American Pit Bull Terrier pros and cons
Owning an American Pit Bull Terrier has pros and cons. American Pit Bull Terrier is a controversial and frequently misunderstood dog breed. Owning a strong and potentially dangerous dog breed such as American Pit Bull Terrier is a big responsibility and the owner of this breed plays a determining role in how the dog's temperament and behavior will shape. Although American Pit Bull Terriers have the advantage of being very loving and affectionate towards their owners, the owner has to properly socialize the dog from a young age to different situations that involve friendly interactions with other people and pets. Bringing out the best from a breed that has a fighting past can be a challenge for people who do not have the time or understanding of the nature of American Pitbull Terrier.
Pros of American Pitbull Terrier include the dog's potential to be a loyal family dog who enjoys being a part of any family activity as long as the owner has the time that it takes to train this demanding and active breed.
Cons of American Pitbull Terriers: Do American Pitbull Terriers make good family pets for families with young kids? The short answer is no. Here are some of the reasons why this breed is not ideal for families with babies and small children. American Pitbull terrier is a dog that requires a lot of attention, time and lifelong training from the owner. Having a demanding dog breed while the children are still young and need most of your attention is not always beneficial to the children or to the family pet. Is American Pitbull Terrier suitable for older people? That depends on the physical condition of the potential owner. An older, experienced owner who has the strength that it takes to keep an almost 70 pound dog under control on busy streets and during unpredictable circumstances may be a good owner for American Pit Bull Terrier. Older people who have balance problems and may not be able to control this large dog in different situations should not get this dog breed. An ideal owner is a seasoned dog owner who has experience handling a strong minded dog and can be a respected leader for the American Pitbull and at the same time has the time and energy that it takes to provide the dog with enough physical and mental exercise during the day.
American Pit Bull Terrier size
American Pit Bull Terrier weight:
American Pit Bull Terrier male weight: 35 to 66 lb (16 to 30 kg)
American Pit Bull Terrier female weight: 30 to 60 lb (14 to 27 kg)
How tall is Pitbull:
American Pit Bull Terrier male height: 16 to 22 in (43 to 56 cm)
American Pit Bull Terrier height: 16 to 22 in (43 to 56 cm)
American Pit Bull Terrier coat: short, stiff and smooth
American Pit Bull Terrier colors: any color, color pattern, or combination of colors
How many puppies do American Pit Bull Terriers have?
American Pit Bull Terrier litter size: 2 to 12 puppies
How long do American Pit Bulls live?
Pitbull lifespan: 8 to 15 years
How much doe an American Pit Bull cost?
American Pit Bull Terrier price starts at $350 and up, depending on many factors
Help your American Pit Bull to settle into his new home by getting all the necessary Pitbull supplies beforehand.
Pit Bull supplies: Buckle collar for American Pit Bull Terriers
Adjustable buckle collars are the best for everyday use. Choke collars, pinch or prong collars, no-pull harnesses and head halters are more suitable for training purposes when simple methods don't work. Your American Pit Bull terrier may learn to ignore choke collars and keep pulling anyway. Choke collars and prong collars can be dangerous and painful to your dog and are not recommended. No-pull harnesses fit under the dog's front legs with loops over the dog's shoulders. When the dog pulls, the harness pulls the front legs back, thus slowing his pace. These harnesses can be hard on the back and if not fitted properly can cut off circulation to the dog's legs.
Leather buckle collars are sturdy and reliable. American Pit Bull owners have many collar styles to choose from. Studded collars, spiked leather collars are available and your dog can look stylish and be comfortable wearing a nice leather collar. When fitted properly, you should be able to fit two finger between the collar and your dog's neck.
Pitbull harnesses are available in many different styles. Harnesses have and advantage because a dog harness is easier on the dog's neck as the pulling weight is distributed around the dog's chest and shoulders when he is wearing a properly fitted harness. A comfortable harness can be a great choice for an American Pit Bull dog.
Supplies for American Pitbull Terriers: Leashes
Look for a strong 4-foot (1.2 m) to 6 foot (1.8 m) leather leash 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) to 1 inch (2.54cm) wide. Avoid nylon or chain, because they aren't as strong and will hurt your hands. Don't even consider buying a retractable leash. They tangle easily and are too long and difficult to control, especially if your American Pit Bull Terrier suddenly encounters another dog. Your dog is too strong for this type of a leash.
