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American Pit Bull Terrier

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Banned in the UK and in some areas of the United States, the American pit bull is a powerful and tenacious dog which was originally bred for fighting. Well-trained and socialised pit bulls can be excellent companions which are not aggressive, but the fighting qualities of these dogs have been exploited by unscrupulous and dangerous people. As a result, pit bulls have been used illegally for fighting and have garnered an unfortunate reputation for attacking people.

Which breed group is the American pit bull in?

Breed group: none 

American pit bull terrier breed history

American pit bull terriers are the descendants of British dogs which were bred for fighting. In the 19th century, Old English bulldogs were crossed with Old English Terriers to produce dogs which were both game and incredibly strong. The dogs later arrived in the United States with their immigrant owners where they were initially used on farms to guard property, hunt game and provide companionship. In 1898, the Kennel Club named these bull dogs the American Pit Bull Terrier. The American Kennel Club decided to recognize the breed in the early 1930s.

American pit bull breed characteristics

Pit bulls can be incredibly people-orientated dogs but in the wrong hands are undoubtedly dangerous. Even well-behaved pit bulls retain a tendency to chase and kill cats. They don’t usually like other dogs and certainly shouldn’t be left alone with children. They are intelligent dogs which can be trained effectively but they can be over-protective of their owners.

These dogs were selectively bred in the United States to be larger than Staffordshire bull terriers with more powerful looking heads. They have short coats which don’t require much grooming and can be any colour.

  • Lifespan: 11-13 years
  • Height: up to 50cm
  • Weight: up to 45kg
  • Short coat of any colour
  • Muscular build
  • Low centre of gravity
  • Intelligent
  • Tenacious
  • Loyal

Health issues with American pit bulls

  • The American pit bull is a hardy dog but is prone to the following conditions:
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • kneecap dislocation.
  • Skin issues
  • Congenital heart defects

What is the American pit bull bred for?

Pit bulls were bred specifically for fighting but when they were taken to the United States, they were employed on farms.

What sort of owners does the American pit bull suit?

It is not possible to own an American Pitbull in the UK as these dogs are now banned.


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