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When it comes to dog breeds, few stir as much debate and fascination as the Pitbull and the American Bully. These muscular, strong-looking canines often find themselves at the center of heated discussions, largely due to their similar physical traits.

In this article, we’re diving into the intriguing world of the American Bully and the American Pit Bull Terrier — two breeds commonly mistaken for each other yet distinct in their own rights.

Before you decide to make one of these dogs a part of your family, it’s vital to arm yourself with knowledge. This not only ensures a good fit with your lifestyle but also prepares you for the joys and challenges of owning such a misunderstood breed.

Join us as we unravel the myths, explore the realities, and help you make an informed decision about these often misunderstood canine companions.

Is An American Bully a Pitbull

Pitbulls and American Bullies are two breeds that are often mistaken for one another, yet they have distinct histories and physical characteristics. The primary distinction lies in their origins and development. American Bullies emerged in the United States during the 1990s as a relatively new breed, while Pitbulls have a longer history, with their roots tracing back to 19th-century England.

One of the most noticeable differences between these two breeds is their physical appearance. American Bullies typically stand taller and boast a more robust, muscular build compared to their Pitbull counterparts. American Bullies have notably shorter snouts and tails. Pitbulls, in contrast, are characterized by longer snouts and tails, setting them apart from the newer American Bully breed.

Difference Between American Bully and Pitbull

Difference Between American Bully and Pitbull

Exploring the unique differences between the muscular American Bully and the historically rich Pitbull: two breeds, one common misconception.

Breed origin 

The American Bully’s development in the United States during the late 20th century reflects a deliberate effort to blend the traits of several breeds, including the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bulldog, and Mastiff. This selective breeding aimed to create a companion dog breed that combines a friendly and loyal temperament with a distinctive, muscular build.

In contrast, the American Pit Bull Terrier, commonly referred to as the Pitbull, has a longer and more complex history dating back to the early 19th century in the United Kingdom. Initially bred from Old English Bulldogs and Terriers for blood sports like dog fighting and rat-baiting, Pitbulls have undergone a significant transformation. After being brought to America, their role evolved as they became valued for their versatility and work ethic, particularly in farm settings.


American Bullies come in four main sizes: Pocket, Standard, Classic, and XL (Extra Large), with their weight ranging from 30 to 150 pounds, depending on the type. This breed is characterized by its stockier, broader build relative to its height, often giving it an unproportionate, yet impressive, appearance.

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Pitbulls, in contrast, are generally lighter, with weights ranging from 35 to 65 pounds. They exhibit a more balanced and proportionate look, defined by a muscular and athletic build. This makes them distinctly different in physical structure compared to the American Bully.

Both breeds boast short, smooth coats available in a range of colors such as black, blue, fawn, red, and brindle. Interestingly, Merle patterns are found in both breeds, with the American Bully Merle and the Merle Pitbull being especially popular variations.


American Bullies, while loyal, are generally considered to be more aggressive toward other animals compared to Pitbulls. It’s important to remember that the temperament of an American Bully can be significantly influenced by proper training and socialization. When raised and trained well, they, too, can become wonderful family pets, capable of adapting to a family environment.

Pitbulls, contrary to common misconceptions, are not inherently aggressive. In fact, they are often known for their gentle nature, particularly around children. Pitbulls tend to be sensitive to the emotions of their family members and are known for their desire to keep children happy and safe. This breed is characterized by its high energy and enthusiasm, making them more active and playful.

On the other hand, American bullies tend to have a more laid-back and docile demeanor compared to high-energy American pit bull terriers.

Health and Diet 

The American Bully, being the larger of the two breeds, requires a greater amount of food to meet its daily nutritional requirements. It’s important to carefully manage their food intake to ensure they receive enough nutrients without overfeeding.

Overfeeding can lead to obesity, which is a common concern in larger breeds like the American Bully. Along with obesity, they may also be more prone to health issues such as joint problems and hip dysplasia, often associated with larger canine breeds.

