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8 Dog Breeds that Look Like Pitbulls

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There are lots of rumors regarding this well-known dog breed. You may love Pit bulls or be scared of them; either way, they have a strong personality of their own. It has been widely speculated that Pit bulls are aggressive and difficult to train and pet. However, Pit bulls owners have repeatedly claimed otherwise. They have tried to uphold that Pit bulls are equally loving, caring, and loyal dogs, which are protective of their owners, and their children. They behave really well around young children and are their favorite. Well, it can be well-assumed that Pit bulls have got this reputation from their history of being actively involved in dogfighting.

You might be surprised to know that technically, no dog breed can be classified as Pit bulls. It is actually the American Pitbull terriers, whom we refer to as Pit bulls in our daily conversations. It has been documented that Pit bulls have descended from dog breeds such as bulldogs and terriers. Hence, they look like some of the present breeds of bulldogs and to some extent, the terriers. Today, we will explore some of the breeds that resemble or come very close to Pitbull in looks and behavior.

Dog Breeds that Look Like Pitbull

RankingNameHeightWeightLife spanBreed sizeTemperamentOrigin
1 Dogo Argentino24–26.5 inches88–100 pounds9–15 yearslarge tolerant, affectionate, loyal, cheerful, protectiveArgentina
2 American Staffordshire Terrier17 to 19 inches50 to 80 pounds12 – 16 yearsmediumtenacious, devoted, attentive, courageous, friendly, LoyalUnited States
3 Boston Terrier12 to 17 inches9 to 24 pounds13 – 15 yearssmallfriendly, lively, intelligentUnited States
4Cane Corso25 to 27.5 inches100-110 pounds10 – 12yearslargestable, loyal, alert, reservedItaly
5 Dogue de Bordeaux23 to 27 inches120 to 140 pounds5 – 8 yearslargeeven tempered, loyal, companionable, devoted, vigilant, courageousFrance
6 Presa Canario36 to 41 inches80-130 pounds9–11 yearslargesuspicious, strong willed, gentle, stubborn, calmCanary Islands
7Shar Pei17-20 inches40-65 pounds9–11 yearsmediumsuspicious, affectionate, reserved, devoted, independent, lovingChina
8Olde English Bulldogge17 to 20 inches40 to 44 pounds9–14 yearsmediumfriendly, confident, courageous, alert, loving, strongUnited States

Now that you know a bit about Pitbulls, let us explore all the breeds that resemble this breed. We’ll be looking at the various aspects of these distinct and unique breeds to understand how the perception regarding their resemblance to Pitbull can be justified. If you want to pet a new dog, this list might help you greatly. It will not just be looking at these breeds concerning Pitbull but also individually to help you decide better.

1. Dogo Argentino

Dogo Argentino

If you have ever seen a photo of this dog breed in person, you will agree that Dogo Argentino is like the gigantic version of Pit bulls. First bred in 1928, this breed was developed in Argentina and is known to have accompanied hunters and can kill even wild boars, reflecting the agility and sheer strength of this breed.

Similarities Between Dogo Argentino and Pit bulls

These dog breeds are quite stocky in their look, and one can easily confuse them for a Pitbul if it is not for their size. Both these breeds have sturdy and square heads. Besides, they are strong and muscular and can be easily recognized by their wide and friendly smile. They also have similar kinds of coats. Both Dogo Argentinos and Pit bulls have short and shiny hair, making them easier to groom by their owners.

Differences Between Dogo Argentino and Pit bulls

Although one can possibly argue that Dogo Argentinos look similar to Pit bulls, some differences set them apart. To start, Dogo Argentinos are available in just one color, white. The most that you can opt for is a black patch which can be seen on their head. But Pit bulls have a range of colors that gives them a unique identity and lets you choose from. Moreover, Dogo Argentinos are taller and heavier than Pit bulls. They are around 24 to 27 inches in height and weigh between 85 to 100 lbs. Besides, Argentinos are extremely protective of their owners, and they are excellent guard dogs, unlike Pit bulls. Pitties may still tolerate strangers, but Argentinos are temperamental. They tend to bark loudly at strangers if they feel that the estate they are guarding is being trespassed by strangers.

2. American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier

Staffordshire Terriers are strong dogs and are often aggressive. This dog breed is not very social with other dogs and often shows aggression towards them. Therefore, they should be properly trained to ward off their aggression. With training, they tend to become more social, and this obedient dog breed can be an excellent pet for children as well as for adults. Most owners who pet this breed have observed that people often confuse their dogs with Pit Bull. Let us see how these are similar or different from Pit Bulls in some ways.

