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Breed of the Month: American Pit Bull Terrier

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American Pit Bull Terrier

Country of Origin: United States
Height: 18–22 inches
Weight: 30–60 pounds
Coat: Glossy, smooth, close, fairly stiff
Colors: Any color, pattern, combination except merle
Registries (with Group): UKC (Terrier)


The American Pit Bull Terrier descends from early Greek Mastiff-type dogs called Molossians, who found their way into fighting arenas throughout the Roman Empire. Developed from bull and terrier types, APBTs were originally used by butchers to manage bulls and by hunters to help catch and hold wild boars and other game. In England, these tasks evolved to become the sports of bull- and bear baiting, the act of pitting dogs against bulls or bears, until these blood sports were outlawed in 1835 and dog fighting sprang up in its place.

American Pit Bull Terriers succeeded in the fighting ring by being tenacious, athletic, strong, intelligent, and courageous. Outside of the fighting ring, these dogs gained notoriety for their strong, handsome presentation and loyal, affectionate natures with their families. In fact, the breed quickly became popular in the United States as a hunting dog and family companion, and dog fighting was outlawed in most states by the 1860s. Today, dog fighting is illegal in most countries, including the United States, but the APBT’s negative reputation for being a fighting dog has stayed with him. Those who own and admire him for who he really is—and do so responsibly—hold the future of the breed in their hands.



When raised and trained with respect and knowledge, there is no finer companion than the American Pit Bull Terrier. A properly bred APBT is kind and caring toward children, intelligent and easily trained, loving, playful, expressive, faithful, and versatile. However, he is often aggressive toward other dogs and may see smaller animals as prey. He is adept at herding, guarding, hunting, and weight pulling.


  • Exercise: The high-energy American Pit Bull Terrier needs several walks a day to keep him physically fit and mentally challenged. The walks should also be occasions to properly introduce an APBT to different people so that he becomes well socialized.
  • Grooming: The APBT’s short, smooth coat is easily managed with regular brushing with a firm-bristled brush and an occasional bath.
  • Life Span: 12 years.
  • Training: Responsive and smart, the APBT is a relatively easy breed to train and has excelled in many areas that demand a high level of aptitude. A training issue with this breed can be how others perceive him, which makes being out with the APBT—who needs the exposure to all sorts of people and places to help him be a confident, trusting adult—sometimes difficult.

Excerpted from World Atlas of Dog Breeds, 6th Edition. © 2009 T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Used by Permission.

World Atlas of Dog Breeds

53 Responses to Breed of the Month: American Pit Bull Terrier

  1. Jae Jay July 20, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

    awesome to see the breed featured for the breed of the month! just awesome!

  2. Bullie Fan 513 July 20, 2011 @ 9:51 pm

    We have had our second pit mix for about two years (after losing our first to a heart condition much to soon) and they are wonderful, loving, loyal dogs. They have both been wonderful ambassidors for their breed and have changed many peoples mind about them. Thanks for making them the “breed of the month” this month, the exposure is good for the breed.

  3. Angie July 20, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

    Great article! Staying truthful to the matter. Noting the pros on the breed without sugar coating. All facts, not myths or personal beliefs. Thank you 🙂

  4. reddart July 21, 2011 @ 12:26 am

    I adopted an APBT that was a stray at 4 months of age. The above article is a perfect description of her and her behavoir. They make an excellent family pet but do need daily exercize and firm guidelines.

  5. skreidle July 21, 2011 @ 3:31 am

    Fantastic! APBTs (and AmStaffs, and Staffie Bulls) are among the best dogs I’ve ever met. 😀

  6. Maureen July 21, 2011 @ 3:37 am

    good for you nylabone! my favorite breed! awareness and education are needed in our society…so many pit bulls are being banned by breed specific legislation and euthanized in shelters. as a mommy of 3 pits i wouldn’t trade my dogs for the world.

  7. […] […]

  8. Liz July 21, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

    Thank you for posting this profile! Pit bulls are a wonderful breed when they have responsible, educated owners, and I absolutely adore my girl (who LOVES Nylabones, by the way).


