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Types Of Pitbull Dog Breeds: Differences, Appearances, & Traits

What if we told you there are actually four different dog breeds that fit under the Pitbull dog umbrella? Most potential dog owners aren't aware of this fact. Read on to learn about the four different canines that are all often classified as the same dog.

Emma Braby Picture

Last Updated: March 8, 2024 | 13 min read

Grey Pitbull on yellow background

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.

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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.

Defining Pitbulls

Defining the Pitbull Breed
Pitbulls are a type of dog breed descended from bulldogs and terriers.

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.

Different Types Of Pitbulls

Different Pitbull Type Dogs
There are several different classifications of dogs that people refer to as “Pitbulls.”

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.

Coat Coloring

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.

American Pitbull Terrier

  • Height 17-21 Inches
  • Weight 30-65 Pounds

American Staffordshire

  • Height 17-19 Inches
  • Weight 40-70 Pounds

American Pitbull Terrier

American Pitbull Terrier
The American Pitbull Terrier is the dog most people commonly refer to as the “Pitbull.”

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.

Red Nose American Pitbull Terrier

Rednose Pitbull Terrier
The Red nose Pitbull is a variation of the American Pitbull Terrier.

A red nose American Pitbull Terrier will have exactly that, a red nose. With the red nose comes copper or earthy brown coat colors, such as brown, red, fawn, or chestnut. His lips, eyes, and toenails are also red in color. While they are certainly rarer than the typical American Pitbull Terrier, they are exactly the same in every other way. They do have a few additional health concerns linked to the recessive gene, which are discussed further below.

Because he is rarer in color, many unethical breeders breed genetically close red noses in order to increase the chances of their puppies also being red noses, thus generating more money. This breeding practice is frowned upon because it leads to genetic defects and poor health.

If you are seeking a red nose American Pitbull Terrier be sure to work with an ethical breeder who can prove family lineage and the health of the pups. Just because they often sell for a few thousand dollars does not mean that they have been bred correctly or well looked after. Make sure to do your own due diligence!

Blue Nose American Pitbull Terrier

Pitbull Terrier Outdoors
Pitbulls with this coat color are another type of American Pitbull Terrier.

A blue nose American Pitbull Terrier is the same as the red nose American Pitbull Terrier, except he has a blue nose. His nose, lips, eyes, and toenails will be blue or grey in color, and he will be easily identifiable from a young age compared to the traditional black nose. Similar to other breeds, having a rarer coloring can come with a higher price tag, so be sure to work with a reputable breeder.

In addition to the inbreeding concerns, given their smaller gene pool, the different color nose (including the red) is a result of low melanin levels. This is the pigment responsible for coloring in any living system, including us humans.

A deficiency in melanin, which is a result of the recessive color gene, also creates additional health issues and diseases. It has been linked to skin allergies (which Pitbull-type dogs are already prone to), heart diseases, eye conditions, an increase in the chance of cancer, and decreased immune system functionality. Which is all the more reason to work with a reputable breeder!

American Staffordshire Terrier

Amstaff Dog
The American Staffordshire Terrier is a very popular breed in the United States.

The American Staffordshire Terrier, commonly shortened to the name ‘AmStaff,’ is recognized by the AKC and not the UKC. He is ranked as the 85th most popular dog breed out of 193 breeds. Research suggests that he is much more popular than this, with most owners not registering them for breeding or conformation purposes. He has long been one of America’s favorite dogs. Not only has he been the sidekick of three American Presidents, but he was also America’s most decorated war dog.

The American Staffordshire has long been a family companion. His sweet nature has won the hearts of millions, not just in America but across the world. Despite his formidable exterior, he is known to be one of the sweetest dogs around, who not only loves his family very much but also everybody that he comes into contact. For this reason, he does not make the greatest of natural guard dogs. The AmStaff is sometimes confused for the American Pitbull Terrier.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terriers originated in the UK and remain popular today.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is thought to be the most popular dog in Great Britain, yet being the 80th most popular breed in America, his popularity has not quite caught on over here. He is recognized by all major Kennel Clubs, including the AKC and UKC. Staffies are described as clever, brave, and tenacious. He’s an affectionate dog who has a real love for life!

He is the smallest of Pitbull type dogs too, sometimes by 7 inches in height. The biggest Staffordshire Bull Terriers are around the same weight as the smaller dogs amongst the other dogs. Being smaller, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a great choice for those who love Pitbull-type dogs but have less room for the stockier versions. Further detailed information on his breed standard can be found here.

American Bully

American Bully
The American Bully is much stockier and wider than other dogs on this list.

The American Bully is a descendant of the American Pitbull Terrier. Over time, he has become so distinct in appearance that he is now considered to be his own breed altogether. He is a relatively new breed that was developed in the 1980s and only recognized by the UKC in 2013. He is shorter than the American Pitbull Terrier and much wider than any of the breeds here in this article. These pups can be so wide that it often looks like their muscles have muscles! The American Bully is a larger pitbull-type dog and has specific nutrition requirements.

He is recognized by the UKC and not the AKC. The American Bully Kennel Club also recognizes him, and they recognize him in four distinct sizes: Pocket, Standard, Classic, and XL (see sizes in the below table). The Classic American Bully is much narrower and less muscular than the other 3 sizes. Many people also believe that Micro and XXL American Bullies exist and sell them as such, but these sizes are not officially recognized.

The most expensive American Bully, named White Rhino, was purchased for $250,000, and this exorbitant price tag is very rare. But American Bullies can be by far the most expensive dogs in America. The biggest American Bully on record is Hulk, who weighs a humongous 174 pounds! The American Bully is also often compared to the American Bulldog, English Bulldog, and (English) Bull Terrier.

Breed Specific Legislation

Pitbull-type dogs are all subject to Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). This varies from country to country and state to state, all of which can, for example, enforce increased liability insurance all the way up to outright banning. Much research suggests that BSL is not effective and, as such, should be withdrawn.

Not only do owners have to deal with unfair and restrictive laws, increases in insurance costs, and being excluded from home rentals, but they also have to deal with day-to-day prejudices from society thanks to a lack of education and the sensationalist media. This is despite controlled studies suggesting that Pitbull type dogs are not disproportionately dangerous.

While this subject needs an article in its own right, it is something that you need to take into consideration if you are thinking about welcoming a Pitbull-type dog into your home. It’s something that you must research thoroughly. For further information regarding local laws, this page lists the states that prohibit the regulation of certain dog breeds by local government.

Pitbull Myths vs. Pitbull Reality

Here we are going to look at the common myths versus the reality surrounding Pitbull-type dogs.  There are many different misconceptions when it comes to the breed, so we compiled a list of the most commonly discussed myths versus the reality below.  Let us dispel some of the bad and take a look at some of the good.

Myth: All Pitbull-type dogs are inherently dangerous.

