The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) is a medium-sized, solidly built, short haired dog whose early ancestors came from England and Ireland.


 History


During the 19th century, England, Ireland, and Scotland began to experiment with crosses between bulldogs and terriers, looking for a dog that combined the gameness of the terrier with the strength and athleticism of the bulldog.


The dog was bred first to bait bulls and bears. When baiting bulls was deemed inhumane, ratting, a sport where a number of rats were placed in a pit for a specified time with the dog, and dog fighting became more popular. The APBT was used in both sports, and its prevalence in being put in pits with rats led to "pit" being added to its name.With time, the dogs became more commonly used as house pets due to their friendliness towards people. In America, farmers and ranchers used their APBTs for protection, as catch dogs for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt, and to drive livestock. The dog was used during World War I and World War II as a way of delivering messages on the battlefield.

The name "Staffordshire Terrier" was adopted by some owners as a way of distancing the breed from a name with a stigma, and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1936. Later, the word "American" was added to reduce confusion with its smaller British cousin, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Once an extremely popular family dog in the United States (for example, Pete the Pup in The Little Rascals movies and Tige in Buster Brown was an APBT), the American Pit Bull Terrier's popularity began to decline in the United States following World War II in favor of other breeds.


An early predecessor to the American Pit Bull Terrier

Characteristics


 Appearance

The American Pit Bull is a medium-sized dog. It has a short coat and smooth, well-defined muscle structure. Its eyes are round to almond shaped, and its ears are small to medium in length and can be natural or cropped. The tail is thick and tapers to a point. The coat is glossy, smooth, short, and slightly stiff and can be any color except merle. The breed ranges from a height of about 14 to 24 in (36 to 61 cm) at shoulders, and weighs between 30 and 60 lb (14 and 27 kg).

 Temperament


The APBT is a breed that is loyal to friends and family, and is generally friendly towards strangers. People have been known to be afraid of them because of reputations propagated by poor representation in media. Nonetheless, an APBT can be a very congenial pet as they have a general love of people. Many APBTs exhibit high prey drive toward small animals.As with any dog breed, proper training and socialization at an early age is a must.

The American Temperament Testing Society shows a pass percentage of 86% for American Pit Bull Terriers. American Pit Bull Terriers generally have a lot of energy and benefit from exercise and stimulation to channel their energy properly and avoid becoming frustrated, bored, or destructive.

 Health




  An American Pit Bull Terrier


The average life expectancy of an American Pit Bull Terrier is about twelve to fourteen years making them one of the longer living large breeds.


 
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