Have you always had Pitbulls but are looking for a new dog breed to join your family? Or perhaps you’re looking for a pooch that looks just as handsome as a Pitbull and want to know what other dog breeds appear similar. Whatever your reason for being here, we explore 20 dog breeds resembling Pitbulls, each with pictures and a quick breed review.
“Pitbull” is an umbrella term for several different Pitbull-type breeds. However, the American Pitbull Terrier is usually the pooch most people think of when talking about “Pitbulls.” Three other breeds fall under the Pitbull description: the American Bully, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Each of these gorgeous doggos is in this guide.
Most of the breeds on this list are larger than the American Pitbull Terrier. However, there are a few smaller choices if you seek a more petite breed. We’ve made sure that there’s a Pitbull lookalike for everyone. So, in alphabetical order, let’s look at 20 dogs that look like Pitbulls.
- American Pitbull Terrier
- Dogs That Look Like Pitbulls
- Considering A Pitbull Mix?
American Pitbull Terrier
The American Pitbull Terrier (APBT) has an unfair reputation for being vicious and dangerous because of their dog-fighting history. But with responsible owners and proper training, they can make some of the best family pets you could wish for. APBTs are medium-sized dogs that weigh between 30 and 60 pounds. They stand between 17 and 21 inches tall, from paw to shoulder. Overall, they are athletic and muscular dogs with a robust appearance.
There’s more to them than just their stocky appearance, though. They have a broad and cheeky grin that spans from ear to ear. Their eyes are round and full of adoration and love for their family. APBTs also have a short and sleek coat that comes in a wide array of colors, and it is a relatively easy jacket to take care of. APBTs are energetic, fun, and very loyal, too. As a Pitbull-type dog mom, I know how amazing these pups are.
Dogs That Look Like Pitbulls
Let’s explore the dog breeds that look most like Pitbulls. From the other Pitbull types to some rare breeds you might not have heard of, each dog resembles a Pitbull.
Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is a type of Bulldog from Georgia and named after the Alapaha River. No major kennel clubs recognize them. They descend from Bulldogs that came to America in the 18th century. Like the Pitbull, they were popular choices for dog fighting and bull-baiting sports. But they became cattle and hog herders and estate protectors. Despite their formidable appearance, they make great family pets with the proper training.
Blue Blood Bulldogs are large and muscular, with a huge head and brachycephalic face. They have a similarly short coat that is primarily white with a mixture of blue, buff, brown, or black patches, often with a merle pattern. These pups usually weigh more than the Pitbull, ranging between 50 and 90 pounds, and stand between 20 and 25 inches tall. This pooch is a top contender if you’re after a family protector with a cheeky smile.
The Ambullneo Mastiff is a new mixed breed, made from a mixture of American Bulldog, Bullmastiff, English Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, and Pitbull. They were believed to be created by an avid dog breeder, Mark Reasinger, in the early 1980s. Like many new Mastiff mixed breeds, this is a strong protection dog. This pooch needs an experienced owner willing to provide lifelong training and socialization.
As you can imagine, the Ambullneo Mastiff is a hefty and handsome hound. They are much larger than the Pitbull and weigh an incredible 110 to 150 pounds, making them one of the largest doppelgangers on this list. They also stand between 21 and 29 inches tall. This pup has a smooth coat in various colors, including solid black and reverse gold brindle. No major kennel club recognizes the Ambullneo Mastiff.
The American Bulldog is surprisingly not one of the Pitbull-types, but they look very similar to the Pitbull. They weigh between 60 and 100 pounds and measure between 20 and 25 inches tall. They have muscles on their muscles and can jump three feet high. American Bulldogs have a short and smooth white coat with black, brindle, tan, brown, or red color patches. They have a clown-like and silly temperament when happy.
Many dog lovers know the American Bulldog from the fantastic movie “Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.” The American Bulldog Association describes this breed as “all the dog anyone could ever want, and too much dog for some.” These pups can be very stubborn and need a tough trainer to get the best out of them. They were initially used as farm assistants, catch dogs, and estate guardians and were accepted into the American Kennel Club (AKC) studbook in 2019.
