Dog Breeds Most Commonly Mistaken For Pit Bulls

Pitbulls have a reputation for being the most dangerous dog breed. They definitely live up to this title not only in their temperament but also in terms of their appearance which is usually very intimidating. If you are interested in the Pit Bull aesthetic but with fewer personality issues, there are several dog breeds out there that actually look a lot like the Pitbull, particularly the American Pitbull Terrier.

The American Staffordshire Terrier is arguably the dog breed that is most commonly mistaken for the Pitbull. The American Bully and Staffordshire Bull Terrier are also often mistaken for Pitbulls. On top of these three, we will cover 19 more dog breeds that look a lot like Pitties.

22. Boston Terrier

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The Boston Terrier has a very endearing nickname, “The American Gentleman”. This is due to the black and white tuxedo-like coat pattern.

Boston Terriers are often confused for black and white Pitbulls especially when there are brindle markings on the coat which is common with both of these breeds. One of the best ways to tell them apart is the size, as Boston Terriers are small dogs weighing 6 to 25 lbs.

21. Australian Bulldog

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Australian Bulldogs may be short at 15 to 20 inches but they can weigh as much as 75 lbs. Like the American Pitbull Terrier, Australian Bulldogs are built compactly with a very muscular form.

The similarities end at physical appearance between the Pitbull and Australian Bulldog. This is because the latter is known for being a sweet, even-tempered, and loyal dog. This makes them fantastic for keeping as family pets as well as for first-time dog owners.

20. Leavitt Bulldog

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The Leavitt Bulldog was specifically developed as an ode to the original strong and healthy bulldog breed. It was developed by David Leavitt as an alternative to the numerous bulldog variations that had serious health issues associated with brachycephaly.

The Leavitt Bulldog resembles the Pitbull mainly in terms of the build with its boxy frame. The Leavitt is also a very muscular dog which causes even more confusion if you are not familiar with the two breeds individually.

19. Boerboel

Image from Bully Beds

The Boerboel is a mastiff type of dog and, like most other Pitbull lookalikes on this list, it has a very muscular and compact build.

What makes Boerboel dogs stand out in terms of their similarities to the Pitbull are the large head and wide-set eyes

However, unlike the Pitbull, Boerboels have droopy cheeks and distinctly floppy ears. Boerboels also have a signature black face marking with black far over the snout and around the eyes.

18. Dogue de Bordeaux

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The Dogue de Bordeaux is another mastiff type of dog that resembles the Pitbull quite a lot.

At first glance, it is the similar short and straight coat that stands out the most with the Dogue having a very similar appearance to the red or brown Pitbulls. They are also built very similarly with a muscular torso and short, strong legs.

Dogue de Bordeaux dogs can be distinguished from the Pitty breed mainly by their face wrinkles.

17. Dogo Argentino

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Dogo Argentino dogs are known for their beautiful, short white coats. With their large heads and muscular build, Dogo Argentino dogs are commonly mistaken for solid white American Pitbull Terriers.

The size difference is the main giveaway if you want to tell these two dog breeds apart. Dogo Argentino dogs are much larger weighing up to 100 lbs or more and measuring between 24 and 27 inches. They also have smaller eyes than the Pitbull.

16. Presa Canario

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The Presa Canario can easily be confused for American Pitbull Terriers with brindle coat patterns. This is especially likely when the dogs are in their young puppy stages.

However, as they grow older, the differences between the Presa Canario and the Pitbull become more evident. The size is the most important of these differences with full-grown Presa canario doggies weighing 110 to 145 lbs and measuring 22 to 25 inches in height.

15. Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog

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The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is a bull dog variation that was developed in the United States. This large dog can weigh between 50 to 90 lbs and measures 20 to 25 inches in height.

They not only resemble the Pitbull’s physical appearance with the Alapaha bulldog being favored as a guard dog due to its aggressive and confident personality. This is definitely not the kind of dog you keep as a family pet or if it is your first time owning a dog.

14. Cane Corso

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The Cane Corso has just as bad of a reputation as the Pitbull and is one of the most commonly banned dog breeds around the world. Like the Pitbull, Cane Corsos were bred for use in dog fighting, bull baiting, and other blood sports which is why they are so problematic in terms of personality.

Physically, the Cane corso has a similar muscular build and facial silhouette to the Pitbull. However, Cane Corsos have saggy cheek folds.

13. Ambullneo Mastiff

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The Ambullneo Mastiff is a relatively recent dog breed having only been developed in the late 1980s. These dogs resemble the Pitbull so much because Pitties were actually used in the development of the breed. Ambullneo mastiffs are essentially a mix of American Pitbull Terrier, American Bulldog, and Bullmastiff bloodlines.

The Ambullneo gets its large head and wide set eyes from the Pitbull and the large 150-pound weight from the Bullmastiff ancestry.

12. French Bulldog

Image from Bissell

Frenchies and Pitbulls are worlds apart when it comes to temperament. However, they have several physical similarities including the compact build, large head, and wideset eyes.

One of the main differences between French Bulldogs and Pitbulls is the fact that Frenchies are much smaller and actually fall within the toy dog breed category.

French Bulldogs also have very distinct large, perky ears with rounded tips unlike the Pitbull’s much smaller and semi-droopy ears.

