American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier is a dog breed recognized by the United Kennel Club and the American Dog Breeders Association, but not the American Kennel Club. It is a medium-sized, intelligent, short-haired dog, of a solid build, whose early ancestors came from the British Isles.

brief information

  • Breed name: Pitbull
  • Country of origin: USA
  • Weight: males 16-27 kg, females 14-23 kg
  • Height (height at the withers): males 46-53 cm, females 43-51 cm
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 Years

Basic moments

  • An active temperament and phenomenal endurance are the “calling cards” of a pit bull. Playing with a port, running and other similar entertainments do not tire him at all. Physical activity has a positive effect not only on the development of the dog but also becomes the key to its mental health.
  • Pete needs constant attention from the owner. If you are a busy person, constantly immersed in work, then a dog of this breed will not suit you.
  • The socialization of an animal is an important component of its upbringing. You should develop communicative qualities in it from an early age. Without this, it will be difficult to overcome the natural stubbornness of the pit bull terrier, it can become difficult to control, which, combined with strength, is not good.
  • American Pit Bulls can be aggressive towards other dogs. To avoid excesses, walk your pet on a leash. Having got into a fight, it is difficult for a pit bull terrier to stop, and he fights to the end. Socialization, although it will not negate this aggressiveness, will help to control the “emotions” of the fighting dog.
  • The legislation of many states, in particular the European Union, prohibits the breeding of this breed, in some countries, it is regarded as a cold weapon. When travelling with a pit bull, make sure to check to make sure it is not persona non grata where you are going.
  • American Pit Bull Terriers are very fond of chewing. To prevent damage to the furniture in the house, buy sturdy toys for your pet, and the more, the better.
  • The fighting spirit of this “American” must be constantly reined in, so its owner must be a person with a strong character in order to be able to train the dog and further maintain discipline in it. However, it is also not worth going too far, excessive rigidity can only harm.

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a versatile breed. It combines the seemingly incongruous: fighting qualities and poise, wisdom and childish playfulness. A pit bull is loyal to its owner and never demonstrates its superiority over him. The breed has established itself as an ideal guard for humans. Its representatives look harsh: the first thing that catches your eye is the unusual shape of the head, wide cheekbones, a strong “bull” neck, wide chest and well-developed muscles. Public opinion in different countries has developed not in favor of the pit bull, he is considered aggressive, and he sometimes causes fear in those around him by his appearance. In fact, the character of this dog is calm and friendly. Aggressiveness can develop only after a long stay in a small confined space.

American Pit Bull Terrier Characteristics of the breed

Low ( Rating 2/5)
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Need for care
Minimum ( Rating 1/5)
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Maintenance cost
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Attitude towards loneliness
Cannot stand ( Rating 1/5)
Standard ( Rating 3/5)
Almost inaudible ( Rating 1/5)
Security qualities
Excellent ( Rating 5/5)

* The characteristics of the Pit Bull breed are based on the assessment of experts and the reviews of the dog owners.

History of the American Pit Bull Terrier breed

Питбуль с купированными ушами

The word “American” in the breed’s name gives the mistaken impression that the Pit Bull Terrier is native to the United States. In fact, the first pit bulls came to the Western Hemisphere from Britain. Their appearance was the result of crossing an Old English Terrier and an Old English Bulldog.
The breeders of that time set themselves the task of combining in the “new” dog the speed, fearlessness and strength of the former and the athleticism of the latter. As you can see, they did it very well.
American pit bulls were used in dog fights, set on bears and bulls. In 1835, when laws on the protection of animals began to appear, these four-legged fighters with bulls and bears were no longer pitted against their heads.

Since dog fights were not directly prohibited by law (besides, they were cheaper), the breed de facto remained widely involved in them. Animal advocates considered such competitions openly “barbaric”, a mockery of our smaller brothers.

However, one cannot but admit the fact that, in addition to a good income for the organizers, these fights gave a lot to the breed itself, revealing its best representatives. The practice of illegal dog fighting continues to this day, and not only in America, but also in Russia.

It is regrettable that, according to the information of human rights organizations, the criminal world uses the unique advantages of the breed. Pit bulls are used in drug trafficking, in confrontation with the police and as fighting dogs. Poor animals, loyal to their masters, of course, do not even suspect in what dark deeds they have to participate.

And although they are not guilty of anything (a dog cannot, as a person, think and deliberately leave the owner-criminal), such “activity” has earned the breed a bad reputation. In an attempt to get rid of it, the San Francisco Animal Welfare Society (USA) renamed the American Pit Bull Terrier “St. Francis Terriers “. The organization set a task to distribute dogs to individuals.

