The american pit bull terrier (APBT), better known as pit bull, is a race created in the United States. The International Federation of American Pitbul Terrier (Fiapbt) is governed by the official breed standard of the American Dog Breeder Association (ADBA). This entity is responsible for determining which characteristics are characteristic of this family of dogs.
“An APBT is provided in the head, it must appear two thirds the width of the shoulders, and be 25% wider in the cheeks than in the neck at the base of the skull. The snout it must be straight and square, ”says the regulations. That's how specific the standards are.
Regarding your temperament, the original breeders were looking for a strong dog, but sociable with the human being. They are balanced and playful. They were even considered excellent babysitters. Like every dog, it is noble and very employee that develops properly within the family environment.
They enjoy good Health during their life and have a high level of Energy, so they need a lot exercise. They are very intelligent and can be easily trained by a responsible person.
Alex Endara, president of the Association of Breeders Responsible for American Pitbull Terrier of Ecuador, explains that there are more in the country blends What pure dogs. “After five years of records of these dogs within our database, we have determined that 99% are not pure and that they come from a reproduction illegal and irresponsible. "
In recent years, this race It has been listed as dangerous. In many countries and cities its tenure. This is because they have been used in the fights . For Endara, this happened due to a lack of responsibility in its reproduction.
The APBT "were conceived without any kind of selection, which creates a temperamental instability very dangerous, ”he says. Thus, they can be easily confused with bull terrier, boxer, bulldog, Neapolitan mastiff, American staffordshire terrier, among others.
Origin of the American pit bull terrier
The current pit bull dogs they have their origins in Britain of the nineteenth century, but its history dates back to the time of the Roman Empire. This breed descends from molded fighting dogs, which were originally used for fighting bulls and bears. With the ban on these fights in England, fans of these "sports" began to breed lighter dogs to make them fight each other. It seems that terrier dogs were used, thus achieving greater agility without losing combativeness.
The pit bull was recognized at some time by the American Kennel Club (AKC), but was later removed from his records because that institution did not want the bad press that a fighting race brought with it. Thus, the American moviegoers developed a new breed from the pitbull of that time, the American staffordshire terrier.
There is a misconception, and widespread in modern society, which states that the pit bull is a type of dog and not a dog breed. The truth is that the pit bull is a breed with all the necessary credentials. Not only is it a set of dogs with similar hereditary characteristics, but there is a defined standard for the breed.
The fact that the American Kennel Club and many other canine organizations do not accept to register the pit bull does not mean that it is not a breed. It is simply a breed not recognized by those institutions, but recognized by other institutions such as the United Kennel Club. It is important to keep in mind that the United Kennel Club offers a DNA paternity analysis service, which helps to maintain reliable records on the American Pit Bull Terrier registered in this institution.
Currently, the pit bull is recognized by some cinephile organizations, such as the aforementioned United Kennel Club and the American Dog Breeders Association, but is not recognized by the International Cynological Federation (FCI) or the AKC. However, some FCI affiliated entities recognize the breed, as is the case of the Argentine Cinological Federation.
The breed is currently considered one of the potentially dangerous dog breeds, but it is still one of the most popular in the world. For more details on the history of this magnificent breed you can read about the history of the pitbull dog.
Physical characteristics of the American pit bull terrier
Many people often confuse it with the American Staffordshire Terrier because of its great resemblance. However, we will detail some of the physical characteristics of the American pit bull terrier:
The pit bull's head is long, wide and powerful, but should not be disproportionate to the body. Front view has the shape of an inverted trapezoid, that is, it is like a inverted triangle whose lower end has been cut. The cheeks are bulky and protrude from this imaginary trapeze. The stop is moderately defined, and the eyes have a low location in the skull. The pit bull's eyes can be any color except light blue. The ears are pink or semi-straight, and their insertion is high.
The pit bull's bite is powerful and is one of the characteristics that has fostered some myths about the pit bull breed. One of those myths says that the pit bull dog is unable to release the prey because its jaws are locked in some way. Another myth attributes a pressure of 1600 pounds per square inch to the bite. These absurd myths have helped distort the image of this breed of dogs.
