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American Bully vs Pitbull – What is the Difference?

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There are numerous breeds of dogs in the world. The most common and famous one is the Pitbull and American Bully. People often confuse it with being American pitbull terrier, but both breeds are different, though the origin is the same.

American Bully and Pitbulls have gained popularity over the last few years, especially in the United States. Some people don’t even know if these are two different breeds; they think it’s a breed with two names. There are plenty of differences between the breeds; from their looks to their temperament, they are poles apart.

No matter it is American Bully or Pitbull, both dogs are beautiful and extremely friendly. You cannot feel lonely at any point if you have any of these dogs at home. Both Pitbull and American Bully prove that they can be a man’s best friend.

Origin of Pitbull and Bully Breeds

  • American Pitbull Terrier AKA PITBULL  

The Pitbull is an old breed. It was first bred in the 1800s as a fighting dog. They used to participate in fighting games, and people would fear this dog because of its tenacious nature. Its brutal life is that it was trained to be aggressive to attack and win the fight. This breed became notorious because of its aggressiveness.

This breed is a mixture of the Old English Terrier and Old English Bulldog. Its genealogy depicts why this dog is eager and robust. Old English Terriers are known for their eagerness, and Old English Bulldogs are famous for their strength. That is the reason both breeds were crossed so that the resulting puppy would take in these qualities.

  • American Bully

American Bully is a new breed that caught attention a few decades ago. The American Bully was bred between 1980-1990. Unlike Pitbull, the reason for creating this breed was to have a family companion dog. This dog is amiable and gained a lot of popularity because of its build and size.

The American Bully is a result of breeding American Staffordshire Terriers and American Pitbull Terriers. American Bully is known for its friendly nature, especially with children.

They have been produced to make good family dogs. The aggressiveness they had associated with their ancestors was bred out of them by providing them with the right training and bringing out the best of their nature.

Is an American Bully a Pitbull?

People often confuse both to be the same. The reality is that they are not the same. American Bully is also known as Bully Pitbull. It is a crossbreed of the American pit bull terrier and other dogs in the Bully family.

Hence it has been named American Bully. Pitbull is a generic name for the Bully family. Most people don’t know this; thus, they take all dogs with Pitbull’s name as an American pit bull terrier. An average person cannot tell the difference between both even by looking at them.

American Pitbull Terriers are purebred dogs and are recognized by the United Kennel Club. However, the American Kennel Club does not recognize them. American Bullies are bred from Pitbulls, mixed with other bullies; hence it makes them a mixed breed, and they are not considered Pitbulls.

Pitbull vs. American Bully

People wonder if there is any difference between these two breeds. They are similar and different at the same time. They look different apparently but have the same nature. This article will help you know how these both are different and what similarities they possess.

Do They Look Similar?

These breeds sound similar, but apparently, they look different. If you put them next to each other, you will see that they look quite different from each other. They have different body structures, various sizes, and different coats. Let’s have a detailed look at the difference in their appearance.

1. Appearance

Both dogs have different physiques. American Bully has a more muscular build as compared to Pitbull. The Pitbull is muscular but not as much as the American Bully. The American Bully is shorter and has a wide structure.

On the other hand, the Pitbull is taller and a little sleek. The American Bullies have larger heads and shorter legs. They have broad chests, and their legs are spaced out.

  • The American pit bull terrier

The Pitbulls have a broad head and a blunt edge. They have a well-chiseled face that portrays strength and elegance. An American pit bull terrier’s expressions are no less than a powerful dog with a well-built muscular body. It doesn’t have any wrinkles on the face, except on the forehead when concentrating on something.

  • The American Bully

The American Bully has a broad and large head that looks appropriate with its body size. It has a well-defined face and body structure. Its muzzle is shorter than the skull and has a well-developed lower jaw.

It has large nostrils that usually are in coordination with the coat color. It has wrinkle-free cheeks with well-shaped ad prominent muscles. It gives the look of a dominant dog with well-rounded muscles all over the body.

2. Height and Weight

The height and weight of both breeds are different. The Pitbulls are bigger, and American Bullies are small. The male Pitbulls weigh around 30-90 pounds and have medium to large size body. Their height ranges from 18-21 inches. The female Pitbulls weigh 30-50 pounds, and their height ranges from 17-20 inches.

The American Bullies are shorter than Pitbulls. A male American Bully weighs more than the Pitbull because of more muscles. The American Bully’s weight depends on its height and builds, around 30-150 pounds for males and females. The males are 17-20 inches tall, and their height ranges from 16-19 inches.