American Pit Bull Terrier supplies: Muzzle
Muzzles for Pitbull are necessary if your dog has a history of injuring people or other dogs. Many different styles of Pitbull muzzles are available and dog muzzles can serve different purposes. If you are taking your American Pit Bull dog to the groomer a grooming muzzle, made of fabric may be appropriate. Remember that a dog can not pant, eat, or drink while wearing a muzzle. Do not use a dog muzzle for longer than twenty minutes at a time as the muzzle can affect your dog in a negative way if worn for extended periods of time. Find a muzzle that fits your dog well - and try to use breed specific muzzles as they are designed to fit the American Pit Bull Terrier dogs. Basket style muzzle is a more comfortable option for the dog as it is roomier and the dog can pant drink and even accept treats in a basket muzzle.
American Pitbull Terrier Supplies: Crates
A crate provides a safe and comfortable place for your American Pit Bull terrier to rest and to travel in. Crates can be very helpful for housetraining purposes and for keeping the dog out of trouble for when you can't watch him. Never leave the dog in a crate for more than two hours. Never use the crate as a punishment. Be prepared to train your dog to like his crate. The wire crate offers the best ventilation and your dog can see what's happening outside of the crate. The drawback is that this type of crate has no protection from the sun or cold wind unless you drape it with a cover. Fiberglass or plastic crates are tough and good for sleeping and traveling. Hard-sided crates are the only type that can be approved for airline shipping. They can be taken apart for storage, but are bulky to move. Choose a crate that is easy to clean and has doors and sides that fit together securely. Use a dog cushion or a blanket to make it comfy. Add some toys to keep your dog busy. For convenience, consider purchasing an extra crate for use in your car. If you have a puppy and want to buy only one crate, choose a model that is high enough for an adult American Pit Bull to stand in comfortably without having to stoop over and long enough for him to easily turn around in. You can use a panel that comes with the crate to temporarily block extra space that the puppy doesn't need yet. The crate provides the most den-like atmosphere, and many dogs feel especially secure in one.
American Pit Bull Terrier supplies: Dog Bed
The crate is your dog's bed, but if you want to give him a dog cushion for the TV room, he'll probably love it. Look for a dog bed that has a removable, washable cover.
Dog gates for American Pit Bull Terriers
Wooden gates may not be appropriate for a puppy who is a major chewer. You can find gates made of metal, plastic, wood and mesh. All of them easily attach to door frames or walls.
Bowls and dishes for American Pit Bull Terriers
Get two bowls - one for food and another one for water. Stainless steel water bowl and dog food bowl work best. Ceramic bowls are breakable but work fine also. Plastic dishes aren't recommended as the dog may chew through a cheap plastic. Also if cracks develop in the plastic dog food bowl, these cracks create a place for dangerous bacteria.
Exercise pen for American Pit Bull Terriers
Another important supply for American Pitbull Terrier puppy is a portable puppy playpen. Puppy playpens are great for overseeing a puppy while you are cooking dinner and want to let your dog enjoy the freedom of movement in a limited space. Keep in mind that your strong Pit Bull can knock it over and supervision at all times is required. Choose a strong pen that's at least 5 feet tall (1.5 m) and has a secure latch. A top cover for exercise pen is optional.
Identification for American Pit Bull Terriers
In case your dog becomes lost, you will be glad that you placed a tag on his collar with your contact info, tattooed him or got him a microchip implant that will help you to reunite with your dog.
Toys for American Pit Bull Terriers
American Pit Bulls have strong jaws, and can easily tear apart stuffed toys with squeakers. Be on the lookout for any pieces that your dog chews and swallows, because they may get lodged in his throat. Indestructible hard rubber chew toys may be more expensive, but they last the longest and aren't likely to cause any damage.
Break stick for American Pit Bull Terriers
A break stick is about the size of a hammer handle and made of sturdy material like wood or fiberglass. One end is a handle and the other is flat and wedge-shaped. It is used to break the jaw hold of an American Pit Bull Terrier on another dog in the unfortunate event of a fight. The flat end is inserted into the dog's mouth, then twisted to pry the jaws open and allow some leverage to pull him off the other dog, without injuring either dog. It is a good tool to have on hand when the unexpected happens. Don't use break stick on breeds other than the American Pit Bull Terriers. Their anatomy is different, and you may inadvertently injure the dog while trying to insert the stick. To break up a dog fight using a break stick, straddle the American Pit Bull Terrier from behind, clasping your knees around his waist. Use one hand to hold his head steady, either by the scruff of his neck or by his collar. With the other hand, insert the flat end of the break stick into the far corner of the dog's mouth, through the gap between the back of his jaw and his molars. Twist the stick and the dog's jaws will open their grip. As soon as you feel that you have leverage, pull the dogs apart.