After 60 individuals found a new family, the resettlement program was curtailed. The reason was that several pit bulls were killed at the place of residence of domestic cats. The new name – “New Yorkies” – was given to the breed in the New York Center for Animal Care and Control, which also decided to distribute pit bulls to families. But after negative responses, the program was curtailed without even starting.

Many countries around the world – France, Sweden, Spain, Singapore, Australia, Germany, Ecuador, US Associated Puerto Rico, Malaysia, Portugal, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Switzerland and Poland – have passed laws regulating breed control.

In some states, it is completely banned, in others, the ability to own a pit bull terrier is strictly limited. So, this breed, along with three others, is prohibited in the UK. Pit bulls are persona non grata in some American states.

American Pit Bull Terrier
American Pit Bull Terrier
American Pit Bull Terrier
American Pit Bull Terrier

Features of the American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier baby
American Pit Bull Terrier baby

Television, newspapers and the Internet often present information about these dogs exclusively in negative terms. Stories about attacks by pit bull terriers on their own owners, about the murder of children by them inspire panic and fear in the common man. But is the pit bull as bloodthirsty as it is presented to the general public by the media?

The American Pit Bull Terrier is very affectionate and gentle to his family. Due to their small stature and compact size, smooth coat and lack of salivation, representatives of this breed are ideal candidates for keeping in city apartments. He will feel comfortable in a private house.

Despite the fact that the pit bull has a wayward character and tends to dominate, he is so devoted to his master that he is ready to give his life for him. You can make an excellent bodyguard out of him, but he is useless as a watchman. And all because a benevolent attitude towards people has been brought up in pit bulls since the inception of the breed.

It is strongly discouraged to keep these dogs on a chain. Unlike German shepherd dogs, from being constantly on a leash of becoming stupid, pit bulls on a chain just become aggressive. They, being tied, of course, begin to guard the territory.

But this is more from despair than by “vocation”      because the protective qualities of this breed are not inherent. Often, on a chain, they completely go wild, which can then go sideways to the owner.

Hence the myths about the “bloodthirstiness” of pit bull terriers. It is regrettable that in press reports about real cases of attacks by dogs on people, as a rule, the reasons for the aggression are not named. But she is alien to the nature of pit bulls and is usually provoked by adverse circumstances. Most likely, reporters simply do not know about these “pitfalls” …

Appearance and special features of the breed

Since the progenitors of the Pit Bull Terrier are the Bulldog and the Terrier, it would be logical to expect that the dog, which appeared as a result of their merger, would combine the features of both breeds. However, in the nature of the pit bull, there is practically nothing left of the calm and lazy bulldog. In our “American” – cheerful, playful, restless – terrier genes won.

Pit Bull Terrier is a dog, as they say, of a wide specialization. Do you want to get yourself a pet and almost a full member of the family? He is perfect for this role. Looking for a medal-winning sports competitor? Or do you need a bloodhound dog?

Choosing a pit bull for these purposes, will not go wrong. Powerful constitution and extreme muscularity and at the same time athleticism – these are the main features of the ideal representative of the breed. Pit bulls are bred to perform a wide variety of tasks, and therefore some individuals can look like a tank, while others remain thin.

American Pit Bull Terrier
American Pit Bull Terrier

general description

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a sturdy dog ​​of medium height with a short coat. Athletic and fit, with an attentive gaze and a shiny coat, she combines strength, power and confidence while remaining agile and graceful. Real pit bulls, corresponding to the classic breed standards, do not look lazy, beefy and ponderous, that is, they are never obese. Rather, the opposite: adults are even somewhat thin. The other extreme, namely the musculature that is not visible under the skin, is also not about them.


Rectangular, dry, medium length. Flat skull, widened between the ears. The muzzle is wide and deep, the typical square shape of this breed, the cheeks are prominent. If you look at the pit bull from above or from the side, the outlines of the muzzle resemble a wedge slightly tapering towards the nose. It looks round only when looking at the dog from the front.


American Pit Bull Terrier
American Pit Bull Terrier
Cool pit bull

The pit bull’s teeth are tightly closed, strong and strong. Scissor bite, correct.


Medium in size, almond-shaped, elliptical or round. Set low, set wide apart.


The ears of a pit bull are small, half hanging. They are characterized by high delivery and wide spacing. At the request of the owner, the ears are left in a natural length or cropped in the shape of a triangle.

American Pit Bull Terrier Nose and lips

The nostrils are wide open, the nose is large and shiny, and pigmentation may vary from dog to dog. The lips are dry, close to the upper and lower jaw.

