The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) is a medium-sized, solidly built, short haired dog whose early ancestors came from England and Ireland. It is a member of the molosser breed group.
During the 19th century, England, Ireland, and Scotland began to experiment with crosses between bulldogs and terriers, looking for a dog that combined the gameness, speed, and agility of the terrier with the strength and athleticism of the bulldog.
In the late 19th century to early 20th century, two clubs were formed for the specific purpose of registering APBTs: the United Kennel Club and the American Dog Breeders Association. The United Kennel Club was founded in 1898, and was the first registry to recognize the breed, with the owner assigning the first number to his own APBT.
The dog was bred first to bait bulls and bears. When baiting bulls was deemed inhumane, ratting (a sport where a number of rats were placed in a pit for a specified time with the dog) and dog fighting became more popular. The APBT was used in both sports, and its prevalence in being put in pits with rats, or other dogs led to "pit" being added to its name.With time, the dogs became more commonly domesticated due to their loyalty, loving and gentle nature with their owners. In America, farmers and ranchers used their APBTs for protection, as catch dogs for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt, and to drive livestock. The dog was used during World War I and World War II as a way of delivering messages on the battlefield.
Once a popular family dog in the United States, the American Pit Bull Terrier's popularity began to decline following World War II in favor of other breeds.
Though of the same family, the American Pit Bull Terrier diverges in appearance from the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, having fewer bulldog traits in the face and body. The American Pit Bull is medium sized, having a short coat and smooth well-defined muscle structure, but should never appear bulky or muscle-bound. Its eyes are round to almond shaped, and its ears are small to medium in length and can be natural or cropped. The tail is slightly thick and tapers to a point. The coat is glossy, smooth, short, and slightly stiff and can be any color.The breed ranges from a height of about 17 to 22 in (43 to 56 cm) at shoulders, females weigh between 30 and 50 lb (14 and 23 kg) and males weigh between 30 and 60 lb (14 and 27 kg).
Pit Bulls are generally friendly, even around strangers. As with any dog breed, proper training and socialization at an early age is a must. According to the UKC, "aggressive behavior toward humans is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable" but "because most APBTs exhibit some level of dog aggression and because of its powerful physique, the APBT requires an owner who will carefully socialize and obedience train the dog.
American Pit Bull Terriers generally have a lot of energy and benefit from exercise and stimulation to channel their energy properly and avoid becoming frustrated, bored, or destructive.
An American Pit Bull Terrier puppy
The average life expectancy of an American Pit Bull Terrier is about twelve to fourteen years making them one of the longer living large breeds. The breed tends to have a higher than average incidence of hip dysplasia. They may also suffer from patella problems, thyroid dysfunction and congenital heart defects. American Pit Bull Terriers with dilute coat colors have a higher occurrence of skin allergies.
They are very prone to Demodex Mange due to their short coat. There are two different types of Demodex Mange, namely Localized and Generalized Demodex. Although it is not contagious it is sometimes difficult to treat due to immunodeficiency in some puppies. The Localized symptoms are usually lost of hair in small patches on the head and feet of the puppies. This type will usually heal as the puppies grow and their immune systems are stronger. The second type which is Generalized Demodex mange is a more severe form of the sickness. The symptoms are more severe and include loss of hair throughout the entire body and may also be scabby and bloody. Generalized are usually hereditary due to immunodeficiency genes that are passed on from Sire and Dam to their puppies. A simple skin scraping test will allow the vet to diagnose if the dog has demodex mange. The most widely used method to treat Demodex Mange is ivermectin injections or oral medications. Since Demodex Mange lives in the hair follicles of the dog, Ivermectin will kill these mites at the source.
American Pit Bull Terrier
Being intelligent, athletic dogs, American Pit Bull Terriers excel in many dog sports, including weight pulling, dog agility, flyball, lure coursing, and advanced obedience competition. Some APBTs have been known to do well in schutzhund as well. Out of the 66 dogs who have earned UKC "superdog" status (by gaining championship titles in conformation, obedience, agility, and weightpull), 23 have been American Pit Bull Terriers, and another 13 were Staffordshire Bull Terriers, a close relative of the APBT.The American Pit Bull Terrier is a working dog, and is suitable for a wide range of working disciplines due to their intelligence, high energy, and endurance. In the United States they have been used as search and rescue dogs, police dogs performing narcotics and explosives detection,Border Patrol dogs, hearing dogs to provide services to the deaf, as well as general service dogs.
source : wiki