Bulldogge
- 1.5 5. English Bulldog
- 1.6 6. Australian Bulldog
- 1.7 7. Leavitt Bulldog
- 1.8 8. French Bulldog
- 1.9 9. Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
- 1.10 10. Pug
- 1.11 11. American Bully
- 1.12 12. Dogo Argentino
- 1.13 13. Bull Terrier
- 1.14 14. Boxer
- 1.15 15. Cane Corso
- 1.16 16. Presa Canario
- 1.17 17. Rottweiler
- 1.18 18. Boerboel
- 1.19 19. Ambullneo Mastiff
- 1.20 20. Bullmastiff
- 1.21 21. English Mastiff
- 1.22 22. Rhodesian Ridgeback
- 1.23 23. Dogue De Bordeaux
- 1.24 24. Fila Brasileiro
- 1.25 25. Patterdale Terrier
- 2 Dog Breeds that Look Like Pit bulls Frequently Asked Questions
- 3 Final Thoughts | Dogs Breeds That Look Like Pitbulls But Are Not
25 Dog Breeds That Look Like Pitbulls But Aren’t
There are several dog breeds that look like Pitbulls. Some of them have been crossbred with Pitbulls, leading to them keeping some similarities. However, each of these dog breeds that look like pit bulls included in this list is its distinct breed with its unique features and characteristics.
1. American Staffordshire Terrier
American Staffordshire Terriers are probably the dogs that look like pit bulls. They are medium-sized dogs with a similar weight and height range to Pitbulls. This pitbull like dog has similar facial features and a similar build.
The American Staffordshire Terrier tends to have a more proportional body, with longer legs and a more narrow chest and torso.
Their temperament is best described as courageous, tenacious, and curious. They’re a very trustworthy and tolerant breed, which makes them great for families with children. However, they don’t do so well with other dogs or cats; they prefer to have all the attention on themselves.
2. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, also called Staffy, is a dog similar to pitbull in terms of build and facial makeup. However, it’s pretty easy to tell this pitbull look alike from the real thing by looking at their size.
Staffy’s are much smaller. They typically measure between 14 and 16 inches tall and weigh between 20 and 40 pounds.
They are affectionate and have a playful nature, which makes them great for kids. However, they need to be socialized early and exercised regularly, which means they do best with experienced pet owners.
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3. American Bulldog
The American Bulldog and the Pitbull are sturdy, muscular dogs with broad skulls and strong jaws. American Bulldogs are generally taller; they can reach a maximum of 28 inches tall, while a Pitbull maxes out at about 21 inches. They are one of the breeds that look like pit bulls.
The coloring of the American Bulldog is usually white, or mostly white, with large patches of other colors. Historically, they were bred as working dogs, so they do require a good deal of exercise.
This breed is friendly as long as they’ve been properly socialized. They are intelligent and have a strong desire to please their owners, which makes them loyal companions.
4. Olde English Bulldogge
Despite its name, the Olde English Bulldogge is a newer breed of dog, and its lineage hails from America. It was created in the 1970s as a hybrid mix of the old bulldog from the 1800s. It mixes American Bulldog, English Bulldog, Bull Mastiff, and American Pitbull Terrier.
It does resemble a Pitbull, and both breeds have a comparable height and weight range. But this breed of bulldog has a larger head and a shorter muzzle than a Pitbull.
The Olde English Bulldogge is strong, eager to work, and tenacious. They are great family dogs known for being protective but not aggressive.
5. English Bulldog
The English Bulldog (also known as the British Bulldog) is a British mastiff type breed. They have hefty, muscular bodies that are medium in size.
Their face has the same square appearance as a Pitbull, but their cheeks are wrinkled, and their nose is shorter and distinctively pushed-in. They are also shorter than a Pitbull, measuring 16 inches tall.
The English Bulldog is known for having a sweet and gentle disposition, which makes them great for families with children. Compared to the high-energy Pitbull, this breed only requires moderate exercise to stay healthy since they have lower endurance levels.
