American Pitbull Terrier red background

The American Pitbull Terrier is a member of the Molosser breed group whose early ancestors came from England and Ireland.

This breed looks like the much bigger American Staffordshire Terrier since both of them are from the same lineage.

During the 19th century, fanciers in England, Ireland, and Scotland began to develop a dog that will all have the gameness, speed, agility and strength to survive a bull-baiting sport.

For them to do that, they tried to crossbreed bulldogs with terriers, which soon gave birth to the APBT.

When dogfighting events were labelled inhumane, it eventually became illegal and was banned.

During World War I, they were used as messengers to deliver information from one point to another.

In America, farmers and ranchers used their APBTs to guard their farms and livestock.

Traits and Behavior

While pit bulls are known to be fun-loving, lively and very affectionate, each of them has a unique personality that shouldn’t be judged in general. Just like other animals, there might be instances when they seem to act strange and aggressive.

But the pitbull’s behavior is just a reflection of its master who manages it. If this dog is loved and cared for, it can be an ideal family companion.

American Pitbull Terrier with leash

This breed is very human-friendly but can be dangerous to other dogs due to their innate fighting instinct. These aggressive tendencies can be controlled and completely erased if it is properly socialized at the early age.

The UKC rejects the negative notions being thrown towards these dogs and gives this description of the characteristics of the American Pitbull Terrier:

“The essential characteristics of the American Pitbull Terrier are strength, confidence, and zest for life… because of its powerful physique, the APBT requires an owner who will carefully socialize and obedience train the dog. The breed’s natural agility makes it one of the most capable canine climbers so good fencing is a must for this breed.

American Pitbull Terrier sitting on a banch

The APBT is not the best choice for a guard dog since they are extremely friendly, even with strangers. Aggressive behavior toward humans is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable. This breed does very well in performance events because of its high level of intelligence and its willingness to work.”

Pet Care and Diseases

For the general population, the American Pitbull Terriers have a high incidence of the following health concerns:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Hereditary cataracts
  • Allergies (e.g. grass)
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Congenital heart disease

Vaccination is a top priority for this breed. The puppy must be fully immunized as an intervention for their susceptibility towards parvovirus, beginning at 6 weeks and continuing onwards through a lifespan.

American Pitbull Terrier tongue out

Pits will do okay in an apartment only if they are regularly activated through a proper workout, training, and mental exercise. They are very active indoors and will do alright without a yard provided they get enough exercise. Prefers warm climates.

As a breed that sheds not too often, the smooth, short-haired coat is very easy to maintain. Brush regularly with a firm bristle brush, and bathe or dry shampoo as needed.


American Pitbull Terrier walking on rocks

In addition to its even and well-defined muscle structure, the American Pitbull Terrier is a short-haired dog that is medium in size and is heavily built.

This breed possesses a strong athletic body that, if measured from the point of the shoulder to point of buttocks, appears much longer than its height.

It has a broad chest and thick hind legs. The length of the front leg (measured from point of the elbow to the ground) is approximately equal to one-half of the dog’s height at the withers.

The height of both males and females is between 43-56 cm. The males, typically weigh around 35-65 pounds while the females are approximately 30-60 pounds.

The squarish head has a wide, flat skull and a broad muzzle. The small pair of ears are erect.  The tail is quite short and sets low.

It is thick at the base and narrows down to a point.  The American Pit Bull Terrier have all sorts of color patterns.

General Information

Life expectancy for an American pit bull terrier is about 8-15 years. The average litter size is about 8-10 puppies. Other common names for this breed are APBT, Pitbull, Pitty or just Pit.

American Pitbull Terrier with white background

American Pitbull Terriers are subject to breed-specific legislation or BSL, ownership restrictions, insurance restrictions and outright bans.

These laws and regulations exist across the world in at least 12 European countries, as well as Australia, Canada, Ecuador, Malaysia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and Venezuela.

These strict bans have stemmed from countless animal attacks caused by dogs of pit bull-type and many of which have eventually resulted in the death of their victims.

Yet today, many dog lovers or owners of APBT still argue that the bans are unfair. Furthermore, they strongly believe that these dogs are excellent household pets contrary to the bad images that are being described on several breed-specific legislation.

According to them, what’s needed is that owners should be more experienced and hands-on so that these dogs can control their vicious animal instincts.

Breed Club

Visit this dog club website dedicated to American Pitbull Terriers. Click this link: https://napbta.wordpress.com/