American Pit Bull Terrier Mix

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Is the American Pit Bull Terrier Mix right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): APBT Mix, Pit Bull Mix

The basics:
RightPet does not advocate the intentional cross-breeding of purebred dogs. But the reality is that most dogs available for adoption at shelters and rescues are mixed breeds. We think it might be helpful to hear from owners of these mixes to see what traits can be found in these dogs who are desperately needing homes.

The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) is one of the most popular, yet one of the most controversial, dogs. As a result, there are a number of APBT mixes available for rescue. In mixes where the APBT traits clearly dominate, you should take into account the history of this breed.

Because the APBT 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:
All mixed-breed dogs are individuals, but here are some tips about what to look for in a mix where the American Pit Bull Terrier traits dominate.

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.

Behavior / temperament:
All mixed breed dogs are individuals, but here are some tips about what to expect from a well-trained, well-handled American Pit Bull Terrier mix.

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.

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. A poorly or irresponsibly trained dog can be dangerous. Know what you are doing.


strong mothering instinct, big goof, watchful way, Great dog


energy levels, new dog owners, smaller children


STRONG dogs, vicious stereotype

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