Is a pitbull a purebred? A Step-by-Step Guide

Different Types of Pit Bull Mix Dogs

Widening the gene pool, there are some very popular pit bull breeds which are a pit bull mix (i.e. a cross breed).

A Rottweiler and pit bull mix can be result in a hybrid dog which is loyal, loving and affectionate.

The Rottweiler Pittie Mix is not a purebred dog but as a result of mating a purebred Rottweiler with a purebred APBT.

We end up with this hybrid dog when we cross-breed a Pittie with a Rottweiler. The result? An incredibly strong and loyal companion known as the Pitweiler.

A muscular dog which some say presents as intimidating couldn’t be further from the truth. When trained and socialized from an early age, you end up with dog yoga by your feet and the biggest smile greeting you.

Whilst it’s impossible to completely predict the temperament from a hybrid dog, both parent dogs have very similar characteristics; loving and confident.

It is worth noting that Rottweiler’s are renowned for sometimes being aloof! You may end up with this quality in your pitweiler. This can throw a cat amongst the pigeons during training sessions.

For more tips on training your pitweiler, take a look at our article on the pitweiler.

Pitsky dogs are bred by mating a male pit bull (i.e. sire) with a husky (i.e. Dam).

We also have another favorite pit bull mix; the pitsky. This is when a pit bull is mated with a husky (this can be an Alaskan husky or a Siberian husky).

Here, we end up with a playful and affectionate mix of intelligence and cheekiness.

These hybrids are best suited to busy households with an active lifestyle. As with any hybrid, they could retain characteristics from either parent. A bored Husky will dig, chew and howl; they are also master escape artists.

If your pitsky is more husky like, you have to take these behaviors into consideration. Whilst not for the faint hearted, they are an affectionate and enthusiastic mix who will certainly keep you on your toes.

To learn more about if the pitsky is the right dog for you, take a look at our full article and breed analysis.

Today there are at least five breeds of dogs that are commonly misidentified and lumped into the category of the pitbull-type dogs: the English bull terrier, the American bulldog, the boxer, the American pit bull terrier and the American Staffordshire terrier. “Pitbulls or pit bulls” are not recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The United Kennel Club does recognize a breed known as the American pit bull terrier, however, the term “pit bull” is commonly used to refer to mixed breed dogs with certain physical traits, such as a muscular body and broad head.

The term “pit bull” refers to an ill-defined type of dog, rather than a breed. The term “pit bull” originated in the British Isles in the early 1800s when the barbaric sport of “bull baiting” arose. Bull baiting involved tying a bull to an iron stake that gave him about a 30-foot radius in which to move, blowing the bull’s nose full of pepper to enrage the animal, and then setting dogs on him to immobilize the bull for public entertainment. The sport was outlawed in 1835, but it was from this sport the term “pit bull” came into being. The dogs used in the sport were English bulldogs and then English bulldogs crossed with terriers.

Interestingly, animal shelters across America today are moving away from trying to identify any dogs by breed because sight identification has proven to be extremely unreliable. Many different combinations of breeds can look like a “pit bull.” Here at The Animal Foundation, we have DNA tested many of our dogs that are lumped into the pitbull category and have found cocker spaniel, boxer, golden retriever, bulldog, German shepherd, Boston terrier, and many other breeds in their heritage. For some dogs, assigning even one main breed is a challenge. Based on the research that exists – it’s been shown that almost 90 percent of shelter dogs visually identified as a breed are not identified accurately – and our own experiences, we no longer try to assign a breed to any dog, unless they come with breed registration papers.

Hopefully, this answers the question, “Is a pitbull a breed?” And the next time you see or read about a dog referred to as a “pit bull” you’ll remember there actually is no such thing as a pit bull or a breed of dog that is a pitbull. Chances are the dog is a “Heinz 57” or one of the several breeds mentioned above

Pit-Bull-Breed-Sophie-Gamond1.jpgMany people are confused about whether a pitbull is a breed or exactly what a “pitbull” is. Pitbulls (or Pit Bulls) are perhaps the most misunderstood and misidentified of all dog breeds and there is a good reason for this – pitbulls aren’t a breed at all!

But it also is often applied to pure-bred dogs, including American Staffordshire terriers, dogo argentino and Staffordshire bull terrier and even boxers, Reaver said. She described times she has been called to rescue a dog believed to be a pit bull that turned out to be something else.

Maryland’s high court might have revised its ruling on pit bulls to apply only to purebreds, but experts and advocates say such a dog doesn’t exist.

Cory Smith, senior director of Pets for Life of the Humane Society of the United States, said DNA testing will never be 100 percent reliable.

The original decision declared the breed and mixes of the breed inherently dangerous and held landlords strictly liable for damages should a pit bull or pit bull-mix attack.

But experts say most dogs commonly referred to as a pit bull are either a mix of other breeds or are pure-bred of a breed often misidentified as a pit bull.

How to know if you have a Real American Pit bull Terrier?

So you think you know what a Pitbull is? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but according to a variety of research, it is very likely that you don’t! The University of Florida found that dog shelter workers, including Veterinarians, commonly mistake a variety of dogs as Pitbull type breeds, which not only is incorrect, but it can have a multitude of devastating consequences for the mislabeled pups. Many of these pups are just random mixed-breed dogs or some type of Pitbull mix.

