The history of the American Pitt Bull Terrier goes back to the Middle Ages when similar dogs were bred in Europe for fights with bears and bulls. The direct ancestors of this powerful fighting dog originated in Great Britain from crosses between different terrier breeds and bulldogs. After dogfights were officially forbidden there in the early 19th century, many of these terriers came to the United States. The name American Pit Bull, which derives from the English word “pit” for “arena”, originated from the further breeding there. Through its history as a fight-dog, the American Pit Bull is not recognized as an independent race until today.
This medium sized dog is of strong and extremely muscular stature and reaches a shoulder height of up to 55 centimeters as well as a body weight of up to 30 kilograms, whereby the males are clearly heavier and bigger. The dense and short fur of the American Pit Bulls can appear monochrome white, brown or black or be multicolored spotted. Its wedge-shaped head with a pronounced muzzle, the forwardly tilted ears and the widely separated eyes lined with pigmented eyelids are striking.
Contrary to its reputation of being extremely dangerous and aggressive, the American Pit Bull has a good-natured, gentle and very playful character, but it must be raised lovingly and consistently. In order not to pose a danger to other puppies, he should be socialized from puppy age on. He is excellently suited as a companion dog, which integrates well into a family life with children and is considered by his strong protective instinct as a talented watchdog. He is of courageous and loyal character and is often used as a drug detection dog by the police and as a personal protection dog. As a real bundle of energy, the Pit Bull must always be kept busy. Long runs are just as important as regular retrieval games because if an American Pit Bull is lacking in exercise or suffers from lack of exercise, he sometimes develops aggressive behavior patterns. Therefore it should only be kept in a house with a large garden and ideally in a green environment. Since the American Pit Bull is on the race list in many countries because of its past as a fighting dog and because keeping and breeding are subject to the strictest conditions, the acquisition of such a dog must be well considered. Only those who are an experienced dog owner and can invest the necessary time to employ a Pit Bull sufficiently should consider this.