Types of Pitbull Dog Breeds

Different Types of Pitbull Dog Breeds – All About Them

Are you aware that there are actually four distinct breeds of Pitbulls? Most people who are considering adopting a dog aren’t aware of this information. Continue reading to learn about the four distinct dogs that are frequently confused with one another.

Unlike common belief, not many people have a good idea what a Pitbull is? According to research from the University of Florida, dog shelter workers and veterinarians frequently mistake a number of breeds for the Pitbull type. In fact, on average, shelter workers misidentify the breed of dogs on one in five dogs! A study carried out by Top Dog DNA Services found that shelters are even more likely to get it wrong. According to the findings of this research, they were mistaken about half of the time.

The word “pitbull” does not refer to a specific breed of dog, but it is a generic term used to describe several dog breeds with similar origins, features, and dispositions. The American Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and American Bully are the four Pitbull type breeds. If you’re thinking of adopting a Pitbull, it’s always best to learn all you can about the breed.

This article will dispel the myths from the facts regarding Pitbull dogs. We’re sure you’ll discover new things about Pitbull-type dogs in this post. We’ve also included a comprehensive list of misconceptions versus reality below, as well as a comparison of the many sorts of Pitbull dogs.

Pitbull Dog Breed – An Overview

So, what exactly is a Pitbull? What does this term mean when referring to dogs? The word “pit” doesn’t refer to the dog’s fondness for playing in the dirt or even their love of basking on your favorite armchair. The reason these four breeds are called “pitbulls” is because they have a very distinct and specific origin in the UK. During 19th-Century Britain, dogfighting was a favorite sport in certain social circles.

Being bred for this purpose required special qualities from these fighting dogs, such as tenacity, stamina, and jaw strength. In addition to their fighting ability, these dogs also needed to have an appearance that would intimidate their opponents. Appearance, weight, structure, and disposition were all considered when breeding the dogs for fighting purposes.

This sport was banned in 1835, when the Cruelty to Animals Act was passed. However, spectators and participants quickly looked to dogfighting events instead. They were simpler to hold and drove below the radar, allowing owners to hide the matches from law enforcement. These events weren’t only about gambling; they also allowed dog owners to demonstrate their dogs’ abilities.

This is where the Pitbull breed comes from, and why they are sometimes called “the big game hunters.” Those who bred these dogs did so with the aim of creating a canine that was very strong, agile, and quick. They also had to be able to withstand injuries without yelping in pain or losing their fighting spirit.


The Pitbull’s vicious reputation began with this event. The fighting dogs were clearly trained to be extremely aggressive towards other canines, but not towards humans. This is how their gratitude and love for people developed. Any canine that was known to attack their owners or other humans was not kept for breeding.

On the flip side, Pitbulls are often said to be very friendly and gentle with people–despite their viciousness towards dogs. This is because of how they were conditioned during dogfighting matches. These dogs were required to be affectionate towards their masters in order to avoid being punished. After a fight, a dog would be rewarded by his master and the human members of the audience.

Types of Pitbulls

The most popular Pitbull type dogs are the following four breeds. However, some kinds are only recognized by certain Kennel Clubs to make things a bit more complicated. And others are accepted by all Kennel Clubs. Many people believe that the American Pitbull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier are the only two breeds that truly qualify as Pitbulls.


Pitbulls are sporty and muscular canines. Some dogs may appear to be more active than others. Some dogs are squatter and broader, while others are leaner and taller. At the end of this section in the table, you can compare their heights and weights, according to their official breed standard. All Pitbull type dogs have a square-shaped head and a long muzzle.

The Pitbull’s jaws are the most distinctive part of its appearance. It is difficult to find a dog with larger jaws than these dogs have. A Pitbull’s jaws exert 1200 psi of pressure–which is more than what a Great White shark has. This is an analogy that makes Pitbull-lovers shudder.

Strength and agility

Pitbulls don’t only have strong jaws; they also possess immense strength. Their fast and powerful muscles enable them to run at a speed of 35 mph for a few seconds, jump up high, bite down hard, and shake their heads with a lot of force. These characteristics have been very useful in the past when they were used as hunting dogs or farm dogs.

The Pitbull was bred to attack wild boars. Therefore, their strength and size are factors that may affect how much pressure they can put on their opponents’ bodies when attacking them.

Strength combined with agility shows through the Pitbull’s graceful yet efficient movements while fighting another dog or being forced to fight against a human opponent. Their fighting style is very similar to that of a feline’s, though they may seem to be a bit clumsy at times.

