For the purpose of giving information regarding Pitbull facts, we will stick with the breed of the American Pit Bull Terrier, which is not recognized by the AKC.
We are focusing on the American Terrier because there are several different breeds that are in the group classification of Pitbull. Those that are in this group include the: American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. There are some locales that include other dogs in this group. For example, according to Franklin county Ohio in the U.S. an American Bulldog has been deemed to be a Pitbull. In addition, many other cities and county consider that any other mixed breed dog that fits the description and has the appearance of being one, is thought of as a Pitbull…and laws will apply to those dogs as well.
Many laws are in place regarding all dogs that are in the Pitbull group. Most are in regard to ownership, particularly for those who live in rental apartments or rental homes. Many cities do not allow a person to live in any dwelling without having extra house insurance in regard to bites or other injuries that may occur due to the dog…this is true in many places even though the Pitbull is not the breed that bites the most often according to national statistics.
General American Pitbull Facts
Weight is commonly between 20 to 40 pounds (9 to 18 kg), however there are dogs that will reach up to 100 pounds (45 kg).
Height will be between 18 to 22 inches (46 to 56 cm) from floor to shoulder.
Life span is 12 years with 11 to 14 years being the expected normal range.
Average litter size is 7 with a range of 5 to 10 puppies being normal and expected.
Color and Appearance
They have a squared, strong looking head and powerful jaws. However, it is a myth that they have the strongest bite, as studies show that the Rottweiler comes in #1, followed by the German Shepherd.
Ears are traditionally cropped in countries in which the procedure is deemed to be legal. However there are many owners who prefer for the short ears to hang down naturally. Since there is no AKC standard as of yet, an owner need not be concerned about the "need" to crop.
Tails are sometimes docked in countries in which this process is legal. When done, it is often done very early, newborns will have this done by the age of week 1 or 2.
Eyes are round.
This breed can be found in all colors, however solid whites may have hearing issues.
The coat is short, shiny and lies close to the body.
Coat color can include just about any color found in canines. This includes: blue, black, brown, cream, fawn, golden, merle, red and tawn. The coat may be solid, parti (2 colors) or tri-colored.
This breed is a relatively healthy one. Some medical conditions that they are prone to is: hip dysplasia (a condition in which the hip socket and joint slip out of place), cataracts (a heredity disease of the eye), and heart disease.
Allergies is the most common issue that owners need to deal with. This breed is often susceptible to contact allergies…This means that the trigger will be something that the dog touches…This is most often grasses.
Another issue is inhalants, such as pollen and dust. They can also be prone to having bad reactions to flea bites.
One allergic element that can be prevented is reaction to certain foods. The most common culprits are: rice, wheat, corn and beef. Chicken and fish should be substituted for beef and broccoli and potatoes can be vegetable substitutions for corn. Pasta can be a grain substitution for rice.
They are a fairly active breed and for optimum health, one should offer daily walks lasting 30-60 minutes.
The short coat is rather easy to take care of. Brushing every 3-4 days is recommended. This is often best done with a bristle brush. Many owners use a chamois cloth to go over the coat which often works well to create a shine.
Baths are only needed 1 time every 4 weeks… Too many can cause the skin to dry and flake. Only canine products should be used, as the dog may have an allergic reaction to human products.
A flea collar and heart worm prevention is a must.
Many do not do well in extremely cold temperatures. If walking the ice or snow, one must remember that a dog’s paw is only skin…granted it is thick skin, but they can most certainly feel temperature. Many owners find that their dog will be reluctant to go outside for bathroom needs in the winter….For this reason, it is best to always have a path shoveled out well and to not use ice melt as it can cause damage to the paws. One must remember that due to their tolerance level to cold weather, this is an inside dog.
They tend to easily chew through inexpensive dog toys and this can cause an owner to have to buy new ones on a regular basis. Best is to obtain a few quality dog toys sized for large breeds, such as the Kong, as they will last longer.
Adults will eat between 1.5 to 3 cups of food each day. It is best to divide this up into 2 or 3 small, scheduled meals.
Behavior and Temperament
Some Pitbulls are aggressive….and many are not. It is a fact that behavior is created in 2 different ways: Genetics and training. Generally, dogs with aggressive behavior are usually not used for breeding but when it comes to this type of dog, unfortunately there are many backyard breeders who do the opposite and bred for this trait. If one desires a well behaved, emotionally stable dog, one should make sure to obtain one from a respected and reputable breeder.
When bred properly, most have a strong desire to please their human family members.
It is, however, a fact that most have an instinct to be aggressive toward other dogs and particularly with small animals.
Well bred and well raised dogs have great loyalty and quite amusing personalities.
They are excellent watchdogs, protective of both their humans and the property.
Firm training should be implemented from puppy-hood so that the dog understands that it is the owner who is in charge. This can be done by command training….Also being sure to be the 1st to enter and exit the house….And the people in the home should always begin eating first and then place food down for the Pitbull. (In nature, the leader of the “pack” always eats first).
Pitbull Facts VS Myths
They do not have jaws that lock in place when the bite someone. No dog has this ability.
While some can be dangerous, in many cases they will growl or nip before any potential dangerous actions such as attacking.
This is not the most ferocious breed that exists; it is actually the German Shepherd that bites the most people.
It is a Pitbull fact that many of these dogs are used for helping people due to their unique working abilities. Some are search and rescue dogs, others are used as therapy dogs and more.
It is true that they do not often get along well with other dogs or small animals.
In general, they are just as easy to train as any other breed. Most owners are successful when teaching commands and house training.
It is a completely false assumption and belief that has been spread that this dog does not feel any pain. Quite the opposite is true. As stated above, several different breeds fall into the category of Pitbull and they are just like any other animal in this respect.
It is not a fact that they have a stronger bite that other dogs. In studies done with a Shepherd, a Rottie and a Pit, the Pit came in 3rd place.
There is an odd false belief that this breed often develops a condition in which the brain swells and presses against the inside of the skull, resulting in unwarranted and unpredictable aggressive behavior. This is not true at all. With this being said, there is a very rare condition that does cause swelling of the brain in canines….It is called syringomyelia and is most seen in Cavaliers….however it does not cause aggression, it causes pain and paralysis.