American Bully vs Pit Bull: Are These Two Breeds the Same?

Last Updated on March 19, 2023

It isn’t uncommon for people to mistake the Pit Bull (American Pit Bull Terrier) with the American Bully.

These two muscular, agile breeds are strong dogs with powerful jaws and broadheads. They both require a firm owner, but they can be great companions with firm training. 

The American Bully and the American Pit Bull Terrier breeds
The equally amazing American Bully (left) and American Pit Bull Terrier (right)

And while these two breeds may be ancestrally related with strikingly similar looks, they are, in fact, entirely separate breeds.

But just how do you tell the American Bully and the Pit Bull apart and which dog is the right breed for your home? 

Let’s examine and compare the similarities and differences between these dogs in the article below.

Breed Comparison: A Quick Overview

Both the American Bully and Pit Bull are solid and muscular dogs. Both share a terrible reputation that they can be aggressive dogs.

However, this is usually a result of poor training and mismanagement by the wrong owner.

Here’s a quick comparison of these two dog breeds:

  American Bully Pit Bull
(American Pit Bull Terrier)
Breed Purpose Companion Dog Companion Dog.
They were initially bred to
“bait” bulls. Evolved into
farm dogs and nanny dogs
Breed Group Companion Dog Group Terrier Group
Breed Size Medium Medium
Height (Male) 17 to 20 inches
(43.2 to 50.8 cm)
18 to 21 inches
(45.7 to 53.3 cm)
Height (Female) 16 to 19 inches
(40.6 to 48.3 cm)
17 to 20 inches
(43.2 to 50.8 cm)
Weight (Male) 65 and 85 lbs
(29.5 to 38.6 kg)
35 and 60 lbs
(15.9 to 27.2 kg)
Weight (Female) 65 and 85 lbs
(29.5 to 38.6 kg)
30 and 50 lbs
(13.6 to 22.7 kg)
Average Lifespan 10 to 13 years 12 to 14 years
Average Price $2000 to $5000 $500 to $1000
Energy Levels High Moderate
Trainability Easy to train Easy to train
Coat length and type Single coat, short, smooth Single coat, short, smooth
Shedding Low to moderate Average
Temperament Loving, affectionate Stubborn, affectionate,
clownish, courageous,
loyal, intelligent
Daily Feeding 4 cups 1.5 – 2 cups

Are American Bullies and Pit Bulls Related?

Yes, American Bully Dogs and American Pit Bull Terriers are related. The Pitbull first originated in the 1800s when these dogs were used as fighting dogs in the UK.

Originally a cross between various terrier breeds and Bulldogs, these dogs were unfortunately used in blood sports. They were also put to work catching rats in cities. 

An American Bully and an American Pit Bull Terrier
An American Bully (left) and an American Pit Bull Terrier (right)

When bull-baiting was banned in Europe, these dogs were moved across to America.

They were also used as farmhands and therapy dogs as people realized they also had a loving, devoted side to their personalities. 

The American Bully is a relatively new breed created by mixing the American Pit Bull Terrier with the English Bulldog, American Bulldog, and Olde English Bulldogge.

Unfortunately, despite never being used in dogfighting, they share the same misunderstood reputation associated with the Pit Bull breed.

Fast Fact: American Bully is one type of Pitbull dog breed.

How Can You Differentiate an American Bully from a Pit Bull?

The physiques of the American Bully and American Pit Bull Terrier
The similarly looking American Bully (left) and American Pit Bull Terrier (right)

American Bullies and Pit Bulls might look quite similar to the untrained eye, but there are some distinct differences between these two breeds.

American Bullies are significantly heavier and bulkier than the American Pit Bull Terrier breed and weigh around 65 to 85 pounds (29.5 to 38.6 kg) compared to the Pit Bull’s 35 to 60 pounds (15.9 to 27.2 kg). 

And while athletic and robust, the Pit Bull also has an in proportion body, which the American Bully does not.

The American Bully is broader than tall, taking on more of the English Bulldog appearance with short, squat features.

Breed Variations

The Pit Bull only comes in a medium-size, typically standing no more than 21 inches (53.3cm) tall, making him suitable for the average-sized American home.

On the other hand, the American Bully comes in four sizes, namely the Standard, Classic, Pocket, and Extra Large.

