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Pit bull: breed or something else

Updated on August 30, 2012

The term pit bull is often used to describe a dog breed, when in fact it is a collection of 20+ breeds and their mixes. I'm going to go over the five most common breeds associated with pit bull type dogs.


American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull Terrier is the most common dog associated with the term pit bull. The APBT, like most breeds in the pit bull group, is know for it's athleticism. They average in size between 40 and 80 pounds and have short hair. The normal temperament for APBT's is friendly with humans, and dog aggressive. Despite popular belief, training and socializing by the owner will have no effect whatsoever on an APBT's dog aggressiveness. The only aspect that the owner can control is how the dog reacts to the aggression.


Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a little smaller than the APBT, between 25 and 40 pounds, but is equally muscular. They also have short hair, but their faces are closer to an English Bulldog compared to the APBT. They have similar temperament as APBT's, but have a lower likelihood of being dog aggressive. Because of their looks, they are typically lumped in with other pit bull type dogs in breed specific litigation.


American Staffordshire Terrier

The American Staffordshire Terrier is the next of the common pit bull type dogs. Their average weight is between 55 and 70 pounds. Again, the have short hair and athletic builds. Like their cousins the APBT, their temperament is people friendly and dog aggressive on average, with one minor change. The Amstaff is a family orientated dog, and have been known to go into protect mode when necessary.


American Bully

The American Bully is a fairly new breed. It was formed by a combination of the APBT, the Amstaff, bulldog, and some other breeds that have remained undisclosed. Like the rest, they have short hair, extremely athletic builds, and weight between 70 and 120 pounds. The main difference, according to the breeders, is the temperament. Although there have not been enough generations to tell for sure, breeders claim that American Bully's have most of the dog aggression bred out of them.

Standard American Bulldog
Standard American Bulldog | Source

American Bulldog

The American Bulldog is the final breed commonly associated with the pit bull family. They are short haired, athletic, and range from 70 to 130 pounds. There are two different types, standard and bully. Standard have a longer snout, while bully have a more bulldog type snout. As puppies, they are typically very timid around unknown humans, and if not properly socialized can turn into human aggression and fear biting. The other main temperament difference is they don't usually have dog aggression, but they do have a tendency to chase after small prey. They also are typically highly dominate, even though they don't normally have the aggression that goes along with it.

Bully style American Bulldog
Bully style American Bulldog | Source


Submit a Comment

  • Sapper profile image

    Sapper 5 years ago from Box Elder, SD

    Thank you. I agree with the "license" to own aggressive dogs, and I think more places need to pick up mandatory spaying/neutering for not only aggressive breeds, but all dogs. Back yard breeders are where quite a bit of the bad traits come from.

  • jantamaya profile image

    Maria Janta-Cooper 5 years ago from UK

    Great information about all sorts of pit bull terriers. Thank you for writing this inspiring and interesting hub. I didn't know that training of APBT won't change its aggression. I'm for "driving license" for owners of aggressive dogs where they would learn how to train the dogs.