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6 Rocksquads' top Six Reasons why Pit Bulls Make Great Pets PIT BULL BREED INFO "It is true that Pit Bulls grab and hold on. But what they most often grab and refuse to let go of is your heart, not your arm." Vicki Hearne Note: Throughout discussions of the Pit Bull breed, you will notice two words repeated over and over again: Responsible Ownership. With media hysteria and BSL looming closer every day, we good owners, find ourselves endlessly having to defend our breed. Every bad story and headline damage our dogs even further. Irresponsible and ignorant owners have done almost as much damage to these dogs as dogfighters have. The Pit Bull is an exceptional breed that requires exceptional dedication and ownership.This page may seem to paint a grim picture of Pit Bull ownership, but the breed's very survival depends on new owners knowing what they are getting into, and ALL owners being responsible and protecting the breed's reputation. Written by Susan Thompson PBRC Volunteer. 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"The following information is based on my personal knowledge, extensive research, and experience in the breed. It is intended primarily for the first time or potential pit bull owner who needs to know what to expect from their dog, both positive and negative. This page will give information on the proper temperament of this breed, typical behavior, proper toys, and training info. This page is intended as a brief overview of the breed, and should be only one of many sources the new or potential pit bull owner should investigate in order to understand the responsibility of owning this breed. Unlike almost any other breed, pit bull ownership comes with some unique responsibilities. As the owner of an American Pit Bull Terrier, your actions and those of your dog will affect not only yourself, but EVERY owner and EVERY dog of this breed. If you are thinking about getting a pit bull, please think about that before committing yourself to an American Pit Bull Terrier." Susan Thompson A WORD ABOUT AGGRESSION In the following sections I will discuss aggression in the American Pit Bull Terrier. It is VERY important to note that, in dogs, and especially with this particular breed, aggression toward humans (called human aggression) is a COMPLETELY separate trait from aggression toward dogs (dog aggression) and/or other animals (animal aggression). While a dog may be both human and animal aggressive, the presence of one kind of aggression DOES NOT mandate or exclude the presence of the other. TEMPERAMENT, WHAT IS IT? Simply put, temperament is those behavioral traits and mental attitudes shared by canines and combined with the special characteristics proper to a certain dog breed. Newfoundlands for example, like water and love children, that is part of the breed's temperament. A Newfoundland that hates to swim or growls at a child is showing improper temperament for the breed. When a person talks about the temperament of their chosen breed, they are describing those traits which most good examples of the breed will have, rather than describing a specific dog. A dog who posses all or most of the characteristics expected for their breed is said to have a proper temperament. This is why it is very important to know about your chosen breed's temperament and research its specific traits, preferably before you commit to a dog. You may find out that eventhough you like the "look" of a certain breed, the temperament is not for you. A WORD ABOUT BREED HISTORY Much of a dog's temperament relates to it's breed history and genetic inheritance. I won't go too deep into the history of the Pit Bull as there are many good books and websites that cover the origin and history of the breed. It is common knowledge however, that the Pit Bull breed was developed for blood sports: Bull baiting, bear baiting, and later, dogfighting. What is not common knowledge is that in the days of organized dogfighting, the handlers of the combatants were habitually IN THE PIT with the dogs for the duration of the fight. They were required to pick up and separate the dogs several times while the dogs were in full fight frenzy. Before the fight, the handlers were required to wash each other's dogs, and after the fight, the badly injured dogs were often treated at ringside by strangers. Any dog that attacked or bit a handler (even if it was the other dog's handler) or anyone else at any time was culled, often on the spot, and would never have been bred. This bit of history will help explain much of the apparently (to novices) contradictory traits common in this breed. SO, WHAT IS THE PROPER PIT BULL TEMPERAMENT? As with all breeds, the Pit Bull has positive and negative traits in their temperament. Their breed history has led to a dog unlike any other in the history of purebred dogs. What can you expect from an APBT? First and foremost, memorize the following: THE GOLDEN RULE OF PIT BULL OWNERSHIP- NEVER TRUST YOUR PIT BULL NOT TO FIGHT!!!!! This breed is descended from pit dogs one way or another, and, given the right circumstances, most Pit Bulls will fight and against any other breed, they will win (you really don't want to see that!). Scared yet? You should be. Remember, as the owner of a Pit Bull everything you or your dog do will affect all members of the breed and their families. Pit Bull owners have to be extra vigilant 24/7, period. You need to be receptive, have strong leadership, and be able to read canine body language to recognize signs of tension between housemates. You need to be prepared to separate the dogs if tensions develop. You need to know when your dog may become aggressive and you need to have control of your dog under any circumstances. Sound like a lot of work and hassle? It is. So, what's the payoff? The payoff is: A well-raised pit bull of proper temperament is the most loyal and loving dog in the world, bar none. This is a dog that truly LOVES people, especially children. Pits are notorious clowns, and will Always make you laugh, even in spite of yourself. They are intelligent, and will often "invent" games to keep themselves amused. They seem to subsist on love and attention, and will do almost anything for a little special "loves n hugs" time. They tolerate the rough play of children, loving every minute of it, and, although poor "guard dogs" for property, they will willingly give their lives to save the people they love. Thousands of responsible owners have dedicated themselves to this breed for it's positive traits and willingly deal with the negatives. T0 SUMMARIZE THE PROPER PIT BULL TEMPERAMENT 1. Pit Bulls are often dog-aggressive to one extent or another (this often shows up at or near sexual maturity). A dog that was previously non-dog aggressive may "turn-on" and suddenly doesn't like other dogs of the same sex, or, for that matter, any dogs at all, even housemates they have been raised with. Adult Pit Bulls should NEVER be left alone with other dogs and require proper supervision. 2. Pit Bulls may exhibit intense "prey drive", leading them to "stalk" small animals such as cats, rats, chickens, livestock, or other pets. 3. Pit Bulls are precocious and incomparable escape artists, who will often seem to squirt right out of a supposedly secure yard or enclosure. When coupled with # 1 and # 2, you can see why a responsible Pit Bull owner is a vigilant pit bull owner. 4. Pit bulls are intelligent, and most enjoy training, if it is done properly. This makes them excellent prospects for dog sports such as agility, obedience, weight pull, and Frisbee competitions. 5. Pit Bulls tend to LOVE people. All people. This makes them a poor choice for a "guardian breed". Most of them are simply too friendly to protect a house against strangers. A Pit Bull that shows unprovoked human aggression (puppy play nips do NOT count) is showing BAD temperament and in most cases should be put to sleep. Such a dog should obviously NEVER be bred under any circumstances. The breeding of dogs with bad temperaments is one of the largest problems the breed faces today and fuels the fire of breed specific legislation. 