Many large, powerful pit bulls have been bred and trained to be aggressive. Because of their reputation, some cities have banned them and dogs that look similar. The New York City Housing Authority has prohibited certain breeds on its properties. Some jurisdictions have laws that require that pit bulls be euthanized. Unfortunately, several dog breeds look similar to pit bulls, and they can lose their lives, too.
Dogs That Look Similar to Pit Bulls
Argentine dogos, sometimes called Argentine mastiffs, have muscular bodies and broad heads. Their eyes may be any color, and the rims should be black or pink. Normally they have a thick white coat. The owner must display leadership with these powerful dogs. Easily trained, they will guard the home but are gentle with children. They may become aggressive with strange animals unless socialized early.
The bull terrier has wide-set legs on a muscular body. Its short hair may be sparse; consequently, it needs protection from cold. This dog needs companionship. It can be very protective and affectionate and is often lazy. However, it does need sufficient exercise to avoid destructive behavior. This dog may play well with children but should never be left unsupervised with small children.
American bulldogs have solid bodies with high-set ears. Their short coats seldom need attention, but they need protection from cold and from sunburn. Although they are usually white, they may also be brown or patterned. These energetic dogs need exercise to avoid damaging their homes. If socialized as puppies, they are gentle and protective of their families. Although they are generally healthy, Louisiana State University includes the American bulldog on its list of dogs with congenital deafness.
The Presa Canario, sometimes called Canary dog, has a square head with a powerful muzzle. These large dogs can weigh up to 130 pounds. They will become devoted family members with the right training, but without the correct training from puppyhood, they can be dangerous.
The boxer has a stocky and powerful body with a short smooth coat. It may be any color and may have white markings. Some boxers are prone to deafness. The boxer loves attention and is playful and good with children. The boxer will be fine in an apartment if given enough exercise. According to Vet Info, the boxer will need some preventive care to lead a full life. You will need to watch for genetic problems such as hip dysplasia, gastric torsion and cancer.
American Staffordshire Terrier
The American Staffordshire terrier has a muscular body and a broad head. The eyes are dark and round. Although many have pink eyelids, that is considered a fault. This dog's thick coat may be of any color. Generally, they are larger than pit bulls, weighing up to 70 pounds. Breeders have developed the dogs to be good-natured and affectionate, and they are very good with children.