Dogs, cats and their owners » Dog Breeds » Pit Bull (American pit Bull terrier)

Pit Bull

Pit Bull
Other names: American pit bull terrier

Pit bull, or American Pit Bull Terrier is a service breed. It appeared as a result of crossing terriers and English bulldogs.

Brief information

  • Breed name: Pitbull
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Weight: males 16-27 kg, females 14-23 kg
  • Height (height at the withers): males 46-53 cm, females 43-51 cm
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years old


  • Active temperament and phenomenal endurance are the pit bull's "business cards". Playing with aport, running and other similar entertainments do not tire him at all. Physical activity has a positive effect not only on the development of the dog, but also becomes the key to its mental health.
  • Pete needs the constant attention of the owner. If you are a busy person, constantly immersed in work, then a dog of this breed will not suit you.
  • Socialization of an animal is an important component of its upbringing. It is necessary to develop communicative qualities in him from an early age. Without this, it will be difficult to overcome the natural stubbornness of the pit bull terrier, it can become difficult to control, which in combination with strength is not good.
  • American pit bulls can be aggressive towards other dogs. To avoid excesses, walk your pet on a leash. After getting into a fight, it is difficult for a pit bull terrier to stop, and he fights to the end. Although socialization will not negate this aggressiveness, it will help to manage the "emotions" of a fighting dog.
  • The legislation of many states, in particular, the European Union prohibits the breeding of this breed, in some countries it is regarded as a cold weapon. If you are going to travel with a pit bull, make inquiries and make sure that where you are going, he will not be "persona non grata".
  • Pit Bull Terriers are very fond of gnawing. So that the furniture in the house does not suffer, buy your pet strong toys, and the more, the better.
  • The fighting spirit of this "American" needs to be constantly curbed, so its owner must be a person with a firm character in order to be able to train the dog and further maintain discipline in it. However, it is also not worth going too far, excessive rigidity can only harm.

American Pit Bull Terrier is a multi-faceted breed. It combines the seemingly incongruous: fighting qualities and poise, wisdom and childish playfulness. The pit bull is devoted to his master and never demonstrates his superiority over him. The breed has established itself as an ideal protection for humans. Its representatives look harsh: the first thing that catches the eye is the unusual shape of the head, wide cheekbones, strong "bull" neck, broad chest and developed musculature. Public opinion in different countries has developed not in favor of the pit bull, he is considered aggressive, and he sometimes causes fear in others by his appearance alone. In fact, the character of this dog is calm and friendly. Aggressiveness can develop only after a long stay in a small enclosed space.

Breed characteristics

Aggressiveness ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Activity ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Training ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Molt ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Need for care ?
Minimum ( Rating 1/5)
Friendliness ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Health ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Cost of maintenance ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Attitude to Loneliness ?
Does not tolerate ( Rating 1/5)
Intelligence ?
Standard ( Rating 3/5)
Noise ?
Almost inaudible ( Rating 1/5)
Security qualities ?
Excellent ( Rating 5/5)
*Characteristics of the Pit Bull breed are based on expert assessment and reviews of dog owners.

History of the Pit Bull breed

Pit Bull with cropped ears

The word "American" in the name of the breed creates the erroneous impression that the birthplace of the pit bull terrier is the United States. In fact, the first pit bulls came to the Western Hemisphere from Britain. Their appearance was the result of crossing the Old English Terrier and the Old English Bulldog. Breeders of that time set themselves the task of combining the speed, fearlessness and strength of the first and athleticism of the second in the "new" dog. As you can see, they did it perfectly.

In Foggy Albion, pit bulls were used in dogfights, incited against bears and bulls. In 1835, when animal protection laws began to appear, these four-legged fighters with bulls and bears were no longer pushed "foreheads". Since dog battles were not directly prohibited by law (besides, they were cheaper), the breed de facto remained widely involved in them. Animal advocates considered such competitions frankly "barbaric", a mockery of our smaller brothers. However, it is impossible not to recognize the fact that, in addition to a good income to the organizers, these fights gave a lot to the breed itself, identifying its best representatives. The practice of illegal dog fighting continues to this day, and not only in America, but also in Russia.

