American Pit Bull Terrier

30-60 lbs
17-22"
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.

Purpose
Fighting, Farming
Date of Origin
1898
Ancestry
Bull and Terrier Mix Dogs

American Pit Bull Terrier Health

Average Size
Male American Pit Bull Terrier size stats
Height: 17-22 inches Weight: 35-65 lbs
Female American Pit Bull 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 Pit Bull 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 Pit Bull 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 Pit Bull Terrier eyes
Hazel
brown American Pit Bull Terrier eyes
Brown
amber American Pit Bull Terrier eyes
Amber
Nose Color Possibilities
blue American Pit Bull Terrier nose
Blue
black American Pit Bull Terrier nose
Black
brown American Pit Bull Terrier nose
Brown
isabella American Pit Bull Terrier nose
Isabella
Coat Color Possibilities
brindle American Pit Bull Terrier coat
Brindle
sable American Pit Bull Terrier coat
Sable
pied American Pit Bull Terrier coat
Pied
white American Pit Bull Terrier coat
White
silver American Pit Bull Terrier coat
Silver
blue American Pit Bull Terrier coat
Blue
fawn American Pit Bull Terrier coat
Fawn
isabella American Pit Bull Terrier coat
Isabella
cream American Pit Bull Terrier coat
Cream
brown American Pit Bull Terrier coat
Brown
red American Pit Bull Terrier coat
Red
gray American Pit Bull Terrier coat
Gray
black American Pit Bull Terrier coat
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
American Pit Bull Terrier straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

American Pit Bull 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 Pit Bull Terrier
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
American Pit Bull Terrier requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

American Pit Bull 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 Pit Bull 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 Pit Bull Terrier Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.20 - $1.40
Monthly Cost
$25.00 - $30.00

American Pit Bull Terrier Height & Weight

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

American Pit Bull Terrier Owner Experiences

Rubie
3 Years
3 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walking
Loyal to the owners not friendly to stranger's
3 days, 23 hours ago
Louie
3 Years
1 People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Playing in the snow
Run
Tug-of-war
Catch treats
My Pitbul Louie is by far my best buddy! I have a 22 yo daughter that I raised on my own since I was very young. She’s now on her own, and I’m going a little stir crazy. Mostly because I was always a homemaker and her caretaker. So now what? My daughter rescued Louie from a pretty bad environment. She couldn’t keep pets at her apartment, so she asked me to let Louie to stay with me, until she can find a place for him. I knew very little about Pitbuls, and was hesitant at first because of the “stigma”. That ended up changing fast, as I became attached very quickly! Louie was definitely a total sweetheart. As time passed, I realized that Louie is becoming more than a temporary stay. My daughter couldn’t find stable housing and I began to have a feeling that she has done this with the intention of helping to fill a void in my life. A couple months later, Louie was tragically struck by a car. I was devastated and rushed him to a 24 hour Animal hospital in Boston. He sustained a broken leg and needed surgery. The Dr gave me a few options of how to proceed 1) I could have his leg amputated for $3,000. 2) bring him back for a surgical repair or his leg for $6000. All money has to be paid in full and there’s no financing. So I took Louie home. He cried and moaned every day for three weeks! The time it took to raise all of the money to operate. I raised enough to save his leg and I would do it again. I’m happy to say that it’s been about a year since the accident, and Louie is up and running like he had done in the past!! I will never forget my pain I felt by feeling his pain. Carrying him outside to pee and cleaning the wound constantly. This is only something I will do for the ones that I truly love!!
1 month, 1 week ago
Baby
1 Year
5 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
My pit bull is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met. She is soooo gorgeous. I have never had a problem with pit bulls, but I have never had one expect for Baby. We rescued her, and I’m very glad we did.
2 months, 1 week ago
Chance
12 Years
3 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Fetch
Walking
I love my pitbull. He is so loyal and protective. I will definitely be getting another pitbull.
3 months, 4 weeks ago
Harley
4 Months
5 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
I have had a pitbull all my life, my step dad raised pitbulls his hole life and introduced me to the breed when i was 10 years of age. I have alwayse had a pitbull and i love the breed. My dogs have never been aggressive towards myself or my family, they are loyall and loving dogs when trained correctly and have been givin love. I have 2 young children and they love our new family member and he loves us just as much.
5 months, 2 weeks ago
Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd