Updated 20-06-2023

American Pit Bull Terrier Characteristics, Facts & Traits

As a companion and family dog, the American Pit Bull Terrier is an excellent choice. Since they were so friendly with youngsters, the breed that was originally developed to "bait" bulls has evolved into an all-purpose farm dog.

These terriers are well-known for their sharp minds, making it simple to make the most of their powerful physique. All over their bodies, they have short hair that shows off a wide range of colours like red and blue as well as brown, grey, black, and white.

Their reputation for being vicious is untrue; they are not hazardous. The main reason they have such a bad reputation for being hazardous is because they were initially developed to withstand harsh conditions.

Weight pulling, agility, and obedience competitions are popular because of their persistence, gameness, and daring. Of course, they can also be found living with their owners as pets, lavishing devotion on them.

Every dog, regardless of breed, is susceptible to health problems at some point in time. When it comes to caring for your dog, a solid pet insurance plan may help you be prepared at any age.

American Pit Bull Terriers have a slew of unique characteristics, detailed in the table below.


  • American Pit Bull Terrier owners should avoid getting them if they cannot provide adequate care for them.
  • The breed's tenacity, bossiness, and power make it tough to govern if not taught early on that you are in charge.
  • Taking your American Pit Bull Terrier out in public requires a leash to avoid dog aggression. These dogs should not be let out in parks. Even if they don't start a fight, they'll finish it. Unsocialized American Pit Bull puppies can become aggressive toward other dogs.
  • This breed is virtually always included under breed-specific legislation. If you plan on taking your dog on a trip, be sure to familiarise yourself with local and neighbouring regulations.
  • Toys that are too light or flimsy can be quickly destroyed by American Pit Bull Terriers' powerful jaws. Only give your dog toys that are sturdy enough to withstand being chewed and swallowed.
  • Owners of American Pit Bull Terriers should be able to provide rigorous but fair training and persistent, gentle correction.


Social Appearance 


A little dog isn't inherently better for an apartment than a larger one, contrary to popular opinion. A high-rise apartment isn't the best place for a tiny dog with a high level of energy and barking. There are several attributes that make a good apartment dog: low activity, serenity indoors, and politeness toward other neighbours are among them. Your dog's personal space in your apartment can be improved by purchasing one of these fantastic dog cages.

Sensitivity Level

Some dogs take a strong rebuke in stride, while others take even the tiniest hint of a sneer into account. If you have a loud or forceful owner, an erratic schedule, or a dog that is more "easygoing," "tolerant," "resilient," or even "thick-skinned," you should consider getting one of these breeds. How many kids do you have? Do you host a lot of parties? Do you participate in a garage band? Make sure you get a dog that isn't too sensitive.


Vibrant dogs eat and drink with enormous mouthfuls, and even strain on the leash if you don't tell them not to (unless you teach them not to). Because they require so much training to become well-mannered, these dynamos are not suitable for families with young children or elderly members. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, is more reserved.

Potential for Playfulness

Some dogs never grow up, while others are more serious and sombre. Consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs to play with.

Personality Appearance


Sheepdogs, which were intended to herd animals and require a high level of intelligence and attention, need mental exercise just as much as dogs raised to gallop all day do. A lack of mental stimulation can cause them to create their own labour, such as digging and chewing, if they don't get it. A dog's brain can benefit from activities such as obedience training, engaging dog toys, and dog sports and occupations like agility and search and rescue.

Energy Level

High-energy canines are constantly ready to go. They were bred to spend long days retrieving game for hunters or herding sheep. They're more inclined to spend time jumping, playing, and examining new sights and smells.

Low-energy dogs are the canine version of a couch potato. Consider your personal activity level and lifestyle when choosing a breed. Will a boisterous, energetic dog be refreshing or annoying?

Easy To Train

It's easier to train dogs who are able to swiftly connect a cue (such as "sit"), an action (such as sitting), and a reward (such as receiving a treat)." To teach different breeds of dogs, patience and practice are required.

If your dog has a "What's in it for me?" attitude toward training, you may need to use incentives and games to get him to want to obey your directions.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

However, the American Bulldog has a considerably more muscular body than the American pit bull terrier, but they are also more susceptible to exhaustion.. Because of its high energy consumption, the American bulldog is an excellent choice for households who may struggle to keep up.


Children's lively antics require patience and stamina, and dogs that are well-suited to families with young children have both. Among the names on the list are several surprises: Fierce-looking they are said to be good with kids (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas are little, sensitive, and sometimes dangerous.

Dog Friendly

Dog and human friendship are two distinct concepts. Even though they're fine with people, some dogs may attack or dominate other dogs, while others will retreat rather than fight. It's not just genetics. Puppy socialisation is more likely among puppies raised with their littermates and mother during the first six to eight weeks of life.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

Having a dog in your home means you'll be covered with dog dander. The amount of shedding differs greatly between breeds. Some dogs shed all year round, others shed only in the spring and fall, and still others never shed. If you're a stickler for cleanliness, choose a low-shedding breed or lower your requirements. Deshedding tools can help keep your home organised.