7. Pit bulls tend to be very "soft" with their family, meaning that they are eager to please their humans. They should not have to be "shown who's boss", but will thrive under "positive leadership". A Pit Bull of proper temperament is a devoted and loving family member, inspiring immense loyalty to the breed. You will often hear a Pit Bull's owner tell you that after owning one, they will never own any other breed. 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The head is bricklike, the jaws strong and wide, the ears may be cropped or not (I prefer uncropped dogs for several reasons). The body is typically very strong, with a deep chest, powerful and proportionate hind end and solid legs. The overall impression should be of power and athleticism. This is not a dog for couch potatoes, as it requires A LOT of training and exercise. With this breed it is important to remember to exercise both the dog's body and mind. Remember, a tired pit bull is a happy pit bull and a bored pit bull is NOT a good thing! They will find some very inventive ways to entertain themselves that the owner may not like (often involving the garbage can, kitchen counter and cabinets, feather pillows, dirty laundry and various items of furniture). Remember also, that this is a VERY enthusiastic breed that may very well overwhelm young children or older people with it's affection. This breed needs to be taught to sit and greet people calmly as it's natural inclination will probably be to climb into their lap, put a paw on each of their shoulders, and attempt to wipe their face off with it's tongue. Attempts to convince a full grown pit bull that it is too big to be a "lap dog" will, more often than not, fall on deaf ears if it was not taught "manners" as a puppy. Do not allow your puppy to do anything you don't want your adult dog to do (eg climb on the couch, sleep in the bed, invade your lap, etc.). TRAINING First of all, for anyone asking the question, "Do I need to train my pit bull?", the answer is a resounding YES! As with very young children, dogs need guidance and structure, and should never be left to make decisions on their own. Training teaches the dog and owner to understand and communicate with each other and prevents misunderstandings. In the case of the Pit Bull, training also prevents the kind of headlines that make all good Pit owners cringe. How should a pit bull be trained? The most important thing is to find a method that works for your dog, and stick with it. There are almost as many methods for dog training as there are dog trainers. Most of those methods fit into one of two categories: Positive training methods or aversive training methods. Positive methods include using food rewards, toy rewards, pure praise, gentle leaders, and clickers. Aversive methods include using praise/correction, choke chains, prong collars, and/or shock collars. Both types of training, done correctly, will result in a trained dog. It is a matter of how you want to get there. As I said in the temperament section, Pit Bulls tend to be very "soft" with their families, and it is very possible to ruin a good dog by "over correcting" with a choke chain, prong collar, and particularly a shock collar. As a very good positive trainer I know put it, "Aversive training is something you do TO your dog, positive training is something you do WITH your dog". Finding a good trainer can be a bit of a challenge, depending on where you live. Some things to look for are: Experience with the breed (or at least no breed prejudice against Pit Bulls and a good understanding of the breed's nature), what methods are used (and are you comfortable with them), recommendations from former students, and, last but not least, take a look at the trainer's own dogs (are they well behaved). The best way to assess a trainer's methods is to ask to "sit in" on a training session. If the trainer refuses to let you watch, look elsewhere. As a special note for Pit Bulls: I would avoid any class that has "forced socialization" between the dogs, particularly adult dogs. Any trainer that wants to muzzle a dog-aggressive pit bull and force it to "socialize" with other dogs is not knowledgeable in the breed , and can actually make dog aggression worse. Suggested Resource: Turnaround Dog-Training WHAT IS SOCIALIZATION? Socialization means introducing your dog to people, and to a lesser extent, to dogs and/or other animals. It is extremely important to socialize a pup of any breed with people, but be sure that the pup's experiences are ALWAYS positive. The pup should meet all kinds of adults and as many respectful children as possible. Socialization with people should be part of your dog's training for his/her entire life. Relegating a dog to the backyard or keeping it chained 24/7 can lead to a real disaster. If you are not willing to socialize and train a dog, please don't get one. Socialization with dogs is a little different for pit bulls. Socializing a puppy with other dogs may reduce the amount of dog aggression the pup will develop, and many pit puppies get along with other dogs when they are young. As the dog matures, ALWAYS be on the lookout for signs of aggression with other dogs, and be prepared to break up a spat or fight, should one happen. It is up to you, the owner, to decide whether or not to introduce your adult pit bull to other dogs. The amount of dog aggression in an adult pit bulls varies from no aggression at all to a dog that sees ANY other dog as a Happy-Meal with legs, so there are no hard and fast rules. Just remember that as the owner of a pit bull, any fight will always be your fault, no matter who started it. More about socialization I feel that to the general public, socialization = allowing dogs to be off leash together. Either playing or figuring out the hierarchy themselves. This is where people get into trouble. It doesn't have to be this way at all. Being in an obedience class situation in which a dog does NOT get to 'say hi' to every dog IS socialization! We have to remember that it's not normal for adult dogs to come together and play, be friends and interact. This goes against dog behavior. (Especially pit bull behavior!) I feel the definition of 'socialize' needs to be readdressed. I know that my dogs are wonderfully socialized because they can be with me around other dogs and not freak out. I would never force my guys to be what they are not. They will never be Golden Retrievers! I would never force my guys to interact with another dog which is ill mannered or foul tempered. That's breaking the trust factor. I'm the leader and protector in my family. My guys trust me because I would never put them into a situation in which harm would come to them. There's where the parenting skills come into play. When an owner allows their dog to 'work it out' on it's own in a dog park, lack of trust is inevitable. That poor dog is out there all alone with no one to protect it. Scary stuff! They have to learn pretty quickly to protect themselves at all costs. They know that no one will come to save them if something does happen. These are the same owners who ask me, "But, why doesn't he listen to me?" Well, it's pretty obvious! That poor dog is living in a house full of people and still has no one to trust and believe in. No one to look up to. No one to make those hard desicions in life. They have no 'pack' to watch out for them. I feel that's very sad. (Also, have you ever wondered why dogs 'gang up' when at the dog park? They're finally able to have that pack feeling of safety that they don't get at home.) My definition of 'well socialized' is...The dog being able to be with me in what the dog deems to be scary situations or around other dogs and not have a panic attack. (Notice I didn't say off leash with other dogs!) Cinimon Clark Turnaround Dog-Training DOG PARKS If you enjoy off-leash dog parks, you don't want to hear this. But I am going to tell you anyway. If you choose to become the owner of a Pit Bull, your dog park days are almost