Similarities Between an American Staffordshire Terrier and Pitbull

There are some similarities between an American Staffordshire Terrier and a Pitbull. Generally speaking, both these breeds weigh similar, apart from having strong and muscular physiques with powerful jaws. Besides, both these breeds have short and shiny fur, and these breeds have no undercoat.

Difference Between Pit Bulls and American Staffordshire Terriers

Differences between an American Pitbull Terrier and an American Staffordshire terrier are not so striking. But Staffordshire dogs are comparatively homogeneous and are thinner in size. At the same time, Pit bulls have a range of sizes and varying physical features. As dog parents, you can be more choosy with Pit bulls, but not with American Staffordshire terriers.

3. Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are another popular dog breed that looks a lot like Pit bulls, and you may find a lot of similarities between these two breeds. They have their original roots in the United States and are known as “American Gentleman.” Many people who have pet dogs from this breed have constantly received compliments from others for their well-mannered and friendliness.

Similarities Between Boston Terriers and Pit bulls

Despite having similar physical features, Boston terriers and Pit bulls are different breeds altogether. But let us have a look at the similarities between these two breeds first. To begin with, their faces are similar. Their ears are cropped, and both of these dog breeds’ noses are snubbed. Surprisingly, they even have similar health issues related to their respiratory systems. Besides, they need low maintenance. They don’t shed much, and you don’t have to brush or bathe them regularly. Both of these dogs are playful and need ample exercise. Moreover, both these breeds have a similar muscular torso with single coats. Still, you can distinguish between these two breeds based on the colors of their furs.

Differences Between Boston Terriers and Pit bulls

The major differences between these two breeds are based on weight and height. While Boston Terriers weigh between 10 to 25 pounds, pit bulls are much heavier and weigh between 30 o 90 pounds. Besides, these two breeds also vary in their height. While Terriers are just around 15 to 17 inches, Pit bulls are around 14 to 24 inches.

Additionally, these two dog breeds run at different speeds. Pit bulls are much faster than terriers. While terriers can run at only 15 mph, pit bulls can run at an amazing speed of almost 30 mph. Moreover, while Terriers live for around 13 – 15 years, pit bulls live for about 14 years on average.

Furthermore, these two dog breeds also differ based on the health problems that they suffer from. On the one hand, apart from hearing issues and bone and joint pains, Terriers are prone to Cushing’s disease, eye problems, cancer, and urinary tract infections. Pit bulls are more susceptible to thyroid and gastric problems, allergies, skin problems, and heart disease.

4. Cane Corso

Cane Corso

This Italian variant of the Mastiff is a large breed, which looks a lot like Pit bulls. In the past, the Corsos were extensively used for hunting and by the ranchers to handle their cattle. At present, they are still employed by the ranchers to keep the livestock safe from any potential danger. They guard their owners well and are one of the best companion dogs.

Similarities Between Cane Corso and Pit Bull

To begin with, both these dog breeds have some similar physical features. Their body is large with strong muscles. Besides, both these dog breeds have strong jaws, and although their coat is glossy, it is short and easy to maintain. Both Cane Corsos and Pit bulls are alert and are extremely protective of their families and the children of their owners. But they require extensive training, and only then do they become social. Additionally, none of them are actually friendly with other dogs.

Difference Between Cane Corsos and Pit Bulls

There might be striking similarities between Cane Corsos and Pit Bulls, and yet one can’t overlook the differences. To begin with, Cane Corsos originated in Italy, whereas Pit bulls originated in the United States. Besides, Cane Corsos are a much larger, bulkier, and heavier dog breed than Pit bulls, and anybody can see this difference easily. If you notice carefully, you will also notice that while Pit bulls have tight skin, Cane Corsos’ skin is comparatively loose.

Besides, the average life span of Pit bulls is more than that of Cane Corsos. They have distinct temperaments and are very different from each other. Despite having a reputation of being unfriendly dogs, in reality, Pit bulls are extremely friendly and can get along with everyone. But Cane Corsos are different. Although their friendliness and loyalty are unquestionable towards their owners, they are not very friendly towards strangers.

5. Dogue de Bordeaux

Also popularised as Bordeaux Mastiff or French Mastiff, this dog breed is a powerful dog with a muscular corporeal frame. In the bygone days, they were used for many essential daily activities, like guarding flocks. However, you might be surprised to know that these dogs are so strong that they were employed to transport heavy objects and pull carts as well.

Similarities Between Dogue de Bordeaux and Pit Bulls

Apart from having a similar kind of face, both Bordeaux and Pit bulls are strong and muscular dogs who need a lot of training. Therefore, it is not advised for new and in-experienced dog parents to own them. Once trained, both these dogs become very friendly and loyal and become emotionally attached to the children of their owners. Besides, both Bordeaux and Pit bulls are easy to groom and can be easily maintained by the dog owners. Due to their alertness, both of these dog breeds tend to bark more than many other dog breeds.

