Pitbull vs. American Bully: What’s The Difference?

The Pitbull and the American Bully are both breeds of dogs but they are different in many ways. The Pitbull is usually leaner and has a more athletic build, while the American Bully is more muscular and stocky.

Additionally, Pitbulls are breeds such as American Pitbull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and American Staffordshire Terriers. The American Bully, on the other hand, is a newer breed that was developed in the 1980s and ’90s by crossing Pitbulls with other breeds like the American Bulldog.

When it comes to temperament, both breeds are known for being friendly and loyal to their owners, but Pitbulls often require more exercise and mental stimulation due to their active nature. The American Bully is generally more relaxed and less energy-intensive, but still enjoys playtime and walks.

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

Quick Summary: The American Bully is one of four dogs under the Pitbull-type dog umbrella. He is an extension of the Pitbull and is very similar to them. One of their main differences is that the Bully can sometimes be larger than the Pitbull. These are intelligent dog breeds, so make sure you have a lot of puzzle toys for them. Both of these dogs enjoy good canine health, especially the Pitbulls. The Pitbull enjoys an average lifespan of 12 to 16 years, while the Bully can live anywhere from 9 to 13 years. Both these dogs are susceptible to certain health issues, which could affect their quality of life and shorten their lives. To extend your pet’s life, feed them the highest quality dog food and keep them active.

The American Pitbull Terrier and the American Bully are very similar dogs. Because they are both Pitbull-type breeds, they are often confused with each other. In fact, even Pitbull lovers can confuse the two. However, there are some differences between the two breeds.

Before you bring a new dog into your home, it is important to understand as much about the dog, including their personality traits and history. The Pitbull and American Bully can be great companion dogs. However, neither breed is ideal for all families.

If you can’t decide between these two lovely dogs, you have come to the right place. This guide will provide information about each dog, including their histories. You will also learn which breed is better suited for which lifestyles.

Both can be great family pets, they just need the right family. Let’s compare these two dogs by looking at their similarities and differences.

Pitbull vs. American Bully

Dog Histories and Origins

Many dog owners are happy to have a dog in their home without knowing the breed history. Canine history is vital because it can tell you everything about the dog’s intended purpose. This will enable you to understand them better and make sure you give them what they require. Let’s look at the history of the Bully and Pitbull.

The Pitbull: An Overview

The American Pitbull Terrier, known simply as the Pitbull, originates from the 1800s across the pond in England. His ancestors were created by combining Terriers and Bulldogs to make the perfect fighting dog.

He was used in bloodsports to fight others and kill as many rats as possible. The cruel sport was outlawed in England, and the fighters brought their fighting dogs to America. The Pitbull was born from the combination of the most successful and largest breeds. This is why Pitbulls have such a terrifying reputation.

But Americans banned fighting in America, and people started to see how gentle and caring he was. He was a well-known ranch hand as well as a therapy dog. With canine education, more people are allowing this beautiful dog to join their families. He is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), but he is recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC).

The American Bully: An Overview

The American Bully is one of four dogs that come under the Pitbull-type dog umbrella. He is an extension of the Pitbull and is, therefore, very similar to them. His creation was influenced by the English Bulldog and Olde English Bulldog. He originates from America, and he was recognized as a dog breed in his own right by the UKC in 2013.

This dog has the same misunderstood reputation as the American Pitbull Terriers. He is also subject to Breed Specific Legislation (BSL).

The American Bully is a celebrity in the bully dog world. The most expensive Bully, White Rhino, sold for a staggering quarter of a billion dollars. He is a highly sought-after stud.

Size and Appearance

Although they are sometimes called Pitbulls, the two breeds are quite distinct. The Pitbull usually measures between 17 and 21 inches tall, from paw to shoulder. And he weighs between 30 and 65 pounds, making him a medium to sometimes large-sized dog. The average size makes the Pittie a good choice for most families.

According to the American Bully Kennel Club, there are four distinct American Bully sizes. The Pocket is the smallest size, followed by the Classic, Standard, and XL. Depending on which Bully size you choose, Bullies tend to weigh anywhere between 25 and 120 pounds. This remarkable weight range is important to remember when choosing the size of Bully for your home. Their height ranges from 13 to 23 inches. A Bully named Hulk holds the record for 174 pounds!

