The pit bull is the dog breed that seems to have descended from the Bulldogs and terriers. There are widely popular around the world as the most dangerous dog breeds as this crossbreed is mainly used in blood sports. Many countries have banned this breed in their countries due to human safety as most owners of these breeds are likely to have criminal and violent act records. But otherwise, the pit bulls have served as police dogs, search and rescue dogs, catch dogs to hunt and drive live stocks and also are a family or human companion. Proper training right from the puppy age can make this voracious breed a loyal, affectionate and humble companion.
What is a pit bull?
A pit bull is a crossbreed of the Bulldogs and terriers. The pit bull breed is mainly composed of the following dog breeds
- American Pitbull Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier.
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- American Bulldog
- Bull Terrier
1. American Pit bull Terrier (APBT)
The British needed a canine that had the following traits: strength, athleticism, and ferocity, hence they bred the Old English Bulldogs and Old English Terriers to obtain the PBT they required for blood sports. The APBT are direct descendants of this PBT that are used to hunt wild cattle and hogs and were also used as a livestock driver. The APBTs eventually became family pet companions when people started breeding this breed out of their aggressiveness.
Today APBT are be found to be employed as therapy, companion, and police dogs, but these dogs are still used by some violent humans in dogfighting. But predominantly the APBTs are family companions in most of the American households.
APBT Facts Table
|Size||Medium sized with a well-defined smooth muscle structure. The males are 18-21 inches at the withers and the females are 17-20 inches.|
|Coat||Short and smooth with colorings that include red, brown, black, fawn, brindle and solid white.|
|Facial characteristics||The shape of these Pitbull breed’s eye is almond or round and its ears are small to medium in size. Head is seen to be proportionate to the rest of the body.|
|Life span||12-14 years|
|Color variations||Spotted, solid, Merle, or brindled with points.|
|Temperaments||Strong, loyal, obedient and protective.|
|Health problems||Congenital heart diseases, dysfunction of the thyroid, patella problems and Demodex Mange. Chances of hip dysplasia are much higher in this Pitbull breed.|
|Grooming||A firm bristle brush needs to be used for grooming its coat prior to a bath with a dry shampoo application. This fido sheds its skin on an average basis.|
|Litter size||5 to 10 puppies|
|Workout regimen||Long daily walks on a regular basis.|
Under the APBT, one may notice that some dogs are named either a Rednose or a Bluenose pitbulll. These aren’t a separate breed; they are just a color of the purebred dog that possesses the same qualities and characteristics of an APBT. Their over-breeding can result in more prevalent health disorders.
A Rednose Pittie can be easily spotted from birth as they are born with a red/copper/brown tones to their fur, nose, eyes, and toenails. This is a rare breed hence this dog puppy is very expensive. Apart from the color, this dog possesses all the characteristics of an APBT that include intelligent, trainable, loyal, and gentle. The Rednose Pittie suits the families that have experience of living with large and powerful dogs. This dog breed if trained and socialized from a very tender age are seen to give their whole heart away to their family.
The Bluenose Pittie is another type of a purebred APBT that is just has a blue and grey tones fur, eyes, nose, and toenails. This is also a more sought-after color hence their puppies are too pricey. These blue-nosed guys are fun loving dogs that adore their family to the core. They need to be continuously stimulated for good behavior. The downside of this pricey breed is their health. As the blue and grey hues are caused by a recessive gene, they are seen to have low melanin levels, that is seen to can cause a wide range of health problems that include a weakened immune system, deafness, cataracts, alopecia, and a range of heart problems.
Note: One needs to bear in mind that both the red nose and the bluenose are outcomes of breeding bluenoses with bluenoses, and red noses with red noses. The gene pool for both types are potentially small hence the health hazards rate is seen to enhance.
2. American Staffordshire Terrier
By the name, one would assume that the Staffordshire Terrier was originally bred in Staffordshire, England. But pieces of the evidence report that this dog breed was first bred in Birmingham, West Midlands in the US and was later bred in Staffordshire, England. This Pitbull breed has an English name as their ancestors are from England. This pit bull type is the outcome of crossing an English Bulldog with another canine whose breed type is conspicuous (experts opine that dogs like the Black and Tan Terrier, Fox Terrier or White English Terrier may have been used in the breeding).This dog breed was very popular among the Americans until World War 2, post which its popularity was hindered.
