American Pit Bull Terrier
Dog Breeds

American Pit Bull Terrier

Characteristics of American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier
photo of a beautiful pitbull posing

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a strong and balanced dog. Can be used as a protector or as a family dog.

Country of originUSA
The sizeMedium
Growth43-53 cm
Weight14-27 kg
Age12-15 years old
FCI breed groupnot recognized

American Pit Bull Terrier Pros and Cons


Strong and hardy;
Excellent guard instinct;
Affectionate with his family;
Short coat that does not require frequent care.

Needs early socialization;
Tend to be stubborn;
Require active walks;
Fear of cold weather.
American Pit Bull Terrier Pros and Cons

American Pit Bull Terrier Facts

  • American Pit Bull Terriers have a very powerful jaw. If the dog grabs something, then it will be difficult to open it.
  • These animals are used with great success as therapists. They are frequent visitors to hospitals, nursing homes.
  • Thanks to their excellent sense of smell, American Pit Bull Terriers are attracted to the search for drugs and explosives.
  • At the beginning of the 20th century, this breed was very popular. So, during the First World War, dogs became a symbol of the American army. On the posters of the time, dogs were depicted with headscarves in the color of the United States flag around their necks. Pit bulls were also depicted on posters campaigning to join the American army.
  • American Pit Bull Terriers are still not recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale. This was argued by the fact that the final standard has not yet been formed: the bulk of individuals are very different from each other.

History of the breed

American Pit Bull Terriers are believed to have originated over 300 years ago in England and were originally used as fighting dogs.

In those days, such a bloody spectacle as dog fights was popular. These events were even mentioned in the London newspapers. For example, in “London Life” dated July 19, 1821, you can find an article that the fighting arenas are very often visited by the inhabitants of the city. Each visitor to the event was required to pay two shillings for entry.

Experts believe that the ancestors of American Pit Bull Terriers were Old English Bulldogs and Terriers. From the first they got an incredibly powerful jaw and well-developed muscles, because the bulldogs were used primarily for baiting bulls.

american pit bull terrier stands on the road in the forest

Initially, the breed had a different name. The British called them Bull Terriers. First of all, British breeders tried to improve the fighting qualities of these dogs: endurance, strength, speed of reaction.

After fighting was officially banned in England in 1835, dogs began to be gradually transported to America, where such competitions have not yet been canceled.

The British began to use these animals for hunting, protecting homes, transporting goods.

It was in the United States that the breed was given its modern name – the American Pit Bull Terrier. In 1898 they were recognized by the United Kennel Club.

In 1909, the American Breeders’ Association was formed. It was she who insisted that dog fights should also be banned in the United States. And after this event, American pit bull terriers began to participate only in peaceful sports (for example, in tug of war).

All sorts of campaigns are periodically launched in the world aimed at banning such dogs or restricting their rights. Pit bulls in some states are prohibited for acquisition and even more breeding. For example, in Denmark, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Portugal.

american pit bull in full growth in the forest

Description of the American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a medium-sized dog. Her physique is strong, athletic. The coat is short. Any coat color is acceptable except merle.

These animals are active and mobile. They cannot be too massive and heavy. The muscles under the skin should be clearly visible. In no case is a pit bull loose.


She is a rectangular American Pit Bull Terrier. The size is quite large. The cranium between the ears looks flat and wide. If you look at the animal in full face, then its muzzle will resemble a circle in shape, if in profile – a wedge tapering to the nose.

The jaws of American Pit Bull Terriers are powerful. The grip is very strong. According to the standard developed by the United Kennel Club, the bite should be scissor.

The nose is broad and large. Nostrils open. The color of the nose depends on the basic color of the pet’s coat. Any color is acceptable: from light to dark.

Lips are dry. They are quite tight on the jaw.


They are almond-shaped in American Pit Bull Terriers. Their setting is wide. Any color of the iris is acceptable.


They are of medium size. At the base they stand on cartilage, their ends are bent forward. Set high.

muzzle view of american pit bull terrier


The neck of the American Pit Bull Terrier is powerful and muscular. Widens to the shoulders.


