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What Type Of Pitbull Do I Have? (Ultimate Pitbull Guide)

​Owing a pitbull breed of dog, is one thing. But knowing it’s type, is another thing altogether. So – how can you tell what type of ​Pitbull you have? 

Knowing the breed of your Pitbull ​is advantageous for a few reasons that we are going to address in this article.

First, we will start by discussing 5 common types of pitbulls, and will also look into their distinctive traits. 

Later on, we’ll discuss on how to correctly identify a pitbull using a step-by-step guide.

Different types of pitbull dogs

1. Compare Picture Of Your Pitbull With Others

Comparing your Pitbull to ​pictures of ​other Pitbulls posted online may feel like ​finding a needle in a haystack. 

Luckily, there are massive databases of dog pictures online. Google pictures alone will give you amazing results.

Similarly, you can also compare the pictures of the different types of Pitbulls in the following sections of this article.

You may look traits like the coat, color, body alignments and so on. Since it’s a visual exercise, it is more of a guesswork.

But with luck, you might identify your dog’s breed after some short research.

However, if you want a more precise approach continue reading.

2. Consult A Breeder

Consulting a breeder is the best advice if you either live near a breeder experienced with Pitbulls or you’re about to adopt a pitbull from the breeder. 

It is almost certain that a good breeder, will help you identify the breed of your pitbull.

3. Talk To A Veterinarian

If you cannot identify your Pitbull type so far, there is a high chance your local veterinarian will naturally know the breed of your dog.

However, sometimes the efforts can be fruitless. If that is the case, then paying for a DNA service may be your last result.

4. Differentiating The Type Of A Pitbull Using A DNA Test Kit

Although this method looks like an overkill, it’s the only sure way. It usually involves the following steps:

How to use a DNA Test Kit to Determining the type of Your pitbull:

  1. Buy the DNA kit from you local vet.
  2. Gather the DNA sample of your dog.
  3. Send the sample to the nearest Laboratory (local lab).
  4. The final stage is waiting for 4-5 days for the test results.

Of all the methods, the DNA test is the most assuring method to help you identify the type of the Pitbull you may be owning.

How Can You Tell What Type Of Pitbull You Have: Types of Pitbull

Common Misconception About Pitbulls 

Before we even get into the bottom of this matter, let’s demystify why people discuss only three types of pitbulls instead of five breeds.

First, it’s clear according to the AKC, there are only three pure pitbulls breeds.

Underline the word pure here because, this is the true reason why many people out there argue there are only three major types. Namely: 

  1. The American Pitbull Terriers,
  2. The American Staffordshire Terries
  3. Staffordshire Bull Terriers.


On visual count, pitbull puppies have close physical traits. As a result, they’re difficult to distinguish their pedigree until they mature.

But as we all know, a pitbull dog is not a dog of any breed type. The name refers to a group of dogs with similar traits.

That therefore means, there are many more breeds of dogs that can fall under this classification of pitbulls.

To get more details on this matter, refer to our article on owning a pitbull for the first time.

Unique Traits Of Different Types Of Pitbulls

ParticularsBull TerriersAmerican BulldogAmerican Pitbull TerriersAmerican Staffordshire TerriesStaffordshire Bull Terriers
Height18 – 22 in20-28 in19 in17-19 in13 – 16 in
Male Weig​ht50 – 84 lbs66 – 130 lbs35-65 lbs68-88 lbs28-37 lbs
Female Weight49-70 lbs60-90 lbs30-60 lbs68-88 lbs24-34 lbs
Age10-14 years10 -15 years 8 – 15 years 10 – 15 years 12 – 14 years 
Body BuildMasculine shoulder accompanied by a strong bodylarge, heavy with a relative shorter muzzlemedium-sized, solidly-build bodymedium-sized, and stocky bodymedium-sized extremely muscular body
HeadShark-head-shaped (egg shaped)Square, large and muscular build headFlat, wide and proportionate headBroad with pronounces cheekbonesBroad, wedged-shaped head
CoatShort CoatShort and smooth coatShort and smooth CoatStiff and glossy coatShort Coat and tightly clinging to the body.
TemperamentTrainable, Keen, Sweet-Tempered, Protective, ActiveFriendly, Assertive, Loyal, Energetic, Gentle, Confident, DominantClownish, Strong Willed, Friendly, Stubborn, Affectionate, Loyal, Obedient, Intelligent, CourageousFriendly, Tenacious, Loyal, Devoted, Attentive, CourageousAffectionate, Fearless, Bold, Loyal, Reliable, Intelligent, Courageous
Common colorsWhite, Brindle & White, Fawn & White, Tri-color, Red & White, White & Black BrindleWhite, Brindle, Fawn, Brown

Black, White, Brindle, Fawn, Brown, Tan, Blue

Black, Brindle, Fawn, Brown, Blue, Sable

Brindle, White, Black, Fawn, Blue Belton, Tan, Blue, Brindle & White, Red & White, Fawn & White, Blue & White

The Bull Terrier

How Can You Tell What Type Of Pitbull You Have - The Bull Terrier Dog

The Bull Terrier Breed

Many people think the Bull Terrier breed is not a pure Pitbull – on the contrary, it is among the first result of breeding the Bulls with the Terriers.

