Types of Pit Bulls: Everything You Need to Know

When we think of pit bull dogs, we usually associate them with bulldog-terrier genetics. However, the only true and original Pitbull breed is the American Pitbull Terrier (APT).

Although the APT has many variations, such as the Red Nose and Blue Nose, there are other breeds that share the same genetics but are not original Pitbulls.

In this article, we will examine these breeds in detail and discuss their characteristics and differences.

What are all the types of Pitbulls?

To be precise, there is only one type of original Pit Bull, the American Pit Bull Terrier.

However, it is also colloquially considered a type of Pit Bull by other breeds that are descended from the same Bulldog Terrier genetics as the bull type.

So we could say that there are 5 types of Pit Bull Dogs:

  1. American Pit Bull Terrier
  2. American Staffordshire Terrier
  3. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  4. American Bully
  5. Bull Terrier

Let's take a closer look at all the breeding lines of the authentic Pit Bull and the characteristics of the different types of Pit Bulls that exist today. Not all of them have the same physique and temperament, so it is important to get to know them well before adopting the one most recommended for you and your environment.

American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT)

Many people believe they have an authentic Pitbull when they do not, because a purebred Pitbull must meet all the standards of the breed without exception. Let's see what the characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier are:

  • An American Pit Bull Terrier should be of medium size and solid constitution, with defined musculature and an athletic body. The body is longer than high, especially in females, which are slightly longer than males.
  • The head of a true American Pit Bull Terrier should be of medium length, with a broad and flat skull between the ears, and a muzzle which should be broad and deep, but shorter than the length of the skull.
  • The eyes should be set medium deep in the skull, rounded and well separated. A purebred APBT may have any eye color except blue, which is not valid in the breed standard, according to the United Kennel Club.
  • High set ears, natural or cropped. The tail should be a natural extension of the topline, tapering to the tip.
  • The coat of a purebred American Pit Bull Terrier should be smooth, medium short, close fitting and somewhat stiff to the touch. Any color or combination of colors is acceptable except blackbird (a coat with dilute pigmentation) and albino white (albino dogs).
  • The standard weight allowed in the American Pit Bull Terrier is between 35 lb and 60 lb for males, while the weight of females should be between 30 lb and 50 lb.
  • The size of a true American Pit Bull Terrier is determined by the height at the withers (height at the withers is the measurement from the ground to the highest point of the shoulder blades) of 18 inches to 21 inches for males and 17 inches to 20 inches for females.
  • Their hindquarters should be strong and muscular with a moderately broad back. They should be in balance with the forequarters.

What is the temperament of the American Pit Bull Terrier?

Contrary to what many people think about this stigmatized breed, the American Pit Bull Terrier is actually a dog with a sweet, familiar, playful, and obedient character. It is a careful breed with the little ones of the house, but it is also a very protective breed, although it is not considered a good guard dog breed.

Although it is true that it is also a territorial breed by nature, so it will need an education and above all, a socialization try very hard since they are puppies. Something complicated sometimes because in many countries they are considered as PPP (Potentially Dangerous Dogs) and they are required to be always tied and muzzled in public places, something that makes their socialization very difficult.

The American Pit Bull Terrier is not a breed for people who have never had a dog before. It is recommended to have extensive experience in the dog field to have an American Pit Bull Terrier. It is also a very energetic breed that requires a lot of daily exercise. It's not a dog you can walk three times a day and call it a day. Therefore, its owner must have the time and energy to meet all of its needs, both physical and educational.

Breeding Lines of the American Pit Bull Terrier

There are many variations of the authentic American Pit Bull Terrier that have some different characteristics from the original Pit Bull, but are essentially the same breed. That is, they are breeding lines of the APBT that have not followed the breed standard, but have the same genetics. As a result, they are classified as Pit Bull Terriers.

