Pitbull Dog Breed: Everything You Need to Know!

If I ask you to imagine a Pitbull, you will most likely envision the wrong dog breed, but you still won’t be wrong. The reason is that people have been confusing a few breeds as the Pitbull, and now it has become a common term.

In reality, a Pitbull is a different breed than the ones we associate with the term. Pitbull is used for several breeds, such as the American Pitbull Terrier, American Bully, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, and Bull Terrier.

These are some of the most popular breeds of Pitbulls where, in reality, they can be well over 35 breeds and crosses that share the same physical characteristics. Today we will talk about the American Pitbull Terrier, but we will also briefly discuss other breeds.

What is a Pitbull Dog Breed?

The Pitbull breed is muscular and strong, with deep chests and square heads. They have a bulldog’s strength, bravery, and lovely character mixed with a terrier’s intelligence and stubborn determination.

Pitbulls gained a bad reputation because they were initially produced for bullbaiting. And when bullbaiting became illegal in the mid-1800s, many Pitbulls and their associated breeds became working dogs on farms, and some became family dogs.

Unfortunately, some Pitbulls were still used for dog fighting, which still happens today despite being illegal. But thanks to the efforts of responsible breeders, they have lessened the aggressive traits and brought the naturally friendly character of the Pitbulls.

Characteristics of Pitbull Dog

Pitbulls are known for their muscular build and strong bodies with destructive jaws, but it’s overshadowed by their friendliness and loyalty to their owner.

Let’s talk in detail about the characteristics of Pitbull dogs:

Pitbull’s Weight and Height

A fully grown male Pitbull will stand 17 to 21 inches tall and weigh up to 60 pounds, whereas a female Pitbull will be 16 to 20 inches and weigh 50 to 60 pounds.

One thing to note is that female Pitbulls will gain weight during pregnancy and could weigh almost 15 pounds more. The chest of a Pit Bull can be 10 inches wide, and its tail is medium-sized, 8 to 13 inches.

How a Pitbull is Built

The build of a Pit is proportionate. The muscles of an American Pit Bull Terrier are prominent but not too large. They are lean with less fat and medium-length legs.

The skin is loose around the face and neck. Pitbulls’ chest is deep and broad, and their fierce stance looks incredible.

Coat and Color

Pitbulls are revered for their short coats that come in various colors.


The Pitbull coat is short with a single layer. Pitbulls shed so minimally that you won’t be able to notice it. When you touch their jacket, you will find it soft, clear, and shiny.

A short coat is easier to clean, groom, and maintain. But the downside to their skin is the insulation, as Pitbulls cannot survive in cold temperatures without human help.

Colors and Variations

The Pitbull dog can come in many colors, usually a mixture of two, but they can be tri-colored too. There is so much variety of color combinations that each puppy is unique. No Pitbull puppy will be exactly alike.

Usually, the Pitbull has one solid coat color with white markings found over their chest, face, and legs. The type of marking and pattern they inherit is unique to the puppy.

Pitbulls can come in the following colors:


A Pitbull is not blue; it is silver-gray and looks blue. The Blue shade is the result of a recessive dilution gene that is present in Pitbull. Also, note that not all Blue   Pitbull will look the same, as the intensity of the color differs from puppy to puppy. Some Pitbulls will have a light blue coat, whereas others might exhibit a steel blue coat color. Here are a few blue color combinations in Pitbull.

Blue Fawn:

Blue fawn Pitbull usually have a combination of light brown and light to dark blue coats. Some of them may also have some brindle makings.

Blue brindle:

A blue Brindle Pitbull stands out due to its tiger-like stripes or, as some people call it, a brindle pattern. These Brindle stripes have a touch of gray that looks like blue.


A Black Pitbull features a shiny black coat on most of his body. A Black Pitbull commonly has white markings on its face, chest, and paws. The Black Pitbull coat is the result of excessive eumelanin that is present in his skin. Excess eumelanin is responsible for producing black pigment.

Black and White:

A black-and-white Pitbull has only two colors, black and white. Not all Pitbull will look the same; some Pitbull have a higher proportion of white, whereas others have less white scattered around their bodies.


A white Pitbull has a primarily white coat with some markings of black and tan. Some have spots of different colors on their body, usually called piebald white Pitbull, and others have albinism. Albino white Pitbull has a genetic condition wherein the coat, skin, and eye pigmentation are absent.