Reality: No, not all Pitbull type dogs are dangerous. The American Temperament Test Society (ATTS) puts dog breeds through a series of tests and challenges to test their temperament. Out of 35,686 dogs tested in the latest results (December 2017), the average pass rate was 83.7%.

The American Pitbull Terrier passed at 87.4%. Then, the American Staffordshire Terrier passed at 85.5%, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier passed at 90.9%. The American Bully temperament test results are not available (which does not mean they failed). However, the three Pitbull-type dogs passed well above the average score, so this alone supports the case that Pitbull dogs are not inherently dangerous.

Myth: Pitbull dogs are inherently aggressive.

Reality: Pitbulls are not inherently aggressive. This is a huge misconception. For starters, all dogs are unique, and dogs of any breed can be aggressive. Pitbulls are not born aggressive or mean. They can be some of the most loving, smart dogs around. Unfortunately. some people breed and raise these dogs to be aggressive, but the breed is not naturally that way.

Myth: Pitbull-type dogs have ‘lockjaw,’ which makes them more dangerous.

Reality: No, they do not have a ‘lockjaw.’ There is no such thing as a lockjaw. All canine skulls are of the same design and have the same functions, and there is no locking function. Terriers are known for their tenacity and gameness, which is why when they get a grip on their prey, they keep hold of it. This is the very reason why Terriers were originally selected to be bred with Bulldogs.

Myth: You should not rescue a Pitbull dog because they were abused.

Reality: No, not all Pitbulls have been mistreated, and not all mistreated dogs are dangerous. There are simply so many Pitbulls that they make up the highest proportion of dogs in rescue shelters. Consequently, they are the population that is euthanized the most too.

Equally, not all mistreated dogs are dangerous. Being a Pitbull type dog rescue mom whose dog was badly beaten and given drugs during the first year of his life, he was later used as the ‘tester dog’ in rescue kennels to profile other dogs and their sociability, simply because he is so friendly. Pitbulls are the same as any other dog, and there will always be a few dangerous pups. This entirely comes down to poor socialization as a puppy, but they are few and far between.

Myth: Do Pitbull-type dogs really smile?

Reality: While science suggests that dogs cannot smile if you ask any Pitbull-type mom or dad, you will get a resounding yes from them. And if you don’t believe them, then check out Lady Shortcake’s Instagram page. She is one of the most smiley dogs, or “velvet hippo,” as her mom calls her, to grace the planet!

Myth: Pitbulls have the strongest bite of any canine breed.

Reality: Pitbulls do not have the strongest bite force of any breed. In fact, bite damage has more to do with the individual dog than with the breed. However, just to be clear, Rottweilers, Akitas, English Mastiffs, Tosa Inu, Cane Corso, and Kangal all have a stronger bite force than the Bully breeds.

Frequently Asked

Are the American Bulldog and Pitbull the same breed?

No, the American Bulldog is not a Pitbull, though they have several similarities. The breeds have a similar history as they both are descendants of the Old English Bulldog. The most common breed referred to as Pitbulls are the American Pitbull Terrier, which is a cross of the American Bulldog and a terrier. This means Pitbulls are considered terriers, while American Bulldogs are part of the Molosser group. The term Pitbull also often refers to the American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. When one says Pitbull, they are referring to the terrier breeds, whereas the term Bulldog refers explicitly to the American Bulldog.

How long do Pitbulls live?

The estimated lifespan of a Pitbull is between 8 to 16 years.

Final Thoughts

While all Pitbull-type dogs have an undeniably grisly past, without it, they most likely wouldn’t exist. So, Pitbull lovers across the world are somewhat thankful for it. Remember that they are all the most commonly found dog breeds in rescue shelters. If you are thinking about welcoming one of these pups into your home, then please consider adoption!

Despite their past, they are some of the sweetest canine souls around. They absolutely love humans more than anything. All they need is a warm home and a master who will invest time in training and exercising them. So now you are equipped with the knowledge about what a Pitbull type dog is and who they are, and if you are after a loyal canine who will be forever at your side, then look no further than these adorable, sweet dogs!

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  1. I have an American staffy and my staffy is like a son. He is the sweetest most loving animal I have ever owned. I removed him from an abusive situation. When I got him he did not know what a toy was and he did not know how to play. Anything I held in my hand he would run from because he thought I was going to hurt him with it. Now he plays with toys and acts like a dog. He also follows me EVERYWHERE I go. Even though he was abused he is not aggressive towards people at all. I can not recommend a better dog.

  2. I would like to know what kind of pit I have.She is gray with a little white on her chest.she has a beautiful face with high çheech bones. She weights 50 pounds. She’s about7 months old. And toe nails are half clear and half gray.she growing more that each day go by.the only picture that I found that came close to her was an Irish pit.with such a face.

  3. Jody Beth Mangino

    I have blue nose with pink nails & she weighs 79lbs, 9yrs young, still loves yo run, play, clown & extremely intuitive sensitive & communication very inteliigient( animals do t speak for reason, communicate energy, vibes, facial, body expression, tone of voice – very copacetic calm peaceful atmosphere preferred by mu jujubee & me..)
    Friend has pitty looking 4yr young that I’ve seen pics of called buckskin or something w buck in name..light tan fawn main color with white chest & common continuation cup to lower muzzle with thin white between eyes that have mask dog, large ears & 1 is floppy? Any ideas?
    Think my jujubee descended from americsn staffordshire terrier & pit bulldog lineage..dont believe other in mix..maybe mastiff long down the line.. she is often mistaken for m as ke because size she not the UK Staffordshire, too big..but seems closer to am. Staff. Terrier & bulldog terrier mix..wish could send doing DNA test for result of lineage, fascinated by any all creatures..but this girl came by chance of foster from homeless mama human, who did her best care but dumped dog often in negligent human back yards where pecking pack order established by abused, neglected dogs who fought over any little amount food water came their girl as result, often buries special treats I think as memory of survival tactic to eat when eyes away..she also does not like visiting others homes for long, wants to leave soon, even when having fun playing with visiting homes similar pitty type dog..shes also older and possible worn out..
    Tried well researched doggy day care 4 short 2 hour visit & just extreme distressed..2 days when said showed favorite object: leash collar or said bye bye ride? She ran & hid..obvious reaction & abandonmen bad sad frightening now leave on dog made music or dog of solfeggio tunes from spotify..also listen at home when together, notice difference in us both! Looking for at home work job as long hours alone distressing, can tell, she won’t eat despite vet clean bill of says depression is real in dogs, & thuswant healthy longest life possible..thought about introducingdlightly younger dog for companion as know would be good thing as I dont spend $$ on much more rhsnn logistic necessities & very much on my best girl, at any cost..Caesar Milan dog whisperer would scold harshly my behavior..maybe..thank you for reading, if able or time permits to my story..jody Mangino phx, AZ

  4. Thank you for this great introduction. Had a family member move in with a 4 year old dog of which I did bot know the breed. Now we do, thanks. We are now watching on line support for training obedience.