The Pitbull is muscular and athletic in appearance and an overall proportionate-looking dog. The Bully is not a proportionately-built dog, which makes it easy to distinguish them. The Bully is shorter and wider than his height. He is a bit like an English Bulldog, but with larger muscles and a wider body. It is their scary-dog appearance combined with their history that makes many people unduly frightened. Their ear-to-ear smiles are enough to show that they are actually softies.

Both dogs have short and straight double coats, which are soft to the touch. The Bully’s coat is soft and often described as a velvet hippo. Both can be bred in various colors and are open to all other doggy colors except albinism and merle. The most popular Pitbull colors are white, red-nosed, and blue-nosed

Grooming Requirements

Both of these puppies have easy-to-care-for coats. Their straight, short hair needs to be brushed once a week to keep it looking shiny and healthy. This will remove dirt and dead hair and spread natural oils. It is also a great time to bond with your dog.

A simple bristle brush is a great tool to brush both of these dogs. Pitbulls are average shedders, and so are Bullies. Many owners find this appealing as neither sheds their coats seasonally.

Both dogs should be bathed every two to three months. If they get really muddy on their walks, they can be bathed as often as they require. You should not do this more than once per month. When shampooing either of these pups, it’s recommended to use a shampoo designed for dogs with sensitive skin.

They should brush their teeth at least twice a week. This will help keep their gums and teeth healthy and cavity-free.

Temperament and Personality Traits

Both dogs have almost identical temperaments. Both are people-oriented dogs who crave human company. They will be sad, frustrated, and anxious if they don’t have it. You should consider other breeds if your family cannot provide them with company most of the day. If you can, you will find a four-legged friend in either of these guys.

They make wonderful family members and are very affectionate with children. Both are referred to as ‘nanny dogs.’ While you shouldn’t leave your children alone with any dog, you can be certain that these guys will enjoy spending time with and protecting your kids. They are excellent therapy dogs because they can be so in touch with people and their emotions.

They are loyal and will protect their family when faced with danger. They are naturally friendly, but they don’t make good guard dogs unless they are trained. Simply put, they are not as protective as the Doberman Pinscher and German Shepherd.

Although they will defend themselves in a fight, they are not the ones who start it, contrary to what some believe. Unfortunately, people will cross the street to avoid your bully-type breed.

Their love for humans and high energy make them both lots of fun. These two can play with your family and friends all the time. These guys are top canine entertainment!

After a fun day, they will love cuddling up to you on the bed. Both are equally affectionate, but some may say that the Bully is more cuddly.

Exercise Requirements

Both dogs have similar exercise requirements. They both require 60 minutes of exercise daily to be happy and healthy. These guys are not couch potatoes. Even the American Bully is a chunky guy!

If we had to pick one breed, the Pitbull would be it. The Pitbull is faster, more athletic, and requires more mental stimulation every day. With his English Bulldog blood, the Bully likes to relax between workouts.

Both are tenacious and tough in play, so make sure you choose a durable toy that can withstand their constant play. The Bully is perceived as slightly smarter than Pitbulls, so make sure you have a few puzzle toys for your pitbull. You won’t find bored dogs if you keep them active and give them interactive play.

Due to their fearful reputation, it is advisable to keep them on a leash whenever they are out in public. Even though they’re not the most likely to cause trouble, all dogs are unpredictable. Whichever dog you choose, you should check out your local BSL laws too. Some states require bully-type dogs to be muzzled when they are out in public. Some states prohibit them in doggy parks.

Training and Socialization

Both Pitbulls and Bulldogs have different training needs and abilities. Pitbulls are very trainable dogs that are both intelligent and eager to please. He is well-suited for new dog owners. The Bully can be stubborn and headstrong due to his English Bulldog heritage. He needs a dog owner who is more experienced and can harness his independence.