The chest looks deep and moderately wide. The ribs look more curved near the spine, becoming flatter towards the chest.

The back is large and strong. The topline slopes noticeably from the withers to the back.


In an animal, it is a natural continuation of a flat back. At the base it is wider and thicker, towards the tip it tapers considerably.

In a calm mood, the dog carries it lowered. In this case, the tail reaches the hocks of the hind legs. In the process of running or walking, the American Pit Bull Terrier raises its tail to the level of its back. If the animal is too excited, it can lift it even higher.

A hooked tail is considered a significant marriage. Also a disadvantage is the hall of the tail and excessive length (below the hocks).

body view of an american pit bull


The front legs of American Pit Bull Terriers look powerful and strong. The elbows are close to the body. If you look at the animal from the front, then the limbs will stand parallel to each other. Elbows should not be turned out to either side.

The hind limbs also look strong. The thighs are large and muscular. The angles of the hocks are clearly defined.

The paws are round. Medium size, fully correspond to the size of the animal. The fingers are slightly curved, collected in a ball. The pads are firm to the touch.


The American Pit Bull Terrier gives the impression of a dog that moves briskly and easily.

In the process of walking or running, the hind limbs provide the animal with a good push. When the dog moves, the back should remain straight.


The coat of American Pit Bull Terriers is smooth and even. Its length is short.

Too sparse or wavy coat is considered a vice.

American pit bull terrier color

The standard allows all types of colors except merle. Combinations of different colors are not a defect.

Size and weight of the breed

The ideal height for American Pit Bull Terriers is 46-53 cm for males, 43-51 for females.

The preferred weight for an adult will be 14-27 kg.

Personality of the American Pit Bull Terrier

The media purposefully spread the opinion that such dogs are aggressive towards people and especially children. This statement is wrong. Of course, you should not take into account improperly educated dogs or animals that have been abused by people. Aggressive individuals can be found not only among American Pit Bull Terriers, but also among other breeds.

In fact, dogs are friendly with children. They love to play with them. A pet can be a great friend for a child, but it is important for parents to remember that it is not worth leaving such large animals with babies for a long time. Supervision is needed constant. Children should be taught to behave properly with a dog: do not grab it by the tail, do not beat it, do not take away a plate of food from it.

Despite their menacing appearance, American Pit Bull Terriers are affectionate and calm. They love all the members of the family in which they live. They are strongly attached to the owner, in his absence they miss him. It is not recommended to leave such a dog alone for a long time, he needs communication with a person.

american pit bull terrier with owner in the forest

These animals make good defenders: the American Pit Bull Terrier will protect all members of his family in any situation. It is not scary to walk with him even at night, because he will always protect you from hooligans, even at the cost of his own life.

With proper upbringing, the dog will make a good watchman. American Pit Bull Terriers will be wary of strangers who pose a threat. They will always warn the owner with a loud bark about the approach of danger.Without a significant reason, such dogs bark extremely rarely.

A properly trained dog will never throw itself at a person without a good reason.

For the American Pit Bull Terrier, timely socialization is extremely important : they need to be introduced to strangers and animals from a very early age. A well-bred dog behaves calmly both at home and on the street.

On the playground for walking, such a dog is closely monitored. A well-bred pet will not rush into a fight, but if one of the relatives decides to start a conflict, the American Pit Bull Terrier will not back down and will fight to the end.

These athletes need regular exercise and exercise to help keep the dog in top physical shape well into old age. They successfully participate in various sports, in particular, in tug of war.

The intelligence of American Pit Bull Terriers is well developed. They are able to absorb new information fairly quickly. Although sometimes dogs can be stubborn and refuse to follow commands . That is why such a dog needs a self-confident owner who will immediately stop all attempts at disobedience.

american pit bull near a tree


Dog training starts at an early age. From the first days of the appearance in the house, the puppy should already begin to master elementary skills: learn to go to the toilet in the same place, sleep on his sunbed, eat from his own bowl, respond normally to a leash , collar and muzzle.

