Choosing a breed of dog to care for typically depends on a person’s needs. Some like having hard-working large dogs like the Irish Wolfhound or the Great Dane. While others prefer small apartment dogs that are easier to manage like the Yorkshire Terrier and the Chihuahua. For dog lovers with an active lifestyle, a lean and muscular dog is a popular choice. Among these muscular dogs, the Pit Bulls are always a popular option. But are these dogs the same as the American Pit Bull Terrier? Or are they different kinds of dogs?
What these dogs are and what they are not, is still a raging debate for dog lovers on and offline. Breeders, owners, and fans will give different responses when asked about the types of Pitbulls. These dogs emerged as a type of canine rather than a single breed. For instance, the common ones include the American Pitbull Terriers, Bull Terriers, and the Staffordshire Bull Terriers. These dogs share a lot of similarities, but let us try to get to know them a little more and discover their unique qualities.
What Exactly is A Pit Bull?
Pitbulls is a common name given to a specific type of dog that descended from Bulldogs and Terriers. There is a common confusion on what they are and whether they are a breed or not. These dogs are one of the most misunderstood and misidentified breeds. Pitties can be purebred or mixed. They can be bulldog-types or bull-terrier types.
Physically, Pit bulls have a stocky, muscular build with thick necks and a wide head. These dogs are strong and brave, with a heavy muscular structure. They have short coats that are typically smooth, short, and easy to groom. Let’s take a closer look at their appearance, temperament, health, and sustainability as pets.
The Pit Bull Breed List
There are different types of Pitties out there. Some of the last few are less accepted by the majority. But the most widely-recognized are the following:
- American Pitbull Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Bull Terriers
- American Bulldog
- American Bully
As we mentioned earlier, these dogs are distinctive in their way, but they share a lot of similarities.
The Pitbull’s Rough History
All of the various Pitbull breeds came from the Old English Bulldogs and Terrier Breeds. These dogs date back to the 18th and 19th century England. Back then, the Old English Bulldogs were ferocious canines that are engaged in bloody sports.
Breeders combined the strong jaws of the Bulldog and the Terriers’ tenacity to create an excellent dogfighting champion. One sport that they excel in is bull pit baiting. These dogs were placed in a pit to fight a staked bear or bull while spectators place bets on the outcome. Fortunately, this horrific pastime was declared illegal and banned in 1835.
Yet, the thirst for blood sports continued, and these dogs were soon pitted against each other in a competition called “ratting.” People would place bets on the dogs with the most number of killed rodents in the least amount of time. This is where the term “Pit” in Pit-bulls came from.
Soon, Pitbull owners who migrated to other nations took their dogfighting breeds with them. However, these dogs trained to work on farms or as hunting companions. They slowly evolved to become the social, loyal, and intelligent canine companions that we love and know today.
Are Pitbulls Dogs Dangerous?
If you are lucky enough to encounter and get to know a Pitbull, you’ll wonder how they got their bad reputation. But when you delve deeper into their history, you’ll understand why. Many people still look at these dog breeds as the aggressive and ferocious beasts involved in blood dog sports.
When these dogs arrived in America with their owners, they were bred to become working dogs and become companion dogs. Its muscular physique, loyalty, and intelligence make it a wonderful family pet.
But like any other type of dog, you should always look at these dogs on an individual basis. More so, Pitties are no more aggressive than any other dog breeds.
Typically, a Pittie will show signs of aggression toward other dogs. According to researches made by ASPCA, aggressive dogs tend to direct aggression to other dogs than towards people. Therefore, even if the dog’s genetics may impact its behaviors, other factors will make up its whole personality. A dog’s environment matters a lot too. Early socialization and training is the key to a well-mannered Pittie.
1. American Pitbull Terrier
Often, the American Pitbull Terrier is the one dog breed that people refer to when talking about a Pitbull dog. These dogs are the most popular Pittie breed and the most commonly known. However, the American Kennel Club or the AKC does not recognize this breed. On the other hand, the United Kennel Club does recognize this breed.