11. Pug

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Like Frenchies, Pugs are the exact opposite of Pitbulls in terms of temperament with their sweet nature, laid back vibes, and gentle predisposition. Physically, however, there are a few similarities to the volatile breed including the muscular and boxy body build.

A key difference between Pugs and Pitties is the fact that Pugs have a short snout and a flat face in general. They are also very small and have wrinkly skin all over their bodies.

10. Rottweiler

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Rottweilers once held the title of most dangerous dog breed which Pitbulls now have. In addition to a few similarities in personality traits, Rottweilers and Pitbulls have some physical similarities.

These include the large head, short, smooth coat, and muscular build. The similarities are more obvious between Rotties and Pitbulls that have solid black or black and tan coat types.

However, Rottweilers are much larger and have close set eyes than the Pitbull.

9. Olde English Bulldogge

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The Olde English Bulldogge is just as interesting as its name’s spelling. The breed was developed from a mix between breeds like the Bulldog, Bullmastiff, American Pitbull Terrier, and the American Pitbull.

It is actually related to the Leavitt Bulldog which was developed around the same time and for the same purpose of creating healthier Bulldog variations.

The Olde English Bulldogge has a similar build to the American Pitbull Terrier especially with the wide chest.

8. English Mastiff

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The English Mastiff is one of the largest dog breeds. It measures 120 to 230 lbs in weight and 27 to 30 inches in height. This is much larger than the modes 30 to 60 lbs and 17 to 21 inches that the Pitbull has.

However, the general similarities especially when it comes to the muscular build and boxy silhouette are difficult to ignore.

Both the English Mastiff and Pitbull dogs also have similar short and smooth coats.

7. Bullmastiff

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The Bullmastiff may not be as large as the English Mastiff but it is still significantly larger than the Pitbull. Bullmastiffs weigh 90 to 130 lbs and can grow up to 27 inches in height.

They are similar to the American Pitbull Terrier in terms of build but have a bit more proportion with their more slender frame.

Bullmastiffs also have a brachycephalic facial structure which helps distinguish them from Pitbulls that have long snouts.

6. Bull Terrier

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The Bull Terrier is a weird looking dog with its large, egg-shaped head. However, this unusual aesthetic is a part of its charm and the reason why it is such a popular dog. Bull Terriers share some ancestors with the American Pitbull Terrier which is why you will notice similarities especially in the body build.

Bull Terriers and Pitbulls also have a similar personality with both dogs being infamous for their stubborn and volatile nature.

5. Boxer

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From a distance, it may be difficult to tell a Boxer apart from a Pitbull especially if they have similar coat markings. This is because both dogs are muscular, with a similar short, straight coat and have similar semi-erect ears.

However, on closer inspection you will notice that the Boxer has a much smaller head than the markedly large one that makes Pitbulls unique. Boxers also have a slightly narrower chest and torso.

4. American Bulldog

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The American Bulldog is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. These doggies were bred both for use as working dogs and in blood sports.

They have a similar build, coat, and skull features as the Pitbull. However, American Bulldogs have shorter muzzles and slightly saggy cheeks.

American bulldogs are also different in their personality and are generally much easier to train and live with than the reactive Pitbull.

3. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is one of the most popular members of the Pitbull group in the United Kingdom. This breed variation was bred from Old English Bulldogs and Old English Terriers which is a similar ancestry to the American Pitbull Terrier.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Pitbull Terrier are similar in build and facial features. However, the Staffordshire variety is much smaller measuring 14 to 16 inches in height and 20 to 40 lbs in weight.

2. American Bully

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The American Bully is another member of the Pitbull group of dogs but this one is a lot more popular in the United States. Compared to the Pitbull Terrier, Bullys are different in that they have shorter legs and are incredibly muscular especially if they are allowed to play a lot.

In terms of personality, American Bully dogs are much easier to deal with than Pitbulls. They also tend to be clingy and have been described as lapdogs by many owners.

1. American Staffordshire Terrier

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The dog breed most commonly mistaken for the Pitbull Terrier is the American Staffordshire Terrier. This should not be confused with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

The American Staffordshire is a medium-sized dog breed very similar in terms of weight and height ranges, build, and even facial features. The main difference is that American Staffordshire Terriers tend to be more proportional with their longer and leaner legs and narrower chest and torso.

Related Questions

What Dog Is Stronger Than A Pitbull? While the Pitbull is a strong and formidable dog, it is far from the strongest dog breed. There are many other dogs that are much larger and stronger and would easily kill the medium-sized Pitty in a fight. These dogs include:

  • Rottweiler
  • Great Dane
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Mastiff
  • Saint Bernard

What Is The Most Aggressive Pitbull Bloodline? Of all the Pitbull dog breeds, the American Pitbull Terrier is the most aggressive and is considered the best fighting Pitbull bloodline. These dogs are built to be aggressive both in their volatile temperament and their strong, muscular build. American Staffordshire Terriers are a close second in terms of the most aggressive Pitbull bloodlines.

Are Pit Bulls Good Family Dogs? Pitbulls are not good family dogs especially in homes with children. These dogs are highly reactive and are not always tolerant of handling especially by children. Even with obedience training and early socialization, there is always going to be a risk that the Pitbull will have a violent outburst at some point.

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Pete Decker