The colors of the American Pit Bull Terrier may vary and can be almost any solid color with the exception of merle.
35-65 pounds (16-29 kg)
30-60 pounds (16-27 kg)
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a dog that can be kept indoors or outdoors, but is best kept indoors with the family. They are very loving and enjoy romping on the floor with kids. They do enjoy running outdoors and should be allowed to run to wear off some of the energy they possess. Due to their high prey drive, it is recommended they be kept on a leash when outdoors so they don't chase other animals. Because of their high intelligence, it is very easy to housebreak them.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a mid-sized breed of dog in the terrier group. They are known for their intelligence, strength, loyalty and friendliness. They make wonderful family dogs and pets for the children always wanting to take care of them.
They are a strong solidly built muscular dog with a short and stiff single layer of hair that can be almost any color. The ears are occasionally cropped, with a short tapered tail.
The coat is short, single layered, and stiff but glossy. The ears are rose colore and semipricked and eyes can be almost any color except blue. The blocky head is wedge-shaped with wrinkles on top.
There has been negative publicity about them in recent years, not due to the actual behavior of the American Pit Bull Terrier, but do to misbreeding of different types of "pit bull like" terriers with the intent of making tough guard dogs. Because of the similarity in looks of some of these "pit bull" terriers, the pit bulls, in general have unfairly been labeled as mean, untrustworthy and actually restricted and banned in some parts of the world. Many of these instances stemmed from bad owners that mistreated and almost starved the dogs to make them mean rather than from the dog itself.
Owners of the American Pit Bull Terrier dispute these allegations against the dog and claim they are wonderfully, intelligent, loving dogs that with proper discipline and obedience training make wonderful family pets for all ages.
The American Kennel Club does not recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier, although the United Kennel Club and the American Pit Bull Registry recognize them.
The American Pit Bull Terrier has a smooth short single coat that requires minimum care.
Occasionally, you will see an American Pit Bull Terrier with a pattern on the body, but solid is more common. Eye color can be any color except blue.
The history of the American Pit Bull Terrier began in the 1800s when the pit bull and terriers were crossbred and imported to America from England and Ireland for dog fighting. From there they were brought to farmers to be used as working dogs. They were then bred and trained to be good dog fighters but would not bite their owners or turn on other humans. In the early 1900s, the United Kennel Club and the American Dog Breeder's Association were formed so they could register this dog. The American Kennel Club would not recognize the breed and allow it to be registered, so after dog fighting was banned; many owners changed the name to Staffordshire terrier to change its reputation and prove it to be a worthy legitimate breed of dog.
This name was recognized by the AKC and shortly afterwards, the word "American" was added to its name so it wouldn't be confused with the Staffordshire bull terrier. When many breeders and owners of the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) continued to use the name, the dog became a popular family dog. Its popularity started to decline after World War II for a few years when many new dog breeds were developed. It is now a popular dog again in spite of the negative publicity. The United Kingdom enacted a law in 1991 called the Dangerous Dog Acts bans the sale or breeding of any dog that is in any part a pit bull. Responsible owners of the American Pit Bull terrier still claim that the negative publicity is due to unsavory dog owners that try to force the dog to behave in a vicious way. They also claim that many of the attacks that are claimed to have been by the APBT were actually by dogs that resembled them.
The temperament of the American Pit Bull Terrier can be described in many ways with the most consistent terms being friendly and goofy. They are known for their great intelligence, sound nerve and character and make a great family dog and pet. They are friendly towards everyone they see whether it's family, friends or strangers. The American Pit Bull Terrier makes a great dog for children, rough housing with them yet protecting them from harm if need be.
They are known for their high prey drive, so they do consider birds, rabbits or other small animals as fair game. This is bred in their genetics, but basic obedience training started at a very young age will help curtail the problem. If they are raised around other animals they will get along with them fine, never provoking trouble. However, if the other animal instigates a fight, the American Pit Bull Terrier most likely will not walk away.
In recent years, many individuals have breed and cross bred this dog with other bull terriers with the intent of making a guard or attack dog. The media then sensationalized it labeling the "pit bull" as a mean dog, thus giving any kind of pit bull terrier a bad name to the public. In reality, the American Pit Bull Terrier is not any meaner or more of a threat than the German shepherd, collie or any other dog. In fact, because of their friendly nature with people, many owners claim the make poor guard dogs with the property whether the owners are home or not.
