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Is An American Bully A Pitbull? Differences Explained!

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People, even more experienced dog owners, often confuse the American Bully for a Pitbull. But the reality is they are two different breeds. While they are not both recognized by The American Kennel Club as different breeds, they are not the same. Is an American Bully a Pibull? Certainly not!

There are many physical differences between the two canines, including build, look, and more. And in terms of temperament, the Bully has a gentler temperament, being friendlier and more patient.

Both dogs have qualities that make them excellent family dogs. But they are different in size and temperament. Let’s talk about their differences.

Understanding The Pitbull Term

The term American Pit Bull Terrier is an umbrella term that includes different breeds. Despite having similarities in genetics, they are all different dogs. The term includes American Pitbull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bully, American Bulldog, and American Staffordshire Terrier. Yes, the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier are different breeds.

So, while the Bully is a type of Pitbull, it is not an actual American Pit Bull Terrier. The term Pitbull comes from the 1800s when the British Isles participated in a game called bull baiting.

The sport involves a helpless bull tied to an iron stake and a bunch of angry dogs. It was a gladiator-type spectacle designed for public entertainment. But the bloody sport was soon banned.

Despite the sport being banned for centuries, Pitbulls still suffer from a bad reputation as dog-fighting canines.

Here is another interesting fact, the dog initially used in the sport was the English Bulldog, the cuddly, cute, adorable, and calm dog we have nowadays. Of course, the Old English Bulldog was a different breed. And it was mixed with terriers to get the Pit Bull.

The modern American Bully is a mixture of an American Staffordshire Terrier and an American Pitbull Terrier. Speaking of The American Kennel Club, it only recognizes the term American Staffordshire Terrier. That dog is not linked with dog fighting, and it was a way for the AKC to recognize them without being part of the bloody history.


How Are They Different?

As we said before, the American Bully dog breed is a different breed than the Pitbull. Here are several aspects in which they are different.


One of the easiest ways to tell an American Bully apart is by comparing their build. Pitbulls have wide chest, and their overall build is muscular and broad. Their ribs continue to the back, which gives them that elongated and attractive look. Another difference, their body tends to incline towards the back, while the fore chest is at level with the shoulders.

Bullies are much bulkier in appearance. They have a deep chest with well-defined ribs, with the fore chests not extending beyond the shoulder points. The trademark of their body is the large blocky head and short legs.


The American Bully has a coat that is short in length, close to the skin, and with a firm texture and glossy look. They come in different colors and patterns.

The American Pit Bull has a similar coat but with a wider range of colors. And if you have a Pitbull mix, the coat might be different as well.



We touched on this topic before. The American Pitbull Terrier was created in Great Britain during the 1800s by breeding the Old English Bulldog and English Terrier.

The American Bully was created decades later, with breeders looking to create a unique canine companion.


Both of these breeds are amazing family companions. Do not mind the negative attention and bad reputation they receive.

Extremely friendly, they love all people. There is a slight catch. Pitbulls might have a type of instinctive aggression because of their genealogy, but that is targeted towards animals. The sad part is that not many owners have a clue how to deal with their Pitbull and train them perfectly.

The American Bully is gentle by nature. While the dog looks menacing because of its build, he is very friendly and bright.


Of the two dogs, the Bully is more vulnerable to health issues and complications. The Pitbull is the smaller dog of the two.

Because of this, the American Bully’s life expectancy ranges from 10 to 12 years. On the other hand, the Pitbull can live between 12 and 16 years.


Breed Variations

We mentioned before that the Pitbull term is an umbrella term. But there are even more variations. While the American Pitbull comes only in medium size, unless it is a mixed breed, the American Bully has different sizes.

The American Bully breed comes in Standard Bully, Classic American Bully, Pocket Bully, and XL Bully variations. There is even a Micro American Bully, but that one is not recognized.


Because of its bad reputation and history, the Pitbull breed is slightly cheaper. The American Bully doesn’t carry the weight of being part of dog fighting activities back in the day.

That said, you can get a Pitbull for $600 to $1,000. Bullies from a reputable breeder, on the other hand, cost between $1,200 and $1,400.

But you can always try and find a rescue dog from a shelter. Because of their reputation, Pitbulls and Bullies often end up in shelters.

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