  9. Stacy July 21, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

    I own a female pit bull/boxer mix and she is the best dog in the world. Never aggressive, loves kids and other people but as it states in the artiicle she doesn’t like other dogs very much. She is a very loyal dog and would do anything to please me. I have had her since she was a puppy and she is now 11 yrs. old. I truly love this breed and with the right care and being properly raised this breed is no where near like the horror stories you hear. Those situations only happen because of irresponsible owners who have them for the wrong readsons.

  10. Tracy Feger July 21, 2011 @ 6:31 pm

    Thank you for your positive article on one of the most dedicated breeds of dogs. Thank you also for pointing out that irresponsible owners have damaged the breeds reputation.

  11. Susan July 21, 2011 @ 7:05 pm

    Amen! As someone who’s had several different breeds and current owner of a pittie, they are awesome dogs! She actually gets along with most dogs and with our pet duck thumper. She doesn’t look at her as prey but if anyone messes with her duck, THEY become the prey.

  12. kodi July 21, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

    I have a lab/pit mix and my roommate has an amstaff and they are the two most loving dogs we have ever had, they are so smart and easy to train. They are great with people of all shapes and sizes. I wouldn’t trade them for the world! I eally wish there was more Pitbull education in our country because people of scared of these wonderful dogs for no reason!!

  13. Leigh July 21, 2011 @ 8:11 pm

    I do not own a pitbull but am very happy to see this breed as Breed of the Month. They are so misrepresented, and portrayed in such a bad light. Every pit bull I have ever met has been extremely friendly, affecionate and very happy! People just need to be educated. Good job Nylabone.

  14. Linette Berniard July 21, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

    I have a pit bull/lab mix who shares our home with a rabbit. She and the rabbit are best friends. She is the sweetest, most gentle and loving dog. Pit bulls are a great breed.My dog loves other large dogs. She’s not too fond of smaller ones. She adores children. She is just a big ol’ love bug!

  15. Autumn July 21, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! I have 5 rescued pits that live in my home and have been doing pit bull rescue/training for over 10 years. I’m so happy to see a positive spin on these wonderful dogs. That’s why I do exclusively pit rescue. They are the most misunderstood abused and misused breed in the world.

  16. chris July 21, 2011 @ 8:49 pm

    i love my 2 year old he an my son play very well he is 8 play ball an he likes to lay on him like a pillow .

  17. Brittany July 21, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

    Thank you Nylabone, for the awareness of such a wonderful breed!

  18. Dale July 21, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

    We have two American Bullies and love them so much. They are true people loving dogs and seem to know when others are not comfortable with them and leave them alone. Thank you for giving this breed their due. Punish the deed, not the breed.

  19. Pam July 21, 2011 @ 9:47 pm

    Thank you for the truthful and wonderful description of the APBT. As an owner of a 6 year old APBT along with 4 pugs, I can say they are a great breed. Always so fun and playful. My girl has never shown any aggression to my pugs (who are the top dogs in the house) or any other dogs she has met.

  20. Robert July 21, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

    I think it’s awesome that a large company like Nylabone has made this bread the bread of the momth. My AMSTAFF “Chopper” is 19 months old and is the happiest dog. I have socialized him around animals and people of all ages since he was 3 months old and everyone that meats him loves him imediately. Thanks again for sharing the “Bully breeds” with the world.