The male American bully Terrier stands around 18 to 21 inches and weighs between 30 to 50 pounds. On the other hand, females are about 17 yo 20 inches in height and 30 t0 50 pounds in weight.
These types of Pit bulls are slightly longer than they are tall. They have athletic and agile bodies. Though they have a compact built, they exude power and grace. It has a large head shaped like a blunt, broad wedge. These dogs have a shiny and short coat that comes in various colors and patterns except for merle.
Many countries have banned American bully Terrier. It is probably due to their rough history and reports of aggressiveness. On the other hand, Pittie owners give a different story about their dogs when asked about their pet’s temperament.
For owners, the American bullies are overly affectionate canines. They make fantastic family companions because of their incredible friendliness and love for humans. Some may find it hard to believe, but these dogs are great with children. Many people are worried about their strength and power, so it is crucial to train them early.
The American Pitbull Terrier also needs an outlet for their energy. They are incredibly active canines, and destructive behavior may develop when they don’t have enough activity for the day.
More so, the American Pitbull Terrier has a short attention span. When training them, do it in short bursts as they can get bored quickly. But all in all, these dogs love their humans and would comply with the cues to earn your praise. They love attention and getting lots of cuddles. Make sure to check our latest collections of names for Pitbulls.
In terms of health, these dogs are prone to several genetic conditions such as allergies, hip dysplasia, heart diseases, hypothyroidism, and retinal dysplasia.
With proper diet and exercise, your pet can live a healthy and happy life for 12 to 14 years or more.
- Litter size: 5- 10 puppies
- Exercise routine: Long daily walks on a regular basis.
- Price: $300 – $3000 USD depending on the pup’s age
2. American Staffordshire Terrier
Amstaffs or the American Staffordshire Terrier is another type of Pitbull that is very affectionate to humans. They are very similar to the American Pitbull Terrier, and people consider them the same dog. But there are distinct qualities that also set the Amstaff apart from this pool of Pitties.
For many, the difference between the American Staffordshire Terrier dog breeds and the American Pitbull is very hard to identify. Even pros have a hard time telling these canines apart. They have almost the same appearance in every feature except for one – the size. Because American breeders wanted a heavier or bigger dog than the English breed, they made Amstaff a bit shorter than the other.
A male Amstaff stands 18 to 19 inches while females are about 17 to 18 inches. Though they are a bit shorter, they have a more massive bone structure; thus, they weigh slightly more substantially. Males tip the scales at 55 to 70 pounds, while females are at 40 to 55 pounds. These dogs also have a bit squarer built with a smaller head than the American Pittie.
The name American Staffordshire Terriers was given by the American Kennel Club to get the Pitbull from its name in the 1930s. It happened because many owners worked so hard to stay away from the bad reputation associated with many types of Pitbull breed.
People love having the Amstaff as companion dogs because of their loyalty, trustworthiness, and good nature. They are well-tempered as the American Pittie dogs, so you can expect them to be friendly, affectionate, and great around kids.
In terms of health, these dogs are also prone to the same conditions as the other Pitties. It includes cardiac diseases, hip dysplasia, and allergies. Additionally, if you are taking in this type of dog, have them tested for a genetic brain condition known as cerebellar ataxia. It is a disease that leads to a progressive decline in muscle coordination and voluntary movement. It can affect your dog between the ages of three to five years.
A healthy Amstaff has a lifespan of 12 to 16 years. They can live longer with proper care, a healthy diet, and exercise.
- Litter size: 5 – 10 puppies
- Exercise routine: Do daily exercise that involves long walks, jogs or runs. When walking the dog make it heel beside or behind you while holding a leash. The dog must be taught to enter and exit doors and gates after humans.
- Price: $300-$500 USD depending on the pup’s age
3. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier American is one of the smaller Pit bull breeds. They are affectionately called the Staffy or Staffie.
The physical features of the Staffy are very much like the American Pitbull Terrier and the Amstaff. What’s unique about this breed is its considerably smaller stature.