surely over, at least when the dog is somewhere over 8 months old. Accidental dogfights in off-leash parks are common, but when a Pit Bull is involved, they are headlines. Following Pit Bull Golden Rule #1 "NEVER trust your pit bull not to fight", you can see why off-leash parks are a very bad idea for our breed. As a Pit Bull owner, you have certain responsibilities. Your responsibility to your dog (to keep him/her out of trouble), your responsibility to other dog owners (to keep their dogs safe from your dog), and your responsibility to your breed (to keep your dog OUT of negative headlines). Even pit bulls that have never exhibited dog aggression may fight back if approached by the wrong dog in an aggressive manner. I will repeat this for you. As the owner of a pit bull, any fight will always be your fault, no matter who started it. TEN COMMANDMENTS OF PIT BULL OWNERSHIP 1. Thou shalt NEVER trust thy Pit Bull not to fight 2. Thou shalt contain thy Pit Bull securely when not supervised by an adult 3. Thou shalt NEVER leave thy adult Pit Bull alone and unsupervised with another dog 4. Thou SHALT attend obedience classes most faithfully with thy Pit Bull 5. Thou SHALT keep thy Pit Bull socialized with ALL KINDS of people 6. Thy Pit Bull wilt NEVER be allowed off-leash in a public place 7. Thy Pit Bull wilt NEVER be allowed to roam free in thy neighborhood, EVER! 8. Thou SHALT take thy well trained Pit Bull out in public and show him/her off - on leash for good breed PR! 9. Thy Pit Bull shalt go forth into the world as an ambassador of the pit bull breed 10. THOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY WRONG DONE BY THY DOGS! TOYS For dogs of all breeds, toys are not "extras", they are essentials. Chewing on toys allows dogs to relieve stress and boredom. Dogs who are not given their own toys to chew on will usually appropriate something of yours (and it probably will cost more than a whole BUNCH of dog toys), so save yourself a headache, and your $110 Nike sneakers, and get your dog some toys. Which toys should you get for a pit bull? Well, let's face it. Our pups tend to "kill" toys much faster than most breeds. They are strong dogs that require strong toys. I list here several kinds of dog toys and a few edible chews below with my personal experiences with them. 1. Kong toys - In my opinion, these are the best toys on the market for Pit Bulls. A few Pits will rip them apart, but most just love them. I get the black ones in the XL size. Kongs can be stuffed with peanut butter or treats and a stuffed Kong will often keep a Pit occupied for at least 2 hours. Be sure to get a real Kong, not a Rhino toy (which looks like a Kong). The Rhino is softer rubber and Nala chewed it to bits in about an hour. 2. Rope tugs/toys/dental ropes - These are good toys, although some are expensive. The dental ropes can be had at Wal-Mart for about $5.00 and help "floss" the teeth. You will, however, have little bits of rope all over the house. Should only be allowed under supervision. 3. Balls - My favorite kind of balls are the hard plastic ones called "Best Ball" or "Boomer Ball". Do not let your Pit chew on them, however, as they can wear or damage a dog's teeth if gnawed on. Most Pits will deflate soccer and basket balls, so get these at thrift stores. Tennis balls, even the large ones made for dogs don't stand a chance with an adult Pit Bull. 4. Nylabone Dental Chews - Another good toy for Pits. Just be sure they are not Gumabones (too soft) unless you have a young puppy. I get the largest sizes of most of their dental chews occasionally. 5. Galileo Bone - One of the strongest dog toys made. I recommend this one, that is, if you can get over the shape........ 6. Rawhide - This is one thing my dogs are NOT allowed to have. If a chunk of rawhide is torn off and swallowed, it will not digest and can block a dog's intestines. My dogs are allowed to have the chopped rawhide sticks, and only occasionally since rawhide isn't really that good for them. It's also an important trigger for conflicts. 7. Bully sticks - This is a smoked, dried bull's penis (really, I swear!). Since Bully sticks are muscle, they do digest and will not break off in chunks like rawhide. My dogs love these things. They are a little pricey, but can be gotten for a decent price at dog shows or pet expos. Always supervise the dogs if you give these treats to a Pit in a multiple dog household. 8. Ligament chews - These are also OK for Pits to have, but they are crunchy and will not last as long as a Bully Stick. Again, could cause conflicts. 9. Real Bones - Raw bones are OK for dogs to have, I try to get beef knuckles. However, in multi-dog households, these bones can also lead to fights, so be vigilant. I VERY occasionally give the sterilized filled bones from the pet store (if they have very thick, large ones), but these are somewhat brittle and can splinter, so I always supervise with those. NEVER give a dog cooked chicken or other small cooked bones, as cooked bones can shatter into sharp shards and perforate various organs inside the dog, requiring immediate surgery. It is actually best to avoid cooked bones altogether, stick with the raw ones. Source: Pit Bull Breed Info Special Thanks to Susan Thompson for taking the time to write this excellent breed-information RELATED LINKS PBRC Breed-Information PBRC Fight-Information About The Pit Bull Breed Pros and cons of owning a PitBull Things to consider "before" The basics for a safe & happy PitBull Gentle & courageous pet; victim of bad press Inherently vicious? Definitely not!107 American Pitbull Terriers Striving to bring you the best in American Pitbull Terriers. We take great pride and joy in providing you with excellent pets, great companions, and worthy protectors. Health and temperaments are our main goal. Although specializing in blue pitbulls we do offer black, rednose, fawns, blue tri color & champagne tri color, blue merle and other colors occasionally. Our dogs posses a variety of Top Ranked Bloodlines including Razors Edge, Gottiline, Dela cruz, Gaff, & of course Ultimate Blues! Pits are known for their love of human contact, sportive nature, and affection. They are always ready to please and have a huge heart! Our kennel began small and eventually grew as we searched for great dogs to add to our family of best friends. Please take a moment to look at our dogs and pup pictures that we received from our new friends who have purchased our pups in the past. We hope you enjoy them! Our dogs are not used for any illegal or immoral acts- NO FIGHTING! We offer a Health Guarantee and Purchase Agreement with each pup, Shipping World Wide, and Ear Cropping. All our dogs are registered with the # 1 registry for Pitbulls, UKC ( United Kennel Club ) & are eligible for registry with all other American Bully Clubs such as ABKC (American Bully Kennel Club) , ABBA (American Bully Breeders Assoc. & more. If you have any questions please contact us via e-mail, we usually return e-mails daily or you may call us at 478-746-5747 and leave a message. THANKYOU FOR STOPPING BY OUR KENNEL ! Log in to vote 25 You are considering adopting or buying a dog, and one breed you are considering is a Pit Bull Terrier, or one of several breeds that are closely related to this breed. It is important that before you take any steps towards becoming an owner that you thoroughly research the breed so that you understand the challenges of owning this loyal, yet controversial breed. 99% of issues that arise with pit bulls have to do with owners who are idiots. The truth is that this breed has many good traits. A super-dog, if you will. And although the media focuses on the negative aspects, in reality they can be awesome pets for the smart owner. Here are six reasons why: 1. Pit Bulls are Affectionate Companions Pitbulls are wiggly, cuddly, affectionate dogs. If you don’t like dog kisses then consider another breed, because most pitbulls love licking. The same goes if you have children and you don’t want them to be a regular target for face washes. Pitbulls are not aloof – they like to remind you regularly of how they feel about you, and in general this means a lot of tail wagging and kissing. 