  21. Brianna July 21, 2011 @ 10:25 pm

    What do you think of when you hear about the American Pitbull Terrier? I hope you love them, and agree that they are sweet, amazing dogs.
    Pitbulls are actually very, very loyal, sweet, intelligent dogs. They are perfect for children who are active and responsible adults. Pitbulls seem agressive, but it is only because irresponsible owners train them to kill and fight for bad reasons such as bull baiting.
    I am not suprised when Nylabone stated Pitbulls were agressive towars other dogs and pets. That is is their blood to attack. However, good, responsibe owners (like me) can get their Pitbull to love ALL dogs and pets. I have a pure Pitbull puppy, and she is progressing well. She plays nicely with my other adult Pitbull. She also sleeps with my Labrador. And she adores my Toy Poodle!
    She is amazing with dogs who she doesn’t know. She recently approached an agressive Great Dane, and she knew she shouldn’t fight. So she ran towards me to warn me about the danger. My puppy did growl at it, but in the looks in her eyes, she’d only fight if I told her too. (Of course everything was handled so no one was hurt from the Great Dane).
    My adult Pitbull and my puppy loves cats and squirrels. The ferrel cats by our house hiss at my dogs, but my dogs respond in a playful expression. My dogs never chase rabbits or squirrels, unless i tell them too. Once, I left the gate open and my dogs ran loose. My poodle ran in the street, and my Lab peed on the bush. But my loyal Pitbulls can to the front door imediatly and whined to come in. It is in their nature to please.
    My adult Pitbull is only 2 but she can dance on her hind legs, (spin in circle on hind legs) jump, sit, beg, laydown, rollover, give paw, and bark on command. My puppy is progressing still.
    See? Pitbulls are not bad afterall. It is NEVER the dogs fault. All dogs rely on humans for assistance and LEADERSHIP. If the dog see’s that it’s owner wants it to fight, the Pitbull will fight to please it’s owner. If the dog see’s it’s ownner want’s it to play nicely, it will play nicely to please it’s owner. And it’s not just Pitbulls who have a bad reputation. The Boxer, Doberman Pincher, Rotweiller, Staffoshire Bull Terrier, American Staffoshire Terrier, Bulldog, and German Shepherd have gotten bad reputations from irresponsible owners.
    Remember this: It is NEVER the dog’s fault. ALWAYS the human’s.
    If you read all this you must be a Pitbull lover or a bookworm!

  22. Bighorn July 22, 2011 @ 3:07 am

    My pit bulls (both rescues, both fantastic dogs) LOVE their Nylabones! Thanks for featuring the breed!

  23. KylaTY July 22, 2011 @ 3:54 am

    Thank you Nylabone for spotlighting this amazing breed! All the positive press these loyal dogs can get, the better. This breed, like any other, needs a strong, respectful, loving leader. Thank you for sharing what wonderful, loyal family dogs they truly are. Nylabone treats for Tiberius and his friends to spread the word about this great brand that he already loves and that I already buy.

  24. patty July 22, 2011 @ 12:22 pm

    I have two pitties. I am a first time owner and i love this breed. the only thing that people should be afraid of is that they may be licked to death.

  25. D July 22, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

    Lovely. Can nylabone come up with someone APBT dog can’t chew through in a week? 🙂 cheers!

  26. D July 22, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

    ^^^^come up with something***. excuse the typo.

  27. Melissa July 22, 2011 @ 6:39 pm

    Amen!!!! I have been waiting and waiting for something like this to be done. Every other breed had it 15 minutes of fame and this gets on here and tells the world how they really are! I own a red nose and SHE is the BEST dog I have ever owned! I have also owned pure breed beagles and a few mutts By far APBT is the best so loving and caring as long as you treat and train them right!!! I think we should get APBT out there as a great family breed! DO your reasearch before bashing a breed. Please don’t hate just love!!!!

  28. Amanda July 23, 2011 @ 3:18 am

    Thank you so much! I was lucky enough to adopt my little guy from a rescue and he was so wonderful as a puppy, that my brother ended up adopting his sister from the same litter, and just recently adopted another rescued pit puppy. This breed is very loving and loyal and sadly misunderstood. The hardest part of being a loving and responsible owner is the prejudice we face. Many landlords will not rent a home to a pit owner, no matter how sweet they are or how many people will provide recommendations. I take my guy, along with my other happy mutt, everywhere and unfortunately at times we experience unprovoked hostility. Luckily I also experience love and gratitude from educated and empathic strangers too. It is definitely a tough job, but worth every snuggle, lick, lean and paw. Again, thank you for acknowledging such a wonderful breed 🙂

  29. Dove's mom July 23, 2011 @ 4:29 am

    My sweet girl says thanls for the great write up. She is currently snuggling with her kitten friend at my feet and chewing on one of her many nylabones.

    It makes me so sad when people do things like cross the street to get away from walking past my girl. She would never do anything more harmful than leave a drool mark on your shirt. She loves her cat friends and the other members of her extended dog family.

  30. Michelle July 23, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

    Awesome job with putting a light about what the real APBT is really about……. I have 2 of them and they are absolutely a joy to be around and are my “kids”. We need more people showing them in a positive light instead of always a negative one. Great job!!!!

