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Bull Terrier vs Pitbull: Main Differences (With Pictures)

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on May 14, 2024 by Dogster Team

Bull Terrier vs Pitbull: Main Differences (With Pictures)

Bull Terriers and Pitbulls are two popular breeds that often get confused with one another. Both have a strong and muscular appearance, but they also have unique traits, personalities, and needs. In this article, we explore the differences between Bull Terriers and Pitbulls to help you decide which breed is the best fit for you and your family.


Visual Differences

Bull Terrier vs Pitbull - Visual Differences
Image Credit: Left – 24K-Production, Shutterstock | Right – Caroline Ziemkiewicz, Unsplash

At a Glance

Bull Terrier
  • Average height (adult): 21½–24½ inches
  • Average weight (adult): 55–80 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10–12 years
  • Exercise: 1+ hours a day
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Often
  • Trainability: Intelligent, loyal, eager to please
  • Average height (adult): 21–26 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 55–80 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10–13 years
  • Exercise: 2+ hours a day
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Often
  • Trainability: Intelligent but stubborn


Bull Terrier Overview

white puppy Bull Terrier looking up
Image by: 12804112, Pixabay

Bull Terriers are known for their unique appearance, having a distinctive egg-shaped head and triangular eyes. They are muscular, medium-sized dogs with a playful and friendly personality.

Personality / Character

Bull Terriers have a reputation for being energetic, affectionate, and sometimes clownish. They are loyal to their families and enjoy being around people. They can be stubborn at times, but with proper training and socialization, they can make excellent companions.


Bull Terriers are intelligent and eager to please, making them relatively easy to train. However, they can be strong-willed and may require a firm, consistent approach to training. Early socialization is crucial for Bull Terriers to ensure they develop into well-rounded, well-behaved dogs.

english bull terrier dog playing with a ball
Image by: otsphoto, Shutterstock


Bull Terriers are fairly healthy, especially when purchased from a reputable breeder who can provide health certificates. However, they are prone to certain health conditions that are common in other dog breeds, including luxating patella, allergies, heart disease, and dental disease. Regular vet checkups can help get ahead of any conditions your Bull Terrier may be faced with.

Suitable For:

Bull Terriers are best suited for active families who can provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They can adapt well to both city and country living but will need a secure yard to run and play in.

  • Playful and energetic
  • Loyal and affectionate
  • Adaptable to various living situations
  • Can be stubborn
  • Requires early socialization
  • Needs regular exercise


Pitbull Overview

pitbull terrier puppy sitting on grass
Image by: John Albert Photography, Shutterstock

The Pitbull is a group of breeds that include the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. They are muscular, powerful dogs with strong jaws and a reputation for being courageous and loyal.

Personality / Character

Pitbulls are often misunderstood due to their history as fighting dogs. However, when properly socialized and trained, they can be loving, gentle, and protective family pets. They enjoy spending time with their human companions and are known for their intelligence and devotion.


Although Pitbulls have a reputation for being aggressive, much depends on how the breed is raised and trained. Early training and socialization from puppyhood can help your Pitbull learn how to behave in certain situations and reduce aggressive tendencies. You can train them yourself or reach out to a professional for assistance.

pitbull terrier jumping after an orange ball
Image by: Liudmila Bohush


Pitbulls are relatively healthy dogs provided that they were bred properly and responsibly. As larger dogs, Pitbulls are prone to hip dysplasia. They can also be prone to allergies and dental issues. Due to their shorter coats, Pitbulls may have a greater chance of developing skin conditions. Again, proper vet care can help you get ahead of any conditions your dog may experience.

Suitable For:

Pitbulls are best suited for experienced dog owners who can provide consistent training, socialization, and plenty of exercise. They require a secure yard to play in and may not be suitable for families with very young children or other pets.

  • Intelligent and loyal
  • Protective of their family
  • High energy and athletic
  • Requires experienced owner
  • May not be suitable for families with young children or other pets
  • Needs extensive exercise and mental stimulation


Which Breed Is Right for You?

When deciding between a Bull Terrier and a Pitbull, consider your experience with dogs, your living situation, and the amount of time and energy you can dedicate to exercise and training. Both breeds can make loyal and loving companions, but their unique characteristics and needs may make one a better fit for your lifestyle. Take the time to research and meet dogs from both breeds before making your decision, and remember that each dog is an individual with their own personality and quirks.

Woman training a pitbull in the park
Image by: YouraPechkin, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

Bull Terriers and Pitbulls are both powerful, energetic, and intelligent breeds with distinct care requirements. Although their personalities differ, they can both be loving and loyal companions, provided that they receive the necessary socialization, training, exercise, grooming, nutrition, and veterinary care. When considering which dog is right for you, it is essential to research each breed carefully to determine if you can meet their individual needs. With the right match, Bull Terriers and Pitbulls can make wonderful additions to any family.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: Dogster/Shutterstock

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