American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier
American Pit Bull Terrier

Why do I need to know?

It is important to know as much as possible about your potential pets or common traits your dog may have.  Here at Rose Cottage we make it our priority to ensure we have the knowledge and we want to share that with you.  

There are some breeds we are unable to take, which is much to our regret, but we have to make sure every dog can enjoy the facilities here at Rose Cottage.  The way we care for your dogs would make it impossible to offer this to some breeds, due to the nature of the dog breed, but also the care that breed may need.     

We will always recommend the best, to our knowledge, place to take your baby.  If we find we are unable to take your dog.


The breed behind the “pit bull” name is the American pit bull terrier or APBT.  This medium-sized dog is well-known for his loyalty and athleticism, making him a beloved companion.  


It’s a terrible truth, but the APBT’s early years were shadowed by dogfighting and bull baiting, two common blood sports back in the 1800s. 

These dogs were developed by breeding English bulldogs with terriers, in an attempt to combine the athletic prowess and tenacity of a terrier and the strength of a bulldog. 

The dogs became quite familiar quite quickly, as their reputation as a fierce working dog made them ideal for life around the farm where they excelled in hunting and weight-pulling.  

Today, APBTs hold a wide range of jobs, including police work, competitive agility, and professional couch warming and crumb-between-the-cushion-finding.


The APBT has a solid build, standing between 17 and 21 inches at the withers.  Weights vary between 35 and 60 pounds, though a well-bred specimen should not be so large that it impacts his gait. 

The APBT should move smoothly, as he’s intended to be an all-around athlete that carries himself with confidence. His tail is long and never docked, per standards, though it can be thin and whip-like, so watch your legs if he’s excited!

His head is large but should be proportional to his body, with a broad top and wide muzzle free of wrinkles. He should, however, have expressive wrinkles on the forehead and can have eyes in any colour other than blue (note that some APBTs may have blue eyes at birth, but they should darken over time). His ears are set high and should fold over, and his neck should be thick but not overly so.

APBTs have a short coat that is glossy in appearance. His hair can be rather stiff to the touch, and to meet the standard, it should never be curly, long, or sparse.


APBTs are commonly seen in blue, red, black and white, and brindle colourings, as per UKC standard.  All colours and patterns are acceptable except for merle and albino. 

The labels “red nose” and “blue nose” are often associated with the breed, which are another way of saying a pooch with a liver nose or a pup with a black or grey nose, respectively.

Common Health Issues

With a lifespan of 12 to 14 years, APBTs are generally healthy dogs, though they have several health concerns to watch for, including:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Luxating patella
  • Allergies
  • Skin issues
  • Cataracts

Breed Registries:

  • United Kennel Club (UKC)

What to expect from an American Pit Bull Terrier

APBTs are happiest with their families.  They are loyal to a fault and will love their peeps unconditionally.

With that in mind, they are not a dog that can handle long periods of time alone in a yard or in the house unattended.  They are prone to separation anxiety and will make their unhappiness known, sometimes by redecorating your house with the innards of your favourite throw pillows.

If you are expecting a long shift, hiring a dog walker or thinking about doggy day care could be an option.  Crate training is an option as well, but it depends how you would want to train your dog.

The APBT is a smart breed, but stubborn.  Firm guidance is needed; always focus on positive, reward-based training since APBTs can be surprisingly sensitive.

Early socialisation with people, dogs, and other pets is a must.  This breed has a strong prey drive and should never be trusted off lead outside of a fenced area. They won’t hesitate to chase a wayward squirrel and can have selective hearing when they’re on the run.

The APBT’s short coat works well in warmer conditions, although cold weather can be a problem for pitties.  When the temperature dips below the 40s, limit outdoor time to short potty breaks and invest in a decent coat for walks or look into indoor exercise options.

They shed a good amount and can be prone to ear infections, so monitor them for odours or signs of redness. 

With their history as a working dog, it’s no surprise that APBTs require a fair amount of exercise.  A long, daily walk or vigorous romp in the yard can fulfil this need.

That said, APBTs are affectionately referred to as “house hippos” by their owners, as they tend to wallow around the house and nap when they’re not running around. 

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