  31. L July 23, 2011 @ 7:24 pm

    This profile was fairly accurate, up until the “Hunting and Guarding” part. That is NOT what the APBT does. They are terrible guard dogs, and that’s one of the biggest common misconceptions of this breed – That they’re ‘vicious’ guard dogs, and they are not. And they are TERRIERS they are NOT herders!

  32. AmStaffLove July 23, 2011 @ 11:27 pm

    Great article! Happy to finally read something so positive about this amazing breed! When raised and trained with respect.. WTG Nylabone <3

  33. Luv4K9s July 24, 2011 @ 10:01 pm

    I have Two Boxers & Two Pit Bulls, they all behave and get along beautifully. That you for posting some history and very important points about this breed. They are simply one of the best breeds out there, but just like any other breed they need to be socialized, exercised and treated with nothing less than Love, loyalty and respect. Exactly what they give us. On another note, I have to agree totally with D, please come up with something they can not chew in 5 minutes. Also my two AMBT’s & one of my Boxers loves to play tether ball and they are quite good. However, we are yet to find an indestructible ball that will last, we have tried everything. Now they sit and stare at the pole with the empty rope hanging, and it is quite sad, because they miss and love playing tether ball, not to mention it is incredible exercise. So thank you D for bringing up the point about something lasting more than 5 minutes. It is now in Nylabone’s hands, let’s see what you come up with. You will do very well and make a lot of people quite happy. Remember even though these monsters who are cruel and fight them & the MEDIA gives them an unwarranted bad rap, these beautiful dogs are becoming more and more popular with the good people out there. They were the most decorated dogs in WWI and/or WWII look up all the amazing stories that follow this breed, along with some of the people that owned them. Hellen Keller, adored her Pit Bull, Petey from the Little Rascals was a Pit Bull, Buster Brown was a Pit Bull, the list goes on. Also remember the myths, Pit Bulls do not latch on, and they do not have the strongest bite, what they are is one of the strongest dogs for their size. The strongest bite has to do with the actual size and shape of the skull. Read up everyone, you will be amazed at what you find, And thank you Nylabone again for posting ! We know you will come up with the American Pit Bull Terrier indestructible bone, toys, and of course TETHER BALL :O).

  34. Luv4K9s July 24, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

    OOPS, Thank you for posting (Not: that you for posting)!!!!!

  35. Lori July 25, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

    Thank you, Nylabone, for spotlighting the APBT postively!! Our first APBT lived to be 10 1/2 and we have one 4 1/2 yrs old now. LOVE the breed and hope to one day have a pit bull resuce.
    I agree with previous post, can Nylabone make a chew toy that my pit will not destroy in a week’s time????

  36. Jenn August 2, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

    I was soo excited to read this article. As a first time owner of an APBT (he was a rescued puppy), I was cautious and did my research and found out wonderful things about the breed. My puppy is now 7 years and I have never owned a better dog, he is my cuddle bug, loves kids and other dogs. I will never own another breed of dog. Thanks Nylabone for your support of this wonderful breed.

  37. TAMMY August 3, 2011 @ 2:35 am


  38. Angelica R August 4, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

    This made my day. I love my two APBTs and it hurts me so bad when I tell people I have them and I get a look of disgust in return. My youngest passed her CGC with flying colors at 9 months old 🙂 Very smart and loving dogs!

  39. Sandi August 11, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

    Thank you for the great article. I have an APBT who is one of the best dogs I have ever brought into our home. She is such a people dog it is not funny. At the dog park she will ignore the other dogs and go from person to person looking to be petted. I found the information about not liking other dogs beneficial because we have also found that to be true. She is a really bully to the little dogs in my extended family and although she doesn’t pester the big dogs she will also not back down in a confrontation.

  40. Wolf Moon APBT August 13, 2011 @ 11:31 am

    The APBT is also registered with the ADBA.

  41. alex and Chinook August 13, 2011 @ 11:41 pm

    One word to sum up a pit bull is AMAZING! I got my first pit bull (and he was my first dog) and my live has been full of advernture. and chinook says Woof Woof., 🙂 pit bulls forever

  42. Kristi August 14, 2011 @ 5:30 am

    Thank you Nylabone for featuring such a wonderful dog! I recently found two pitbull puppies and have never been happier!