Red Nose Pit Bull

First of all, we can find an important variant officially recognized by the ADBA (American Dog Breeders Association), the Red Nose Pit Bull, which is characterized by having a brown nose as well as a brown coat. Although its origin is not very clear, there is a theory that it is a cross between an Irish Pit Bull and an American Pit Bull.

Red nose pit bull
Red Nose Pit bull

Blue Nose Pit Bull

On the other hand, we have another very similar type of Pit Bull, the Blue Nose Pit Bull. It is known for having a gray nose and coat color. It is not recognized as a pure breed because it is a variation of the Pit Bull with different characteristics.

You may be interested in Raising Your Pit bull Blue Nose Puppy

Blue Nose Pit bull
Blue Nose Pit bull

Chamuco Pit Bull

Bred in Mexico, he is known as the Mexican Pitbull, although he is actually much smaller in size, though stronger and more muscular than the original American Pitbull Terrier.

During the breeding process, the strongest specimens were selected, resulting in the Chamuco we know today. Within the wide range of pit bull types, this one is small but very powerful.

It is a very strong breed and even a large person would not be able to hold it if it decided to pull the leash to attack another dog or animal.

So obviously it is not really a recommended breed because it is hard to control. Nowadays it is used as a watchdog or companion dog, but always in the hands of experienced trainers.

Mexican Pitbull
Chamuco Pit bull

Stuffawler Pitbull

Another line of breeding and selection of strong specimens for use in fights, but fortunately these cruel practices are no longer allowed.

It is known to be a smiling dog when panting, and its lips involuntarily take on the characteristic smile seen in the photo.

Their temperament is very strong and can be very aggressive if not properly trained, so this breed is not recommended for people without the experience or physical strength to contain them in an emergency.

Colby Pitbull

This is actually a line of Pitbulls that are slightly thinner and smaller than the American Pitbull Terrier. However, they are stronger and braver, as this breed was developed solely to win dog fights.

Fortunately, these types of fights have been outlawed and the Colby has become a family companion. However, it is not overly affectionate, so it requires education and training by a professional animal trainer.

The Colby Pit Bull is physically very similar to the Pit Bull, with a slightly wider muzzle and very similar lines.

Related: Colby Pit bull: Characteristics, Temperament and Care

Colby Pitbull Characteristics
Colby Pitbull

Monster Blue

It comes from a cross between the American Pit Bull Terrier and the Neapolitan Mastiff, resulting in a dog that is larger than the Pit Bull, stronger, more muscular, and also more aggressive if not properly trained. So it is not a "breed line" as such of the authentic American Pit Bull Terrier, but a cross of breeds with pit bull genetics.

Blue or gray in color and with clear eyes, it can reach 130 pounds in weight, with an indefinite height, since each breeder marks his own line of work with this breed.

Its physical appearance is very similar to that of the American Bully, although unlike the American Bully, the Monster Blue only allows two types of coat color in the official standards (gray and blue).

The puppies of this breed are also strong and impulsive, so their training should begin at a very early age. As a recommendation, it is necessary to feed them with high quality proteins so that they can develop their muscles well.

Blue Monster Pitbull
Monster Blue Pit bull

 Cobra Pit Bull

Another breed obtained with pit bull genetics, although this time we find a breed more focused on beauty than fighting. The Cobra is a medium sized dog that can reach 70 pounds in weight and up to 15 inches in height at the withers.

Its main physical characteristic is its color, which is predominantly white. Light-eyed specimens are more desirable than dark-eyed ones, although the latter are more prone to blindness from cataracts. It is active and dominant and needs regular exercise to feel fulfilled and avoid developing bad habits due to stress.

American Staffordshire Terrier

Colloquially known as "American Stanford" due to a mispronunciation, and often confused with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which is different. Among the different types of pit bulls, this is an improved version of the well-known American Pit Bull Terrier, directly descended from it, but during the breeding work, larger and stronger specimens were selected.