  5. Aiden Lyninger

    What is the most aggressive looking pitbull, because I want one that looks aggressive and is medium sized and looks very muscular good at protecting and that would be my best friend I know i already want a cane corso and i was looking at breeds and i am between 6 of them American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, Dogo Argentino, and Rottweiler cause i have had pitbulls as a kid i had 2 and they looked like the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the American Pit Bull Terrier

    1. If still looking, be cautious of American bulldog.
      I loved my American, but had many health issues. Allergies, hip displatia and ear infections. Majority of owners I crossed paths with had many of these health problems, including one allergic to grass.
      They are very lovey, great with kids, but need a lot of continued socialization as they become very protective of their people and homes.

  6. This may be a stupid question but i am searching for a pitbull puppy BUT i am not fond of the “beefcake” look. If i were to get a puppy whose parents are very very muscular, is the puppy going to grow to be like that even if i dont do crazy beefing up exercises with the pup?

  7. I’ve only ever had pitbull dogs. i love them more than any dog I’ve ever seen. their loyalty is beyond compare. i had my beloved pit named BANK stolen. this broke my heart more than anyone will ever know but my boyfriend saw the loss in my eyes daily and got me a new pup. now i feel my heart beat again. i honestly believe bank is with me helping bring my new love into my family, so I’m very excited to be able to have a pitbull again

  8. High-risk dog breeds are often unaddressed in media stories after serious and fatal dog attacks. The scenario entails bringing a child into the home of a friend or relative who owns a pit bull or rottweiler. The reverse scenario — one of these dog breeds temporarily staying at the child’s home — is just as dangerous. Three factors are at stake in these cases: 1. High-risk dog breed, 2. “new” or “temporary” situations, and 3) children.

    On, they cannot underscore the volume of serious dog attacks, some of which are fatal, that occur when a child is visiting or temporarily living at the home of a pit bull or rottweiler owner (See: Drué Parker, Ka’Vay Louis-Calderon and Olivia Floyd ). Under no circumstances should a person agree to “watch” or harbor a friend or relative’s dangerous dog breed if there are children in the home or may be visiting the home either. Children are disproportionally victims in these attacks.

  9. These dogs should be banned. 3 cases in the news in the past two months of children who were mauled and killed by the family “pet.” Random Pit Bull aggression is NOT a myth. One of my friends just had his little boy torn up by one of these beasts. Brutus won’t be “your sweet baby” anymore when he’s tearing into your face meat. Get over your delusion.

    1. The two most deadly dog breeds in America: pit bull terriers and rottweilers. Research from shows that during the 15-year period from 2005 to 2019, canines killed 521 Americans. Pit bulls and rottweilers accounted for 76% (397) of these deaths.
      This is a 52% increase since the government’s last study in this area, which stated two decades ago, “there appears to be a breed-specific problem with fatalities.” – Breeds of Dogs Involved in Fatal Human Attacks in the United States Between 1979 and 1998
      It is important to point out that since 2005, pit bulls and their mixes have inflicted fatal dog attacks at over 7 times the rate as rottweilers. It is well documented by experts and humane groups that pit bulls pose a substantial danger due to their selective breeding for dogfighting. Unlike other dog breeds, pit bulls frequently fail to communicate intention prior to an attack (surprise attacks); possess a lethal bite style (hold and shake) and a ruinous, strategic manner of attack (gameness)

    2. Small minded people are always speaking but never actually saying anything. Uncle Bob you take the time to speak out. Never realizes you’ve said nothing to nobody. All that have read your thought/opinion literally has forgotten everything about you even your name when they think about there uncle Bob every day.
      I know your small mind wont alow you to understand. You are already speaking. Wish their wasn’t so many with absolutely nothing enlightening to offer. Uncle Bob please enough with your small mind chatter.

  10. I have had my pit for 3 years now, and he is so gentle I registered him as a service dog and everyone loves how gentle he is and he loves going everywhere with me. It’s the people who raise their dogs to be mean not the breed of dog.

  11. Tater bug was rescued from a crack house in the hood from people who only fed him “ when they could afford it” .After thousands of dollars in heart worm treatment and some much needed nutrition, he is by far the best most loving dog i have ever had. He still has a “ cat problem “. We speculate that the previous owners used stray cats to fuel his aggression. These breeds receive a bad reputation often caused by people who no business owning any breed of dog. You have to remember, no dog comes out of their mother that way, someone makes them that way. The bully breeds are the only dog I will ever own. They are loving, dedicated and loyal when raised and treated right.

  12. Today is 2 months that Bella Blue has been gone. I’ve had many dogs from wiemers to mini pins and loved them all. But this has been the hardest goodbye. We went to a local shelter with the intent of adopting a older dog because I didn’t want to do the puppy thing again, but puppy just melted our hearts. We took her everywhere and she loved everyone and everyone loved her. At a dog friendly restaurant (the only kind we went to) the staff approached us and said they took a vote and she was their favorite.She instinctively bowed when she saw a child wanting them to approach her. we joked that in her previous life she must have been a Wal-Mart greeter because she was on a mission to say hi to everyone.

    Bella was misdiagnosed with ligament damage when she came up limp. 7 months, 4 vets, 1 surgeon, 2 PRP shots and hydrotherapy it was determined she had bone cancer. She never stopped wagging her tail.

    Life has been pretty empty since she’s been gone. My husband wants to get another dog but I’m just not ready because I’m still mourning her. These dogs will touch your heart like no other.

  13. My pit bull – not sure if pure bred or mix – was a rescue when she was almost a year old. She was bought from someone on the side of the highway with a sign that said, “dog for sale”, and taken to a rescue shelter. While there, she was extremely withdrawn with PTSD like symptoms and would whimper and whine while the other dogs barked, and had to be isolated to keep her emotionally stable. From the few scars on her sides and back, I believe someone tried to train her to be a fighter and she “failed”. She definitely needed to be rescued from whatever she had gone through as a puppy.
    This is where I came in – or rather, my daughter – who discovered her and her unstable emotional state. I went to visit, foster and finally, adopt her. This shelter has strict rules about fostering for a week before applying for adoption. When I took her home, she only slept and would not eat for the first 24 hours. Even then, I had to start her on rice with chicken broth. Once she started eating and getting a daily routine, she started to accept her new surroundings and realize she had come to her new “forever home”.
    After a few months, she came out of her shell and started to show her playfulness and sense of humor. She will play with other dogs if she is introduced to them with their masters. Otherwise, she is scared of them and will whimper and whine. She has never shown any kind of aggressiveness at all, other than wanting to chase a squirrel or rabbit. She loves all humans and her tail never stops wagging.
    When she came to us, she weighed 60 pounds and her ribs were showing. Now she is a stout 75 pounds and loves attention and loving.
    Molly is a lover, not a fighter. I rescued her and she rescued me.

