American Pit Bull Terrier


This canine product of the American melting pot is a true success story, a bulldog-terrier cross that made its way out of the fighting pits and into the hearts of dog lovers. Bred in America from a blend of Bull and Terrier breeds, the APBT served many functions: on the farm he herded livestock and eliminated rats. In the home he played with the children and sat by his owner’s fire.

Nicknamed Yankee Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier, Half and Half, and American Bull Terrier, the breed has long been admired for its tenacity, courage, agility and spirit. Now known as the American Pit Bull Terrier, the breed has been recognized and registered by the United Kennel Club since 1898.

A loyal, strong and energetic companion, today’s APBT continues to provide good company to his owner, and also excels in everything from bomb detection, herding, therapy, search and rescue, to obedience. While Pit Bulls can make excellent pets, they are not for the first time owner. They might not go looking for trouble, but they won’t back down from it either. While the APBT is friendly with children, supervision is in order because of his power and strength. It is essential to socialize this breed with humans and other animals early on. Early training and socialization result in a calm and loving dog.

This athletic breed requires a good amount of space and exercise. A fenced yard will help provide an area to burn off energy. Pit Bull’s often excel when they have a job to do. Owners of APBTs can pick just about any sport (weight pulling, flyball, rally), and their dog may fill the house with award ribbons.

Wary and at times unfriendly with new dogs, an APBT (typical of the Terrier breeds) is not the dog for a family that loves new animals coming in and over to play.

Potential owners need to know that breed specific legislation (and home owner’s insurance policies) may target their breed. APBT owners take on an important responsibility to dispel bad press.

About American Pit Bull Terriers:

American-made versatility
Happy to help
Pursues excitement

Should I get an American Pit Bull Terrier?

Terrific for a person who:

      Wants a dog tough enough for rugged trails, sweet enough to greet fellow hikers.


      Has a deep commitment to working a dog hard, and loving him even deeper.


    Values friendliness to people far above guard or watch dog traits.

Think twice if you’re a person who:

      Feels sensitive about conceptions and misconceptions about his breed of choice.


      Wants your dog to gets all of his exercise at the dog park.


    Values guard and watchdog duties very highly (many APBTs greet mailmen!).

American Pit Bull Terrier Care

Easy to care (wash and go) short coat. Regular brushing maintains the coat.

The Standard Look:

A medium-sized, solidly built dog, the American Pit Bull should appear strong and sleek with well-defined features. The head is large and broad, a unique feature of the breed. There are no specific requirements for height and weight, but they can range from 30 to 60 pounds with the body being slightly longer than tall. Ears may be cropped or natural. The short, close, stiff coat may be any color.

Possible health concerns

Hip dysplasia, hereditary cataracts, congenital heart disease.

Related Articles

Is the American Pit Bull Terrier Right For Me?

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The Terrier In The American Pit Bull Terrier

Discover how much influence the terrier blood has in American Pit Bull Terriers. …

Pit Bull Training Techniques

Discover the best way to train Pit Bulls and which training techniques your Pit Bull will respond to. …

Breed Details

Country of Origin:
Medium Dog Breed
All colors, patterns, and combinations permitted. Any eye color except blue.

Short, smooth, glossy.


Brush, trim nails, and clean teeth weekly.

Life Expectancy:
10 to 12 years
AKC Group:
UKC Group:
18 to 22 inches
Males, 35 to 60 pounds; Females, 30 to 50 pounds.
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