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How to Choose the Dog Breed For You- About the American Pit Bull Terrier

Updated on April 10, 2013
35-65 lbs (males) 30-60 lbs (females)
17-22 in.
glossy/smooth, short hair
Life span
8-15 years
Other Features
almond shaped eyes


Bred first during the 19th century in England, Ireland and Scotland, the American Pit Bull Terrier was an experiment crossing bulldogs and terriers, in the search for a dog that combined the speed and agility of the terrier, with the strength of the bulldog.

They were first bred for baiting bulls and bears, but were soon used instead for sport in dog fighting.

In America, the American PIt Bull Terrier was used by farmers and ranchers for hunting and protection. The dog eventually became more commonly domesticated than the 19th century, due to their loyalty, loving and gentle nature with their owners.


Head: One of the characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier that sets it apart from the crowd is their broad, large head with a wide, deep lower jaw.

Ears: The ears are high set and either natural or cropped.

Eyes: The eyes of the American Pit Bull Terrier are usually almond shaped and usually any color except blue.

Coat: Their coat is short, smooth, glossy, close to the body and somewhat stiff to the touch. Any color, or combination of colors, is possible.

Tail: The tail is slightly thick and tapers. It is carried low when the dog is relaxed.


Behavior and Intelligence

The American Pit Bull Terrier is full of amazing traits. When properly cared for, trained and socialized, they can be excellent companions, noted for their love of children. They can be very loyal, confident, strong dogs, constantly willing to please and bursting with enthusiasm and excitement for life.

Aggressive behavior towards humans is uncharacteristic of this breed. This breed is not suggested for use as a guard dog, as they are naturally extremely friendly, even with strangers in most cases.

The American PIt Bill Terrier can do very well in performance events, due to its high level of intelligence and eagerness to work and please its owner.

Health and Lifespan

Commonly, the American Pit Bull Terrier will live from twelve to fourteen years in age. The most common health issue for them are hip dysplasia, patella problems, thyroid dysfunction, and congenital heart defects.

Their short coat causes them to be prone to Demodex Mange, which lives in the hair follicles of the dog and must be treated with ivermectin injections or oral medications. There are two types of Demodex Mange: First, Localized, which is common in puppies and will heal as they grow and develop immune systems. Second, Generalized, which is a hereditary one causing hair loss through the entire body and may also cause blood and scabbing on the dog's skin.


Before you choose the pit bull, please consider everything that goes into caring for one. Don't choose one just because they are beautiful. Be sure you are willing to put in the time and effort required for a well behaved, enjoyable experience with your new best friend.


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