The owner always prepares the house in advance for the appearance of the baby. He needs to buy a sunbed, a bowl for food and water, ammunition for walking.

It is better to choose a name that is short and easy to pronounce. If the dog is taken from a kennel and he already has a name, you can choose an abbreviation for this nickname, since in purebred individuals they are always quite long and difficult to pronounce.

The safety of the baby is also worth thinking about. It is necessary to remove all small objects from the floor so that he does not swallow them. Raise computer and telephone cables and wires higher. Close outlets with plugs. In the first days of the dog’s stay in the house, watch him constantly, do not leave him alone.Immediately explain to the animal what is possible and what is not.

In no case do not change your decisions: if you plan to forbid the dog to sleep with you, beg for food from the table, then do it from the first days.

american pit bull terrier catching a flying disc

Buy toys for your puppy. It is better to purchase them in veterinary stores, ordinary children’s toys will not work. Often they are made of low-quality materials that can harm the health of the dog. For example, ordinary soft toys have various small details in the form of buttons and patches that the dog will easily tear off and swallow. In addition, toys are selected based on the size of the animal’s mouth.

Every dog ​​needs to know a set of basic commands. They will help the owner to control the behavior of the pet both at home and on the street.

These usually include the following:

  • “Sit”;
  • “Lie”;
  • “Voice”;
  • “Give”;
  • “To me”, etc.

Training is a regular process. It will not be possible to master new knowledge by exercising with a pet only once or twice a week. Ideally, classes should be daily. It is wrong to assume that the dog will need to devote half a day. With an adult, on average, they do about half an hour a day, with a baby – 10-15 minutes.

Training takes place both at home and in the process of walking. The most important thing is to choose a quiet and secluded place for the animal, where no one will distract it. It will not be able to practice where there are a lot of cars, people make noise, dogs bark.

Be sure to use incentives. It could be verbal praise, ear pats, or a delicious treat. Dry food is best for treats. It is very convenient to take it with you on walks.

american pit bull playing with a tennis ball

Contents of American Pit Bull Terriers

Such dogs can be kept both in a city apartment and in a country house. Life in an aviary or kennel is definitely not for American Pit Bull Terriers. Their short coat will not allow them to endure the cold winter. After all, even during long walks in the cold season, their paws freeze.

It is recommended to accustom the animal to hygiene procedures from an early age.

Grooming includes:

  • nail clipping;
  • Combing wool;
  • Bathing;
  • Cleaning of ears, eyes, teeth.
black american pit bull terrier walking on a leash in the park

The nails of pets are trimmed as needed. American Pit Bull Terriers that do not walk much on pavement usually need this procedure once every two weeks. The rest grind their claws while walking on the road surface. For haircuts, nail cutters are purchased. It is important to cut the claw correctly: without hitting the blood vessel. If you have any doubts about how this is done, you can seek help from a specialist. A professional groomer will advise the owner and show how the haircut is made.

The short coat of the American Pit Bull Terrier does not require too much grooming. Usually it is combed out 2-3 times a week with a silicone glove brush. During the period of active molting (spring and autumn), combing may be more frequent. If there is a lot of wool, then it is advisable to comb it out daily.

Bathing your pet completely is not recommended. Most often, 1 time per month is sufficient. For washing, purchase veterinary shampoos. Human products for dogs are not suitable, with frequent use they can even cause irritation on the skin.

When the street is clean, after walking, the paws of the animal can be wiped with a napkin or rag. In the autumn-spring period, washing with warm water is required. In winter, paws are washed with soap and water to get rid of the chemical de-icing agents that are sprinkled on roads in cities. Such substances irritate the skin of the dog’s paws.

It is advisable to clean the ears of the animal with veterinary lotions. Do not use boric alcohol, peroxide, baby cream for this. It is also not necessary to climb too deep into the auricle. You can damage it.

It is allowed to clean the teeth from plaque, like a person, every day. Use for this procedure special toothpastes and brushes. Even children’s human toothpastes can be harmful to dogs because they contain various sweeteners and flavors. To clean the veterinary paste, you need quite a bit – about a pea.

american pit bull in a collar on a leash


Each owner, after acquiring a four-legged friend, asks himself the question: what to feed his dog, what type of food to choose for him.