The term ‘Pitbull’ is not a dog as such but a general label given to a few canine breeds with similar origins, appearance, and temperaments. The four Pitbull type breeds are the American Pitbull Terrier (red and blue nose), the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bully. Despite their vicious reputation and their increased numbers in shelters, they are anything but vicious if they are raised properly.

This guide is going to separate the facts from the fiction about Pitbull dogs. We bet that you will learn something new about Pitbull-type dogs that you did not know before. We have also compiled not only a comparison of the different types of Pitbull dogs but also a full list of myths versus reality below.

Officially, a Pitbull is not actually a dog breed in itself. It’s an umbrella term used for dogs who descend from Bulldogs and Terriers. There are four official breeds of Pitbull dogs. However, often other similar-looking breeds will also be chucked under the Pitbull label, which we will look into further in the next section. The American Pitbull Terrier is the main dog breed that is associated with the term Pitbull. Often when someone is talking about a Pitbull dog, they will more than likely be referring to an American Pitbull Terrier.

Terriers, who are known for their agility and feistiness, and Bulldogs, who are known for their brute strength, were bred together to create the perfect fighting dog. This breed was meant to be tenacious and powerful. Pitbull-type dogs first originated in Great Britain. This is where bear and bull-baiting were popular but cruel blood sports.

In 1835, when the Cruelty to Animals Act was enacted, this sport was thankfully stopped. Unfortunately, the spectators and participants quickly turned their attention to dogfighting events. They were cheaper to organize and easier to drive underground so to hide the events from law enforcement. Not only did these events involve gambling, but they enabled owners to showcase their dog’s gameness and strength. The last dog standing, or fighting, won their owner the prize and reputation of breeding the best dogs around.

This is where the Pitbull type dog’s vicious reputation started. However, on an important note, all fighting dogs were obviously trained to be extremely vicious toward other dogs. But, as soon as a human entered the ring, they were trained not to attack. This is where their love of humans also stems from. Any dog that displayed human aggression was culled.

After the Civil War, British immigrants began to arrive in America with their fighting dogs in tow. It was here that American dogfighters wanted to create an even bigger and more powerful fighting dog breed. This was where the American Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and American Bully were born.

The following four dog breeds are the most widely accepted Pitbull type dogs. However, just to make it slightly more confusing, some breeds are only accepted by certain Kennel Clubs. And some are accepted by all Kennel Clubs. Many people argue that the American Pitbull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier are the only two breeds that are true Pitbull-type dogs. Others say that the American Pitbull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier are, in fact, the same breed of dog.

So, depending on who you ask, you may well get a different answer, but all the information in this article is what is the most common belief or what is commonly accepted by professionals in the canine world.

All Pitbull type dogs share their athletic and muscular look. Some may look more athletic than others. Some dogs are squatter and wider, and some are taller and leaner. You can compare their heights and weights, according to their official breed standard, at the end of this section in the table. All Pitbull type dogs have a square-shaped head, a square fleshy nose, and big almond-shaped eyes.

All of their coats are short and smooth. They all require minimum bathing and brushing. Their tails are long and straight, and their ears tend to be rose-shaped, except, of course, when they have been cropped. Many owners still prefer this and adopt the look.

Pitbull-type dogs come in pretty much any animal color you can think of, except for merle. While there are merle-colored Pitbull type dogs out there, the merle color gene is not naturally found in these breeds. This means another breed with this color gene has been chucked into the mix at some point. Therefore a merle Pitbull-type dog is not 100% of Pitbull origin. This color is not accepted by any breed club, so this is something to think about before paying the extra price tag for this color.

All four dogs tend to share the same temperament, adoring humans and craving their company. They also love to get involved in family fun, whether that be a game of football or a snooze on the sofa. They are very sweet and sensitive souls and are particularly fond of children. This is how they earned their nickname, the nanny dog.

If not socialized adequately as a pup, then they can display fear-aggression against other dogs. But this is the same for a Chihuahua all the way up to a Great Dane. If they are socialized well, they tend to be sociable with other dogs. Their eagerness to please their masters also means that they are a dream to train. If you are consistent in your training, you will find an obedient Pittie sidekick on your hands. Let’s take a closer look at each Pitbull type dog and their specs.

As previously mentioned, this is the most commonly spoken of Pitbull. It’s the one that many think is the original, or the only, Pitbull type dog. This dog is not recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC). He is, however, recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC). It is stated that this breed has maintained its breed type for well over 150 years. Because of this, he is considered to be a purebred dog by the UKC.

Upon arriving in America, ranchers and farmers couldn’t help but notice his athleticism, skill, and obedience. These dogs quickly took employment on many farms and ranches as herders and as hunters. Once his hard day’s work was completed, he became the family companion for his master and his family. The American Pitbull Terrier is one of the tallest of the four breeds. Being taller means that he is a lot more athletic in appearance. For further information on his appearance, the UKC breed standard of the American Pitbull Terrier can be found here.

APBT’s come in a variety of different colors, including brindle, black, white, brown, or a mix of all of them. Along with the label comes additional health conditions and often higher price tags. The American Pitbull Terrier is also often compared to the American Bulldog or compared to the Staffordshire Terrier, even though they are different breeds. They are also sometimes confused with the Dogo Argentino because they look similar.