Tuesday, June 23, 2009

So... what does a real pit bull look like?

Pit bulls, pitties, pits and pibbles.

What are we talking about?

First and foremost, it must be qualified that there is actually no such breed as a “Pit Bull.”


There are, however, 3 particular well-established breeds that fall under a category of dogs to which the term “pit bull” can be applied, as a sort of shortened generic nickname. Simply put, “pit bull”: not a breed, but a group of similar breeds.

The label “pit bull” frequently refers to the following:

The American Pit Bull Terrier

The “APBT” is generally medium in size with a solid, athletic look. The body is toned and lean without being overly muscular or bulky. Graceful and agile in movement, the breed standard calls for a weight typically ranging from 30 to 60 pounds.

The American Staffordshire Terrier

The “AmStaff” is commonly larger and heavier than the APBT, with a more blockish head and stockier legs. They usually weigh a maximum of 70 pounds.

*Though the APBT and AmStaff are descended from some of the same breeding lines, they have since become two distinct breeds. However, some breed enthusiasts actually consider the two to be essentially one in the same and it is not uncommon for a dog to have dual registry as an AmStaff through the American Kennel Club and as an APBT with the United Kennel Club. Pete the Pup, of Little Rascals fame was one such pooch.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The “Staffy Bull” is a much smaller dog, short and squat with a stout build. They typically weigh less than 40 pounds. While some choose to crop the ears of the other two breeds, Staffy ears are almost always left natural.

*The breed originated in England but Americans later bred along different lines to produce a dog with more weight and height, eventually resulting in today’s AmStaff and APBT.


Mom said...

Thanks for the lesson. Interesting about the different breeds. I like the tan and white dog you posted first. Pretty!

I left something for you on my blog today!

It's Terrific T-shirt Tuesday at Life...EXAGGERATED! and Heather Cherry is our featured headliner!

moi said...

You can knock most people over with a feather when you show them what a proper pittie should look like. Those big big-headed monsters would last about 2.5 seconds doing ANY kind of work. Except maybe slobbering you with kisses.

P.S. Loves me some Staffie Bull!

Shawn said...

So which type is our resident Pit Bull Ambassador?

Heather Cherry said...

Mom: A pwesent? For me? *blink, blink* Yea! I'll be right over!

Moi: I love Staffies, too. They're just so darn cute and stocky and short and stuff. (Shhh... don't tell Snuggles.)

Shawn: Care to hazard a guess?

Eric said...

Aha, the first one looks like the one I knew, pretty dogs.

Shawn said...

Hmm...I will say he looks most like the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Heather Cherry said...

Eric: Some of them have the loveliest coloring.

Shawn: Ding-ding-ding! You win a cookie! Except I eated it.

obladi oblada said...

Thank you for that. I have been somewhat confused about the whole "pit bull" and Staffy thing. I knew they (or was pretty sure) they werent the same..and I suspected that a "pit bull" was the same thing as the APBT...but wasnt sure. It sure is confusing. So, what were Michael Vicks dogs? All of the above? Or APBT?

I love staffies, and the first dog you pictured is beeyootiful color. Thanks again, HC, you are doing a great service to these dogs with the education.

Heather Cherry said...

Well, the answer is, I'm not sure. Everything I've seen on them always just uses the generic "pit bull" label but several of them are very Staffy-looking to me because they're small and short and stocky; Johnny Justice, Alf and Sweet Jasmine to name a few. Check out the Vick Dog Blog (on my blogroll) for more about them. It may even say what they are on there, though I've never really noticed.

Funnyrunner said...

Golly they're all so cute! I took Sophie to the dog park today to frolic. She was in 7th heaven. I love the variety of dogs that come there.

Lidian said...

Aw, such cuties! :)

Heather Cherry said...

Runner: That sounds like so much fun!

Liddy: I think so, too.

carin said...

That staffie on the last photo looks just like my own one. They are the sweetest dogs, but you have to socialise them with lots of other dogs, otherwise they can be a bit aggressive.

Heather Cherry said...

Yes, pit bulls can sometimes be dog aggressive, but that's not necessarily the norm. And we have to make sure not to confuse dog aggression and human aggression. They don't equal each other. And proper socialization is critical to any breed.