  14. Vetgen Pharmaceuticals

    Emma its a wonderful article. There are four breeds that are classified as pit bull type dogs by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and United Kennel Club (UKC), the largest registry of purebred dogs in America and abroad.

  15. Stephanie Cannella

    Great article, I have a blog called pit Bull dog mom. Anyway my tik tok has gotten a couple comments that my dog isn’t a pitbull. They are pitbull and bully mixes. But I explained their a pitbull type dog, basically in the same family of dog. Do you think I’m wrong for naming my dogs pitbull type dogs? They’re not pure bred American pit Bull terriers, but they’re under the pitbull term right ? Thanks! Now I’m second guessing myself and what iv called my dogs.

  16. This is a very well researched and well written article. I am in complete agreement with the author: both boxers and pitbulls are some of the sweetest dogs for families. Pits have such a bad rap, and it really annoys me when I hear people say they would never have a pit since they are so dangerous! They have only heard this through word of mouth. Sure any dog can be trained to be mean! What a shame to do this to a potentially loving pooch!
    Both breeds have almost no shedding and they always have a short, clean and shiny coat. They love water so if muddy just give them a good spray off.
    We are currently looking for another boxer to give our 3.5 year old boxer girl some company. And we will have twice the love!

  17. Terri Samples

    I rescued a four year old pitbull he’s the most wonderful dog but he’s a big baby I’m not an aggressive bone in his body believe me they’re wonderful nothing nothing to fear

  18. Thank you this information package. I am trying to decide, at age 70, on a companion dog for returning to my hunter/gatherer ancestors lifestyle in the 2022 world. I will live and travel light and I want a dog that has substance, yet not too large. Without question it will need to be durable.
    I have long reminded people that leaving the word terrier out of the name is not only disrespectful of the breed, it is also a good way too forget how intelligent these dogs are.
    As a good friend, a rather small young lady, once told me, the only thing you need to remember about any of the pitbull genre is that you have to be the alpha in the relationship. But the alpha in any pack, no matter how small, operates at all times for the good of the pack. Now I understand that there are other important things to know as well, but without the will to establish that, one should look to some lesser breed of dog.

    1. Karen Ziegelmeyer-Butler

      Excellent Comment & so very true.
      Best of Luck for your search for your new companion. However, don’t fret, they’ll find YOU❣️

    2. Christin Sarah Russell

      It’s been my experience with Pitt Bulls, and Pitt Mixes to always
      pick your battles. Usually, follow their lead, when out for on a walk.
      Be ready to have your arm yanked if you don’t let go when they
      see a rabbit, or squirrel. Click training, whistle, and changing up
      language with commands has proved somewhat effective. Travel
      the world; meh… they have less hair then the usual Golden, one
      sees in the airport. Best wishes on your adventures.

  19. Christina Rosado

    We recently rescued an adorable Pitt. He is brown and white and has a red and brown nose with amber eyes. He behaves better than my beagles. Lol

  20. This helped me somewhat, but I simply hope she stays as sweet as she us now.
    My Baby has blue eyes an a goldfish tan nose. She has pretty small feet.
    She is chestnut light golden color.
    Thank you,

  21. Last summer, my husband and I had to euthanize our approximately 12 yr old Amstaff/Boxer mix named Gunny. We had adopted him as an adult from the local shelter and were devastated at the loss. He’d been my buddy, my protector and my comforter. He was smart, calm and friendly, very protective yet didn’t have a mean bone in his body. He loved us, his walks, his dog park trips, and especially his food! The whole neighborhood loved him. We cried for weeks. Gradually however, we began searching online shelter posts because we needed another dog to love. After much frustration, and when we least expected it, we came across Bambi, a 3 year old rescue from N. Carolina who had been neglected. She ended up in Maryland at a wonderful private shelter and we were interested, so we drove to meet her. The moment she saw us, she went up to my husband, stood on her hind legs and laid her paws and head on his chest! Then she did the same to me, only it included a bunch of lovely, sloppy kisses. We were hooked! A few days later we brought her home and she adapted to our schedule and lifestyle in a matter of days. Our vet gave her the full go-over, treated her for heartworm (which the shelter knew about and paid for) and told us she’s not a pure Pitbull but a Pitbull/Mastiff mix. She’s 80-some pounds and quite large, so this doesn’t surprise us. She’s a very fast learner, looks you straight in the eye when you talk to her and loves nothing better than to snuggle between us on the couch. She’s what I call an “aggressive cuddler”. She can’t get enough of people, she ADORES them. She’s very good on the leash, but if she sees a person coming her way it’s, “Oh boy! another person to hug and kiss!!” Because of her size and weight, I always tell people that she may stand up to hug and kiss them. We’re very careful because she could unintentionally knock down a smaller or older person. For people who want to greet her but not get a face washing, I have them lift a knee into her belly; she gets it and stops. Dog lovers are thrilled to let her do it so it’s tricky to train her otherwise, but we’re getting there. With small children however, she sits quietly and lets them pet and hug her. It’s enough to make a person’s heart melt. We take her everywhere possible to keep her socialized because she’s an excellent ambassador for bully breeds.
    She is THE MOST loving, sweet-natured, loyal and beautiful dog. She thrives on affection and anyone can hug her around the neck, pull on her big floppy ears, rub your nose on hers (you get lots of kisses for this) and her tail wags and windmills like crazy. She’s a brindle with grey, medium brown, and beige. She has a huge head, slightly droopy jowls (the mastiff in her), a face like a Staffie Bull Terrier, with adorable round gold eyes, like the fat teardrop shape of the SBT, long legs, big feet, and a big chest. She’s funny, playful, always gets zoomies after she poops, and plays tug-of-war with a playful growl and a whirlybird tail. She knows if I’m sad or upset and comes to comfort me. She’s my shadow and follows me everywhere. She gives my husband and me equal shares of spontaneous hugs and kisses. The mastiff in her makes her a couch potato at times, but she’s always up for a romp, a game of tug-of-war, or a walk.
    We will always remember and love our Gunny, but Bambi has filled our hearts with love and eased the pain. We could not love her more and will cherish her for life. It’s rather sad that so many people misunderstand the nature of Pitbulls. Are there some bad ones? Yes, of course; there are poorly trained and poorly socialized dogs of every breed – labs, pointers, collies, beagles, shepherds, and bully breeds, you name it. However, not so many breeds have the same natural affinity for people. And no dog is perfect, but a well trained and well socialized Pittie (or Staffie or English Bulldog, or Boston Terrier or Cane Corso, or American Blue Bully, etc.) makes a wonderful family member and pet, the same as with other breeds. They are simply wonderful companions.

  22. Great article and I hope it changes minds from the frenzy of the media.

    The only “trick” with a pit type of dog is that they are active dogs and need daily walks, play time with you and good socialization, All terriers do, even Jack Russel Terriers!

    My dogs, both boys, Cosmo Morningstar and Hatcher Nightblade lets all pile into my king size bed and watch movies and get some really good sleep! Just ask my husband and kids LMAO!

  23. amber patterson

    My mother and I rescued two pocket pit bulls when they were 10 weeks old. Bella and Lucy are the most adorable and lovable pets that I know of. They both love to snuggle up on the couch or at the foot of the bed. They are also the best guard dogs, they have alerted us on several occasions when something or someone is lurking around the house.

  24. I’ve always had a love for pit bulls not all pits are bad it’s only the owners who treat them like that alright anyways God bless everyone who comes across this comment ✝️

  25. You are totally wrong about pitbullls smiling mines smiles I like crazy wen you buy her a new toy or ask her iff she’s a bad girl whish I could send pictures

  26. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. It is an informative and honest depiction of the breeds. I better understand the differences and appreciate the similarities between the breeds. Thank you so much.

  27. I love my pitbull, Daisy Blu Girl is her name. She’s very smart, strong, loyal, she loves people and is very athletic. She is by far the best dog I’ve ever had. I got her when she was not quite two years old from a friend who has 4 other pitbulls and he had rescued her from the environment she was in. Anyway they all ended up with me while he was in the process of moving and he told me i could keep her if i wanted. Well i took her and bought her a collar and she’s been by my side ever since. I actually think she picked me. Everywhere we go people compliment on how beautiful she is and friendly she’s doing her part to dispel the myth that all pitbulls are mean and aggressive and can’t be trusted. If you’re looking for a highly intelligent dog that’s strong, loyal, loves people and is a faithful companion you should consider a well bred pitbull there are no finer dogs that i know of.

  28. I love these dogs and I will take good care of them and be there for them at anytime and I have 4 on my own and they are well trained and cared of.If any dogs are up for adoption I will take them in a have all of them and never leave them behind and always be there for them and never let them go.From the time they grow up until the day they die they are my one main love in the world.I love blue pitbulls with all my heart.

  29. Thank you so much for this information, I’m going to share it with ALL my family as ever since my neighbours Pitbull adopted me and my son lol they won’t visit…. Some of them have these little hand bag dogs and think that my Hugo will kill them… Now I know things can go wrong, I’d never leave him with any other dog, child or person tbh unless ‘I’ knew that ‘their’ dog or child knows how to treat my baby!
    Almost 12 months ago I was exactly the same as my fam, thought all pits were out to kill… but that day Hugo came bouncing into our home, with his amazing smile, teeth on show too lol my whole world changed. My heart melted! He showed us respect and love from that moment ♥️ He lives with us now, my neighbour just moved away..and he’s a happy and healthy almost 7yr old. To be totally honest I’m not entirely sure what type he is, he’s a light golden colour, he has got a red nose and Amber eyes. Now when something around him isn’t OK for him, and he’s uneasy his whole face chances shape, it drops and he looks like an old man, and his bottom jaw shakes and his teeth kinda chatter, then his eyes turn red but hes not angry it’s like he’s scared and anxious, but it’s nothing a bit cuddle can’t sort out lol does anyone know why this happens? Is something around him unsettling him?

    I wouldn’t be without my big lump of lard ever! He owns our hearts ❤️❤️

  30. It saddens and maddens me to see Pitbull hate groups that are keeping the myths, misconceptions, and societal beliefs alive. The truth is so hard to get through these impassable webs that will not accept facts about the Pitbull breeds. Shelters are filled to capacity with these innocent victims of ignorance, laws based on no truths, and restrictions beyond belief. It is up to Pitbull groups, societies, and the veterinarian societies to spread the real facts and truths to get people to understand how all these animals are deserving of love, proper care and a home for life, anywhere an owner deems to live. The real dangerous, vicious, and banned should be the human, who excites by harming and training an innocent life to become as vicious and dangerous as he.
    A focus on catching, prosecuting, and incarcerating these criminals, is what is needed more so today than ever before, not using the victim as the problems laws are designed against. Education as usual is the answer.

  31. For over 2 years, I’ve been volunteering at the Kansas Humane Society. I had the same perception that a lot of people have that “pits were violent”. Working with these loving, friendly, smart dogs has completely changed my mind. Animals are like people. There are nice people and mean people. There are nice pets and mean pets. This isn’t breed specific! A month ago, I fell in love with a pit. She is amazing with other people and ok with my corgi. Now with my 2 cats…Any advice on how to integrate my pit Mollee with the two cats would be super.

    1. Apiffany Gaither Billings

      Congrats on Mollee! One of the most important things when introducing your dog to your cats is to keep your dog leashed during the introduction. Continue with this type of introduction until the dog is and remains calm and ignores the cat, and the cat is calm and is eating and using the litter box normally.

  32. I read your article as part of convalescing from abdominal surgery and my Pitbull (I think American Bully) is in her usual position pressed against me on the sofa.

    I have had dogs in my life before, and I like big dogs, and I will only welcome Pitttys into my life after getting our girl from a rescue. She is impetuous but totally trainable and loves knowing she is a “good girl”. She is the most affectionate dog and always is part of the family activities.

    She holds heart space in our family and always is ready to comfort anyone who is upset.

    She is the BEST dog I have ever known and we are so lucky to have her!!

  33. Phillip Rodriguez

    I’ve owned two pit bulls so far and not only are they loyal, loving dogs, they’re also very smart. The only thing I hate is I can’t find a place to live at if I put down that they’re a pit bull breed. So I have to not list it and hope I don’t get kick out after they see my dog.

    1. Hi Phillip! sorry to hear of your struggles, but it’s all too common these days unfortunately with these pups! Best of luck to you!

  34. My landlord says my Pittie is aggressive so I had the SAFER test done and he didn’t score above a two on anything towards aggressive behavior. He’s a great dog, but I am afraid I will lose my apartment if I don’t find him a new home. My heart is completely broken.

    1. I’m very sorry to hear that, Missy. Please make sure to check local rescue groups and on social media. You should find a rescue that’s willing to take your pup if you can’t find a way to get your landlord to accept your dog. Usually, when this happens, it’s because of breed-specific legislation or problems with your landlord’s insurance company not willing to insure the property. Good luck to you, and hope you can find a solution that allows you to keep your pup.

      1. My first pitbull is also my last pitbull. I called him Thor. He is blue nose, awesome in every way with my daughters, and I could NOT ask for in a dog that is so much more. We live in a place where people don’t listen with carrying a dog on a leash. My daughters were chased by a dog two weeks ago on different occasions. This weekend Thor had his first litter visiting. And they were threatened by a different dog. He does not forget and does not forgive. He becomes something else and made a way to to get to them. They are no more.