Which size American Bully will work for your home depends on your space and personal preference.

To learn more about the different sizes of the American Bully, read our article about American Bully Growth and Weight Chart.

Temperament and Personality

Smiling American Pit Bull Terrier and American Bully
The loving American Pit Bull Terrier (left) and American Bully (right) doggos

Pit Bulls and American Bullies have similar temperaments.

They are both often misunderstood breeds mistaken for being aggressive but are very people orientated and incredibly loyal.

They crave the company of their humans and can become anxious if they are left alone for long periods. They also have high energy levels and love to play.

Surprisingly these dogs are great with children and are sometimes dubbed nanny dogs as they will follow the little ones in the house around.

Although naturally friendly, they will defend those they love from strangers and potential danger.

They can both be stubborn, strong-willed breeds that require firm owners who can establish dominance when training their dogs.

Check out this video of an American Bully and Pit Bull roughhousing. While this may look rough, there is no aggression or bad intentions here; it is all play: 

Are Pit Bulls calmer than American Bullies?

No, American Bullies are generally calmer than Pit Bulls and thus can make a better family companion.

The Pit Bull is the more active and athletic of the two breeds and needs constant mental stimulation to prevent boredom from setting in.

The American Bully is no couch potato and requires about 60 minutes of vigorous exercise each day.

Is the American Bully stronger than the Pit Bull?

Both American Bully and Pit Bull are mighty pups and can do some severe damage if they want to.

The American Bully has more muscle than the American Pit Bull Terrier. He also has a shorter, wider stance that can make him quite the formidable little bulldozer.

The bite force of the American Bully is also more than the Pit Bull.

Which dog is more aggressive?

Pit Bulls were created for bear-baiting and dogfighting, and so have a naturally protective and even aggressive side to their personality.

As American Bullies were created to be pure companions and never used in pit fighting, they don’t have the same tendencies.

These dogs need a firm pack leader who can assert dominance over their dog so they do not develop any aggressive or stubborn tendencies. 

Which breed is the perfect family dog?

Both the Pit Bull and the American Bully are devoted dogs that are very loyal to their families.

They are also confident breeds that thrive in a pack and need a strong leader who is not a first-time pet owner.

Of the two breeds, the American Bully has been bred specifically as a family dog, while the Pit Bull is more commonly used as a working dog.

While the American Pit Bull Terrier is still great around children and in the family home, he can also be used as a farm dog or working therapy animal.

No matter which dog you decide to get for your family home, you will still need to watch him around young children due to his size.

He could knock over a toddler or infant without meaning to do any harm. 

Which breed is easier to train?

The American Bully and the Pit Bull are intelligent, loyal dogs eager to please their owners. They both are pretty easy to train and respond well to positive reinforcement.

American Bullies are most likely to be motivated by treats, while the Pit Bull may prefer toys as a reward during training.

They also need to be socialized to prevent aggression toward strangers and other dogs from a young age.

As both breeds are stubborn and independent, you also need to do obedience training with both of these dogs.

If given a chance, they will exploit any weaknesses in the owner and push the boundaries.

This is particularly the case with the American Bully.

Which Dog Breed Has Higher Maintenance?

The American Bully and American Pit Bull Terrier exemplifying strength
The low-maintenance American Bully (left) and American Pit Bull Terrier (right) breeds

The American Bully and the Pit Bull are low-maintenance dogs with low grooming needs.

They have short, straight, easy-to-care-for coats that only need to be brushed about once a week to keep them looking glossy. 

You only need to bathe these dogs every few months when they are dirty. Be sure not to bathe them too often, or you could destroy the natural oils in their skin.

You should also be sure to brush their teeth regularly, especially in the case of the American Bully, which is predisposed to developing periodontal disease.

Which dog is more energetic?

Although the Pit Bull is the more energetic and agile of these two breeds, both dogs require about 60 minutes of exercise each day.

These breeds of dogs can become bored and destructive if they do not receive adequate exercise. 

However, the American Bully may laze around between exercise sessions, while the Pit Bull may still want to chew on a toy or play with the children in the house.

Both dogs have powerful jaws and can like quite rough play, so you will need tough toys built to last.

Pit Bulls are also quite intelligent dogs compared to the American Bully and may enjoy interactive puzzle games that will keep them mentally stimulated. 