3. The Muscular Build

Both breeds have a muscular build. The American Bullies have a more stocky build and brawny figure as compared to the Pitbulls. The Pitbulls look beefy and burly due to their body’s muscle mass, but the American Bullies take the lead in looks. They are short, but they have more flesh on their body.

The Pitbulls have ruled the world with their brawny looks and muscle mass. This breed is undoubtedly the most muscular one. Strength and supremacy are what you see when a Pitbull is walking down the road. But American Bully is one step ahead of the Pitbulls. It feels like a warrior is coming back after a triumph when you see an American Bully walking on the streets.

4. Coat

Both breeds carry a similar coat. They have smooth coats with short hair and no undercoat. The hair length is short and equal throughout. The texture is soft, shiny, and glossy. They have a single coat, which means they are not suitable for cold areas.

Grooming is not difficult as they are not prone to knots and hair ties. A rubber mitt and a fine-tooth comb are the right choices to brush their coat. Grooming them once in a while will make their coat look shiny.

The Lifespan of Pitbulls and American Bullies

As we mentioned before, there are some similarities in both breeds. The life expectancy is similar for both American Bullies and Pitbulls. These breeds are generally healthy and can live from 8 to 15 years. If taken care of properly, they can live longer than 15 years. These breeds need proper exercise and a good diet to stay healthy and active.

These breeds have more muscle mass. They tend to get overweight if they are not given proper exercises daily. Obesity can lead to various health issues and can cost them their lives as well.

Sexual Maturity for Male American Bullies and Pitbulls

Like other male dogs, the male dogs of this breed also become fertile by the time they are six months old. However, it is not recommended to breed them until they are 12 months old.

They reach sexual maturity anytime between 12 to 15 months. A healthy male dog of both breeds can impregnate females at any time of the year, whether young or old.

Bullies and Pitbulls can mate at any time of the year once they have hit sexual maturity. Elderly male dogs are equally fertile and sexually active as they were at a young age.

Sexual Maturity for Female American Bullies and Pitbulls

Female dogs of all breeds tend to mature between 6-24 months. They get their first menstrual cycle any time after six months of age. Females of both breeds are recommended to be bred after their first heat cycle.

As the American Bullies are small in size, they can get 3-4 heat cycles in a year. Though the Pitbull females are slightly bigger than the Bullies, they also have similar heat cycles to American Bullies.

The Temperament of American Bullies and Pitbulls

The Pitbulls had a bad image attached to them due to the aggressiveness of their ancestors. What people don’t know is that they were trained to be aggressive. The Pitbulls are friendly and highly trainable by nature.

You can mold them to be anything with the right training. That is the reason they were notorious for their aggressiveness and highly demanded dog fights.

To remove the stigma attached to the Pitbulls image, canine enthusiasts bred American Bully, a smaller Pitbull version. It was bred to be a companion dog, and it is the best option you can get when you plan on adopting a dog. American Bullies are the friendliest breed globally, and they make great companions, especially with children. They are highly playful and extremely energetic.

Though the Pitbulls are also friendly and tolerant, just like American Bullies, they still have that tenacity in their nature, which must be tackled through proper training. Socializing for both breeds is highly recommended. The more they socialize, the fewer chances they will be intimidated by strangers, and they will not act out when they come across them.

Relationship With Owners and Their Loved Ones 

Both American Bullies and Pitbulls enjoy an excellent relationship with their owners and their families. They share similar traits when it comes to loyalty, affection, and intelligence.

  • American Bullies

American Bully is a breed created to develop a loyal, devoted, sociable, and intelligent breed. American Bullies have all these traits and are alert, responsive, quick learners, and owner-pleaser. They love to please their owners, and they can do anything to make them happy.

They are amiable towards their owners’ children and friends; they have special feelings for their family and loved ones. You can expect tolerance for strangers from American Bullies. That is the reason they don’t make good guard dogs. But, they can defend their families well.

  • Pitbulls

Pitbulls are minions of their owners. They are very loyal and protective of their owners and their families. They get along with all family members, especially children.

Pitbulls need to know they are loved, and in return, they will give all of their love to their owners. Their protective instincts are powerful. They are not meant to be guard dogs, but if they feel their owner is in danger, they will do anything to protect them.

Pitbulls share a great relationship with their owners and their families. They can be good around strangers, but they need to be trained and socialized well for that.

Socializing is the key to making your dog accept new people and controlling their anxiety when they are around them. Show them that you care, and they will make sure they love you more than anything in the world.