Thus, the Amstaff (American Staffordshire Terrier) is a superior dog to the standard Pit Bull at all levels. It can reach 88 pounds in weight and even measure 19 inches at the withers, data that confirm its superior size.

His character is active, dominant and confident. It is not as impulsive as the American Pit Bull Terrier, but it should not be provoked. It is a guard dog. It needs daily exercise, discipline and a healthy diet to keep it happy. Working will make him feel fulfilled, so it is not convenient to keep him bored. According to the American Kennel Club.

American Staffordshire Terrier Pitbull
American Staffordshire Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Affectionately known as the Staffy, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier has little to do with the Amestaff mentioned above. The character of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is very happy and laughing, even playful. Among all types of Pitbulls, this is a very active dog that loves to exercise, making it ideal for exercise, hiking or mountaineering lovers.

Unlike the other types of Pitbulls, it is not as dominant and therefore not as prone to aggression, as indicated by the AKC (American Kennel Club). However, it is a strong and intelligent dog, and if it is in danger, it will not hesitate to show all its strength. His physical size is somewhat smaller, reaching 44 pounds in weight and 15 inches at the withers. Although his muscular build will immediately make us see that this is a big little dog.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Dog Breed
Staffordshire Bull Terrier

American Bully

This type of pit bull is a cross between the American Pit Bull Terrier and the Staffordshire Terrier. A strong and muscular dog that resembles the Monster Blue in appearance, the American Bully, also known as the "Bullypit," can weigh up to 110 pounds and stand up to 17 inches at the withers.

The American Bully's character is dominant and territorial, so it must receive an intense and disciplined upbringing from puppyhood. Because it is a physically very strong dog, do not make the mistake of training it for aggressive purposes. According to the United Kennel Club.

At home it has quite calm behavior, although in the street it is an earthquake that loves to walk, run and enjoy outdoor stays enjoying the mountains, like almost all types of pit bulls.

American Bully Pitbull
American Bully

Bull Terrier

The Bull Terrier is also classified as a descendant of the Pit Bull genetics, although its size and appearance are somewhat different due to the fact that other breeds were used in the breeding process.

Colloquially known as the cone-faced dog or shark dog due to its elongated muzzle, it is a medium sized dog that barely exceeds 66 pounds in weight. According to the American Kennel Club standard.

As a companion dog, the Bull Terrier is exceptional, very attached to his family and somewhat stubborn. However, it is a danger to other dogs and/or animals, as its territorial instincts make it a very impulsive dog.

Due to its robust appearance, it is not a breed for people who have never trained a dog.

Bull terrier
Bull terrier

What type of Pit Bull is best for me?

There are some important facts to consider before adopting a Pit Bull or breeding with Pit Bull genetics, as the characteristics of these dogs are very unique. First of all, this is not a breed for young people. There are many teenagers who only want a Pit Bull to feel safe or to hesitate among friends to see who is braver.

To own a Pit Bull or a related breed, it is absolutely necessary to be mentally mature and have a lot of experience in caring for and training dogs. Pit Bulls are very energetic, dominant and territorial dogs.

This does not mean they are dangerous, but they are potentially dangerous if not properly trained. Many of the types of pit bulls mentioned above require a PPP license in order to be adopted.

Related: 10 Questions to Ask When Buying a Puppy from a Kennel

In addition:

  • They're not couch potatoes; they need regular exercise.
  • We should never train them with violence or incite them to be violent.
  • It is best to train and socialize them conscientiously, which is why it is best to hire a professional dog trainer.
  • We must be careful if we already have another dog or animal at home.
  • We must follow a series of obligatory rules, such as the use of muzzle in those considered PPP, to contract insurance, etc......
  • Maintenance costs are high.
  • Despite the fact that many of them are nicknamed "nanny dogs", we should never leave them alone with small children.
  • It is important to socialize them from the time they are puppies. However, many of them are not allowed to run free, even in off-leash areas, let alone without a muzzle. This makes socialization extremely difficult.

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