The American Pitbull Terrier is a family companion dog breed. This breed was originally bred to be baits for bulls, this breed then evolved into all round farm dogs. The breed was later moved into the house to become “nanny dogs” because they were very gentle around children.
History of the American Pitbull Terrier
The Bull and Terrier breed was made in early 19th century England for the famous spectator sport of bull- and bear-baiting. When these sports were believed to be inhumane, they became illegal in 1835.
Dogfighting them came up in its place which created the need for the trait of dog aggression to be bred into their genetic line.
Another part of the genetic makeup of this breed is an unwillingness to bite humans, this is because handlers wanted to be able to reach into dog fighting rings and separate the dogs without getting hurt themselves.
Soon enough, the breed established a reputation as a sting and protective dog and as also a gentle family-friendly dog. When these bulldogs came with immigrants to America, they started a new career as the all-around farm dog.
Their job included guarding the properties against animal intruders, providing companionship and hunting wild game.
In order to keep up with the “bigger is better” belief of their new country, the settlers decided to develop a dog larger than that that had been in England.
In 1898, the UKC— Britain’s equivalent of the AKC, names these bulldogs the American Pit Bull Terrier. The AKC recognized the breed in the early 1930s but only under a new name.
With the intent to separate it from its pit fighting past, the AKC renamed it the “American Staffordshire Terrier”. This breed is known as the so-called bully breed and is often tagged as a pit bull.
The “pit Bull” is not a breed, it is a term used to describe the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Bull Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Some people believe that the American Pit Bull Terrier is the same as American Staffordshire Terrier, experts agree that the confusion began with a decision made by the AKC in 1930 to give it a new name, it was given the American Staffordshire Terrier, to differentiate it from its pit fighting past.
The American Pit Bull Terrier hasn’t been recognized by the AKC, while the American Staffordshire Terrier ( which is a little bit smaller) has been recognized.
Since 1930, the American Staffordshire Terrier was bred for AKC arrangement or for dog shows, while the American Pit Bull Terrier hasn’t been. The results are a slight difference in build and personality.
Appearance and size
The males of this breed are 18 to 19 inches while the females are 17 to 18 inches tall at the shoulder, they weigh between 30 to 85 pounds.
Their short coat is shiny and stiff, their coats come in different colors such as brown, red, white, blue, grey, black and white, and brindle
This breed requires little grooming and have a coat that is easy to keep clean with an occasional bath.
Brushing with a stiff brush and wiping the coast down with a cloth will maintain the coat’s shine. Brush your pup’s teeth two or three times a week to remove bacteria and tartar buildup, daily brushing is a better way to prevent gum disease and bad breath.
Trim his nails once or twice a month. If your dog doesn’t wear them down naturally. If you hear their nails clicking on the floor this just means that the nails have gotten too long.
When cutting their nails, do not cut too far as Dog toenails have blood vessels in them and if you cut too far you may cause bleeding and your dog may run next time he sees you coming out with the nail clippers.
Clean his ears weekly and check for bad odor or redness which can point towards an infection, when checking their ears, clear them with a Cotton ball sprinkled with a gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner to help avoid infections. Avoid inserting anything into the ear canal and focus on cleaning the outer ear.
While grooming them, check for rashes, sores, signs of infection which could be tenderness, redness, inflammation in the mouth, on the eyes, in the feet, on the skin and in the nose.
Their eyes should be clear without redness or discharge. Examine them carefully every week as this would help to spot possible health problems early
American Pit Bull Terriers are very intelligent, reliable, courageous and brave. They are not the type to start fights but when there is a fight, they are not the type to back down., they fight to the finish.
Their courage, gameness and tenacity make them popular competitors in the sport of agility, obedience and weight pulling.
This breed can be misunderstood, the same qualities that make this breed a worthy and stubborn player in agility and obedience games, also attract unserious people searching for strong competitors for their dog fighting rings.
Bull breeds, especially the APBT has gained a reputation for being dangerous over the years but that is not true. APBTs are an excellent companion for children, he is gentle and loving with people.
