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Pitbull vs. Bulldog: Which is the ideal pet for you?

Pitbull vs. Bulldog

If you’ve also found yourself confused between a Pitbull and Bulldog, don’t worry, as you are not alone. They might appear the same, but they are two entirely different breeds, making it essential to understand the differences to decide which one will make the suitable pet for you. While American Bulldogs are a standalone breed, Pitbull can be used to refer to any Pitbull breed, such as American Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, or Staffordshire Bull Terrier, as it is commonly used to refer to a group of species used for dogfighting or any other breed that slightly resembles any of these breeds which can give you a big time differentiating between them. 

Don’t worry; we promise this is the last time you will ever find yourself confused between these adorable pups; this article will help you learn everything from personality, health, training, and much more so you can make an informed choice and let one of these gentle giants be a part of your family. You can check the table below for a quick overview of the key differences between the two breeds.

SizeMedium sizeMedium Size
Height17-20 inches19-28 inches
Weight30-60 pounds60-120 pounds
CoatGlossy and smoothSoft or stiff
Colour and MarkingsBlack, fawn, blue, white, tan, grey, brindle, brown, redWhite, fawn, brindle and white, fawn and white, red and white, brindle, red
EyesGreen, brown, hazel, blueDark brown/black
Bred forBull BaitingBull Baiting
HabitatCan face problems in extreme cold and hot weatherAdaptable to both harsh weather
Lifespan10-15 years8-15 years
Bite Force235 pounds305 pounds
Breed RecognitionRegisteredRegistered
Registration with
Registered with UKC, not AKCRegistered
Litter Size7-14 puppies5-10 puppies
Adaptable to small
Kid Friendly5/54/5
Dog Friendly1/52/5
Stranger Friendly5/55/5
Prey Drive3/52/5
Easy to train4/53/5
Exercise needs4/53/5
Easy to Groom5/55/5
General Health4/54/5
Good for novice owners2/54/5
Tolerates being alone1/53/5
Barking Level3/54/5
Drooling Level1/55/5

Key Differences in Detail Between Pitbull and Bulldog

Origin and History

The history of bulldogs can be traced back to the 1800s when they were brought to America by working-class immigrants. They were used to help on farms by herding animals and performing several hunting tasks. In England, they were used for bull baiting, where bulls are tethered to the ground while dogs try to bite its nose. However, they started going extinct after World War 2. However, persistent efforts of breeders brought them back as companions instead of farm/sport dogs.

Pitbull was also brought to the United States by immigrants and was produced by crossbreeding Old English Bulldog and Old English Terrier from Ireland and England. They were also used as the primary choice for bull baiting. However, after it got outlawed, people started using them for dogfighting and ratting. In ratting, people bet money on the highest number of rats to be killed by Pitbull in the least amount of time. The pit in Pitbull is where rats were placed to prevent them from escaping during the game, which led to the name Pitbull.

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Pitbull vs Bulldog: Temperament

Both breeds, apart from having shockingly similar appearance features, also have very similar temperaments. Both species are people-oriented, can be trusted around children, and are often referred to as Nanny dogs despite the common misconception of being aggressive. The main difference between the two dogs is their ability to tolerate other animals; Bulldogs need early socialization to get comfortable and decrease attacks on other animals compared to Pitbulls, who tend to be more aggressive towards cats, dogs, and other animals they might see as prey.

Suppose you find dogs making vocalization attempts to talk to their humans adorable. In that case, Pitbulls are the perfect breed for you. However, if constant whining or other behaviors bother you, you can opt for the American Bulldogs, which are much quieter; you must remember that neither of these breeds is chronic or frequent barkers. Many owners expect an excellent guard dog out of these two breeds. However, their intimidation and muscular appearance could be more promising because they are too friendly to be guard dogs. Bulldogs are clumsy and dopey, which makes them actual canine clown who is always up for a game in the yard or sleeping for hours with their loved ones. Both breeds can scare off possible threats, but their friendly and affectionate temperaments give rise to the possibility of them letting a burglar in just as much.

