The Body Types of the American Pitbull Terrier

By Vanessa Reich

There are various types of Pitbulls, one of which is the American Pitbull Terrier. Its physical characteristics are very similar to other Pitbulls, such as short fur and a stocky build. There are no specific types of American Pitbull Terriers, but there are characteristics to look out for, especially if you want to enter dog agility competitions or conformation shows.

Overdone or Exaggerated Breeding

Pitbull at beach

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It is common to see American Pitbull Terriers with large heads and chests. A dog with a large head will suffer from the extra weight, especially since the neck will be underdeveloped and not strong enough to hold the head. A chest that is too wide will limit maneuverability and agility, which is required to change position quickly. If an American Pitbull Terrier has too narrow a chest, the dog will be driven sideways by wrestling at the shoulder, which is not safe or practical. It is also common to see short, thick necks. These necks are not functional or practical. Many pitbulls in general have exaggerated underbites, which means the teeth are not in correct alignment, making chewing difficult.

What Should an American Pitbull Terrier Look Like?

Pitbull running in park

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Their weight should be 35 to 65 pounds, with a short, smooth coat. The head should be proportionate, or at least small. Their necks should be long, slender, and elegant to hold up their proportionately sized heads. The chest of an American Pitbull Terrier should be deep, well-filled and moderately wide, with room for the heart and lungs. The teeth should line up so there is no exaggerated underbite or overbite.

Conformation Faults

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There are many other characteristics that would not win a dog a top prize in a contest. These include: prick, flat or wide ears; long tails, outwardly turned elbows, tied-in elbows, bowed front legs, splayed toes, blue eyes, tails that curve up and over the back or are kinked, and missing teeth.

Other Characteristics

Pitbull puppy

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Pitbulls in general can be many different colors: black, white, red, tan and fawn, for example. Many pitbulls are two or more colors. Their noses can be different colors and normally have wide nostrils. American Pitbull Terrier have medium-sized eyes, and all colors except blue are accepted in conformation shows. The eyes may be rounded or almond-shaped. The tail may curl up and over the back if an American Pitbull Terrier is excited, or it may stand erect with only a slight bend.