Like the head, the pit bull's body is very striking. Although it is strange for those who do not know this breed, the pit bull's body is not excessively bulky or wide. According to the breed standard accepted by the United Kennel Club (UKC), the pit bull must have a slightly longer than tall body, with a deep chest and should never have a thick or excessively muscular appearance. In fact, the same standard states that the chest should not be wider than deep. All those "canine bodybuilders" do not match the standard pitbull dog.
One of the most pleasant physical characteristics of the pit bull is its short and lustrous fur, which invites caresses even to those who are not very affectionate to dogs. It is certainly very nice to caress the lustrous fur of a pit bull. as long as the dog is clean, of course. All colors are accepted for this breed, except the blackbird (marbled background with solid color patches).
The breed standard does not specify a certain height, but rather prioritizes the harmonic construction of the body. That is why there are pitbull dogs of very heterogeneous sizes. However, the pit bull is a medium-sized dog. The weight should be in proportion to the height, so it is also very variable in this breed. However, the weight of the males is usually between 15.9 and 27.2 kilograms, while the weight of the females is usually between 13.6 and 22.7 kilograms.
American pit bull terrier character
The media and society in general have spread many myths and legends about the character of pitbull dogs. Nowadays most people think that pit bulls are dangerous, unstable and very aggressive dogs. And although that idea may be true for some particular cases, it is not true for race in general. That idea is incorrect, but its supporters try to support it based on the history of the pitbull dog and on data from occasional attacks caused by pitbulls or similar dogs.
The truth is that the pit bull is a dog with a very developed impulse of prey, but he is not a killer by nature. In fact, it tends to be a very sociable dog with the people. In general, this is a dog that, when well socialized, can get along very well with children and adults, and can be an exceptional pet. However, the good character of any dog (including the pit bull) depends on its correct socialization from puppy.
Usually, these dogs are friendly, playful and reliable with people. Either way, you should never leave a small child alone with a pit bull or with any other dog Because that is an invitation to accidents.
According to the statistics of the American Society for the Evaluation of Temperament (ATTS), the pit bull has a more stable temperament than the average dogs. Moreover, in the evaluations carried out by that organization in 2006, the pit bull obtained a better "rating" than races such as the beagle and the golden retriever. Now, even though this breed does not tend to be aggressive with people, there are pitbull dogs that are aggressive. This is due to improper care and irresponsibility of their owners, and can occur with any breed of dogs.
We talk about a very special dog and appreciated by those who enjoy his company. Is enthusiastic, very vital and fun. The pit bull terrier is a very protective dog that assimilates changes and basic behavior orders well. It is an excellent but for those who can spend time and want to receive the affection of a faithful and friendly dog. It is a complacent dog that enjoys performing tasks and although it may not seem like it, it is not a good watchdog because it is usually friendly to strangers.
He has a high level of intelligence and for that reason many owners use him in sports such as canicross, and perform activities with him daily.
The pit bull is usually a excellent dog in dealing with children since he is patient and tolerant, contrary to what many people may think of him. He lets himself be handled and participates in the games quietly. Having a lot of energy is excellent to have a pit bull terrier in a family with children, as both will complement each other and create a very special bond.
As for the treatment of the pit bull terrier with other pets, it will depend directly on the socialization the dog has received since childhood. Being a powerful and strong dog, if we educate him incorrectly we will have real problems in adulthood because he will not know how to relate to smaller dogs and we will observe a real change in behavior outside the home.
The pit bull is not a dog that needs excessive care, it will be enough with brush it a couple of times a week, something you will enjoy very much. In times of hair shedding we will pay special attention and brush more regularly. Daily we will clean the scum and dirt that could have accumulated. With a monthly bath or when it is really dirty it will be enough.
It has a high activity level so the pit bull needs at least two walks a day of 3/4 of an hour at least. Combining the walks with exercise is a good practice to strengthen your muscles and relax inside the home. Its energy levels are high and we must be aware of it once we adopt it.