Differences Between Dogue de Bordeaux and Pit Bulls

Both these breeds may have similar features, but there are prominent dissimilarities between them. Bordeaux is a heavier breed than the Pit bulls. On average, they weigh between 100 to 160 lbs, while PIt bulls weigh only 30 to 60 lbs. Corresponding to their body weight, even their heights vary. While a typical Bordeaux is 23 to 27 inches in height, Pit bulls are 17 to 21 inches tall. Besides, Bordeaux requires more space than Pit bulls, and while Pit bulls live for 10 to 14 years, Bordeauxs’ lives are comparatively shorter, as they live for around 9 to 11 years.

6. Presa Canario

Presa Canario

This well-known dog breed looks like a modern-day pitbull, but it originated in Spain and is a Spanish variant of the Mastiff. Initially, these dogs were used for guarding and herding and have earned their reputation as an aggressive breed. Like Pit bulls, they were also a part of dogfighting.

Similarities Between Presa Canario and Pit bulls

Both Presa and Pit bulls need to be properly trained. If their training is not done properly, they may become aggressive and hard to handle. Besides, both of these dogs are not behaving properly with other dogs. They are aggressive by nature and require ample training to bring down their aggression and make them more accommodating towards their owners and family members. Besides, both of these dog breeds have shiny and short coats and are robustly built.

Differences Between Presa Canario and Pit bulls

In the contemporary world, Presas are mostly used as guard dogs, and they have the power to eliminate any danger. Therefore, it is better to keep Presas under strict control, but Pit bulls are much calmer than Presas. Hence, you do not need to control them all the time. The coat of the Pitbull is softer than that of the Presa, and you can just rub their cats with your fingers, and you shall be able to understand the difference in their coats.

Additionally, Presa is a heavy dog breed, and an average Presa weighs from 85 to 130 pounds, which is much more than a Pit bull’s body weight. Presas are also much taller than the Pit bulls, and an average Presa is between 22 to 26 inches; Pit bulls are around twenty inches.

7. Shar Pei

They are one of the oldest dog breeds, which originated in southern China around 200 BC. Shar Peis were traditionally used as watchdogs and to guard private properties. The breed is strong and muscular and closely resembles Pit bulls. However, the wrinkles are a factor that clearly demarcates this breed from Pit bulls. But, you should also be aware that in Hong Kong, people keep a specific variant of Shar Peis, which has lesser wrinkles, and they really look like Pitbulls.

Similarities Between Shar Peis and Pit bulls

In addition to the similar physical features between Shar Peis and Pit bulls, there are a few more similarities between these two dog breeds. To begin with, both of them are purebred dogs, and neither of them is hypoallergenic. They need ample training, and they are extremely protective of their owners. Besides, they are not to be bathed frequently, and the grooming process is easy and economical. Also, both these dog breeds are strong and muscular and tend to bark a lot.

Differences Between Shar Peis and Pit bulls

There might be a lot of similarities, but many differences too have been noticed between these two dog breeds. The major difference between these two breeds is the wrinkles in their skin, which in the case of Shar Peis, hangs loose, while in Pitbull, the skin is smooth and tight, and there are no wrinkles per se. Besides, while Shar Pei’s originated in China, Pit bulls are from the United States. Moreover, the average life expectancy of Shar Peis is only 8 to 12 years, which is much lesser than that of Pit bulls. It is also speculated that, unlike Pit bulls, Shar Peis are not so intelligent.

8. Olde English Bulldogge

Unlike its archaic name, this dog breed is relatively new and is actually an American breed, which the United Kennel Club has recently recognized. This athletic dog breed was genetically developed to look like nineteenth-century bulldogs. Still, they are more friendly and have fewer health problems. Besides, their life span is more than that of traditional bulldogs.

Similarities Between Olde English Bulldogge and Pit bulls

In certain aspects, the Olde English Bulldogge looks similar to Pit bulls. Physically they look a lot like Pitbull, and the structure of their face makes the similarity even more uncanny. Both these dog breeds are known to have originated in the United States. Additionally, these dog breeds do not need a lot of training and can be maintained rather easily. Both Pitties and Bulldogges require a good amount of training. Despite being muscular and strong dog breeds, they love to be around children and are protective of them.

