|The American Pit Bull Terrier/The American
- Like the vast majority of dog breeds, "bullies", as we call them, were bred for a specific
purpose. The term "pit bull" actually refers to quite a few breeds of dog including boxers,
bull terriers, and staffordshire bull terriers. The two most commonly seen dogs referred to
as "pit bulls" are the aforementioned American Pit Bull Terrier and The American
Staffordshire Terrier. These two breeds are very similar in size an appearance, however
APBT's are not a part of the AKC registry. The UKC does recognize them. Many AmStaff's
are duly registered with both the AKC and UKC.
- The term "pit" was added to the name, not because of being placed in a pit to fight another
dog. These dogs actually were originally bred to take down bulls - imagine their strength!
When this was outlawed in England, owners of these dogs turned to "ratting", which
included placing dogs in a pit with rats for a specified amount of time, seeing how many
they could "get". Unfortunately this practice soon turned into the illegal dogfighting
practices we see today.
- These dogs are of medium build, incredibly strong, intelligent, friendly, and always have
the genes bred into them to be aggressive toward other animals. Animal aggression is not
to be confused with human aggression. Bullies presenting unprovoked human aggressive
characteristics, extreme and unwarranted shyness, and instability are not examples of the
true breed's temperment, and should not be placed into adoptive homes.
- Pit Bulls are playful, fun-loving, entertaining dogs. They do not tire easily and will keep you
laughing with their antics.
- Pit Bulls are very determined dogs. It is important to socialize and train your dog from the
very beginning to establish your leadership. They require quite a bit of mental and physical
stimulation. A training class is an excellent bonding experience.
- Never trust your pit bull not to fight with another dog. They are relatively slow-maturing
dogs, sometimes not showing their full personality until 3 or even 4 years old. If you are
bringing your pit bull into a home with other animals, or add animals later, you must use
caution and never leave them unattended.
- Be prepared for some uncaring stares and negative comments about your choice of dog.
The best thing you can do, not only for your dog, but all other pit bulls, is to be a good
owner. Be aware, be knowledgeable, and always practice safety by never leaving them
roam, tied out, or in your yard unattended. Supervise their interactions with people and
other dogs - and not from a distance. Each and every time an uneducated owner allows
their pit bull to get into trouble by not practicing good ownership, hundreds more die as
the media blasts the story, instilling fear and hatred in the public. You cannot become, or
allow your dog to become, a statistic.