High-quality age appropriate dog food
When your dog comes home, give him bottled water instead of your tap water for the first few days because some dogs may have a stomach upset from a water source they aren't accustomed to. Mix the bottled water with your tap water for a few days, and your dog's tummy will adapt to it.
Brushes for American Pit Bull Terriers
Shop for a rubber curry dog brush to remove loose hair, flea comb, medium- to soft-bristle dog brush for brushing and removing dander and dirt.
Do Pitbulls shed? American Pit Bull Terriers shed more heavily in the autumn and in the spring. You will know it is shedding season when stroking your dog with a bare hand loosens globs of hair. A gentle combing with a shedding comb will remove this loose undercoat and distribute natural skin oils.
Mild dog shampoo for American Pit Bull Terrier
Never use human shampoo on dogs as it has a different pH and can irritate your pet's skin.
Dog (canine) toothpaste
never use human toothpaste as it is not safe for dogs. Begin dental care when your dog is a puppy, and brush his teeth every day. Brushing your dog's teeth can help to prevent periodontal disease by removing plaque. If the plaque is not removed, it stays on the tooth and mineralizes, turning into the brown junk we call tartar. Tartar can cause an infection and will lead to tooth decay. Both plaque and tartar are composed mostly of bacteria and can do a lot of damage to your American Pit Bull's teeth. Start brushing your dog's teeth when he is still a young puppy. Only use a canine toothpaste as human toothpaste is not safe for dogs. Dog toothpaste does not need to be rinsed and it is safe for your dog to swallow. Always use flavored canine toothpaste. Dogs are not able to spit out toothpaste, and swallowing human toothpaste will lead to gastrointestinal problems.
Nail Trimmers for American Pit Bull Terriers
If you can hear your dog's nails clicking on the floor, you know it's time to trim his nails. Your American Pit Bull terrier's nails should be even with the pawpad; anything hanging over should be clipped. Nails that are too long can hamper your dog's walking ability and may cause pain. Training your dog to like having his nails trimmed may take some time. Keep some treats handy and reward his good behavior. Begin by simply picking up each of his feet and gently massaging his foot and toes. Reward him with treats often. Soon he'll realize that you touching his feet is perfectly fine. After a few days you can start with trimming one nail on one of his feet. Be sure to reward the dog. Do not attempt to trim all the nails on the same day. One nail a day with plenty of rewards with get your dog used to this procedure. Start with this procedure while the dog is still a young puppy, but even a full grown American Pit Bull terrier can learn to accept the nail trimming. Use a nail trimmer specifically designed for dogs. If you chose clippers, you can use either pliers-type or guilliotine-type clippers, whichever you prefer. Many dog owners choose to use an electric nail grinder. Once your dog gets used to the noise, he will be comfortable with this procedure.
Dog ear wipes - supplies for American Pitbulls
Always dry your dog's ears with a clean, soft towel after bathing him. Any moisture that is left in the ears may potentially cause painful ear infections in dogs. Keep your dog's ears clean and if you notice any unpleasant smell or irritation around the ear area, be sure to check with your vet. American Pit Bull Terrier's ears are easy to clean with dog ear wipes.
American Pit Bull temperament
The ideal American Pit Bull has a gentle and loyal temperament. Devoted to many family members, American Pit Bull terrier does not choose just one person to love. This dog will follow you from room to room as they don't like being isolated from the family. You need to have a safe, securely fenced yard for your dog. Not all communities welcome this specific dog breed. American Pit Bull terriers received a lot of negative attention from the media and some cities in the United States and even a few European countries have proposed legislation prohibiting the breed. At the same time, many American Pit Bull owners believe that the breed has the right to exist because of the loyalty, intelligence and other good qualities. The strength and character of the breed enable the dog to follow whatever direction their owners choose for them. It is an individual American Pit Bull and his owner who should be judged, rather than the breed as a whole, is an argument presented by many American Pit Bull owners. Understanding the breed's history is very important for any American Pit Bull owner in order to properly raise a well adjusted and socialized pet rather than an aggressive monster capable of hurting animals and at times people. To own an American Pit Bull is a big responsibility and the owner needs to realize how important it is to start the appropriate dog training program early on, to socialize the dog from an early age and to realize the weight of responsibility towards their pet and towards people and animals that may get seriously hurt if the owner is not acting responsibly. Unless you are able to establish the level of control over the animal that prevents any unfortunate situations from happening, it is not a good idea to get this dog breed. Around their first birthdays, American Pit Bulls may start to show aggressive tendencies by acting in an aggressive way towards other dogs or smaller animals. Usually this aggression does not turn into people aggression. This aggression is a result of the history of the breed. American Pit Bulls were originally used as fighting animals but a dog who turned on his handler was removed from the gene pool. This is why it is so important to not bring an American Pit Bull into a home that already has other pets. If you do, it is your responsibility to supervise all your pets, and if you are unable to watch them, keep the American Pit Bull separated from other animals while you aren't around. Socialize the dog to other animals from a very young age. This will help the dog to curb his natural aggressiveness towards other animals.
