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12 Dogs That Are Similar to Pitbulls (With Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

black pitbull with chain collar

American Pit Bull Terriers and dogs similar to them can create quite a controversy in the dog-owning world. Some claim that they are the gentlest creatures alive and extremely devoted pets, while others have had difficult encounters with the dogs.

If you love the look and the personality of a Pit Bull, it is helpful to know about other dogs that look like pit bulls and have many of the same characteristics. There are a surprising number of them out there!

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The 12 Dogs That Look Like Pitbulls

1. American Bulldog

Just as the Pit Bull is known for having a stocky, muscular build, the American Bulldog has the same reputation. American Bulldogs are almost the same height, sometimes taller than a typical Pit Bull. Bulldogs stand at a maximum of 28 inches, where Pit Bulls generally top out at 21 inches in height.

They are quite muscular but also quite agile. This pairing has made American Bulldogs a beneficial dog for working on a farm or ranch to chase down stray cattle. They are intelligent, which can, at times, mean a stubborn streak. However, their desire to please their owners and overall affection makes them extraordinarily loyal and generally moderately easy to train with a firm consistency. They need a great deal of exercise and do best if they can be given a daily task or are with an active family.

puppy american bulldog
Image Credit: Zanna Pesnina, Shutterstock

2. Bull Terrier

The Bull Terrier is another one of the pups in the same dog family as the Pit Bull. The Bull Terrier is one of the most distinctive in appearance due to its oval-shaped face and small, pointed ears. They have a similar build, however, being low to the ground, stocky, and full of muscle, standing at around 22 inches tall.

These dogs are quite lively and don’t appreciate being kept in small homes or apartments unless the family is quite active. They need a great deal of attention and don’t like to be left alone for long, making them good dogs for a larger family. They are known to have goofy personalities because they are so sweet.

bull terrier face
Image Credit: Georgiy Myakashiv, Shutterstock

3. Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is not actually part of the Terrier family but still has a similar overall attitude and appearance to that of the Pit Bull. They are Italian mastiffs that were initially bred to be fierce hunters.

Nowadays, they make excellent guard dogs due to their driven devotion to their family and aversion to strangers. Compared to Mastiffs, the dog is much more athletic and agile, making it more similar to Terriers. However, it is considerably bigger, weighing up to 120 pounds and being 28 inches tall.

cane corso resting at the beach
Image Credit: Sbolotova, Shutterstock

4. Boxer

Boxers can look like Pit Bulls, depending on their breeding. They usually are only a couple of inches taller than an average Pit Bull, standing at about 25 inches tall and sharing similar color patterns. In good shape, these dogs are quite muscular and have distinctive square jaws.

These pups like to have fun and can find themselves getting into trouble with their curious personality. They are incredibly loving dogs and can be trained to make excellent guard dogs.

Image Credit: Jackson Jorvan, Pexels

5. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is another type of Pit Bull, but they are still a distinctive breed. They are only about 16 inches tall at their highest, but their shorter stature doesn’t mean they are any less imposing.

They give a tough vibe and make people feel nervous due to their intense stare and muscular body. However, as is often the case with Pit Bulls, these dogs’ intimidating stance is a guise for a loving companion dog who makes a devoted family pet.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Image Credit: k9arteu, Pixabay

6. Dogo Argentino

Dogo Argentino has the build and facial structure of a Pit Bull, but the coloring is different. These dogs are known for their pure white color, covering their whole body. As their name suggests, they were initially bred in Argentina and were made for big-game hunting and protection.

The breeding of this dog placed bravery and protection deep in their genes. The AKC describes the dog as a “cheerful, humble, and friendly” dog. They fit well into almost any family scene and happily trot along to participate in anything they can, happy to be with those they love.

Dogo Argentino
Image Credit: wsanter, Pixabay

7. Bullmastiff

The Bullmastiff is another dog who belongs to the Mastiff family instead of the Terriers. Although the shape of their face is different from the Pit Bull and their hanging jowls make them more likely to drool, they have a similar body type. They grow to be around 25 to 27 inches tall and can weigh up to 120 pounds.

Bullmastiffs were initially bred in England to protect game threatened by poachers. They are firm, sometimes serious-natured dogs. However, this doesn’t stop them from being dependable and loving family dogs, dedicated to their pack and protection.

bullmastiff catching food and eating
Image Credit: Inna Astakhova, Shutterstock

8. Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog

The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog has a distinctive color pattern, being a grey-blue and white color speckled with black spots of varying sizes. They are broad-shouldered and can grow up to 26 inches tall, making them quite an imposing dog to run across. Even with the muscular build, agility is prized in their breeding.

These dogs are reminiscent of bulky bodyguards who take their job of protection seriously. They are loving and possessive of any adults and children in their “pack” and are aloof with strangers. If they aren’t socialized well, they have a dominant attitude toward other animals.

Close-up of a Merle-colored Alapaha Blue-Blood Bulldog with an Underbite
Image Credit: Marilyn Laudadio, Shutterstock

9. Presa Canario

Another pup with a distinctive color pattern and a member of the mastiff family is the Presa Canario. They share the bulky build of the Pit Bull and are only slightly larger, topping out at 26 inches tall. They are described as complicated dogs who require a special kind of owner to run the show.

The Presa Canarios are similar in appearance and size to the Pit Bull but do not have as much of a sweet side hidden under their muscles. They need a great deal lot of training and socialization since they were initially used to chase cattle and kill other dogs. They are fearless, confident, and protective dogs but can be unpredictable with any other animals, strangers, and sometimes even children.

presa canario puppy
Image Credit: Zdzichowy, Shutterstock

10. English Bulldog

The English Bulldog does not look as similar to the Pit Bull as other dogs in the list, but it does have a comparable personality with a muscular exterior. They have a sweet disposition and a wrinkly face, making them a delightful combination. Unlike the Presa Canario, the English Bulldog is a predictable breed that behaves exceedingly well with children.

Compared to the Pit Bull and other high-energy Terriers, the English Bulldog only needs a moderate amount of exercise to stay healthy because they have low amounts of endurance. Although these dogs look like pit bulls, they are also smaller, topping out at 16 inches compared to the maximum 21-inch height of a Pit Bull.

English Bulldog
Image Credit: artellliii72, Pixabay

11. Ambullneo Mastiff

The Ambullneo Mastiff is not a well-known dog, which is surprising due to its similarities to the popular Pit Bull. This Mastiff is one of those dogs that look like pit bulls; specifically their facial and bodily build, with a less droopy face and short, pointy ears. They are typically all black or deep grey with dark eyes, and large specimens can look quite intimidating.

They have been more recently developed breeds, with three types of European mastiffs and three types of bulldogs being bred together to create the Ambullneo. They bond quickly with their family and are protective, offering loyal companionship and affectionate cuddles. They need a firm trainer to overcome their aversion to strangers.

12. Boerboel

The Boerboel is another thickset dog breed created in South Africa, to protect Dutch farmers from large creatures and trespassing strangers. They are protective of their family but are not typically aggressive unless heavily provoked. This breed is known to do exceptionally well with children, hosting a gentle soul under their fierce appearance. The Boerboel is another big dog, weighing up to 200 pounds and standing at a maximum of around 27 inches.

Image Credit: Marcell Végh, Pixabay

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Pit Bulls, and many dogs like them, have suffered a negative reputation throughout the years. It has been many decades since these dogs were trained to be aggressive, and they tend to have a gentle and protective nature. As with any dog, especially one whose build makes them capable of doing some damage, consistent training is of the utmost importance. With the right family, though, any of these dogs can make incredible companions.

Featured Image Credit: Romero Joel, Pixabay

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