It is regrettable that, according to human rights organizations, the criminal world enjoys the unique advantages of the breed. Pit Bulls are involved in drug trafficking, in confrontation with the police and as fighting dogs. Poor animals, devoted to their owners, of course, do not even suspect what dark deeds they have to participate in. And although they are not to blame for anything (the dog cannot, like a person, think and consciously get away from the criminal owner), such "activity" has earned the breed a bad reputation. In an attempt to get rid of it, the Animal Welfare Society of San Francisco (USA) renamed the American Pit bull terrier "St. Francis Terriers". The organization has set a task to distribute dogs to individuals. After 60 individuals found a new family, the resettlement program was curtailed. The reason was that several pit bulls were killed at the place of residence of domestic cats. The new name – "New Yorkies" – was given to the breed by the New York Center for Animal Care and Control, which also decided to distribute pit bulls to families. But after negative responses, the program was curtailed without even starting.

Many countries of the world – France, Sweden, Spain, Singapore, Australia, Germany, Ecuador, Puerto Rico associated with the USA, Malaysia, Portugal, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Switzerland and Poland - have adopted laws regulating breed control. In some states, it is completely banned, in others, the ability to own pit bull terriers is strictly limited. So, this breed, along with three others, is banned in the UK. Pit Bulls are persona non grata in some American states as well.

Video: Pit Bull

Features of the American Pit Bull Terrier

Pit Bull Puppy

Television, newspapers and the Internet often provide information about these dogs exclusively in negative tones. Stories about attacks by pit bull terriers on their own owners, about the murders of children by them inspire panic and fear in the layman. But is the pit bull as bloodthirsty as it is presented to the general public by the mass media?

The American Pit Bull Terrier is very affectionate and gentle towards his family. Due to its small stature and compact size, smooth coat and lack of salivation, representatives of this breed are ideal candidates for keeping in urban apartments. He will feel comfortable in a private house. Despite the fact that the pit bull has a wayward character and is prone to domination, he is so devoted to his master that he is ready to give his life for him. You can make a great bodyguard out of him, but he's a lousy watchman. And all because a friendly attitude towards people has been brought up in pit bulls since the birth of the breed.

It is strongly not recommended to keep these dogs on a chain. As opposed to german shepherds , from constantly being on a leash of stupid, pit bulls on a chain just become aggressive. They, being tied, of course, begin to guard the territory. But this is more out of desperation than by "vocation", because the protective qualities of this breed are not inherent. Often on a chain they become completely bestial, which can then come out sideways to the owner. Hence the myths about the "bloodlust" of pit Bull terriers. It is regrettable that press reports on real cases of dog attacks on people, as a rule, do not name the causes of aggression. But it is alien to the nature of pit bulls and is usually provoked by adverse circumstances. Most likely, reporters simply do not know about these "pitfalls"…

Appearance and special features of the breed

Since the progenitors of the pit bull terrier are a bulldog and a terrier, it would be logical to expect that the dog that appeared as a result of their merger would combine the features of both breeds. However, there is practically nothing left of the calm and lazy bulldog in the character of the pit bull. In our "American" – cheerful, playful, restless – the genes of the terrier have won.

Pit Bull Terrier is a dog, as they say, of a wide specialization. Do you want to get yourself a pet and almost a full-fledged family member? He would be perfect for this role. Do you need a participant in sports competitions who earns medals? Or is a sniffer dog required? Choosing a pit bull for these purposes, you will not lose. A powerful build and extreme muscularity and at the same time athleticism are the main features of the ideal representative of the breed. Pit bulls are bred to perform a variety of tasks, and therefore some individuals may look like a tank, while others remain thin.

General description

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a strong dog of medium height with a short coat. Athletic and fit, with an attentive look and shiny coat, she combines strength, power and confidence, while remaining agile and graceful. Real pit bulls that meet the classic standards of the breed do not look lazy, overfed and heavy, that is, they are never obese. Rather the opposite: adults are even somewhat thin. The other extreme, namely the muscles that are not visible under the skin, is also not about them.


Rectangular shape, dry, length – medium. Flat skull, dilated between the ears. The muzzle is wide and deep, the characteristic square shape of this breed, the cheeks are convex. If you look at a pit bull from above or from the side, the outline of the muzzle resembles a wedge slightly tapering to the nose. It looks round only when looking at the dog from the front.


Cool Pit Bull

The pit bull's teeth are tightly closed, strong and strong. The bite is scissor-shaped, correct.


Medium-sized, almond-shaped, ellipse-shaped or round. They are located low, planted wide.


The pit bull's ears are small, half hanging. They are characterized by high supply and wide placement. At the request of the owner, the ears are left of natural length or cropped in the shape of a triangle.

Nose and lips

The nostrils are wide open, the nose is large and shiny, its pigmentation may differ from dog to dog. The lips are dry, tight to the upper and lower jaw.