Which dog sheds more?

Both American Bullies and Pit Bulls are average shedders, and they do not have seasonal blowouts like other dog breeds.

Brushing your dog’s coat weekly will remove any dead hair, minimize shedding, promote new hair growth, and help spread your dog’s natural oils around the skin. 

However, you will have to deal with a lot of drool if you choose one of these dogs, especially the American Bully.

Feeding Consumption

Pit Bull and American Bully dog breeds need high-quality dog food specially designed to sustain muscular physiques.

They also need food that is correct for their stage of life and supports their development.

The Pit Bull will consume around two cups of food a day, but how much food your American Bully will eat depends on his size and weight.

This could be anything from one and a half cups of food to five cups daily.

You will need to follow the feeding recommendations on the package to determine precisely how many calories your dog needs to consume daily.

Don’t miss out: Best Dog Food for American Bully

Average Lifespan

American Pit Bull Terrier and American Bully on white background
The healthy American Pit Bull Terrier (left) and American Bully (right) dogs

Both the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Bully are relatively healthy dogs free of many genetic diseases.

The American Bully has a slightly shorter lifespan than the Pit Bull, living for between 9 and 13 years than the Pit Bull’s 12 to 16 years

Some health conditions that could plague these breeds during their life include hip and elbow dysplasia and other joint diseases.

They also tend to develop skin conditions such as ichthyosis, demodectic mange, allergies, and zinc-responsive dermatosis

The American Bully is also prone to developing eye diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, cherry eye, and heart problems, which are often inherited from the Bulldog breed.

However, good breeders should be able to screen for these diseases before purchasing your puppy.

Puppy Price

American Bully and American Pit Bull Terrier puppies
The adorable American Bully (left) and American Pit Bull Terrier (right) pups

Is the American Bully More Expensive than a Pit Bull? Yes, the American Bully is more expensive than the

Pit Bull breed. Pit Bull puppies from reputable breeders start at $1000, while American Bullies tend to go for upwards of $1,200.

The amount of Pit Bulls available for adoption tends to make these dogs cheaper, while the birthing process of the American Bully can also be more difficult due to the shape of the dog.

Your puppy should always be purchased from a reputable breeder who has dedicated time and effort to these puppies and done the necessary health checks.

In the first few weeks of your puppy’s life, they are most impressionable, and their behaviors will be strongly influenced by this period. 

Certain areas have banned both breeds because they rank high on lists of dangerous dogs. If you intend to purchase one of these pups, check the local laws.

In some areas, owners are still required to muzzle or leash their dogs even if they are legal, or you may need to get a special permit to keep one of these breeds.

Read more: American Bully Price

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Head shots of the American Bully and American Pit Bull Terrier
The famous American Bully (left) and American Pit Bull Terrier (right) breeds

Which is more popular?

The Pit Bull is more common because this breed has been around longer.

However, the American Bully is becoming quite trendy, with quite a few American Bullies garnering fame online.

One of the most popular and well-known American Bullies includes an albino Bully named White Rhino, who fetched a staggering quarter of a million dollars.

Do these two breeds get along?

American Bullies and Pit Bulls can get along if they are adequately trained.

Both these dogs need to be aware of their physical power and socialized well when they are young, so they know how to behave around other animals and people. 

Which is Better, the American Bully or the Pit Bull?

A few aspects of appearance and temperament make the American Bully different from the Pit Bull, but they’re both very similar breeds.

These dogs are fiercely loyal and protective, and both require plenty of training and socialization. 

Their size and power make them unsuitable for novice pet owners. The Boxer, Great Dane, and Bulldog are dogs that may be better suited to first-time owners. 

If you fancy yourself a string pack leader, you can choose between the Pit Bull or American Bully as both make great family dogs, while the Pit Bull is also well suited to being a farmhand or working as a therapy dog. 

If you’re thinking about getting one of these puppies, understand what you’re getting into before purchasing.

It is not uncommon for these dogs, especially the American Pit Bull Terrier, to end up in rescues when owners did not do enough research before buying one of these powerful, strong breeds. 

Are you the owner of an American Bully or Pitbull? You’ve chosen this breed as the perfect dog for you, so we’d love to hear it.

Please leave a comment below with your stories about your puppy.

Further reading: More Popular Dog Breeds to Compare

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