Harlequin Pinscher vs American Bulldog - Breed Comparison

Harlequin Pinscher vs American Bulldog - Breed ComparisonHarlequin Pinscher is originated from Germany but American Bulldog is originated from United States. Harlequin Pinscher may grow 37 cm / 14 inches shorter than American Bulldog. Harlequin Pinscher may weigh 49 kg / 108 pounds lesser than American Bulldog. Both Harlequin Pinscher and American Bulldog has almost same life span. Harlequin Pinscher may have less litter size than American Bulldog. Both Harlequin Pinscher and American Bulldog requires Low maintenance.


harlequin pinscher - historyThis toy-sized dog is a type of Miniature Pinscher originating in Germany. The dog was developed by crossing traditional Miniature Pinschers with other toy-sized short-haired terriers. He falls into the Terrier category.

The dog was used to kill rats, but has always been a devoted pet at the same time. They nearly became extinct after World War II, but the breed was once again restored. Today it is an established breed, but it isn’t recognized by any of the major kennel clubs.

In fact, The Harlequin Pinscher Association is the only breed club that recognizes the Harlequin Pinscher. It can be registered with the Harlequins Pinschers Association or with the American Canine Association.

american bulldog - historyFollowing World War II, the American Bulldog was almost extinct.

Thanks to John D. Johnson from Summerville, Georgia the breed is still with us today. He gathered the best dogs he could find throughout the rural South and bred them back into popularity among his family and other rural families. His father bred the American Bulldog before John did and they have bred them longer than any other in any part of the world. His dogs were regularly used for tracking, hunting, guarding, watchdog and weight pulling. At some point Alan Scott joined Johnson breeding other bulldogs to Johnson's and forming the Standard American Bulldog.

The American Bulldog/ is popular today as a family pet and companion as well as a working dog.

Basic Information

Terrier dog
Working dog
United States
Height Male:
25 - 33 cm
9 - 13 inches
55 - 70 cm
21 - 28 inches
Height Female:
25 - 23 cm
9 - 10 inches
52 - 65 cm
20 - 26 inches
Weight Male:
3 - 5 kg
6 - 12 pounds
32 - 54 kg
70 - 120 pounds
Weight Female:
3 - 5 kg
6 - 12 pounds
27 - 45 kg
59 - 100 pounds
Life Span:
12 - 15 Years
14 - 16 Years
Litter Size:
2 - 6
10 - 12
Toy dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Spotted Pinscher, Merle Pinscher, Harlequin Miniature Pinscher, Harlequin Min Pin
shades of brindle including red brindle, varying degrees of white, red, brown, tan, fawn and piebald.
Colors Available:
brown, Black, brindle or piebald, fawn patterns of merle, red
Brindle, mostly white, white with brown or red and piebald.
Short and smooth
Short and smooth
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Sweet, Territorial
Affectionate, Courageous, Friendly, Gentle, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Protective
Low maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


harlequin pinscher puppy - descriptionThis is a small compact dog standing at 25 – 33cm in height and weighing about 3kg to 4 or 5kg. He has dark eyes and ears which are set high and which are erect with just the top of them folding forwards.

The legs are straight and thin with small cat-like shaped paws. The tail is traditionally cropped, but these days the tail is left longer. He has a short coat which is available in a range of colors – black, brown, red, fawn patterns of merle, brindle or piebald. The Harlequin Pinscher is like a Bambi or a small deer, especially when they're a bit long in the leg.


Alert and inquisitive, the Harlequin Pinscher is a feisty, devoted little dog, brave and loyal and he has a lot of energy. He is intelligent too and with training and socialization, he becomes such a pleasure to have around, obedient and responding well to instructions.

He is known to be good with other pets as well as with children, so long as the children have been taught to respect animals. As always, a dog pretty much turns out the way the owners are, and with training and firmness while being patient and fair, you don’t have to worry about your Harlequin turning into a ‘small dog syndrome’ animal – whining, snappy and disagreeable. He is actually described as a big dog in a tiny dog's body.

The Harlequin Pinscher is a social dog and wants to be with you wherever you go.

american bulldog puppy - descriptionThe American Bulldog is a powerful and muscular dog in a sturdy and compact frame. The female is more refined than the heavy boned and stocky male, but both genders are athletic, agile and quick. The have large heads, strong jaws, a muscular neck and with a moderately deep and wide chest.