Drooling Potential

Your clothes may be stained and your arm covered in slobbery ropes by the time they're done saying hello to you by drool-prone pets. Go for it if you don't mind the occasional slobber, but if cleanliness is important to you, look for a dog that has a low drool rating.

Easy To Groom

Some dogs may be brushed and go, while others need to be bathed, clipped, and otherwise groomed on a regular basis in order to maintain their health and cleanliness. Grooming a dog that requires a lot of effort and patience may not be in your best interest.

Exercise Needs

In the evening, several dog breeds prefer to go for a walk. People who work in physically demanding fields, such as herding or hunting, need to work out frequently.

These dogs may put on weight if they don't get enough exercise, which can lead to unwanted behaviours like barking, chewing, and digging. Dogs who need a lot of exercise are ideal for people who enjoy spending time outdoors or participating in high-energy dog sports like agility.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


30 to 85 pounds


12 to 16 years


17 to 19 inches tall at the shoulder


The American Pitbull Terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier, the Staffordshire bull terrier, and the American Bully are all Pitbull-type breeds.


The AKC does not officially recognise the American pit bull terrier as a breed, so the history of the breed can be a little confused. However, all of the dogs that fall under the "pit bull" umbrella share a common ancestry.

As far back as the 1800s, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America claims that bully breeds were initially bred for entertainment (thus the "pit bull" name) and for rat-baiting and dog fighting. Dogs with huge, stocky, and robust bodies, like bulldogs and terriers, were crossbred to produce a strong, muscular dog that was agile and intelligent.

Despite the fact that dog fighting was later declared illegal, many people clung to their beloved pit bulls. By their own admission, Pit Bull Terriers make excellent farm dogs because of their willingness to drive animals and hunt alongside their owners as well as serve as constant companions. Dogfighting is no longer a part of the history of pit bull terriers, who are now bred as pets.

Personality and Temperament

Dedicated, loyal, devoted and intense, a pit bull yearns to be with the right person. Despite their fierce guarding instincts, these dogs are affectionate and sociable.

Historically, Pit Bull Terriers were employed as fighting dogs, but that is no longer allowed. Like many other dog breeds, they are only as excellent as their owners put them through in terms of training. Compared to other dog breeds, the Pit Bull is not excessively hazardous.

As with other Terrier breeds, the Pit Bull's natural instinct is to hunt down and kill prey. There are a number of breeds of dogs that were specifically created to do the things we criticise them for. Historically, rat-catching and rat-killing were the primary jobs of terrier dogs. As awful as it may seem to us, it's crucial to realise that this kind of dog violence was their job in the past.

Early and regular socialisation is critical for a child's development. Just to be on the safe side, it's recommended that you keep your Pit Bull under control whenever possible.


American pit bull terriers require regular exercise in order to avoid developing behavioural issues. To be a successful breed ambassador, your dog needs to be properly trained and socialised. This is because the breed is often incorrectly characterised as having bad manners and unruliness. Grooming this breed isn't too difficult, because of its short coat.


APTs are generally healthy dogs, but as with any breeds, there are some health issues that they may be prone to. If you're thinking about getting an American Pit Bull Terrier, it's crucial to know about these disorders.

Hip Dysplasia (HD): The hip joint ball and socket are abnormally shaped. Depending on the degree, it can be excruciatingly painful. A hip x-ray should be performed on puppies who will be bred at 2 years old to ensure that they do not have this problem.

Allergies: APBT/Am Staffs are frequently the source of allergic reactions. Allergens that commonly cause skin allergies include fleas, grass, pollen, and dust. There are less food-related ones than there used to be. Wheat, rice, and corn are all common sources of allergy for people. In order to relieve their itching and pain, dogs often dig and chew to the point of bleeding because of allergies. As a result, the wounded tissue may get infected. Locate the allergen and eliminate it from the dog's environment to cure allergies. A veterinarian can help you determine which of your allergy symptoms can be managed medically.

Hypothyroidism: Thyrotoxicosis is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not function properly. Middle-aged dogs are more likely to suffer from the condition, which can be treated with daily medicine that must be taken for the rest of the animal's life.

Heart Disease: It is most commonly associated with aortic stenosis. The dog was born with aortic stenosis, a congenital cardiac defect. The aorta-left ventricle connection is abnormally small. Some dogs show no signs, while others suffer from exhaustion and may even die. Your veterinarian can confirm the diagnosis using a chest x-ray and an electrocardiogram.

Skin Infections: Zinc-responsive dermatosis, a form of skin illness, can occur if your American Pit Bull Terrier lacks zinc or is unable to absorb it. Vets can prescribe a prescription of zinc to add to your dog's diet to treat the symptoms, which might include sores on the snout and footpads or red, oozing skin around the face.

