American Pit Bull Terrier

Owner training two pit bulls outdoors

American Pit Bull Terrier is a breed that has a special status of legislation in many states and countries.

And not obtaining acknowledgement by American Kennel Club (AKC), due to its controversial history. Nevertheless, countless animal lovers preferred and loved, as their playful, protective, loyal and active nature captured their hearts.

The American pit bull terrier (APBT), is officially recognised as a distinguished breed of its own by the United Kennel Club (UKC). As generally APBT is confused between American Staffordshire Terriers.


Coat – Smooth, thin and single coating

Height – Average from 17 to 21 inches (42 to 54 cm)

weight – 13 to 27 kg (30 to 80 lbs)

Group – Terrier dogs.

Life span – 12 to 15 years

Colour – Red, black and buckskin are most common.


American Pitbull Terriers history can be traced back to 19th-century England. Spectator games such as bull and bear-baiting were very prominent in the early 19th century. To participate in such activities, APBT was bred from Bully types and Terriers.

However, in 1835 these kinds of games became illegal as they were considered cruel. Due to this reason, aggression and stubborn nature can be seen in these dogs till to date. Later, when these dogs immigrated to America with people. Their roles shifted to driving livestock and participating in hunting games.

Due to its controversial background, American Kennel Club (AKC) did not recognise this breed. This led to the creation of some new organisations to present and legalise these dogs. This does not dismiss this breed from being restricted and banned in many countries such as the United Kingdom.

Also, it is banned in some Canadian provinces and some American states. They face many travel bans. Some states and regions allow APBT but with conditions, for example, early obedience training, and always keeping them on a leash outside.

Physical Traits

APBT has a sturdy and robust body. However, they are relatively easy on their feet. As they are heavily compacted with muscles than any other breed. Pit bulls show diversity in colour, shape and size due to mixed breeding with many Terriers and Bulldogs.

APBTs weight can range from 13 to 27 kg (30 to 80 lbs). Pit bulls have very mighty jaws with vast facial structures.

They have round almond-shaped eyes, medium to small ears and a flat head. Along with it, they have a long body and short but thick tail.

Temperament And Personality

Is APBT a family-friendly dog?

It is one of the significant concerns, for many who are considering being a pet parent. And many more such questions are asked regarding their nature and temperament.

APBTs are one of the most loyal, devoted and eager to please breeds. However, if they are not trained and socialised from an early age. The drive to protect their family and territory can cause some substantial casualties to other dogs.   

They are incredibly active, always have the urge to prey. As APBT were initially bred for regulating and hunting livestock. As a result of this kind of breeding, they are tremendously strong.


If you are a person who can give minimal care to a pet, then ABPT is absolutely not fit for you. As they always seek attention and affection from people due to their playful and high energy nature.

If you are willing to be a Pitbull owner, consider rechecking your states law that you live in. Some countries and states have quite strict regulations regarding Pitbulls. This also includes when you are travelling with one too. 

To subdue their aggressive and destructive behaviour, it requires them to go through an extensive exercise daily. This also helps to tone down the steam in American Pitbull Terrier.


  • APBT always need to keep in the diet as they are prone to gain weight.
  • Can fit in small places due to their compact size.
  • Overprotective, aggressive around other animals. Always advised keeping on a leash.
  • Lively and friendly temperament is perfect for kids, but observation is needed.
  • Easy to maintain coating, as it is soft, thin and single-layered. Simple baths and regular nail trimming are the necessary grooming they need.
  • Often they see other small animals such as cats, small animals as prey. However, with initial obedience training and socialisation, this can be avoided.
  • Always buy tough and durable toys for them to keep up with their mighty jaws and chewing needs.


As a result of breeding for driving livestock and preying, APBT is bred to be athletic and tough in general. This also gives them the long life span of 12 to 15 years, rare among other breeds of similar size and close genes.

Nevertheless, some genetic diseases are inevitable. Pitbull breeders acknowledge these problems and aim to preserve the breed standards set by the Clubs.

Some heredity health problems are to be conscious of

  • Hypothyroidism-  American Pitbull terrier, is prone to be affected with it more than other breeds. A condition where the dysfunction of the hormonal thyroid glands produces fewer thyroid hormones. 

This results in changes in personality, slower metabolism, and reproductive issues. Thyroid tests are done by blood sample screening. As treatment replacement hormonal pills are prescribed throughout a dogs life.

  • Hip Dysplasia (HD) –   APBT has a higher tendency than average to suffer from bone diseases Hip Dysplasia. A condition of deformity of the hip joint ball and socket, which lead to arthritis.  This can be remarkably painful, depending on its severity. It is advised to do an x-ray on a dog at an early age, which can help take precautions. 
  • Allergies – Allergies are common diseases that affect dogs generally. Skin allergies are typically caused by environmental factors such as grass, flees, dust and pollen. And some are caused by foods such as rice, beef corn, thou food allergens are less likely to occur.

Skin allergies can be extremely uncomfortable for our little friends as it causes excessive itching and discomfort to the skin.

  • Heart diseases – APBT can also suffer from congenital heart diseases such as Aortic Stenosis. Which is narrowing the path linking the left ventricle and the aorta. Some dogs exhibit minimal or no signs, full body checkup is highly recommended for better precautions.

American Pitbull Terriers, one of the most unique breeds, are proved throughout history with their faithful, stubborn yet loving, eager to please temperament. These beaming with enthusiasm, little creatures have now become an inseparable companion in countless lives. 

Where this breed lost recognition of some Associations/Clubs. Nevertheless, this breed was the reason for establishing many other associations to support and look after their needs.