Species group: Terrier Group dogs
Other name(s): APBT; Pit; Pit Bull
The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) is one of the most popular, yet one of the most controversial, dogs. Because this breed was originally developed to fight other dogs in the gambling ring, this dog is powerful, muscular, and somewhat intolerant of other aggressive dogs. Dog-fighting is now banned almost worldwide, but there are still those who have attempted to train these dogs as guard or even attack dogs-- a dangerous practice because of the power of the dog's bite.
A well-trained, well-bred APBT in a single-dog household can be a devoted pet who enjoys regular exercise with its humans. However, the American Pit Bull Terrier isn't right for everyone. If you are not willing or able to train your dog carefully from an early age, or if you have an active household crowded with other dogs, then you may be setting yourself up for a serious problem. You should also be aware that many insurers will drop your homeowner's or rental insurance if you own one of these dogs. Finally, a bored APBT can find a way to make trouble, if only with destructive chewing. If you're too busy to work frequently with your dog, don't choose this breed.
Appearance / health:
The APBT is slightly longer than he is tall; his wedge-shaped head is of medium length, flat, broad, powerful and large; his muzzle is shorter than the length of his skull and is deep and wide and his teeth for a scissors bite. His jaws are powerful and strong, with emphasis on the lower jaw; his cheek muscles are prominent; his nose large. His ears are set high and may be cropped or left natural. His eyes are set low, wide-set, round, and may be any color other than blue. His neck is thick with well-defined muscles and rises from a thick, deep chest. His tail is tapering, should be low-set and short, is never carried over his back, and should never be docked or bobbed. Keep in mind that the American Pit Bull Terrier is often confused with the shorter, stockier, very powerful American Staffordshire Terrier. If you're not sure, ask the breeder.
Though most other Breed Descriptions here in RightPet do not go into such detail, it is worth mentioning that the standards are set more loosely for this breed than for others because the breed was developed for their fighting ability and ability to work, rather than a specific appearance.
The care of the Pit Bulls smooth, short coat is easy; simply brush her with a stiff (not harsh) bristle brush and bathe (or dry shampoo) when needed. A brisk rubdown with a piece of toweling or chamois will make her coat glisten. The APBT breed is an average shedder.
The APBT requires a lot of exercise; they are high energy dogs and, if not allowed to properly burn that energy off, they will find other ways to entertain themselves which typically involve destructive activities. Due to their playful nature, walks, runs, romps with family members in the yard (or even indoors) does a lot to burn off their excess energy.
The APBT is a generally healthy breed, although some possible health issues or complications may include:
It is always well within the right of a potential puppy purchaser to ask for the health records and hip certifications of the parent dogs. Any breeder who does not have, or refuses to make available, this information should not be considered a trustworthy, responsible breeder.
Behavior / temperament:
The personality of the APBT is most typically happy, friendly and amusing; they are consistently thrilled to see family, friends and even strangers. She is good-natured with people, obedient, loyal, intelligent, loving and curious. She has a strong desire to please her people and requires a large portion of her time be spent with her human family in order for her to have the maximum good mental health.
Pits are slower to develop maturity in their temperament, sometimes taking 2 – 4 years to fully do so. They have an incredible tolerance of pain, so take care to check her over daily to see if she has any small wounds that need care and watch how hard the kids play with her as she will often not feel them pull her tail or hit her head.
The natural aggressive tendencies of the APBT are toward other dogs and animals, not toward people. However, if you take the time to properly socialize your puppy using firm, but calm, confident, and consistent pack leader skills, their tendencies toward any type of aggression will be substantially less.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is intelligent enough to know when they have a meek owner and she will take advantage of such a person, quickly becoming the ruling force in the household.
Thorough training and intense socialization with people and other dogs and animals, together with proper exercise and a firm but fair owner, will produce a calm, well-behaved APBT. Socialize her very thoroughly when young to curb any natural aggressive tendencies and always keep her under control when other dogs or animals are present. Your objective in training should be to achieve the alpha, or pack leader, position. Without following these recommendations, your chances of achieving a happy, well-adjusted, emotionally healthy APBT will not be high.