Coat Coloring

Pitbull dogs can come in almost any color you can imagine, with the exception of merle. While there are merle-colored Pitbull type dogs out there, the merle gene is not naturally present in these breeds. As a result, a merle Pitbull dog isn’t 100% purebred. This hue is not recognized by professional and serious dog breeders.


All four Pitbull types have a similar personality: they adore people and desire their company. They also love playing games like football or just any other activity with the family. They are very kind and delicate creatures, and children are particularly dear to them. This is how they acquired their name, the nanny dog.

However, they are also protective. Their natural instinct is to protect their territory and guard it at all costs. If they are obedient, socialized, and raised with firm yet gentle training methods, they will be an amazing addition to any family.

Fear aggression against other dogs may be exhibited by pups that have not been adequately socialized as puppies. However, this is true for all dog breeds. They are more likely to be friendly with other canines if they have been properly socialized. They really like to be in the good books of their masters and will make extra effort to please them, making them a fun breed to train.

While they have a high energy level, they are not overly hyper. They adapt well to an apartment lifestyle so long as they get their daily exercise and playtime in with a human family member. If you leave them alone for too long without exercising them, though, the excess energy may lead to destructive behavior such as barking or chewing.

Their level of intelligence is also very high, making them easy to train. They learn commands quickly if they are given treats when they obey correctly. However, it is important that you don’t reward them when they are exhibiting behaviors you would like to see less often, such as barking or chewing things up–it may actually encourage these behaviors.

Positive Traits

  • Very loyal to their family members, particularly children
  • Very alert and aware of what is going on around them at all times
  • Alerts the family if there is an unknown presence in the vicinity of the house or yard
  • High energy level allows them to play with kids for hours without tiring out
  • With proper training, they are very easy to handle and control
  • They do not pose a major threat to strangers or other dogs
  • If socialized as puppies, they are very friendly toward people of all kinds.
  • If trained correctly, they will be obedient and well-behaved pets.

Negative Traits

It can be difficult to train Pitbulls with harsh methods. This is because they are generally sensitive creatures who do not respond well to harsh treatment. The most important thing you need to remember is that consistency, both in training your Pitbull and enforcing your training techniques on your dog, is key to establishing a solid relationship with your canine. If you enforce the rules consistently, he will learn what behavior is appropriate and acceptable fairly quickly.

A couple of other negative traits worth mentioning should be considered carefully before you decide if this is the right breed for you.

Because of their powerful jaws, it’s necessary to train them never to put their mouths on people or other animals unless they are given permission. If you do not train your Pitbull in this way, they may bite someone out of excitement when they play with them.

Let’s look at the statistics of each Pitbull breed:

  Pitbull Breed Height Weight

American Pitbull Terrier 17-21 inches 30-65 pounds

American Staffordshire 17-19 inches 40-70 pounds

American Bully 13-23 inches 25-60 pounds

Staffordshire Bull Terrier 14-16 inches 25-40 pounds

American Pitbull Terrier

This is the most popular and well-known Pitbull. It’s the one that many people think of as the original or only type of Pitbull dog. The American Kennel Club does not recognize this breed (AKC). He is, however, registered with the United Kennel Club (UKC). It is claimed that this breed has stayed true to its origin as a fighting dog and has not been engineered or ‘tampered’ with in any way.

When cowboys and farmers arrived in America, they were amazed by the skills, athleticism, and obedience of these dogs. They were employed on many farms and ranches as herders and hunters. They doubled up as a loving family companion for his master once he’d finished his day’s hard labor. The American Pitbull Terrier is one of the most affectionate dogs you can find.

Pitbulls are athletic and strong, which means that they require a lot of daily exercises to keep them happy. They have a natural desire to please their owners, so training is usually very easy with this breed. Because the American Pitbull Terrier was bred for loyalty, it often makes him a great family dog. They typically get along well with children and other animals in the family, but you will want to make sure your Pitbull gets enough exercise every day.

What’s most important about buying this breed of dog is that they are not recommended for families with young kids. Because they were bred to fight or hunt large prey, including bulls and bears, it can be difficult to train them not to kill small animals or children. The key is making sure your dog’s natural hunting instincts are being met through daily exercise and walks, but also through interaction with the family.

American Pitbull Terrier is found in several different colors including white, black, brindle, brown, or a mix of all these. This Pitbull type is a little expensive and may have some additional health concerns.