Being so active and energetic it will also be useful to take care of your mind with intelligence games for dogs, such as the black kong, the most appropriate toy for the pit bull. In addition to developing your mental capacity, we will favor play and fun. The kong is also excellent for treating separation anxiety, a common problem of the pit bull that has shortcomings or mental stimulation.
American pit bull terrier education
It's about a smart dog You will quickly understand what you ask and propose for a harmonious coexistence. It is important to set fixed standards and try to ensure that all household members follow and respect them. We should encourage positive, playful and cheerful behavior with the use of positive reinforcement. Under no circumstances will we let you act aggressively or reward you for it. The pit bull is a strong and powerful dog but remember that it requires a master to understand and guide you towards mental and physical well-being.
As we have commented on the behavior, the pit bull terrier is a dog that needs to be socialized as a puppy, even so, if we have decided to adopt a pit bull we can also work on their education and training, sometimes, by the hand of an expert , will depend on each specific case.
In addition to socialization, the pit bull needs to understand the basic orders of obedience, fundamental to good communication with us and for your safety. Being an intelligent, athletic and active dog, we can take the opportunity to teach activities that combine the orders of obedience and exercise such as agility, a complete physical activity and highly recommended for this breed.
The current pit bull is one of the most versatile breeds that exist in the world, since they are used as police and military dogs, narcotic detecting dogs, therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, for all canine sports and, of course , as excellent pets.
Health of the American pit bull terrier
It is a dog generally healthy although sometimes your skin becomes sensitive. Avoid problems by offering a comfortable and fluffy bed as well as pipettes or collars for total protection against parasites.
This is one of the dog breeds most resistant to disease, but that is not why you should neglect their health. In addition to keeping your dog's vaccines up to date, you have to pay attention to possible heart problems, contagious skin diseases (scabies, eczema, fungus), internal and external parasites, etc. Of course, the most important thing to maintain the health of your pit bull is to be done a regular veterinary review and that you follow the advice of the professional.
The constant discrimination of the pit bull terrier has reached limits that associations and protectors reject jointly:
- Australia prohibits the importation of the pit bull and forces all existing specimens in the country to be castrated in an attempt to slowly eliminate the population.
- In Malta it is illegal to have a pit bull and in case of possession the responsible person will be judged and the pet will be sacrificed.
- In Venezuela they need to be registered and must remain in captive conditions, an inhuman practice.
- Spain, Colombia and Chile consider the pit bull terrier a Potentially Dangerous Dog (PPP) and its tenure is to obtain a license, civil liability insurance for said pet as well as the use of muzzle and leash in public spaces.
There are associations in defense and equality of pit bull terrier around the world, it is important to know that it is not a dangerous breed, but that the bite of this dog can be dangerous if the owner or master educates him for it.
Are pit bulls intrinsically dangerous? Is their nature bite or is this breed misunderstood due to the way in which some of them have been trained?
It is one of the most heated debates in the psychological issues regarding the nature of dogs. The American Pit Bull Terrier is a defined breed in the United States although its origins are British. They were used as a fighting dog until the ban in 1976 and currently in some countries it is considered a potentially dangerous breed (PPP).
What many people do not know is that not long ago he received the nickname "nanny dogs."
As ASPCA points out, pitbulls were "cons> UKC also notes that pitbulls" have always stood out for their love of children, "but they are not" the best choice for a watchdog since they are extremely friendly, even with strangers. "
What happened to his fame?
The ignorance of some owners and their poor upbringing, together with a bad public> According to the United Kennel Club, at some point in the 19th century, European breeders began to cross several terriers with bulldogs in search of a breed that had the enthusiasm of the former and the resistance of the latter.
Failures in hatcheries and pit bull owners lead to poorly socialized and potentially aggressive dogs. Will these types of owners be responsible for a statistically excessive portion of attacks on humans?
The real facts
According to the American Veterinary Medicine Association, "Controlled studies have not identified this racial group as disproportionately dangerous." The American Society for Temperance Assessment (ATTS) puts thousands of dogs to the test every year.
Dogs undergo nervousness, aggressiveness and their ability to differentiate between threatening and non-threatening humans. How did the pit bulls? They showed a higher than average temperament, with 86 percent getting the grade. Pitbulls are the second most tolerant breed pstolen by ATTS, after only golden retreivers.
