Bull Terrier vs Pitbull

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Are you torn between getting a Pitbull and a bull terrier? Although they are often mistaken for each other, the two breeds are different. When faced with the decision of which among the two to get, you will have a lot of information to sift through.

This article makes things easier for you.

Bull Terrier vs Pitbull General Overview

Here is a guide to help you pick the right one based on factors such as family, lifestyle, and temperament.

Bull terrier playing on withered grassland

Bull Terrier

The bull terrier was originally developed to be a fighting dog. However, it soon turned into arm candy for gentlemen. It is one of the funniest, most mischievous dogs.

Although it can be a little stubborn, it is generally playful and affectionate.

Bull terriers enjoy exercise, and they can be muscular. They are big-boned, and they typically move with buoyant strides indicating strength and agility. The hallmarks of bull terriers are:

  • Their little triangular eyes
  • Egg-shaped head
  • Amazing sense of humor
  • Pointed ears

They have pretty coats and could be a solid color with white markings or white and a different color. Bull terriers weigh about 60 pounds and stand at about 22 inches. The bull terrier has an egg-shaped head and a flat forehead.

Bull terriers are affectionate, sweet, and fairly easy to train. They are the clowns of the dog world. Their playful nature makes them great companions.

Your Bull terrier will adore you. They’ll want to spend all their time with you.

You can keep your bull terrier happy through early socialization, firm but kind training, and regular exercise. Spend quality time with them as they adore companionship. Bull terriers are the ultimate personality breed, and meeting these requirements will keep them happy and loyal.


This dog is easy to groom. Its coat is short, flat, and naturally glossy. It doesn’t require much effort in maintenance.

Weekly brushing with a hound glove or soft-bristle brush should be enough to get rid of loose hair and dirt. Inspect the ears regularly and trim the nails to keep your bull terrier comfortable.


You need proof of testing for heart and kidney issues before these dogs leave the breeder. The little ones have to be tested for hearing. The National Breed Club suggests that you get the following tests:

  • Cardiac exam
  • BAER testing
  • Patella Evaluation
  • Kidney-urine analysis
Cute little Bull terrier walking on grass


If you choose to get a bull terrier, note that it can exhibit the courage and determination of a Bulldog. However, like others in the Terrier Group, it is fun, playful, and a free-thinker. If anything seems fun, your bull terrier will do it and if it seems boring, why bother?

The best way to train a bull terrier puppy is by making things fun. Use toys and positive reinforcements to help them. They are likely to do well in sports that require weight pull and agility.

They may also be appropriate as service, therapy, and health-alert dogs. With some patience and a good sense of humor, there is nothing you can’t get these dogs to do.


Bull terriers will benefit from moderate exercise every day. Long walks will stimulate them mentally and physically. Since the breed was developed for physical activity, it is strong and agile.

It should participate in canine sports like coursing ability tests and tracking. It is the best way to channel energy.


Pitbulls have had a bad reputation for a while now. They have been making headlines for attacking people and being aggressive. The heat from such reports has created a scary picture of the breed.

It is easy to assume that they are some dangerous dogs with a lock-jawed bite. However, they are more than that. With the right training, they are intelligent, gentle, and delightful.

Although they aren’t as tolerant as other dogs, they aren’t innately aggressive.

Pitbulls are eager to please and friendly. However, their strong physical attributes can make them aggressive, especially around other dogs. Training Pitbulls requires patience and focus on obedience and socialization.


Although the dogs were initially bred for aggression against other breeds, they weren’t meant to be aggressive against humans. Even during fights, they were handled by trainers. Generally, Pitbulls are intelligent and full of energy.

Therefore, all you need to do is offer social training.


Pitbulls have short, manageable coats. With a good diet and regular brushing, their coats can stay in excellent condition for a long time. No doubt, you have admired their caramel, blue-black, or chocolate coats on a sunny day.

