If ever there was a dog that provokes extreme reactions, it is the American Pit Bull Terrier. Unfairly viewed by some as aggressive people eaters, these powerful but loving pooches simply need firm socialisation and training to ensure they are happy, gentle and loving family dogs.
Whilst they ARE aggressive around other dogs, they are no more aggressive towards people than any other breed. As will all dogs, you get out what you put in and the American Pit Bull Terrier is a loyal, agile and friendly companion – if trained right.
American Pit Bull Terrier Facts
- AVG Weight: 22 – 78 lbs
- AVG Height: 14 to 24 inches at the shoulder
- AVG Lifespan: 8 – 15 years
- Apartment Living: Potentially
- Level of Exercise: High
American Pit Bull Terrier Traits
- Powerful and agile
- Good natured and amusing
- Obedient and willing to please its owner
- Courageous and intelligent
- Aggressive around other dogs
American Pit Bull Terrier Temperament
American Pit Bull Terriers aren’t the avenging, aggressive, teeth bearing monsters the media sometimes like to make them out to be. Because American Pit Bull Terriers are chosen by unscrupulous breeders for dog fighting, they are perceived as being vicious and unfriendly, but this only applies to those that have been TRAINED to be unfriendly. Like any other dog, if trained correctly, an American Pit Bull Terrier can be a calm, confident and friendly family pet.
They are unwaveringly loyal and will protect their family at all costs and they can be wilful if not trained and socialised correctly. They do not get on with other dogs but are friendly towards humans they don’t perceive as a threat. The American Pit Bull Terrier is full of vitality and can be puppyish in nature right through to old age.
American Pit Bull Terrier Suitable Environment
Time alone is not for the American Pit Bull terrier, who loves to be close to his family so he can keep an eye out for any threats and protect them! They have a tendency to bark and have a streak of wanderlust, meaning that secure gardens are a must, as well as understanding neighbours if living in close proximity to others. They can adapt to apartment living, as long as they are given robust outdoors exercise to prevent boredom and potential destructive behaviour.
American Pit Bull Terrier Ideal Owners
These are not a dog for the novice owner. American Pit Bull Terriers require a firm hand in training and an owner who can lead the pack. Their high prey drive and animosity towards other dogs mean they are better off as an only pet. They are very child friendly and can handle rough and tumble play with small children, but as with all dogs, they should never be left unsupervised around little ones.
Highly agile and athletic, they require an owner who can dedicate time to lots of exercise and play. They must always be kept on lead when out and about. American Pit Bull Terriers are neither lap dogs nor a breed that can be allowed to roam freely outside.
American Pit Bull Terrier Breed Appearance
With a head shaped like a brick, slobbery jowls and a distinctly doggy smell, American Pit Bull Terriers aren’t the super models of the dog world. However, they have a stunningly lean, athletic and powerful body with a short, sleek coat that feels velvety to the touch.
They come in all sorts of colours including brindle, red, grey, black, brown, tan and white. They have short tails and ears that are rose shaped or prick up.
American Pit Bull Terrier Breed History
Like other bull terrier breeds, the American Pit Bull Terrier was initially bred in England in the early 19th century for bull and bear baiting. When these activities became illegal in 1835, the sport of dog fighting appeared and thus dog aggression was bred into the line. As dog fighting breeders didn’t wish to be repeatedly bitten, the breed was also bred to be gentle around humans and started to be known as good family dogs.
They traveled to America with immigrants and started being used as farm dogs, hunting wild game and guarding from intruders. They were recognised by the UK Kennel Club in 1898 and the American Kennel Club followed suit in the early 1930s. However, as they wished to separate the breed from its dog fighting past, they renamed it as the American Staffordshire terrier for show purposes.