Pitbull is an umbrella term referring to a range of different dog breeds. The types of Pitbull dogs include the American Pitbull Terrier, American Bully, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, and American Staffordshire Terrier.
Although there is a negative public perception surrounding Pitbull breeds due to a history of dogfighting, Pitbulls make loving household companions.
In this article, we shed light on the different Pitbull types to give you a one-stop-shop for everything Pitbull.
We will also aim to remove the myth that these dogs are dangerous, but show you that they are versatile and highly affectionate. Read on to learn more!
History Of Pitbull
The Pitbull dogs are the crossbreed of a terrier and a bulldog. They were originally bred during the early 19th century in England.
They were called Bulls and Terriers. Pitbull were bred as working dogs on farms to herd, manage and protect livestock.
Their early history is complex because it includes protecting homesteads and herding cattle.
Unfortunately, they also participated in dog fighting and bull-baiting. However, these inhumane sports were not only assigned to Pitbull breeds as many other breeds were also forced into cruel entertainments which are globally illegal now.
The 20th Century made the Pitbull type one of the most popular breeds in America. They were even used as national mascots and used for recruitment posters for World War I and II.
Recently, their population expanded, and is estimated that 20% of the total dog population in the US are Pitbulls or a close relation.
They are successfully used as therapy dogs, service dogs, family pets, and K9 police dogs. These breeds consistently achieve excellent temperament scores.
Pitbull was used as a slang term used to describe any dog used for cruel sports of bull baiting. Different breeds that resemble the current bully breeds were used for this sport and not just limited to the Pitbull type breeds.
Pitbull was not used to describe a specific breed but rather any dog which was used for bull baiting. Baiting is not a trait for any breed but an activity that is taught and honed just like training a dog to fetch or sit.
The term Pitbull is a generic term used for some type of dog based on the physical appearance resembling any medium-sized dog with physical traits from any bull-type breed.
The American Pitbull Terrier is the only formal breed with Pitbull in their name and there are over 20 breeds and more mixed breeds that share similar physical features common to the Pitbull type.
Other than the American Pitbull Terrier, other dog breeds most commonly under the Pitbull umbrella include the American Bully, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, and American Staffordshire Terrier.
In a recent study, it was determined that 98% of Pitbull dogs are mixed breeds with the majority having less than 50% DNA from Pitbull ancestry.
Since American Pitbull Terrier is the main breed, people often refer to the American Pitbull terrier when talking about the Pitbull dog.
The Terriers are known for their feistiness and agility while Bulldogs are known for their strength and were bred together to get the perfect fighting dog.
When the Cruelty to Animals Acts was enacted in 1835, bull baiting was stopped and people turned their attention to dog fighting events.
These were cheaper to organize and easy to hide from law enforcement. It also involved gambling and the last dog standing won the prize and hence the reputation to breed the best dogs around.
During this historical association with fighting, Pitbulls gained a vicious reputation. However, as they were trained not to attack humans, their capacity to bond and love humans was always there.
Over time, their love for humans grew with any dog that showed human aggression was culled.
Characteristics That Define Pitbull
Pitbull-type dogs share their muscular and athletic look. However, some may be more athletic than others. Some dogs are wider and squatter while others are leaner and taller.
All Pitbull dogs have a squared fleshy nose, square-shaped head, and big almond-shaped eyes. Their coats are smooth and short and require minimum brushing and bathing.
They have long and straight tails. Their ears tend to be rose-shaped unless they have been cropped. Most owners prefer and adopt this look.
Pitbull dogs come in several colors except for merle. The merle color gene is not naturally found in Pitbull-type dogs, however, there is the merle-colored Pitbull which is formed from crossbreeding.
Merle Pitbull is not 100% of Pitbull origin and this color is not accepted by any breeding club. This is something you need to think about before paying any extra cost for this color.
Pitbull share the same temperament of adoring humans and craving their company.
They get involved in family fun be it a snooze on the couch or a game of football. They are very fond of children with sweet and sensitive souls.
When they are not socialized well they display fear and aggression against other dogs but this is similar to every other breed when not trained well socially.
With consistent training, they can be very obedient and pleasing to their masters.
Different Types Of Pitbull
American Pitbull Terrier
The American Pitbull terrier is normally referred to as the Pit or Pitbull and is the most common Pitbull breed.
This breed is not recognized by the American Kennel Club but the United Kennel Club recognized it.
They were originally used as farm dogs and are very athletic. These dogs are very friendly and loyal hence can quickly become companions hence they used to be the farmers’ companions and have remained to be that to date.
