American Pit Bull Terrier: Color, Lifespan, Characteristics & Facts

American Pit Bull Terriers are meant for people who can give a lot of attention to their canine companion.

Naturally stubborn and bossy, American Pit Bull terriers need to be trained and socialized from a very young age for them to successfully overcome these tendencies.

Pit owners need to make sure the dog recognizes them as the owner because it can be so challenging to handle him if he is not aware of this.

They can also be very aggressive dogs. Hence it is wise to have him on a leash every time you are out in public. This will prevent any aggression towards people on the road and other dogs. The leash will also keep him from running loose in the parks.

Pit Bull Terrier mix has breed-specific legislation in most areas. Check with your area and the neighboring regions if you intend to travel with your Pit and learn more on the Pitbull dog facts.

Breed Overview

Other Names: Pit Bull, Pitbull Terrier, Pit

Origin: United States, United Kingdom

Height: 17-21 inches

Weight: Male 35-60 lb, Female 30-50 lb

Life Span: 8-15 years

Colors: Black, White, Fawn, Brindle, Tan, Grey, Blue, Red, Brown

1. Personality & Temperament

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All types of Pitbulls generally love people. However, they lack the understanding that their size doesn’t allow them to be lap dogs.

They can be very excellent watchdogs because they are very keen and confident about their surroundings. They won’t hesitate to alert you when they notice strangers coming towards your home.

However, because they are also eager to meet your guest, they also end up failing as guard dogs. Even so, though, their unmatched courage allows them to defend his owner and family with his life tenaciously.

The American Pitbull puppies need early socialization to manage his temperament successfully. You need to expose your pup to different sights, people, experiences and sounds at an early age. This will help him grow into a well-rounded dog.

2. How to Care for the American Pit Bull Terrier


In general, 1.5 – 2.5 cups of high-quality dry dog food divided into two meals per day will suffice for the American Pit Bull Terrier. Whether it’s a purebred Pitbull, a brindle Pitbull, a blue nose Pitbull, or an American red nose Pitbull, this serving will keep him nourished.

Note that your Pit’s diet will change over time as he ages depending on his lifespan. You will have to work with your veterinarian to structure a meal plan that will work for your dog’s health and nutritional needs.

To prevent your Pitbull from becoming obese, avoid leaving his food out for him all the time. Instead, measure his food and give him at different set times.

Following the guidelines set for buying the right dog food for different types of Pitbulls will help you nourish your Pit for the rest of his lifespan.


Pitbulls, whether a white Pitbull, a grey Pitbull, or a black and white Pitbull, require little grooming because even an occasional bath is enough to keep his coat clean. The American Pit Bull Terrier has a short, smooth coat.

To maintain the coat’s shine, brush with a stiff brush, or use a cloth to wipe the coat down. Brush his teeth at least thrice a week to remove any bacteria or tartar buildup inside his mouth. To prevent bad breath and gum disease, you should at least brush his teeth daily.

Trim your Pit’s nails once or twice a month to prevent clicking on the floor when they are too long. When your Pit Bull Terrier is a puppy, accustom him to brushing and examinations.


Routine exercise is very crucial for the American Pit Bull terrier because he is an athletic dog breed and so he has plenty of energy.

Your Pit could especially benefit form challenging physical and mental dog sports. Regardless of the type of exercise you choose for your dog, make sure you provide it twice daily or more.

When a Pitbull lacks proper energy outlet, he becomes hyperactive and destructive. They can also develop other behavioral problems like chewing and destroying chew toys with their mighty paws.

Some seasons like winter can limit outdoor physical exercise. It could help to buy him a sturdy crate, indestructible bed, and durable chew toys for when you have to leave him alone.


As with many dog breeds, it is a must to train the American Pit Bull Terrier properly. It is a reasonably smart breed and hence a stubborn dog. If permitted, the Pit can easily follow his own will.

To manage your Pitbull, obedience training is necessary. Training will help boost your pup’s confidence and give him structure.

Because of their physical appearance and the fact that they are commonly misunderstood and wrongly portrayed, people will show fear towards your dog.

Pitbulls do well as house dogs, even regardless of the climate. They shouldn’t be left outdoors for longer than a short period because they can’t tolerate the cold too well.

