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American Pit Bull Terrier Dog Breed Information, Personality, Health, Grooming, And Nutrition

Written by: Peter Laskay
Reviewed by: Amber LaRock
Last updated on:
american pit bull terrier

If you’ve ever heard the term “pit bull,” you’re probably familiar with the negative meanings associated with these dogs as well. In my article, I’m going to write about the breed called American Pit Bull Terrier. It will be about why the bad news of this breed has spread and that, in fact, these dogs are not only intelligent but gentle and lovable. I also write all the important information about their care. So if you’re wondering if this breed is right for you, be sure to read this article.

Let’s start!

Basic stats:

  • Height: 18-19 inches (male), 17-18 inches (female)
  • Breed Group: Terrier Dogs
  • Weight: 55-70 pounds (male), 40-55 pounds (female)
  • Life span: 12-16 years

About American Pit Bull Terriers in brief

The American Pit Bull Terrier is often referred to only as Pit Bull. However, you should know that Pit Bull is not a breed, but a term that can be understood to mean four breeds. These are the American Pit Bull Terrier, the Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Many claim that the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier are the same. Others say the two are completely different.

In the 1930s, the American Kennel Club gave these dogs the name American Staffordshire Terrier. The goal was for the breed’s name not to be reminiscent of its pit-fighting past. In contrast, the American Pit Bull Terrier was not recognized by the AKC.

Bully breeds have qualities that make them extremely tough and a real fighter. Therefore, they have been used in dogfighting for a long time. It is mostly due to this that these dogs have a negative reputation. This is especially true for American Pitbull Terriers.

Due to the spread of many negative rumors, strict laws against breed have been enacted in many countries worldwide. You should know that if you want an American Pit Bull Terrier, you will meet many negative and angry misinformed people. Find out what rules apply to this breed in the area where you live. A good quality Pit Bull muzzle may be needed if you take your dog among people.

It is indeed true that these dogs need patience. A lot of time and energy needs to be invested in training and socialization. However, the result is absolutely worth the effort. These dogs are wonderful and can be very lovable. With proper guidance, they can become perfect friends.

What’s more, with the right care, training, and socialization, American Pit Bull Terriers are suitable for kids too. These dogs love their owners and are very gentle with them. They are loyal and protect their families, if necessary, at the cost of their lives.

American Pit Bull Terriers are extremely intelligent. They learn any command and trick with ease. Their zest for life, activity, and vitality is maintained from puppy age to old age. Believe me; if you get to know this breed, you will love it too.

History of this breed

In England in the early 19th century, bull- and bear-baiting were popular sports. Bull and Terrier breeds have been bred for these, hence the aggressive trait of these dogs. However, it is also due to the same sports that these breeds do not bite people. This is because the handlers had to separate the fighting dogs so that they would not be injured. It soon spread from these dogs that they were strong, protective, excellent warriors, yet gentle and family-friendly.

These bulldogs made their way to America, thanks to the immigrants. There they mostly acted as farm dogs, hunted wild game, and guarded the farm. The settlers bred them to be larger than their English counterparts. The United Kennel Club named the breed the American Pit Bull Terrier. The AKC also recognized this breed but gave it the name American Staffordshire Terrier, so nothing resembled its pit-fighting past.

Since then, American Pit Bull Terriers and American American Staffordshire Terriers have been bred somewhat differently. Thus, there is some build and personality difference between the two dogs.

Key points

  • These dogs need a lot of attention.

  • Early training and socialization are essential to them.

  • They usually show aggression against other dogs.

  • Different countries and regions may have different laws for this breed.

  • American Pit Bull Terriers need a lot of chewing. Owners need to buy them heavy-duty chew toys.


Contrary to rumors, only good things can be said about these dogs. They love people and do their best to cuddle up to their owners. They are very alert and, in some ways, good watchdogs. They will immediately bark if a stranger approaches your house, but they do not attack, just greet the new guest.

While based on the above, they may not be the best guard dogs, you can still feel safe next to them. Because they can do anything for their loved ones and protect their families at any cost.

American Pit Bull Terriers need early socialization. As a result, their personalities can develop in the right direction and develop good behaviors.

Health care

These wonderful dogs are generally healthy. However, there are some diseases to which they are prone. I will detail these below. Of course, not all of them will necessarily occur in your American Pit Bull Terrier. However, be sure to watch for signs of these conditions.

  • Hip Dysplasia: This is an inherited condition where the hip joint ball and socket are malformed. This can cause pain and lameness. In some cases, there are no symptoms in dogs. Because it is an inherited disease, dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred.

  • Allergies: Allergies are quite common in American Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers. Contact allergies, or skin allergies, are caused by allergens such as dust, grass, fleas, pollen, and so on. Some foods can also cause allergic reactions, such as wheat, corn, soy, etc. Allergic reactions cause unbearable itching, the scraping and chewing of which leads to injuries. This can cause further infections, which is very dangerous. One of the most effective ways to treat allergies is to remove the allergens from your dog’s life or diet. Occasionally, medication may be used. In all cases, consult your veterinarian about the treatment of allergies.