For American Pit Bull Terriers, as for other breeds, one of two food options is chosen: prepared food and natural food. Each of them has its own characteristics.

So, for example, when choosing a natural type of food, you need to follow the following principles:

  • Purchase only fresh food for your pet;
  • Do not reduce the cost of the diet, do not buy cheap analogues of a particular product;
  • Calculate the calorie content of servings each time;
  • Maintain a balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates (BJU);
  • Accustom your pet to a variety of foods, do not always feed him the same thing;
  • Do not oversalt food;
  • Be sure to use vitamin and mineral complexes, which should be prescribed by a doctor.
american pit bull terrier with a bowl in the backyard

This option is considered not the easiest. For people who are not experienced in counting calories and BJU ratio, it may not be suitable. In addition, in this case, you will have to purchase a large number of products, for the storage of which you will have to allocate enough space in the refrigerator.

Dry food comes in different classes: economy, premium and super-premium. It is better not to buy ready-made rations related to the economy class for the dog. They usually contain low-quality meat products (often all kinds of trimmings) and cheap crops. Premium and super-premium feeds are more expensive, but the quality of the raw materials used in them is many times better. They are more nutritious and high in calories, which leads to a decrease in the daily volume of servings.

With ready-made industrial feed , everything is easier. In this case, the owner does not have to cook on his own. Calculate the balance of BJU too. Although it is still worth buying a kitchen scale in order to accurately measure the portion size.

With any type of feeding, protein should predominate in the diet. Carbohydrates are also needed, but in much smaller quantities. The daily norm of fats for medium-sized dogs is 4-5 ml.

In any case, the owner turns to a nutritionist to develop a nutrition plan. Only a professional can accurately determine how many calories a particular pet needs. He will take into account the age of the pet, its weight, activity, the presence of diseases. Special diets are developed for pregnant bitches, older individuals with a set of chronic diseases, puppies that are still growing and developing.

american pit bull walking in the park

Compliance with the regime is extremely important. It is recommended to feed your pet at certain hours. After the dog has finished, the plate must be removed, regardless of whether there is something left in it or not. A container of clean water must be available at all times.

Every pet owner should remember that it is undesirable to feed him from the table. Constant handouts can lead to the fact that the dog will begin to gain excess weight.

In addition, there are a number of products that are extremely harmful to your pet. These include chocolate, smoked meats, bones, grapes, onions, garlic.

Raw fish and pork are also dangerous. They can become a source of infection with parasites – salmonella, lamblia, etc.

Health and disease

American Pit Bull Terriers are considered relatively healthy dogs, however, some types of diseases are characteristic of them:

  • Allergic reactions (to food, dust, fleas);
  • hip dysplasia;
  • thyroid problems;
  • Heart defects.

It is recommended that American Pit Bull Terriers be vaccinated against parvovirus without fail, as they are very susceptible to it, especially in puppyhood.

Treatments for parasites, internal and external, the pet is carried out regularly.

After walking, it is advisable to check the animal for ticks. These bloodsuckers are especially dangerous in the period from March to October. Inspection of the dog should begin with the head, and then move on to the body. It is recommended to carefully examine all the folds on the body. If a parasite is found, it is best to contact the clinic as soon as possible.

Photo of american pit bull terriers

Who is this breed for?

American Pit Bull Terriers are a breed that is suitable for people planning to get a dog:

  • Athletic physique;
  • active and mobile;
  • Strong and hardy;
  • With a short coat that requires minimal care;
  • Possessing excellent protective qualities.
american pit bull terrier with owner in nature

This breed is not suitable for dog breeders who would like a pet:

  • Suitable for keeping in an aviary or booth;
  • Not prone to the manifestation of stubbornness in the process of training;
  • Does not require constant physical activity;
  • Not in need of early socialization.

American Pit Bull Terriers can be started by both single and family people. The main requirement is regular exercise with your pet. They are taken with them to nature: on picnics, on hikes. Thanks to its endurance and strength, the dog easily copes with traveling through the forest or mountains.