American Pit Bull Terrier
American Pit Bull Terrier


The neck of a pit bull is strong and powerful, dry. Widening towards the withers.


Я тут посижу немного

I’ll sit here a little

American Pit Bull Terriers are longer in length than in height, which is noticeable to the naked eye. This ratio of proportions is especially visible in bitches that are longer in the body than males.

The back of this breed is strong and strong, the topline is slightly sloped. The loin is short, strong and somewhat arched; the croup is slightly sloping. The abdomen is moderately tucked up.


The tail of a pit bull of medium length, naturally continues the topline, tapering towards the tip. Landing is low. If your pet is in motion or is agitated by something, the tail rises to the line of the back.


The forelimbs of the pit bull are even, their length, if you count from the floor to the elbow joint, is equal to half the height of the dog at the withers.

The backbone is strong. Wide and muscular shoulder blades set obliquely. The pasterns are straight, strong and vertical.

The hind limbs are strong and muscular, long in the thigh. Low hock. Medium-sized oval paws, tightly knit toes.

The pit bull moves quickly and energetically, with a springy step. His movements are light, with good drive and reach.


Tight fit, short and stiff. There is no undercoat.



Here breed standards are very democratic, all colors and shades are allowed, including the presence of white spots. The only exception is the merle color – it is unacceptable in pit bull terriers.

Possible vices

Deviations from the above characteristics are qualified as disadvantages. The severity of the latter is indicated by the degree of their severity.

Defects in the breed include a narrow muzzle, weak lower jaw and so-called flews (raw lips). The absence of a certain number of teeth (with the exception of their loss for “valid” reasons or removal by a veterinarian), as well as overshot, undershot and asymmetrical jaw are also considered a deviation.

Pit bull vices include bulging, blue eyes, and mismatch in eye color (called discord). You should also pay attention to your pet’s neck. If it is weak and thin or, conversely, too thick and short, then this also refers to shortcomings. Does not correspond to breed standards “sheep” neck and dewlap.

Look at the shoulders of the pit bull. Are they straight or loaded, and are the elbows turned either outward or inward? There should be no such defects, not to mention twisted wrists, weak pasterns, markings, curved forelimbs, clubfoot, loose paw. In the same list, there are underdeveloped muscles, sparse, curly and wavy hair, a narrow set of the hind limbs, cow, excessive or complete absence of the knee joint angle, barrel set, sickle-shaped hock joints.

American Pit Bull Terrier Disqualifying vices

  • A pit bull is a fighter by nature, but excessive aggressiveness or, conversely, cowardice are serious vices.
  • A healthy male must have two testicles descended into the scrotum, therefore unilateral or bilateral cryptorchidism is a pathology leading to disqualification.
  • Is your dog hard of hearing in one or both ears? Does he have a short tail? Suffering from albinism? These faults, including long hair and merle color, are also considered disqualifying.

Photo of an adult American Pit Bull Terrier


The character of the American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier with a child
Pit bull with a child

Dogs of this breed are hardy, for their zeal for struggle is typical. Although, by its nature, the pit bull is very balanced – up to the point of softness. His inherent “personality” traits were formed as a result of careful selection based on the results of dog fights. That is individuals who showed imbalance and instability of the psyche were removed from the breeding

Some participants in such cruel competitions, namely those who did not feel the difference between a dog and a man, had to be destroyed. It took several centuries to develop the character of a pit bull that is typical for him today.

However, if he finds his own good reasons for the attack, he will show remarkable cruelty and will be much more dangerous than any other breed. Such dogs are subject to mandatory euthanasia.

The American Pit Bull Terrier is intelligent. Having a mind is an important component in preparing a dog for and winning competitions. After all, success in battle depends not only on physical fitness but also on the ability to change battle tactics.

Being an intelligent creature, a pit bull is able to keep his “emotions” under control. It is very difficult to unbalance him and make him attack a person. And in order for him to decide on this, something extraordinary must happen, namely a serious provocation on the part of a person.

A very happy pitbull
A very happy pitbull

The pit bull terrier is not irritated when meeting other dogs on the street. He does not bully them and does not respond to barking. Unless it can tense up a little internally, but outwardly it keeps the Olympic calmness.

Indomitable aggression towards an opponent is shown in dogs of this breed exclusively in the ring. The passion for wrestling, personified by these dogs, even has a separate name: game. Courage and fearlessness, resilience and a high pain threshold – all these qualities are inherent in pit bull terriers.

Even the received wounds do not affect the desire for victory, they are able to fight for several hours in a row. Their courage should not be confused, again, with aggression. An evil dog is unable to accurately and calmly assess the fighting situation in the ring and adequately respond to it – only a brave dog can do this.

