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American Pit Bull Terrier: Breed Temperament, Exercise Needs & Health (Pit Bull)

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About American Pit Bull Terrier

Country of Origin, History of American Pit Bull Terriers

The American Pit Bull Terrier was bred to be a dog with strength, agility and ferocity. Some chose to turn their protectiveness to pit-fighting. They have been bred from the Old English Bulldogs and Old English Terriers in United Kingdom in the 1800s. When the immigrants from UK moved to the America, they brought these dogs with them to hunt wild cats and hogs and to be an all-around farm dog.

Bred as a watchdog and family companion, American Pit Bull Terrier is often confused with American Staffordshore Terrier. The two could be no further apart. What AKC recognizes as the American Staffordshire Terrier is mostly the same as American Pit Bull Terrier.

American Pit Bull Terrier Tools

Breed Selector Tool - is the American Pit Bull Terrier the right breed for you?

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Are you aware dogs also have a learning style that can greatly affect their ability to housetrain as well as be trained correctly. Evaluate your American Pit Bull Terrier's learning style and personality using our free Learning Style tool so that you are better able to provide him with the proper American Pit Bull Terrier training methods.

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American Pit Bull Terrier Calorie Calculator

Do you know how many calories your American Pit Bull Terrier needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our American Pit Bull Terrier Calorie Calculator.

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A General Appearance of the Dog

Physically, The American Pit Bull Terrier is a medium-sized stocky, muscular dog who is strong but agile. His especially broad head and powerful, strong jaws give the appearance of a very strong dog. Sometimes his erect ears are cropped. The American Pit Bull Terrier’s straight legs are set far apart to support his body mass. Although his eyes are round, he often has them squinted.

The Pit Bull Terrier is broad, his hips and shoulders are widely set and muscular. His chest is deep and broad. His body is low, set on fairly short, very sturdy legs.

Coat Color

All coat color of the American Pit Bull Terrier are admissible. Shades of brown to red with a matching red / brown nose are referred to as Red Nose Pit Bulls. Spotted, solid, brindled and with points are color patterns found in this Pitbull breed.

Coat Type

The American Pit Bull Terrier has a coat that is short, smooth and very shiny.


Males: 17 -19 inches
Females: 14 – 16 inches


Males: 45 – 78 lbs
Females: 30 – 55 lbs

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American Pit Bull Terrier Personality Traits

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Temperament of the Breed

Today American Pitbull Terriers can be found helping human society by working as therapy, companion, and police dogs.

Amercan Pit Bull Terrier makes a fine family pet because it has a strong desire to please. He is intelligent, good-natured, loyal, and amusing dog. He is excellent with children as well as adults. And he is very full of life and normally friendly and outgoing.

American Pit Bull Terriers are loving and loyal and will make an excellent watchdog. If backed into a corner or provoked or if their family is threatened, they will fight to the death to defend themselves or their family and property. They have a very high tolerance to pain. And their courage is proverbial.

The American Pit Bull Terrier can make a good companion for the family that is willing to guide and train them early. However, it is not a good breed for those who do not fully understand the pack mentality and how to work with it. All members of the family must establish their Alpha position over the dog and must maintain it daily.

Training to lead is easy but because of the domineering, protective nature of the breed, they should never be off lead in the presence of canines that are unfamiliar to them – some are quite dog aggressive. Socialization with other canines is imperative, and the earlier you can begin the better results you will see. Pit Bulls are too strong for children or older adults to handle in training.

Better suited to an indoor or outdoor lifestyle?

American Pit Bull Terriers need to live indoors. They are sensitive to the cold and prefer warm climates. Otherwise, prepare for sweaters and coats to be worn.

They will do okay in an apartment, but they are very active and playful indoors. They will need daily walks. A small, securely fenced yard is nice but not necessary.

Are they suited to homes with kids?

A lively dog, American Pit Bull Terriers are excellent with children. They are strong and muscular so are best suited for older children and adults while training.

American Pit Bull Terrier Activity Level

How Active is the Breed?

This is a very active breed. They run and jump and play indoors even more than outdoors.

How Much Exercise Does the Dog Need at every stage of its Life?

Puppies are more energetic than adults. Apartment life is adequate as they find exercise in play but they will still need supplemental walks.


Grooming needs are relatively simple and can be done by most owners at home. A regular (monthly) bath and brushing with nail clip will keep its short coat in shape. Rubbing with a piece of towel or chamois will make the coat gleam.

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Stop All Bad Behavior, Excessive Barking and Biting

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Health and Care

Genetic Problems

The health of the American Pit Bull Terrier is often very good with responsible breeding but some instances of hereditary cataracts, hip dysplasia and congenital heart disease are found. Sensitivity to cold makes them want to live in warm climates or wear a sweater.

Breeding the Dog and any Cautions

A qualified breeder should be sought to help you find the right mate.

Litters Size: average 5 – 10 puppies

Life Span: 9 – 15 yrs

National Breed Clubs

National Breed Clubs:
US – American Pit Bull Terrier –

Other Recognition: UKC

Rescue Link:

Group: Terrier Group

AKC Popularity Ranking: Not recognized by AKC but recognized by UKC

Also Known As: Pit Bull Terrier

Train Your American Pit Bull Terrier To Listen To You

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Whereas other dog training related web sites and books offer generic information for dogs in general, ours is the ONLY web site that offers Pit Bull information specifically, from a renowned panel of experts - because as you probably know, Pit Bulls have their own special training requirements that other dogs don't have.

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Our Dog Experts

The American Pit Bull Terrier training information you will read here was developed by a panel of renowned dog training experts whose combined wisdom represents nearly 100 years of specialist experience training dogs.

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