They look like a petite Pittie with muscular and heavyset bodies. Its head is also broad and short. However, the muzzle is a bit longer, and it has more pronounced cheekbones.
Both male and female Staffies are about 14 to 16 inches tall. The males weigh around 28 to 28 pounds while the females are about 24 to 34 pounds.
There is no doubt that the Staffy is a sturdy little canine. They have the same built and physical features of other Pitties, though they are a bit smaller. They are also very patient with children and well-natured dogs. Thus, they are ideal pets for active families with older kids.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed is compelling, like any other Pitbull dog breeds. And although they are good with children, it is not advisable to leave your kids unattended with a strong and active canine.
These dogs require lots of physical exercise to keep them mentally occupied and keep them physically fit.
Likewise, training and socializing them while young is imperative to help them grow up to be well-behaved adult dogs. Give them enough attention, exercise, and loving. After an active day, these dogs will happily snuggle up on the sofa with their beloved human.
When it comes to health concerns, Staffordshire Bull Terrier owners should take note of genetic conditions that affect this breed. Typically, breeders will screen puppies for patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, and various eye diseases. Skin conditions are also a common problem for the Staffordshire Bull Terriers. These dogs are also prone to some hereditary metabolic disorder called the L-2 Hydroxyglutaric Aciduria. Additionally, it can lead to seizures, tremors, ataxia, and dementia.
- Usually, a healthy and happy Staffy has a lifespan of 12 to 14 years.
- Litter size: 5 – 7 puppies
- Exercise routine: The dog’s stamina is tremendous so give it lots of exercise along with daily walks and jog. Price: $300-$1500 USD depending on the pup’s age
4. Bull Terrier
Bull Terriers are the most distinct looking among the Pit bull types. If you put everyone in a lineup, the Bull Terrier will look kind of out of place. But despite their looks and rough history as an aggressive canine, they have evolved to become America’s “Gentleman Companion.”
Bull Terrier American has a large head that is shaped like an egg. They are very unusual looking dogs. It has a muzzle that curves downwards from the top of the head to the tip of their nose. They have small, erect ears that are placed close together. Another notable feature in these dogs is their tiny, triangular-shaped eyes. It displays a playful and determined expression.
These dogs come in various colors, but the most common one is white. They also have unique paws that look more like a cat’s toes because of its rounded and arched shape.
Both males and females of this breed are about 21 to 22 inches tall and have an average weight of 50 to 70 pounds. Bull terriers are incredibly muscular and strong. They are built with compact and well-proportioned bodies.
Playful and fun-loving are some of the words that best describe the Bull Terriers. They are all personality as they are all muscles. It may sound adorable, but pros would warn new owners to watch out for the dog’s playful antics as it can turn mischievous. These dogs can be little rascals when they don’t get the attention and exercise that they need.
Bull Terriers are very active and are bound to be bouncy and jumpy on people when they are very excited. They can also play rough and be rowdy, so they are not the best choice for older people or very young children at home. They are ideal pets for active individuals or families with older children.
These dogs are strong-willed and very determined. Their fun-loving reputation can sometimes fool owners and not notice their dog’s mischief! Therefore, positive training, early socialization, and regular exercise are essential if you have a Bull Terrier. They also crave human interaction and affection. Once all these are fulfilled, expect to have a loving, faithful, and charming companion dog breed.
Like other dogs in our list, the Bull Terriers are also prone to health conditions that affect Pit bulls. Additionally, they are susceptible to zinc deficiency and may experience skin lesions while they are still puppies. It can appear in the puppy’s head or feet when they are one or two months old.
Another health concern that you should look out for in these dogs is deafness, especially in white Bull Terriers. Additionally, they may have hereditary nephritis. It can lead to renal failure when unattended early on.
This dog has an average lifespan of 12 to 13 years. But with proper diet, exercise, and health monitoring, you can spend even more years with your pet.
- Litter size: 1 or 5 to 9 puppies
- Exercise routine: Give daily exercise to the dog, but do it in a vigorous manner. Improper exercise leads to overweight and laziness for the dog.