We really can not prevent the drool from falling to see the relationship that all hairy in general and children have. We leave you some of the most loving relationships here.
Characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier
- Height at the cross: 38 to 48 cm in males and 35 to 45 cm in females
- Weight: between 15 and 28 kg in males and between 14 and 23 kg in females
- Cap: any color
- Fur: thick, short and shiny
- Average life: about thirteen years
- Character: brave, loyal and energetic
- Relationship with children: good
- Relationship with other dogs: can be a fight
- Aptitudes: companion dog and formerly fighting dog
- Space needs: jogging garden
- Food of the American Pit Bull Terrier: about 380 g of complete dry food
- Arrangement: regular brushes
- Maintenance cost: moderate
Given all that has been said, there is no doubt that this question should have come to mind for the average reader. Because the Pit bull? Why would a normal person and in his right mind want a Pit bull? After all, we have admitted that this breed is, in essence, a fighting dog, right? We have admitted that this breed shows very frequently aggressiveness towards other dogs, and that many Pit bulls They can show aggressiveness towards people. We have seen how many countries around the world do not allow ownership of Pit bulls to its citizens. In some areas of the world, the Pit bull It may be legally held, but the owner must carry an insurance policy to protect him in case a neighbor is injured.
Any race may be subject to the type of "racial" discrimination that the Pit bull suffer today. Some time ago it was the Dobermann who had this reputation in the United States. For some time it was poor San Bernardo! After all, even the English Bulldog is a dog of purely fighting origins, but nowhere in the world is it proposed that Bulldogs be outlawed. Within a while, the hysteria generated by the media around the Pit bull It will pass and it will be another race that will focus the attention of the media. Irresponsible owners looking for a race that makes an impression will divert their attention to any other race and then we will wonder why there was a time when we thought the little one Pit bull It was an inherently dangerous dog. Anyway, until that time comes we should discuss about a few very positive qualities of this breed.
After all, the Pit bull He is an incredibly faithful dog. The race becomes very close to its human family and will not accept others unless it perceives that they are welcome at home as if they were part of the family. As an extension of this attribute, it can also be a very powerful and protective dog, although small and manageable, and can be very useful in the right hands and with responsible ownership. Anyway, unlike many very loyal dogs, the Pit bull You can accept the changes. If there is the unfortunate situation that a family has to give up their Pit bull, the dog will be delivered to its new owner over time. In the same way, a Pit bull "Second-hand" may be an option you might consider, particularly if you know its former owners and their lifestyle.
The versatility of the breed
We have accepted, without any room for doubt, the fact that the Pit bull As a breed he is the most expert fighting dog that has ever existed. We also know the usefulness of Pit bull as a capture dog (grazing).
Guardianship and personal protection are other areas in which the Pit bull frequently stands out. The Pit bull He is generally a guardian of the house and a very useful personal protection dog, first of all because he is a very faithful and determined breed. It is not a dog that automatically protects any space it is occupying or any person who is holding it with the leash. Instead, it is a race that he will frequently defend due to a sense of fidelity to his family and his property.
The best home for a Pit Bull
Before getting into the question of where to buy your puppy, we should consider the aspect of which human homes are most suitable for the breed Pit bull. It is too common today for race book authors to present their race as the ideal for every home. This is not true in any case and neither is it true in the case of Pit bull. The Pit bull It is an ideal dog for an adult family with older children (aged 14 or over) and for someone who is at home most of the time. The size of the house is not so important: it can be large, with a fenced garden, or small. It can even be a flat in the city. The important thing is that someone is frequently at home and that someone wants to take the dog for long walks regularly. This describes the best possible situation for the Pit bull.
On the contrary, the worst situation for a Pit bull It is one in which the dog is raised by a young person who, when the dog is an adult, is too busy to devote much time to his dog. It is even worse if that young person has children when the dog is already grown and these children end up spending time with a dog that does not associate with them as if they were true family members. This is the reason why many of the disasters we read in sensational journals occur.