Their personality is very friendly, happy and almost goofy as they roll around on the floor playing with their master and family members. If you have more than one American Pit Bull Terrier, it is recommended that you avoid same sexes, especially owning two females. Pit bulls are very slow to mature in temperament, some not fully developing until anywhere from 2 to 4 years of age. Even as a young dog, they are curious, loving, active and playful and love playing with children. It is recommended that children not be left alone with them, but more because the pit bull doesn't know his own strength and may accidentally knock the child down. The American Pit Bull Terrier has a high tolerance for pain and often doesn't feel it when children hit them or pull their tail, which may contribute to them being such patient dogs with children.
If you are considering getting an American Pit Bull Terrier puppy, make sure you get one from a reputable breeder. Check out the parents of the puppy as well, if possible. Many behavior problems that arise in dogs later are a result of poor breeding such as mating two aggressive dogs together. With a background like that, good training can only go so far.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a relatively healthy dog with few Health Problems. hip dysplasia is about the most serious problem they have. If you plan to breed your dog, it is recommended that you have their hips x-rayed first and check the pedigree of the parents to assure that they are certified OFA excellent or good.
The American Pit Bull has a short smooth single layer coat that doesn't require a lot of grooming. As with all dogs that are kept indoors and outdoors, you will want to make sure they are clean. Your pit bull will love being outside romping around when the weather is nice and he will get dirty. Always be sure to check him for ticks or other insects when he comes back in. Regular brushing with a firm bristle brush is about all he will need with his short coat.
Grooming should begin when your dog is a small pup so he gets used to having his body parts (feet, toenails, ears, mouth) handled on a regular basis. He will get so used to having his feet and ears touched and cleaned, that it will be something he comes to enjoy as an adult dog. Grooming your American Pit Bull Terrier also is important to all dogs for a couple reasons. One reason is to make him look good and it's a way to possibly alert you to any unusual health problems in or on the skin. Another reason is this is a time for you and your dog to bond-just the two of you.
Keeping the ears clean and dry is very important for dogs, especially dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors. The American Pit Bull Terrier does not need to be bathed very regularly, but his ears should be clean and dry. If you do bathe him, ask you pet supply store to recommend a good shampoo or conditioner for your breed of dog. Your vet or pet supply store can also recommend some wipes or cleaning supplies for your dog. Your dog will love this attention from you especially if it's ended with a treat.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a dog that requires a lot of exercise. They have a lot of energy and if not allowed to wear some of it off, you will find them getting into mischief and doing destructive things around the house. Because they are so goofy and playful, they love going for walks with the family and just romping around in the yard, rolling around, being tickled and just being socialized with the entire family. In fact, until they actually mature, they are quite rambunctious and energetic.
Most American Pit Bull terriers are enrolled in some sort of training, whether it's obedience, agility or weight pulling and this is all great exercise for them and will make them happy as they love doing things with their family members.
Training for the American Pit Bull Terrier is extremely important to help the dog become the best family dog he can be. By nature, they are loving, loyal and happy dogs that love doing things with the family. Because of their high intelligence, training them is easy; however, training must be with a firm voice. They need consistency in the training and need to know what is expected of them. Any physical punishment will only make the dog upset and will not accomplish anything. They are very clever dogs and will try to get away with as much as they can (as is the case with most dogs!).
Because of their nature bred prey drive, it is very important to socialize them with other animals regularly from a young age if they are expected to coexist with that animal regularly. Due to some of the negative publicity the American Pit Bull Terrier has gained due to other pit bull varieties, you must train the dog at a young age to be sociable nonaggressive in behavior. Basic obedience training is a great way to start. There are many articles online and at your local library involving the American Pit Bull Terrier and methods of training that have been highly effective.
The American Pit Bull Terrier often participates and does very well in agility training. Agility training is making your dog go through a timed numbered obstacle course. The only help he gets from you is body language and verbal commands. This dog does very well in many agility competitions. This training is also a great way for the American Pit Bull Terrier to use up some of his active energy.
Weight pulling is another competition that this pit bull does very well in. They are hooked up to cart with so much weight in it. The dogs compete to pull the most and get to their destination first. The dogs love this and with all their strength, they do very well.
Once the American Pit Bull Terrier masters his basic obedience training, many owners choose to enroll the dog in Schutzund training. Schutzund is a great way to teach your dog self-control and discipline beyond the basic obedience.