    2. My roommate and I had the same issue with both of our pitties. The only way we could find a solution that didn’t require moving or re-homing our dogs was to have them registered (and properly trained) as ESA dogs. It was a little pricey and took time but it was the only solution we found that let us keep our house and our dogs. Hope this helps some.

  35. Cindy Drafahl

    Loved the article. My son has a red nose pit. She is about 10 weeks old, and a real charm to be around. Thank you for all the information.

  36. Just found out my blue nose rescue is actually an American Bully. She is the best thing that’s ever happened to our family. I used to be terrified of dogs… no more! Now, I seek them out – especially bully breeds. Simply the best!

  37. Growing up we had a few different breeds of dogs from an English Bulldog to a Rottweiler and out of all of them, my American Pitbull was my favorite and was the most loving and loyal dog I’ve ever had. When I got her as a pup and named her Pettie because she looked like the Pitbull from the Little Rascals.

    She went just about everywhere with me and she was my best friend. It’s funny you mentioned so about them smiling because every day when I would get home from work she would have the biggest smile with her tail going 90 mph around in circles. I didn’t know what to think the first time she did it because I had never seen a dog do that before and usually when a dog gnarls their teeth it means something totally different.

    I had her for 5 years and sadly had to give her up to a new home because I was about to be homeless and didn’t have any other choice except to move across the country to live with family and couldn’t take her with me. Luckily she went to a close family friend where she is loved just as much as she was with me.

    She fit right in and lived out the rest of her life with them for another 8 years until she had to be put to sleep because she was suffering from complications from breast cancer. I still miss her every day and want to hopefully get another one someday.

    1. Hi Danny! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and share your experience with the breed. Sounds like you’ve had some amazing pups and that your APBT was an excellent companion! Sorry to hear she’s passed, but it sounds like she led a great life. Hopefully, you find one soon when the time is right. Good luck!

  38. I lost my pit mix a couple of years ago. His name was Loco. That was his personality. I didn’t look for another dog. I waited till one needed me. He’s a full pitty. He was dumped out in the country when his owners lost their home. The people that picked him up didn’t want to bring him to the shelter because of the high kill of pits.

    His new name is King Yatra. King cause he deserves it & is treated as such. Yatra is the last name of my fav singer. It means a peaceful journey. He deserves that too. Despite his past, he’s well too friendly! Listens well, learning new commands. He’s only around 2 so he still gets excited. But all around a great cuddle puppy!

    1. Sounds like an amazing dog, Cathy! Thank you for stopping by to share your experience with the breed!

  39. Richard Sitek

    I have been involved with pits since a boy and involved in every aspect of the breed hands on myself! This is an excellent article. Both accurate and thorough. It’s a shame how ignorance has hurt the breed and more importantly how the animals have suffered!

  40. I’ve owned two Pitbulls and they were the most loving and loyal dogs. They grew up around a lot of children and would have never harmed them. We recently adopted a Mastibull (Mastiff/American Bully) and he was weighing in at 30lbs when he was 17 weeks. He’s going to be a BIG boy and I have total faith that he will love and protect our nieces, nephews, and grandchildren whenever he’s with them. They are a completely misunderstood breed and to know one is to love them all!

  41. Jessica Bolinger

    I own a white male pitbull and he happens to be deaf. He is the most loving dog I have ever had. He absolutely loves being right next to me and my husband, or on us…lol. My husband rescued him 4 years ago from a man that used him purely for breeding because he is quite large. The man kept him on a short chain leash in a fenced-in backyard where he also kept the females and puppies.

    But they had free range of the backyard and had a heated dog house for the winter and air conditioning for the summer. He didn’t even have a regular dog house for the dog we rescued and have now. He didn’t even know he was deaf…that’s how little attention he gave the dog.

    But you wouldn’t know he was neglected emotionally now because he loves, loves, loves people. He looks mean and scary and people cross the street when I’m walking him because he looks so mean. But he is a giant softy love bug and would never hurt anyone.

    1. Sounds like an amazing dog, Jessica! Thank you for stopping by to comment and share your experience!

  42. My pitbull ‘Pella’ is the smartest, sweetest, and most in tune with people’s moods and emotions that she has become my service dog. She has not one mean in her body and is just like a human with her mannerisms and personality. She senses when someone is upset, having a bad day, or just sick.

    She goes to them to lay her head on them or put her paws on their shoulders and gives them a big hug till they are better. She is truly the best dog and the best thing to happen to me and pray that she outlives me. She is my world.

  43. I hate that the “breed” as a whole has such a bad rep. All because of a few bad owners. I have met some wonderful Pittie babies, where I live some landlords discriminate against the, homeowners insurance either will not cover or prices go through the roof. I truly wish the police would rescue Pit’s & train them to be police dogs.

    1. Hi Shelley! We agree, so much of it is nurture over nature. While dogs do carry some inherent behavioral traits, how they have been treated plays an integral part of how they behave as adults. Thanks for stopping by to comment!

  44. My Pit is so friendly. He loves kids, people, and other dogs. He has been well socialized and everyone seems to love him and wants to take him home with them. He has been called Scooby-Doo because he is so puppy-like and goofy. He turned 1 this past Dec. 25th. I highly recommend a Pit. What they say about them in the article is so true.

    1. Hi Lisa! Thanks for taking the time to comment and share your experience with the breed. Sounds like you have an amazing dog!

  45. I love this article!! It is so true! My 3 pitties are littermates and are so sweet gentle and loving. They love people & most especially my nieces and nephews. We need more education spread throughout society about these love bugs! Thank you!

  46. We adopted a Staffy when our son was 2, not knowing anything about the breed. What a great girl she was. She died at 12 years suddenly. Our 2 other Pugs used to boss her around and she took it in stride. Still miss her terribly. Thank you for this great explanation!

  47. Gabrielle Skarda

    I have an APBT that’s a cinnamon color, with lime green eyes. She’s as goofy as goofy can get. Always kisses hugs and smiles with teeth to greet people. Unfortunately, all of those strangers think she’s ready to attack…lol.

  48. Hi there! Thank you for this article. We have an American Pitbull Terrier (Anoush) and she is the most loving dog. She gets along splendidly with our other two dogs and adores everyone. But she screams, like holy howling screams where people run to the front door because they think someone is being attacked, every time she sees another dog. He tail is wagging the entire time she is screaming, but no one notices her wagging tail because they can’t get past her blood-curdling screams.

    Has anyone else experienced this trait in their bully? We have a pronged training collar for walks (has no effect on her screaming), we tried a muzzle (she ate it, and the leash it was attached to for good measure), we tried using treats to adjust her behavior but nothing interrupts her repertoire once she is warmed up. Please tell me that others have experienced this and can gift us a few nuggets of wisdom on how to handle this before we are singularly responsible for a dramatic drop in property values!