  43. Kristina August 14, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

    I have been my own personal spokesperson for this breed. I grew up with a pit mix and I know their true personality and they aren’t aggressive towards children and animals like everyone says. I have met pit bills that are living with small children, toddlers I might add, and other pets and they are absolutely fine. Had the opportunity to take on a pure pit but my husband said no because we already have enough animals according to him.

  44. Jodi Briscoe August 15, 2011 @ 8:52 am

    Thank you for letting APBT shine! So much bad press has nearly destroyed this breed. I have 1 mix and 1 full blooded Blue nose. The mix is 6 and the Blue Nose is 3. He was fought in a ring and abused beyond belief, but now… 1 year later he is very happy and very healthy. He is learning that people are not all mean. He lives in the house with a chocolate lab girl and an akita girl. He does require at least 3 good walks a day to help him use his energy. But he is a very loving dog now, walking with non verbal commands. More businesses need to promote this breed. Great family dogs, loyal and loving. They are just clowns with drool! I would like to add that I too would like to see something in a bone that lasts more than a week! They are expensive and if I’m lucky they last a week.
    Again Thank you for the showcase of the APBT, they deserve better than what they get.

  45. Trudie August 16, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

    I have a 1 yr old pitt and she is the greatest dog I have ever owned. I admit that I miss understood the breed just like a lot of people do but when my daughter got a pitt puppy then found out she couldn’t keep it in her apartment I let her leave it at my house and I fell in love. She is the sweetest most gentle dog. All she wants is to make us happy and be loved. She loves everyone especially my grandbaby. She plays go gentle with my little Shih-Tzus but can get just as ruff as my Airedale when they play. She doesn’t like other dogs though, I have worked with her on this but so far it’s not helping. If breeders would just be more responsible to who they sell their puppies to then these dogs wouldn’t have such a bad reputation. You have to be an experienced dog owner and know how to train a dog to own a pitt, they’re not for everyone. I

  46. CARLA August 16, 2011 @ 6:50 pm


  47. Katie August 16, 2011 @ 7:37 pm

    Truely Amazing Dogs 🙂

  48. JR August 17, 2011 @ 2:38 am

    “However, he is often aggressive toward other dogs and may see smaller animals as prey — this is not really true — I know more ABPT that live with other dogs of all types and cats too.. rabbits, ducks and all sorts of animals and get along just fine,” Also this needs many walks a days is a serious mis representation — one high quality walk is all they really need… 2 if you really like to go for a walk or have a super active dog. but several? where does that come from… how do you define a walk? 10 minutes for potty breaks… thats not a walk… 45 minutes to 60 minutes of moderate walking rate depending on the temp outside. ( and i am not talking about stopping to smell the roses every 5 feet) is usually plenty for my 6 year ABPT… oh and she also goes to doggie daycare… oh no there are other dogs there… sometimes i wonder who comes up with these stereo typing statements that are so outdated and lack facts. BUT I must say it is nice to see that the ABPT is the breed of the month.

  49. Maria Lopez August 17, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

    I just love that this breed has been featured. And even more so love the fact that it was not only about there bad reputation. I have my baby since she was 3 months old and now she is 3 and a half years old. I adore her for her strong, confident loving nature. i can’t express enough for wonderful she plays with my nieces and nephews. She has such an elegance to her that when i tell people that she is a pit bull, very few believe me. She has a slender shape but the frame of a muscle bound pup. These dogs are awesome.

  50. Medium Ideas Blog August 23, 2011 @ 11:18 pm

    Nylabone Double Action Sports Chew…

    […] him for who he really is—and do so responsibly—hold the future of the breed […]…

  51. […] Breed of the Month: American Pit Bull Terrier | Dog House Chatter When raised and trained with respect and knowledge, there is no finer companion than the American Pit Bull Terrier. A properly bred APBT is kind and c.http://www.nylabone.com/dog-ho .. […]

  52. Pitbull Friends August 25, 2011 @ 7:11 am

    Breed of the month for sure. I have two Pitbull Mixes and they are both great dogs and well trained, helping change the worlds perception of these dogs one dog at a time. http://www.pitbullfriends.com

  53. Rachel November 26, 2011 @ 4:34 pm

    Love love love this breed, glad they are on the month of my birthday.

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