Raising a representative of this breed is generally not an easy task, given that it is naturally stubborn. But this does not mean that the pit bull is not trainable. A friendly disposition to a person is evidenced by the fact that dogs that are grappling in a combat fight are easy to part with their bare hands.

Especially carefully, even with tenderness, pit bulls treat children. They, as if realizing their strength, take the younger members of the families of the owners under their “protection”. However, it is not recommended to leave the dog alone with small children unattended, because a child with a careless movement can provoke him to an aggressive attack in order to defend himself.

Человек, куда ты меня несешь?

                                                          Man, where are you taking me?

А где фрисби?

                                                              Where is the frisbee?

Training and education

American Pit Bull Terrier Steel exposure
American Pit Bull Terrier Steel exposure

The future owner must immediately make it clear to the dog that he is the main one, not she. Otherwise, there will be difficulties with education.

Human dominance does not mean that cruelty is required to be treated. All commands should be given in a calm, but at the same time firm voice. Your pupil should not feel that you are angry or angry with him.

In raising a puppy, his socialization is considered to be the most important age up to 16 weeks. During this period, the owner needs to pay a lot of attention to his pet.

You need to play with him, caress him, stroke him. The rest of the household should behave in the same way, demonstrating that the pit bull is a full member of the family. At this age, contacts with strangers are also important, which will help him to perceive them as harmless.

Do not restrict the movement of the puppy around the house, he should get used to the environment and environment. If there are rooms in your home where you do not want to allow the Pit Bull Terrier, close them first.

For the future socialization of the dog, walks in crowded places are no less significant. Their result will be an understanding that the surrounding world is large and is not limited only to the owner’s house, and that there are many people living in this world who do not need to be afraid.

Sometimes puppies try to show aggression. To curb such manifestations, the little dog is turned over on its back at such moments and held in this position for several seconds. Such manipulation awakens in his genetic memory the laws of the pack, according to which a posture on the back means a subordinate position. Thus, a person shows that he is the owner of the dog.

American Pit Bull Terriers have a good, tenacious memory. Train him not only for the standard but also for any other commands. But the important thing to remember is to be consistent when raising your puppy.

When creating a system of inhibitions, you must adhere to it at all times. If you prohibit one thing today and allow it tomorrow, you will only confuse your pet. The rest of the family must also adhere to the established rules – no one can cancel the prohibitions.

Американский питбультерьер в американском платке

American Pit Bull Terrier in American Headscarf

Pit bulls are very playful, especially at an early age, so the learning process is most effective while playing. It is necessary to achieve complete observance of all commands by the puppy.

If he does everything right, he should be praised and given a treat. It happens that the puppy tries to use his teeth during the game. In such cases, the owner must sharply command: “You can’t!” – and stop training immediately.

Thus, he clearly makes it clear to her that attempts to bite a person cause the termination of communication, and the dog clearly learns this lesson. After such “incidents”, training can be resumed no earlier than 20 minutes later.

Workouts should not be stretched, 5 minutes is enough for one lesson. Before he starts, the puppy needs to be actively walked, which helps him to focus on the commands. If your dog refuses to do them the first time, you need to be patient and get back to basics by repeating the previous training step.

It is not forbidden to let Pita run without a muzzle and a leash, but only if you are in a forest or in a fenced area. Before doing this, you need to make sure that there are no other dogs nearby.

Sometimes during training, problems with obedience may arise, which the owner cannot cope with on his own. In this case, you should seek help from specialists. Such episodes should not be ignored, because as it grows up, your pet will begin to behave as it pleases, thereby posing a potential threat to others.

Useful advice: before buying a pit bull, weigh the pros and cons, evaluate your strengths and capabilities, whether they will be enough for your upbringing.

You should also not forget that representatives of this breed are very sensitive, and if quarrels and scandals occur in your family, this will certainly affect his character – he will become restless, prone to neuroses.


Care and maintenance

Young pitbull
Young pit bull

American Pit Bull Terriers are medium-sized dogs, which allows them to be kept in the conditions of ordinary city apartments. Some owners prefer to keep pits in enclosures, but at the same time, they must find time for daily communication with their pets. Leaving a puppy alone for a long time, sacrificing its socialization, you risk: it can grow out of it a vicious and distrustful dog that can rush at people.

Taking care of your pit bull is easy. It is enough to brush it once a week with a brush (rubber with pimples or made of natural bristles) or a special mitten.

Thanks to these simple manipulations, dust is removed along with the dead hair, the blood circulation in the dog improves. The dog sheds especially noticeably in spring and autumn. If an abundant molt is observed throughout the year, the owner should be alerted.