Both of these dogs must be socialized well starting from day 1. Before you bring them home, a quality breeder will begin training them. It’ll then be your responsibility to continue the training. You can mix them with as many humans and dogs as you like. You should also expose them to other sounds, sights, smells, and emotions. Because of the Pitbull’s dogfighting past, he might display fear-aggression tendencies more than the Bully if he is not socialized properly.

Both dogs respond well to positive reinforcement training. Make sure you research it and use it. Dogs should not be subject to any harsh training or treatment. These dogs are strong and can be dangerous. Find out what motivates your dog the most. The Bully is likely to be motivated by treats, and Pitbulls will be motivated by most things, including toys.

Both dogs desire human companionship. And as much as they deserve it, and we would love to, it isn’t possible to spend 24/7 with them. Crate training is recommended for all dogs, but it’s especially important for those who are prone to suffering from separation anxiety. Find the right Pitbull-sized dog crate, as all dogs crave shelter. Your Pitbull-type dogs will also love it.

Nutritional Requirements

It’s hard to compare the two in terms of nutrition because the American Bully has vastly different weight and nutritional needs. An average Pitbull will eat between two to three cups of food per day, but the Bully could eat anywhere from one and a quarter to five cups of food per day. This means that their monthly food bill might look completely different. 

American Bullies should eat a kibble suggested for the Bully. And Pitbulls will do best on a kibble recommended specifically for them, as well. We recommend giving these dogs the best food you can afford. It can really make a difference in their health.

Make sure they are both fed age-appropriate foods. It is important to provide healthy food, especially during puppyhood. Also, just so you know, Bully gas is a common problem for Pitbull-type dogs.

Health and Lifespan

Both of these dogs enjoy good canine health, especially Pitbulls. The Pitbull enjoys an average lifespan of 12 to 16 years, compared to the Bully, who enjoys 9 to 13 years.

Both Pitbulls and Bullies are susceptible to certain health issues. Your dog’s lifespan will be extended by feeding them the highest quality food and keeping them active. Regular health checks are also a good idea.

Pitbulls, like many dogs, are predisposed to hip Dysplasia. This is a congenital condition in which the hip socket or the upper thigh bone doesn’t sit correctly. This can lead to a dislocated hip and increase the risk of developing painful arthritis later in life.

Skin conditions are another health concern to be aware of. Most common are ichthyosis and demodectic mange, zinc-responsive dermatologtosis, and allergies. These conditions are not usually life-threatening but should be investigated to improve their quality of life.

Hip dysplasia is also a common condition in American Bullies. Various eye conditions affect the Bully, such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, and cherry eye.

A good breeder will check for cardiac irregularities. This is something that was inherited from the English Bulldog genes.

The Bully is not a brachycephalic dog breed. However, his muzzle is slightly shorter. He is not as comfortable with warm weather as the Pitbull.

Purchase Costs of Puppies

An American Bully pup is pricier on average than a Pitbull puppy. The price of a Pitbull from a reputable breeder starts at around $1,000, compared to $1,200 for a Bully puppy. The price of a Pitbull puppy is lower because there are so many Pitbulls living in shelters all over America.

The birthing process for Bullies can take longer depending on their size and shape. If you want to work with a celebrity breeder, expect to pay more.

Rescuing is a part of any family discussion regarding bully breeds. You must find a reliable breeder before you buy a puppy. Unfortunately, there are still many dog owners who continue to fight their dogs. These dogs make excellent targets for cruel sports.

A lot of breeders care more about making money than their pups’ health. Do your research to ensure you are working with a breeder who is committed to producing healthy pups.

There are also ongoing life costs that you should consider. These costs are not only the puppy price. All puppies require new toys, beds, and crates – plus medical bills, pet insurance, food, and much more. Some places will require both dogs to have specific licenses or insurance. These additional financial obligations should also be taken into consideration.


And that’s all, folks! In all their glory, the Pitbull and American Bully make great choices as family pets.

One of their main differences is that the Bully can sometimes be larger than Pitties. However, Bullies can live a shorter life span and can be difficult to train.

But, as you can see in our canine comparison, there are more similarities than differences between these two breeds.

Both are lumped together as scary bully dogs, but if you can look beyond that, you’ll most likely find a cuddly dog to join your family.

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