Few images conjure up more power than a muscled bulldog. Bully breeds are often seen as the ultimate in fierce breeds that are loyal and unafraid of anything and anyone. Bully breeds include the American Bulldog and the Pit Bull.
The American Bulldog was developed to keep wild hogs in check and has an independent streak. The Pit Bull comes for a hodgepodge of different bully breeds and comes from a darker history of having been developed for dog fights.
Although both breeds have many similarities, such as being bully breeds and dogs made for protection, they also have differences.
The American Bulldog comes from the extinct Old English Bulldog. These dogs were used for a variety of purposes including bull-baiting, eradicating vermin such as feral pigs, and as a protection dog.
The American Bulldog has a stocky and sturdy build and the fur is short and low-maintenance. The average weight for males is 75-115 lbs or the bully type is 80-125 lbs and a female is 60-90 lbs.
The Bulldog comes in a variety of colors, the most common being white with patches of black but they can also have patches of red or brown. Brindle, black, fawn and red Bulldogs also exist but are not as common.
American Bulldog Pros
Listed below is some basic information about the breed and the great things they offer. These are not all the traits, but some of the highlights.
- Gets along well with children
- Easy to care for coat
- Can get along with other pets
- Friendly temperament
- Takes well to training
American Bulldog Cons
As amiable and good-natured as the American Bulldog is, it is not without faults. These are some considerations someone wanting this breed should keep in mind.
- Physically strong needs a strong owner
- Can be dominant
- Prone to drool/slobber
- Needs extensive exercise
- Needs mental stimulation
- May does not get along with same-sex dogs
- Can be an insurance liability
- Can be expensive to get: will need to buy from a breeder
- Tend to be gassy
The Pit Bull is perhaps one of the most misaligned breeds and tends to get a bad rap in the media. The term Pit Bull is a catch-all term for bully type breeds such as the American Staffordshire Terrier and English Bulldog. Most of these breeds have been combined to produce the American Pit Bull Terrier.
Pit Bulls are descended from breeds originally used for bull baiting or dog frightening. It is the use of this breed in dog frightening which has given it a negative reputation. However, most of these dogs are people-focused and tend to be docile and friendly.
Pit Bull Pros
In dog temperament tests. Pit Bulls tend to score higher than many other breeds of dogs. Pit bulls are courageous and loyal dogs, but will happily submit to an assertive owner.
There are many good traits this dog can bring to a home.
- Docile and friendly with humans
- Gentle with children
- Can be goofy
- Generally a healthy breed
- Easy to find: many are in shelters
- Comes in many different colors and shapes
- Loyal and courageous
- Easy to care for coat
Pit Bull Cons
The Pit Bull does some less desirable characteristics. The person wanting to have a pit bull should be aware of the negative press and associations some people form about this breed.
- Potential for aggression if mistreated
- Requires an assertive owner
- Needs a lot of exercises: 2 or more hours
- Can be an insurance liability
- Can have a high prey drive
- May kill small animals
- Some communities have banned this breed
- May does not get along with other dogs
- Can be seen as "vicious"
How to Choose
What is the Difference Between the Two Breeds?
The physical look of the dog is one of the biggest differences. American Bulldogs weigh more and tend to be more stocky, similar to the build of the bulldog. These dogs also have jowls that hang loosely from their face like those of Mastiffs. The American Bulldog weighs more and has a broader muzzle than the Pit Bull standard appearance can differ greatly from dog to dog.
Pit Bulls are often a mix of two or more bully breeds and some can be beefier while others are more muscular. In general, Pit Bulls tend to look more lean and athletic than American Bulldogs The American Bulldog has a very broad chest and the Pit Bull a more "brick-like" head.
American Bulldogs are also a breed recognized by the AKC. Pit Bulls are not recognized by the AKC but maybe in other dog registries. American Bulldogs are a lot harder to find than Pit Bulls and will cost more money to buy. Pit Bulls can be found in most animal shelters and can cost anywhere from $50-200 to adopt.
Which Breed is the Better Guard Dog?
This question depends on what the owner is looking for. As far as physical strength, the American Bulldog can exert more pounds per square inch when biting than the Pit Bull. American Bulldogs tend to have more natural protective instincts as they were bred to protect ranches and farms. The size of an American Bulldog alone can be intimidating as males can weigh anywhere from 75-100 lbs!
Pit bulls may be the smaller of the terriers, but this also makes them more agile. Pit Bulls tend to be more territorial so they may be the best choice for a guard dog. Pit Bulls tend to be less tolerant of strange people and animals. Pit bulls may have a lower rate of bite force, but they will probably hang on longer (it is a myth that the jaws lock).
American Bulldog: Guard Dog Traits
- Good guard dog for property
- More powerful bite force, 305 lbs
- Tend to be protective and not aggressive
- Intimidating stature
- Looks fierce and menacing
The Pit Bull: Guard Dog Traits
- Best at personal protection
- Is territorial
- Can hold on for long periods
Overall, the Pit Bull would be the best choice as a guard dog and a dog for personal protection. Pit Bulls tend to become protective and tend to attack more aggressively than American Bulldogs. A Pit Bull will also defend his or her property in a more fearsome way.
Who Would Win in a Fight?
Once again, these dogs are pretty evenly matched in some areas including strength and being willing to win at all costs.
The Pit Bull has several advantages such as speed and being bred for fighting. The bulk of the American Bulldog would slow him or her down allowing the Pit Bull to attack and do damage. The bite force of the American Bulldog is greater than the Pit Bull. but if the Pit Bull clamped onto the neck it could quickly win. The Pit Bull tends to have more powerful jaws than the American Bulldog.
In terms of personal protection, the Pit Bull terrier is probably the best option.
They were bred to fight and are very protective of their owners and territory. Pit Bulls have typical terrier traits such as being slightly independent, but intelligent at the same time. When a Pit Bull locks onto something it tends to hang on for a long period and can be difficult to stop.