Red Nose American Pitbull Terrier

Well, a red nose Pitbull Terrier will have a red nose. The red nose implies copper or earthy brown coat colors, such as brown, crimson, fawn, or chestnut. His lips are also colored in crimson. While they are somewhat unusual than the general Pitbull Terrier breed, they are extremely similar in every other way. They have similar body shapes and feature a square-like shape. In fact, most people will have trouble distinguishing between the two breeds unless they see them side by side.

The Red Nose American Pitbull Terrier can be just as friendly as their typically colored counterparts with proper training and socialization from the minute they are born. Because of their natural desire to please their owners, they are typically easy to train and have high intelligence. They also have a high prey drive, which means that you must be sure your dog is properly socialized with smaller animals from a young age.

The red nose is the only distinction between this breed and the American Pitbull Terrier. You should not expect to see any differences in temperament between the two.

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. 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. 

Because it is a rare variety, unscrupulous breeders combine genetically similar red noses to increase the probability of their pups having red noses and, as a result, earn more money. This breeding strategy is not considered acceptable since it causes genetic abnormalities and ill health.

If you’re looking for a red-nose American Pitbull Terrier, be sure to acquire it from an ethical breeder who can provide documentation of family heritage and the puppies’ health.

Blue Nose American Pitbull Terrier

The blue nose American Pitbull Terrier is the same as the red nose American Pitbull Terrier, with the exception being that he has a blue nose. His lips, eyes, nose, and toenails will be blue or grey in color, and he will stand out from other black-nosed puppies at an early age compared to his red-nosed brothers and sisters.

The different colored nose (including the red) is caused by low melanin levels, in addition to their smaller gene pool. Melanin is a pigment that gives color and texture to any living thing, including people.

A lack of melanin, which is caused by a recessive color gene, leads to additional health problems and diseases. It’s been linked to the similar skin allergies which other Pitbull types are prone to, eye disorders, heart diseases, and an increased risk of cancer and decreased immune system performance. Thus, it is important to collaborate with your veterinarian, breeder, and other experts to determine the best course of action for this dog.

American Staffordshire Terrier

The American Staffordshire Terrier, often known as the “AmStaff,” is registered with the AKC rather than the UKC. He is ranked as the 85th most popular dog breed out of all 193 species recognized by the AKC. According to research, he is considerably more popular than this, with most owners failing to register them for breeding with the AKC.

The AmStaff is a medium to a large-sized dog that was bred as a cross between bull and terriers. He has a short coat and can come in many colors, including white, brown (solid red), and black and tan (red and black). The American Staffordshire Terrier typically weighs around 54 pounds. He has a broad head and a short muzzle.

Strikingly, the American Staffordshire Terrier has a very similar appearance to that of the Pitbull. The primary difference between them is their origin and self-discipline. While both breeds were created as fighting dogs, this one was first used as a show dog. He’s what you’d call a “well-trained” dog.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the most popular dog in Great Britain, according to some sources, but his popularity in America has not yet caught on. He is licensed by all major Kennel Clubs, including the AKC and UKC. Staffies are regarded as bright, brave, and tenacious. He’s a vivacious guy who is always on the move and ready for everything. His life expectancy is between 12 and 15 years.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has a muscular body and weighs approximately 23 to 24 kilograms (50 – 52 pounds). He’s got a squared-off muzzle and broad head, but will not appear as “blocky” as his cousin the American Pitbull Terrier. Your Staffie’s ears can be cropped, but this is illegal in many countries and frowned upon by the major Kennel Clubs.

American Bully

The lineage of American Bully can be traced back to the American Pitbull Terrier. He has gradually diverged in appearance to the point that he is now recognized as a separate breed. He’s a relatively recent breed, having been established in the 1980s and only recognized by the UKC in 2013. He’s shorter than an American Pitbull Terrier and much more muscled, with an appearance that is often described as “leggy” or “jacked up.”

He has a sleek, athletic build and weighs between 30 to 65 pounds. His head is wider than the AmStaff’s but narrower than the Pitbull’s. The American Bully has very similar physical characteristics to that of the American Staffordshire Terrier.

The most costly American Bully, dubbed White Rhino, was purchased for $250,000. This high price tag is unusual. However, American Bullies are by far the most expensive dogs in the United States. Hulk is the largest known American Bully with a weight of 174 pounds! The English Bulldog and (English) Bull Terrier are actually larger breeds.

