A member of the molosser breed group, both the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) were bred from the same lineage, but received different names from the two American kennel clubs; American Staffordshire Terrier was the name given by the American Kennel Club (AKC), and American Pit Bull Terrier by the United Kennel Club (UKC).
When compared with the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier (another breed within the type commonly called pit bulls), the American Pit Bull Terrier is larger by margins of 6–8 inches (15–20 cm) in height and 25–35 pounds (11–16 kg) in weight.
The American Pit Bull Terrier varies in size.The Pit Bull Terrier was created by breeding Old English Terriers and Old English Bulldogs together to produce a dog that combined the gameness of the terrier with the strength and athleticism of the bulldog.
These dogs were bred in England, and arrived in the United States where they became the direct ancestors of the American Pitbull Terrier. In the United Kingdom, pit bulls were used in bloodsports such as bull baiting, bear baiting.
These bloodsports were officially eliminated in 1835 as Britain began to introduce animal welfare laws. Since dogfights were cheaper to organise and far easier to conceal from the law than bull or bear baits, bloodsport proponents turned to pitting their dogs against each other instead.
Dog fighting was used as both a bloodsport (often involving gambling) and a way to continue to test the quality of their stock. For decades afterwards, dog fighting clandestinely took place in small areas of Britain and America. In the early 20th century, pitbulls were used as catch dogs in America for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt, and drive livestock, and as family companions.
His attitude toward other canines, however, is another story. His dog fighting ancestry dictates a strong-willed, no-nonsense kind of dog who does not take kindly to being challenged by other assertive dogs. If confronted, he will readily engage. Though some individuals live peacefully in a house full of pets, there is always the risk that dormant animal prey instincts may suddenly flare into deadly combat.
The best Pit Bulls are versatile working dogs, capable of learning a great deal, but they have an independent mind of their own and are not pushovers to raise and train. They can be manipulative, and many are willful, obstinate, and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency that you mean what you say.
American Pit Bull Terriers are already targeted for “banning” in certain areas. Homeowners’ insurance policies may be refused or revoked if you are discovered to own a Pit Bull Terrier. Your friends and neighbors may be very uncomfortable around this breed. In this day and age, the legal liabilities of owning any breed that looks intimidating and has a fighting heritage should be seriously considered. People are quicker to sue if such a dog does anything even remotely questionable.