Comparing appearances of Pitbulls and Bulldogs

Appearance and Coat

Bulldogs are muscular and stocky dogs with prominent chests, muscles, and shoulders. They have broad round heads, square muzzles, rose-shaped ears, long noses with wide nostrils, and muscular necks as wide as its head. They have round or almond-shaped eyes and well-arched and closed feet with a tail thick at the base and set low by default, but it’s up to the owner to keep it natural or docked. They weigh between 60 and 100 pounds as they mature and stand at 22 to 25 inches. They have a soft or stiff coat which depends on their inherited traits. They have various coat colors, which can be any solid color, pattern, or color combination except pure black or blue, tricolor, and merle. 

The most significant difference between the two breeds is their size, which means you could have one Bulldog equivalent to four Pitbulls in weight and build. Pitbulls are leaner and have more defined muscles than Bulldogs. They have a more expansive, less round head with ears set high, which can either be kept natural or cropped according to the owner’s preference. They have round, medium-sized eyes, a large nose with wide nostrils, and broad, deep muzzles. Their feet are round and in proportion to their size, along with a tail that narrows to a point. Pitbulls weigh between 35 to 60 pounds and stand at a height between 18 to 21 inches. They have a glossy and smooth coat that is moderately stiff. Pitbulls can have any color, pattern, or color combinations in their coats except merle. 

Intelligence and Training

Bulldogs are known for their loyalty, while Pitbulls are known for their tenacity and strength. Both breeds are highly intelligent, but Bulldogs are easier to train. There is also a difference in how both species learn; Bulldogs tend to be motivated by food, while Pitbulls are more play-motivated. During training, both breeds can be stubborn and headstrong. However, they can be trained to obey commands with consistency, effort, and patience. They need a firm owner while training and early socialization to avoid aggressive tendencies. 

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Pitbull vs Bulldog: Exercise Needs

The American Bulldog needs vigorous physical activity every day for around 45 minutes as they are the most energetic and athletic dogs out of all the Modelers. They have high exercise requirements which need to be fulfilled by their owners; otherwise, it might lead to behavioural problems like destructiveness, excessive barking, hyperactivity, nervousness, or aggression due to pent-up energy. They make great companions for jogging, hiking, games such as tug of war, or training exercises. However, we recommend opting for non-impact practices as they are prone to bone and joint damage.

Pitbulls are just as energetic as Bulldogs and need a daily exercise routine of 35 to 45 minutes to keep them healthy and their energy levels in check. They don’t require as vigorous exercises as Bulldogs due to their small sizes, as a daily walk will do enough to keep them happy, along with a wide variety of games to be played during playtime regularly.

Both breeds have full bites that can destroy in seconds; we recommend buying them tough toys that can hold up to their chewing power in and between outdoor playing or training sessions.

Diet Requirements

Bulldogs eat more than Pitbulls due to their large size and muscular frame. Bulldogs can eat up to 4 cups of kibble daily compared to Pitbull, which eat 2 cups daily. The amount of food also depends on the weight of your dog. If a bulldog weighs more than 50 pounds, it will need food made for larger breeds that supports its frame and needs by providing the optimized nutrients. Both species are prone to bloating, which should be taken seriously. Owners are suggested to take their dogs for daily exercise and walks. 

Pitbull vs Bulldog: Common Health issues

Bulldogs are prone to health problems like kidney, cherry eye, and bone cancer. Their facial wrinkles make them prone to skin problems due to chafing, moisture, and heat. Pitbulls are also prone to health problems like heart disease, diabetes, cataracts, allergies, kneecap dislocation, and aortic stenosis. Both breeds face many common health issues like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, thyroid defects, and demodectic mange. 