They have a square head, with muscular cheeks and a clearly defined furrow between his eyes. With broad, square and strong muzzles, they have a reverse scissors, scissors, moderate underbite and an even bite. Ears come in a variety of shapes and sizes and eyes can be any color as well. The nose however should be black and lips black as well. Their legs are strong, heavy boned and straight with well-defined muscles in the hindquarters. Finally ,they have a thick, low set tail that comes to a point at the end.


harlequin pinscher dog - characteristicsThe Harlequin Pinscher may have once been good at catching rats but these days they are much more sought after for their ability to be a splendid companion and pet.

He is such an entertaining, social little dog, wanting to spend as much time with you as possible. He is fearless, energetic, playful, confident, loving and intelligent and those who have owned them say they are courageous way beyond their size.

He is strong willed, stubborn and confident and this larger-than-life dog is just waiting to show you what a wonderful friend he can be to you too.

american bulldog dog - characteristicsThe American Bulldog is characteristically loyal, brave and reliable. It is a friendly, gentle dog that truly loves children. There is not a hostile bone in his body despite his history and reputation for bull baiting. Though he is protective of its family and affectionate with most, he still needs a human companion who is strong willed and a genuine pack leader. Without this he might become aggressive around other dogs and pets. They are immensely self-confident and they do slobber and drool and will become excited and hard to handle without daily exercise of both their body and their minds.

Health Problems

harlequin pinscher puppies - health problemsHarlequin Pinschers, just like other dog breeds, have health issues that they are prone to such as epilepsy, dental issues, obesity and Patellar Luxation.

Epilepsy or Seizures:

Some seizures in dogs are genetic or related to illness. A dog could have ingested something poisonous while a head injury can also cause seizures in dogs. If your pet has a seizure you may notice foaming at the mouth, drooling or twitching of the legs.

After a seizure you could see your dog walking in circles and bumping into things. It is important to get your pet to the vet as soon as possible.

american bulldog puppies - health problemsThough generally healthy, the American Bulldog is prone to a few problems.

Hip Dysplasia

This is a serious issue in many breeds of dogs and is especially prevalent with the American Bull Dog. This may seem ironic in such a short legged dog but it is unfortunately very common. It is a genetic disorder that causes the bones in the joint to separate and causes the dog much pain and lameness.

Skin and Ear Issues

Due to skin folds you need to be care and watch for irritation and infection in the folds. They are also prone to ear infections.


The American Bulldog is prone to overeating and all the health issues that presents. With short legs and a genetic predisposition to arthritis and hip dysplasia, obesity is a real health risk for your bulldog.

Caring The Pet


harlequin pinscher dogs - caringThe short, smooth coat of the Harlequin Pinscher is easy to maintain, shedding little. With such a small, nimble dog, you can even take a damp cloth and wipe him down. You can brush him down once or twice a week to keep his coat healthy and shiny.

Dogs can develop dental problems such as tartar and plaque build-up. and this can lead to canine dental problems which can turn life-threatening as bad teeth affect the heart, kidneys and the liver.

You need to brush your pet's teeth 2 or 3 times a week making use of canine toothbrush and toothpaste. Never use regular human toothpaste for your dog as it can be poison to him. It is why dry kibble is better than soft food as the soft food sticks to the dogs teeth.


Your Harlequin Pinscher is also a member of the toy breed group and he has high energy levels. Always choose a high quality kibble for a small dog breed and also which is in keeping with his age and activity levels. He will do well on a high quality dry commercial food, some raw meat or home-cooked food such as chicken, brown rice, pasta and vegetables. If your dog is an energetic dog, he will benefit from a diet rich in protein.

It will be tempting to feed your little pet tasty treats such as chocolate, nuts, coffee and milk but be careful as these can cause severe digestive problems with your dog.

Feeding Puppies

american bulldog dogs - caringThree times a day from 12 weeks to a year for a total of 3 cups per day.

Feeding Adults

After 6 months cut back to one cup twice a day of high quality dry dog food.

Bulldogs will eat anything at anytime and are prone to obesity. Don't overfeed them.

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