What Are The Different Types of Pitbulls & How Are They Different?

American Staffordshire Bull Terrier

When someone calls a dog a Pitbull, they’re using a blanket term or a generic name that could mean a number of breeds or mixed-breed dogs. Originally bred to be a powerful fighting dog in the 1800s, the term “Pitbull” encompasses a host of dogs that have the same or very similar personality and physical traits.

Pitbulls were originally the product of crossbreeding terriers and bulldogs, and the end result with a stocky dog that had very similar personal and physical traits that make them excellent fighting dogs. There are several different types of Pitbulls today, and we’re going to outline some of the most relevant below.

Types of Pitbull Breeds

American Pit Bull Terrier

american pitbull terrier

The UKC officially recognizes the American Pit Bull Terrier as the only official Pitbull breed in the United States, and they come from breeding American Terriers and British Bulldogs together. These are some of the tallest and heaviest breeds of Pitbull.

These dogs typically stand at a height between 15 and 21 inches, and their weight ranges between 30 and 65 pounds. They’re a working dog, so they’re best for active families, and their protective instincts make them ideal family dogs because they’re great with kids.

Related: Best Affordable Dog Food for Pitbulls

American Bulldog

American Bulldog closeup of face

The American Bulldog has a long and rich history as a working dog that excelled at guarding their master’s homes and herding cattle. They were also popular in the sport of bull-baiting, but the English version of this breed disappeared with bull baiting got banned.

American Bulldogs still get a lot of use as working dogs for their athletic build, and they stand between 20 and 27 inches with a weight that is proportional to their slightly larger height. They’re very loyal and watchful, but they also have a very assertive streak in them that makes them good guard dogs.

American Bully

American Bully

Also classified as a Pitbull breed, the American Bully is a result of crossing either an American or English Bulldog with an American Pit Bull Terrier. You’ll get a more mellow personality with these dogs that make them excellent family dogs and companion animals.

This breed stands between 16 and 20 inches tall with a weight that stays in proportion to their size. They have heavily muscled bodies and large heads with powerful jaws that make them seem intimidating, and they usually have very friendly and affectionate personalities with a laid-back attitude.

American Staffordshire Bull Terrier

American Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The American Staffordshire Bull Terrier comes from crossbreeding a terrier and a bulldog, and this automatically puts this breed into the Pitbull category. They were extremely popular as game dogs for fighting and bull-baiting, and they originated from Staffordshire.

Having a slightly smaller and lighter build, this breed stands between 14 and 15 inches high at maturity, and their weight ranges between 24 and 36 pounds. They have a natural inclination towards working with a friendly and loyal personality, so they make good pets for active families.

Blue Nosed Pitbull

Blue Nosed Pitbull enjoying the beach

This type of Pitbull has a blue hue to their coat and nose, and this makes them a more rare breed and very desired. They come as a cross between a Terrier and a Pitbull, and they have the same personality and build of the two parent breeds.

You’ll get a solid and muscled body with slightly longer legs and powerful jaws. These dogs also have personalities that make them great family and protection dogs, but you’ll pay a higher price for them due to their unique coat colors.

Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier

Coming from the Terrier family, the Bull Terrier is typically extremely short with a very muscular and bulky body structure that sets them apart from typical bully breeds. They usually stand between 18 and 22 inches high with a weight that ranges between 49 and 64 pounds.

You’ll get a very short and dense coat that has coloring ranging from fawn, white, red, brindle, black, and tri-color. Their oval-shaped head is a very good indicator of the breed, and it has a very fun and loving personality despite the breed’s fighting origins that makes it a very popular breed for families with children.

Red Nosed Pitbull

Red Nosed Pitbull

Another rare and very desired coloring in the pitbull breed, red nosed Pitbulls come with a copper-coloring on their coat and a reddish hue on their noses. They came from Irish Pitbulls originally, and they have a long history of bull baiting.

Owners who have this type of Pitbull must feed them a diet that is high in fish oil and fatty acids to keep their copper-colored coat healthy and shiny. Breeding these dogs can get you either a blue or red-nosed puppy, and they have the physical attributes of their parent breeds.

Types of American Bullies

Along with the types of Pitbull we mentioned earlier, you get different breeds depending on the type of American Bully you breed. There are five breeds of American Bullies that people breed to get Pitbulls, and they include:

Classic Bully

A Classic Bully looks a lot like the Standard American Bulldog with a few key differences including a more compact body, lighter weight, heavier bones, and a more compact body. They’re a great choice for breeders who want a Pitbull with a less heavy build and a lighter body mass.

Pitbulls that come from a cross with this breed usually have a very friendly behavior, likes to socialize, and has a very stable personality with an even temperament. They’re courageous, trustworthy, reliable, intelligent, and they have dominant traits that are easily tempered to match family life.

Extra-Large Bully

The largest variety of American Bully dogs, the extra-large breed stands between 20 and 23 inches high with the typical physical traits of the breed like a muscular build, very bulky appearance, longer legs, and a large head. They have a short, stiff, and shiny coat coupled with a very happy and friendly nature.

Living between 10 to 12 years, this type of Pitbull makes an excellent family pet because they adore children and have a very soft nature. They’re also a very sociable breed, and you want to make sure that you don’t leave them alone for long periods of time.

Extreme Bully

The Extreme Bully is a heavier and bulkier version of the Standard Bully breed, and Pitbulls that come from crossbreeding this type will have a large body mass, thicker bones, and a wider head than a traditional Pitbull.

The rear of this dog is slightly heavier and more muscled than the front end, and they have slight wrinkles around their face with lips that remain semi-closed at all times. They typically stand between 17 to 20 inches high when they reach adulthood, and they have a very serious personality.

Pocket Bully

White and Brown Pocket Pitbull

This smaller breed is another sub-type of the American Bully breed that is much shorter than the parents. You’ll get a dog that is physically more compact but muscular, and they’re an excellent choice for people who want a shorter Pitbull. Read more about Pocket Pitbulls here.

You’ll get a very large and broad head with high-set years, and they have almond-shaped eyes that come in blue or albino. They have a very friendly and happy personality that makes them great companion dogs.

Standard Bully

Arguably one of the most popular American Bully breeds, the Standard Bully comes with a compact and thick body with a heavy and broad head with very pronounced muscles around their entire body. This is the breed that closely resembles the traditional Pitbull build.

You’ll get immense stamina and power with a very affectionate nature toward children and family members. This breed comes with great bonding abilities that make them very good companion animals. However, they’re not very good for guard dog use as they’re able to tolerate strangers very easily.

Bottom Line

The different types of Pitbulls comes largely from not having a central registry system in place like the AKC for this particular breed, so you get a lot of variation. However, you’ll typically get a very loyal and solidly build dog, no matter which parent breeds cross to come up with your Pitbull.