6. Australian Bulldog
The Australian Bulldog has a compact, muscular build similar to a Pitbull. This dog that looks like a pitbull is just a bit shorter, measuring 15 to 20 inches tall. Their face is square-shaped, but they have more wrinkles than a Pitbull, and their muzzle is shorter.
The Australian Bulldog is a loving and intelligent pet who loves being part of a family. They have a good temperament and are easy-going, even with children. They make great watchdogs, but not necessarily guard dogs.
7. Leavitt Bulldog
The Leavitt Bulldog has a similar boxy frame to a Pitbull. It’s a muscular, medium-sized dog with notable strength and athleticism.
This bulldog breed is friendly and docile, but they can be highly protective when they feel threatened by their family. They are courageous and fierce-looking, which makes them great guard dogs.
The Leavitt Bulldog enjoys chewing and should be provided plenty of hard toys and bones, like rubber Kong toys. Things like soft rubber, rawhides, and stuffed toys are considered unsafe for them to have because they can easily shred and swallow these items.
8. French Bulldog
The French Bulldog and Pitbull have a big difference in size. Frenchies fall in the toy dog breed category. However, they do share a few physical similarities with Pitbulls. These include a large boxy head, wide-set eyes, and a compact build. That’s where the resemblance ends, though.
French Bulldogs have large, perky ears with rounded ends, whereas a Pitbull has much smaller, somewhat droopy ears. These small dogs are known for having big personalities. They’re outgoing, playful, and affectionate.
9. Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is a large dog weighing between 20 and 25 inches and weighing up to 90 pounds. Like a Pitbull, they have a large, square head, broad shoulders, and short legs in proportion to their body.
This breed of dog is known for being instinctively aggressive, which could also be why some people mistake them for Pitbulls. They need to be highly socialized as puppies to prevent them from becoming too dominant. With proper training, they make wonderful members of the family and excellent protectors and guardians.
Just make sure to keep dog treats handy as a reward. Like most breeds, this will be their chief motivation.
When compared side by side, you’ll notice a Pug and a Pitbull are quite different in appearance. However, they have a few similarities, including a boxy build, muscular body, and square-like shape.
A key difference between the two breeds is their size; Pugs are about half as tall as Pitbulls. Their face is also mostly flat, with a short snout and wrinkly skin.
The temperament between these two can be different. Pugs tend to be more mischievous and playful, so keeping plenty of dog toys around the house is a must. But it’s all in good fun, as they are considered one of the least aggressive dog breeds and want to be everybody’s friend.
11. American Bully
The American Bully is a newer dog breed created by crossbreeding the Pitbull Terrier with other dog breeds, mostly the bulldog type. Since they have a Pitbull heritage, they share a few similarities in their appearance but also many differences.
The American Bully has a larger head than the Pitbull, especially in proportion to their body. They also have much shorter legs, and their overall body is wider.
Although Pitbulls have muscular bodies, they’re less muscular than the American Bully. These dogs were bred to have well-defined, large muscles covering their bodies.
In terms of personality, American Bullies are extremely loyal and affectionate. They’re very obedient and want nothing more than to please their owners. They’re good-natured and loving towards people.
12. Dogo Argentino
The Dogo Argentino is a breed of dog that originated in Argentina. They have the same muscular frame and facial structure as a Pitbull. However, these dogs are almost always pure white, whereas a Pitbull can come in a number of colors.
The size difference between the breeds is also very different. Dogo Argentinos are larger; they typically measure between 24 and 27 inches tall and can weigh around 100 pounds or more.
13. Bull Terrier
The Bull Terrier is a stocky dog with a unique appearance. They are occasionally confused with a Pitbull because they share a similar height, have shorter legs, and are full of muscle.
But a side-by-side comparison would reveal many differences. The Bull Terrier has an egg-shaped head, triangular eyes, and sharp, pointy ears.
This terrier breed has a strongly-developed prey drive and is known to kill smaller animals when challenged. They are strong and can be stubborn, which is why they’re not recommended for novice handlers.