It also helps to crate and house train him at an early age to help manage any separation anxiety that may crop as a result of being left alone. Training is an essential foundation for a strong relationship with your Pit Bull Terrier.

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3. Common Health Issues of American Pit Bull Terriers

How long do Pit Bulls live? 8-15 years. Pitbulls are generally healthy dogs, but they are also susceptible to specific health conditions. Even though not all Pit Bulls are prone to these conditions, it helps to be aware of them in case your Pit becomes a victim.


If you start to notice reproductive problems, weight gain, poor coat, and other issues in your Pit, have your vet check for thyroid gland dysfunction in your pup.

Middle-aged Pitbulls are particularly prone to hypothyroidism. This condition can be controlled with medication prescribed daily for the rest of the dog’s life.


APBTs are commonly susceptible to allergies. Environment allergies like grass, dust, fleas, and pollen are the leading causes of skin allergies. In less common situations, it could be food-related.

Typical food allergies mostly include rice, beef, corn, and wheat. Allergies cause discomfort and intense itching in dogs. This can lead to the dog chewing and sometimes digging until he bleeds. Secondary infections might develop in his damaged tissues, which makes it risky.

Before proceeding to treat allergies, have your vet identify and remove the cause from the dog’s environment if possible. The veterinarian will then let you know the allergy symptoms you can control with medication.

Heart Disease

In the course of their lives American Pit Bull Terriers can be affected by heart disease in several forms. The most common is aortic stenosis, which is a congenital heart defect that the pup is born with. It occurs when there is an abnormal narrowing in the left ventricle and aorta connection.

Some people may notice minor or no signs in some dogs, while other dogs may have lowered energy or even die suddenly. If your vet sees a heart murmur, the vet will confirm the diagnosis with an electrocardiogram and chest x-ray.

Hip Dysplasia

Caused by the malformation of the dog’s hip joint ball and socket. Depending on the severity of your dog’s condition, it can be excruciating.

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4. Children and Other Pets

Are Pitbulls hypoallergenic? Yes. Which means that they have lesser potential to arouse any allergic reactions in sensitive children, making them the perfect playmates for kids.

Pits generally love kids. They make the ideal playmates for children because they are sturdy, tolerant, and energetic. However, never leave your Pit unsupervised with children in your home.

Keep your canine companion crated or kenneled when there is no adult present to verse what is going on, especially when your Pitbull has reached sexual maturity. Pits tend to start testing their possibility of being a “pack” leader when they reach adulthood.

Tell your kids to avoid pulling the dog’s tail or ears. Teach them how they should approach a dog when he is eating or sleeping or never to try taking his food away.

American Pit Bull Terriers have a dog-fighting heritage which gives them the courage to be aggressive with other dogs. However, early socialization and training can help them understand what behavior is expected of them. This also helps minimize and overcome their aggression and help them become dog and cat-friendly throughout their Pitbull lifespan.

Note: It is also important to supervise any interaction between your Pit Bull Terrier and other pets.

5. The History of American Pit Bull Terriers

The roots of the modern American Pit Bull Terrier can be traced back to the early 19th century and England. The modern APBT was eventually produced from crosses between terriers and “bully” type dogs.

Earlier bulldogs which resembled the modern Pitbull were used by farmers and butchers as working dogs to control unruly bulls. But they are not recognized as a breed, and they are smaller than Pits.

The United Kennel Club (UKC) was formed by a Pit Bull owner. To this day, it has remained a robust American Pit Bull Terrier registry. In 1909, the American Dog Breeder’s Association was formed to register Pit Bulls solely.

The AKC registered American Pit Bull Terrier in the early 1930s intending to separate its pit-fighting past, and so they recorded the breed under the name American Staffordshire terrier.

Since then the AKC has bred American Staffordshire Terrier for confirmation or dog shows. The American Pit Bull Terrier hasn’t been bred for that, but the differences in their personality and build are slightly different.

6. The Regular Cost of Owning An American Pit Bull Terrier

Good breeders will sell Pit puppies with excellent bloodlines anywhere from $2000-$20000. However, you can still find some decent bloodlines that range from $800-$1000. You can also find Pit Bull puppies that range between $500-$700.

7. American Pit Bull Terrier Rescue Groups

You can find an American Pit Bull Terrier in most shelters in the country. Several rescue groups are dedicated to helping these misunderstood dogs find homes.

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