Pit bull face


The pit bull's neck is strong and powerful, dry. Expands to the withers.


I'm going to sit here for a while

American pit Bull terriers are longer in length than in height, which is noticeable to the naked eye. Especially this ratio of proportions is seen in bitches, which are longer in the body than males. The back of the representatives of this breed is powerful and durable, the top line is slightly inclined. The loin is short, strong and somewhat convex, the croup is slightly sloping. The abdomen is moderately tightened.


The tail of a medium-length pit bull naturally continues the top line, tapering to the tip. The landing is low. If your pet is in motion or excited about something, the tail rises to the back line.


The forelimbs of a pit bull are even, their length, if you count from the floor to the elbow joint, is equal to half the height of the dog at the withers. The backbone is strong. Broad and muscular shoulder blades are set obliquely. Pasterns are straight, strong, vertical.

The hind limbs are distinguished by strength and muscularity, long at the hip. The low-lying hock joint. Medium-sized oval-shaped paws, fingers gathered in a ball.

The pit bull moves quickly and energetically, with a springy step. His movements are light, with a good push and swing.


Fits snugly, short and stiff. The undercoat is missing.


Here the breed standards are very democratic, all colors and shades are allowed, including the presence of white spots. The only exception is the merle color – it is unacceptable for pit bull terriers.

Possible vices

Deviations from the above characteristics are qualified as disadvantages. The severity of the latter is indicated by the degree of their severity.

Breed defects include a narrow muzzle, a weak lower jaw and so-called bryli (raw lips). The absence of a certain number of teeth (except for their loss for "valid" reasons or removal by a veterinarian), as well as undershot, overshot and an asymmetric jaw are also considered a deviation.

The vices of pit bulls include bug-eyed, blue eyes and mismatch of eye color (the so-called mismatch). You should also pay attention to your pet's neck. If it is weak and thin or, conversely, excessively thick and short, then this also applies to disadvantages. The "sheep" neck and suspension do not correspond to the breed standards.

Look at the pit bull's shoulders. Are they straight or loaded, and are the elbows turned either outwards or inwards? There should be no such defects, not to mention twisted wrists, weak pasterns, a sweep, curved forelimbs, clubfoot, loose paw. In the same list, underdeveloped musculature, sparse, curly and wavy hair, narrow posterior limbs, cow, excessive severity or complete absence of the angle of the knee joint, barrel-shaped posterior, sickle-shaped hocks.

Disqualifying vices

  • Pit Bull is a fighter by nature, but excessive aggressiveness or, conversely, cowardice are serious vices.
  • A healthy male should have two testicles lowered into the scrotum, therefore unilateral or bilateral cryptorchidism is a pathology leading to disqualification.
  • Is your dog hard of hearing in one or both ears? Is he the owner of a short tail? Suffers from albinism? These vices, including longhair and merle color, are also considered disqualifying.

Photo of an adult pit bull

Pit Bull character

Dogs of this breed are hardy, their zeal for fighting is typical for them. Although by nature, the pit bull is very balanced – even to the point of softness. His inherent traits of "personality" were formed as a result of careful selection based on the results of dog fights. That is, individuals who showed unbalance and instability of the psyche were excluded from breeding.

Pit Bull with baby

Some participants of such cruel competitions, namely those who did not feel the difference between a dog and a person, had to be destroyed. It took several centuries to form the character of the pit bull, which is typical for him today. However, if he has his own good reasons for attacking, he will show remarkable cruelty and will be much more dangerous than any other breed. Such dogs are subject to mandatory euthanasia.

The American pit Bull terrier is the owner of a developed intellect. Having a mind is an important component in preparing a dog for competitions and winning them. After all, success in battle depends not only on physical fitness, but also on the ability to change battle tactics. Being an intelligent creature, the pit bull is able to keep his "emotions" under control. It is very difficult to unbalance him and force him to attack a person. And for him to decide on such a thing, something extraordinary must happen, namely a serious provocation on the part of a person.

A very satisfied pit bull

The pit bull terrier is not irritated when meeting other dogs on the street. He does not bully with them and does not respond to barking. Unless he can strain himself a little internally, but outwardly retains Olympic calm. Indomitable aggression towards an opponent is manifested in dogs of this breed exclusively in the ring. The passion for fighting, personified by these dogs, even has a separate name: game. Courage and intrepidity, fortitude and a high threshold of pain – all these qualities are inherent in pit bull terriers. Even the wounds received do not affect the desire to win, they are able to fight for several hours in a row. Their bravery should not be confused, again, with aggression. An evil dog is unable to accurately and coolly assess the combat situation in the ring and adequately respond to it – only a brave dog can do this.

