There are several pit bull breeds, most of which are not acknowledged by the United Kennel Club.
If you ask someone what breed their dog is and they answer “pit bull”, then they are incorrect. That is because the term “pit bull” does not refer to a breed of dog, but rather to a group of dogs.
Of course, the United Kennel Club is a performance dog organization, and just because a pit bull breed is not recognized by that group, it still could be – depending on who you ask - very much a pit bull.
So what makes a dog a pit bull?
There are three breeds that are most commonly listed under the pit bull group. These are the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
There are several other breeds of dogs that are considered by some to be pits simply because they have some traits associated with pit bulls such as large heads or coats of a certain color, such as brindle. These dogs include Presa Canarios , American and Olde English Bulldogs and Boxers.
Some people would think it really doesn’t make a difference if a dog is called a pit bull or not, but it does. In fact, the difference could be the difference between life and death.
Some locations have enacted breed specific legislation which bans all pit bull breeds from being inside the city or town limits.
Also, the shelters and humane societies in some towns have a policy in place that requires ALL pit bulls to be euthanized immediately upon entering the shelter.
It could be a new born puppy or a 15 year old dog, if someone at the shelter decides that it fits the characteristics of a pit bull breed, it will be put down.
The answer to the question “what are pit bull breeds” really depends on who you ask.
The United Kennel Club which, according to its website is the “largest all-breed performance-dog registry in the world”, considers only one breed of dog to be a pit bull and that is the American Pit Bull Terrier.
The list of characteristics listed on the United Kennel Club website for this dog do not coincide with the view of pit bulls that is portrayed in the media.
While news reports would have you believe that all pitbulls are vicious killers, the official breed description is quite different. The following is taken directly from www.ukcdogs.com
“The essential characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier are strength, confidence, and zest for life. This breed is eager to please and brimming over with enthusiasm. APBTs make excellent family companions and have always been noted for their love of children. Because most APBTs exhibit some level of dog aggression and because of its powerful physique, the APBT requires an owner who will carefully socialize and obedience train the dog. The breed’s natural agility makes it one of the most capable canine climbers so good fencing is a must for this breed. The APBT is not the best choice for a guard dog since they are extremely friendly, even with strangers. Aggressive behavior toward humans is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable.”
Note that it says the breed does not make a good guard dog, because they are too friendly!
The description also notes what anyone familiar with pit bull breeds would know, and that is that the dogs must be properly socialized and must be put through proper obedience training.
Pit bulls make wonderful pets and, in the hands of the right owner, are one of the most loyal, gentle and loving breeds around.
Below you can find some additional articles about Pitbulls
How big is the biggest pit bull? Click here
English Pitbull, is there such a thing? Click here to find out.
Many people claim to have huge pitbulls, but many of them are not true pits.