A Brown Pitbull has a light brown or dark brown primary coat with white markings on the face, chest, and legs.


A fawn Pitbull could be described as having a light cream to reddish-brown coat, resulting from agouti and black genes.


Gray Pitbull is distinguished by having a lighter shade of Black for the base coat and a few other color patches, such as white and tan.


Pitbull can exhibit a dark brown chocolate coat or a chocolate fawn coat. Chocolate Pitbull is not joint and is highly sought after by Pitbull lovers.


A red Pitbull has a reddish to copper-rust shade coat color. They will also have white patches on the face, chest, and other body parts.


Unlike the chocolate Pitbull, a tan Pitbull has a light brown shade with white markings on the legs, chest, and neck.


A champagne Pitbull is distinguished by a recessive red gene mutation that causes the coat to be in the color range of cream, pearl, and light yellow. Nose color could be blue to red, depending on the total genotype.


A Lilac Pitbull has a faded-looking coat. It is a diluted black; hence, it looks faded. What makes a Pitbull lilac unique is that a lilac puppy has twice the dilution of the color black, almost like diluted chocolate. Thus, the coat looks faded black to purplish or grayish.

Tri-Colored Pitbull:

A tri-colored Pitbull is one of the remarkable color variations of the   Pitbull dog breed. A Tri Pitbull has three colors on a coat that are easily set apart, not mixed like a merle. Tri-colored Pitbull has many color combinations with any of these colors as base coats: Blue, Black, Lilac, and Chocolate.

Merle Pitbull:

Merle Pitbull has three colors on their coats that are in mottled patterns. The patches are faded in color with a few dots that almost resembles a Dalmation. Both parents must have recessive Merle alleles to produce a Merle Pitbull. If only one dog parent has a recessive gene and the other has a dominant gene, the resulting puppy will have the dominant color coat.

Pitbull Head and Facial Features

Despite being a muscular breed, the head size of a Pitbull is not out of proportion. The head is firm and broad with a strong, wide jaw, but it looks perfect with the rest of the body.

In addition, Pitbull features a broad skull, heavy bone structure, and pronounced cheek muscles with pointed ears. The head of the Pitbull is broad and thick with well-developed cheeks and a prominent stop. Their muzzle is square and shorter than their skull, only taking up around one-quarter of the head.

The nose is significant, and their nares are not underdeveloped. Any nose color is accepted. Their eyes are well-spaced apart and should not be overly large with any color.

The Pitbull’s erect ears make him look alert and curious. While most breed members will crop their Pitbull’s ears, this is optional, and thankfully the practice is mainly falling out of favor.

The shoulders and back are broad and robust, and the hips are narrower. The Pitbull has a slim tail that reaches down to the hock. The feet look short compared to the rest of the body.

Pitbull walks confidently and boldly. As a result, the dogs radiate interest and a sense of adventure. When running, the animals look athletic. Physical exercise usually succeeds the Pitbull effortlessly.

Personality and Temperament

Bred to be more of a companion animal than a working dog like its ancestors, the Pitbull makes a sweet pet for the whole family.   Pitbull will never show any signs of aggression or hostility; these are not the traits of this breed.

The Pitbull is happy, extroverted, stable, confident, gentle, and loving toward people. The pitbull breed possesses the loyalty and stability of the Bulldog while retaining the Terrier’s friendly, amiable, and outgoing temperament.

Pitbull have an extreme tolerance for children and an overwhelming eagerness to please their owners. Confident yet not aggressive, this breed keeps a charming character. You may often hear that   Pitbull are aggressive and have attacked somebody.

Let me assure you; those are lies or, even if it’s true, caused by an incompetent owner. If any dog breed, not just a Pitbull, is left on its own and needs proper guidance, it will develop aggressive behavior. The owner must train and socialize his pet dog and teach him how to behave.

What is the Cost of A Pitbull Dog?

The actual cost of the Pitbull dog depends on various factors such as the coat color, breed quality, breed type, breeder’s reputation, age, gender, size, and health.

On average, a Pitbull puppy will cost between $500 to $2,500. But you may have to pay more if you buy a puppy of rare color or breed or from an expensive breeder.