American Staffordshire Terrier Facts Table
|Size||17-19 inches at the shoulders.|
|Coat||Short and thick.|
|Facial characteristics||Has a thick glossy hair and a stocky, muscular body that is extremely strong for its size. The head is broad with a very strong jaw that comprises of a medium length muzzle. Ears may be cropped or not. The tail is undocked and is seen to short tapering to a point.|
|Life span||Up to 14 years.|
|Color variations||Found in a variety of colors.|
|Temperaments||Loyal, dependable, and good-natured dog that requires a companionship. The breeds reaction to strangers is seen to vary from instinctual guarding, reserve politeness, or exuberant face-kissing.|
|Health problems||Congenital heart disease, elbow or hip dysplasia, luxating patella, thyroid disorders, cerebellar ataxia, skin allergies, autoimmune diseases, and urinary tract infection. Older dogs are also seen to suffer from osteoarthritis and spondylosis.|
|Grooming||Brush its coat on a regular basis as this dog breed is an average shedder. To make its coat gleam experts recommend the usage of a piece of chamois and toweling.|
|Litter size||5-10 puppies.|
|Workout regimen||Daily exercise regimen that should involve long walks, jogs, or runs. When walking the dog needs to heel beside or behind the walker while holding the leash.|
Note: The dog must be trained to enter and exit doors and gates posthumans.
3. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Blood sports were popular sports among people in the past wherein it was a common sight to see the bears and bulls fighting dogs or dogs fighting each other. To increase the fighting capabilities of such dogs, let to the emergence of Staffordshire Bull Terriers. The ancestors of this dog type were a bull and a terrier. Post the ban of blood sports the Staffordshire Bull Terriers went on a decline. During the 20th-century this dog breed regained its popularity not only as a show dog but also as a guardian family pet.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier Facts Table
|Size||14-16 inches for males and 13-15 inches for the females.|
|Coat||Short and smooth.|
|Facial characteristics||Very popular for its broadhead that has strong jaws and a distinct stoop along with a short fore face. The broad skull head has a black nose, round dark eyes, and small ears. The tail is low-set and tapered to a point.|
|Life span||10-12 years.|
|Color variations||Fawn, white black, blue and brindle.|
|Temperaments||Obedient, courageous, and affectionate. Gets along with kids and is less wary of strangers.|
|Health problems||Eyes are seen to suffer from HC and PHPV that can be eliminated with selective breeding. There are also hip dysplasia and gas problems in breed type.|
|Grooming||The coat grooming needs to be performed daily. The breed needs to be given a bath monthly with a dry shampoo. for a shiny coat, the use of toweling and chamois piece skin rubbing is recommended.|
|Litter size||5 – 7 puppies|
|Workout regimen||This canine’s stamina is tremendous, so one need to give it lots of exercise along with daily walks and jog.|
Note: This pit bull breed is difficult to housebreak and needs a firm training and obedience from the puppy stage by a strong handler.
4. American Bulldog
The ancestors of this breed type evolved in England and many pooches of this original breed were used in bull baiting. Immigrants that arrived in America became ranchers and small farmers required a dog that can act as a stock, catch, and guard dog. The American Bulldog’s predecessors suited these ranchers as well as small farmers’ needs. American Bulldogs are seen to be efficient in dealing with feral pigs which are the main reason for its increased popularity in South America.
