10 Amazing Dogs That Look Like Pit Bulls (But Aren’t!)

dogs that look like pit bulls

Pit Bulls are amazing dogs that are known for being strong, muscular, and very stocky. Whilst they have a bit of a bad rep, this breed is actually very gentle, sweet-natured, and the ultimate nanny dog.

But did you know that there are a lot of dogs that look like Pit Bulls? Mainly muscle, in a range of different colors and sizes, and all great pups for the right owner, there really is a variety to choose from.

Here’s what you need to know about these special pooches.

Overview of The American Pit Bull Terrier

The Pit Bull is a beautiful, gentle dog that is often misunderstood. They have a difficult history, having first been bred for blood sports such as bull baiting and dog fighting. Unfortunately, these types of dogs are still used in underground fighting, which is why they have a bad name.

A well-bred Pit Bull is affectionate, gets along really well with kids, and is a little goofy. They’re active and need daily exercise to keep them physically and mentally fit. They’ll enjoy puzzle toys to keep them stimulated and need to be at the heart of a family.

They don’t like being alone and can get destructive if left for long periods of time.

Interestingly, the American Pit Bull Terrier is not accepted by the American Kennel Club. They are, however, accepted by the United Kennel Club.

Pit Bulls are medium-size dogs and usually weigh between 30 and 70 pounds. There are lots of amazing Pit Bull colors for owners to choose from.

Although they’re considered one of the scariest dog breeds around, these pups prefer to be snuggling on the couch rather than guarding. They’re very alert and won’t mind warning you of threats approaching.

Adopting Dogs That Look Like Pit Bulls

Because the dogs on this list look like Pit Bulls, many of them have similar, fighting dog pasts. Which is why they’re so muscular and strong.

With any breed you adopt (whether they’re Pit Bull lookalikes or not) it’s important to research a reputable breeder. But it’s arguably even more important with these breeds.

Ethical breeders should be breeding out traits such as aggression and shouldn’t be breeding for looks alone. They should also be able to provide you with lineage papers and health certificates. Your best chance of knowing the temperament of your dog is to know the temperament of the parents.

Always avoid cheap breeders and puppy farms as they’re unlikely to be breeding for the welfare of these dogs. It’s important you know you’re getting a happy and healthy dog that will be a beloved member of your family.

10 Dogs That Look Like Pit Bulls

These dogs all look a lot like Pit Bulls. Some may be a little bigger or smaller, but they’re all stocky, and strong, and many of them come in different colors and patterns.

American Bulldog

american bulldog

These beautiful dogs, also affectionately known as American Bullys, are descendants of English Bulldogs. Their relatives were first brought to America in the 1800s.

Farmers noticed how this all-around great dog could almost do it all. They could guard, work hard, and even hunt wild pigs.

These dogs are only recognized by the AKC with a white coat. But they can have a number of different markings, including black, brindle, tan, brown, and red.

American Bullys are athletes and need lots of daily exercise. They’ll enjoy accompanying you on runs and hikes and will love chasing after balls or frisbees.

Find out all about the similarities and differences between the Pit Bull vs American Bulldog.

Cane Corso

cane corso

Cani Corsi are ancient dogs that date all the way back to the Romans. Their name actually translates roughly as bodyguard-dog, so you can imagine how useful they are.

These large, big-headed, and muscular dogs are certainly intimidating and they’re not a good choice for owners without big-dog experience. But for the right owner, they’re trainable, affectionate, versatile, and very loyal.

Unlike others on the list, they’re not a Terrier breed. But they certainly have the Pit Bull look. They can be lots of different colors and dark-colored Cani Corsis look a lot like black Pit Bulls.

American Staffordshire Terrier

american staffordshire terrier

These are probably the dogs that look most like Pit Bulls. Unlike Pitties, Staffies are recognized by the AKC as a breed.

These stocky, medium-sized dogs are confident, smart, and very trustworthy. They adore being around their family and develop very strong bonds with every member.

It’s really important to socialize an Amstaff early on. They need to be exposed to other dogs and humans so that they learn important lessons and grow to be confident but not overly so.