It is essential to practice precautions to avoid getting your dog any diseases or severe health problems by following a vaccination schedule, regular vet checkups, treatments, surgeries, and homemade remedies.

Puppy Price and Maintenance Cost

It is essential to consider several things before buying a puppy. The prices of both breeds can vary significantly due to their health, breeder, size, and weight. The average cost of a Bulldog can lie between $1,700 to $8,000 and higher for superior pedigree, with $800 as the average cost, while Pitbull costs between $3,700 to $10,000 and the average price are $1,100. The initial cost of owning a Pitbull can cost anywhere between $700 to $2,400 as it includes food and treats, crates, a dog license, toys, grooming essentials, and much more. In contrast, the annual cost of owning a Pitbull can lie anywhere between $1,700 to $4,800. The initial cost of owning a bulldog lies between $600 to $2,200, leading to the annual maintenance cost between $1,700 and $3,700.

You can buy your puppy from either a pet store or a breeder. However, we recommend doing proper research about the breeder, verifying the health of your puppy, and getting all the required documents to avoid facing future problems. 

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Grooming and Shedding

The grooming needs for both breeds are almost identical as they both have short hair and shed between mild to moderate around the year. They require a rubber brush once a week, which helps distribute oils in their coat and remove loose hair. They need occasional bathing to keep their coat healthy and clean. However, both breeds are susceptible to suffering from skin problems. In that case, it is recommended to use the grooming products recommended by the vet and follow the medicine schedule to prevent any future skin problems.

Similarities Between a Pitbull and Bulldog

After reading the key differences, you must have a clear idea to differentiate between the two breeds. However, we’ve listed the similarities too, so you can know both species like a pro and maybe even flex it.

  • Bullfighters- Both breeds were used as bullfighters many centuries ago. Even after the sport was banned, their daring attitude and strong jaws have lasted till today.
  • Great with kids- Despite their short history, both breeds are gentle, patient, and loving around kids, making them fantastic companions. However, they can get aggressive if not properly socialized and given time to settle around children and other family members, which is something to look out for.
  • Muscular Build- Due to their past, both breeds are robust, athletic, and stocky, from jaws to paws, making them look quite similar.

Conclusion: Pitbull vs. Bulldog: Which One is Better for you?

Choosing the right dog for you and your family

While Pitbull and Bulldogs differ in size, both breeds are built with a lot of strength and endurance. Nonetheless, there is a lot to love about both species; they are friendly companions who have the energy and love to blend into your family. There is no clear winner here, as the decision shall be solely based on your personal preferences and lifestyle.

Bulldogs are social dogs that love to get attention and be around children and family. They are excellent guard dogs with a friendly and patient temperament. However, they face heart problems and other issues that you need to look out for, along with unwanted behaviors like chewing or throwing tantrums that will lessen with proper training. 

Pitbulls, once socialized, love people and become an inseparable part of their families. They need minimal grooming and are highly intelligent when it comes to training. However, without movement, they have the potential to get aggressive and get destructive when bored. They require lots of exercises and can be strong-willed. 

We hope this guide comes in handy when choosing the right breed for you. We recommend assessing all the traits and factors and going with the breed whose needs you can cater to. No matter whichever breed you choose, you won’t be wrong, as they both are equally adorable and perfect!


In a dog fight which breed will win out of the two?

While dog fights are neither healthy nor recommended, it’s common to be curious to know the winning breed. Pitbull has a clear advantage in strength and agility; however, Bulldogs can give a stronger bite due to their heads, but Pitbull have more chances of winning.

Is Pitbull stronger than Bulldog?

It might seem Bulldogs are more muscular due to their larger size. However, in reality, Pitbull is more robust due to their athletic build and endurance.

Are Pitbulls or Bulldogs hypoallergenic?

Both Pitbull and Bulldogs have shorter coats and shed moderately; manageable and not hypoallergenic. However, allergies can also be triggered by dander, saliva, and urine other than hair.

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