Zen and the Art of Dog

The Three Pit Bull Breeds (With Pictures!)

I love pit bulls. They are so loving, have goofy personalities. These dogs like to run, play and nap with you. Pit bulls are the perfect dogs.

Unfortunately, pit bulls have a bad reputation that is undeserved. I wrote about this in another post that you can check out here. This reputation has resulted in millions of throw away dogs packing shelters across the US (and other countries, too). Most of these dogs are backyard bred or strays- meaning that the genetics are really untraceable.

Originally, pit bulls were crossbred between old english bulldogs and terriers in the 19th century. At the time, a sport called bull-baiting was popular in England. Bull-baiting would use a bulldog or pack of bulldogs to subdue a bull. Obviously, this was a nasty sport.

This disgusting sport was formally outlawed in 1835. This is about the time that bull-baiters began to breed a new type of fighting dog for dog on dog fights. Their desire was to cross the strength and tenaciousness of the old english bulldog with the agility and speed of a terrier. The results were the “bully breed” type dogs we have today, of which there are three main breeds.

American Staffordshire Terrier (American Kennel Club)/ American Pit Bull Terrier (United Kennel Club)

Chloe the AmStaff/ APBT

That’s our Chloe pictured above. She’s a sleek AmStaff with a sweet personality.

American Staffordshire Terriers are the breed people typically associate with “pit bulls”. They aren’t that large of a breed, usually males don’t weigh more than 60-70 lbs. Chloe weighs about 45 lbs.

You can read the full breed standard here.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier (AKC)

Neville the Staffordshire Bull Terrier

That’s Neville, a very good boy I used to walk when I was a volunteer at the local shelter. Staffordshire Bull Terriers have a wide mouth, more resembling a bull dog than a terrier.

You can see the full breed standard for Staffordshire Bull Terriers here.

American Bully (UKC)

And finally, we have the American Bully, the last official breed of your “typical pitbull”. They have much stockier legs, a thicker torso and a very bull dog mouth and snout.

You can see the breed standard here.

There are some common health issues in bully breeds. One of the most common is hip dysplasia. You can read the AKC’s official health recommendations for the breed here. Finally, because bully breeds have been bred to crave human interaction, they often suffer from separation anxiety. Check out this post if you’re struggling with separation anxiety.

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