2. Generally Healthy and Easy to Care For Yes, pit bulls require a reasonable amount of attention. They do not, however, need a lot of care. They have short coats and are normal shedders, and only need to be brushed semi-regularly. They don't tend toward genetic disorders like some other breeds, although they should be inspected at puppyhood for signs of hip dysplasia, but this is a good idea for most medium to large breeds anyway. Most pit bulls do not get larger than 50 to 60 pounds, although there are some larger sub-breeds. And as long as you exercise the dog regularly, a pitbull can be very comfortable in a small dwelling. 3. People-Orientated, When Socialized Properly Pitbulls love people. Although this breed frequently gets a bad rap in the media, if you have ever met a pitbull that was raised by a loving, conscientious family then you will understand how much they like to be with people. The downside of this personality trait is that they can get overexcited when they meet new people, which is something that needs to be addressed through training and positive reinforcement. 4. Pit Bulls are Loyal to their Owners Your pit bull will be you and your family’s best friend from the day you take them home to the day they pass away. While they will be naturally protective of their family and their property, because pitbulls are so people-orientated they do not make good guard dogs. Unless you just want them to smother intruders with hugs and kisses. 5. Eager to Please A pitbull will always do it’s best to make you happy, as long as you are clear about what you expect from them. Many people will mention the fact that this breed is notoriously stubborn, but once they realize that you are the boss, they will work hard to ensure that you were happy with them. This breed can be challenging, and is not recommended for first time dog owners as you need to be comfortable and confident that you can handle the breed, otherwise they will pick upon the fact that you are less than sure of yourself. 6. High Tolerance for Pain Sometimes presented as a negative trait, the fact that pitbulls have a high pain tolerance makes them exceptional family dogs. They easily (and happily) put up with the rough play of children without reacting. At the same time, pitbull owners may have to invest in prong collars, as the shoulder and neck strength of the pitbull means that sometimes an average collar will not do. It is important that when considering a pitbull as a pet that you carefully screen all puppies and adult dogs to ensure that they respond positively. Dogs of any breed that show fearfulness or aggression towards people or other dogs should be avoided, particularly as a family pet, unless you are willing to put in a lot of extra time and money into behavioural training. To be a successful and responsible pitbull owner you need to at all times have your pet under control. Dogs should never be left unsupervised with other dogs or children, and should never be allowed to roam off leash except in controlled dog-friendly spaces. Remember that as a pitbull owner you are charged with showing the positive side of this breed, so make sure that you always have a friendly and well behaved pet. WARNING: Pit Bulls are Known to Steal Warm Spots on the Couch and Spread Happiness If you're looking for a site to learn more about the American Pit Bull Terrier, or to meet other Pit Bull lovers, you've come to the right place. We're dedicated to giving accurate information about these amazing animals. No breed has been so severely misunderstood, and our community would like to help rectify that. Why do we say Pit Bulls are dogs for smart people? Because Pit Bulls have been historically maligned. And unfairly. When you hear about a horror story about a Pit Bull (and you will, because the media loves hyping them up), 99% of the time it is the fault of a neglectful owner or a stupid human. Pure and simple. Pit Bulls are not lap dogs, although they may think they are. They are intelligent, super-loyal, very loving, and have high amounts of energy. And you'd be hard-pressed to find another breed with more raw athletic ability. However, they can be stubborn and thick-headed, and so they require the attention of an owner who is smart and patient. But the rewards are well worth the effort, as many can attest. What is a Pit Bull? Are Pit Bulls Dangerous? History of the American Pit Bull Terrier The Best Dry Dog Food What will you find on PitBulls.org? Passionate Pit Bull Lovers and Owners Accurate Information about Pit Bulls Training Help Fun and inspirational stories Pictures and video contests Other resources, like rescue shelter and dog boarding information What will you NOT find? Pictures and stories about dog fighting. We're sympathetic, and we hate that it goes on. And yes, the pictures of abused and mutilated dogs should make any grown man with half of a soul shed a tear. But we don't want to foster that kind of negative attitude on this site. This is a positive place to celebrate these great companions, learn more about them, and network with other owners and dog lovers. What is a Pit Bull? 15 ShareThis The question is not straightforward. At Pitbulls.org, we try to keep the focus on the American Pit Bull Terrier, as this helps simplify things, so people know what we are talking about when we say "pit bulls." Most, if not all, of our articles are based on this assumption. So you can read our history of the American Pit Bull Terrier for one answer to the question posed in the title. But the APBT is not the only dog referenced when people say "pitbull," and can include the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier, but also many dogs that only bear some resemblance, and this presents some confusion. The problem is particularly acute in media reports. Because of this confusion, many situations said to involve pit bulls really don't, and without a proper DNA test, it's nearly impossible to accurately spot a true Pit Bull. Can YOU find the Pit Bull? The question also becomes a problem when dealing with Breed Specific Legislation or in regards to apartments that don't accept people with pit bulls and airlines that don't allow travel. In order to discriminate and enforce rules, people have to have an answer to this question. And in order to be "safe", they draw a broader stroke that goes beyond the truth. Sometimes boxers are thrown into the mix. Sometimes the American bull dog is called a pit bull. Even some Labrador Retrievers can have characteristics that cause people to jump to conclusions. So what is a pit bull? Calling a dog a pit bull should be limited to the main three we already mentioned: American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Staffordshire Terrier (Although we will continue to maintain a focus on the ABPT.) In other words, those with some terrier in their blood. We know this isn't the only definition out there, but it is the one that actually gives a consistant, meaningful barrier to the phrase "Pit Bull." Some will want to apply the label to many breeds in the Molosser breed group, such as bull mastiffs and boxers, but Great Danes also fall under the Molosser category. Do you agree? Disagree? What do you think constitues a "pit bull?"American Pit Bull Terrier (Pitbull) (Pit) (Pit Bull) (Pit Terrier) (Half and Half) (Staffordshire Fighting Dog) (Bull Baiter Dogs) (Old Family Dog - the Irish name) (Yankee Terrier - the Northern name) (Rebel Terrier - the Southern name) "Pretty Boy Swag aka RedBoy is a prime example of the American Pit Bull Terrier breed. He is 14 months old in this picture and is owned by us here at Five Star Bullies in central Florida. RedBoy has a perfect even temperament. He is a fun loving dog that loves attention and long walks. He requires about 3 hours of exercise each day to maintain his muscle tone and to keep him happy. Thank you for this opportunity to promote this breed in a positive light. Amber at Five Star Bullies" Find an American Pit