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American Pit Bull Terrier

Updated on May 13, 2011

Cow Patched American Pit Bull

APBT History

The American pit bull terrier has a long history of Pit/Dog Fighting, and developed from the breedings of Bull terriers and other mastiff type dogs from years upon years back. The breed is, to this day, left unmatched towards any other dog breed accepted by any or all current dog registrations.

At one time in history, this breed was noted as being very trustworthy, loyal, and loved member of the dog world and registry. Today, with the media, the breed has gained a bad reputation. As in many cases the media gets wind of a dog attack, and immediately publicizes a "pit bull" attack, and never retracting the story once the truths about the breed. You don't hear lab attacks, retriever bites, or terrier kills... Just "pit bull" maulings. But remember that although 60-70% of attacks are the "pit bull," that statistic includes purbred APBT, AmStaffs, Bull Terriers, mixes of these breeds, and any broad chested mongrel with an undefinable breed.

These dogs are seen as warriors, and not the good kind due to the irresponsibility of those who choose to raise the breed for fighting. These are the people who have caused all the witch hunts.

This breed is a very loyal breed set to please his people. What is not heard is the history behind the American Pit Bull Terrier. The history of family pets, who happened to have a job of dog fighting. These dogs were bred to dog fight, but any sign on human aggression were immediately euthanized.

You don't hear that this breed were once known as 'nanny dogs' for their loyalty to the children in the family. You don't hear about the APBTs in the war, not used as fighting dogs towards the enemy but as therapy dogs or retrieval dogs.

APBT Appearance

The American pit bull terrier is a dog of power, willingness, and loyalty. They are known for their solid bodies and large, broad heads, held by a thickly muscled neck.

The body of an APBT is very muscular and stocky. They tend to range from 18 to 22 inches in height (measured at the shoulder blade) and 22 to 110 pounds in weight.

In many cases the ears are cropped, and the tails docked. But according to the UKC standard, docked tails are not accepted for the breed.

The eyes are round, and any color is acceptable, usually ranging from brown to blue.

Its coat is made up of thick, short, shiny hair.

APBTs can range from tan to chocolate, fawn to blue, brindle to white, and any mix therein.

White American Pit Bull Terrier

APBT Temperament

With their goofy smiles and determined faces, the American Pit Bull Terrier truly has the want and will to please. The breed is loyal till death. By far the bad reputation that they have following their name, just does not fit. By no means are they baby killers or man haters.

As with ANY breed, with proper socialization, affection, and raising, these dogs can be the perfect family pet. They will never show an ounce of aggression in their bodies.

These dogs are extremely loyal and affectionate. They are very eager to please their human companion. American Pit bull terriers are both courageous and intelligent.

They are highly protective over their pet parents and their property, and will fight an enemy if the time deserves it. They are super friendly dogs, but very protective none-the-less.

This breed is definitely known for it's stubbornness, and a strong, firm hand is needed when dealing with this particular breed. Now, although they are intelligent and eager to please, making training of basic obedience simple a quick process, the one in command needs to be the human. These dogs will try to control the situation as to whether or not he chooses to listen. You must make them cohere to the situation at hand.

Although, this breed can be wonderful around people of all ages, from the youngest to oldest handler, with training and socialization a key, their interaction with other dogs and animals must be watched. You can raise an APBT from a pup to an adult and never have aggression problems with other animals, but this, once again, takes proper training and socialization.

Pit Bull Health

The American Pit Bull breed is a relatively hardy breed without any predisposed health conditions. Unlike many dog breeds, the American Pit Bull Terrier is not prone to hip dysplasia, patella displacement, skin allergies, or any other common health concern related to other dog breeds.

The APBT is probably one of the few dog breeds that it nor predisposed to common health issues, but that is not saying that they do not get cancer or other illnesses, they are just not predisposed to it.

Breed Specific Legislation

BSL does not just affect American Pit Bulls, it affects shepherds, chow chows, akitas, rottweilers, dobermans, huskies, and other various dog breeds. If we don't fight breed specific legislations, all dogs will eventually be encompassed and entertwined in BSL laws and bills.

