Get to Know The Four Types of Pit Bull Breeds And Which One Might be Right For You

Did you think that a pit bull is one particular dog or a single dog breed? If you did, you’re not alone. There are in fact several pit bull breeds that are used for similar dogs. IIf you are interested and consider getting a pit bull breed now you can learn about their characteristics, differences, and the requirements for caring for each of them.

What are Pit bulls?

Pit bull is a label for some different but similar pit bull dog breeds. Many people believe that a pit bull is one type of dog, and this mistake is widespread. Studies have shown that even specialists like vets and dog shelter workers make that mistakes.  

Dogs from the Pit bull breeds are known for their muscular build, deep chests, and large heads. This makes people see them as being aggressive and dangerous. In the past, because of their strength, they have been used in inhumane animal fight sports. However, this is just another misconception about pit bull-type dogs because they tend to be loving and friendly. 

Pit bull dogs generally come from one of four pit bull breeds.

American Bully

The American Bully has been in America for a long time; its presence in America can be traced to as early as the time when the first British immigrants reached America. Their bulky body structure made the settlers keep them as farm dogs to take care of the livestock and keep intruders away.

In the 17th century, they got the name “Bulldog” from being used to fight bulls. In the USA, they were also sometimes used to hunt wild boar.

An amercian pitbull looking in the camera

Overview of the American Bully

Life expectancy 8-15 years
Size Medium-sized
Height 43–50 cm
Weight20-50 Kg
PersonalityAffectionate, Cozy
Coat typeShort Hair
ColorsBrown, Gray, Brindle, White

Character and Traits of an American Bully

American Bullies are descended from the American Pit Bull Terrier, and the American Staffordshire Terrier and some other breeds have influenced their appearance and temperament. There are four types of Bullies: XL, Classic, Standard, and Pocket. The United Kennel Club recognized the American Bullies as a separate breed on July 15, 2013. 

Bullies are real powerhouses. Their trunk and limbs are strong and muscular, and they exude interest and a thirst for adventure. Exercise is usually effortless for the Bullies.

Contrary to the attack dog cliché, the Bully is neither aggressive nor unstable. On the contrary: he plays his role as a family dog well.

The Bully is a good protector; he defends what is dear to it. However, he is also open-minded and trusting towards strangers. They’re cozy and not very barking companions; hence they are not the perfect watchdogs.

What to feed an American Bully

Because of their physique, Bullies eat a lot. They should eat food with enough protein content to maintain their body structure. Be careful of too much high-energy feed because it could make the bully grow too fast cause health complications. 

Vitamins and Minerals are also important for a bully. It is also essential that he always has access to freshwater to provide his body volume with sufficient fluid.

If you have any questions about the right nutrition for your dog, the vet is your contact.

Grooming an American Bully

Happy and healthy bullies need a lot of exercise, and swimming provides a gentle workout for the dog. Asides from swimming, you should walk a Bully three times a day. Half an hour of natural sunlight is also an absolute must. If you have a busy day at work, reserve enough time for it. Short walks at dawn or after sunset do not have the same effect.

Bullies are more built for a suburban house with a yard than a small city apartment.

Since the Bullies are people-oriented and good-natured, they can integrate well into a family. When training, praise your bully when he learns something new. Harsh punishments are not appropriate while training. A straightforward and loving upbringing will make you inseparable.

Healthy bullies need to see the vet regularly. Vaccinations and deworming cures are mandatory, and the cost of grooming and dental care is comparatively low.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

This pit bull breed has its origins in England. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was bred in England 250 years ago. They are small and beefy dogs by their physique, and they exhibit the strength, courage, and tenacity of the pit bull and the terrier. Before the ban on animal fights, they were bred for aggressive fights; however, once fights were banned, breeding was concentrated on making them suitable for families.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier running through fields with Kong chew in his mouth

Overview of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Life expectancy 13-15 years
Size Medium-sized
Height 35–40 cm
Weight15-17 Kg
PersonalityFaithful, reliable, intelligent
Coat TypeShorthair
FCI GroupTerrier
ColorsWhite, Black, Currant, Deer color, Brindle and White, Deer colors and White, Black and White, Blue, Red and White, Red, Blue & White

Character and Traits of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a stocky, small to medium-sized dog. He has a beefy and muscular build. Despite his heavyweight, the Bull Terrier is a fast and agile dog. At the same time, he has enormous muscle strength. His muscles stand out clearly under its short fur. The breed’s head is short and broad, with a muscular neck, and their jaws are very strong with large teeth.

The dogs have half-ears or rose ears. The animal’s eyes are predominantly dark, round, and medium-sized, and its chest is broad and muscular.