Raising a representative of this breed is not an easy task in general, given that it has a natural stubbornness. But this does not mean that the pit bull is not amenable to training. The friendly disposition to a person is indicated by the fact that it is easy to separate dogs that are locked in a combat fight with their bare hands. Especially carefully, even with tenderness, pit bulls treat children. They, as if realizing their strength, take the younger members of the owners' families under their "patronage". However, it is not recommended to leave the dog alone with young children unattended, because a child with a careless movement can provoke him to an aggressive attack in order to defend himself.

Man, where are you taking me?
And where is frisbee?

Training and education

The future owner should immediately make it clear to the dog that he is the main one, not her. Otherwise, there will be difficulties with education. The dominance of a person does not mean that cruelty is required in treatment. All commands should be given in a calm, but at the same time firm voice. Your pupil should not feel that you are angry or angry with him.

Steel exposure

In the upbringing of a puppy, its socialization, the age up to 16 weeks is considered the most important. During this period, the owner needs to pay a lot of attention to his pet. You need to play with him, caress him, stroke him. The rest of the household should behave similarly, demonstrating that the pit bull is a full member of the family. At this age, contacts with strangers are also important, which will help him perceive them as harmless. Do not limit the puppy's movements around the house, he must get used to the environment and the environment. If there are rooms in your home where you do not want to allow a pit bull terrier, first close them.

For the future socialization of the dog, walks in crowded places are no less important. Their result will be an understanding that the world around us is big and is not limited only to the owner's house, and that there are many people living in this world who do not need to be afraid. Sometimes puppies try to show aggression. To curb such manifestations, the little dog is turned on his back at such moments and held in this position for several seconds. Such manipulation awakens in his genetic memory the laws of the pack, according to which the pose on the back means a subordinate position. Thus, the person shows that he is the owner of the dog.

American Pit Bull terriers have a good, tenacious memory. Teach him not only standard commands, but also any other commands. But it is important to remember: when raising a puppy, be consistent. When creating a system of prohibitions, you should always adhere to it. If you forbid one thing today and allow it tomorrow, you will only confuse your pet. The rest of the family members should also adhere to the established rules – no one can cancel bans.

American pit bull terrier in an American scarf

Pit bulls are very playful, especially at an early age, so the learning process is most effective during the game. It is necessary to achieve the complete fulfillment of all commands by the puppy. If he does everything right, he needs to be praised and given a treat. It happens that a puppy tries to use his teeth during the game. In such cases, the owner should sharply command: "No!" – and immediately stop training. Thus, he clearly makes it clear to her that attempts to bite a person cause the termination of communication, and the dog clearly learns this lesson. After such "incidents", you can resume training no earlier than 20 minutes later.

Workouts should not be stretched, 5 minutes is enough for one lesson. Before it starts, the puppy needs to be actively walked, which helps him focus on commands. If the dog refuses to do them the first time, you need to be patient and go back to the basics, repeating the previous stage of training. It is not forbidden to let Pete run without a muzzle and a leash, but only if you are in the forest or in a fenced area. Before that, you need to make sure that there are no other dogs nearby.

Sometimes, during training, there may be problems with obedience, which the owner cannot cope with on his own. In this case, you should seek help from specialists. You should not leave such episodes without attention, because as your pet grows up, it will begin to behave as it pleases, thereby posing a potential threat to others.

Useful advice: before buying a pit bull, weigh the pros and cons, evaluate your strength and capabilities, whether they are enough for his upbringing. We should also not forget that representatives of this breed are very sensitive, and if there are quarrels and scandals in your family, then this will certainly affect his character – he will become restless, prone to neurosis.

Care and maintenance

Young Pit Bull

American pit Bull terriers are medium–sized dogs, which allows them to be kept in ordinary urban apartments. Some owners prefer to keep pets in aviaries, but at the same time they must find time for daily communication with their pet. Leaving a puppy alone for a long time, sacrificing his socialization, you risk: an angry and distrustful dog can grow out of him, which can rush at people.

Caring for a pit bull is not difficult. It is enough to comb it once a week with a brush (rubber with pimples or natural bristles) or a special mitten. Thanks to these simple manipulations, dust is removed along with the dead hair, and blood circulation improves in the dog. The dog sheds especially noticeably in spring and autumn. If abundant molting is observed throughout the year, the owner should be alerted. The reasons should be sought in improper nutrition, too dry and warm air in the room. Sometimes an allergy can provoke excessive shedding.