The well-bred APBT does very well in a family situation. When properly trained and socialized, she makes a very good dog and a loyal, loving family companion.
If you are thinking about getting an American Pit Bull Terrier puppy, please do all you can to shut down the disreputable breeders of this breed – and there are many – by NOT purchasing from them! Call a few Veterinarian offices and ask if they know any local breeders of the APBT. The Veterinarian isn’t likely to recommend someone to you with dogs he has to muzzle and tie down just to examine. Another great option is to attend a few local dog shows where you will find dogs that have been bred to exemplify the very best of the breed’s characteristics. Ask the owners/handlers about the breeder from which their dogs came; ask if they know of any in the area they are willing to recommend; even ask if they know of any that should be avoided due to poor breeding practices including breeding of mean-natured dogs, involvement in the pit-fighting world, lack of socialization with the puppies, etc.
Take your time in choosing your APBT puppy! Visit as many breeders as you possible can and learn about their foundation and breeding stock. What type of breeding facilities do they have? Will they allow you to see their entire facility? Is there any indication of fight training on their premises? Are they secretive about any portion of their breeding program or their dogs? Are their dogs so separated from one another as to be unable to have interaction with each other? Are any of their dogs badly scarred? Just use your common sense and remember that it is always best to save a little longer, if necessary, in order to pay for a quality dog produced by a loving individual who is concerned about the betterment of the breed – especially in the case of the APBT. Support those APBT breeders who are going above and beyond the call of duty to turn out dogs with excellent character, low prey drive, low natural aggression tendencies, and who take the time to begin the so very vital early socialization processes in their puppies.
Many knowledgeable APBT people advise not owning more than one Pit at a time and never two of the same gender together, especially two females.
The APBT is not considered a good choice for the first time dog owner or for those people who tend to see human characteristics in dogs. The ABPT requires a consistent, experienced dog owner who understands and practices pack dominance.
The APBT is rated high in learning rate, medium in obedience, and medium in problem-solving. Proper training and early, extensive socialization of this breed cannot be emphasized enough. Because of their incredible intelligence, they will get away with whatever they can.
Basic obedience training and thorough socialization in the well-bred APBT will go far toward dispelling the current notion that these dogs are nothing more than blood-thirsty killers.
Training must be consistent and reward based for the APBT and must never involve any physical punishment. A hearty hug and “good boy!” is a great reward when training. The use of a firm voice will create a faster, more appropriate response in them.
The APBT is an excellent candidate for puppy “kindergarten,” followed up by successive obedience training. The APBT is also known to excel in agility training, weight pulling and Schutzhund.
clown, good gaurd dog, lifetime love affair, undying devotion, great family dog, good guardwatch dogs
aggressive tendencies, stray cats, dominant dog, dog aggressive pit, improper breeding, dog aggression
nice solid head, bad rep, temperament test, Temperment Test, proper socialization, different brindles
"I'm a firm believer in that dogs have the ability to sense things beyond our own. When my dog arrived into my life I just knew I was the one she had chosen as her protector and her companion.<br><br>I was coming back from work that day and before going into my house, I did my usual routine closing up the small shop I used to own located right outside my home facing the street. I asked my employee to begin closing the register while I took care of shifting the counters, tables and chairs back to their spots... When all of a sudden a dog walked right into the place. <br><br>She seemed lost, frightened and hungry more than anything. She had multiple scars and wounds and she was extremely skinny (mostly due to the fact that she had recently given birth to offspring since two of her glands were swollen when I peeked under). So there she sat looking at me with the saddest eyes you've ever seen, almost begging for any kind of warmth I could offer her. I think my employee and I could agree that words couldn't describe the feeling of sadness that suddenly shrouded the entire room.<br><br>My employee asked "Hey, what breed do you think she is? I think she looks like a pitbull (a common term for dogs with those features 'round here), aren't those really dangerous?". I said "I don't know, but I'll go fetch whatever food or leftovers I can in my kitchen", and I did. I went back to the shop and fed the dog that was still sitting there as if she'd finally found the place she was looking for.