Staffs are very loyal, reliable, and intelligent with peaceful character. Typically friendly and dedicated partners to their owners, they are also adaptable and willing to learn.

They are very active dogs and need lots of exercise. As guard dogs, they are very reliable and attentive.

What to feed a Staffordshire Bull Terrier

These pit bulls eat almost anything, hence could sometimes be prone to obesity. As an owner, you have to moderate your Bull Terrier’s eating. 

The animals tolerate high-quality, protein-rich food best. Feeding raw meat is also suitable for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The amount of food varies depending on the dog’s age, temperament, and activity. Puppies also need special foods for healthy growth. 

If you have any questions about the right nutrition for your dog, the vet is your contact.

Grooming a Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Above all, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier needs a consistent upbringing. The breed belongs in the hands of experienced dog owners, and attending a dog school is also an absolute must.

In general, the breed needs a lot of attention and activity. This breed requires activity; hence pure kennel keeping is not suitable for them. Agility sports are very ideal for spirited animals like the Bull Terrier. In such sports, you lead your dog through a course of obstacles. This activity strengthens communication and the bond between owner and dog, and the dog experiences physical and mental challenges.

The breed is more built for a house with a yard over a small apartment because it needs space to run.

Long walks every day are very important. A leash is mandatory in public spaces to handle any situation where the dog responds aggressively.

There are a few things you have to consider when purchasing a staff. In many federal states, the breed is one of the list dogs. These are classified as dangerous dogs. Different requirements apply to the animals depending on where they live. The regulations range from the compulsory muzzle to the character test. Consider the conditions for keeping a Staff in your state before taking one into your home.

American Staffordshire Terrier

Also referred to as the Amstaff, this breed is fairly young and modern. Its origin can be traced to the dogfighting scene in the United States. The breed was created by crossing Bulldogs and Terriers to make strong and aggressive dogs that would participate in dog fights for entertainment.

As there has been a ban on animal fights, efforts have been put into keeping these dogs away from the fight scene. Today, the Amstaff is a highly regarded companion dog in the US.

Overview of the American Staffordshire Terrier

Life expectancy 10-14 years
Size Medium-sized
Height 43–48 cm
Weight18-30 Kg
PersonalityAttentive, Submissive, Tenacious, Dominan
Coat TypeShorthair
FCI GroupTerrier
ColorsBlack, Sable, Deer color, Brown, Brindle, Blue

Character and Traits of the American Staffordshire Terrier

The American Staffordshire Terrier is one of the medium-sized dog breeds. By weight, they are considered to be heavyweights.

Visually, the dog makes a strong impression with its muscular build. The life expectancy of the American Staffordshire Terrier is around 12 years. 

The Amstaff is a calm and balanced dog, and he has a high tolerance limit and is not so easily provoked or disturbed. They are also friendly and lovable and seek close contact with their owners.

Build trust for a great relationship

Once the trust between man and dog has been built, this dog is the ideal companion. He obeys his owner’s word and does everything to please him. The dogs can adapt well to their owners and protect them from potential dangers. The animals are usually neutral towards strangers. 

Although Amstaffs are strong, they are not aggressive dogs. They are brave and can defend themselves but will seldom consciously start an argument. 

The breed earns a lot of respect for its appearance alone. Many people and other animals fear the Staffordshire Terrier. This fear in humans is partly due to its strong, sturdy build, but also because of the bad speculations, people infer around these dogs. Many people still consider this breed of dogs dangerous and classify them as attack dogs.

The Amstaff is a great family and companion dog. He romps around with the children and enjoys playing. He always keeps an eye on the young family members and treats them carefully.

What to feed an American Staffordshire Terrier

The nutrition of the dogs is unproblematic, and the daily amount of food should depend on weight and size. Balanced, nutrient-rich meals guarantee the animals’ vitality and health. You can feed your Amstaff with treats and chewing bones occasionally, and these would serve as a small reward in between.

If you have any questions about the right nutrition for your dog, the vet is your contact.

Grooming and training American Staffordshire Terrier

As regards fur, only brushing from time to time is necessary.

However, an important aspect is the daily movement of the animals. They should be able to move around so that the dogs feel comfortable and do not get bored. The Amstaff’s urge to move is above average; hence, walks alone are not enough here.

The dogs need a lot of exercise, ideally in nature. They are also very suitable for participating in dog sports. Here the dogs can have a good workout and at the same time train coordination and dexterity. 

The education of the dogs should begin as early as puppy age. For beginners, training such a dog can be difficult.

If they are not brought up well from the start, this can lead to problems sooner or later. Even experienced dog owners are advised to visit a dog school when the dogs are still puppies. Above all, this promotes contact and socialization with other dogs.