Can an American Pit Bull live in a family with children? Most American Pit Bull owners have a positive answer to this question, but only if the children are good around the dog and there's an adult supervision present at all times. Children of all ages need to be taught how to behave around dogs. The dog is not there to be a riding horse or a wrestler to entertain the kids or to play a tug-of-war with kids. All of these behaviors are inacceptable. If you own an American Pit Bull and you have kids visiting, supervise the children at ALL times. No matter how gentle your American Pit Bull is around you - you can not tell how he will be around someone who is not an immediate family that lives in the same household. The dog needs to be trained that it is unacceptable to grab a toy from a kid's hand, or to mouth a kid's hand.
American Pit Bull Terrier training
Start training your American Pit Bull Terrier when he is still a young puppy. Dogs of all ages can learn new commands and with older dogs it may take more patience and repetitions but good results are possible with consistency. Use a lot of tasty treats and positive reinforcement during training. Keep training sessions no longer than five minutes long. Feel free to add extra training sessions throughout the day. If you become frustrated, stop training because your dog won't learn anything if you're angry. When you are just beginning to train your dog, try to find a quiet place with the least number of distractions so that the dog can learn to focus on you. Later on, when the dog knows a few commands, start practicing these commands in different environments, increasing the number of distractions so that your dog can learn to follow the command regardless of the surroundings.
The best thing you can dog for your American Pit Bull terrier puppy is to socialize the puppy starting at an early age. The socialization the dog receives up to the age of three months will largely determine the impressions he develops about the outside world. A lack of socialization during puppyhood can manifest as a fearful or aggressive older dog. To socialize your American Pit Bull terrier, expose him to all kinds of people in all kinds of situations, as well as other animals. Allow him to interact with people of various races, ages, and genders, as well as people in wheelchairs, on crutches, and using walkers. Introduce him to other neighborhood pets, under your watchful eyes, of course. Take the dog with you to any place where dogs are allowed. Socialization enables your puppy to feel confident and secure in different environments. The more positive experiences he has during puppyhood, the easier it will be for you to enjoy life with a well adjusted and confident pet.
What if your American Pit Bull Terrier is showing aggression towards people? Do not hesitate to contact a dog professional. The best time to call for help is before your dog bites someone. Observe your dog's body language. If his eyes have a fixed, frozen stare, his lips are curving and he is growling or snapping, the dog is definitely showing an aggressive behavior. Call a professional trainer who has experience retraining aggressive dogs. It is best to nip the bad behavior when the dog is still a young puppy. Do not let the dog to put your hand in his mouth. This mouthing behavior is not acceptable and can lead to problems down the road. Offer your dog a toy to chew on instead. When he reaches for your hands as you play, yell, "OUCH!" and move out of the way. If he passes up the chance to nip, reward him with a food treat or by saying "Good boy!" and continue playing with him. If you continue having a problem with nipping, consult a qualified trainer. Do not wait too long.
If your dog was housetrained but now he's having soiling accidents in the house, there can be several causes for this behavior. The dog may be stressed out by something that changed in the household. Use dog odor and stain removal solutions to completely remove any odor left behind after a dog had an accident to discourage the dog from using the spot as his toilet again. Dogs have a great sense of smell and if a dog can detect a scent of urine in a certain place, he will be inclined to use the area again as his toilet. Odor removal products can help to completely get rid of the dog urine indoors.
Another cause for housetraining issues could be that you've left your dog too long without giving him the chance to go to the bathroom outside. Another explanation for house soiling is that maybe he has eaten something that doesn't agree with him, or if you have a female, she may have bladder infection which causes frequent urination. Aging can be another reason. Taking your dog outside more often may help with this issue.