The American Pit Bull Terrier will only obey the person in whom he sees the leader. That is why its owner must be confident and persistent.

Famous dogs

One of the most famous fighting dogs is Sergeant Stubby. He was a participant in the First World War and received a huge number of awards, including the Gold Medal of the Humanitarian Society of the United States, the medal for the Battle of Verdun and others.

This dog was a cross between a pit bull and a Boston Terrier.

famous american pit bull sergeant stubby
Photo source:

How to choose a puppy?

Since American pit bull terriers are still regarded by many laymen as dogs with a fighting past, the owner of such a pet should always be prepared for an inadequate reaction of passers-by to a dog on the street. Learn not to react to statements, follow safety requirements: wear a muzzle and a leash on the animal.

Before purchasing, weigh the pros and cons. Study the literature about the breed, carefully read the published standard, if possible, communicate with dog breeders, kennel owners, cynologists. If you have decided that the pit bull is your breed, then start looking for a puppy.

You can buy an American Pit Bull Terrier both from a private breeder and in a specialized nursery. The second option is more acceptable, because there the workers carefully select individuals for breeding, culling those that do not match in appearance and temperament.

red american pit bull in brown collar

Competent breeders approach their work responsibly. They never hire aggressive dogs or animals with hereditary diseases.

Be sure to check the puppy. It should have a medium-sized head, a strong neck, strong and stable legs. Feel your belly. A hard and swollen belly most often indicates that the baby has parasites.

The eyes of a healthy dog ​​are clean and clear, with no obvious signs of inflammation. The ears are also clean, without an unpleasant odor.

The behavior of children is also important. You should not choose a shy dog, one that hides and does not want to come out to you. A puppy with a healthy mind should be active and interested, not afraid of new visitors.

Pay attention to the room where the kids and their mother are kept. It cannot be uncut. The dogs themselves should also look neat.

Decide why you are buying a pet. If you just need a pet and family friend, then the exterior does not really matter. The main thing is to buy a healthy dog ​​with a balanced psyche. For dog breeders who want to make an animal a show participant, appearance is of paramount importance. In this case, it must comply with the standard.

A purebred American Pit Bull Terrier is sold with a package of documents: a metric (it is later exchanged for a pedigree), a veterinary passport. In professional kennels, dogs are branded or chipped.

Photo of American Pit Bull Terrier puppies

What are the owners saying?

Having studied the reviews and comments of dog breeders, we made the following conclusions about this breed. Most owners consider their wards:

  • Smart and well trained;
  • Active and sporty;
  • Calm and balanced;
  • Excellent watchmen;
  • Dedicated to their family.

Owners of American Pit Bull Terriers do not advise people who have little free time to start a breed. After all, you need to walk with such dogs often and for a long time. In the summer, it is advisable to go out into nature. For example, a river or a lake. These dogs are pretty good swimmers.

according to owners, American pit bulls are pretty calm dogs

Since the American Pit Bull Terriers were originally bred as a fighting breed, they always have the desire to fight relatives. This does not mean at all that the dog attacks all the dogs he sees. It’s just that sometimes, even during the game, he can show excessive zeal, trying to win. Leaving American Pit Bull Terriers unattended on the run is not recommended.

The breed is very tolerant of children and is ready to endure their antics. Although it is undesirable to leave babies unattended with such a large dog for a long time.

American pit bull terriers master new teams quickly. Their intellect is well developed.

Since the breed is specific, once bred for fighting in the ring, it is undesirable for people with a weak character to start it. The pit bull needs a strong owner with a firm hand. In the event that you understand that you are not coping with the training, do not waste time and contact the cynologists.

American Pit Bull Terrier Price

The cost of an American Pit Bull Terrier puppy depends on its thoroughbredness and the experience of the breeder.

We contacted some breeding specialists and found out that private breeders always have lower prices – from 100 to 500$. In professional kennels, American Pit Bull Terriers can cost 40-80 thousand.

American Pit Bull Terrier – Video

American Pitbull Terrier - Top 10 Facts

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