They make excellent pets because they are very loving and affectionate.
This breed is the largest of the Pitbull breeds and the most athletic. Unfortunately, because of their large size, they are more prone to health problems and can be more expensive than other Pitbull breeds.
The American Pitbull Terrier has two variations the Blue Nose Pitbull and the Red Nose Pitbull.
Red Nose Pitbull Terrier
This breed is a variation of the American Pitbull Terrier. They are the same dogs but the Red Nose Pitbull has a good coat color that can be fawn, red, brown, or chestnut.
They also have their eyes, toenails, nose, and lips red in color.
Their temperament and needs are the same as those of the American Pitbull Terrier but normally come at a higher price and are prone to more health issues because of the recessive gene.
Be careful when buying this breed because they can be bred unethically because of their popularity and rarity. Get them from a reputable breeder.
Blue Nose Pitbull Terrier
Blue Nose Pitbull terrier and the Red Nose Pitbull Terrier are similar. The difference is that the Blue Nose Pitbull Terrier has a blue nose. They also have gray or blue lips, toenails, and eyes.
The Blue Nose Pitbull comes with a higher price tag than the standard American Pitbull terriers hence the need to be careful when you are buying it.
Always get them from a reputable breeder because there are so many irresponsible breeders who want to get higher profits without minding about the health of these dogs.
The disadvantage is that they have a recessive gene that causes the unique coloring leading to low melanin levels causing several health problems.
These health problems include deafness, weakened immune system, alopecia, cataracts, and various heart problems.
American Staffordshire Pitbull Terrier
American Staffordshire Pitbull Terrier is a popular dog breed. They are not recognized by the United Kennel Club but the American Kennel Club recognizes them. On the popularity scale, they are ranked 85th out of 193 breeds.
These dogs are known to be great family companions and known to be sweet and gentle making them a great choice around kids.
These dogs are sociable and get along easily with everyone they come in contact with. These dogs don’t make good guard dogs but they are wonderful dogs to have in life.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
This breed originated in the UK and has continued to gain popularity in Great Britain. However, the popularity has not caught on in the United States yet. They are recognized by the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club.
This breed is the smallest among the main Pitbull terriers hence a good choice for those who do not have a bigger space and still want to own a Pitbull.
The Staffordshire bull terrier is very intelligent, and they are easy to train. They are brave dogs that are friendly and affectionate with their owners hence making wonderful playmates to children and the family.
This is a new breed that was developed in the 80s and 90s. The United Kennel Club recognized this in 2013 but has not been recognized by the American Kennel Club.
They are more compact and much broader compared to the American Pit Bull terrier.
They have been specifically bred for their affectionate and gentle temperament.
Bullies are athletic and very strong hence require a lot of exercise to keep them healthy and happy. They also need regular socialization time with other dogs and people.
They grow to a height of about 13 to 20 inches and weigh about 65 to 85 pounds. They come in a variety of coat colors and patterns.
There are different sizes of this breed; giant, standard, and pocket. The American Bully is one of the most expensive Pitbull breeds and can cost about $2000 and $5000 for the puppy.
They are loving and very sweet-natured dogs. The pups are excellent family pets because they are kind and affectionate. They know how to show you how they love you and the love attention.
Types Of Pitbull Mixes
1. Pitbull Boxer Mix
This breed is a result of crossing a Boxer and a Pitbull. It is known as the Bullboxer. Since both parents are historically fighting dogs, the Bullboxer is seen as aggressive which is not far from the truth.
They are large, loyal, and energetic dogs who can fit in any family and are very intelligent hence playful; and fun to be around.
Bullboxer is a lovable and loyal dog that loves being around people. They are super playful and love being outside hiking, and playing games.
They love being around you and cannot cope well when left alone because of separation anxiety.
They are very intelligent and playful but can get bored easily. They need to be entertained to avoid frustration and signs of unwanted behaviors.
These dogs make good guard dogs and watchdogs because they feel they need to protect their owners. They usually bark when there is a threat or when something is out of place.
2. Pitbull Lab Mix
Pitbull Lab mix is a crossbreed between a Pitbull and a Labrador Retriever. It is also known as Pitador or Bullador.
They are hybrid puppies known for being intelligent and energetic with the half genes being from Labrador the most popular breed in the US. The Pitbull Lab mix is also popular.
The Pitbull lab mix makes great companions and a great addition to any family.
The Labrador Retriever and Pitbull are both known to be working dogs, making the Pitbull Lab mix a busy dog who loves to be entertained and busy. Being busy and engaged allows them not to display destructive behaviors.