- Price: $2000 – $1000 USD depending on the pup’s age
5. American Bulldog
American Bulldogs are often called Pit Bulls, but they are a distinct type on their own. They are the closest descendants of the Old English Bulldogs that were brought to America and soon trained as working dogs.
Since these dogs are bred for working, they are muscular, heavy-boned, quick and sturdy. Compared with their English counterpart, American Bulldogs are taller, more agile and leaner – so they are light on their feet. They have powerful, bulky heads and box-like muzzles. Their noses are either black or brown, and they have distinct furrowed brows. These dogs also have muscular necks and legs with a broad and massive chest.
The coat of the Ambully is coarse and short. You can find dogs of this type in solid white colors or a combination of brindle, tan, red or fawn.
These dogs stand tall at 20 to 27 inches and weigh around 60 to 110 pounds.
Related Post: 16 Adorable Bully Dog Breeds
American Bulldogs are a playful breed, but they have high exercise needs. These dogs are intelligent, friendly and affectionate. They can be quite territorial with their loved ones and overly suspicious of strangers. These qualities make them an ideal family pet and an effective watchdog.
On the other hand, they will need early training and socialization to curb any undesirable traits. Their intelligence makes them trainable and highly adaptable to their environment.
They also need to stay active, mentally and physically. When these needs are not met, they can chew on your furniture and destroy your stuff.
These dogs are generally a healthy Pitbull breed. They are susceptible to specific health conditions such as mange, cataracts and hypothyroidism. They may also suffer from hip or elbow dysplasia and obesity.
Their life expectancy is around 10-16 years, but they can live longer with proper care, a healthy diet and exercise. Don’t forget to read our review about dog food for American bulldogs
- Litter size: 11 puppies
- Exercise routine: A long daily walk is more than enough for the dog.
- Price: $600-$950 USD depending on the pup’s age
6. American Bully
The American Bully descended from the American Pitbull Terriers and the American Staffordshire Terriers. They developed their distinct appearance, which made them a separate breed. These dogs came about in the mid-1990s and soon become the perfect family companion.
The American Bully may have the physical characteristic of either the American Bull Terrier or the American Bulldog. It has a medium-sized head with a deep, broad skull and pronounced cheek muscles. Its ears are set high and can be cropped or uncropped. These dogs can have various eye colors except for albinism. A bully’s muzzle is usually rounded on the upper side with a slightly squared portion below the eyes.
Like other Pit bulls, the American Bully is muscularly built, with a wide and deep chest.
These dogs stand high at 13 to 21 inches and weigh about 70 to 120 pounds. There are variations of the American Bully as weight and height are considered essential in this breed.
Related Post: Different Sizes of American Bully
The American Bully dogs are known for their outgoing, stable and happy personality. They are gentle and loving family companions. They are confident, but not aggressive. Among pitbull breeds, these dogs are the most versatile, reliable and affectionate.
They are highly protective of their owners and will fight when they are threatened. On the other hand, they are very loyal and stable. They are incredibly tolerant of children and are always eager to please their families.
These dogs are no for passive owners, though. They need a firm hand and lots of attention from their owners. They need early socialization and training while they are young to curb undesirable behaviors. If you pursue a relationship with an American Bully, be the leader in the pack. They need you to be confident, calm and consistent so that they know what is expected of them
American Bully dogs are prone to various health issues prevalent in Pit bulls. Some conditions to look out for are hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and demodicosis mange. With proper care, healthy diet, exercise and regular veterinary checkup, your American Bully can live up 10 to 12 years.
7. Miniature Bull Terrier
This dog is the smaller version of the Bull Terrier. The AKC classified these two as varieties of the same breed until 1991. Now the Miniature Bull Terrier is considered as a breed of its own.
The Bull Terrier’s signature egg-shaped head is also apparent in their miniature version. However, these smaller dogs have a squarer muscular body. These dogs are just 10 to 14 inches tall and weigh around 18 to 28 pounds.