Eating Habits

The health of a dog highly depends on the diet it is being provided. The quality of the food which you offer to your dog matters a lot. Whether it is American Bully or Pitbull, their diet has to be designed precisely to get the best nutrition for a healthy life. If you want your dog to live a long life, you have to make its diet full of nutrients.

How Much Should They Eat?

There is not much difference in the size of the American Bully and Pitbull. Calorie intake depends on the weight of the dog. However, keeping both breeds’ average weight in mind, they consume between 900-1800 calories in a day. As they have more muscle mass, then they should take 35-40 calories per pound.

Health Issues

No matter how healthy both American Bully and Pitbull are, they face health issues just like every other dog in the world. The health issues of both American Bullies and Pitbulls are more or less the same.

Some problems are generic, and they are caused either due to genes or due to the age factor. But some issues are a result of the owner’s negligence and malnutrition. So the issues which both breeds have to face are:

1. Hip Dysplasia

This is the most common problem among dogs, no matter which breed they are. Every dog has to experience this problem after a certain age. This disease causes pains due to the malformation of the hip joints.

The hip is malformed when the hip ball and socket grind scour against each other. The pain caused by the dog creates uneasiness for the dog and makes it difficult for the dog to move. The symptoms of this disease are:

  • Body seems lean
  • Less activity
  • Lameness
  • Difficulty in getting up and moving

2. Thyroid Disease

This disease is widespread among the Pitbull family. If you think your dog is gaining weight and developing skin problems, you have to get a thyroid disease check. When the thyroid glands of the dog stop producing sufficient thyroid hormones, then the metabolism gets affected. A few symptoms of this disease are:

  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy 
  • Obesity
  • Anemia
  • Skin problems

3. Knee Complications

Both these breeds are highly active, and they love to run around. Due to this activity, the cranial cruciate ligament gets affected and causes problems for the dogs in movement.

This health condition begins with a partial tear in the ligament, makes the dog limp while walking, and causes pain. Usually, the situation gets worst because the dog continues with its physical activities.

4. Cataracts

Pitbulls and American Bullies are prone to cataracts more than any other breed. This condition is inherited as Pitbulls are more prone to it, and American Bullies get that from the genes.

Cataracts can be developed as a result of other conditions like diabetes, uveitis, and hypocalcemia. It can be cured through medication or surgery, depending on the situation of the cataract.

5. Heart Disease

Heart disease is usually inherited from the parent dogs of both breeds. The most common heart disease is aortic stenosis, which affects the health of both Pitbulls and American Bullies. This condition does not show any symptoms. That is why it is recommended to get your dog regularly diagnosed earlier, and treatment is started timely.


The American Bully and Pitbull dogs are highly active. They need a lot of exercises and both physical and mental activity to release their energy. Both breeds are recommended to have a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise daily. Lack of exercise can inculcate negative behavior in them, and that becomes problematic.

These breeds need to be engaged in mental stimulation activities as well because they are brilliant. Mental stimulation helps control the dogs’ negative behavior, including excessive barking, digging, and destruction.


Pitbulls and American Bullies are highly trainable. They love to learn and please their owners. They know they can make their owners happy by following what they say. Training plays a vital role in making your dog obedient and docile. Both breeds can be started training at a young age, and they go a long way as they love to learn.

Keeping in mind that Pitbulls can see other dogs, it is important to let them socialize with other dogs to improve their social skills.

American Bullies are dog-friendly, yet they should be made to socialize with other dogs to learn the values of loving and sharing. It is imperative to inculcate the concept of sharing among the dogs.

They love to socialize; hence it is not difficult to get them familiar with non-family members. They get along well with everyone who comes to adore them. They get familiar with people and situations quickly.

Pitbulls tend to act out in front of other dogs, and they don’t like to share their owner with anyone. American Bully, on the other hand, is relaxed and good with other animals as well.

Final Thoughts

Both Pitbull and American Bully are great breeds, and they make the perfect companion dogs. Like we said before, they are similar yet different in their ways. We hope we have cleared any confusion regarding both breeds. It isn’t effortless to say which one is the best, as both are extremely caring dogs who get along well with children.

Both these breeds require time and attention from their owners. They need an owner who is as energetic as them. Both breeds are extremely demanding when it comes to giving attention to them.

They are going to provide you with a warm welcome after a long tiring day. Their love is pure and truly unconditional. No matter how rough your day was, they are going to warm up your heart with love and excitement when they see you at home.

Further Reading

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