Bull Terrier Breeder Place an Ad Rescue an American Pit Bull Terrier List Your Rescue Pronunciation Pit Bull Terrier Description The Pit Bull immediately strikes one as being a dog of power, passion, and undying willingness. The brick-like head, which is especially broad between the cheeks (to house the powerful jaws), is carried upon a thickly muscled, well-defined neck. The neck runs into a deep, thick, well-sprung chest. The American Pit Bull is a very muscular, stocky, yet agile dog which is extremely strong for his size. The ears are generally cropped, though this is optional. Docked tails are not accepted by the UKC or the ADBA. The eyes are round. Both the ADBA and the UKC do not accept blue eyes or the coat color mearl. The American Pitbull Registry does accept a mearl coat. The teeth should form a scissors bite. Its coat is made up of thick, short, shiny hair. All colors are admissible. The tail tapers to a point. Temperament The American Pit Bull Terrier has a strong pleasure to please. The APBT has evoked more human emotional, rational, and irrational response than any other breed that exists today. By no means are these dogs people-haters or people-eaters. Their natural aggressive tendencies are toward other dogs and animals, not people. However if they are properly socialized with a firm, but calm, confident, consistent pack leader, they will not even be aggressive with them. The American Pit Bull Terrier is a good-natured, amusing, extremely loyal and affectionate family pet, which is good with children and adults. Almost always obedient, it is always eager to please its master. It is an extremely courageous and intelligent guard dog that is very full of vitality. Highly protective of his owners and the owner's property, it will fight an enemy to the death. It is usually very friendly, but has an uncanny ability to know when it needs to protect and when everything is okay. The American Pit Bull Terrier can be willful with meek owners and needs a firm hand. They are generally okay with other pets if they are raised with them from puppy hood. They are very friendly, but not recommended for most people, because most people do not understand how to properly raise and treat a dog. Problems arise when one does not understands dog psychology, seeing the dog as having human emotions, and ends up with a dog who thinks he is the boss of the house. For a smaller, not as powerful dog, people can sometimes get away with this, however, for a powerful breed, one really needs to understand and follow this concept of keeping a dog. An excellent guide to learning how to properly treat a dog is the Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan (recommended to all dog owners regardless of the breed they own). Excellent with children in the family, they have a high pain tolerance and will happily put up with rough child play. As with any breed, they should not be left alone with unfamiliar children. Originally used as fighting dogs, the powerful American Pit Bull may go for the throat of strange dogs. A minimum of training, along with the proper amount of exercise and a firm pack leader, will produce a tranquil, obedient dog. Socialize very thoroughly when young to combat aggressive tendencies and be sure to keep the dog under control when other dogs are present. Teach this dog respect for humans by not allowing it to jump up and not allowing it to enter doorways first. The humans must make the dog heel beside or behind them when walking. It has given outstanding results as a guardian of property, but is at the same time esteemed as a companion dog. The objective in training this dog is to achieve a pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in their pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined and rules are set. You and all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. That is the only way your relationship can be a success. When properly trained and socialized, this is a very good dog and a great family companion. Unfortunately, some choose to promote the fighting instinct in the breed, giving it a bad name. If you would like to witness what a well-balanced Pitbull is like, tune into the Dog Whisperer and check out Daddy and Junior along with the rest of Cesar's pack of Pits. Daddy has since passed on, however there are still many episodes that air with him. R.I.P. Daddy. Height, weight Height: 18-22 inches (46-56 cm) Weight: 22 -110 pounds (10-50 kg) Please Note: The APBT ranges in size from 22 pounds to 110 pounds (rare), with the most common being between 35 - 55 pounds (16-25 kg.), in fact the original APBT's were between 20 - 40 pounds (9-18 kg.) and were bred small for their main purpose, fighting, These dogs are varying from small to extra large. A very common misconception is that APBT's are muscle bound (viscous) hulks that weigh in around 85 pounds (39 kg.) and this is generally not the majority, Most of the APBT's that Are that large have been crossed with another breeds. Health Problems A generally healthy breed, although some are prone to hip dysplasia, hereditary cataracts, allergies to grass and congenital heart disease. Living Conditions Pits will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. They are very active indoors and will do alright without a yard provided they get enough exercise. Prefers warm climates. Exercise American Pit Bull Terriers must have plenty of regular exercise and need to be taken on long daily walks. Life Expectancy About 12 years. Litter Size Average of 5 - 10 puppies Grooming The smooth, short-haired coat is easy to groom. Brush regularly with a firm bristle brush, and bathe or dry shampoo as necessary. A rub with a piece of toweling or chamois will make the coat gleam. This breed is an average shedder. Origin Developed from the Bull and Terrier types of yesteryear, the American Pit Bull Terrier was originally bred as an all around farm dog, working the farms as a cattle/hog dog. Some chose to turn their talents into the sport of pit-fighting. The breed's tenacity and accompanying strength are unmatched in the canine world. As rich and captivating as the breed's history is, the Pit Bull's future is more worthy of commentary. Some proponents of the breed argue that this breed is the original bulldog of the past. Old prints and woodcarvings show reason to believe this. They show dogs that look exactly like the breed today, doing things the dog is still capable of doing. For more information on this theory you can read books by Richard F Stratton. The APBT, as registered by the UKC, is an individual breed of dog and does not refer to just any ill-bred, mindless warrior-type mongrel. At one time, the Pit Bull was a much loved, trustworthy companion. People who chose to train these dogs to fight are chiefly responsible for the banning and witch-hunting that has been sweeping the U.S. The media, however, should not go unmentioned, for it is also responsible for escalating isolated incidences in a relentless and attention-getting way. In a lot of cases when the media is reporting about a Pit Bull attacking, it is indeed not even a Pit Bull at all, but a mixed breed of some sort, or another bull breed all together. An example, there was a report on KYW news in Philadelphia about two Pit Bulls attacking a person. The dogs did not look like Pit Bulls, but rather Boxer mix looking dogs. The news station was called and asked if they knew the dogs were in fact purebred American Pit Bull Terriers, or another bull breed of some sort, or a mutt for that matter. They stated they did not know, and to call the police station to verify that information. They were asked how they could report something that they were not sure of. They had no answer and they were not sure of the dog's breed. Even after admitting on the phone that they did not in fact know the breed of the dogs in question, they kept calling the dogs Pit Bulls in their reports. Why? Because the name Pit Bull will drawl out the most attention from the public. The Pit Bull's future has been perhaps irreparably undone and everyone is to blame