When people usually think of the Pitbull, they think of a strong dog with power. They also think of an aggressive dog built for fighting.
While some dog owners do practice this illegal and dangerous activity, there are owners out there that have very amazing friendly American Pitbull Terriers. In reality, this is one of the most friendly and lovable dog breeds as long as you are a loving owner for this dog.
If you want to learn more about this dog breed, you will find comprehensive information about the American Pitbull Terrier here.
American Pitbull Terrier History
Pitbulls were first developed in the 1800s in England. They were bred from two dog breeds that are now extinct, the Old English Terrier and the Old English Bulldogges. They were used to bait animals such as bears and bulls. This is, of course, now illegal, but back then, it was widespread.
There were later brought to America by the immigrants, and they were given jobs such as watching and catching cattle. They quickly became great companions and working dogs. They are therapy dogs such as police dogs, service dogs for hard of hearing, search and rescue dogs, and the list goes on from there.
Later in the 20th century, they became more of companion dogs that live with families all over the world. Of course, they still get a very bad reputation for being aggressive and mean.
The head of the Pitbull is typically in the shape of a brick, which is broad with powerful jaws and big jowls. It is a stocky, muscular dog with a well-defined neck. While this is a stocky dog, it is also agile and extremely strong at the same time. The teeth of the Pitbull usually make up a scissors bite.
Many owners choose to crop their ears for the sake of appearance; however, many owners who use their pitbull as a working dog crop them intentionally so their floppy ears cannot get torn in the line of duty.
Its coat is short, thick, and shiny, and it comes in a variety of colors, including fawn, tan, black, brown, white, and cream.
Pitbulls have naturally short coats that don’t require a lot of grooming maintenance. They have a single coat that is sleek and smooth. Even though they are so low maintenance, they still need to be brushed to help distribute the natural oils that produce on the hair and throughout the skin.
What Colors Do They Come In?
American Pitbull’s and regular mixes of Pitbull’s can come in all kinds of colors. Here are a few of the most common colors:
- Blue Hues
There are a few nose colors too such as:
- Red (very common)
American Pitbull Temperament
A negative stigma surrounds Pitbulls due to their fierce look, significantly when their ears are cropped. On the contrary, if socialized well with a calm and confident hand, they become great companions who are good-natured, funny, loyal, and affectionate, even to children.
They are rarely aggressive towards people like many say; however, they can be more aggressive towards other animals; again, this can be overcome through early training and socialization. The only known time when a Pitbull will become aggressive towards a human is when it is protecting its owner, as it is fiercely loyal and protective.
This dog is fine to leave with children, and it has quite a high pain threshold and can withstand the rough and tumble play without getting aggressive. While many promote this dog for fighting, it actually makes a great family pet and companion because of its calm and loving temperament.
This muscular dog weighs approximately 22-78lb (10-35kg) and measures between 14-24 inches (35-60cm) in height. The actual weight and size is not as important as the Pitbull’s proportions.
American Pitbull Terrier Health Problems
This relatively healthy breed of dog, and the only known health problems associated with the Pitbull are hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and occasionally grass allergies.
Hip Dysplasia – This is a problem where the hip bone doesn’t fit correctly in the socket, and it rubs together, making it extremely painful on the dog.
If you are buying an American Pitbull Terrier Puppy from a breeder, then ask about the hip scores of the parents. This will give you a good indicator if your dog might have hip dysplasia when they are older.
Hypothyroidism – American Pitbull Terriers can suffer from this as it is a condition that interferes with the thyroid and causes issues with weight, coat and skin, and also reproductive issues. Your vet can diagnose your dog if you notice these symptoms and help control the condition with medicine.
Allergies – You can easily tell if your dog has allergies because their skin will break out with red bumps. They can get allergies for several reasons. Try to figure out what is causing the reaction and eliminate exposure if possible.
Obesity – Any dog breed can suffer from obesity. Still, bigger dogs tend to eat a lot more than smaller dogs already and can be prone to developing obesity if they are getting overfed and do not get the required amount of exercise.
Heart Conditions – This is something that this breed can get when it is born. Your vet will do a comprehensive exam and continue to monitor your dog for any changes in its heart. The most common heart disease is aortic stenosis which is a narrowing of the left ventricle to the aorta.
Life Expectancy of an American Pitbull Terrier
The lifespan of an American Pitbull Terrier can range from 8 years on the lower end to 15 years on the high end. The life expectancy of your dog will always be determined by how well you are taking care of your dog, their health, happiness, and genetics.
Remember to give your dog a high protein food with fresh, clean water. Giver your dog one hour of exercise a day and proper socialization.
The Pitbull is not a dog that should be kept indoors because of its size, strength, and high energy. Ideally, it should be kept in a kennel, in a garage, or in a bed in the laundry room. However, it should not be kept outdoors either, as it does not do well in cooler weather.
This dog is only suitable for those who have at least 2 hours per day to exercise it. It is ideal as a family dog as long as it is trained and socialized correctly. This dog is unsuitable for older people as a lot of strength is needed when walking the dog.
The Pitbull is a naturally muscular dog full of energy and needs to be walked twice daily for at least an hour each time. If you are someone who doesn’t like to get outside to do a lot of exercise, then this is not the dog for you. You need to spend at least an hour a day outside playing, running, and exercising your dog.
An easy way to do that is by playing fetch with your Pitbull. When you are giving your dog exercise, that would be a good time to practice some training with your Pitbull.