The AKC does not recognize the American Bully, but they are recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC.) American Bullys are one of the Pitbull types, and they descend from the APBT, with a hint of American Bulldog and English Bulldog. Like many breeds on this list, despite their robust appearance, they are gentle and friendly with the right owner and training.
American Bullys weigh between 25 to 120 pounds and measure between 13 and 23 inches tall. The vast range in height and weight is because the American Bully has four sizes. These include pocket, standard, classic, and XL. Their coats are short and smooth, and any color is permissible in this breed except for merle. They aren’t a true American Bully if you find a merle pup.
American Staffordshire Terrier
The American Staffordshire Terrier also goes by American Staffie or the AmStaff. They descend from the dog-fighting breeds from Great Britain. When they made their way to America, breeders bred the largest specimens, and these became known as AmStaffs. Famous AmStaffs include Sgt Stubby, America’s most decorated war dog, and Petey from the Little Rascals.
AmStaffs are heavier than Pitbulls, and they weigh between 40 to 70 pounds, but they generally measure shorter at 17 to 19 inches tall. Their short and sleek coats come in a vast range of colors, either solid or with patches. Out of the Pitbull types, the gorgeous AmStaff is the most similar looking to the Pitbull.
Boerboels are an African dog breed with a larger-than-life personality and presence, sometimes called the African Mastiff. They are calm in the home with their favorite people and sometimes silly. But when on guard duty, they take their role seriously. Their original breed purpose was to protect farms and their families from large predators, such as baboons or lions. Despite their colossal frame, they are one of the most agile Mastiff types.
Boerboels measure between 22 and 27 inches tall and weigh an impressive 150 to 200 pounds. So, if you’re seeking a super-sized Pitbull, the Boerboel could be the pooch for you. However, they are naturally protective, very dominant, and unsuitable for first-time owners. Boerboels come in earthy colors, such as brown, red, tawny, and brindle, often with a black mask.
Boxers are one of the most clown-like canines you could choose, even more so than the APBT. Some say Boxers are named for how they play by swinging their front legs like a boxer does with their arms in the ring. With their family, they are super silly, but in the yard, they are always in protection mode. Boxers, like the APBT, have a soft spot for children. It is thought they descend from the humongous, fearsome, and now-extinct, “Bullenbeisser.”
Boxers weigh between 50 and 80 pounds and measure between 21.5 and 25 inches tall. They have a similar square and athletic build to APBTs. They have dark eyes and a wrinkled forehead, giving them an always alert and inquisitive look. Boxers are brachycephalic breeds with a cute underbite, and some Boxers struggle with breathing-related problems more than others.
The iconic Bulldog, sometimes known as the English Bulldog, weighs around 40 to 50 pounds and measures between 14 and 15 inches tall. Their “sour mug” face is unmistakable, with loose skin, a squished nose, and hanging chops. They have a flat facial structure and suffer from brachycephalic syndrome, so owners must be cautious when exercising these pups.
The Bulldog is courageous and tenacious and protects their family when they sense danger. Thankfully, they are also docile in the home, a massive part of their attraction for many owners. Bulldogs love attention and happily curl up on your lap whenever they can. They are also intensely stubborn, and training these pups can be tricky, even for experienced owners. APBTs are descendants of Bulldogs and terriers, so it’s easy to see their resemblance.
The Bullmastiff is another original Mastiff mix breed, this time with Bulldog genes in the mix. They look a lot like English Mastiffs with the flatter face of the Bulldog. In the mid-19th century, English gamekeepers struggled to control the threat of poaching. Their response was to create a large and powerful dog to keep the threat at bay. Now, they are more common in family homes than they are patrolling estates.
Bullmastiffs weigh between 100 and 130 pounds and measure between 24 and 27 inches tall. They look like Boerboels and have similar colors, too. Sadly, they have one of the shortest lifespans on this list, enjoying between seven to nine years on average. But this is a great choice if you want a burly-looking pup with a goofy personality.