These dogs make for lousy guard dogs because they are always eager to greet the people at the door. They are devoted and fiercely loyal to their family and will defend their families to death.
Dogs of this breed are remarkably intelligent and learn tricks and commands very easily.
Our furry friends have a zest for life and appreciate being involved in everything going on around them, they maintain a lot of puppy personality well into their adulthood. They are a joy to live with.
APBTs are not a good choice for people who can’t give them love and attention, they are best suited to families who can give them fair, firm training and consistent discipline.
This breed has a great need to chew and have strong jaws, be sure to give them strong durable toys that can’t the chewed up or swallowed.
This breed is typically healthy, but as with all dog breed, they are prone to certain health conditions.
Do note that not all APBTs will get any of these diseases but it is important to know them as a precaution if you are considering this breed. Some of which are:
Hip Dysplasia (HD): Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint ball and socket. It can be extremely painful depending on the seriousness of the condition. Breeding dogs should have X-rays of their hips done at the age of 2 to ensure they do not have this condition.
Allergies: Allergies are common in APBT, skin allergies are generally caused by environmental allergens such as pollen, fleas, grass and dust. Allergies can also be food-related, but food-related allergies are less common. Common food allergens include wheat, beef, corn and rice.
Allergies can cause intense discomfort and itching, this means that dogs with this condition will dig and chew at things until they bleed. This is dangerous because secondary infections can occur in the damaged tissue. To treat allergies, the cause must be identified and eliminated from the dog’s environment as soon as possible.
A vet can help you with this and also let you know which allergy can be controlled with medication.
Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is a dysfunction of the thyroid gland that can cause poor coat, reproductive problems, weight gain and other issues. It occurs in middle-aged dogs and can be controlled with daily medication that must be continued throughout the dog’s life.
Heart Disease: Heart disease affects dogs in various forms with aortic stenosis being the most common. Aortic stenosis is an inborn heart defect, meaning it is something the dog is born with.
Aortic stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of the connection between the aorta and the left ventricle.
Some dogs do not have any symptoms or minor symptoms while other dogs may have little energy or die suddenly. If your vet hears a heart murmur, an electrocardiogram and a chest X-ray can help confirm the diagnosis.
They have a life span of 12 to 16 years, the recommended daily amount of food for them is 1.5 to 2.5 cups of high-quality dry food, split into two meals.
How much your dog eats depends on a variety of things such as, activity level, metabolism, build, age and size. Like people, dogs don’t need the same amount of food.
It goes without saying that an active dog will need more food than a couch potato dog. The quality of dog food you feed them also makes a huge difference, the better the dog food, the further it will nourish your dog and the less you’ll have to shake into their bowl.
To prevent obesity, measure their dog and give food and have a food schedule, avoid leaving food out. Your dog should have a waist when you look at him, you should be able to feel but not see his ribs beneath a layer of muscles. If the ribs are hidden beneath rolls of fat your dog is getting obese and needs to go in a diet.
Training and exercise
These dogs must be trained and socialized when they are young in order to overcome their tendency towards stubbornness and bossiness, they are strong as well and all of these can make them difficult to handle if you have no made it clear to him that you are in charge.
Your APBT should be kept of a tight leash in public in order to prevent aggression towards other dogs, do not let them run loose in parts.
When they are not socialized properly, they have a tendency to become aggressive towards other dogs L.
Why you should get an American Pit Bull Terrier
American Pit Bull Terriers love being companions and showering their family with love and affection, they are a joy to live with and once you get one you would never want to go back
Where to get an American Pit Bull Terrier and price
In spite of their status as purebred dogs, American Pit Bull Terrier can be found in the care of rescue groups and shelters.
You can find Pit Bulls, American Pit Bulls, Pit Bull Mixes. Several good rescue groups are committed to finding the perfect home for these misunderstood dogs such as
Pit Bull Project
Animal Farm Foundation
Pit Bull Rescue Central
This breed costs between $500 and $1000