In many cases a grandfather clause will be added to the end of the bill, saying that if you have owned your dog for a certain time frame before the bill has been passed you can keep the dog. But, under those circumstances they will give several restrictions such as outdoor dog kennels and muzzles if in public.

I personally, think these laws and clauses furthers the fear in some people. If you see a dog with a muzzle, you automatically assume the dog will bite and is aggressive. If you see an "pit bull" in a muzzle, fear rises higher.

Why should BSL affect only the good owners and their dogs suffer when the problem is not them. When the problem is the bad owners. With BSL, the bad owners will move to another county or state, or they will find another breed to fight. Eventually they will run out of bully breeds. What then? They'll fight labs and retrievers and terriers. Than all dog breeds will be encompassed in breed specific legislations.

Famous "Pit Bulls"

Throughout history, the American Pit Bull Terrier has been seen in the homes of many celebrities. The breed has been seen assisting search and rescue missions, and fighting miliary battles.

The APBT is actualyl a fairly famous breed.

Even today, APBTs are seen in movies such as "Our Gang," and their used as advertisement for Old Navy Commercials.

I, personally, hope that the recent use of APBTs in the public's eye will change thier opinion of the breed. Hopefully, bringing back the dignity and love for the APBT versus the fear and hate.

Pit Bull Puppy Playing

APBT Pictures

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i love pitbulls

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i love pitbulls always have always will!!!:)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i'm a lover of the breed pit bull always have, always will

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I love my apbt! He's a brindle razor edge. As a puppy he was always around a lot of people now he is 15 months and he bit a lady while she was petting him. I feel awful I didn't think he would bite but he did. I don't see him as vicious and I am gonna start some training classes with him cuz he is hard headed but I just wish I knew what caused that bite! He seemed a lil scared when the lady was petting him which seems odd considering he was always around people! Any suggestions? I really luv him!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Had to put down the dog that changed my life july, 17 2010. My life was in straight purgatory. Then after 2 and a half months of being lifeless, I had heard of a young pup getting mistreated to the max. Nothing but reaction kicked in and that dog was destined to be with me and me with her. I will defend my dog as well as the breed ten folds. I will have their backs as they have ours. Great breed. Can't say enough, I really can but I will go on non stop 24/7 365 till my last breath about how wrong media is. They are just what I would see heaven is nothing but pitties, staffs, what not just chilling with everyone like the lovable characters they are. Nuff said.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      I love this article! I am a huge APBT lover. I have NEVER personally encounered a mean pit (and i've been around quite a few ) and I hate that they get such a bad wrap. My boyfriends parents have 2, a purbread boudreaux pit and a pit mix. Both are big sweethearts... but especially Jack (the purbread). When my daughter was a newborn, every time she would cry he would come running into whatever room we were in with this worried look on his "hey the baby is her" In my opinion pits are just as much a "family dog" as a golden or a lab. I live in New Orleans and I am happy to say that a majority of the people I see walking thier dogs around the city have pits. It helps re-assure me that people are becoming more open minded about the breed. And why not...they are fantastic animals!

      P.S. Whitney your dog is gorgeous!

    • Whitney05 profile imageAUTHOR


      12 years ago from Georgia

      I'm not sure on the personality of rotties as a whole, although I am fully aware they have wonderful temperaments. APBTs are great dogs that will be loving till the end as long as they are cared for, trained, and socialized properly. Good luck with your new pup.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      i just got a apbt from my boy who does my tattos and his dogs are big sweet hearts my dog is 2 months he is 14 pounds and a big block head but i grew up with rottweilers so are the pits much different in personality the dog is already smart sits and everything wen i tell him to blue eyes and white fur.

    • TheMoneyGuy profile image


      13 years ago from Pyote, TX

      Great article! I grew up with Pit Bulls as a child and my favorite memory was of the way they always positioned themselves between strangers and our family and my sister in particular nothing aggressive just very loyal. They were ultra nice and very friendly but always on the lookout for anything funny. I always felt very safe with my Pit Bull named Walter growing up. Even when swimming he wouldn't leave us, even if he was about to drown.


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