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Dogs/Pit Bulls



I was just wondering what the types of Pit Bulls are (name/body description).

I have seen some that are short & really wide and others that are taller & leaner (like an English vs American Bulldog), when I ask what type of dog they are I am told just Pit Bull.
I have tried to look up different types but can't find an easy to understand answer.



Hi Jessica,

First a little background, "Pit Bull" is a generic term used to describe dogs with similar physical characteristics. Usually a "Pit Bull" is considered one of several breeds including the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier (not a recognized breed by the AKC), the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier (and sometimes the American Bulldog and Dogo Argentino) or any mix of those breeds. Many breeders aren't concerned with maintaining good bloodlines or breed characteristics, which adds to more variants in the gene pool and accounts for the many differences in sizes.

The English Bulldog is not considered to be one of the "pit bull" breeds. At a dog show, the English Bulldog is classified as being in the Non-Sporting Group, whereas the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Staffordshire Terrier are shown with the Terrier group. And just to clarify, the Bull Terrier looks nothing like a "Pit Bull". The American Bulldog is not a breed that's recognized by the American Kennel Club, so there isn't a breed standard for it. The AKC doesn't recognize the "Pit Bull" as a breed.

In the AKC's breed description of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, it says males should stand 14 to 16 inches at the shoulder, and weigh 28 to 38 pounds. Females (of any breed) are usually not quite as tall and weigh a little bit less.
In the AKC's breed description of the American Staffordshire Terrier, it says a male should have a height of about 18 to 19 inches at shoulders, and should weigh between 57 and 67 pounds. These two breeds are the only ones that are sometimes referred to as "Pit Bulls",  that the American Kennel Club recognizes.

If you want to be sure you're getting a true Staffordshire Terrier for example, you'd need to buy from a responsible and reputable dog breeder, and not from a back yard breeder or a pet store. If you're looking for a reputable breeder, here is some info on how to find one:

I hope I helped with this confusing subject.
Best of luck,



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To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.


My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

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