All About the American Pit Bull Terrier, a Misunderstood Breed in Many Ways

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Although a popular companion, the American Pit Bull Terrier is not a breed recognized by the American Kennel Club, though it is recognized by the United Kennel Club. One of the most misunderstood breeds of dogs, the American Pit Bull Terrier originated in England in the 1800s.

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Developed by crossing terriers with bulldogs, the American Pit Bull Terrier was developed for use in bull baiting and dog fighting in Europe. Despite the harsh roots of the breed the American Pit Bull Terrier then became an all-around farm and family dog joining with immigrants who came to America. In the United States, the American Pit Bull Terrier continued to be known as an all-around family and farm dog deeply loyal to their family especially children. The American Pit Bull Terrier is loyal, and people oriented. A lively and athletic dog, the American Pit Bull Terrier makes a great companion for people and families looking for an energetic and active dog.


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American Pit Bull Terrier Characteristics

Because the American Pit Bull Terrier is not recognized by the American Kennel Club for formal registration puppies and dogs may be advertised by breeders or rescue groups as being American Pit Bull Terriers because they have a collection of physical characteristics that look like pit bull type dogs but may or may not be American Pit Bull Terriers. Compared to many other breeds of dogs, there can be a great deal of variation with American Pit Bull Terrier's size. Full grown males can be between 35 and 60 pounds and females weigh between 30 pounds and 50 pounds. Males range in size from 18 to 21 inches at the withers and females range in height from 17 to 20 inches at the withers. Unlike many other breeds where precise weight or height are a core part of the breed's description with the American Pit Bull Terrier dogs that are oversized or undersized will not be faulted unless their size is disproportionate, or structurally unsound. American Pit Bull Terriers tend to be loyal and protective family pets. When properly trained and socialized, they have a reputation of being especially affectionate and patient with children. Like with any other dog, children shouldn't be left unsupervised, and kids should always be taught appropriate ways to interact with dogs. Stop the 77 is a great resource for teaching children how to interact with dogs safely.

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American Pit Bull Terrier Temperament & Training

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a strong, physically active, and attentive breed of dog that are closely bonded with their people and love to play and learn. This high energy breed thrives with attention and play. Breed is not a reliable indicator of personality; however the American Pit Bull Terrier is sometimes known to have a reputation around struggling with interactions with other dogs, and because of the breed's dog fighting history can be prone to dog reactivity or dog aggression. However, American Pit Bull Terriers are not inherently dangerous and many American Pit BullTerriers when well socialized as puppies are dog social and comfortable in multi-dog situations. Because of their size and strength, appropriate socialization and training is particularly important. If you have or are considering adding an American Pit Bull Terrier to your family, it's important to find a positive reinforcement based trainer to help you and your dog learn basic manners and other important skills. American Pit Bull Terriers are strong, intelligent, and active dogs and thrive in a variety of canine activities including Agility, Obedience, Rally, Scent Work and other sports.



American Pit Bull Terrier Grooming

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a short and smooth coated breed. American Pit Bull Terriers come in any coat color or pattern with the exception of merle. The glossy, stiff, short coat is easy to maintain and requires very minimal care. This breed benefits from a weekly brush with a grooming mitt, soft bristle brush, or rubber/silicone dog brush. This brushing will help to keep the American Pit Bull Terrier's coat and skin and coat in good condition and remove any dead loose fur. Like any other breed of dog, they should have their nails trimmed on a regular basis, and have their ears and teeth cleaned regularly as well.


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American Pit Bull Terrier Exercise & Health

The American Pit Bull Terrier is an energetic, active, and intelligent dog. These athletic dogs require regular physical and mental exercise to be happy and healthy. Known for their muscular build the American Pit BullTerrier thrives in an active home where they have access to regular daily exercise. Very bonded to their people, the American Pit Bull Terrier loves the opportunity to play and exercise with their family. Like many other large and active breeds of dogs American Pit Bull Terriers can be predisposed to orthopedic health conditions such as hip dysplasia. Skin conditions and allergies can also be common.


Breed-Specific Legislation

Unfortunately, because of the misunderstood nature of the American Pit Bull Terrier, they are often affected by breed-specific legislation, also known as "breed bans." This kind of legislation, while it has been proven ineffective and has been decried by all major reputable dog advocacy organizations, still exists and should be carefully considered for anyone thinking of adding a Pit Bull to their family. It can affect where you are allowed to live or where you can take your dog in public. Consult our guide to breed-specific legislation for more detailed information.


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American Pit Bull Terrier Puppies

American Pit BullTerriers are intelligent and active puppies. These puppies thrive on attention, play, and socialization. Generally American Pit Bull Terrier puppies weigh between six and ten pounds when they are eight weeks old. American Pit Bull Terriers generally reach full physical size by their first birthday.


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