It is recommended to bathe the pit bull terrier with shampoo every two months, making sure that no water gets into the dog's ears. Usually, after walking, his fur is wiped with a damp cloth, removing the accumulated dust, and the pads of his paws are examined for cracks or wounds. To avoid the latter, vegetable oil should be rubbed into the pads, including it in the daily diet (one teaspoon will be enough). If your pet gets very dirty somewhere, you can bathe him outside of the usual schedule. Too frequent "bath" procedures are not recommended, as the wool will dry out, fade, become brittle. After bathing, it needs to be dried well, many owners even use a hairdryer. Until the dog dries, make sure that he does not end up in a draft. Be sure to treat it with a remedy for ticks and fleas.

Pit Bull bathing

Pit bull claws should be trimmed once a month with a special tool, a claw cutter for large breeds, after which their sharp ends are smoothed with a nail file. The ears need regular inspection: wipe them once a week with a damp cloth. Healthy ears have a pink tinge, redness and excess sulfur are absent. If you notice that the dog rubs his ears on the floor and constantly shakes his head, contact the veterinarian. The cause for concern should also be redness of the ear and if an unpleasant smell comes from it.

It is necessary to monitor the health of the pit bull terrier's eyes. Shiny, playful and without lacrimation, they can sometimes turn sour. To prevent this from happening, it is enough to wipe the dog's eyes once a week with a soft cloth soaked in chamomile broth. A specialist should be contacted with severe lacrimation, swelling of the eyelids and abundant suppuration. Self-medication in such cases is fraught with even greater complications.

I'm glad to have a burger!

Dogs of this breed need brushing their teeth. It is enough to do this 1-2 times a week. For the procedure, a special paste for dogs is used, which is applied to a toothbrush or a finger attachment. So that your pet does not suffer from the appearance of dental stones, more often give him solid food or toys treated with a special anti-plaque agent-ropes. Raw beef bones are also suitable for the prevention of stone formation.

Pit Bull should be taught to calmly treat all kinds of hygienic procedures. You should start from early childhood, since it will be difficult to cope with an adult dog. A puppy can get nervous when they bathe him or brush his teeth. In this case, do not insist, reschedule the procedure for another time. The main thing is not to forget to praise the dog and treat her. Love and patience will definitely give results.

Pit Bull Health and Diseases

American pit bull terriers can suffer from so-called occupational diseases of working breeds. Among them are aortic stenosis, usually detected during exercise or a game test, and hip dysplasia. Moreover, even a person far from veterinary medicine can recognize the symptoms: it's hard for the dog to breathe, he gets tired quickly.

Pit bulls also have a tendency to hormonal system ailments. So, disorders in the thyroid gland result in the development of hidden pathologies that remain with the dog all his life, and, among other things, lead to a rapid gain of fat mass. "Americans" also suffer from allergies.

Pit bull in a protective collar

How to choose a puppy

First of all, it is necessary to evaluate the appearance of the future pet: it should not have any deviations, not to mention obvious defects. A healthy puppy has a smooth, shiny and not monotonous coat. The color palette is quite wide, from white to black, different markings are required on the dog's body.

Pit bull puppy with mom

Watch the puppy carefully. Does the little pit bull show excessive aggressiveness or, conversely, cowardice? Such extremes are a reason to choose another puppy.

You should not buy a very small or already grown-up dog. The optimal age is considered to be 8 weeks.

Do not buy a pit bull terrier with your hands, there is a high probability of running into unscrupulous dealers trying to slip a sick or defective puppy. In specialized nurseries you will be spared such risks. Before buying, be sure to ask about the pedigree in order to exclude hereditary diseases and a tendency to aggression. Make inquiries about vaccinations given to puppies, what kind of food they are used to, and so on.

Take care of the collar, leash and habitat of your pet in the house in advance. Buy toys, they are needed to satisfy the dog's biting reflex, relieve itching in the gums and as a tool for grinding teeth during adulthood.

Photos of pit bull puppies

How much does a pit bull cost

It is not difficult to buy a pit bull dog in Russia. The average cost of a pit bull terrier can vary from 200 to 1000 dollars and depends on many factors: pedigree, color, reputation of breeders and other nuances. As you understand, the low price does not guarantee the thoroughbred breed.

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