Here is a breakdown of Pitbull cost depending on the main characteristic of the puppy:

Pitbull Type Price
Black $2,000
Blue $3,000
Tri-Color $2000-$5,000
Brindle $2000
Blue Fawn $5,000
Black Panther $5,000-$20,000
Merle $3,000
Red Nose $2,000
Blue Nose $3,000
XXL $4,000

Initial Cost

In addition to the buying cost of a Pitbull, there are some initial costs such as treats, food, leashes, vaccination, etc. All these expenses are necessary to welcome your new dog into your home.

Here is a breakdown of all the initial costs of getting a pitbull puppy:

Expense type Cost
Treats and Food $80 – $120
Food and Water Bowls $10 – $35
Bed $40 – $200
Create $50 – $500
Leashes and Collars $15 – $50
Toys $30 – $50
Grooming Essentials $40 – $180
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications $50 – $200
Initial Vet Visits $100 – $300
Initial Vaccine Shots $75 – $200
Neutering or Spaying $50 – $500
Dog License $10 – $20
Microchip $40 – $60
Miscellaneous Supplies $15 – $30
Total Initial Cost $605 – $2,445

Most of these items are a one-time investment to help you in the long run. You can cut down on some things if you already own a dog.

The Lifespan of A Pitbull Dog

On average, a Pitbull lives between 8 and 16 years. It is middle age for dogs this size. The American Pitbull Terrier lives a maximum of 15 years, whereas an American Staffordshire Terrier can live up to 16 years, making it the longest-living Pitbull.

Here is a list of ages of all Pitbull types:

 Breed Name Lifespan
Minimum Maximum
American Pit Bull Terrier 8 years 15 years
American Staffordshire Terrier 12 years 16 years
Staffordshire Bull Terrier 12 years 14 years
American Bully 8 years 15 years
American Bulldog 8 years 13 years

The lifespan of a Pitbull is affected by several factors such as health, neutering and spaying, exercise, diet, living conditions, genetics, and the shape ‘n’ size of the Pitbull.

If you take good care of your Pitbull and give lots of love, your friend will stay with you long. In some cases, the Pitbull dog has far exceeded its average life and lived as long as 25 years.

To increase the lifespan of a Pit Bull, you should keep its weight in check, buy from a known breeder, and go to the vet regularly. Additionally, it would help if you kept their daily routine healthy, full of exercise and training, high-quality food, and regular brushing.

Different Pitbull Dog Types

To clear up the confusion about what a pitbull is, let’s talk about the types of Pitbull dogs. There are many types of Pitbull, but the most famous are:

  • American Pitbull Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • American Bulldog
  • American Bully
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Let’s talk about the difference and characteristics of each in detail for a better understanding of:

The American Pitbull Terrier

The American Pitbull Terrier is a breed recognized by the United Kennel Club and the American Bully Kennel Club but not the American Kennel Club.

Its predecessors were early 19th-century terriers and bulldogs from England, and the breed took form in North America in the late 19th century. Sadly this breed was mainly used for dog fighting.

Although modern-day American Pitbull Terriers tend to have a high hunt drive and don’t always get along with other pets, they’re known for forming strong bonds with their families. And as with most pitbull types, they tend to be affectionate and loyal.

Be sure you have enough time to socialize, play, and exercise if you consider adopting an American Pitbull terrier.

Breed Overview

Height: 17 to 21 inches

Weight: 30 to 65 pounds

Physical Characteristics: Short coat, Muscular build, colors include black, brindle, white, fawn, blue, red, brown, gray, and tan

American Staffordshire Terrier

The American Staffordshire Terrier also roots from the terriers and bulldogs of early 19th-century England.

Its evolution in late 19th century North America resulted in a dog more significant than its English relatives. The Amstaff wasn’t used as commonly for fighting as other pitbull types, resulting in more easygoing dogs.

But AmStaffs still can have a high drive to hunt and don’t always get along with other dogs. However, they are known for being loyal, good-natured, and playful with their families. They do well in homes with plenty of time for dog interaction, exercise, and play.

Breed Overview

Height: 17 to 19 inches

Weight: 50 to 80 pounds

Physical Characteristics: Short coat; a variety of colors including black, fawn, blue, brown, liver, and red; brindle pattern and white markings are also seen

American Bulldog

The American Bulldog descended from English Bulldogs and developed in the 17th century for bullbaiting.

In North America, Bulldogs became working farm dogs and all-around family companions. They tend to be highly affectionate with their families and often want to sit on laps despite their large size.