except the dog itself. This very loyal dog is too set on pleasing his owner, and ironically this is the root of his own undoing. Accompanying this need to please are remarkable abilities of all kinds. Jack Dempsy, Teddy Roosevelt and Jack Johnson are just a few people who have owned Pit Bulls. Pit Bulls excel in practically every canine task including herding, guarding, hunting, policing, cart pulling and ratting. A Pit Bull, named Banddog Dread, holds more canine working titles than ANY other breed. The owner's name is Diane Jessup and you can reference her book, "The Working Pit Bull." It tells you all of Dread's accomplishments. These dogs are truly capable of many tasks. The difference between Pits and American Staffordshire Terriers is a difficult one. Even breeders can't agree. The main difference is the bloodline. Amstaffs are show dogs and dog fighters won't use dogs with Amstaff blood. As time progresses there will be more of a difference. Many are duel registered as Amstaffs with the AKC and Pits with the UKC. Group Terrier Recognition NAPDR, UKC, NKC, ADBA, CKC, APBR, APRI, ACR, PBFSA, DRA, BBC, NAPR Consider Adoption When Choosing a Pit Bull 4 ShareThis Log in to vote 0 You've read So You Want a Pit Bull, and you definitely want to grace your home with the joy that is a pit bull. Your next step consists of deciding whether to purchase a dog from a reputable breeder or adopt a rescue. The Benefits of Adoption While there are certainly valid reasons for selecting your new companion from a reputable breeder, there are also plenty of excellent reasons to choose a shelter or rescue dog instead. Save a life. When you adopt a pit bull, you save a pit bull. Pit bulls are overbred and frequently fall into the hands of humans ill-suited to care for them (and sometimes get stuck with humans who shouldn't own any dog, period). As a result, they are the most numerous breed in shelters. Hundreds of pit bulls die in shelters every day. Others are stuck in no-kill shelters for years, living out their lives in a tiny space with minimal attention from anyone. When you adopt a pit bull from either kind of shelter, you've truly given him a second chance at life. Cost. By adopting, you save hundreds of dollars. Adopting a dog typically costs $90-150 and also includes vaccinations and a spay/neuter operation. These services could easily cost more than the adoption price if you purchased them separately. Meanwhile, the price of a pup from a reputable breeder usually runs $500 at a minimum, and in some cases, can soar to a thousand dollars or more. Pet Appreciation. As anyone who's ever owned a rescue can tell you, these dogs know what you did for them and they are grateful. Unlike dogs that have been treated well from birth, rescues have previously been lost, abandoned or mistreated and don't take a happy life for granted. They will usually go out of their way to learn the rules of your household and show you how much they adore their new home. Adult Dogs vs. Puppies There are plenty of puppies in need of a new home, but don't rule out adopting an adult dog. Advantages of choosing an adult pit bull include: Housetraining issues: An adult dog is more likely to already be housetrained. Even if they aren't housetrained, adults can hold it longer, which makes housetraining easier. They can make it until you get home from work, and you'll be able to sleep through the night without having to get up to let them out. Temperament around other animals: No matter how adorable a puppy, you can't predict all of the behavioral changes that will occur as he matures. Many dogs become more dominant and less forgiving of other dogs around the age of two. Same-sex dog aggression is of particular concern with many terrier and working breeds. Even the most friendly puppy may become less tolerant of other dogs as she reaches social maturity. On the other hand, if you adopt a dog-friendly adult of at least 2 or 3, you can feel reasonably confident that she will remain that way. Obviously this issue is particularly important if you already have a dog and need the new arrival to get along with your existing companion. Overall predictability: Even besides dog aggression issues, when you adopt an adult dog, you know for sure what to expect with regard to temperament, behavior, and energy levels. This is not always possible to predict with a puppy. In addition, all adult pit bulls put up for adoption are temperament tested to a degree no other breed is subjected to. When adopting an adult pit bull, you are assured of getting an exceptionally patient, tolerant, human-friendly animal. Anything Pedigreed Dogs Can Do, Rescues Can Too Okay, rescues are usually ineligible in most show rings, though there are some dog shows for non-pedigreed dogs. But otherwise, it's a case of "anything you can do, we can do better." Or at least as well. Rescue pits routinely win obedience titles and weight pulling championships, earn agility titles, and even compete in herding trials. Rescued pit bulls work as therapy dogs, and rescues are the pits most often used in search and rescue. Police departments usually choose pit bulls from shelters and rescue groups to work as bomb and drug sniffing dogs. And, as with all breeds, anyone can tell you that rescue dogs make the most wonderful companions you could ever wish for. So, when it comes time to choosing your new American Pit Bull Terrier, please consider choosing a rescue. WELCOME TO rocksquad BULLY PITBULLS! HOME OF THE LEGENDARY XXL BLUE BULLY PITBULL "LOR'S BLUE TERMINATOR A.K.A. "rocksquad" BUT BETTER KNOWN AS... "THE JUICE"!!! WE ARE SO BLESSED TO HAVE PRODUCED SUCH AN AWESOME SPECIMEN WHO HAVE GONE TO PRODUCE TREMENDOUS DOGS FOR SO MANY WONDERFUL KENNELS TO CONTINUE HIS LEGACY. NOT ONLY JUST BY HIS SHEER SIZE AND GREAT LOOKS BUT HIS TEMPERAMENT AND INTELLIGENCE IS UNMATCHED BY ANY DOG THAT I HAVE SEEN. rocksquad CONTINUES TO IMPRESS THE XXL BULLY COMMUNITY WITH EACH AND EVERY LITTER REGARDLESS OF THE SIZE OF THE FEMALE OR THE BLOODLINE OF THE FEMALE...HENCE PEOPLE REFER rocksquad AS "THE JUICE"! MANY BREEDERS AND KENNELS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY HAVE TRIED TO PUT DIFFERENT BLOODLINES TOGETHER TO TRY TO PRODUCE A DOG THAT EXCEEDS rocksquad'S 120 POUNDS OF EXAGGERATED BULLINESS OVER THE LAST 5 YEARS BUT HAVE REALIZED THAT YOU WILL HAVE TO COME TO THE SOURCE AND WORK WITH THE SOURCE IF YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE THAT LOOK. NO, rocksquad IS NOT A PERFECT DOG. HE IS NOT A TRUE OLD SCHOOL PITBULL. HE IS NOT 35-60 POUNDS. HE FACE IS NOT SHARP AND POINTY. HE DOES NOT HAVE THE DRIVE TO KILL ANYTHING THAT HE SEES. HE CAN NOT RUN 5 MILES. HE CAN NOT CLIMB A 6 FOOT FENCE. DO YOU REALLY WANT A DOG THAT HAS THAT MUCH DRIVE ANYMORE? DO YOU WANT A SKINNY GAME PITBULL DOG THAT WILL CLIMB OVER YOUR 6 FOOT FENCE? WHAT'S ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THAT FENCE? rocksquad IS NOW 6 YEARS OLD...HEALTHY AS EVER EVEN AT 120+ POUNDS. HIS SIRE RHINO IS GOING ON 8 YEARS OLD IN JAN. 2012 AND HE IS AS HEALTHY AS A 2 YEAR OLD DOG...RUNS, PLAYS, HUNTS LIZARDS, SLEEPS WITH MY SON, WATCHES TV WITH US, HAS NEVER HAD ANY AGGRESSION ISSUES WITH ANYONE OF MY FAMILY MEMBERS OR FRIENDS WHO VISIT BUT WILL ATTACK ANYONE UNINVITED AND PROTECT HIS PROPERTY AND HIS FAMILY. THESE ARE THE SAME QUALITIES THAT RHINO HAVE PASSED ONTO rocksquad AND WHAT rocksquad HAS PASSED ONTO HIS OFFSPRINGS. WE WANT OUR BULLY PITBULLS TO HAVE THAT LOVE AND LOYALNESS FOR THEIR MASTERS AS PITBULLS HAVE BEEN KNOWN FOR MANY CENTURIES. WE WANT THEM TO HAVE A SUPERIOR TEMPERAMENT WITH GREAT INTELLIGENCE. WE WANT THEM TO LISTEN TO OUR COMMANDS AND BE WELL SOCILIZED SO WE ARE ABLE TO WALK THEM AROUND THE BLOCK AND NOT HAVE OTHER PEOPLE GET SCARED AND CROSS THE STREET. WE WANT THEM TO BE ABLE TO RUN AROUND OUR BACKYARDS AND PLAY WITHOUT HAVING TO WORRY SOMEDAY WHEN WE COME HOME FROM WORK THE POLICE ARE AT OUR DOORS BECAUSE WE CAN NOT CONTROL OUR DOGS FROM GETTING OUT. OUR WAY OF LIVING HAS EVOLVED...OUR COMMUNITIES HAVE EVOLVED...THE WORLD HAS EVOLVED! THESE DOGS HAVE