Never leave your Pitbull outside in a backyard to get exercise. They will not get to fully let out their energy the way they are supposed to. In addition, if you fail to give your dog enough exercise, your dog can develop destructive behavior such as chewing on things in the home, digging in trash, or things it isn’t supposed to.
Pitbulls need a specific type of dog food compared to other large breed dogs. Pitbulls need a high-quality and high-protein food.
It is very important that the American Pitbull gets a good source of animal protein into their diet daily. In addition, they need a moderate balance of fat and lower healthy carbs that come from sweet potatoes, rice, and vegetables.
The American Pitbull Terrier needs two and a half cups of dry high protein large-breed dog food a day. They need their food broken up into smaller meals to reduce the risk of bloat. Start them off with two or three meals throughout the day.
Their approximate food cost is around $1.30 a day, depending on the food you purchase for your dog.
The Pitbull has a short-haired coat; it is easy to groom. Use a bristle brush and rub it with an old cloth to make the coat shine.
Weekly brushing will work great on this breed. They don’t need baths very often unless they are extremely dirty. If your dog is not getting outside enough, always check to ensure the nails are trimmed.
Bathing your American Pitbull Terrier has to be done but not too often. Pitbulls naturally have sensitive skin, so you don’t want to over bathe as it will strip the natural oils on your dog’s skin and can cause rashes, itches, etc. When bathing your Pitbull, ensure you get a shampoo made from dogs with sensitive skin. Pitbulls only need a bath every month to six weeks unless visibly filthy.
Teeth brushing can be done occasionally. Check the ears from time to time to see if there is a wax build-up. This will help to decrease the chance of an ear infection.
Training The American Pitbull Terrier
The American Pitbull Terrier can be a very stubborn breed; they like to be the alpha and dominant dog. Pitbulls can take a long time to train because of their stubbornness, so you will need to have patience in the training process.
They are very intelligent dogs but try to go for a shorter training session with lots of repetition to enforce what you are trying to teach. Since the Pitbull can basically walk all over their owner, I would suggest not picking this dog out for a first-time dog owner.
Ideally, training your American Pitbull Terrier should be done when it is a puppy. Your puppy will absorb so much information and be better equipped to learn commands and tricks more easily. Start with socialization and getting your dog used to new things in its environment all the time.
American Pitbull Terrier Puppies
A pitbull puppy would not be hard to find at all. There are a lot of breeders out there that sell American Pitbull Terrier puppies. Some may be very affordable, while others may be quite expensive. Always research a breeder before purchasing.
American Pitbull Terrier dogs range in price. You can really find one at any price range. Typically, American Pitbull Terrier puppies are more expensive than adult versions. You will likely be able to find adults in local rescues.
You want to make sure you are buying a happy, healthy puppy! Another great place to check for Pitbulls is your local animal shelters! Many Pitbull dogs need a home. Many are getting euthanized, and you will be saving a dog’s life by adopting it!
American Pitbull Terrier Litter Size
If you have a pregnant American Pitbull, you should expect a litter size between five and ten puppies. Liter size ranges on the size of dogs breeding together. You can always take your dog to the vet to get a more accurate litter size estimate when your dog is pregnant.
Here you will find highlights talked about in this article with all the key information you should take with you.
- American Pitbull Terriers have a long history and were first developed by breeding Old English Terriers and Old English Bulldogges.
- This breed has a very bad reputation, but it is actually one of the friendliest breeds.
- American Pitbull Terriers have a very muscular build and pointy ears that are sometimes cropped.
- Pitbulls can be found in a variety of colors.
- Pitbulls can be aggressive if their owners do not socialize them. However, they are generally sweet and friendly dogs that can be great family companions and live with children.
- There are some health concerns that your Pitbull can possibly get. Always take your dog to routine appointments to make sure your dog is healthy.
- Exercise is extremely important with this breed. If you do not give your dog proper exercise each day, it can lead to very destructive behavior.
- Food goes hand in hand with exercise. Therefore, this breed needs a high quality food that will replenish the calories burned during exercise.
- Grooming is minimal for this breed. Light brushing keeps the coat clean and looking shiny.
- Train your dog when it is a puppy to build good habits. This will teach your dog obedience and how to be well socialized around other people.
- There are a variety of breeders and rescues you can contact to get yourself your own American Pitbull Terrier.
In this section, you will find common questions people ask about American Pitbull Terriers.
Yes, the American Pitbull Terrier gets the reputation that it is a dangerous dog based on its looks and some of the fighting some people do with their dogs. In reality, this breed is actually very friendly, loving, and a great family dog breed. This breed is even very friendly with children.
No, American Pitbull Terriers are not naturally aggressive. They are not born being aggressive and mean. One reason they get like this is due to a bad owner. If your dog is not socialized at a young age, it can develop fearful tendencies, which can make it aggressive. Therefore, training your dog to be friendly and well socialized is very important.
This generally comes down to preference of what you prefer. There is no real difference between a male and a female when it comes to the American Pitbull Terrier. The biggest difference will be in size.
Close Relatives or Cross-Breeds of The American Pitbull Terrier
There are a lot of crossbreeds of Pitbulls out in the world. Here are a few of the most popular and wildly seen American Pitbull Terrier crossbreeds:
- English Mastiff Pitbull
- Alaskan Pit Bull
- German Shepherd Pitbull
- Pitbull Husky
- Pugbull Terrier
- Great Danebull
There are even more crossbreeds than this too! These are just some of the most popular ones you will find.