The Bull Terrier looks a lot like a Pitbull but with an iconic egg-shaped head. Some people consider these pups ugly dog breeds, but as a Bull Terrier mix mom, I adore them. They typically measure between 21 and 22 inches tall and weigh between 50 and 70 pounds. The most common Bull Terrier coat color is white, but other colors are becoming increasingly popular, such as black, brindle, red, and tri-colors. Bull Terriers are famous for being Target’s mascot.
Like the APBT, the Bull Terrier‘s journey began in England when blood sports were popular. In the latter half of the 19th century, James Hinks found a Bulldog-terrier cross and refined and standardized the breed. Hinks chose the sweetest Bull Terriers, and now the breed is known for their super sweet, charming, and affectionate personality. Bull Terriers adore their family and stick close to the younger members, showcasing their protective nature.
The Cane Corso, sometimes known as the Italian Mastiff, is one of the most similar-looking Mastiffs to the Pitbull. They measure between 23.5 and 27.5 inches tall and weigh between 85 and 110 pounds. Their super sleek and short coats give them a shiny and silky look. They sport various colors, from solid black to light brindle. Sadly, many owners crop their ears, but they are large, triangular, and drop-down in their natural state.
Cane Corso is pronounced “kah-neh-kor-soh,” and their popularity has shot up in America over the past decade. But like many on this list, they have protective and dominant characters unsuitable for novice owners. These pups date back to Roman times when they charged enemy lines.
Dogo Argentinos look like white Pitbulls, but they are a completely different breed. These dogs are from Cordoba in the Republic of Argentina. They were created in the early 20th century as fighting dogs. But their capacity for hunting large game and being faithful Fidos made them versatile companions for locals. Their hunting specialties include mountain lion and boar, and they were only recently recognized by the AKC in 2020.
Dogo Argentinos weigh between 80 and 100 pounds and stand between 24 and 26.5 inches tall. Their iconic white coat is short and sleek, showing off their mighty muscles. Dogo Argentinos are on many banned dog lists worldwide, and ownership restrictions exist in many states. So, if you’re considering welcoming one into your family, you must check your local laws first. But like the APBT, they make great family pets for experienced owners.
Dogue de Bordeaux
The Dogue de Bordeaux looks much like a large APBT but bigger. These pups weigh a minimum of 99 pounds and measure between 23 and 27 inches tall. They have a wrinkly muzzle and a sour mug expression like many Bulldog types on this list. Their wrinkly and flat faces are one of the many reasons the Dogue de Bordeaux is commonly confused for the Bullmastiff.
They are often called the Mastiff of Bordeaux or the French Mastiff. They are one of the most ancient French dog breeds and were made famous in the popular movie, “Turner & Hooch.” Bordeaux are loyal and courageous and protect their family and home. But behind closed doors, they are affectionate and a little bit goofy. They can be stubborn but are sweet and obedient pups with an experienced owner and consistent training.
The Fila Brasileiro is also known as the Brazilian Mastiff or Brazilian Bloodhound. They are rare dogs and are not recognized by the AKC. Countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, and Turkey consider them dangerous breeds. Their breed purpose is to protect and guard their family and estate, and they also have a great sense of smell. They have exceptionally high protective instincts and aren’t welcoming to strangers. With the right family, they can make devoted companions.
Fila Brasileiros are large pups that usually weigh between 125 and 170 pounds and measure between 23.5 and 30 inches tall. They have a short coat that comes in various shades of fawn, sometimes with a brindle pattern. Filas have a fold of skin that droops from their neck down to their fore chest and a thick and long tail. They often have darker facial features like muzzles, eyes, and ears.
The Mastiff, sometimes known as the English Mastiff, is one of the most giant dog breeds in the world. They typically weigh between 120 and 230 pounds, although one Mastiff named Zorba weighed a whopping 343 pounds. Mastiffs measure a minimum of 27.5 inches. They have a short coat that is usually fawn or apricot in color, sometimes brindle, with darker facial features. The Mastiff looks similar to the APBT but on a much larger scale.
