Did you know that Pitbull is a generic name used to describe a type of dog but it’s not an actual breed? There are actually several pit bull dogs. Get to know the differences between the most popular Pitbull breeds and how to recognize one from another.
Most of the Pit Bull breeds were created in the 19th century as a mix between bulldogs and some unknown and extinct terriers. Pit Bulls can be very similar to each other and hard to identify, even for experts.
– Lorena, Happy Rescue Tails.
American Pit Bull Terrier
The American Pit Bull Terrier is the most popular dog of all the Pitbull breeds. The pit bull terrier is a medium size, slender but muscular dog. The easiest way to know the difference is that their head looks proportional to the rest of their body. They are usually very athletic and active. The average size for a male is 18-22 inches and they weigh around 35-60 pounds. Despite the bad reputation, Pitbull dogs are very sweet, gentle, loyal and love people. This breed can be very stubborn and it needs good leadership. They will benefit the most when there are rules and boundaries set in the house. No table scraps but lots of love!
If a Pit Bull Terrier is not socialized with other doggies when they are Pitbull puppies, they might get aggressive with other dogs just like other breeds. Please do not confuse people aggression with dog aggression as very often a dog that is dog aggressive is harmless towards humans. If you rescue a Pitbull dog and you are afraid it might be dog aggressive please find a trainer who specializes helping dogs with these types of behaviors. With the proper training a dog can be taught to ignore other dogs or stop reacting to them.
So how is it that Pitbulls got so much bad reputation? Pitbulls have been largely overbred as they became popular. Pitbulls breeds and Pitbull Terriers are very sweet and loving dogs, even with strangers. However, bad people also like them for their tough and muscular appearance. These people will make them live with no social interaction, tethered in backyards, or will train them to be guard dogs. Media has also made everything worse as they are most likely to report incidents where there are Pitbull breeds involved but will ignore other breeds. It’s unfortunate that some people are using this wonderful and caring breed for bad purposes. The good news is that there are more good owners than bad owners and most Pitbull dogs have kept their loving natural behavior.
American Staffordshire Terrier
The American Staffordshire Terrier is easily confused with the American Pit Bull Terrier. The Amstaff, as popularly called, height is 17-19 inches and weighs 50-65 pounds. Amstaffs are usually shorter than the American Pit Bull Terrier and have a wider frame almost square looking, which can make them heavier. Not good swimmers over here! Amstaffs are very affectionate dogs, they love kids and people. Just like the Pit Bull Terrier, they require early dog socialization and training. For more information about this breed check out our article about Amstaff facts and temperament.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Staffordshire Bulldog Terrier can be the tiniest of all the Pitbull breeds. Their height average is 14-16 inches and weigh around 24-38 pounds. The Staffie head is broad and easy to identify from the other Pit Bull breeds. They are great family dogs, as they adore children and have marked really high in their temperament test. Staffordshire Bulldogs respond well to training and daily exercise is required. Their origins come from England being descended from an old-fashioned bulldog and a terrier similar to the Manchester terrier.
American Bully is a stocky and muscular dog. Their weight can vary a lot since it’s related to how muscular they are but on average it is in between 66-110 pounds and 13-20 inches tall. Their head is very broad but since they are very muscular it does not look disproportionate. Bullies share a closer look to their English Bulldog cousin, as their muzzle is shorter and have a stocky build. They are usually happy and confident dogs. The American Bully is a cross between American Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and other Bulldog breeds. American Bullies are affectionate and sweet and can be considered as the real gentle giants. Can adapt well to any living situation as long as there is enough exercise provided.
All these amazing Pitbull breeds make wonderful dogs. They all share the same characteristics as loyalty, friendliness and they are very affectionate. A long time ago, they were bred to fight other dogs but they were also bred to be gentle with humans. They needed to be able to handle them in order to break a fight without an injury when it was needed. Nowadays, their dog aggressiveness has very much bred out and can be manageable with a calm, confident owner who can provide training and rules. There is no reason to fear Pitbull dogs, they make wonderful pets and great companions.