American Pit Bull Terrier Adopt a American Pit Bull Terrier Today!
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American Pit Bull Terrier

Country/Date of Origin: United States/1800s

The ancestors of this breed were brought to the United States by Irish immigrants in the mid 1800s. The breed was descended from the English "Bull and Terrier," which was already a cross of the original English bulldog (they did not look like today's bulldog -- it did not have acrondoplasty as does today's bulldog, which was developed for the show ring in the 1890s) and various English terriers, including the English white terrier, now extinct, and the black and tan terrier. Staffordshire Bull Terriers have basically the same origin as the APBT (and the Boston Terrier is closely related). They were bred specifically for dog-fighting, which was outlawed in most states in the early 1900s. Although the APBT is often associated today with aggressiveness, many people will also remember Petie, the dog of the Little Rascals, an APBT. Careful breeding, accurate training and loving care are important elements to maintaining a sweet nature in this breed. They are not recognized by the American Kennel Club or the FCI. The primary registry body for this very popular breed is the United Kennel Club. It was the first breed recognized by them (1898).

UKC registered: Terrier

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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Pit Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull, Yankee Terrier, APBT

AKC Group:

Breed Club: American Pit Bull Terrier Club

Rescue Club: American Pit Bull Terrier Rescue

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Body Type:

  • A powerful dog, with a broad, slablike head and immensely strong jaws
  • Height: 18-22 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 50-80 pounds
  • The medium length tail is carried low and is not altered
  • The ears are cropped short


  • Tenacious and fearless
  • Has a strong assertive personality
  • Can be aggressive toward other dogs
  • Although this dog's name brings fear to the minds of many, mainly because of mis-informed media hype, when bred and raised by RESPONSIBLE breeders and owners, APBTs can be excellent family pets


  • Short, close and stiff
  • Any color or combination of colors is allowed
  • Minimal grooming is required

Health Concerns:

  • Possible hip dysplasia
  • Generally very healthy
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • This is probably the most feared and legislated against dog in the world
  • Ownership of this breed is not to be undertaken lightly; some insurance companies will not provide liability insurance if you own an American Pit Bull Terrier. Check with your insurance company before purchasing a puppy
  • Banned in England under the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991
  • Be sure to research your choice of breeder and act responsibly in training and raising this dog to be assured of owning a gentle, loyal and loving companion

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