In contrast, the Pitbull, typically smaller in size compared to the American Bully, requires less food to maintain its physique and energy levels. Ensuring that your Pitbull gets the right amount of food, rich in essential nutrients, is crucial for their overall well-being and happiness.

While the Pitbull may generally face fewer size-related health issues, it’s still vital to maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise regime to prevent common health problems and ensure a healthy, active lifestyle.


pitbull and american bully mix

The American Bully, with its English Bulldog ancestry, tends to exhibit a more stubborn and independent nature. This characteristic calls for an owner who is experienced in handling such temperaments. Understanding and patience are key to training this breed effectively. They respond best to early and consistent training sessions that employ positive reinforcement methods.

In contrast, Pitbulls are known for their intelligence and a strong desire to please their owners. This trait makes them highly trainable and an excellent option for both experienced and novice dog owners. They are quick learners and respond exceptionally well to positive reinforcement techniques.

Life Span and Pricing 

The American Bully typically has a lifespan of 10 to 12 years, slightly shorter than the Pitbull, which can live between 12 and 16 years with proper care.

In terms of cost, American Bully puppies generally cost more than Pitbulls. While a Pitbull puppy from a reputable breeder might cost around $1,000, an American Bully can start at $1,200 or higher. The higher price of American Bullies is influenced by factors like the complexity of their birth process and their breed’s size and build. Additionally, the high number of Pitbulls in U.S. shelters may affect their market value.

Remember, buying from a reputable breeder ensures proper care and health checks, potentially saving future costs on health and behavior issues. Alternatively, adopting from a shelter is a budget-friendly option that also helps a dog in need.

Are American Bullies Related to Pitbulls?

what is an american bully

Absolutely, American Bullies and Pitbulls are indeed related and often grouped under the broad term ‘Pitbull-Type’ breeds due to their shared ancestry. This common lineage is evident in some of their physical characteristics and traits.

The American Bully is distinct with its bulkier, more robust build, featuring a large, blocky head and shorter legs. This gives them a more formidable and stout appearance compared to Pitbulls. On the other hand, Pitbulls are known for their muscular, broad build, but they tend to have a more athletic and streamlined appearance than the American Bully.

Why are American Bullies Gaining Popularity?

The rising popularity of American Bullies in the United States can indeed be attributed to their reputation as a more “family-friendly” breed compared to Pitbulls. This perception is likely influenced by their temperament and the breed’s growing recognition for being good with children and adaptable to family life.

Additionally, American Bullies are less frequently targeted by breed-specific legislation (BSL) and restrictions. Unlike Pitbulls, which often face bans or restrictions by landlords and homeowners insurance companies due to misconceptions about their temperament, American Bullies tend to face fewer such challenges.

Pros and Cons of Owning American Bullies and Pit Bulls

Explore the advantages and disadvantages of owning American Bullies in this comprehensive chart.

American Bullies  Pros and Cons

Dive into the benefits and drawbacks of owning Pitbulls with this informative chart analysis

Pit bull Pros and Cons


Both the American Bully and the American Pitbull Terrier have carved out their own unique identities in the canine world. The American Bully, while a separate breed, shares a common lineage with Pitbull breeds, originally bred for different purposes.

Recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC), the American Bully has established itself as a distinct entity among medium-sized dogs.

On the other hand, the American Pitbull Terrier, also a medium-sized dog, is acknowledged by the UKC and the American Dog Breeders Association (ADBA), yet, like the American Bully, remains unrecognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Dog owners interested in either of these breeds should understand that while they share similarities, each breed has its unique characteristics and requirements. Whether you’re considering an American Bully puppy or an American Pitbull Terrier, it’s essential to engage with reputable breeders and understand the specific needs of these breeds.

Ultimately, both the American Bully and the American Pitbull Terrier can make wonderful companions, embodying the rich diversity and adaptability of the canine world.

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