However, it is its distinct features that may have contributed for it’s placement on the wrong side of the pedigree.

Unlike the other breeds of pitbulls, it’s head is usually pronounced, long, and oval or shark-mouth-like. Some people even call it egg-like.

Similarly, the eyes are tiny triangular shape, and even more distinct, the ears are pointy-long and bat-like.

Nevertheless, this Pitbull is one of the most masculine and heavily built among its family. No wonder, it fits comfortably among the guard canines.

Despite this trait, like the rest of the pit bulls, it’s more of a family dog than a guard fellow. There is even a joke that refers to it as a kid in a dog suit!

But take caution if you own this dog!

Here is the thing, if you are the owner of this dog, you’ll have to engage it more often with regular exercises and company. Else, you risk putting it in a anxiety separation situation. 

Nevertheless, if you are up to the Bull Terrier’s demands, you’ll surely own a life long loyal partner that will always keep you engaged.

American Bulldogs

Image of The American Bulldogs - Pitbulls

If you want to think of an active dog, go with the likes of the American Bulldog.

First, they are big, strong and very brave – in fact, a fully grown male can weigh up to 130 pounds.

In their DNA, they are their ancestors – the no-nonsense type, and it’s this protective nature that makes them great guard dogs.

But don’t mistake the American Bulldog only as a foot-soldier only, like the rest of Pitbulls, they make excellent family dogs. 

A word of caution though…

Due to their character, the American Bulldog need an in-depth obedient and socialization training.

Through this training, you’ll put bad manners inline and avoid constant squabbles with other dogs.

One final thought about American Bulldog, they are not boxers nor Bulldogs. They are more of a Pitbulls than the two breeds. 

However, their physical features closely resemble them.

For instance, American Bulldogs have a muscular head with chubby lips and funny wrinkly brows often making their face look a little bit lazy and silly.

In addition, they are not recognized as the pure breed by the AKC (American Kennel Club).

American Pitbull Terriers

Image of The American Pitbull Terrier Breed

The American Pitbull Terrier is the most common type of Pitbull, and most people will confuse them with other types of Pitbulls.

Nevertheless, this breed has a unique recognizable form, with the American Pitbull Terrier being short, masculine, and weighing between 30 – 65 pounds.

Its flat, wide, and proportionate head fit gracefully with its goofy smile which is accentuated by its pronounced check muscles – a perfect pair for its broad shape. 

Just like other pitbulls it’s smart, loyal, and strong, and these traits make it a respectable search, rescue, and drug-sniffer dog.

Even more, recently it has been trending as a service dog.

Buried deep within it, is a friendly and docile nature, however watch out when it’s around other dogs

American Staffordshire Terriers 

Image of the american staffordshire terrier

Unlike the counterpart, the APBT (American Pitbull Terrier) is a little bit lighter and a little bit goofy.

Though it does not have chubby cheeks, it’s extremely welcoming and amiable.

Body wise, it still has a sturdy, short, fine-built body, weighing up to 88 pounds.

Though not used for heavy lifting jobs like the APBT, it’s mostly a great companion for kids.

When it comes to its name, don’t be misled into thinking its origin is Staffordshire, certainly not, it was first bred in Birmingham.

Also, when you come across the word Amstaff, it is referring to the same thing – the American Staffordshire. 

Staffordshire Bull Terriers

Image of The Staffordshire bull terriers

If you come across A Staffordshire Bull Terrier, compare it to the likes of Mike Tyson during his glory days or Vin Diesel or someone like Dwight Jonson.

Certainly, its muscular torso is similar to these celebrities.

It has a sturdy figure sandwiched between heavily built short legs with an exaggerated torso which screams strength and agility. 

Among the pitbull family, it’s the most masculine breed – probably the reason it’s also stubborn.

You may think it’s likely to be taller or heavier than the counterparts, APBT or Amstaff, however it’s general weight is between 28-37 pounds.

When it comes to socialization, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier craves for friendship. It wants to love and it’s super playful. 

However, its tenacity makes it a bit difficult to train.

You will need to be a leader to lead it before it takes over your house and reign over your life.

The Benefits Of Identifying Your Pitbull Breed

  • You’ll have a better idea how to train your Pitbull.
  • You’ll also have a general plan of how to give the best care to your Pitbull 
  • You’ll know the best nutrition feeds for your Pitbull
  • You’ll understand the health drawbacks that come with some pitbulls, especially when your pitbull grows older. This will enable you to be prepared and plan ahead on treatment and care.

The list may be long, but the general take away, it’s extremely critical to identify your dog’s breed for the sake of general pet care.

Final Thought

I have covered the five most common breeds I believe are close to the “pure breed.”

It could be more challenging if I happened to consider the broader category of terriers (couch potato heads), the likes of coonhoundsbasset hounds, or even wolfhounds.

Nevertheless, I believe you now have a general guide on the types of Pitbulls.

Here is my general advice if you are still contemplating about owning Pitbulls.

As a first-time owner of a Pitbull you should give your dog early obedience and socialization training, by doing so you’ll have a loyal, dedicated dog, and overall build a strong friendship.