The Pit Bull has gone through many iterations. First, this dog was bred as a bait dog. Then, it was used as a farm dog and finally, it became the loving pet we all know so well today. There is a huge fan base for Pit Bulls out there. People tend to absolutely adore these dogs and they've become somewhat of evangelists on their behalf. These dogs are said to be gentle around children and good with the entire family. Because they're so strong and agile, they're oftentimes natural picks for various sports and competitions. Mostly though, you'll find these dogs playing in a back yard or lying on a couch somewhere with their loving families.
Continue reading to learn more about Pit Bulls, a dog that's got many names, such as the Pitbull, American Pit Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier, Pitty, Pit, American Staffordshire Terrier, Yankee Terrier, APBT, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. For our purposes below, we'll use the name "Pit Bull."
Popularity: Very popular.
Trainability: It's critical to train the American Pit Bull Terrier not to pull on a leash while it's still young in puppyhood. These are very strong dogs as adults and the last thing you want is for your dog to be leading you around in a way in which you can't stop him. When it comes to obedience training, this dog is trainable, but you'll need to firm, patient, respectful, and consistent. You'll also need to socialize the Pitbull early on in life around children and other animals. This breed is eager to please, so it's important to take advantage of that innate instinct while they're young so you raise a well-mannered and well-behaved Pit Bull adult dog.
Size/Weight: Medium sized dogs, weighing in at an average of 30-70 pounds.
Origin Location/Date: Bred as a combination of the English Terrier and the Bulldog, the Pit Bull originates from Ireland and England. They were used as bull and bear bait dogs and then later used as rat baiters and fighting dogs. They were also used to catch wild hogs and cattle. During the later 1900s in the United States, Pit Bulls became much more popular as pets, therapy dogs and police dogs.
Energy Level: The Pit Bull is a fairly high energy dog, but it's one that's eager to please. This breed loves going for walks and playing in the enclosed back yard, so take advantage of that to burn off some of the dog's energy. This is a very enthusiastic dog that loves being around people. They're also fond of going on jogs, so you can easily make the Pit Bull your next running partner.
Temperament: The Pit Bull is eager to please, friendly and enthusiastic. It's a great companion for humans, but not so much for other dogs, cats and family pets. Don't just assume that your friendly Pitbull will get along with your cat. It may not and the cat may suffer because of that. This is why early socialization is so important. With the right owners and correct training, this breed of dog can be completely loving, docile and affectionate.
Necessary Space: Because of the size and energy requirements of this dog, it isn't recommended that it live in a small apartment. It's much better suited for larger houses with fenced in back yards. Also, be careful when bringing this dog to the park to play. It may not get along well with other dogs.
Talents: The American Pit Bull Terrier drips with loyalty, confidence, tenacity, and stamina. It's a great watchdog and has an impressive amount of strength and agility. They're stubborn and fearless, yet friendly, kind, gentle and companionable when it comes to their family.
Life Expectancy: 10-15 years.
Group: UKC Terrier Group.
A few terms and phrases to describe the typical Pit Bull puppy and dog: clown, funny, bait dog, good therapy dog, good police dog, high energy, eager to please, playful, enthusiastic, people pleaser, companionable, loving, docile, affectionate, energetic, loyal, confident, tenacious, high stamina, great watchdog, strong, agile, stubborn, fearless, friendly, kind, and gentle.