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American Pit Bull Terrier

Medium in size with a strong muscular built, the American Pit Bull Terrier might appear fearful due to its sharp prominent features, though it makes for a fabulous companion, loyal and protective towards its family. Agile, energetic, and fearless, they may excel as an efficient guard dog’s stature when trained well. Its almond-shaped expressive eyes, and small, half prick ears give it the much-required charm.

Though bred for hunting and farming, it eventually became an essential addition to blood sports like bear baiting and bull baiting because of which it carries traces of aggression in its temperament even at present. Hence, restrictions are imposed on ownership in many countries, while some places have banned it altogether.

Though recognized by a few kennel clubs, the AKC has not acknowledged it yet.

Breed Characteristics

  • Other Names:Pit Bull Terrier, Pit Bull, Pit, APBT
  • Colors:Black, brindle, white, fawn, blue, tan, red, gray, brown
  • Life Expectancy:12 -14 years 
  • Height:Male: 18 – 21 inches; Female: 17 – 20 inches
  • Weight:Male: 35 – 60 pounds; Female: 30 – 50 pounds
  • Temperament:Loyal, strong-willed, courageous
  • Good with Kids:Yes
  • Exercise requirements:High
  • Hypoallergenic:No
  • Litter Size:5 – 7 puppies
  • Barking Capacity:Moderate
  • Health Problems:Luxating patella, congenital heart defect, thyroid dysfunction
  • Trainability:Difficult
  • Origin:U.S.A
American Pit Bull Terrier Dogs
American Pit Bull Terrier Puppies

American Pit Bull Terrier’s History: Timeline

    Till the mid-1800s

    The Old English Bulldog and Old English Terrier were crossed produce a breed having the terrier-like agility and bulldog’s athleticism

    1845 – 1860

    They reached the United States


    The United Kennel Club (U.K.C.) recognized it

    1900s (first half)

    The UKC registered went on to register these breeds keeping “pit” in parenthesis, though this did not go on for long


    The use of this breed mostly pertained to dogfighting, after which a legal banned was imposed on it

American Pit Bull Terrier Size
Pit Bull American Terrier


These energetic dogs require rigorous physical exercise, equaling 30 – 45 minutes of daily walks a day teamed with sufficient playtime. Though highly active, they would do well in apartments if their physical energy is channelized well. Because of their aggression levels taking them unleashed is not recommended at all. Its high agility level makes it adept at climbing. So, proper fencing is essential in your yard or garden lest your APBT could escape at the slightest available opportunity.

They have a short coat that appears shiny and stiff requiring minimum grooming. Brush your Pit’s coat once a week to maintain the shine, and also do not miss out on wiping its body well using a cloth. Other hygiene measures include brushing its teeth twice or thrice a week, trimming its nails bi-monthly, and cleaning its eyes and ears to keep a check on infections.

A good quality dry god food would help the American Pit Bull Terrier remain energized and fit. Besides protein, the main ingredient considered while deciding upon its diet, including fat and carbohydrates in a balanced amount, is also a mandate. Since they are prone to hip dysplasia, an increase in weight could pose problems for them. Hence, keep a check on the human food you give them mainly in the form of treats.

If planning to give your pet the store-manufactured food, then brands like Taste of the Wild, and Natural Balance L.I.D may seem preferable over most others.  

Because of their strong physique and high aggression levels, training them is no novice master’s task. Firmness and tactful handling with positive reinforcements are the prerequisites for effective training. Obedience training, mainly teaching commands, may help to instill discipline. On the other hand, socializing the APBT right from the beginning may allow it to get over its aggression predominantly with other dogs.

Pit Bull Terrier
The American Pit Bull Terrier


Q. What are the different strains of the American Pit Bull Terrier?

This breed has several strains, some of which developed due to the dogfighting while a few for conformation shows. Colby pit bulls (black-nosed), Old Family Red Nose (with a red nose, coat, and lips), and Jeep Bloodline are a few prominent strains.

Q. What legal impositions have been made on the breed?

Because of certain unprovoked attacks on humans, ban and restrictions on its ownership has been imposed in the United Kingdom, certain cities of the U.S., New Zealand, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Singapore.

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