EVOLVED TO BETTER THE IMAGE OF THE PITBULL BREED! NAPDR = North American Purebred Dog Registry UKC = United Kennel Club NKC = National Kennel Club ADBA = The American Dog Breeders Association Inc. CKC = Continental Kennel Club APBR = The American Pit Bull Registry APRI = American Pet Registry Inc. ACR = American Canine Registry PBFSA = Pit Bull Federation of South Africa DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc. BBC = Backwoods Bulldog Club NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc. Spencer the 12 week old blue nose brindle Pit Bull puppy sits calmly as the cat checks him out. Watch Spencer the Pit puppy grow up. A True Story A man was out walking his Pitbull off lead through the woods. When the Pit turned and started walking off in a different direction the owner called the dog back to him. The dog didn't listen, he obviously had something on his mind. This was so uncharacteristic of this particular dog, who always followed his owner, always listened to every command, that the owner of the Pit decided he had better follow his dog to see where he was going. The Pitbull led him to a secluded part of the woods, where an autistic boy had gotten himself into a deep mud hole and could not get out. The Pit proceeded to walk right up to the boy and lick his face. This story was told to me by the father of the autistic child. He stated, "The dog saved my son's life that day. Had it not been for that Pitbull, we never would have found my son." 1 RuffRyder Pitbulls , 2 Iron Man Pits , 3 House of Bully Pitbulls , 4 Empire Bully , 5 BrickHousePitbulls , 6 Freak Show Bullys , 7 Blue Legacy Pitbulls , 8 Royal Cross Kennels , 9 Central Coast Pitbulls , 10 ATL King Pits , 11 Vyking Pits , 12 The Gatekeeper Kennels , 13 All Pro Blues , 14 TombStonePits , 15 330 Kennels , 16 Shashank Kennels , 17 West Coast Criminals Kennel , 18 Bayon Kennels , 19 Predominant Pitbulls , 20 Dark Shade Bullies , 21 Newage Pits , 22 medina pitbulls , 23 High Voltage Kennel , 24 Taro Patch Pits , 25 Transformer Bully Pits , 26 Bombshell Blue Pits , 27 Fab 5 Kennels , 28 Big Country Blue Bullies , 29 Alpha Bully Pitbulls , 30 dutch pride bullies , 31 blueprintbullies , 32 907pitbulls.com , 33 THE AMERICANBULLYPITS , 34 DRY COUNTY BULLIES , 35 epicgrindkennels , 36 555BULLIES , 37 knuckeheadbullypits , 38 swissbullies , 39 pitkrew , 40 IRON HEART BULLIES , 41 xtreme blue No more breed bans in Concordia Kansas - Sign the Petition to end the breed ban. Zeppelin, the Pitbull Terrier as an adult, at 2 years old. "Your site was instrumental in helping us select a dog for our family. After researching your site we decided on a pitbull puppy, his name is Zeppelin. He has been everything good your site has said about pitbulls and more! He loves to be with the family, play and play all day. He is a guardian of the front door with his bark when the doorbell rings and then licks whom ever is there once they come in. He was by far the easiest dog I have had to train. I only have skills to train in basic obedience, but he learned it all very easily. He is an Indoor dog. Very social with people and other pets. Although some people find him intimidating and that nervousness transfers to their dog. He is protective of our home and loves to play in water. Insists he's a 5 lb lap dog and enjoys hiking." Zeppelin, the Pitbull Terrier as a young puppy (adult pic shown above). DBI Recommends To EVERY Dog Owner Cesar Millan DVD's Cesar Millan Books Training Dogs the Aussie Way "Tigger is a 20 month old Pit Bull Terrier who weighs 60 lbs. He already obtained his Canine Good Citizen (CGC) through the AKC. Tigger loves his daily walks, going to doggy day care, and is currently training to compete in Novice Agility. He is very active, agile, and is a great family pet! Tigger is loyal, caring, inteligent and friendly. He has any doggy friends, but his best friend is my sister's 4 lb. Yorkshire Terrier. They have a blast together." Tigger, the Pit Bull Terrier at 20 months old, weighing 60 pounds. _________________________________ "Lily is the love of my life when it comes to animals! She has stood beside me and made me laugh through thick and thin! She has saved my life when someone tried to break into my house. She has drowned not only me but all of my friends in kisses. I have had countless people tell me that she has singlehandedly changed their viewpoints on Pit Bulls. With her friendly smile, wagging tail, and warm eyes, who could not fall in love with her? Lily loves to show off her belly and will never be the one to turn down a good belly rub. She is eager to please which has made her easily trainable. Cesar Millan's books have helped us to enrich both of our lives and become a healthy "pack." It is sad to me that so many people have such a poor understanding of this amazing breed. I had two elderly ladies petting Lily and going on about how adorable she was. When they asked what kind of dog she was, they immediately backed away, faces grimacing, as they muttered under their breath. These people will never have the opportunity to understand loyalty at its fullest and a heart that seemingly beats only for you." Lily the Pit Bull Terrier _________________________________ "This is Pip Felipe R. (aka mommy and daddy's baby boy) at 4 years old. He is the first dog I have owned and the only breed my fiance and I will ever own. He is sweet, funny and affectionate. He attended puppy school and has always had plenty of puppy dates. He loves other dogs, and his first instinct with people is to show his pink belly! After watching Cesar Millan's show ( marathon weekend viewings), and reading his books, we have learned so much about Pip and about our behavior, it has helped us walk him properly. I have become more of a calm, assertive mom and Pip has responded by listening to me. Everyone in our neighborhood loves him. He is always trying to get away with something though, (counter-surfing, sock stealing, laundry rolling, etc) so your best bet is to take him on walks, play ball with him, take him exploring (thus his Indiana Jones get up in the pic) and give him as many belly rubs as you can. We are blessed to have him and have learned so much about this lovable and misunderstood breed." _________________________________ "Hi I run a very successful Pit Bull rescue in Bluffton SC called RecycleBulls. I would love for people to see what beautiful Dogs are available for rescue rather than buying from a breeder. Most of my dogs come from death row at animal control, I have been doing this for 5 yrs and have placed over 300 spayed/neuterd bullies into family homes." - Courtesy of RecycleBulls, located in Bluffton SC "Dice, a 3 year old rescued Pit. He's not only handsome, but a great ambassador of the breed." - Courtesy of RecycleBulls, located in Bluffton SC "Bambi and Nala, Pit Bull rescues, playing there favorite game of tug and run." - Courtesy of RecycleBulls, located in Bluffton SC "Lucy Lou, a Pomeranian, adoring her big daddy, Dice a Pit Bull Rescue at 3 years old" - Courtesy of RecycleBulls, located in Bluffton SC "Lucy Lou, a Pomeranian, cuddling with Deuce her 4 yr old Pit Bull, who was rescued the day before his euthinazata date." - Courtesy of RecycleBulls, located in Bluffton SC Pacino the Pitbull. _________________________________ Junior the 3 year old Pit Bull Terrier loving the baby deer. "I picked junior out when he was 3 days old. He has been many miles with me. I also have 2 young children and he is absolutely wonderful." Junior the 3 year old Pit Bull Terrier with a baby deer. American Pit Bull Terrier Pictures 1 American Pit Bull Terrier Pictures 2 American Pit Bull Terrier Pictures 3 American Pit Bull Terrier Pictures 4 American Pit Bull Terrier Pictures 5 American Pit Bull Terrier Pictures 6 American Pit Bull Terrier Pictures 7 American Pit Bull Terrier Info List of different pitbull bloodlines A pit bull is any of several breeds of dog in the molosser breed group. Many jurisdictions that restrict ownership of pit bulls, including Ontario, Canada,, Miami, Florida, U.S. and Denver, Colorado, U.S., apply