Breed Specific Legislation

Pitbulls are all subject to Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). This ranges from nation to nation, as well as state to state, and can include increased liability insurance up to outright prohibition in certain cases. BSL has been found not to be effective, therefore it should be discontinued.

Not only are Pitbull owners confronted with unjust and restrictive legislation, rising insurance rates, and being shut out of home rentals, but they must also cope with society’s daily preconceptions due to lack of awareness and sensationalization by media. This is despite controlled studies suggesting that Pitbull dogs are not disproportionately dangerous.

Many countries have discontinued the regulation of Pitbull breeds and some, such as Portugal, have even gone so far as to declare them a national breed. Experts say that controlling the bully breeds is not only unnecessary but also unethical.

In America, not only have statistics been found to be incorrect in regard to BSL but the number of Pitbulls has increased dramatically over the past decade. However, there is still a strong sentiment against Pitbull breeds found throughout all levels of society and even in the media, despite having been declared “America’s sweetheart breed.”

Myths vs. Reality

Here are the most prevalent misconceptions about Pitbull dogs, as well as what the truth is. There are several false perceptions about the breed, so we’ve compiled a list of the most prevalent rumors versus reality below. Let’s set some of the nasty straight, and look at some of the good.

Myth: Pitbulls are inherently aggressive and mean.

Reality: The majority of Pitbull breeds will never show aggression. In fact, they’re loving and devoted dogs that crave human companionship. They’re very intelligent and typically don’t make good guard dogs due to their gentle personalities.

The American Temperament Test Society (ATTS) conducts a temperament test by putting dog breeds through a series of tests and challenges. In the most recent results (December 2017), out of a sample of 35,686 dogs, the average pass percentage was 83.7%.

The American Pitbull Terrier scored 87.4%, the American Staffordshire Terrier got 85.5%, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier passed at 90.9%. The American Bully temperament test results are not available, so we cannot say that they did not pass. However, the three Pitbull-type dogs surpassed the national average by a wide margin, thus this alone establishes that Pitbull dogs are not at all dangerous.

Myth: Pitbulls have lockjaw and they will not let go of a target until it’s dead or they’re out of energy.

Reality: No, they do not suffer from ‘lockjaw’. There is no such thing as a lockjaw in dogs. All canine skulls are of the same design and purpose, and there is no locking mechanism. Terriers are famous for their persistence and adventurousness, which is why they keep hold of what they have captured. This is why Terriers were bred with Bulldogs in the first place.

Myth: If you own a rescued Pitbull, it will be automatically aggressive.

Reality:  No, not all rescued Pitbulls have been maltreated, and not all mistreated animals are hazardous. Because there are so many Pitbulls, they make up the greatest number of dogs in rescue shelters. As a result, they are also the most frequently euthanized species.

Pitbulls are no different from any other dog in that there will always be a few bad apples. This is due entirely to lack of socialization as a puppy, however, they are exceedingly rare.

Myth: It’s easy to identify a Pitbull breed by just looking at its appearance.

Reality: There are several different Pitbull breeds, but they’re all referred to as American Bullies. Their physical appearance can be very variable with many being extremely mixed breeding that makes their size and appearance indistinguishable. In addition, the term Pitbull is a generic name given to many breeds of terrier.

Myth: Pitbull-type dogs are one of the most dangerous dog breeds to own.

Reality: This is an entirely false statement. Owning a Pitbull will actually reduce your chances of being attacked by another dog. Their loyalty and devotion make them very friendly towards other dogs, children, and adults. Unless specifically trained to be aggressive towards humans, Pitbull breeds are no more dangerous than any breed of dog.


While all Pitbull dogs have a horrific history; without it, they wouldn’t exist. As a result, Pitbull fans all around the world are grateful for it. Keep in mind that these are the most frequent dog breeds seen in shelters, so please consider adoption if you want to bring one of these puppies into your family!

Owning a Pitbull actually makes your life easier. They’re very loving and social dogs that just want to spend time with their owners and family members. It’s actually much more difficult to find another breed dog that loves human companionship as much.

Now that you know what a Pitbull-type dog is and how they are, if you’re searching for a loyal companion that will be by your side forever, look no beyond these gorgeous, lovely dogs!

Mehul D

I’m Dedhia. I’m a computer science engineer from India who lives in Boston, MA. I love dogs and cats, traveling, watching movies and listening to music. I believe it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating well and exercising regularly. I founded the ProactivePetProducts.com website which provides pet owners with information about buying the best products for dogs and cats.