<br><br>We had to close shop so we continued doing so without minding the dog. She had finished eating what little I could gather for her and we were all done with closing the shop, so it was time to decide what to do with the dog. At the time she was quite lucky, since I had no other pets at home, I decided she could stay for the night in my backyard. I took her home and placed a blanket and some water for her. She soon fell asleep.<br><br>Many days passed and she continued living with me. I bathed her with a special soap that kills fleas and insects and I even started taking her to the park for walks. Many times did I allow her to "leave" in hopes of her being smart enough to run back to wherever she came from but it was pointless. She would run back to our house in any case (yes, this is now her house as well!).<br><br>You might be thinking "Hey, what about posters or uploading pictures online to see if someone might be looking for her?" Well I did. I spammed my friends and social media to the death but to no avail. Living in Mexico has it's Pros & Cons, one of the cons -in this regard in particular- being that the vast majority of people here still lack the culture when it comes to animals and caring for them. It's extremely common to see gangs of dogs roaming the streets at any and all times of the day in search for food or shelter, you name it. Simply put, people could care less.<br><br>To this day I have no idea if she was simply abandoned near some random alley by her previous owners or she simply got unlucky and got astray, which I doubt the latter since she has shown me time and again how smart this particular breed can be. <br><br>I won't say having her here with me has been a walk in the park by no means and teaching her where to take care of her business was a nightmare... But we've managed.<br><br>What's been very helpful is the fact that she is able to understand and learn from her mistakes at a shocking speed. From my experience, an American Pitbull Terrier is capable of learning something you want to teach it after the first two or three tries and not a try further. They are capable of being intimidating due to the nature of their size and physical attributes but it's not to be confused with dangerous or scary. They are natural protectors and they are loyal to the death. Much to the unfortunate convenience in the fight against Dogfights.<br><br>It has been a blessing having her by my side every day ever since she arrived and I couldn't have asked for a better companion. She is my best friend, the American Pitbull Terrier I call Katana.."
From iProofReadYou Sep 4 2015 7:58PM
"Best way to prevent, or at least prolong the time before your old dog becomes arthritic is to keep them lean and strong. This is also important for longevity and overall health, so it should be your main goal if you want to keep your dog alive and well for as long as possible. I can't stress the importance of keeping your dog fit and strong if it has osteoarthritis. If your dog is overweight joints have to bear more weight, and if it's muscles aren't strong joints bear even more weight then they should, which leads to increased friction and damage of the joints. If your dog is in perfect physical condition (body condition score 4-5 on 9 point scale) joints bear minimum amount of weight they have to, and if it's muscles, tendons and ligaments are strong they reduce weight bearing of the joints even more. This is important for overall health, as well as in cases of osteoarthritis and other orthopedic conditions. So keep your dog fit and strong. ."
From Vuk Ignjic DVM 35 days ago
"Choke collars are not the best tools to use for dogs who pull. How many times have you seen people walking their dogs on a choke collar and the dog pulling?! This is because to properly use a punishment device, which is what a choke collar is, you should only have to give 3 or 4 firm, appropriate corrections and then your dog should never repeat the behavior again. People do not have the stomach to give their dogs a stiff enough correction to work in 3 or 4 trials. Further, weaker handlers do not have the strength to give their (large) dogs a strong enough correction for them to understand. Hence, while the correction will work in the short term, all too soon, the dog is back to pulling again and that level of correction has become simply a nag. Then the correction will need to be stronger to get them to attend to it.<br /><br />For a dog who outweighs or out-muscles its handler, the use of a head halter is a better choice, as it gives one greater control of the weakest part of the dog's body, their head. Just as we can use a halter to guide a horse, so can we use the same technique to guide a dog.<br /><br />Laura Garber, CPDT-KA, CC, FFCP<br />www.mywoofgang.com."
From myWoofgang 20 days ago