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Is American Bully the Same as American Pit Bull?

By Mawoo Pets · 10 Feb · 5 mins read
Is American Bully the Same as American Pit Bull?

The American Bully and the American Pit Bull Terrier are two distinct breeds that often get mistaken for each other. While they share a common ancestry and certain physical characteristics, there are key differences in their size, temperament, and breed standards.

Let's dive into the details to understand these two breeds better!

Understanding the Origins

The American Bully

The American Bully is a relatively new breed, developed in the 1980s and 1990s. Breeders aimed to create a dog with the strength and muscular build of the APBT, but with a more relaxed and friendly temperament. The American Bully was created by crossing the APBT with several other breeds, including the English Bulldog, American Bulldog, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Despite its intimidating appearance, the American Bully is known for being friendly, gentle, and excellent with children. The breed was officially recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) in 2004, and by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 2013.

american bully dog posing on grassAmerican Bully

The American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) has a rich history that dates back to the 19th century in the United Kingdom. They were originally bred from Old English Bulldogs and Terriers to participate in bull-baiting, a popular sport at the time. When this sport was outlawed, they were used in dog fighting rings due to their strength and tenacity. Despite their tumultuous past, APBTs are known for their loyalty and affection towards their human families.

Immigrants brought these dogs to America, where they were used as catch dogs for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt, and to drive livestock. Over time, American breeders developed a Pit Bull that was larger than the English version, which eventually became the American Pit Bull Terrier.
american pit bull terrier dog posing in meadowsAmerican Pit Bull Terrier

Physical Differences

Size and Build

One of the most noticeable differences between the American Bully and the American Pit Bull Terrier is their size and build.

The APBT typically weighs between 30 to 60 pounds and stands about 18 to 21 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a muscular, athletic build with a sleek and agile appearance. They are leaner than the American Bully, sporting less bulk and more lean muscle. They have a longer muzzle and less pronounced cheekbone compared to the Bully.  

The American Bully, on the other hand, is a more stocky, muscular dog. They come in four sizes: pocket, standard, classic, and XL. Depending on the size category, an American Bully can weigh anywhere from 30 to 150 pounds and stand 13 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a broader chest, shorter muzzle, wider head than the APBT.

While both breeds can have their ears cropped, it is more common in the American Bully. Uncropped ears in the American Bully tend to be rose or half-pricked, while in the American Pit Bull they are usually semi-erect or fully erect, and generally more pointed.

Coat and Colors

Both the American Bully and the American Pit Bull Terrier have short, glossy coats that come in a variety of colors. The APBT can be found in virtually any color or color pattern, except for merle. Common colors include brindle, black, white, and shades of red.

The American Bully also comes in a wide range of colors and patterns, too. However, the breed standard for the American Bully does allow for the merle color pattern, which is not acceptable in the APBT.

Temperament Differences

Both breeds have formidable looks, vigilant personalities, and can be used as guard dogs. They are also both quite energetic and companionable. But there are meaningful nuances you should consider when bringing either the Bully or APBT home. 

The American Bully

The American Bully was bred to be a family companion dog, and they generally have a more relaxed and easygoing temperament than the APBT. They are known for their loyalty, friendliness, and affection towards their families. They are great with children and tend to get along well with other dogs and pets.

While they are less active than the APBT, they still require regular exercise to keep them fit and healthy. They are intelligent and eager to please, making them relatively easy to train. However, like any breed, they require early socialization and positive reinforcement training methods.

The American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull Terrier, has a more energetic and tenacious temperament than the American Bully. They are incredibly intelligent and require a lot of mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom.

Despite the negative stereotypes, the American Pit Bull Terrier is a very affectionate and loyal breed. They are known for their love of people and a strong desire to please their owners. They are energetic and require plenty of exercise to keep them happy and healthy.

While they can be quite affectionate, APBTs also have a strong prey drive and can be aggressive if not properly socialized from a young age. While they are intelligent and trainable, they can be stubborn at times. They require a firm, consistent owner who can provide them with the structure and boundaries they need.

The Controversy Surrounding Pit Bulls

Unfortunately, Pit Bulls have been the subject of much controversy over the years. Due to their history as fighting dogs, they are often seen as aggressive and dangerous. However, many experts argue that this reputation is undeserved and that Pit Bulls can make wonderful pets when properly trained and socialized.

It's also worth noting that many dogs are mistakenly identified as Pit Bulls, which can contribute to their negative reputation. In fact, "Pit Bull" is often used as a catch-all term for any dog with a muscular build and a blocky head, regardless of their actual breed.

Health and Lifespan

Both the American Bully and the American Pit Bull Terrier are generally healthy breeds with a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. However, both breeds  are prone to certain health conditions, including hip and elbow dysplasia, skin allergies, and heart conditions. American Bullies, due to their unique physical structure, may be more prone to skeletomuscular issues like hip and elbow dysplasia.

Regardless of the breed, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and routine vet check-ups are essential to ensure your dog's health and longevity.

american bully puppies playing outdoors

Conclusion

While the American Bully and the American Pit Bull Terrier may appear similar at first glance, they are distinct breeds with different histories, physical characteristics, and temperaments. Whether you choose an American Bully or an American Pit Bull Terrier, both breeds can make wonderful companions with the right training, socialization, and care.

Always spend time getting to know a dog before bringing them into your home, and consider adopting from a shelter or rescue group. There are many wonderful American Bullies and American Pit Bull Terriers waiting for their forever homes.

If you're inspired to find an American Bully puppy or American Pit Bull Terrier puppy that fits into your life, Mawoo Pets is here to guide you through the process with trust and ease. With Mawoo Pets, you're not just choosing a pet; you're choosing a future where ethical breeding and animal welfare are the norm.

If you’re not sure which breed may be right for you, try our Dog Breed Quiz today and find the right breed for your lifestyle.

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