  • Hypothyroidism: This medical condition is associated with abnormal thyroid function. It causes a lot of problems like obesity, skin diseases, hair loss, etc. It usually occurs in adult dogs and can be controlled with medication.

  • Heart Disease: Several types of heart disease can occur in these dogs. The most common is a congenital disease called aortic stenosis. A veterinarian can only determine this, as most of the time, there are no signs or few signs.

Feeding and nutrition

Good quality dog ​​food is also important to American Pit Bull Terriers. The exact amount depends on several factors, such as your dog’s age, sex, and activity level. A dog lounging all day needs fewer calories than an active one. Don’t forget that good quality dog ​​foods tend to be denser in calories. 

Ensure your dog is not obese, as this can pose some health risks in the future. Keep an eye on your canine’s weight and change his calorie intake as needed. Otherwise, the recommended daily amount of dry food is between 1.5 and 2.5 cups. Learn more about the nutrition of Pit Bulls.

Coat and grooming

The coat of American Pit Bull Terriers is short and shiny. Available in lots of colors: red, blue, brown, gray, black and white, and even brindle. The coat requires little care, but regular brushing and bathing with a good quality dog ​​shampoo are essential. But overall, it’s easy to maintain its shine and health.

Dental health is worth paying attention to. I recommend brushing teeth 2-3 times a week against tartar buildup. You can also brush your dog’s teeth daily to avoid various gum diseases and bad breath.

If your dog does not wear his nails down naturally, he may need nail trimming 1-2 times a month. Pay close attention to this procedure because there are blood vessels in the nails of dogs. If you are inexperienced or worried, consult a professional groomer. So-called dog nail grinders can also help, as they are usually less dreadful than nail trimmers.

Check your puppy’s ears regularly. Bad odor and redness can indicate an infection. Wipe the ears out with a cotton ball. To do this, you will need an ear cleaner developed for dogs. Be careful not to get anything in the ear canal. Just clean the outer ear.

You have to understand that grooming, in most cases, will not be pleasant for your dog. Therefore, you must start getting him used to these things in time. Hold his paws in your hands, look into his ears and mouth regularly. With some praise and treats, you can make the whole grooming procedure more bearable for both of you.

As you groom your American Pit Bull Terrier, look for signs of wounds, rashes, or infections throughout his body. This way, possible health problems can be eliminated in time.

Exercise and training

American Pitbull Terriers are very energetic dogs. They need regular exercise. If you want such a canine, get ready for a minimum of one hour of exercise a day. It can be anything: a walk, jogging, play sessions, and more. Choose a good quality harness or a collar for walks. Besides, provide your American Pit Bull Terrier with a durable chew toy.

American Pit Bull Terriers are very intelligent and obedient. They are easy to train and can learn any command or trick. Obedience training and socialization should begin as a puppy. In this way, possible forms of bad behavior can be interrupted in time.

If you prefer crate training, you should know that you need to buy a real heavy duty dog ​​crate for American Pit Bull Terriers. Crate training should also be started as a puppy.

Behavior With Children And Other Pets

Despite their bad reputation, American Pit Bull Terriers get along very well with kids. They are smart, intelligent, kind, and playful. However, as I always say, no dog should be left unattended with any dog.

Sometimes you are not at home and have to leave your children alone with your dog. In this case, you may want to consider putting your dog in a kennel or crate. This is especially true when he or she reaches sexual maturity.

You definitely need to teach your kids a few things. For example, dogs should not be disturbed while eating or sleeping. They should also not be caressed everywhere. Your dog should also be taught to treat children gently.

Pit Bull terriers tend to be aggressive towards other dogs and pets. However, this behavior can be improved and eliminated through early socialization and other training.


As you can see from my article, American Pit Bull Terriers are special and wonderful animals. Don’t let the prejudices about them mislead you. Pit Bull Terriers not only have outstanding intelligence but are very lovable. If you want a dog like this, you need to give him a lot of attention and care. But I know you won’t regret it for a minute.

Frequently Asked Questions About American Pit Bull Terriers

Why are American pit bull terriers banned in the UK?

The explanation is that this breed attacked people in many cases without provocation. The decision was made in 1991.

Is a pitbull a good family dog?

American Pit Bull Terriers love every person very much. They are loyal and people-oriented. They feel great in family circumstances. Therefore, the answer is clearly yes. They are excellent family dogs.

Are pitbulls allowed in America?

There is currently no law in America that bans Pit Bull Terriers. However, they should not be housed in the cantonments of the U.S. army. 

Photo of author
Hey, my name is Peter, and I am the owner of this site. I have loved animals since I was a kid. I am constantly training myself; I recently obtained an accredited certificate in pet nutrition. But I am constantly learning about training, grooming for dogs and cats. I am currently a happy owner of two dogs, six cats, and two red-eared sliders. My goal is to provide my visitors with the most authentic information possible on any pet-related topic.
Amber LaRock
Reviewed By An Expert:

My name is Amber, and I am a licensed vet tech with 10 years of experience in the field. I spent the majority of my career working in emergency medicine but recently transitioned to creating accurate pet care information online. There is nothing more important to me than helping pet owners understand their furry friend’s health, and giving you the tools you need to offer your pet the best future possible!