The American PitBull Terrier is a breed of dog in the terrier group, one of several breeds loosely classified as pit bulls. Dogs of this breed are known for their strength, loyalty, and tenacity.
Males should weigh 35 to 65 pounds (16 to 29 kg), females 30 to 60 pounds (16 to 27 kg), with height being proportional. The coat is short, single layered, and stiff but glossy. Any color is accepted and dogs may either have patches or be solid. All eye colors are accepted except blue. Ears are rose or semipricked, and may be cropped, although uncropped is preferred. The tail is short and tapering. The body is solidly built and muscular, with a wide chest. The head is wedge shaped with some slight forehead wrinkles.
Originally bred from bull-and-terrier crosses brought to America from England and Ireland in the 1800s, they were popular in emerging cities for the sport of dog fighting. As the country grew, many dogs travelled with settlers to new homesteads where they were sometimes used as working dogs on farms. When bred for fighting, the breeder would look for strength, gameness, and lack of aggression towards people. Any fighting dog that showed aggression towards its owner or handler would be culled immediately. This created a line of strong dogs that, while being dog aggressive, would not turn on their owners.
American Pit Bull Terriers can be very sweet, curious, intelligent, and clownish. They are noted for their outgoing, affectionate, eager to please disposition and their fondness for people, and when raised with a firm but fair hand can make a wonderful family pet. They can also be stubborn, pushy and prone to display aggression towards other dogs. They are not a good choice of dog for a novice dog owner.
American Pit Bull Terriers enjoy hunting, guarding, sledding, carting, weight pulling, agility, competitive obedience, and performing tricks.