Not too long ago, news emerged in all the local newspapers of a city in the United States. The story explained that a Pit bull He had seriously killed and mutilated "for no apparent reason" the body of a young child with whom he lived. The dog was euthanized immediately by local authorities and the community began to request a total ban on the ownership of Pit bulls in the city.
The dog was examined to confirm what breed it was and, unfortunately, it was a Pit bull without a doubt, but the authorities wondered about the circumstances of death, and the details are as follows. You decide what or who is to blame for the child's death.
A single woman who lived alone in an urban area had a baby. The boy's father lived in his own apartment with his Pit bull male. The man was a drug dealer. The dog was six years old and had not lived with anyone but this man. The dog had been fully and professionally trained for the attack when he was young and from time to time he had been given refresher lessons.
When the woman's baby was three months old, the father decided to move in with her and the child. She was so happy that the baby's father came to live with them that she decided they should go out to celebrate. They had no babysitter for the three-month-old baby, but the man assured the mother that they could be sure that the dog would protect the house and the baby in his absence. Anyway, they were only going to be away for a few hours.
The man brought the dog to the woman's house and there, the dog met the boy for the first time. He was locked in the apartment with the boy and the couple left them alone. The neighbors said that less than half an hour after the couple left the apartment, they began to hear the baby cry heavily. Shortly after they stopped crying and grunted. The boy was never seen alive again and the dog was euthanized the next day. The owner of the dog swore that the dog had never behaved so unpredictably and irrationally. After all, the dog had lived with him, and if someone was in a position to assess the dog's temperament, that someone should have been him. Besides, he said, the dog had been trained!
Would any breed of dog be suitable for the situation just described? Could that particular dog be blamed for killing the child? Should the race Pit bull be held responsible in a situation like this? Is this race a problem, or does this race suffer today from the problem of irresponsible and frankly stupid property? Well, now this has to be decided by you.
In any case this was probably the worst possible environment in which you could find yourself living a Pit bull. Again, the best possible environment is with an adult family whose children are older. Another good situation for a Pit bull It is an adult couple without children or a retired adult who needs company.
The suitability of the owner
Be the perfect owner of a Pit bull It involves understanding your dog and adjusting to certain needs of the breed, but it also involves selecting this breed because it fits into your lifestyle. For example, if you have another dog and you know that your dogs are going to be unattended for a few hours a day, maybe the Pit bull Don't be the right breed for you. After all, the fights between his Pit bull and other dogs with which they can meet on the street, can be easily discouraged. Leave two dogs on a regular basis for hours, when one of them is a Pit bull, maybe it's asking this breed too much. We must understand that, despite everything, the Pit bull It's a fighting dog.
If you are a person with a job or "the other half" of a couple with a job, and want a pet that they can leave alone all day and virtually every day, any dog of any breed will not be your right pet. There will be other times in your life to have a dog, but this would not be the right time.
Even if you are a person who simply hates taking a walk on a regular basis, the Pit bull It may be the wrong breed for you. There are other races that can live in such an environment. You would do yourself a favor and do it to Pit bull if he chose one of these other races instead.
If you are this person, the Pit bull It may be a better choice among purebred dogs than what you would have thought at first.
Race-specific health considerations
The Pit bull It is usually a healthy breed, and the closer the dog is to a line of work, the healthier it will be. However, it can be affected by any of the diseases of the dog breed. A situation that deserves special mention here is hip dysplasia and its relationship with the Pit bull of work. While there is no doubt that this is a serious condition for many breeds and that the selection of a puppy should, in general, include questions about the condition of the hips of breeding animals, in some cases, the concern may be exaggerated In the case of Pit bulls At work, this is usually the case.
Shortly after the United Kennel Club got involved in organizing beauty pageants for Pit bulls inscribed in his book of origins of his Pit bulls, the breeders of Pit bulls Exposure began to examine their animals to rule out hip dysplasia. A cry of alarm spread throughout the United States, because most of the Pit bulls that were being examined turned out to be very dysplastic. None of these dysplastic dogs showed any external evidence of suffering this evil, and all the breeding animals from which these dogs descended had been hard-working, long-lived and super-athletic fighting dogs.
