American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT)

American Pit Bull Terrier

Aggressive breed

The lack of knowledge about this breed meant that today it is associated with at least hostile. A strong fighting instinct is maintained by many and even strengthened by inappropriate upbringing, e.g. by engaging the dog in fights. Few, however, know that the American Pit Bull Terrier can be a great family dog.

There are people who want to improve the breed’s reputation. In 1996, the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals wanted to change the name from “pit bull” to “St. Francis Terriers” to convince people to adopt this interesting (but also very demanding) race. This idea, though original, turned out to be a flop because many of the adopted pit bulls killed cats. It was not the fault of the dogs, but of people, who did not understand their needs and instincts.

In this article, we will try to show that the APBT (short name for the breed) is a dog that is worthy of attention, but above all, it needs respect and understanding.

American Pit Bull Terrier


The breed is not recognized by the FCI, but has been registered by such Kennel Clubs as UKC (United Kennel Club) and ADBA (American Dog Breeders Association).

History and origin of the breed

The American Pit Bull Terrier, or APBT for short, is a cross between an Old English Terrier and an Old English Bulldog. The new breed was supposed to combine the terrier’s strong hunting instinct with the strength and endurance of a bulldog. These dogs were bred in England, but were also transported to the USA. American specimens became the direct ancestors of modern APBTs.

In England, the breed was engaged in bloody bullfights. This macabre entertainment was, however, banned in the first half of the 19th century. However, it was not possible to prevent the continuation of fights between dogs. This kind of sport was easier to hide than those involving large predators such as bears and bulls. Over the next decades, both in the UK and the US, dog fighting prospered, combining bloody entertainment and gambling.

At the beginning of the 20th century in the USA, pit bulls began to be used as hunting dogs, as well as leading semi-wild cattle and pigs. They also performed very well as farm and companion animals.

Within the breed, selective breeding was also made to create brave dogs intended for various types of fights. Today, APBT fulfills itself as a companion dog, police dog, and even therapy dog.

American Pit Bull Terrier



It has a large, massive head that is wide between the cheeks. This structure of the skull shows that the dog has well-developed and strong jaws. These in turn are supported by a clearly muscular, strong neck. Ears grow high on the head, which are usually trimmed, although it is not an obligation (similar to the tail). The chest is wide, deep and strong. The whole silhouette is muscular, but also light – this makes the APBT both strong and agile.

The coat consists of thick, short, shiny hair. All patterns and colors are allowed, except merle (marbled). The most common are dogs in shades of brown and reddish. The most popular patterns on fur are stripes, patches and white accents.

American Pit Bull Terrier


The American Pit Bull Terrier is a breed that has a strong need to please its handler. It even seems to be a very human dog, with a rich emotionality, who can also be rational, but also irrational. Certainly, the breed shows aggression towards other dogs and animals in general, but a well-socialized individual will not exhibit this type of behavior.

Under the care of a wise, calm and self-confident caregiver, it will become a good-natured, fun-loving, extremely faithful and family animal. It can live well with children and adults as long as it is properly guided. It also shows far-reaching obedience to the owner.

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With all this, it is also an extremely brave, active guardian. Therefore, it often shows a strong need to protect its guardians and the whole household. It can prove its devotion and courage by fighting the enemy to death. In ordinary life situations, however, it should be friendly. It also has a kind of intuition that tells it when to protect its owner and when not to react.

American Pit Bull Terrier

Due to its strong personality and dormant instincts, he is not suitable for gentle and submissive people. It requires a strong hand, but not aggression. Despite its friendly temper, he will be a difficult ward for most people. For hardly anyone can understand the nature of the American pit bull terrier.

It is difficult to comprehend that an animal with almost human characteristics can become our enemy. This can happen if we let the dog do whatever it wants. So it should be remembered that despite the fact that this dog can even be dressed in human clothes, it is still a strong and demanding animal, intended for people who are wise and understand the psyche of such dogs.

It will live in harmony with other animals as long as he gets to know them during its puppy period. Since he has a high pain threshold, he tolerates not too delicate tenderness from children.

The combination of the appropriate guardian qualities with daily physical activity and training in socialization and obedience will help you find the best companion dog qualities in APBT.

It must be kept under control at all times in the presence of other dogs, and he must also be taught to respect people. It should understand that he must not throw himself at anyone (even while playing), let alone walk in front of the owner.

American Pit Bull Terrier – Hulk, the biggest pit bull in the world

The biggest pit bull in the world

The biggest pitbull is called Hulk (we do not think you need to explain why :)) and weighs nearly 80 kg (176 lb). Hulk lives in the US state of New Hampshire. Its owners are Lisa and Marlon Grennan. Hulk has recently become a father of puppies. Mr. and Mrs. Grennan receive exquisite offers for all puppies, which are said to be worth up to $500,000.

American Pit Bull Terrier

Detailed data / dimensions (size)

American Pit Bull Terrier / American Pitbull (APBT)

  • Height at the withers:
    • Males: 45–53 cm (18–21 in)
    • Females: 43–50 cm (17–20 in)
  • Desired weight:
    • Males: 16–27 kg (35–60 lb); record 80 kg (176 lb) – Hulk
    • Females: 13.5–22.5 kg (30–50 lb)
  • Lifespan: 12-16 years on average
American Pit Bull Terrier, British Staffordshire, American Staffordshire

American Pit Bull Terrier – interesting facts

  • APBTs account for the majority of dogs used in illegal dog fighting in the US. People from the criminal world also engage them as bodyguards during drug smuggling and as weapons against policemen.
  • In Europe (12 countries), Australia, Canada, Ecuador, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, the American Pit Bull Terrier is classified as a specific breed, often aggressive. This means that these countries introduce certain restrictions on the possession of representatives of this breed. In New South Wales (state of Australia), mandatory sterilization of these dogs has been introduced. In Great Britain, the possession of APBTs is completely banned, as well as in Ontario (Canada).
  • Within the breed, hip dysplasia is more common than in other dogs. She may also suffer from damage to the kneecap, thyroid disease, allergies and congenital heart defects.
American Pit Bull Terrier


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