As well as lots of physical activity (they love tug of war), these dogs need mental stimulation too. You don’t want to let your Amstaff get bored. Try puzzle toys, such as snuffle mats, to keep them engaged and to help them learn.

Perro de Presa Canario

perro de presa canario

Perro de Presa Canarios are big dogs that are certainly intimidating for anyone who hasn’t been around them before.

The perfect guard dog, this Spanish breed is alert, loyal, and fierce enough to deter almost any intruder. But they’re also obedient, calm around family members, and intelligent.

These pups often have a beautiful tiger coat pattern, which makes them look a lot like a brindle Pit Bull. In total, there are 6 accepted coat colors for the Perro de Presa Canario.

This breed is notoriously difficult and it’s not a one recommended for inexperienced owners. For those with experience and looking for the perfect guard dog, you can’t get much better than a Perro de Presa Canario.

Dogo Argentino

Dogo Argentinos certainly look a lot like Pit Bulls (and Staffordshire Terriers). They have a very similar facial structure but there’s one big difference – Dogo Argentinos can only be white.

These excellent guard dogs are brave, confident, intelligent, and affectionate with their families. They’re also really good hunters and were originally bred to hunt large and dangerous game like pumas and boar, so it’s easy to imagine how powerful they are.

This is another breed that isn’t suitable for first-time owners. Their size and strength can be overwhelming. It’s also very important to keep these dogs entertained, whether that’s with a yard to stroll around or an indestructible dog toy.

Bull Terrier

bullterrier in woods

Bull Terriers are a completely unique dog breed and are often mistaken for Pit Bulls (by those who don’t know either breed). These dogs can be recognized because of their slightly unusual ‘eggheads’.

Bull Terriers are mischievous, playful, energetic, and very loyal to their humans. They can also be a bit stubborn, so training and socialization from puppyhood are very important. They respond well to treats, so check out the BarkingTalk Food Page for some healthy snack ideas.

These pups are often pure white dogs but can be other colors such as brindle and red.

Bull Mastiff

bullmastiff dog breed

The Bull Mastiff is bigger than the average Pit Bull, but they’re commonly mistaken for their slightly smaller friends. Bull Mastiffs were first bred in England and are the result of breeding a Mastiff with a Bulldog. They were bred to be the perfect protectors of land – which they certainly are.

Bull Mastiffs are very trainable (by an experienced owner) and love to please their humans. They’re intelligent but need early training and socialization as their size can get the better of them.

These beautiful dogs can be fawn or red with brindle, which is very beautiful.


boerboel yawning

Boerboels are serious dogs originally bred in South Africa to protect homes and farms from predators. These large pups are very alert and confident and are the perfect guardians.

They’re willing to learn, so need an owner that can put in the time and effort to train and socialize them well. If not, they can become dominant which is very difficult to manage. They’re not typically aggressive, but won’t hesitate to protect their humans if there’s a potential threat.

They can be different colors including fawn, brown, brindle, and cream, and ted to have a black mask.


boxer dog breed

Boxers are amazing dogs and have similar personalities to Pit Bull breeds. They’re energetic, playful, affectionate, and highly intelligent. They’re muscular but aren’t quite as intimidating as some other pups on this list. There’s also the white Boxer dog, which looks even more like a Pit Bull!

They’re really sweet and affectionate which, when combined with their protective nature, makes them an amazing companion for children.

These brindle dogs are accepted with black masks and white markings and they can also be fawn-colored.

Boxers are curious dogs that like getting up to mischief. When out and about, it’s safest to have them in a dog GPS collar just to be sure.

A Pit Bull Mix!

labrador pitbull mix

If you want a pup that really looks like a Pit Bull then why not go for one of the many amazing Pit Bull Mixes? There are lots of amazing Pittie mixes such as:

These dogs combine the best qualities of two favorite breeds and are completely unique!

The Bottom Line

There are so many incredible dogs that look like Pit Bulls. Some are more suited to experienced dog owners and others make wonderful family pets. It’s always important to research a breed well to ensure they’ll fit in with your lifestyle and experience levels.

Many of these dogs are powerful, independent, and confident which can be a difficult mix. With the right owner though, they can be great, hard-working pets that will always protect you.