    1. Hi Rene! Dog reactivity is common in all breeds, not just bully breeds. It starts with de-sensitizing them to the presence of other dogs. Typically as long as your pup isn’t aggressive, it would be wise to work with another dog that’s not dog-reactive, and do slow intros.

      Get your pup used to another dog being around, walking near each other while on-leash (usually across the street, or in close proximity) while rewarding her with a high-value treat anytime the other dog comes around. This will help create a positive association when seeing other dogs.

      I would also recommend looking at hiring a professional dog trainer/dog behavioralist that has experience working with reactive dogs. They will be likely to identify when the triggers happen, and work with you side by side to help resolve the issue. Good luck!

  49. I have my 3 pitbull now. I had to give my first one away due to my stepdad when I was 14. He was my buddy. But I made sure he had a wonderful home and was loved until he left this world. My second pitbull was Stormie. I had her for 5 years before she escaped from the house and she was hit and killed by a large truck. She has been gone for a little over a year and it left me devastated.

    A friend came to see me a little more than 2 weeks ago and brought me my Maya as a surprise. I didn’t think I was ready for another dog at the time. Maya hasn’t replaced Stormie in my heart but she has helped to heal my broken heart. I don’t know what I would do without her now. My boyfriend wasn’t raised with dogs in the house much less in the bed. But after he dozes off she snuggles right up to him. I think she’s growing on him…lol.

    I’ve had other breeds, I have a Chorkie now. But if you asked me my favorite breed it would be a Pitbull. Stormie was a service dog for me without the training. I suffer from PTSD for 2 different reasons, anxiety, depression, and a long list of others. I think, or I should say Maya will become an important part of my family and my service dog to help me when times get hard. I can’t see myself without a Pitbull in my future. Wouldn’t trade them for anything.

    1. Hi Natalie! Thank you for sharing your story, and I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had PTSD and other struggles. But I’m glad that you now have Maya in your life and hopefully she can live up to Stormie’s reputation. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and share your experience with our readers. It’s very appreciated!

  50. Hi. My daughter has the most lovable Pitbull which she was the 6th “owner” (but first mommy) to in the first 7 months of her life. My daughter is wanting to move in with her boyfriend who lives in a town with a pit bull ban. My question is, are there any foundations that can help with trying to convince the town to drop their ban? She ABSOLUTELY will not leave Sophie behind and is very torn between her baby and her boyfriend. ANY information is very appreciated.

    1. Hi There Pittie Granny! The primary organization I know of that’s centered around Pittie activism is the American Pitbull Foundation. I would check in there and see if they have any resources.

  51. Hello, I enjoyed the information about Pitbulls. They are a breed of their own. You are absolutely right that if they are treated with kindness, they give kindness right back. Bad owners are the ones that have given this breed a bad name because of the way they treat them and train them.

    I have a Pitbull and she’s four months old. I’ve never had one of my own. I have a son that has four of them he loves them. They have not been taught to fight he’s very good to them and he loves them dearly. But as I said, this is a first for me. She’s different than any other dog I’ve ever owned. She’s very affectionate and she loves to play. But she’s also not listening very well and I’m having a little bit of trouble with that. I know it’ll all come together one day and she’ll be just fine for both of us. I just thought I’d let you know that she’s a beauty!

    1. Sounds like an amazing dog, Jean! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and share your story! Give it time with training, these pups learn through repetition and will eventually come around if you are consistent. Good luck!

  52. Good article on Pitbulls. Definitely a misunderstood breed. They are so loving to others. But they are not for owners who don’t have time to be good parents. Mine adore children and are great ‘nana’ dogs. And are with us all of the time.

    I even take them to work with me. They are very socialized and enjoy being around people. My heart would be just as broken as Dougs if something ever happens to them. And ‘yes’ they do smile all the time.

    1. Hi Liz! Thanks for the comment. We totally agree – every dog has its own individual personality, and it sounds like yours do too. Thanks for sharing!

  53. My son recently acquired a Pitbull puppy. She’s the first puppy we’ve ever had. I enjoy her so much. She’s very happy and friendly, she was very welcoming to me when I came home after being gone for 2 months. She sleeps with me, watches over me, and plays with me.

    I can’t take her outside right now due to an injury but I can’t wait. Although by then she’ll be home with her dad, my son. She’ll be greatly missed but won’t miss her messes. New respect for dog owners and caregivers now I have been around one more frequently!

    1. Hi Joy! Thanks for stopping by to comment on the site. I’m glad you are enjoying pup-sitting, and perhaps when all said and done, you’ll want one of your own!

  54. Thank you so much for this very helpful article. I just acquired myself a 10-week-old Pitbull. He is hands down the sweetest, most intelligent puppy I have ever owned. Also thank you for dispelling the myths, as I once believed these and was a pit bull hater. I have since been convinced otherwise and am now a proud owner. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Cathy! Sounds like an amazing pup, and we are so glad to help dispel the myths around these fantastic pups! Good luck with your new addition!

  55. Have very much enjoyed reading this site, with lots of smiles. I currently have the most beautiful AmStaff waiting for his forever person and home. He was removed from a back yard, been in care for a year and a half. They had been trying to rehome him, which was a totally wrong call then.

    We took over his care now and are hopeful the right person will come. He’s around 50kgs and is liver and white. He has a beautiful smile and lots of love within!

    1. Thanks for stopping by to comment Bev! Good luck with placing your rescue dog. People underestimate how sweet these pups can be!

  56. My Max/Maxie is an American Staffordshire Terrier. She swims better than a fish and is very easy to train. She takes commands like a trained police dog. I swear she is a four-legged human. She listens to my phone calls, so often I have to spell things to keep her from knowing what I am talking about. A police officer told me she’d make an excellent rescue dog, that I was fortunate to own her. She actually chose me.

    I rescued her from an animal care center where there were about 30 snarling pits. She was just sitting there waiting for someone to adopt her. I never planned to adopt her because of the reputation of her kind. But let me tell you I was so wrong. She absolutely loves people. She constantly tries to please me and follows me from room to room so close that she always seems to walk on the back of my shoes. When she does something wrong I don’t yell at her.

    Believe it or not, I get down to her level and tell her bad girl and what I expect from her to correct that behavior. She turns her head because she does not want to look at me when she is being scolded. If she happens to be in her bed when she is being admonished she buries her face so that her eyes can’t be seen in the folds of her bed. I want to laugh but I can’t because that will negate my displeasure with her actions.

    People always ask “is she friendly or can they pet her” because she is so beautiful. I always answer yes because I want everyone to know that these dogs don’t deserve the bad reputation that has plagued them. I love my Maxie and she loves me. She loves belly rubs and wants to play all day. I am so thankful that she owns me.

    1. Sounds like an amazing dog June! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment! We agree – these pups all deserve warm and loving homes!