American Bulldog Facts Table
|Size||The American Bulldog is robust and sturdy, as well as muscular wherein the Males are 22-28 inches and the females are 20-26 inches.|
|Facial characteristics||This breed possesses a big square-shaped head that couples with powerful jaws. The Chest is moderately deep and broad. Legs are strong, straight, and thick boned.|
|Life span||8-10 years.|
|Color variations||Shades of brindle.|
|Temperaments||Brave, determined, loyal, and reliable if trained well from the puppy stage. Its protective instincts make it an ideal companion for children.|
|Health problems||The healthiest of all pit bull types which may suffer from hip dysplasia and or neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.The dog can become high strung and hard to control if it does not have a daily physical and mental exercises.|
|Grooming||This pooch’s coat is easy to groom and hence requires combing the coat with a firm bristle brush. The dog needs to be given a bath only if necessary.|
|Litter size||11 puppies|
|Workout regimen||A long daily walk is a prerequisite for this canine.|
Note: This dog is seen to become high strung and hard to control if it does not has a daily physical and mental exercise regimen.
5. Bull Terrier
The creation of Bull and Terrier breeds emerged due to the urge of the requirement of fighting dog for blood sports. This dog type was the outcome of the cross-breeding of the Old English Terrier, the Old English Bulldog, or the Manchester Terrier. This breeding yielded a poor blood sports fighter but excelled as a guard dog, herder, ratter, and watchdog. This Bull Terrier has even become the noble’s popular pet.
Bull Terrier Facts Table
|Size||Available in two sizes: standard and miniature. Standard-sized dogs are 20-24 inches in height and the miniature-size dogs are 10-14 inches.|
|Coat||Dense and short coat whose texture is flat as well as harsh when touched.|
|Facial characteristics||This Pitbull type is easily recognizable by its strong and long oval-shaped head that is flat on the top and slopes down evenly to its black-colored nose. The canine’s body is muscular and powerfully built. Eyes are almond shaped, small, and dark colored. The tail is carried at a horizontal angle set a low level.|
|Weight||Miniature: 20- 35 pounds; Standard: 55-65 pounds|
|Life span||11-14 years.|
|Color variations||Are available in two primary colors: White and Colored. White Bull Terriers are seen to have colored markings on the dog’s head while the Colored Bull Terriers possesses red, fawn, brindle, black brindle, or tricolor with white.|
|Temperaments||Brave, loyal, obedient, polite, fun, and clownish.|
|Health problems||Refrain from overfeeding the dog since it tends to gain weight very quickly which can cause obesity. Watch for the patella ailment, kidney failure, heart defect, skin flea allergies, zinc deficiency, and deafness (Predominant in white bull terriers)|
|Grooming||Occasional brushing and combing are required. The dog is seen to shed its coat twice a year. To remove any loose hair from the canine’s skin, experts recommend using a special rubber glove to give it a rubdown.|
|Litter size||1 or 5 to 9|
|Workout regimen||Daily exercise regimen needs to be set in a vigorous manner. Improper exercise leads to overweight and laziness in the dog.|
Pitbull Mix Dogs
The following section enlightens on two popular Pitbull cross breeds.
Rottweiler Pitbull Mix
This Pitbull Mix is the outcome of mating a purebred Rottweiler with a purebred APBT. This breed type is not only incredibly strong but is also a loyal companion and is popularly called as the Pitweiler.
This muscular dog, when trained and socialized from an early age, is a great family companion. It’s impossible to completely predict the temperament of a hybrid dog as both parent dogs have similar characteristics that include loving and confident. As a Rottweiler likes to stay aloof sometimes this trait is also seen in a Pitweiler too.
Pitbull Husky Mix
The Pitsky is the outcome of mating a Husky (this can be an Alaskan Husky or a Siberian Husky) with any breed of a Pitbull. A Pitsky is not only playful but is also an affectionate mix of intelligence and cheekiness. This hybrid is best suited for busy households with an active lifestyle. If the Pitsky possesses more traits of a Husky one needs to take these behaviors into consideration. This dog is not recommended for the faint-hearted but are an affectionate and enthusiastic mix that are seen to keep the pet parents on their toes.
Before getting a Pitbull dog, one should always check if the puppy chosen falls under breeding legislation laws and commercial restrictions as many Pit Bull breeds are too aggressive necessitating to restrict them. Despite the presence of health problems in some Pitbull breeds they still are seen to enjoy their life to the fullest. Proper care and upkeep are seen to improve the life expectancy of the dog. Finally, make sure to treat the Pitbull in the most loving and humane manner for a cordial and loving relationship.