Bulldogs also love kids. But they can be overprotective of their families, so early training and socialization are necessary to ensure they will be friendly to individuals outside your family.

Breed Overview

Height: 20 to 28 inches

Weight: 60 to 120 pounds

Physical Characteristics: Stocky build; broad and deep chest; short muzzle; generally white with patches of red, brindle, black, or shades of gray or brown

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Despite being developed in the 19th century for dog fighting, the Staffordshire Bull terrier today is more closely seen as consistently loyal and loving with its family. These dogs love nothing more than snuggling with their owners and are gentle and patient with children.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are best suited to a home where they will have company for most of the day, as they are prone to separation anxiety. Moreover, they are people-friendly and rarely get along with other dogs.

Still, they make a good pet for an active household with extra time to devote to their need for attention and exercise.

Breed Overview

Height: 14 to 16 inches

Weight: 24 to 38 pounds

Physical Characteristics: Muscular build; colors include black, brindle, blue, white, fawn, and more

American Bully

This breed is different because it has its own four classes into which it is further divided. The American Bully is a moderately new breed conceived in the 1980s and 1990s.

Recognized by the ABKC in 2004 and the United Kennel Club in 2013 but has yet to be by the American Kennel Club. The breed came from the American Pitbull terrier and all the other bulldog-type breeds.

Compared to the American Pitbull terrier, bullies are much broader, muscular, compact, and have wider heads. Responsible breeders have specifically developed Bullies for their gentle and loving temperament.

But Bullies are still strong and muscular, so they need plenty of exercises to stay happy and healthy and have regular socialization time with people and other dogs. The American Bully has four official classes divided into a few unofficial classes. Here they are:

Diet & Food for Pitbull Dogs

A Pitbull needs at least 30% protein and 20% fats, and essential minerals and vitamins to grow and maintain their muscular body. Natural meats and meat meals provide high-quality protein, which should all be identifiable.

All these meals are also full of glucosamine, essential to support joints that soon have to carry a lot of weight, and omega fatty acids that will help his eye and brain function and overall development.

Pitbull are known to have skin sensitivities, so other omega-fatty ingredients, including fish, fish oils, animal fat, and flaxseeds, will nourish their skin, as do vitamin E, biotin, and folic acid.

So To choose the correct food brand with all these nutrients, here is a list for you:

Top Dog Foods for Pitbull

These are the best dog foods suitable for all sorts of Pitbull.

  1. Wellness CORE Senior Dry Dog Food
  2. ORIJEN Puppy Large Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food
  3. Taste of the Wild Dog Food
  4. Nulo Freestyle Salmon & Peas Recipe Dry Dog Food
  5. ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food
  6. NutroLimited Ingredient Diet Premium Canned Dog Food
  7. NomNom Now Fresh Dog Food
  8. Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete Dry Dog Food
  9. Stella & Chewy’s Stella’s Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food

Vitamins and Minerals

Consult your vet for the dietary plan of your Pitbull and ask him if he can prescribe any supplements such as vitamins and minerals. A, B complex, C, D, and E are necessary vitamins in a Pitbull’s diet.

The diet must also include minerals such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, iodine, and selenium. The dog absorbs these minerals as long as they are in their food.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Having a Pitbull Dog

Like everything, Pitbulls also have their pros and cons. It is best to consider both aspects of these dogs before deciding on getting one. Here is a list of the pros and cons of Pitbull dogs:


  1. Pitbulls can protect you with their presence alone. They are so feared that you can use them to your advantage.
  2. Pitbulls love people if they socialize well. They will love you the most and always try to get into your lap.
  3. Pitbulls seek love and acceptance. They will do anything to seek your approval; if you withhold your affection, it will be their biggest punishment.
  4. Pitbulls keep you young and healthy. Because they require so much exercise, you must stay active and healthy.
  5. Pitbulls become part of the family. You will become their parent, and they will forever stay loyal.
  6. Pitbulls are intelligent and can understand human body language. They can also read people’s moods and align their own accordingly. If you establish yourself as the guiding alpha, your Pitbulls’ intelligence contributes to his discipline.
  7. Pitbulls require minimal grooming. Their short coat sheds are so tiny that you will barely notice it, and you only have to shower them if they are filthy.