  57. My blue nose pit got into a fight with a Catahoula hound. The hound is food aggressive. The hound gave our girl a rough time. It’s been a week, she’s still on the mend. During this time she’s had a bandage on her leg. She has licked the bandage until it came off and promptly ate all the fabric.

    Our Pit has not shown any signs of gastric issues. What do I need to do for her to pass the material? It was gauze and a self-adhesive wrap.

    1. Hi Bonnie! I’d recommend calling your vet. We have a few articles on the site that talk about what happens when your pup eats certain foreign objects. The first step is always to call your vet. If there are no signs of obstruction and the bandage was small, your vet will likely tell you to let it pass and monitor your dog’s stool. My advice is to call your vet right away and have that discussion with them. Good luck!

  58. I rescued Nina after someone tossed her out of their truck she was only 3 months old. You could see her bones and she was covered in fleas. The first thing we did was give her water and you could see her stomach blowing up like a balloon, my brother said we should stop giving her water or we could make it worse( she burped and her stomach shrunk).

    She is such a happy puppy and full of energy and personality. How can I find what mix she is?

    1. Hi Veronica! Sounds like Nina is a lucky pup! My suggestion would be to do a doggy DNA test. We’ve done them twice now, and used Embark. The results are spot on. Good luck with your pup!

  59. I have owned Pitbulls for over 25 years. Most have been mistreated and were rescues as fighting dogs. I had a tendency to buy them whenever I can to give them a better chance of life. Despite some being skittish from not being socialized and in fights, I’ve worked with them for a little bit before I would introduce them to the family or any other pets. I always waited until I felt the dog and I was both comfortable and he wasn’t showing any aggression.

    I’ve worked and rehabilitated over 40 Pitbulls, some of which are a part of my family now. The others are being loved by the fortunate family’s that they were united with. Every dog despite not being loved by its owners and abused was still so full of love and affection. They are definitely the easiest most loyal dogs I’ve ever had the pleasure of welcoming to my family. My wife’s Chihuahua? That’s another story, lol.

    1. Thanks for all your work Joseph! We agree and love the bully breeds! Thank you for giving these pups a second chance at life, and good luck with your next rehabilitation pups!

  60. Doug I can sympathize with your pain. I had to put my loving girl down 2 weeks ago. She did alot teaching me about the breed. It might be over the top but I have found some comfort in having her portrait tattooed on my shoulder so she will always have my back! I hope things get easier for you.

  61. Working as both a kennel technician and veterinary nurse assistant, theese breeds are very often the absolute sweetest dogs. I’ve rarely seen one have to be muzzled for medical treatment, and I’ve found they are generally great on a leash when boarding.

    We do playtimes with them as well and nearly all of them are enthusiastic snugglers. Despite their strength, I tend to trust them more than some other dogs when they re-grip during tug-of-war. I’ve never had one bite me (whether on purpose or accidentally), but I’ve had a couple of incidents with other breeds.

    Believe it or not, the most bite-prone dog I ever had to work with was a big black lab. He was simply overly playful and very poorly trained. Made a couple of us bleed.

    1. Thanks for stopping by to comment Kiara! We appreciate you sharing your story! Many people don’t realize how sweet these lovable canines can be. Thanks again for sharing!

  62. To Doug: I just lost my Pittie Entourage two days ago and I understand the hole in one’s heart the loss of a beloved pet creates. She was an absolute angel. What brought me to this post was wanting to learn exactly what breed my baby was so that I can look forward to my next angel. They will never be replaced, but look how much love you have to give! I hope you consider adopting again.

  63. Hi there! Thank you for this info. Sometimes I feel my pitbull mix is aggressive with me, but I can’t tell the difference because she’s 6 months old and likes to jump and bite me a lot. Even when I tell her to stop.

    1. Hi Matthew! Pitbull pups are notoriously full of energy. Just keep correcting the behavior firmly, and reward the behavior that you want her to display. She will come around if you are patient and consistent! Good luck!

  64. Brenda McKinney

    This is for Doug who is mourning the loss of his beloved dog. I am a mental health counselor by trade and also an animal lover. We lost our Emma suddenly by suspected aneurysm. Still devastated we started looking at local shelters. Nothing will ever replace her but filling that void in your home and in your heart will help you through your grief much sooner while providing a loving home for someone who needs you and unfortunately may consequently be euthanized due to over crowded shelters and dog pounds. Best of luck and I am so sorry for your loss. Godspeed.

  65. Zina L Arredondo

    I have two one full pitbull, and the other pit/boxer. They are my therapy boys without training to be one they are. I have borderline personality disorder, anxiety, depression, mood disorder, and PTSD. They are the best help anyone could ever have. I also have a Chihuahua/Jack Russell mix. They are teaching him how to take care of mommy ( me ). Wouldn’t trade them for all the money in the ? and would give my life up for theirs. So people get your facts straight before you say they are dangerous. PLEASE!!

    1. Hi Zina, thanks for the comment! We agree with you – every dog is different! Sounds like you have some sweet pups!

  66. What kind of pit is in the very first picture on the article? The tan one with white on its nose and gold eyes? My pit/curr mix looks very, very similar and I wondered if there was a coloring reference word for the look or a certain way to describe it? Just out of curiosity.

    1. Hi Heather, this is considered a Red-Nosed pitbull. The white is not preferred by many Red Nose purists, but that’s what she is. Hope this helps!

  67. Cristina Figueroa

    Doug, Sorry to hear bout your baby, I know how much we love them and the love they give back unconditionally. My husband is 63, Raine and he are the best of friends, to the point that I have to sleep on the couch sometime cause she takes over our bed, but that’s OK. I wouldn’t have it any other way. We love her very much and can’t bear to think one day we will have to say good-bye. Hang in there!!!

  68. Cristina Figueroa

    Thank You for explaining the Pitbull, I have a blue nose and she is the best girl I have ever had. She plays with my grandkids and is a lazy girl. Raine loves to cuddle, have her belly rubbed, and going out no matter where she is going. Oh and she loves to give free hugs! I would never regret having Raine nor any other PitBull, they are the best nannies!

  69. I just lost my red nose to cancer April 30th. She was a rescue dog that I really didn’t want but couldn’t leave her. And I only had for about nine years, she is without a doubt the best thing that ever happened to me. She had so much love in her and always had my back and I hers. We were so close if we had to be apart even for only a couple of hours both of us would have anxiety really bad.

    I’m sorry for being such a baby I’m a basket case still just hoping writing a little bit about her will help me, but also let others no don’t believe the bad things you hear about pits. I’m 63 years old and had a dog most of my life and loved them all but got over their passing. But it’s been the worst two and a half months of my life without her. Sorry, again I’m just trying to cope. I miss her so much.

    1. Hi Doug – I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of your pup! They always leave big holes in our hearts when they go. I’ll be praying for healing and that you find a new pup sometime soon! Take care, and I hope that the memory of your sweet girl gets easier as time goes on.

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