Best dog food for Pitbulls
Choose dog foods that use natural preservatives like vitamins C and E (tocopherols) instead of artificial preservatives. Artificial preservatives can be harmful to your dog and include things like propyl gallate, BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin. Some dogs have allergic reactions to these artificial preservatives.
If you are feeding your American Pit Bull Terrier Dry Food (Kibble), check the first ingredient listed on the Nutrition Facts. Better brands contain meat or fish as the first ingredient, and while they cost more, they are actually a better bargain because your dog doesn't need to eat much of it. Kibble is more calorie-dense than canned dog food, as canned food contains a lot more water by volume.
If you are feeding your American Pit Bull terrier canned dog food, check the label. The best canned food for a dog should contain whole meat, fish, or poultry as the first ingredient. Most lower quality canned foods have water as the first ingredient, and many canned foods are more than 78 percent water. The best canned dog foods use whole vegetables, not grain fractions like rice bran, rice flour or brewers rice.
Semi-moist dog food that comes in little packages may look good but it is often loaded with sugar in the form of corn syrup and beet pulp (up to 25 percent). It is also made up of about 50 percent water. Your dog does not need this stuff, which promotes obesity and tooth decay. The shelf life of semi-moist dog food is also much lower than either canned or dry dog food.
The healthiest treats for an American Pit Bull terrier are bits of carrot or apple. You don't have to buy expensive biscuits filled with preservatives and dyes. For a special occasion, small chunks of cheese work perfectly.
American Pit Bull Terrier puppies grow quickly. Most likely by the time the puppy is nine months old, he'll reach his total height, but he'll continue to add muscle and attain his average weight by his first birthday. While he's growing he'll need twice the amount of food that he'll need later on as an adult. Your puppy will grow the most between four and seven months of age.
A quality puppy-food recipe will supply more protein, which puppies need for growth, than an adult recipe will. The protein should consist of two different animal proteins, such as chicken, turkey, duck, beef, or lamb, which are listed as the first three ingredients. Check the dog food label for a suggested feeding amount.
Here's a sample feeding schedule for American Pit Bull Terriers:
American Pit Bull Terrier puppies (8 weeks to 12 weeks old)
Meals per day: 3-4
Feed your American Pit Bull Terrier puppy a high quality dog food formulated for puppies.
American Pit Bull Terrier older puppies (12 weeks to 5 months old)
Meals per day: 3
Feed your American Pit Bull Terrier puppy a high quality dog food formulated for puppies.
American Pit Bull Terrier Adolescents (5 months old to 1 year old)
Meals per day: 2-3
Feed your American Pit Bull Terrier a high quality dog food formulated for adult dogs.
American Pit Bull Terrier Adults (1 year old to 7 years old)
Meals per day: 2
Feed your American Pit Bull Terrier a high quality dog food formulated for adult dogs.
American Pit Bull Terrier Seniors (7 years old or older)
Meals per day: 2
Feed your American Pit Bull Terrier a high quality dog food formulated for senior dogs.
Is your American Pit Bull Terrier at the proper weight?
Gently run your hand over your dog's rib cage. If the dog is overweight, you won't feel his ribs. If he is underweight, the ribs will show prominently all the time. At a healthy weight, you will be able to feel his ribs with gentle pressure and see them lightly outlined beneath the skin.
American Pit Bull Terriers need baths once every 4 weeks to remove that doggy odor. Be sure to brush your dog thoroughly before bath. Wash off any dog shampoo to prevent itchy and dry skin. Have a bath towel close by to dry your dog as soon as bathing is over. Gently dry his ears to prevent any moisture from accumulating in the ear. Bacteria thrives in moist conditions and wiping the dog's ears after bath helps to prevent ear infections. Convenient dog ear wipes can help to keep your dog's ears clean.
If you notice a green or yellow discharge in the corners of you dog's eyes, wipe it away with a cotton ball dipped into warm water. If you see the discharge again, call your vet as a green or yellow coloration may signal an infection.
During the winter, ice-melting products can get lodged between your American Pit Bull Terrier's toes, along with sand particles and ice crystals. These irritants are uncomfortable at best and dangerous at worst. They can cause cuts and cracked paw pads. After you walk your dog, wash off his feet to remove ice and road salt. Dog wipes can be used to keep the dog's paws clean after walking.
