Determining a Pit Bull's Bloodline

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Learning about your pit bull's bloodlines helps to understand its genetic traits and make decisions about potentially complementary breeding lines. Unfortunately, many American pit bull terriers (APBT) lack registration and pedigree information, according to the American Pit Bull Registry. Although many clubs and organizations represent dogs that do not belong to the AKC, no single club maintains the registration and pedigrees for all APBT. Many of the organizations allow the registration of dogs with no pedigree or proof of being a purebred. They also may exclude purebred dogs based on reasons such as coat or eye color. Thus, neither registration nor lack of registration proves the dog is a purebred.


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Tip #1 - Contact the club or registry for your dog if registered. Most registries maintain at least four generations of dogs while others keep records of bloodlines for many generations. Some dogs have dual registration with the AKC under American Staffordshire terriers and with a pit bull registry.

Tip #2 - Call the breeder of your dog for bloodline information. Many pit bull breeders maintain pedigree information even for unregistered dogs. Write down the names of as many generations as possible in order to research the bloodline or ask the breeder for a copy of the pedigree for the sire and dam. Contact the breeders of the sire and dam if your breeder got them from other people.


Tip #3 - Contact registries, such as the American Pit Bull Registry and American Dog Breeders Association, to ask for a list of breeders that might assist you in bloodline research. Obtain information on the process for obtaining pedigrees of any known ancestors in their database.

Tip #4 - Meet with APBT breeders either individually or by attending an APBT competition to discuss the bloodlines behind your dog. Take all known information about your dog with you. Ask experienced pit bull breeders to explain the different lines, traits and qualities of famous lines such as Carver, Rednose, Palladin and Zebo and ask to see dogs from different bloodlines, suggests the National Dog Breeders Council of SA.


Tip #5 - Consider a DNA test to obtain information about the breeds of dogs indicated in the profile if your dog lacks registration and the breeder does not provide information. The bloodline may have mixed breeds if the profile suggests the genes of breeds not used develop the pit bull. Both terriers and bulldogs make up the foundation of the pit bull, according to the American Kennel Club.

By Daniel Cobalt

American Pit Bull Registry
American Dog Breeders Association: The Role of a Registration Office
National Dog Breeders Council Of SA: Bloodlines
American Kennel Club: American Staffordshire Terrier History
ASPCA: Breed Specific Legislation
American Bar Association-Pit Bull Bans: The State of Breed--Specific Legislation
The REAL Pit Bull, Inc.: Pit Bull Education, Advocacy, Rescue, Training


About the Author
Daniel Cobalt lives in Georgia and has been writing online for over five years. He has a technical certificate in printing from the Philadelphia Printing School. His areas of expertise include fitness, home schooling, parenting, personal relationships, small business ownership and pet topics including breeding, training and responsible ownership.