American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier Breed description: Character & Co


American Pit Bull Terriers are great dogs, that is when trained appropriately. Unfortunately this breed still has a bad reputation. Their keeping can be tied to conditions depending on the region or even forbidden completely. The Pits can be more loyal and cuddly than most other dogs.

The origin of the American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pitbull Terrier emerged from American Staffordshire Terrier breeding. In order to create a generally accepted family dog and leisurely companion from these dogs, the original breed was slightly re-bred and given this new name.

Until today, American Staffordshire Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers can hardly be distinguished from each other for most people.

The FCI has never recognised the new breed as such either. In the USA, the American Dog Breeder Society is in charge of it.

Historically, the Pit Bull Terriers go back to old British dog breeds. In the course of time, the small Staffordshire Bull Terriers and the massive Bulldogs became bigger and slimmer types of dogs, which are known today as "Pit Bull". The name can be translated as "Bulldog, for the fighting arena".

All these breeds have always been faithful companions of their people in the fighting arenas, despite their dark past.

The breed characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull Terrier can be recognised quite fast like most other "Bullies". If you want to own a dog like this, you have to expect other peoples judgement and certain restrictions. But many people have changed their attitude towards the former "fighting dogs" in the last years.

While keeping and breeding were completely forbidden for several years, both is now possible again under certain conditions. In the right hands, Pitbulls, Bull Terriers and co. are lovable companions that approach people in a friendly manner and also like children. Here are 4 facts for you:

  1. has a history as a "fighting dog".
  2. is not recognised by the FCI
  3. belongs in loving hands
  4. owners must reckon with prejudices
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Alternate Name Pitbull, Pit Bull Terrier, American Pitbull Terrier, Pit Bull
Origin USA
Life expectancy 10 - 12 years
Care requirements low-maintenance
Activity level average
FCI group not recognised
AKC group not recognised
KC group Terrier Group

The typical character traits of the American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull Terrier's temperament can best be described as lovable and stormy! These bundles of energy and strength want to be kept busy. After an accomplished challenge or a long, extended walk they like to take a good rest. If you already know the Pit Bull, you know why they like to be called "fight cuddlers". Sometimes these dogs just can't get enough of playing and cuddling with their owners.

Besides their lovable nature, they are bundles of energy that want to be led. A sense of sovereignty is more important than pulling on the leash or showing physical strength. The Pit Bull Terrier is a stubborn type, but will subordinate to a consistent leadership!

Moderate jogging and cycling, agility or dogdacing are suitable activities for them. A Pit Bull is not a marathon runner. They prefer short intense activities and resting afterwards. You can do their intelligence and eagerness to learn justice by playing games of skill or teaching them tricks.

Whether as a family dog, with couples or singles, the American Pit Bull Terrier is very affectionate and likes to join you everywhere you go. If you leave this dog alone too often, it will find something to occupy itself with. This can mean, among other things, that they might tear apart their favourite place (your sofa!) because of all the accumulated energy that it wants to release.

  • affectionate but demanding
  • needs to be kept busy
  • intelligent training and consistent leadership
  • should never be left alone for too long
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Breed typical diseases of the American Pit Bull Terrier

There are no typical diseases known.

Acquisition, breeding and keeping of the American Pit Bull Terrier

Breeding, trading and keeping these dogs are subject to strict regulations in many places. American Pit Bull Terrier breeders have therefore become rare. But please do not rush into buying an American Pit Bull Terrier puppy from dubious sources. Maybe you will also find an older and grateful Pit Bull Terrier at the animal protection.

In Germany, the breed may not be imported from abroad. The keeping of the breed is possible under certain conditions, a certificate of competence or a character test for example. Even with an American Pit Bull Terrier puppy, conditions have to be followed until you can prove that your adult dog is not dangerous either.

In Austria, the American Pit Bull Terrier is on the list in Vienna, Lower Austria and Vorarlberg. It is possible to keep them if you have a dog-handler's license or a special permit.

In Switzerland, the Pit Bull is on the list in all cantons. In the cantons of Fribourg, Geneva, Valais and Zurich, keeping, breeding and import are completely prohibited.

  1. is still considered dangerous
  2. keeping is forbidden in many places or only possible under certain conditions
  3. under certain circumstances landlords and neighbours must also agree!
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The round heads with the beautifully arranged rose ears as well as the wrinkled forehead are typical for these dogs. They give you an enchanting look with their small brown and very intense eyes. Their torso is well-proportioned, slightly curved and ends in a medium long and very straight tail. The legs taper clearly towards the paws, which are comparatively small and their thighs are strongly muscled.

The Pit Bull's fur is always short. With this dog, all kinds of colour variations are possible. Especially beautiful are speckled or cream coloured animals. The American Pit Bull Terrier Blue Line is a particularly special colour variation. The top coat is blue-grey with a silky light shimmer.

Size, weight and life expectancy of the American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull is slightly larger and taller than most other Pit Bull or Staffordshire types. Male and female dogs reach a shoulder height of up to 50 cm.

  • Shoulder height males and bitches approx. 43 to 52 cm
  • Weight males and bitches approx. 18 to 30 kg
  • Life expectancy up to 14 years
Fur length short
Fur flat coated
Ear shape Tilt-ear
Tail lang
Anatomy muscular, square
Size ♀ 43 - 50 cm
Weight ♀ 14 - 27 kg
Size ♂ 45 - 53 cm
Weight ♂ 16 - 30 kg
Suitable For -


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  • A Pitbull puppy costs about 1500 Euro. If it is a special coloring or blue, it can be more expensive.

  • The Pit Bull can be suitable as a family dog under certain circumstances. In principle, he is also good as a guard dog or working dog / rescue dog.

  • A pit bull has a bite force of 235 PSI. This is quite high and therefore it is considered a dangerous breed of dog.

Other medium dogs

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