Why Are American Pitbulls So Muscular?

American Pitbull is a medium-sized dog, yet people often misunderstand it as a large dog thanks to its strong muscular body that is both attractive and scary.

When you see any other dog breed standing next to a Pitbull, you will understand that PItbull has a body physique that is unique to the breed, and no other breed has that.

If you wonder how American Pitbulls get so muscular, you have come to the right place. Let’s get to the details of American Pitbull’s muscles.

American Pitbull Stature

The Pitbull is not a single breed, per se. Instead, the term Pitbull represents four different breeds, such as:

  1. American Pitbull Terrier
  2. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  3. American Bully
  4. American Staffordshire Terrier

The reason for mentioning these four different types is to fully understand the size and stature of the American Pitbull, as the ABKC and the UKC do not recognize Pitbull as a single breed.

Let’s read the basic description of each breed.

American Pitbull Terrier

According to the ABKC, the American Pit Bull Terrier is a powerful and athletic dog of medium size, courteous, and elegant with a solid build, short and smooth coat, and well-defined muscles without overdone or appearing bulky, not too skinny or long-legged.

The body of the Pitbull is slightly longer than its height, and often the bitches are longer than male dogs. APBT stands at 17-21 inches and weighs around 30 to 60 pounds, with females on the smaller end of the scale. They’re considered “medium-sized” dogs but possess incredible strength.

American Bully

The ABKC and the UKC recognize the American Bully but not the AKC. American Bully possesses much of the original Bulldog appearance, solid, strong, thick, muscular, quick, and agile.

They have short, square muzzles, broad chests, muscular necks, well-defined muscular limbs and shoulders, and firm backs. American Bullies have a standard height range of 14 to 24 inches and a weight range of 20 to 130 pounds, but the females are slightly smaller.

The breed is divided into four classes, Pocket, Standard, Classic, and XL.

American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier, strong and muscular but graceful and agile. They are sturdy, with a broad skull and a medium-sized muzzle.

Their legs and shoulders have well-defined muscles; like the APBT, they have deep and broad chests. American Staffordshire Terrier has a height between 17 and 19 inches and weighs from 40 to 70 pounds, while females are slightly smaller.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier is courageous and tenacious with a strong, rock-solid body with well-defined muscles. Their head is broad and short with prominent cheek muscles and a tight-fit coat in many colors.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier or Staffy, as some people call it, is about 14 to 16 inches in height and weighs between 24 to 38 pounds.

Now that you know what all the different sub-breed of Pitbull looks like, the summary of it comes down to that they are all naturally muscular, strong with big wide heads and deep chests.

Why Are American Pitbulls So Muscular?

American Pitbulls are known for their muscular builds, and the reason for their extraordinary muscles is all thanks to their genetics. But being born a Pitbull does not mean a dog will grow into a muscular and athletic dog because a few factors are at play.

The factors that affect the body structure of an American Pitbull are as follows:

Naturally Muscular

A key component of the final physique of any living organism is its genes. Any dog will naturally grow into a muscular dog if they have the genes for it.

For American Pitbull, it is much easier to become muscular thanks to their genes, high metabolism, and body composition.

American Bully is the most muscular sub-breed of Pitbulls, and the APBT is less muscular and may appear lean. However, American Pitbull Terriers have well-defined muscles despite being lean.

Role of Breeding in Producing a Dog’s Physical Characteristics

To produce the perfect dog breed for fighting, exercise, hunting, and physical looks and use as family dogs, breeders use selective breeding. Selective breeding is important in producing a dog with desirable physical characteristics.

As bull baiting became illegal and more people turned towards dog fighting, breeders quickly started breeding dogs with British Bull and Terrier to produce more athletic and muscular dogs.

The Pitbull’s origins result from a crossbreed between the Old English Terrier and the Old English Bulldog for use in dog fighting. Thankfully both bullbaiting and dog fighting sports, which you can express as equally brutal and cruel, were banned from practice.

While the origins are dark and disturbing, that does not diminish the fact that a Pitbull has the excellent athletic capability. Thankfully these characteristics are now directed into positive and harmless activities.

For instance, their raw strength is put to work in sports like weight pulling or dock jumping. Now both of these sports are very popular and draw huge crowds.

Pitbull’s Diet and Exercise Can Make Muscular ADogs

Thanks to their fast metabolism and body composition, Pitbulls can easily grow muscles. After all, they are working-class dogs with immense raw power, stamina, and strong muscles.

A Pitbull’s diet and exercise can greatly add to its body composition.

Diet for Pitbull

American Pitbull usually eats a protein-rich diet to develop and grow muscles and a little fat for the energy they need for the day. American Pitbulls have mouths designed to eat lots of meat, which builds their muscles.

Many Pitbull owners create a food combination that consists mainly of meat, eggs, animal organs, muscles, and fish. Such a diet will help your Pitbull quickly gain muscles and have the energy for a daily exercise routine.

If you wish to make a diet at home or need more time, you can buy packaged food from pet stores. Packaged foods such as dry kibbles, wet foods, and canned raw food are available.

Exercise for Pitbull

Exercise is crucial for all dog breeds, including American Pitbull Terriers, as they have high energy levels.

Here are a few exercises for your American Pitbull Terrier:

  • Walking: A daily walk for about thirty minutes outdoors keeps your Pitbull active and mentally engaged.
  • Hiking: A 20 minutes hike will put enough strain on the muscles of your Pitbull to keep them active and growing.
  • Fetch: Playing fetch for 20 to 30 minutes daily in your backyard or a dog park will benefit your Pitbull physically and mentally. It will also help you and your dog bond closely.
  • Tug-of-war: Take a strong rope to the park and play tug-of-war with your Pitbull dog to help him drain excess energy and develop those mouth, jaw, and neck muscles. Tug of war also helps build leg muscles.
  • Frisbee: Playing frisbee will make your Pitbull jump, run and think, helping him become strong physically and mentally. You can play frisbee for 30 minutes a day.

Weight Pulling Exercise and Sports for Pitbulls

Pitbuls excel at sports and exercises requiring force, such as weight pulling. The Pitbulls may pull tractors, sleds, or other heavy-weight objects in weight-pulling sports.

Not all dogs start at this level; some start at light weights, such as three or five pounds, slowly working towards heavy weights. Some owners set up tug stations at their homes to help Pitbulls prepare for competition by working on their necks, jaw, and shoulders.

It is important to remember that Pitbull and their sub-breeds dehydrate more quickly than other dog breeds, making them more susceptible to heatstroke and exhaustion.

Therefore, you must provide the canine with cold, fresh water to keep rehydrating as they work out, especially on hot days.


American Pitbull Terriers have a bad reputation due to their past, which affects their daily lives as many reject them out of fear.

American Pitbulls have long come from their horrid past, and now they are perfect family dogs. Beneath those strong, fierce muscles is a big heart that wants nothing but to please its owner and protect them.

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