There is a difference between what we call "real" dysplasia and "theoretical" dysplasia. If you are going to choose your puppy from among working animals of proven quality, raised thinking a lot about the fight and long life, the questions about medical evidence that the hips are well formed are not as imperative as they could be in others races, especially those larger.
Variations in the breed
Earlier, we began discussing the first divergence in the type between the Pit bull in his way of working, as he was represented by those dogs inscribed in the book of origins of the United Kennel Club and in the American Dog Breeders Association, and the type of the breed in its form of exhibition for beauty exhibitions, such and how they are represented by dogs registered as American Staffordshire Terriers in the American Kennel Club's book of origins. This divergence in type is common among dogs enrolled in different canine organizations for display in beauty exhibitions, but which continue to be used in field work, such as hunting dogs such as the Labrador Retriever or the English Setter. Rarely, dogs that succeed in beauty exhibitions, also succeed as field or work dogs, especially in the United States, where work capacity does not affect the fact that a dog is a champion. On the other hand, in the United Kingdom, work and hunting breeds, for example, must be classified in field trials before being considered full champions.
In the case of Pit bull, the situation has become even more complicated in recent years. Today we can see at least three forms of race type Pit bull y estas tres formas pueden ser etiquetadas como tipo de trabajo, el tipo de exposición para los perros de belleza y el tipo para perros mascota «criada en casa». Aunque hay que decir que esta situación no es exclusiva de los Pit Bull, pues cualquier raza, excepto tal vez los toys, puede ser utilizada para trabajo, para exposición o meramente como perro de compañía.
El tipo de trabajo (pelea) del Pit Bull tiende a ser más pequeño, con los huesos más finos, y son perros más de tipo terrier. Temperamentalmente, estos perros tienden a ser agresivos hacia otros perros, pero no hacia las personas. De hecho, hace años, el Pit Bull criado para la pelea tenía la reputación de ser una de las razas más inútiles para el trabajo de protección, ya que se mostraban poco dispuestos para mostrar agresión hacia las personas.
El tipo del Pit Bull de perros para las exposiciones de belleza, tiende a ser mayor, con los huesos más fuertes, con pechos más anchos y con la cabeza más grande. El temperamento de estos perros tiende a ser menos agresivo hacia otros perros y no muestran mucha agresividad hacia las personas.
El perro «criado en casa» tiende a ser mayor que el perro de trabajo. No es un animal de aspecto refinado. No está criado para resistir mucho en las peleas de perros prolongadas y no es criado para ganar exposiciones de belleza. Generalmente es criado para ser atractivo en el mercado de perros de aspecto «macho». En cuanto al temperamento, estos perros tienden a ser más agresivos hacia las personas y frecuentemente son también aparentemente más agresivos hacia otros animales. Después de todo, aquellos que quieren un perro de aspecto «macho» querrán adquirir en el mercado un perro que amenace a los otros. Aquellos que ven un mercado en vender Pit Bulls a estas personas, tienden a seleccionar para conseguir esta cualidad.
Al seleccionar un Pit Bull para su casa, quizá es más importante que en el caso e cualquier otra raza, hacer su trabajo cuidadosamente. El perro criado para la pelea quizá no sea tan mala elección como mascota como podría usted haber pensado. El perro de exposición es, generalmente, una buena mascota, pero el perro «criado en casa» es el que ha dado lugar a los problemas respecto de esta raza que hemos podido ver en estos últimos años.
Debemos reflexionar sobre esta última afirmación. Lo cierto es que para evitar problemas, deben tomarse medidas precautorias adecuadas, pues se suele olvidar las imprevisibles reacciones que puede tener un animal, por más que en el trato diario sea de lo más fiel y cariñoso.
Es un perro que debe ser manejado con precauciones. Teniendo lo anterior en cuenta, el Pit Bull será un excelente compañero en el hogar.
Si deseas saber más sobre el American Pit Bull Terrier te recomendamos la publicación de la editorial Hispano Europea Pit Bull Terrier Serie Excellence:
Más información sobre el American Pit Bull Terrier