Traits and Characteristics
Few dog breeds have the ability to cause strong reactions in a room like the “Pit Bull.” Whether (like many animal-care workers) you’ve known and loved dogs with this label - or you have a fear of dogs with blocky heads and strong bodies who have been depicted in a negative light by the media, the term Pit Bull can often spark both positive and negative emotions here in the U.S. Even so, people are often surprised when they learn that "Pit Bull" is not an actual breed of dog. Instead, the term is used to describe a collection of a few different bully breeds, and many dogs get classified as “Pit Bull” even when they don’t belong to one of the breeds most commonly associated with the term. Since the term "Pit Bull" is ambiguous and flexible, it may be more accurate to say, "pit bull-type dogs," and there has been a recent movement in animal welfare to remove the breed label entirely.
Dog Breeds that are commonly classified as Pit Bulls include Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and American Bulldogs. In general, these breeds share certain physical characteristics, including stocky bodies, broad heads, and smooth, short coats. Mixed-breed dogs with these physical traits are also often called Pit Bulls. Other characteristics these dogs often have in common are a comical nature, a strong-willed personality and an abundance of energy and gusto.
It's important to note that mixed-breed Pit Bulls, like all dogs, are individuals and could tend toward traits of one of the breeds of its parentage more than the other. For simplicity, we’ve averaged the traits of Pit Bulls below, but keep in mind that these characteristics may differ from dog to dog.
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Friendliness to Dogs
Friendliness to Other Pets
Friendliness to Strangers
Ease of Training
Disclaimer: While the characteristics mentioned here may frequently represent this breed, dogs are individuals whose personalities and appearances will vary. Please consult the adoption organization for details on a specific pet.