the restriction to the modern American pit bull terrier or any other dog that has the substantial physical characteristics and appearance of being a cross of this breed. However a few jurisdictions, such as Singapore and Franklin County, Ohio, U.S., also classify the modern American Bulldog as a "pit bull-type dog", while in the United Kingdom a pit bull is an American pit bull terrier. All of the breeds share a similar history, with origins rooted from the bulldog and a variety of terriers. The dogs called bull terriers before the development of the modern bull terrier in the early 20th century may also be called pit bulls. Pit bulls are popular breeds used in dog fighting. Widely reported pit bull attacks have resulted in breed-specific legislation being enacted in several jurisdictions, and in increased premiums for liability insurance. Some airlines have placed restrictions on air travel for pit bulls, though in some instances the restrictions are in place for the dogs' own well-being. Contents [hide] 1 History 2 Breeds 2.1 Staffordshire bull terrier 2.2 American pit bull terrier 2.3 American Staffordshire terrier 3 Related human fatalities 3.1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2000) 3.2 Canadian Veterinary Journal (2008) 4 Legislation 5 Commercial restrictions 5.1 Liability insurance 5.2 Air carrier restrictions 6 References History Though the pit bull type dogs were all created with similar crossbreeding between bulldogs and pit terriers, each individual breed within the type has a somewhat different history. There are an estimated 77.5 million owned dogs in the United States; however, the number of pit bull-type dogs has not been reliably determined. Breeds Staffordshire bull terrier Main article: Staffordshire Bull Terrier Staffordshire bull terrier The Staffordshire bull terrier had its beginnings in England many centuries ago when the bulldog and Mastiff were used for the sports of bull-baiting and bear-baiting; in the Elizabethan era, breeders produced large dogs for these sports but later on the 100–120 pound animal gave way to a small, more agile breed of up to 90 pounds. The sport of dog fighting gained popularity in England in the early 19th century and a smaller, faster dog was developed. It was called by names such as "bulldog terrier" and "bull and terrier". The bulldog at that time was larger than the modern-day English bulldog we know today, weighing about 60 pounds. This dog was crossed with a small native terrier, related to the present-day Manchester terrier to produce the Staffordshire bull terrier weighing on average between 30 and 45 pounds. James Hinks, in about 1859, crossed the Old pit bull terrier, now known as the Staffordshire bull terrier, and produced the all-white English bull terrier. The Kennel Club in Great Britain recognized the bull terrier in the last quarter of the 19th century, but the Staffordshire bull terrier's reputation as a fighting dog was such that The Kennel Club did not recognize the breed until 1935, a century after the sport of dog fighting became illegal in Great Britain under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835. The Staffordshire bull terrier was admitted to registration in the AKC Stud Book effective October 1, 1974, with regular show classification in the Terrier Group at AKC shows available on and after March 5, 1975. American pit bull terrier Main article: American Pit Bull Terrier American pit bull terrier The American pit bull terrier is the product of interbreeding between terriers and a breed of bulldogs to produce a dog that combined the gameness of the terrier with the strength and athleticism of the bulldog. These dogs were initially bred in England, Ireland, and Scotland, and arrived in the United States with immigrants from these countries. In the United States, these dogs were used as catch dogs for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt, to drive livestock, and as family companions. Some have been selectively bred for their fighting prowess.  The United Kennel Club (UKC) was the first registry to recognize the American pit bull terrier. UKC founder C. Z. Bennett assigned UKC registration number 1 to his own dog, "Bennett's Ring", as an American pit bull terrier in 1898. American pit bull terriers successfully fill the role of companion dog, police dog and therapy dog. Terriers in general have a higher tendency towards dog aggression and American pit bull terriers constitute the majority of dogs used for illegal dog fighting in the United States. In addition, law enforcement organizations report these dogs are used for other nefarious purposes, such as guarding illegal narcotics operations, use against the police, and as weapons. The fighting reputation of pit bull-type dogs led the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 1996 to relabel pit bull terriers as "St. Francis terriers" (not associated with the "terrier" mascot of St. Francis College in New York) so that they might be more readily adopted; 60 temperament-screened dogs were adopted until the program was halted after several of the newly adopted dogs killed cats. The New York City Center for Animal Care and Control tried a similar approach in 2004 by relabeling their pit bull terriers as "New Yorkies", but dropped the idea in the face of overwhelming public opposition. American Staffordshire terrier Main article: American Staffordshire Terrier The American Staffordshire terrier was the product of 19th century interbreeding between bulldogs and terriers that produced the "bull-and-terrier dog", "Half and Half", and at times "pit dog" or "pit bullterrier," the last named becoming the "Staffordshire bull terrier" in England. The bulldog of that time differed from the modern Bulldog, having a full muzzle and a long, tapering tail. There is some debate whether the White English terrier, the Black and Tan terrier, the Fox terrier or some combination thereof were used. These dogs began to find their way into America as early as 1870 where they became known as pit dog, pit bull terrier, later American bull terrier, and still later as Yankee terrier. They were imported primarily, but not exclusively, for pit fighting. In 1936, they were accepted by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as "Staffordshire terriers". The name of the breed was revised effective January 1, 1972, to "American Staffordshire terrier" since breeders in the United States had developed a type which is heavier in weight than the Staffordshire bull terrier of England and the name was changed to distinguish them as separate breeds. Related human fatalities A limited number of studies have been performed on the number of human deaths due to bite trauma caused by dogs, and have generally surveyed news media stories for reports of dog bite-related fatalities. This methodology is subject to several potential sources of error: some fatal attacks may not have been reported; a study might not find all of the relevant news reports; and the potential for misidentification of dog breeds, although courts in the United States and Canada have ruled that expert identification, when using published breed standards, is sufficient for the enforcement of breed-specific legislation. It is possible to distinguish dogs by breed using DNA testing, but test results for any one dog can vary widely depending upon the laboratory that performs the test and the number of purebred dog breeds in the laboratory's DNA database. There is no evidence for the existence of a physiological "locking mechanism" in the teeth or jaw structure of normal pit bull-type dogs, although a dog's jaws can be locked in a closed position by surgically correctable jaw abnormalities. Despite the lack of a physiological "jaw locking" mechanism, pit bull-type dogs often exhibit "bite, hold, and shake" behavior and refuse to release when biting; methods to force pit bull-type dogs to release their grip include breaking an ammonia ampule and holding it up to the dog's nose, or using a "break stick" to lever the dog's jaws open if it bites a person or ani