Skip to Content

25 Dog Breeds That Look Like Pitbulls but Aren’t (2022)

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, 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. 

There are many factors that play a role in people mistaking other dog types for Pitbulls. Let’s take a look closer look at this and examine the top dog breeds that look like Pitbulls but aren’t. 

25 Dog Breeds That Look Like Pitbulls but Aren't (2022) 1
Image from Alexas Fotos on Pexels 

25 Dog Breeds That Look Like Pitbulls But Aren’t 

There are quite a number of dog breeds that look like Pitbulls. Some of them have been crossbred with Pitbulls, which has led to them keeping some of their similarities. However, each type of dog included in this list is its own distinct breed with its own unique features and characteristics. 

1. American Staffordshire Terrier

The American Staffordshire Terrier is probably the most common breed mistaken for a Pitbull. They are medium-sized dogs that share a very similar weight and height range with Pitbulls. Their facial features and build are also similar. 
The American Staffordshire Terrier tends to have a more proportional body, with longer legs and a more narrow chest and torso. 

American Staffordshire Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier

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, has a very similar build and facial makeup as a Pitbull. However, it’s pretty easy to tell the two apart by looking at their size. 

Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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. 

3. American Bulldog

The American Bulldog and the Pitbull are both 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. 

american bulldog white
american bulldog

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’s a mix of American Bulldog, English Bulldog, Bull Mastiff, and American Pitbull Terrier. 

It does bear a similar appearance to 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 and are known for being protective but not aggressive. 

5. English Bulldog

English-Bulldog
Image from Sébastien Lavalaye on Unsplash 

The English Bulldog (also known as the British Bulldog) is a British breed of mastiff type. They have a hefty, muscular body that’s medium in size. 

Their face shape 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 a max of 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 levels of endurance. 

6. Australian Bulldog

The Australian Bulldog has a compact, muscular build similar to a Pitbull. They are 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. 

australian bulldog
australian bulldog

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 breed of bulldog is friendly and docile, but they can be highly protective when they feel like their family is threatened. They are courageous and fierce-looking, which makes them great guard dogs. 

leavitt bulldog
leavitt bulldog

The Leavitt Bulldog enjoys chewing and should be provided with 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 actually 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 bulldog
french bulldog

French Bulldogs have large, perky ears with rounded ends, whereas a Pitbull has much smaller and 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 that measures between 20 and 25 inches and can weigh up to 90 pounds. Like a Pitbull, they have a large, square head, broad shoulders, and short legs in proportion to their body. 

alapaha blue blood bulldog
alapaha blue blood bulldog

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. 

10. Pug

Pug
Image from Steshka Willems on Pexels 

When compared side by side, you’ll notice a Pug and a Pitbull are quite different in terms of their appearance. However, they do 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 just want to be everybody’s friend. 

11. American Bully

The American Bully is a newer breed of dog that was 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 they also have 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. 

American Bully dog
American Bully dog

Although Pitbulls have muscular bodies, they’re not as muscular as the American Bully. These dogs were bred to have well-defined, large muscles that cover their body. 

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. 

Dogo Argentino - Argentine mastiff white dog breed
Dogo Argentino

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.

They’re very active pets and require a lot of exercise. For people who love exploring nature, they make a wonderful travel companion and hiking dog

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. 

bull terrier
bull terrier

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.

14. Boxer

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. 

boxer shaking its head

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. 

Cane Corso black dog
Cane Corso black dog

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 due to their size, they’re 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 is the type of dog that is aware of its strength and size, which makes them natural protectors. 

Perro de Presa canario
Perro de Presa canario

Their temperament can be aggressive, which means they require 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. 

17. Rottweiler

Rottweiler
Image from Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay 

Like Pitbulls, Rottweilers are considered one of the most dangerous dog breeds. They have an intimidating appearance, which can lead 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. 

18. Boerboel

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. 

brown Boerboel dog
Boerboel

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 they need to be properly trained from a young age so they are manageable. 

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. 

ambullneo mastiff
ambullneo mastiff

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. 

20. Bullmastiff

The Bullmastiff is similar to a Pitbull in terms of 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. 

bullmastiff
bullmastiff

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 lie in its intimidating appearance, muscular body, and boxy silhouette. 
Unlike a Pitbull, an English Mastiff has wrinkled cheeks, floppy ears, and a droopy neck. 

english mastiff
english mastiff

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 of their very large size. 

22. Rhodesian Ridgeback

25 Dog Breeds That Look Like Pitbulls but Aren't (2022) 2
Image from guvo59 on Pixabay

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. 

dogue de bordeaux
dogue de bordeaux

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. 

Fila Brasileiro dog
Fila Brasileiro dog

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. 

patterdale terrier
patterdale terrier

However, unlike a Pitbull’s ears, theirs are triangular-shaped and fold tightly down above their skull. They are also smaller in size, 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 of time, which makes them ideal for large families. 

Final Thoughts | Dog Breeds That Look Like Pitbulls But Aren’t 

There are many dog breeds that look like Pitbulls but aren’t. 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. 

rottweiler
rottweiler

If you want to learn more about certain dogs’ temperaments, check out this post on the best-behaved dog breeds next. 

I covered all of the costs associated with writing this post on why does my dog drool around puppies. However, it does contain affiliate links. That means if you click through on some of the links in this article and end up making a purchase I may receive a small commission. It won’t affect the price that you pay. Just wanted to let you know.

Like this post? Why not share it?

Thanks for sharing