The American Pit Bull Terrier is a mid-sized breed of dog in the terrier group. They are known for their intelligence, strength, loyalty and friendliness. They make wonderful family dogs and pets for the children always wanting to take care of them.
They are a strong solidly built muscular dog with a short and stiff single layer of hair that can be almost any color. The ears are occasionally cropped, with a short tapered tail.
The coat is short, single layered, and stiff but glossy. The ears are rose colore and semipricked and eyes can be almost any color except blue. The blocky head is wedge-shaped with wrinkles on top.
There has been negative publicity about them in recent years, not due to the actual behavior of the American Pit Bull Terrier, but do to misbreeding of different types of "pit bull like" terriers with the intent of making tough guard dogs. Because of the similarity in looks of some of these "pit bull" terriers, the pit bulls, in general have unfairly been labeled as mean, untrustworthy and actually restricted and banned in some parts of the world. Many of these instances stemmed from bad owners that mistreated and almost starved the dogs to make them mean rather than from the dog itself.
Owners of the American Pit Bull Terrier dispute these allegations against the dog and claim they are wonderfully, intelligent, loving dogs that with proper discipline and obedience training make wonderful family pets for all ages.
The American Kennel Club does not recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier, although the United Kennel Club and the American Pit Bull Registry recognize them.
The temperament of the American Pit Bull Terrier can be described in many ways with the most consistent terms being friendly and goofy. They are known for their great intelligence, sound nerve and character and make a great family dog and pet. They are friendly towards everyone they see whether it's family, friends or strangers. The American Pit Bull Terrier makes a great dog for children, rough housing with them yet protecting them from harm if need be.
They are known for their high prey drive, so they do consider birds, rabbits or other small animals as fair game. This is bred in their genetics, but basic obedience training started at a very young age will help curtail the problem. If they are raised around other animals they will get along with them fine, never provoking trouble. However, if the other animal instigates a fight, the American Pit Bull Terrier most likely will not walk away.
In recent years, many individuals have breed and cross bred this dog with other bull terriers with the intent of making a guard or attack dog. The media then sensationalized it labeling the "pit bull" as a mean dog, thus giving any kind of pit bull terrier a bad name to the public. In reality, the American Pit Bull Terrier is not any meaner or more of a threat than the German shepherd, collie or any other dog. In fact, because of their friendly nature with people, many owners claim the make poor guard dogs with the property whether the owners are home or not.
Their personality is very friendly, happy and almost goofy as they roll around on the floor playing with their master and family members. If you have more than one American Pit Bull Terrier, it is recommended that you avoid same sexes, especially owning two females. Pit bulls are very slow to mature in temperament, some not fully developing until anywhere from 2 to 4 years of age. Even as a young dog, they are curious, loving, active and playful and love playing with children. It is recommended that children not be left alone with them, but more because the pit bull doesn't know his own strength and may accidentally knock the child down. The American Pit Bull Terrier has a high tolerance for pain and often doesn't feel it when children hit them or pull their tail, which may contribute to them being such patient dogs with children.
If you are considering getting an American Pit Bull Terrier puppy, make sure you get one from a reputable breeder. Check out the parents of the puppy as well, if possible. Many behavior problems that arise in dogs later are a result of poor breeding such as mating two aggressive dogs together. With a background like that, good training can only go so far.
6 to 10 puppies
CKC, UKC, NKC, APRI, ACR
The colors of the American Pit Bull Terrier may vary and can be almost any solid color with the exception of merle.
35-65 pounds (16-29 kg)
30-60 pounds (16-27 kg)
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a dog that can be kept indoors or outdoors, but is best kept indoors with the family. They are very loving and enjoy romping on the floor with kids. They do enjoy running outdoors and should be allowed to run to wear off some of the energy they possess. Due to their high prey drive, it is recommended they be kept on a leash when outdoors so they don't chase other animals. Because of their high intelligence, it is very easy to housebreak them.
Training for the American Pit Bull Terrier is extremely important to help the dog become the best family dog he can be. By nature, they are loving, loyal and happy dogs that love doing things with the family. Because of their high intelligence, training them is easy; however, training must be with a firm voice. They need consistency in the training and need to know what is expected of them. Any physical punishment will only make the dog upset and will not accomplish anything. They are very clever dogs and will try to get away with as much as they can (as is the case with most dogs!).
Because of their nature bred prey drive, it is very important to socialize them with other animals regularly from a young age if they are expected to coexist with that animal regularly. Due to some of the negative publicity the American Pit Bull Terrier has gained due to other pit bull varieties, you must train the dog at a young age to be sociable nonaggressive in behavior. Basic obedience training is a great way to start. There are many articles online and at your local library involving the American Pit Bull Terrier and methods of training that have been highly effective.
The American Pit Bull Terrier often participates and does very well in agility training. Agility training is making your dog go through a timed numbered obstacle course. The only help he gets from you is body language and verbal commands. This dog does very well in many agility competitions. This training is also a great way for the American Pit Bull Terrier to use up some of his active energy.
Weight pulling is another competition that this pit bull does very well in. They are hooked up to cart with so much weight in it. The dogs compete to pull the most and get to their destination first. The dogs love this and with all their strength, they do very well.
Once the American Pit Bull Terrier masters his basic obedience training, many owners choose to enroll the dog in Schutzund training. Schutzund is a great way to teach your dog self-control and discipline beyond the basic obedience.