Dogs That Look Like a Pitbull: 14 Breeds Mistaken For a Pitbull

Pitbulls, in all reality, are some of the most affectionate pets out there. They are often automatically presumed to be dangerous as their square-shaped face, fleshy nose, and wide muzzles exude a common baseless stereotype. 

What’s true, however, is that any dog is capable of causing harm to someone if he’s untrained, underestimated, or unfit for a certain owner.

Loving the look of the Pitbull? Well, you’re in for a lot of treats! Today’s article tackles about 14 other dogs that resemble this controversial canine. Though they may share several features, especially in appearance and build, their temperaments remain to vary a lot.

1. American Bulldog

Pitbulls are recognizable. They’re so familiar that people would be quick to spot a dog and label it as a Pitbull even if it’s not. The reason behind that is because it isn’t just the Pitbull that possesses the square-ish head, robust build, and extremely wide muzzles. To state, the American Bulldog openly displays these mentioned characteristics. 

The eye shape can be round to almond making it seem even more uncanny if their looks are compared with each other. In fact, documents suggest that the Pitbull and the American Bulldog have a common ancestor which is the now extinct Olde English Bulldogge. 

Talking about these two breeds, only the American Bulldog is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Meanwhile, Pitbull is only an umbrella term that refers to a certain type of dog with a visual appearance including a blocky head, shorter snout, and muscular physique. 

2. Cane Corso

While it’s true that a Cane Corso is a breed of its own, his identifying traits are somewhat alike to Pitbull-type dogs. A full-grown adult can develop a large, square head, can be cropped in the ears, and has piercing eyes.

In size, that’s where the Corso actually shows he’s distinct from the other. This breed that descended from the Molossus-type of dogs can reach over 120 pounds easily. He’s got the same spirit to fight as the Pitbull and would require firm and strict handling from his owner.

Quite oddly, despite the facial similarities, the Cane Corso remains to be a unique breed. Dog lovers who are interested in this canine can easily distinguish him from other dogs, even if he’s surrounded by Pitbull-types. If there’s any way for them to be related, it’s only on the fact that they all came down from the wolf.

3. Dogo Argentino

The Dogo Argentino is also a Mastiff from Argentina, but despite being a breed of his own, his looks tell otherwise. It’s not a shock if people who meet this dog would think he’s a Pitbull-type of dog. After all, the Dogo Argentino has a strong, bulky head and a proportionate, sinewy build.

In further scrutinizing this breed, you’ll find out that what sets him apart from the Pitbull in a major sense is his coat color which comes only in white while Pitbulls come in loads of shades. The Dogo would typically have a dark patch near his eye which is acceptable as long as it’s not covering more than 10% of his head.

This large and powerful dog, much like the Pitbull, has earned himself a reputation for being unsafe, but this is far from the truth. He needs experienced owners, however, so his strength won’t be exerted for the wrong reasons.

4. Bullmastiff 

Fourth on the list is the Bullmastiff, a dog breed that has been the result of crossing the Bulldog and the Mastiff. Fun fact, Pitbull-type dogs have Bulldog ancestry too which means that both the Bullmastiff and the Pitbull are expected to share a few or more traits.

These similar features show more in terms of appearance, but not in temperaments. Contrary to the common assumption, Pitbulls are actually unfit to be used as guard dogs as they’re loving of people. 

Meanwhile, the Bullmastiff, with his heavy linkage to being a guard dog in the past, his demeanor toward strangers ranges from aloof to highly wary. Of course, every dog is an individual. What better way is there for you to know your potential companion than to spend time with him?

5. Bull Terrier

No doubt, the Bull Terrier’s appearance is one of the most comical yet interesting of all. He has a Roman nose or generally an egg-shaped face, upright, pointy ears, and very small eyes. His coat colors contribute to him looking a lot more like a Pitbull-type dog, despite his unique looks. 

Although his face doesn’t seem to exhibit loads of expressions, anyone shouldn’t think he’s not approachable. This dog sure has a sense of humor that shines through its eyes and he mostly thrives with a family that’s high on affection.

Just like any Pitbull-type dog, the Bull Terrier needs to be exposed thoroughly to other faces and scents, receive thorough training done with love, and ample regular exercise to bring out the best in him.

6. Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog

Photo from: jaxthealapaha1 (IG)

After having the American Bulldog on top of the list, it’s time to introduce another Bulldog variety that also bears the hallmarks of the popular Pitbull. The Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog is not recognized by any major kennel club, but this doesn’t discourage people from owning one. 

This incredible guard from the United States is renowned to have a brachycephalic muzzle, a powerful and muscular build, and a large, chunky head. Though a few of his physical characteristics slightly resemble that of the Pitbull, the Alapaha dog, in general, looks quite distinct. 

He may look fiercely intimidating from the outside, but once you get to know this canine better, you’ll find out how easy it is for him to bond with children, and moderately not that challenging to co-exist with cats. His training is always a priority as this dog is capable of doing many things.

7. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Unfortunately, misinformed individuals would usually think that Staffies are Pitbulls, but the history seems to be a bit more complicated than that. To make the long story short, Staffies and Pitbulls are somehow related and they are both rooted in the Bulldog breed.

However, the AKC would not accept the “Pitbull” as an official breed due to its association with the cruel dogfights despite them waning over time. They do list the Staffie as a recognized breed though and he’s a result of mating the Bulldog and the black and tan Terrier in comparison to the parents of the Pitbull which are the Old English Bulldog and the Old English Terrier.

Selective breeding was then made to make the offspring (Pitbull) leaner and taller. It really takes effort to know which breed is which. Moreover, the chances of either one of them becoming aggressive are heightened only when they’re brought up the wrong way.

8. Presa Canario

Photo from: above_par_presas (IG)

Another Spanish Mastiff breed that hails from the islands of Canary is called the Presa Canario. Proportions-wise, this would be the last dog you want to mess with. Like the Pitbull-type dogs, the Presa Canario breed exhibits an intimidating and dignified bearing, with stunning inquisitive eyes.

He’s meatier in build in comparison to most Pitbulls and would usually have a loose neck, a thick tail, and a brindled coating. Some have their ears cropped to give the Presa Canario a more menacing demeanor and it actually works.

This black-masked dog is highly confident in himself and is undeniably a reliable help on the farm. His extreme devotion to his family also keeps him extremely wary of unknown people.

9. Ambullneo Mastiff 

Photo from: rhinomastiff (IG)

If you’re looking to own a massive dog, the Ambullneo should be your top pick. The uncanny resemblance of him with the Pitbull can be explained by his intricate history as a dog.

Basically, he’s a cross between the English Mastiff and the Neapolitan Mastiff and the born puppy is then mated with a game-bred Pitbull. With that, the physical appearance would vary a lot and one of the possibilities is him looking like a Pitbull-type dog.

Also, another striking similarity shows in his personality. Although he’s one scary-looking dog, he’s actually sensitive and would require a loving owner. He’s intelligent as well so firm handling is a must so your authority would be established earlier.

10. Boerboel 

Another qualified Mastiff that looks like a Pitbull-type dog is the Boerboel from South Africa. Expect him to come in an incredible size. He’s a true property guardian at home, serious in appearance, yet fairly discerning at all times. 

He’s got a few key characteristics such as a broad and large head, a back mask around his wide square-ish muzzle, magnificent brown eyes, and a powerful frame. In facial traits alone, it would be hard to distinguish him from the Pitbull, but it’s no longer the case if his body is involved in the comparison.

As a dominant and assertive dog, the owner must be able to make him follow commands and rules. Thankfully, this breed is always eager to learn.

11. Boxer

The Boxer breed is also a Pitbull-looking dog only if he’s seen from a distance. This is most likely due to his square muzzle, forehead, semi-erect ears, and coat that’s almost the same as the Pitbull.

However, upon closer look, you’d notice him exhibiting a much smaller head in contrast to the remarkable chunk and broad heads of Pitbulls. In regard to a Boxer’s physique, he tends to be narrower and lean too.

To add, though both dogs may make anyone think they’re related (they’re not), one major difference they have is that the Boxer considerably has a lesser lifespan in comparison to the Pitbull. This is usually due to him being a brachycephalic canine.

12. Rottweiler 

Another familiar face on the list is the ever famous Rottweiler or Rottie! His black and tan coat, specifically the tan spots on top of his eyes are just some of the identifying features of this breed. He may not bear it with his name, but this German dog is actually a Mastiff as well.

Now, what qualifies him here is his menacing looks which aren’t that far from a Pitbull’s aura. The muzzle is broad too and it shows if he lets his tongue out to pant. He’s strong, confident, and muscular– capable of taking down any human threats.

Just like the Pitbull, the Rottie tends to be self-assured and independent.

13. American Bully

The American Bully is not a recognized breed. Don’t confuse him for an American Bulldog as he’s quite a unique canine for everyone to appreciate. The American Bully is shorter and less heavy than the other. 

Anyhow, it’s clear why people would sometimes think this dog is a Pitbull-type canine. His stocky build, round, massive head and spectacular jaws are just too significant to ignore should we compare and contrast him with Pitbulls. 

Due to his body’s structure, proper diet and lifestyle are crucial. He’ll live a few years more as long as he’s well in all aspects.

14. Dogue de Bordeaux 

The last breed to complete the list is the Dogue de Bordeaux, a breed that’s ancient to France. You would often see him sporting a red coat but other shades are natural to him too like the fawn, isabella, and mahogany.

His key facial features correspond so well with those that most Pitbull-type dogs share when it comes to appearance. However, the wrinkles of the Dogue de Bordeaux must be enough of a hint to tell you that he’s not in the Pitbull category.

This marvelous French Mastiff looks Bulldog-ish at times and a Pitbull in some angles. Nevertheless, he shouldn’t be treated differently just because of how he looks.