They enjoy being in the middle of everything and around people where they can get all the attention.
They can be destructive when they are left alone because of separation anxiety. They are good playmates with the children and can get along well with other animals.
3. Pitsky (Pitbull Husky Mix)
Pitsky is a playful and affectionate dog who is a cross between the Siberian husky and American Pitbull Terrier.
This dog needs to be kept active. They are hard to train because they are very stubborn but landing in the right family makes them perfect dogs.
Pitsky ranges between 19-21 inches in height and 30-70lbs in weight. Male Pitsky is larger than female Pitsky.
They also have short and pointy or long and floppy ears. This breed varies based on its coat type. Most of the Husky mixes have blue eyes because of the Husky parents.
They love accompanying you hiking or any outdoor exercise. They cannot sit idle and hence cannot find themselves relaxed.
They sometimes howl due to separation anxiety. Keep puppies with a lot of action, and they will become your great friend.
4. Pitweiler (Pitbull Rottweiler Mix)
Pitweiler is a Pitbull Rottweiler mix breed. The mixed-breed dog is a huge and robust dog that is an excellent family watchdog or guard dog.
Their coat color ranges depending on the parenting mix but they have a large head, short coat, deep nose, and big teeth.
Pitweiler has an intimidating appearance and they may be loyal and caring but also can be distant. It is a well-built dog with high energy with activity requirements that cannot be overlooked. It is a lively muscular dog that needs to be away from other dogs and kids.
This breed needs early socialization and behavioral training to become a faithful, friendly, and protective family dog.
Their puppies are cute; a typical example of a mixed-breed dog.
Are American Bulldog And Pitbull The Same Breed?
No, Pitbull and the American Bulldog are not the same. However, they have several similarities. Their history is similar because they both descend from Old English Bulldog.
The most common Pitbull breed is the American Pitbull Terrier (a cross between the American Bulldog and a terrier).
Pitbull can also refer to American Staffordshire and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Commonly people refer to the terrier breeds when they say, Pitbull. On the other hand, Bulldog refers specifically to the American Bulldog.
Is Pitbull Dangerous?
Due to their fighting history, Pitbull have been seen as dangerous dogs. With proper training and upbringing in a caring environment, Pitbull is a loyal and affectionate dog that loves to be around people.
When not properly trained or given enough social interaction, they display signs of aggression. Well-raised puppies do not cause any harm.
In some areas of the UK, Australia, and the US, Pitbull and other related dogs are under certain laws which can prevent the residents of such areas from owing them except under special circumstances.
Due to their bad reputation, they are often seen as dangerous even with significant evidence to show that they are great pets when well-trained.
Do Pitbull Shed A Lot?
Pitbull has short hair but is still shed. They have coarse and very short hair. Their shedding of the hair may not be noticeable like it is with the long-haired breeds.
Brushing will help in minimizing shedding in your Pitbull. Brush once or twice a week with a dog brush designed for breeds with short hair.
Bathing with dog-specifically formulated shampoo will help reduce shedding on the furniture, carpet, and clothes.
How Long Does Pitbull Live?
The average lifespan of a Pitbull is about 12 to 14 years. Your bully-breed pet can stay healthy and happy into its golden years if kept with a well-balanced diet.
They also require plenty of opportunities for exercise. Regular visits to the vet ensure their healthcare and checkup not forgetting that spending time to interact with them ensures their social life is good.
What Size Is A Pitbull?
The Pitbull is in the category of medium to large-sized dogs. They range from 30 to 90 pounds in size.
These dogs can appear larger than they are because they have solid and muscular builds with large, and broad heads.
How Much Is A Pitbull Dog?
The price depends on whether you want a pedigree dog or not. Recognized breeds can cost about $1000 to $3000 for a quality pup.
Pitbull mixed breeds are available in various foster organizations for a smaller adoption fee. Rare bloodlines, colors, or patterns can fetch huge prices as high as $30,000 but this is not common.
Hopefully, you now have a better sense of the various breeds that come under the Pitbull umbrella.
Too often, the Pitbull name is assigned to isolated incidents of aggressive dog behavior, but within this name comes a wide range of dog breeds that generally display a loving, loyal temperament.
Pitbulls are versatile dogs and can be used professionally as therapy, farm, or watch dogs as well as loving household companions.
Assuming they are trained and socialized well from an early age, they are a great addition to the whole family and will protect you from harm.
When purchasing a Pitbull, always make sure you buy from a reputable breeder and work out your budget, as the price range can differ significantly.