The Boxer breed shares with a Pitbull a distinctive square jaw, semi-erect ears, muscular build, and short coat. They can also come in a fawn and brindle color, like a Pitbull.
However, Boxers are a larger breed with totally different body proportions. They generally have a much smaller head and a narrower torso and chest.
This breed of dog is full of energy. But, if they’re not exercised properly, they are known for nuisance behaviors, like excessive chewing and barking. In their younger years, it’s best to keep some indestructible dog toys handy for when they need to be left alone for long periods of time.
Boxers make great family pets and are excellent guard dogs because of their protective nature.
15. Cane Corso
Similar to Pitbulls, Cane Corsos have somewhat of a dangerous reputation. This might come from their appearance. They’re a large breed of dog. Whereas a full-grown Pitbull can weigh up to 60 pounds, a Cane Corso usually reaches a minimum of 70 pounds.
Physically, they have a muscular body and square facial features. However, they have saggy cheek folds, which makes them easy to distinguish from a Pitbull.
They are very loyal dogs, as well as intelligent, alert, and fearless. They make great family guard dogs, but their size makes them recommended for experienced dog owners.
16. Presa Canario
The Presa Canario is a large mastiff-type breed. They are very powerful and can reach up to 150 pounds. This type of dog is aware of its strength and size, which makes them natural protectors.
Their temperament can be aggressive, requiring an experienced owner who can handle their size and demeanor. They mostly look like Pitbulls when they’re puppies. Both breeds have muscular bodies and square faces. Once they reach maturity, they are much larger than Pitbulls.
Their temperament is also very different from a Pitbull. Whereas a Pitty is generally friendly and affectionate, a Presa Canario is more suspicious, dominant, and strong-willed.
Like Pitbulls, Rottweilers are considered one of the most dangerous dog breeds. Their intimidating appearance leads some people to mistake them for Pitbulls.
The two breeds share several traits, including a large head, short coat, and muscular body. These similarities are much more obvious between Rottweilers who have black or black and tan coats.
But, in general, it’s easy to tell the breeds apart. Rottweilers are much larger than Pitbulls in terms of both height and weight. Their eyes are also more close-set than a Pitty’s.
Rotties are known for being devoted and courageous dogs who are also confident, good-natured, and fearless.
The Boerboel is a large breed of mastiff type from South Africa. They resemble Pitbulls in physical traits, including a compact build, large head, wide-set eyes, and short coat. However, unlike Pitbulls, they have floppy ears and droopy cheeks.
They are also much bigger than Pitbulls. They can weigh up to 200 pounds and reach a height of 27 inches.
Boerboels are even-tempered and loyal. They are very protective of their family but are generally not aggressive unless provoked. They do exceptionally well with children but need to be properly trained from a young age to be manageable.
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19. Ambullneo Mastiff
The Ambullneo Mastiff was created in the late 1980s, making it a somewhat new breed. Their lineage is part Pitbull, so they do have a slight resemblance. This is mostly seen in their large head, wide-set eyes, and bulky body.
However, their size alone makes them distinguishable. They can reach up to 29 inches tall and weigh up to 150 pounds.
The Ambullneo Mastiff was bred to be a fierce guard dog. They are highly protective and intelligent. These dogs are happiest when they have a large yard to patrol as they don’t do well in small spaces. With property training, they make excellent family pets.
The Bullmastiff is similar to a Pitbull in its build, but its body is more proportionate. They have a more slender frame and can reach up to 27 inches in height and weigh up to 130 pounds.
The face of a Bullmastiff is square-like, but it contrasts with a Pitbull in that it has a shorter muzzle, wrinkly cheeks, and droopy ears.
Their temperament is reserved and docile, but also highly protective and courageous. As with most large dog breeds, they do well with families with children, but early socialization and training are key.
21. English Mastiff
The English Mastiff is one of the largest breeds of dogs. They can weigh up to 230 pounds and reach 30 inches in height. Its general similarities with a Pitbull are its intimidating appearance, muscular body, and boxy silhouette.