American Pit Bull Ear Cropping
Before dog fighting was outlawed, ear cropping was a popular practice because handlers did not want the opponent to get an ear hold, as torn or bitten ears would bleed profusely. Moreover, a lack of floppy ears to grab encouraged the fighting dog to go for a throat hold. Today, no practical reason exists for ear cropping. It does not prevent ear infections, as is sometimes thought. Some American Pit Bull Terrier owners prefer the stern appearance cropped ears give the dog. Ear cropping is illegal in most European countries as a result of the1987 European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals. If you decide to have your American Pit Bull Terrier's ears cropped, the vet will do it when the pup is a few months old. The prick ears will stand up on their own as they heal, without splints. Because the cropped American Pit Bull Terriers look is different from other traditionally cropped breeds, a vet experienced with American Pit Bull Terrier ears should perform the procedure.
Male American Pit Bull Terrier versus Female American Pit Bull Terrier
Whether you should get a male or female American Pit Bull Terrier is a personal decision. Some American Pit Bull owners report that females are easier to train and tend to form a closer bond with the owners. Other American Pit bull owners are convinced that male dogs have more character and more consistent temperament. Personality and character vary from dog to dog. If you are looking for a specific personality qualities in a dog, then it makes sense to select an individual dog that posesses these personality traits that you are looking for.
Regardless of the gender, you must consider neutering your American Pit Bull Terrier. If companionship is your primary motivation in getting a dog, it's a good idea to neuter. By removing the sexual hormones, you spare yourself the inconvenience of twice yearly estrus cycles in females and the more dominant nature of an intact male. Both sexes tend to be somewhat calmer when altered. Spaying is more expensive than castration. If you want to breed your American Pit Bull Terrier and/or participate in conformation shows, spaying or castrating is not an option.
American Pit Bull terrier health problems
Fortunately, American Pit Bull terriers have fewer health issues than most other dog breeds. Dog allergies can be an issue - a dog can be allergic to many things, such as pollens, molds, house dust, drugs, and chemicals. Exposure to them can trigger a reaction such as itching, sneezing, coughing, tearing, vomiting, or diarrhea. To be allergic to something in the food or in the environment, a dog must be exposed to it at least twice. If you notice intense scratching and red, swollen skin, your dog may be allergic to fleabites. Check with your vet about the best flea treatment for your dog.
Bloat or Gastric Torsion is a serious, sometimes fatal health condition that may affect American Pit Bull Terriers. With bloat, the stomach becomes distended from gas or water or both, and it swells and twists. Bloat happens suddenly and can kill a dog within a few hours. It is not known how the condition is caused, but many suspect that gulping down a large meal or large bowl of water, vigorous exercise too soon after eating, and stress can contribute to the problem.
Impacted anal glands is a condition when your dog's anal glands are clogged. You may see your dog scooting his rear along the carpet and this means his anal glands are likely clogged. Located on each side of the anus, they produce a liquid that lubricates the rectum, enabling your dog to propel stool through. To ease the condition, your veterinarian can clean out your dog's anal glands. Ask your vet to demonstrate the procedure so that you can do it yourself next time. If you see blood or pus in the stool, contact your veterinarian, because there may be an infection.
Cruciate Tears and Ruptures may occur when your dog is running and jumping too much. If you notice your dog limping on a rear leg or not moving around much at all, contact your vet. It is likely that your dog will need a surgery to fix this health issue.
Other health issues include Canine Hip Dysplasia and hypothyroidism.
American Pit Bull terrier origin
American Pit Bull terriers were originally used by butchers to manage bulls and by hunters to help catch and hold wild boar and other game. In England Pit Bull terriers were used for bull baiting, pitting dogs against bulls or bears until 1835 when this was outlawed. Dog fighting became popular and later became illegal. To prove the dog's merit, many American Pit Bull owners advocate testing with weight-pulling competitions rather than fighting, because the physical requirements of both activities are similar.
Today, the same dog can be registered as an American Pit Bull Terrier in the United Kennel Club (UKC) and the American Dog Breeders Association (ADBA). A similar-looking dog, called the American Staffordshire Terrier, can be registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC). The reason for this is because the American Pit Bull Terrier was originally used in dog fighting, a popular sport in the United States during the 1800s. Breeders selectively bred the strongest, most aggressive dogs for fighting but rejected dogs who snapped or attacked their handlers. When owners wanted to show their American Pit Bulls in AKC competition, the breed's association with fighting prevented it from gaining AKC recognition. However, by identifying the breed as a Staffordshire Terrier, it became eligible for AKC registration in 1936. The name changed to American Staffordshire Terrier in 1972 to differentiate it from the Staffordshire Terrier of England.
Originally descended from British Bulldogs and English Terriers, the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terriers have been bred independently for more than 60 years.
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