The reasons should be sought in improper diet, too dry and warm indoor air. Sometimes allergies can cause excessive shedding.

It is recommended to bathe the Pit Bull Terrier with shampoo every two months, making sure that no water gets into the dog’s ears. Usually, after walking, his fur is wiped with a damp cloth, removing accumulated dust, and also inspect the paw pads for cracks or wounds. To avoid the latter, vegetable oil should be rubbed into the pads, including it in the daily diet (one teaspoon will be enough).

If your pet gets very dirty somewhere, you can bathe it outside of the usual schedule. Too frequent “bath” procedures are not recommended, as the wool will dry out, tarnish, and become brittle. After bathing, you need to dry it well; many owners even use a hairdryer. Until the dog is dry, make sure that he is not in a draft. Be sure to treat it with a tick and flea remedy.

Bathing American Pit Bull Terrier
American Pit Bull Terrier Bathing a pit bull

American Pit Bull Terrier claws should be trimmed once a month with a special tool, a claw for large breeds, after which their sharp ends are smoothed out with a file. Ears need regular examination: wipe them once a week with a damp cloth.

Healthy ears have a pink tint, redness and excess sulfur are absent. If you notice that your dog is rubbing its ears on the floor and constantly shaking its head, contact your veterinarian.

Redness of the ear and if it gives off an unpleasant odour should also be a cause for concern.

It is necessary to monitor the health of the eyes of the American Pit Bull Terrier. Shiny, playful and without tearing, they can sometimes turn sour. To prevent this from happening, it is enough to wipe the dog’s eyes once a week with a soft cloth dipped in chamomile broth. A specialist should be consulted with severe lacrimation, swelling of the eyelids and profuse suppuration. Self-medication in such cases is fraught with even greater complications.

I'm glad for the burger!
I’m glad for the burger!

Dogs of this breed need to brush their teeth. It is enough to do this 1-2 times a week. For the procedure, a special dog paste is used, which is applied to a toothbrush or a fingertip.

To keep your pet from getting tartar, feed them more often solid foods or anti-plaque-treated rope toys. Raw beef bones are also suitable for the prevention of stone formation.

American Pit Bull Terrier should be taught to  calmly  relate to all kinds of hygiene procedures. You should start from early childhood, as it will be difficult to cope with an adult dog. The puppy can get nervous when he is being bathed or brushed. In this case, do not insist, postponing the procedure for another time. The main thing is not to forget to praise the dog and treat it. Love and patience will definitely bring results.


Pit bull health and illness

American Pit Bull Terriers can suffer from the so-called occupational diseases of working breeds. These include aortic stenosis, usually detected during exercise or game testing, and hip dysplasia. Moreover, even a person who is far from veterinary medicine can recognize the symptoms: it is hard for the dog to breathe, he quickly gets tired.

American Pit Bull Terrier also have a tendency to ailments of the hormonal system. So, disorders in the work of the thyroid gland turn into the development of latent pathologies that remain with the dog all his life, and, in particular, lead to a rapid set of fat mass. “Americans” also suffer from allergies.

Питбуль в защитном воротнике

                                                  Pit bull in a protective collar

How to choose a puppy

First of all, it is necessary to assess the appearance of the future pet: it should not have any deviations, not to mention obvious defects. A healthy puppy has a smooth, shiny and non-uniform coat. The color palette is wide enough, from white to black, different markings are required on the dog’s body.

Pit bull puppy with mom
Pit bull puppy with mom

Observe the puppy carefully. Does the little American Pit Bull Terrier l show excessive aggressiveness or, on the contrary, cowardice? Such extremes are a reason to opt for another puppy.

You should not buy a very small or mature dog. The optimal age is considered to be 8 weeks.

Do not buy a pit bull terrier from your hands, there is a high probability of running into unscrupulous dealers who strive to slip a sick or defective puppy. In specialized nurseries, you will be spared such risks. Before buying, be sure to take an interest in the pedigree in order to exclude hereditary diseases and a tendency to aggression. Inquire about the puppies’ vaccinations, what food they are accustomed to, and so on.

Take care of your pet’s collar, leash, and habitat in advance. Buy toys, they are needed to satisfy the dog’s biting reflex, relieve itching in the gums, and as a tool for grinding teeth as they grow up.

Photos of American Pit Bull Terrier puppies


How much is an American Pit Bull Terrier

It is not difficult to buy a pit bull dog in Russia. The average cost of a Pit Bull Terrier can vary from $ 200 to $ 1000 and depends on many factors: the presence of pedigree, color, the reputation of the breeders and other nuances. As you understand, the low price does not guarantee a purebred breed.

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