Although they are low-maintenance, you need to brush them every day to restore luster. Use circular motions to spread natural oils and promote circulation. Failure to brush leaves flaky skin cells and dead hairs that make the coat dull.

Cute dog wearing a chained collar


Pitbulls are naturally smart and easy to train. They are responsive to training, and pleasing them shouldn’t be difficult. They like exploring and are always looking for the next challenge.

They can be eager to impress. However, they can be challenging if you have never owned a dog before.

Note that Pitbulls may not mature as fast as other dogs. They have an amazing sense of humor even as they get older. When training Pitbulls, don’t expect maturity before they are two to three years old.

Bull Terrier vs Pitbull Similarities and Differences

Here is what makes these two animals similar, different, and the major distinguishing factor.


  • One of the biggest similarities between the two breeds is in their size. Although they have distinct faces, they have similar weights and heights. Even the most avid pet owners have been known to mistake the two for each other.
  • With proper training, both breeds can be gentle and friendly. They are playful and have an unmatched zeal in life. They are intelligent and make amazing companions. Both dogs have strong physiques and do well in sports, especially those that demand agility.
  • Grooming them is easy as they don’t shed much. If you are not looking to spend too much on the maintenance of your dog, they are both amazing options. With regular brushing, their coats can remain lustrous and soft.
  • Both dogs were originally bred for fighting. When breeding both of them, the goal was to create strong, muscular, and agile dogs that could dominate others in fights. They are both stubborn, confident, and energetic.


  • Although they are both friendly, bull terriers are a lot more tolerant than Pitbulls. Therefore, they are a better option if you have kids. If you want a well-socialized, happy dog that is good with the kids, bull terriers are better than Pitbulls. Kids are always yelling, jumping around, and pulling dogs’ ears and tails.
  • While this isn’t a problem with bull terriers, it can be a problem with Pitbulls. Because of their big size and aggressive nature, they can easily knock kids off their feet and harm them in the heat of things.
  • Bull terriers are more adaptable than Pitbulls. They respond better to new environments and situations. Unlike Pitbulls, which require a lot of exercises, bull terriers can remain indoors for a while.

Major Distinguishing Factor

The most significant distinguishing factors between the two breeds are their temperament. Generally, bull terriers are calmer and more laid-back than Pitbulls. Their personalities are more stable, and they are more receptive to new circumstances.

Pitbulls can be aggressive, especially if that is how they were raised. In some states, owning Pitbulls is regulated. The American Kennel Club doesn’t recognize Pitbulls as a breed.

When to Choose a Bull Terrier

If you are looking for a gentler, friendlier alternative, bull terriers are better than Pitbulls. They are more playful and would make better companions for kids. Despite their big size, they are tolerant and patient.

Since they don’t need as much exercise as Pitbulls, they are ideal if you aren’t home regularly. Generally, Bull terriers are the types of dogs that will grow up with your kids and remain a valued part of your family without demanding too much from you.

Cute Pitbull with black collar

When to Choose a Pitbull 

If you are interested in a large, smart, and naturally curious dog, Pitbulls may be the perfect choice. They are more athletic and eager to please. Your athletic Pitbull will do almost anything it takes to get some praise.

These dogs crave approval and attention from their humans. Although they have a bad reputation, they can be very social. They are great with older kids.

Pitbulls are great if you are a fitness fanatic as they will be happy to exercise with you. Whether you are training for a marathon or simply running around the block, your Pitbull will love it.

Boston Terrier dog breed. All breed characteristics and facts about Boston Terrier dogs

Final Verdict

Both dogs are great. They are strong, agile, friendly, and powerful. They are highly active, and they socialize easily.

Both dogs have great personalities, and they like fooling around.  The better option depends on your needs. If you are looking for an exercise companion, Pitbulls are your best pick.

If, on the other hand, you are looking for a gentler, more tolerant alternative, you’d be wise to choose a bull terrier.