It is believed that Mastiffs date back to 55 B.C. Julias Ceaser made a note in his journal that the defending doggos, English Mastiffs, were impressive. During medieval times, they became big-game hunters and estate protectors. They are much more docile and friendly nowadays, although they retain a protective streak. It would be best to have plenty of room in your home to accommodate this large APBT lookalike.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is another Pitbull lookalike, but this much larger pooch has skin rolls galore. They weigh between 110 and 150 pounds on average and measure between 24 and 31 inches tall. Neos are often called marzipan Mastiffs as they look like they’ve melted in the sun. They have drooping, swinging dewlaps that produce a lot of doggy drool. So you’ll need plenty of wet-wipe stations around your home.
Neapolitan Mastiffs are an ancient breed with links to the Naples area. They are powerful guarders and wary of strangers, unlike the APBT, who are friendly with almost everyone they meet. Their skin rolls were implemented into the breed to help protect them when fighting off large predators. One of the most famous Neos is Fang, Hagrid’s sidekick in the famous Harry Potter movies.
Patterdale Terriers look much like Pitbulls, but this time on a smaller scale. So, if you’re looking for a miniature Pittie, the Patterdale could be an excellent option. Patterdale Terriers measure between 10 and 15 inches tall and have a proportionate weight to their size, always in fit condition. They have a short coat in three textures: smooth, broken, or rough, and sport dark and earthy colors.
The AKC does not recognize Patterdales, but they are registerable with the UKC. They are entertaining and energetic and are little pocket rockets. Families must be active to accommodate this dog’s physical and mental needs. If you’re after a faithful terrier, you can’t do much better than this hardworking and tenacious pup.
Presa Canarios are also often called the Perro de Presa Canario, which translates to the “Canary dog of prey.” This pooch dates back to the 15th century from the Canary Islands, and they were the guard dog of choice. The AKC only recognized them in 1996, placing them into the Foundation Stock Service. They have a highly protective personality and are very territorial, and display this with their distinctively low and loud bark. Only experienced dog-owning homes should take this pooch on. But with the right family, they make sweet and devoted companions.
Presa Canarios are large and powerful dogs that look like APBTs, thanks to their square and athletic appearance. They weigh between 84 and 110 pounds and measure up to 26 inches tall. They have a calm and alert expression, but you can tell they are always ready to guard their favorite humans. Presa Canarios have a short coat in various colors, including brown, fawn, orange, gold, silver, and tiger. Be cautious of their thick and sturdy tail.
Rottweilers are America’s most popular giant dog and consistently rank in the top 10 dog breeds. They weigh an impressive 95 to 135 pounds and measure between 24 and 27 inches tall. Their iconic sleek black coat with traditional tan markings is stunning and relatively simple to care for. They look similar to Pitties due to their large and muscular frame but have thicker hindquarters, giving them explosive power.
Rottweilers are famous for their guard-dog abilities and are common in the police and the military worldwide. They have a naturally protective nature and need early and consistent training to remain well-rounded canine citizens. Behind closed doors, Rotties are sweet and sensitive and see themselves as toy-sized lap dogs. A well-trained Rottie is an excellent choice for therapy settings as they are substantial love bugs looking for attention.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier looks very similar to the APBT, and they’re commonly confused for one another. The Stafford was used in the APBT’s breed development, and they are smaller and stockier. Staffords weigh between 24 and 38 pounds and measure between 14 and 16 inches tall. They have a square face and frame, large eyes, and a wide, cheeky grin. Their short and sleek coat comes in all colors except for merle.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are relatively rare in America, but they are one of the most popular dog breeds in their homeland, the United Kingdom. They are very friendly with family and friends and can be overly familiar with strangers and intruders, so they don’t make the best guard dogs. Staffords are loyal and affectionate and have a soft spot for family kiddos.
Considering A Pitbull Mix?
The American Pitbull Terrier is one of America’s favorite pups for many good reasons. They are sweet, fun, and incredibly handsome. There is a selection of dog breeds that look very similar to the Pittie, and we have listed the top 20 dog breeds that look most like them. Many are larger, and some are smaller, but each one is lovely in their own way. As you’re interested in Pitbull lookalikes, why not check out our Pitbull mixes guide?