Unlike a Pitbull, an English Mastiff has wrinkled cheeks, floppy ears, and a droopy neck.
Their temperament is best described as good-natured, calm, loving, and affectionate. They make great family dogs but are not recommended for young children or senior citizens because they are very large.
22. Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Rhodesian Ridgeback originates from the Southern Africa region. Their ancestors can be traced to the hunting and guardian dogs of the Khoekhoe people.
This is another breed of dog that people mistake for Pitbulls more for their intimidating appearance than their actual physical features.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are large, muscular dogs that weigh between 70 and 80 pounds. They are taller than a Pitbull, reaching heights of 24 to 27 inches.
They are devoted and affectionate to their owners but generally more reserved with strangers. These dogs have a gentle temperament and rarely bark.
23. Dogue De Bordeaux
The Dogue De Bordeaux is an extremely muscular and powerful dog breed. Like Pitbulls, they have stocky bodies, large heads, and short hair that can come in a number of colors.
However, a Dogue De Bordeaux has wrinkles that cover its face and long droopy ears. They are also much larger than a Pitbull and can weigh up to 140 pounds and reach 26 inches.
Despite their muscular bodies, this breed is typically relaxed and easygoing. They don’t need a lot of exercise like other breeds of their size. They are prone to obesity, though, so daily walks are recommended.
Even though they are even-tempered and make excellent guard dogs, they’re not recommended for families with small children because of their large size.
24. Fila Brasileiro
The Fila Brasileiro is a large breed of dog developed in Brazil. Like a Pitbull, they have a menacing appearance and robust, muscular body. They are much larger, however, and can reach up to 29 inches and weigh as much as 180 pounds.
Their temperament is also much different from a Pitbull’s. Although they are docile and loyal to their own family members, they can be extremely averse to strangers — to the point where it could be dangerous. Dog-to-dog aggression can also be a problem for this breed.
For these reasons, they are only recommended for experienced dog owners.
25. Patterdale Terrier
The Patterdale Terrier is a breed that doesn’t really resemble a Pitbull at all, but they still occasionally get confused with them. By a slight stretch of the imagination, their head could make people assume this. They have a wedge-shaped skull, a strong jaw, and wide-set eyes.
However, unlike a Pitbull’s ears, theirs are triangular-shaped and fold tightly above their skull. They are also smaller, measuring only 10 to 15 inches tall and weighing up to 13 pounds.
Their personalities are very different from Pitbulls’. These small dogs have lots of energy and require plenty of exercise. They don’t like being left alone for long periods, which makes them ideal for large families.
Dog Breeds that Look Like Pit bulls Frequently Asked Questions
Is my dog a Staffy or Pit Bull?
Pitbulls are much larger than Staffordshire terriers and weigh between 24 and 80 pounds while standing between 17 and 20 inches high. Staffies only weigh between 24 and 38 pounds and stand between 13 and 16 inches high. The males tend to be larger than the females in both breeds.
What is mistaken for a pitbull?
Staffies are mistaken for pit bulls frequently, with many people believing the two breeds are the same.
How do you tell if my puppy is a pitbull or bully?
The American Pit Bulls are not as muscular and not as wide. Pit Bulls are medium sized dogs that weigh between 30 and 70 pounds and stand about 18 to 22 inches at the shoulders, while American Bullies weigh between 50 and 120 pounds.
Final Thoughts | Dogs Breeds That Look Like Pitbulls But Are Not
There are several dog breeds that resemble pitbulls, but are not pitbulls themselves. Although some types share a resemblance, others get confused for the breed based solely on their powerful appearance alone.
Being mistaken for a Pitbull isn’t a bad thing. Despite some people thinking they are dangerous dogs, these fun-loving and outgoing pups are one of the more popular choices for pet owners.
What did you think of this article about dogs that look like pitbulls but aren’t? Did we miss any dogs similar to pitbulls?
If you want to learn more about certain dogs’ temperaments, check out this post on the best-behaved dog breeds next.
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