Their ears are also erect and stand close to each other. They also have triangular-shaped eyes that are very expressive and filled with good humor. These dogs look very much like the regular-sized Bull Terrier except for the size.
If you are looking for a smaller dog, but interested in getting a muscular and robust companion, this dog is the perfect choice for you. The Miniature Bull Terrier is smaller, but they are very active and need plenty of exercises.
As puppies, they are prone to lameness. They are experiencing rapid growth, combined with their bursting in energy and a heavyweight muscle density. But they grow to be healthy and active dogs that need exercise daily. It would seem that they have no idea of their petite size.
Miniature Bull Terriers can also be extra protective, exude loyalty, and charm that is typical of the Pitbull breed.
Healthwise, these dogs are prone to the same health conditions as the standard size Bull Terrier. Owners should look out for hip dysplasia, allergies, and patellar luxation. They are also susceptible to zinc deficiency and other hereditary conditions common in Pit bulls.
With proper care, a healthy diet, and exercise, these small canines can live a happy life of 11 to 13 years.
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Which Pitbull Types is the Right For You?
It is no longer surprising to know that there are different types of the famous Pitbull breed. Looking at their physical features and characteristics, you may already have a choice for the most suitable canine companion. Some people choose a Pittie based on their size, so here are some tips if the size is a crucial feature for your choice of pet.
Small Pitbull Dog Breeds
If you think that getting a small Pittie breed will save you from the active energy of the standard-sized ones, think again. When it comes to playfulness and unbound energy, Pitbulls are all the same, whether they are big or small. They have the same temperaments, and you have to be thorough in training and to exercise them. Otherwise, you will keep on buying new toys or repairing damaged furniture. Pitties, even pocket, and miniatures are strong-willed dogs with strong bodies – they can be a handful when filled with mischief.
Big Pittie Dog Breeds
Caring for big dogs can be a huge challenge for inexperienced dog owners. When it comes to owning big Pitbull breeds, you need a steady hand and dog ownership. They are big beautiful dogs that need proper socialization. With the right kind of loving, these dogs can be the perfect companion that are also sweet and softie to visitors.
What is the Largest Pitbull Breed?
The largest would be the American Staffordshire Terrier or the Bull Terrier when you compare the different Pitbulls. These dogs can weigh up to 70 pounds. The Amstaff has a more pronounced head, which makes it look way chunkier, but the Bull Terrier is much taller at 22 inches. But of course, when it comes to Pittie sizes, the height is not that necessary. It always goes down to how heavy and muscular they are. don’t forget our read our guide about Hulk: The Largest Pitbull
Different Pit Bull Mix Breeds
Mix breeding of canines has become increasingly popular over the last decade. Proponents of this practice claim mixed breeding lessens the risk of genetic health issues common with purebred dogs. Some of the most popular Pitbull mixes include:
- French Bulldog Pit Bull Mix
- Pitbull Boxer Mix
- Pitbull Lab Mix
- Great Dane Pit Bull Mix
- German Shepherd Pitbull Mix
These are the various dog kennel organizations that recognize and registered these Types of Pitbulls:
- ACA = American Canine Association Inc.
- ACR = American Canine Registry
- ADBA = The American Dog Breeders Association Inc.
- APBR = The American Pit Bull Registry
- NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
- NAPDR = North American Purebred Dog Registry
- NKC = National Kennel Club
- PBFSA = Pit Bull Federation of South Africa
- UKC = United Kennel Club
- AKC = American Kennel Club
- ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
- CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
Regardless of the negative perception surrounding the beautiful Pitbull breeds, they remain a well-loved family companion. These dogs prove that their rough history does not define their personality and temperaments. Additionally, studies show that no specific breed is more dangerous than others. Many factors may influence a dog’s characteristics. Every one of these Pitbull breeds can become friendly, loyal, and affectionate goofballs that everybody loves. All this is possible with early socialization, proper training, sufficient exercise, and a lot of love.
Have you found the perfect Pittie for you? Tell us about your paw-mates by leaving a comment below!