American Pitbull Terrier

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30-60 lbs
United States of America
Yankee Terrier, Pit Bull, Pitty, Pit

The term Pit Bull or Pit Bull Terrier can refer to any number of stocky, short-haired dogs with a mixed heritage of Bulldog and Terrier. The American Pit Bull Terrier, on the other hand, is listed as a specific breed by the United Kennel Club in England, although not recognized by the American Kennel Club or the Fédération Cynologique Internationale. While Pit Bulls in general can be extremely unpredictable, due in large part to the large variety of breeds that can be involved, this is less true of a well-bred American Pit Bull Terrier due to the focus on a more docile temperament by responsible breeders. Obedience training and socialization are essential components for this powerful breed in order to help prevent fearful tendencies, dangerously overzealous greetings, and aggressive behaviors towards other dogs.

Fighting, Farming
Date of Origin
Bull and Terrier Mix Dogs

American Pitbull Terrier Health

Average Size
Male American Pitbull Terrier size stats
Height: 17-22 inches Weight: 35-65 lbs
Female American Pitbull Terrier size stats
Height: 17-22 inches Weight: 30-60 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia (Chd)
  • Cerebellar Abiotrophy (Ataxia)
Minor Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Demodicosis
  • Cleft Lip or Palate
  • Zinc Responsive Dermatosis
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
  • Atopy
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Allergies
  • Ichthyosis
  • Heart Disease
Occasional Tests
  • Skin Evaluation
  • Neurologic Exam
  • Thyroid Testing
  • X-rays or other radiographic imaging

American Pitbull Terrier Breed History

The American Pit Bull Terrier, like other Pit Bull breeds such as the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Bully, can trace its lineage back to the 1700's in England. Farmers sought a quicker-thinking, more agile dog than the bulldog and crossed the bulldog of the 1800s, a leaner and taller canine than today’s English Bulldog, with a smaller head and a longer muzzle , with several different breeds of Terrier who were somewhat more aggressive and independently-minded. The results of these crossbreedings were generally known as bull-and-terriers, extremely well-muscled dogs that were both agile and strong. These medium sized dogs were brave enough yet responsive enough to assist hunters in taking  down bear and wild boar. These traits also made these dogs excellent candidates for the blood sports that developed in the late 1700's and early 1800's in England such as bear baiting, bull baiting, and eventually dog fighting. It is from these dog fighting rings, known as pits, that the Pit Bull gets its name. In the early 1800's dog fighting also became popular in the United States and dog fighting enthusiasts began importing these dogs into the country to fight, especially after the sports were banned in England in 1835. American breeders focused on developing larger and heavier canines, dogs that eventually became known as American Pit Bull Terriers in the United Kingdom and were also recognized as such by the United Kennel Club of England in 1898. The American Kennel Club sought to distance itself from the “sport” of dog fighting, however, and refused to recognize the breed, but in 1936 they created a stricter standard, particularly in regards to the coloration and size of the dogs, then recognized them under the less threatening name of the American Staffordshire Terrier. The two breeds are close enough alike in shape, structure, and temperament that some individual dogs are able to be registered as an American Pit Bull Terrier in the United Kingdom at the same time as being registered as an American Staffordshire Terrier but with the exception of those dually registered dogs, these two breeds have been developing separately for over half a century.

American Pitbull Terrier Breed Appearance

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a compact, medium-sized dog with copious and well-defined musculature, particularly around the shoulder and neck areas. Their Bulldog heritage can be seen in the large, blocky heads that are characteristic of many of the molosser type breeds, but while their muzzle is wide, deep, and very strong, it is much longer than the pushed in snout that is commonly seen on the modern English Bulldog with tighter, less pendulous lips. Their eyes are most often almond-shaped, and, unlike the American Staffordshire Terrier, any color is permissible, including blue and parti-coloured eyes. Their natural ears are held in either a rose or half-prick configuration and are generally fairly short, although ears that are cropped will typically be held erect. The process of cropping ears is now illegal in many countries and is losing favor with breeders and dog fanciers in the United States as well. The American Pit Bull Terrier can come in any color, although most breeders avoid breeding merle colored dogs as blindness and deafness are sometimes associated with this type of coloration.

Eye Color Possibilities
hazel American Pitbull Terrier eyes
brown American Pitbull Terrier eyes
amber American Pitbull Terrier eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
blue American Pitbull Terrier nose
black American Pitbull Terrier nose
brown American Pitbull Terrier nose
isabella American Pitbull Terrier nose
Coat Color Possibilities
brindle American Pitbull Terrier coat
sable American Pitbull Terrier coat
pied American Pitbull Terrier coat
white American Pitbull Terrier coat
silver American Pitbull Terrier coat
blue American Pitbull Terrier coat
fawn American Pitbull Terrier coat
isabella American Pitbull Terrier coat
cream American Pitbull Terrier coat
brown American Pitbull Terrier coat
red American Pitbull Terrier coat
gray American Pitbull Terrier coat
black American Pitbull Terrier coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
American Pitbull Terrier straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

American Pitbull Terrier Breed Maintenance

The day-to-day grooming requirements for this breed of dog are exceedingly simple compared to other breeds, and do not require much of a time commitment. Unless your dog is exceptionally good at getting into messy or smelly substances, they should only require bathing a few times a year, and their short, single-layer coats can be kept healthy and shiny with short weekly brushing sessions with a slicker brush or grooming glove. These dogs are, however, more prone to skin related problems than other breeds, which may require additional medicated baths or even the application of specialized medicated lotions or ointments formulated for dogs.  

Brushes for American Pitbull Terrier
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
American Pitbull Terrier requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

American Pitbull Terrier Temperament

When the blood sports of the 1800s were outlawed here in the United States, responsible breeders of these dogs began to focus on a more docile and manageable temperament, and this focus was continued even after the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier were split into two groups. As a result, most of these dogs mature into loyal, affectionate, and gentle canines with regards to their families who are well-known for their patience with children. While these dogs are typically very gentle with even the youngest of children, interactions with these powerful canines should be closely supervised as even a momentary lapse in judgement can be disastrous for both the child and the dog. This breed's patience does not generally extend to other dogs, however, and they may become combative with other canines. This tendency can make interactions with multiple dogs of this breed much less predictable and controlled than interactions with a single individual.

American Pitbull Terrier Activity Requirements

This active and athletic breed of dog requires a minimum of an a hour a day of strenuous activity both to relieve energy and to maintain their impressive physiques. These dogs are more than happy to come along on either long hikes or short runs, and they love energetic activities like agility training, rally sports, frisbee, and flyball, although many of these dogs are too muscle bound to swim effectively. American Pit Bull Terriers were often employed as farm dogs in America as well as fighting dogs, and may occasionally excel at herding exercises or tracking trials, activities which engage the mind as well as the body.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
12 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

American Pitbull Terrier Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.2 - $1.4
Monthly Cost
$25 - $30

American Pitbull Terrier Height & Weight

6 Months
Male American Pitbull Terrier size stats at six months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 35 lbs
Female American Pitbull Terrier size stats at six months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 30 lbs
12 Months
Male American Pitbull Terrier size stats at 12 months
Height: 18 inches Weight: 45 lbs
Female American Pitbull Terrier size stats at 12 months
Height: 18 inches Weight: 40 lbs
18 Months
Male American Pitbull Terrier size stats at 18 months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 50 lbs
Female American Pitbull Terrier size stats at 18 months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 45 lbs

American Pitbull Terrier Owner Experiences

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