  1. Pitbulls are banned in some states making travel difficult. You have to consider where you plan your vacations or where you plan to move.
  2. Pitbulls can be aggressive if untrained. Their strong jaws can do heavy damage in a small amount of time.
  3. Pitbull owners may get treated negatively. Many people have never interacted with the breed and only believe what they hear on the news or from people. It is best to check if your neighborhood will accept them.
  4. Pitbulls are destructive when anxious or bored. Due to their highly energetic bodies, they need constant stimulation, and leaving them alone for an extended period can lead to boredom.
  5. Pitbulls require plenty of exercises. If you’re not up for exercising your dog daily and can’t get someone else to do it, you shouldn’t get a high-energy dog. And you definitely shouldn’t get a Pitbull.
  6. Pitbulls can be hard to train as adults. You will be in a pickle if you need to catch up in early training or get an adult Pitbull. Pitbulls are stubborn, so they need guidance from a young age.

Tips for Taking Care of Your Pitbull Dog

Here are a few ways to take care of your Pitbull Dog:


Since Pitbull is a high-energy breed, they need many exercises. A perfect way to do this is by taking them on walks, runs, or hikes. You can also enroll them in skill classes or doggy sports.


Providing your Pitbull with a high-quality diet to keep them healthy and stop obesity is essential. Be sure to confer with your vet about the best food for your Pitbull.


Pitbulls are intelligent dogs and can be easily trained. However, they can also be stubborn, so it is fundamental to start preparing early. Ensure you give your dog positive reinforcement, such as snacks or praise.


Pitbull need to eat two to three times a day. Puppies under six months old should feed three times a day. You can provide an adult Pitbull twice a day.


Pitbulls do not shed much, but they need brushing twice a week. Be sure to bathe them when needed and trim their nails.

As you can see, there are numerous things to consider before getting a Pitbull. But if you are prepared to handle their grooming needs, they can make wonderful family pets.

Vet Care

Take your Pitbull to the vet for regular checkups and vaccinations. You will also need to have them spayed or neutered if you plan on not breeding them.


Regarding recreation, Pitbull enjoys games to use their muscular bodies. They love to run, play, and go for walks.

However, they can also be satisfied lounging around the house with their family. No matter what exercise they participate in, their goal is always to please their owner.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Are Pit Bulls Good Family Dogs?

Pitbulls can be fantastic family dogs if properly trained and socialized. Pitbulls are loyal to their families and will give up their lives to protect yours.

A Pitbull will do anything to please its family to get praise. They also shed so minimally that they require the least grooming.

Are Pitbulls Considered Aggressive Dogs?

Many people think of Pitbull as aggressive dogs, but it is untrue. Any dog breed can be aggressive if not properly trained or trained to attack other animals and humans.

Pitbulls are the most loving and social dogs if properly trained and socialized. They love getting into their humans’ laps because they think of themselves as puppies despite being fully grown.

So if you get a Pitbull, d brushing twice a week, give them plenty of love and affection, and you will soon find them the best dog ever.

What 2 Breeds Make a Pitbull?

The old English Bulldog and the Old English Terrier combined to make the Pitbull. Both of those breeds were initially used in dog fighting and bullbaiting. But now they are extinct. Pitbull has the power and fierceness of the Bulldog and the Terrier’s intelligence and loyalty.

Which Pitbull Breed Is Friendly?

All Pitbull breeds are friendly if adequately trained and socialized. But the friendliest is the American Staffordshire Terrier, commonly known as the AmStaff. These dogs were not used in dog fighting but primarily as working dogs and household pets.

How Do You Tell if A Dog Is a Pitbull?

Check to see if th dog has a broad, wedge-shaped head and thick neck. The puppy’s head will look vast and slightly rounded from the front but like a wedge from the side due to a long muzzle and low forehead.

Pitbull dogs are also muscular throughout their whole body, making their chest wide and deep. Your dog will also have a short and single-layered coat. This head shape, like many characteristics, comes from pitbull-type dogs’ fighting heritage.

You can also ask the breeder and the vet for better information if you need to learn about dogs and their breed types.


Pitbulls are a fantastic breed; no matter which one you choose, you will always find them loving, affectionate, and filled with energy.

The pitbull breed has an unlimited variety in size and color. In addition to physical characteristics, Pitbulls are revered for being loyal and intelligent dogs that will do anything to gain your approval.

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