American Pit Bull Terrier

INTRODUCTION

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a companion and family dog breed. Originally bred to “bait” bulls, the breed evolved into all-around farm dogs, and later moved into the home to become “nanny dogs” because they were so gentle with children. Although these are purebred dogs, you may find them in the care of shelters or rescue groups. Remember to adopt. Don’t buy if you want to take a dog home. Their tenacity, playfulness and fearlessness make them popular competitors in weight pulling, agility and obedience sports. Of course, you can also find them living as companions, showering their humans with love and affection. It’s important to remember that dogs of any breed can suffer health problems throughout their lives. A good pet insurance plan can help you prepare to give your dog the care it needs at any age. Click here to get an insurance plan for your Pit Bull.

HIGHLIGHTS

American Pit Bull Terriers are not a good choice for people who may pay little or no attention to them. They must be trained and socialized when they are young to overcome the breed’s tendencies to stubbornness and bossiness, which combined with their strength can make them difficult to handle if they have not learned that you are in charge. Your American Pit Bull Terrier should be leashed in public to avoid aggression to other dogs. It is not a good idea to let these dogs loose in dog parks. Even if they don’t start a fight, they will never back down from one, and will fight to the finish. American pit bulls that are not properly socialized as puppies can become aggressive with other dogs. Breed-specific legislation almost always includes this breed. Find out what the rules are in your area and in neighboring regions if you are traveling with your dog. American Pit Bull Terriers have a strong need to chew, and their powerful jaws make quick work of cheap or flimsy toys. Give yours only sturdy, durable toys that can’t be chewed and swallowed. American Pit Bull Terriers are best suited to owners who can offer firm, fair training and gentle, consistent discipline.

HISTORY

Bull and terrier breeds were created in early 19th century England for the popular show sports of bull and bear hunting. When these sports were deemed inhumane and outlawed in 1835, dog fighting emerged in their place, so the trait of canine aggression was incorporated into the genetic line. But another part of this breed’s genetic makeup is an unwillingness to bite humans. Trainers entering dog fighting rings wanted to be able to separate the dogs without getting hurt themselves. Soon, the breed acquired a reputation for being a strong and protective dog, but also known for being gentle and familiar. When these “bull dogs” accompanied immigrants to America, they began a new career as farm dogs of all kinds. Their work included hunting wild game, protecting property from intruders and companionship. In keeping with the “bigger is better” mentality of their new country, the colonists developed a larger dog than it had been in England. In 1898 the UKC, the British equivalent of the AKC, named these bull dogs the American Pit Bull Terrier. The AKC decided to recognize the breed in the early 1930s, but with a new name. In an attempt to separate it from its pit-fighting past, the AKC called it the American Staffordshire Terrier. Since then, the American Staffordshire Terrier has been bred for AKC conformation, or dog shows, while the American Pit Bull Terrier has not. The result is very slight differences in conformation and personality.

Breed Characteristics:
Adaptability:
3/5
All Around Friendliness:
4/5
Health And Grooming Needs:
3/5
Trainability:
4/5
Physical Needs:
5/5
Vital Stats:
Dog Breed Group: Terrier Dogs
Height: 17 to 19 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 30 to 85 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 16 years

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