You could give Amstaffs tasks. They are often used as guard dogs or keeping other animals and could be trained as rescue or assistance dogs.

Because of its fighting history, this breed may not be welcomed in rented apartments. Also, in some states, such as Denmark and Netherlands, Amstaffs are not allowed.

American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull Terrier has mixed ancestry from Bulldogs and Terriers. They were bred in England and the USA for about 200 years. Similar to other pit bull breeds, the purpose behind breeding these dogs was to participate in dog fight competitions.

An American Pit Bull Terrier lying on the floor

A long time after the ban, the breed became more fashionable among the “young men” of the upper class, and efforts were concentrated on making them companion dogs for the upper class.

These dogs are used as sniffer dogs and participate in dog sports in the US.

Even if the American Animal Welfare Organization classifies him as a gentle and intelligent breed, you should have a strong sense of responsibility as a dog owner. The upbringing of the American Pit Bull Terrier by specialists is essential.

Overview of the American Pit bull Terrier

Life expectancy 8-15 years
Size Medium-sized
Height 45-55 cm
Weight17-27 Kg
PersonalityBrave, Friendly, Clownish
Coat TypeShorthair
ColorsBlack, Brown, Tan, Gray, Blue, White, Curling, Red, Deer color

Character and Traits of the American Pit bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull Terrier is rather undemanding in his attitude, but it is not enough to just go for a few laps for a walk with him; he has to be physically and mentally busy. Limits have to have been shown to him already while being trained as a puppy.

This dog is strong and medium-sized. It also enjoys nature and is suitable for different types of dog sports.

However, this breed is on the breed list in almost all federal states and some other states. This means that it is one of the dangerous dog breeds for which there are requirements. Therefore, the American Pit Bull Terrier is not a trendy dog ​​for everyone and needs a home with a loving but consistent owner. So think very carefully about whether you are up to these challenges.

What to feed an American Pit bull Terrier

Its diet should have a high meat content, be species-appropriate and balanced.

A puppy should have 3-5 meals a, and two servings a day are sufficient for the adult American Pit bull Terrier. Treats and chewing bones can be given occasionally, especially as a small reward in-between meals.

If you have any questions about the right nutrition for your dog, the vet is your contact.

Grooming an American Bull Terrier

The care of the pit bull terrier is not time-consuming.

You should ensure his fur is brushed out regularly, and it’s best to start when he is a puppy so that he can get used to it. As a rule, most dogs enjoy brushing and perceive it as a caress that strengthens the bond between dog and owner.

Bathing the dog should be avoided and is usually not necessary. If it is still essential, you can use a mild dog shampoo.

You should trim the claws regularly. Also, eyes and ears should be checked and cleaned if necessary. Also, to avoid plaque and tartar, regular dental care with a dog toothbrush and paste is recommended.

Activity level and training

Please note that this breed is very active and has plenty of power. That is why it should have plenty of exercise and be well utilized.

Raising this breed should begin as a puppy and is particularly important. Even experienced dog owners are recommended to get their dogs trained at a dog school while they are puppies. Above all, this promotes contact and socialization.

Please also note the requirements in your region, such as the muzzle. In such cases, you should get your dog acquainted with the muzzle as a puppy, and it should always be the right size. It is best to get plenty of advice from a specialist before buying.

Pit Bull Breeds Facts and FAQs

Unlike many people think, a pit bull is not a breed of dogs; rather it is a label for four dogs of a similar breed. These dogs are the American Bully, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Pit bull-type dogs are not inherently dangerous; their temperament is based on how they are nurtured. Where a pit bull is well trained, it will be as well behaved as or even better than the average dog. Some dogs of the pit-bull type were initially bred to be aggressive for animal fights. However, now they have been bred to be companion dogs or at least not to show unnecessary aggression. 

Even though they are friendly because of their strength and capacity to cause damage, necessary precautions should be observed when training or handling pit bull-type dogs.

Pit bull-type dogs are trainable and have been trained in different ways such as to serve specific purposes such as guard dogs or rescue dogs.

Lockjaw refers to a tetanus infection. The claim that pit bulls have lockjaw is false, and if it were true, it would be deadly for the dogs themselves. Pit bulls only have a strong bite, like other big dogs, not an infectious bite.

Pit bulls are not banned by any federal laws in the US. However, using or breeding pit bulls or any other dogs for dog fights is a federal offense. There is also a ban on keeping pit bulls and similar big dogs in U.S. Army cantonments. Pit bulls are also usually listed as ‘restricted” on airplanes; hence you might not be able to fly with your furry friend in the US.