There are three main pit bull breeds. They are the American Pit bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. There are many different types of pit bulls or characteristics of pit bulls but they do not represent another pit bull breed.
American Pit bull Terrier
Usually weighs between 35 and 65 pounds. They often have a smooth coat that is short and comes in a variety of colors like red, black, white, and brown. The head is proportionate to the size of the body, which is not always true for other pit bull breeds. This breed is loyal and obedient but it does require a strong handler who is in control.
American Staffordshire Terrier
Also known as the Amstaff, they are a medium to large breed that typically weighs between 65 and 90 pounds. Height range is normally between 17 to 19 inches with a broad head.
They have a thick coat that is short and comes in a wide array of colors. These are very muscular dogs that have square body shapes. This is friendly breed that is often very loyal to his or her owner. Also requires a strong handler due to its size and strength.
The Amstaff is not recommended for beginner dog owners. This video gives a great overview of the breed and what to expect.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Typically the smallest of the breeds at 25 to 40 pounds. They have a short, smooth coat that comes generally in white, blue or brown. This breed will have a broad head that is not proportionate to the body.
The American Bully was recognized as a breed in 2013 by the UKC. Typically short and stocky with a broad head. Height is usually between 14 and 20 inches. Their full-grown weight can vary widely due to their crossbreeding with specific bulldog types. Some are as light as 60 pounds while others can top the scale at 110-120 pounds.
Is a Pit Bull a dog breed?
Pit bull is a word used to describe several breeds of dog. This includes the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully and Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and dogs with a mix of these breeds. In some locations, the modern American Bulldog and Bull Terrier are described as a “pit bull-type dog”. Pit bull can also mean dogs that were known as “bull terriers” before the development of the modern Bull Terrier in the early 20th century.
These dogs were bred by crossing bulldog breeds and terriers. Pit bulls are very strong and can pull many times their weight. They were also bred for dog fighting. The place where such dogs fought was called a pit. As such dogs can be dangerous, very often a special permit is needed to breed or to own them. Some places or countries may have forbidden their use.
Pit bulls are sometimes called pibbles. Some people think they are all aggressive, but they can be sweet when trained right. They use to have the nickname “nanny dog”.
Characteristics of Pit Bulls
Pit bulls breeds are often criticized for their aggressive behaviors. They are strong, stocky, muscular and energetic, but they are not born aggressive towards humans. Some dog aggression is common.
Other common characteristics are:
- good with children and family
- willingness to please
It is important for an owner of any of the pit bull breeds to know that they are dealing with a large, loyal and powerful dog. The owner must be in control and be a strong leader. The responsibility of having a dog with this type of strength and power should be taken seriously.
Pit Bull Lifespan
A pit bull breed’s litter size is typically 5-10 puppies. The gestation period is around 9 weeks with a life expectancy of around 12-15 years. The pit bull lifespan can vary widely from as little as 9 years to 17 years.
How to Extend the Life Expectancy of your Pit Bull
Feed your pit bull the best dog food with the best ingredients you can afford. This will give them and you the best chance to extend your time together.
Research and learn the most common pit bull health problems. This will enable you be more observant and react quickly should any conditions arise.
Keep up with regular vet visits. This unfortunately is one of the most difficult things to maintain as it can be a little expensive.
Find a good vet and speak to them regarding pet insurance. It can save you money and remove any hesitation to bring your dog to the vet because of the cost.
Another great saving option is pet assurance. This acts like a membership plan and gives a discount on almost all vet services including pre-existing conditions.
Other Health Concerns
Overall, the pit bull breed is considered a healthy breed. That being said, this does not mean they are free of all health issues.
Common health problems that may arise in pit bulls are:
- hip dysplasia
- heart disease
A good diet and daily exercise is the best defense to minimize the chances of these particular conditions. Choose a high quality dog food, organic if possible, or a raw diet.
With allergies, its important to drill down the type of allergies and causes. We have written about that extensively here.