Blindness: Progressive Retinal Atrophy, an inherited genetic illness that causes blindness, is significantly more common in American Pit Bull Terriers. Between the ages of three and five, children begin to display symptoms such as enlarged pupils or night blindness. Despite the fact that it is not painful, this ailment is incurable, however a genetic test can be performed to determine if someone is at risk.

Recommended Health Test

  1. Skin Evaluation 
  2. Neurologic Exam 
  3. Thyroid Testing 
  4. X-rays or other radiographic imaging


A daily intake of 1.5 to 2.5 cups of high-quality dry food, divided into two meals, is recommended.

Your dog's weight, age, build, metabolism, and activity level all have a role in how much he eats as an adult dog. Dogs, like people, are unique beings who require different amounts of nutrition. If you have a dog that is constantly on the move, you'll need a lot more food and water. The better the dog food, the less you'll need to shake it into your dog's bowl, and the better the dog food, the more your dog will benefit from it.

When it comes to preventing your dog from becoming obese, measure your dog's food and feed it at regular intervals rather than leaving it out all day. Looking at him from above, you should feel his muscles, but not see them, and his waist should be clearly defined when you look at him from below. Your dog needs to lose weight if its ribs are covered under a thick layer of fat.


This breed's short, glossy coat requires little maintenance. Weekly brushing removes stray hair and distributes natural oils. The amount of hair you lose may increase as the seasons change. Keeping up with losing hairs may be as simple as an extra weekly brushing.

Once a month or so, depending on how unclean your dog becomes. Between baths, clean your dog with a wet cloth. Regular nail trimming is an excellent idea. Check your dog's ears at least once a week for wax accumulation or redness. Brush your dog's teeth daily.


The American Pit Bull Terrier is a working dog, born to work. So they have a lot of energy to expend every day. They are recognised for their great vitality and endurance. This breed needs lots of activity to stay happy and healthy.

They are physically gifted. Walking them is a good way to burn off some energy, but kids can also play activities like hide-and-seek. They excel at agility, weight pulling, lure coursing, and fly ball. Even if you don't intend to compete, these activities will help your dog's mental and physical health.


Training and socialisation are crucial for American pit bull terriers. Start with a puppy right away. To remove negative stereotypes about this breed, they are constantly supervised. Experts advise American pit bull terriers to become Canine Good Citizens to learn how to be calm and well-behaved in a variety of situations.

Intuitive and trainable, this breed's intelligence and trainability work It may become stubborn if you don't give it constant instructions.

It's vital to socialise your dog with a variety of people and environments to help him build confidence. Pit bulls' high hunting instincts and history of dog fighting make it difficult for them to socialise with other household pets. Keep your dog on a leash and watch it near other dogs. When challenged, these dogs don't back down.

Children and Other Pets

When it comes to American Pit Bull Terriers, we're not just talking about breakfast. Playing with them is a joy because they are strong, lively, and patient. As a general rule of thumb, no dog, no matter how big or small, should ever be left alone with children.

When an adult isn't there to keep an eye on things, dogs should be kenneled or created. This is especially important after they achieve sexual maturity and begin to test the waters of "pack" leadership.

Playing with a dog's ears or tail might be harmful to the animal. Never approach a sleeping or eating dog, and never try to take its food.

Because of their dogfighting heritage, some American Pit Bull Terriers are aggressive against other dogs, but this can be remedied by early socialisation and training, and many are dog and cat friendly. Keep an eye on them if they're with other animals.


Adult American pit bull care is quite similar to puppy care. Adult American pit bull terriers, however, eat less. Extra protein is required in their diets to maintain brain development and muscular function as they age.

Due to their small stomachs, puppies can't eat as much as adults. You can prevent vomiting and obesity by feeding them frequently and in little portions.

If you want to acquire an American Pit Bull Terrier, make sure you get the right breed. Some people call other breeds "pit bulls" and try to sell their puppies as such. In a puppy, the American Staffordshire terrier can be confused with the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Puppies of this size are priced similarly to other medium breeds. A good-quality puppy will cost you at least $500. The larger litters help keep the prices down. Dogs with confirmed pedigrees or show qualities might cost up to $2,000 on average. If you merely want a pet, there's no need to spend a fortune on a puppy.

Dog breeds related to American Pit Bull Terrier

Dogs like this may appeal to folks who aren't interested in the American pit bull terrier but want a similar pet.

American Staffordshire Terrier: When it comes to pit bull-like dogs, the American Staffordshire terrier is the closest. In some dogs, they share the same brindle pattern, and their behaviour and appearance are similar.

Boxer: The boxer is one of the best family watchdogs because of its sociable nature. Because of their playful disposition, they are less likely to bite than pit bulls, but they are more suited to an apartment than the pit bull.

American Bulldog: However, the American Bulldog has a considerably more muscular body than the American pit bull terrier, but they are also more susceptible to exhaustion.. Because of its high energy consumption, the American bulldog is an excellent choice for households who may struggle to keep up.