Differences Between Olde English Bulldogge and Pit bulls

Let us locate the differences that exist between these two breeds. While Pit bulls can be trained quite easily, Bulldogges are comparatively stubborn by nature, which makes them difficult to train. Although both these dog breeds are loyal, Pit bulls are more playful than Bulldogges. As watchdogs, Bulldogges are much better and more active than Pit bulls. While Pit bulls can bite people, Bulldogges are not known to have much tendency to bite strangers. Last, while Pit bulls tend to bark a lot, Bulldogges hardly bark.

How to Identify a Pitbull?

How to Identify a Pitbull

Identifying a pit bull might be a challenge for some people, as there are certain other breeds like Staffordshire terriers that look quite similar to pit bulls. Let us have a quick look at the distinctive features of pit bulls that will assist you in identifying this dog breed.

  1. To begin with: pit bulls are quite an athletic and muscular dog breed. In fact, they were originally bred to fight bears in pits or chained bulls. Although these dogs can vary in size, they have broad shoulders, wedge-shaped heads, and thick necks.
  2. Pitbulls also have long muzzles and low foreheads, which is another of their distinctive features. Additionally, pit bulls have high-set ears and deep-set eyes, which render them distinctive characteristics.

    Their eyes are shaped like almonds and are well covered and protected by the dog’s brow. Similarly, their ears lie high on the head, and these features can help you identify a pit bull.
  3. The coat of a pitbull is another way of distinguishing them. A pit bull has a short, smooth, single, and bristled coat. All pit bulls have single coats, implying that there is no undercoat. This coat is naturally short and is smooth in texture. The color variant of this coat varies from chocolate to tan and can even be a combination of different shades.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which 3 breeds make a pitbull?

Pit bulls are old dog breeds that were originally bred for fighting. The three breeds that make a pitbull are British Bull and Terrier, Old English Terrier, and Old English Bulldog.

What is a gator pitbull?

Also known as the alligator pit bull or gator mouth pit bull, these courageous, friendly, strong, loyal, adorable, and affectionate dog breeds were originally bred for dog-fighting culture. They have an average lifespan of around 11 to 15 years and can cost around 2000 dollars.

Is my dog a pitbull or Staffy?

Both Staffordshire terriers and pit bulls have a lot in common, but there are certain features that distinguish these two breeds apart. They are different on the basis of their temperament, size, color, and the shape of their faces. 

Pitbulls are much bulkier and can weigh up to 80 pounds and can be as tall as 20 inches, whereas Staffies are around 40 pounds in weight and 16 inches tall. Moreover, Staffordshire terriers have more rounded heads than pit bulls, and their ears are not as rounded as pit bulls. 

Besides, while pit bulls come in a lot of different color variants, Staffies have single solid-colored coats. Lastly, Staffies are more docile and less temperamental than pit bulls.

Is a Staffordshire terrier a pitbull?

Although Staffordshire terriers and pit bulls look nearly the same, they are different on the basis of their size, temperament, color, and the shape of their faces. In addition, although the history of these two dog breeds has been intertwined, they have been bred separately for quite some time now.

Are Amstaffs and Pitbulls the same?

In general, the Amstaffs or the American Staffordshire Terrier is almost the same as an American pit bull terrier, but there are some differences between these two breeds. The major difference between these two breeds is the size range. 

Following the standards set by the American Kennel Club, while the American Staffordshires have a narrow size range, American pit bull terriers have much greater variance in terms of size and other physical characteristics.

Is a blue staffy a pitbull?

Unfortunately, pit bulls and staffies are not the same. To begin with: there is no officially recognized technical breed called a pit bull. There is just a well-known breed called the American pit bull terrier. Additionally, pit bulls have been banned in the United Kingdom since 1991, but Staffordshire Bull Terriers have been recognized and registered by the Kennel Club.

Final Verdict

Every dog is unique with distinct features and characteristics, and as dog parents, it is our
responsibility to understand and celebrate their uniqueness. Some of them look adorable, while others look pretty ferocious and dominating. Regardless of their appearances, their behavior depends a lot on their dog training. For some dogs, the dog training period might seem to be long but for others, it may seem to be short. Each dog has a different learning ability and may take time differently to learn new things.

Pitbulls are known for their bravado and are often regarded as ferocious pets, but this claim has been widely debated over time, and we have now realized that, unlike the popular belief, Pit bulls are a rather affectionate and loyal breed of dogs who are totally committed towards their families. Moreover, Pit bulls have been observed to be extremely friendly with children and are often protective of them.

There are some dog breeds, which look like Pit bulls, owing to their heavy and muscular torso, the distinct shape of their head, their short and silky coat, or their signature cropped ears. But a close study reveals that despite the similarities, there are some stark differences that make them different from one another and render them separate identities, which further classifies them on the basis of their utilities.

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