American Pit Bull Terrier

  • Other Names: Pitbull, Pit Bull and Pit Terrier
  • Size: Medium
  • Life Expectancy: 13 years
  • Average Weight: 47 pounds (21kg)
  • Average Height: 19 inches (48cm)
  • Grooming: Minimal
  • Shedding: Average
  • Exercise: Average
  • Training: Average
  • Color: Any
  • Country of Origin: United States
  • Personality: Confident, Loyal and Protective


American Pit Bull Terriers were cross bred from a mixture of bulldogs and terriers. They were first bred for bull baiting until this sport was considered inhumane. Then they were used for ratting (where rats are placed in a pit with the dog) and dog fighting. This is how “Pit” became part of their name. They became more domesticated with time, with their loyal, protective traits making them popular as protective companions.

They come from the same breeding lines as the American Staffordshire Terrier and both breeds are very similar. The American Kennel Club only recognizes American Staffordshire Terriers and views the Pit Bull Terriers as a separate breed. Whereas the United Kennel Club recognizes both breeds as American Pit Bull Terriers.


The American Pit Bull Terrier is strong and muscular with a solidly built body. They are very agile dogs and have great strength and endurance for their size. American Pit Bull Terriers are short-haired with a smooth, glossy coat. They usually have cropped ears, but cropping is optional. Their tails taper to a point and are not docked. They are found in all colors and are very similar to the American Staffordshire Terrier. The main difference between the two breeds is their height and weight with the Pit Bull Terrier being larger.


American Pit Bull Terriers are often viewed as being overly aggressive and violent and have been banned in some countries. Despite this reputation, this breed is actually a very caring, loving and loyal family dog when raised properly and given the correct training and socialization. They are not good guard dogs as they are too friendly with strangers. American Pit Bull Terriers are very intelligent and do well in performance events such as agility and obedience training. They are eager to please and enjoy being part of a family. They are good with children, but can be aggressive towards other dogs without proper socialization. They are naturally hostile towards other dogs but not towards humans. This breed needs an experienced owner to provide the necessary training.


Firm training is needed for American Pit Bull Terriers as they are strong, powerful dogs that can be dangerous if not raised correctly. Their natural aggression towards other dogs needs to be curbed with plenty of socialization as a puppy. They need to know that their owner is the pack leader and that they are below all other humans. American Pit Bull Terriers are very obedient, intelligent, enthusiastic and have a desire to please. This makes them great dogs for training.


They need an average amount of exercise and should be taken on daily walks and have a yard to run around in.


American Pit Bull Terriers have short coats that just need a regular brush to remove the dead hairs. They only need bathing as necessary and are low maintenance dogs when it comes to grooming.