What Is the Difference Between a Pit Bull Terrier and a Pitbull?

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A lot of people are confused when it comes to Pitbull and their related breeds. In this article, I am going to talk about what is the difference between a Pit Bull Terrier and a Pitbull.

Let me take a closer look at their history, temperament, and needs.

What Is the Difference Between a Pit Bull Terrier and a Pitbull?

A Pit Bull Terrier is a specific breed of dog recognized by some kennel clubs.

Pitbull is a general term used to describe bully dog breeds, and are a part of the bull terrier family.

Graphic image of a Pit Bull Terrier and a Pitbull with a text comparing their best features against each other

To be more specific, Pit Bull Terriers are a specific breed of terriers. However, there are 16 recognized breeds of Pitbulls:

  1. American Pit Bull Terrier
  2. American Bully
  3. American Staffordshire Terrier
  4. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  5. American Bulldog
  6. Red Nose Pitbull
  7. Blue Nose Pitbull
  8. Bull Terrier
  9. Monster Terrier
  10. Monster Blue
  11. Camuco
  12. Suffawler
  13. Colby Pitbull
  14. Cobra Pitbull
  15. Pynat
  16. Spike Pitbull

A Pitbull is a cross between an Old English Bulldog and an Old English Terrier, hence, the looks, personality, and abilities.

Originally, Pitbulls are bred to fight, that’s why they can be aggressive sometimes. However, due to selective breeding, breeders have produced breeds that can be more human-friendly just like the Pit Bull Terrier.

General Differences Between Pit Bull Terrier and Pitbull

Dog BreedLengthWeightLifespanAncestry
Bull Terrier 21 to 22 inches55 to 65 pounds11 to 14 yearsFirst cited in the 13th century and was mainly used for illegal dog fighting.
Pitbull 13 to 24 inches25 to 80 pounds10 to 15 yearsBred during the 19th century and was used for illegal dog fighting.

Facts About a Pitbull

Most of the time, people use the collective name ‘pitbull’ to describe bulldog breeds that look alike, come from the same breed line, and have almost the same personality.

Most of them are now accepted as companion dog breeds. However, some countries do not allow Pitbull breeds as pets.

Here are some other facts about a Pitbull:


Pitbulls can grow up to 21 inches tall and can weigh up to 70 pounds. They are known to be medium-sized dogs with muscular and strong bodies. Height and weight may vary among different Pitbull dog breeds.

They have strong jaws that can give a stronger bite than German Shepherd and Rottweiler.


Because of its past, Pitbulls are deemed to be dangerous and aggressive. Some countries, including Brazil, Belgium, Canada, and some states in the US, have banned the ownership of Pitbulls.

Yes, Pitbulls can be stubborn, but with patience and consistency, training them will be successful.

They are also good guard dogs, loyal and loving to their family, and playful around children.

Socialization at a very young age should be established to prevent developing bad behavior and aggression towards people and other dogs or small animals. Pitbulls are intelligent and they love mental stimulation.

Exercise Needs

Pitbulls need moderate exercise daily to maintain their muscular body and overall health. Because of their legs’ appearance, they are prone to joint and bone disorders. They can also acquire kidney, liver, and heart failure if proper diet is not observed.

Facts About a Pit Bull Terrier

A Pit Bull Terrier is one of the most associated breeds with Pitbulls. It is normally referred to as the American Pit Bull Terrier.

It is recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC)  and the American Dog Breeders Association (ADBA). However, it is not recognized yet by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

The reason why it was not recognized by the AKC is because of its indistinct features which can be mistaken as another breed as well.

It is usually associated with the American Staffordshire Terrier, which is just a little smaller. Here are the other important facts about the Pit Bull Terrier:

Pit Bull Terrier


The Pit Bull Terrier has a muscular and sturdy build. It has short, smooth, and different colors of coats. It has long down-facing ears. It also has powerful jaws and bites just like other pitbull breeds. This breed is a mix between a bulldog and a terrier.


A Pit Bull Terrier is a confident, intelligent, persistent, agile, dependable, loyal, and obedient dog. It is a very energetic and enthusiastic dog.

Since this breed was once used in dogfighting, they can also be aggressive to some dogs and even to humans if not trained and socialized properly.

Just prepare tons of patience because they can also be stubborn during training. They are good family companions and can be good friends with children once behavior training is done.


Pit Bull Terriers are powerful and fast dogs. They get these abilities through their ancestor’s genes. They have an alert and sharp mind that’s why they are also good guard dogs.

Related Questions

Why Are Pitbulls Called Pitbulls?

Pitbulls are called Pitbulls because of their ability to hunt and kill rats inside the pit. They will not let the rats escape. This is also the reason why the early breeds of Pitbulls were used as farm helpers.

Do Pitbull Breeds Like to Cuddle?

Though Pitbull breeds may appear big and sturdy, they still love to cuddle and be with their humans. They are still dogs that need love, care, attention, and petting.

Is a Pitbull the Same as a Pitt Bull Terrier?

A “pitbull” is not the same as a Pitt bull terrier. In fact, pitbull is not recognized by the American Kennel Club as a dog breed. On the other hand, an American Pitt bull terrier is a breed recognized by the United Kennel Club.


The main difference between a Pit Bull Terrier and a Pitbull is the way they are known and recognized by people. Pitbull is just a term used to describe breeds that look like a bulldog and has the abilities of a terrier. A Pit Bull Terrier is a type of Pitbull dog breed.