During the 19th century, dog fanciers in England, Ireland and Scotland began to experiment with crosses between Bulldogs and Terriers. Aspiring to embody all of the virtues of the Terrier with gameness and the Bulldogs strength and athleticism. All that which would display a warrior, courage and yet a gentleness that families appreciated and loved. Many of the American Pit Bull Terriers talents were great asset’s to farmers and ranchers who used their APBT’s as catch dogs for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt, drive livestock, and as a family companion.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a medium-sized, solidly built, short-coated dog with smooth, welldefined musculature. Both powerful and athletic. Functional capability for it is a working dog, breathing should come easy with balance and harmony of all parts is critical of breed type. The body is slightly larger than tall. The head is of medium length, with broad, flat skull, and a wide, deep muzzle. Ears are small to medium in size, high set and may be natural or cropped. Tail is relatively set low, thick at the base tapers to a point nearing the end. Color is open aside from merle.
The American Pit Bull Terrier’s essential characteristics are strength, confidence, and zest for life. APBT’s make amazing family companions and have always been noted for their love of children. This breed is eager to please and brimming over with enthusiasm. Aggressive behavior towards humans is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable. This breed does very well in performance events because of its high level of intelligence and its willingness to work. Because most APBT’s exhibit some level aggression and because of its powerful physique, the APBT requires an owner who will carefully socialize and obedience train the dog.
The APBT head is unique and key element of breed type. It is large and broad. Proportionate to the size of the body. Front view shaped like a broad, blunt wedge. Side view, skull and muzzle are parallel to one another joined by a well-defined, moderately deep stop. Medium length, deep through, broad skull, very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop; and ears are set high.
The skull is larger, flat or slightly rounded, deep and broad between the ears. Deep median furrow. Cheek muscles are prominent but free of wrinkles.
Medium length, rounded on upper side to fall away abruptly below eyes. Broad, deep with a very slight taper from the stop to the nose, and a slight falling away under the eyes. Muzzle is shorter than the length of the skull (ratio 2:3). Topline of the muzzle is straight. Faults: Snipey muzzle; flews; weak lower jaw JAW Jaws well defined. Underjaw to be strong and have biting power.
Lips close and even, no looseness.
Upper teeth to meet tightly outside lower teeth in front. Complete set of evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in scissor bite. Fault: Level Bite, undershot, or overshot bite; wry mouth; missing teeth
Dark and round, low down in skull and set far apart. No pink eyelids. Eyes are medium in size. Haw should not be visible. Fault: Blue eyes, bulging eyes, both eyes not matched in color.
All nose colors are acceptable, Dudley nose undesirable. The nose is large with wide, open nostrils. EARS Cropped or uncropped, the latter preferred. Uncropped ears should be short and held rose or half prick. Full drop to be penalized. Ears are high set.
Neck is moderate length and muscular. Heavy, slightly arched at the chest, tapering from shoulders to back of skull. No looseness of skin. Medium length.
Strong and muscular with blades wide and sloping well laid back. Upper arms are equal in length to shoulder blade and joins it at a right angle. Front view, forelegs are set moderately apart and perpendicular to the ground. Pasterns are short, powerful, straight, and flexible.
The front legs should be straight, large or round bones, pastern upright. No semblance of bend in front. Forelegs set rather wide apart to permit chest development.
Well-muscled, let down at hocks, turning neither in nor out. Feet of moderate size, well-arched and compact. Gait must be springy but without roll or pace. The bone, angulation, and musculature of the hindquarters are in balance with the forequarters. Rump is defined on each side of the tail to the deep of the pelvis and crotch. Thighs developed with thick and discerned muscles. Side view, hock joint is well bent and the rear pasterns are well let down and perpendicular to the ground. Rear view, rear pasterns are straight and parallel to one another.
Deep chest, filled to the shoulders, wide with ample room for heart and lungs. Chest should not be wider than it is deep. Chest should not exceed past the point of shoulder. Ribs, are well rounded and extending from spine forming to a deep body extending downward to the elbows. The back is strong a firm, leveled; from the withers it is slightly downward angle to the broadness of the lower back. Lion is short, slightly arched to the top of the croup, the croup is slightly sloped downward, although narrower than the rib cage creating a “tuck-up”.
Height and weight should be in proportion. Overall balance is ideal. Correct proportion of weight to height. A height of about 17 to 21 inches at the withers for the male is to be considered preferable. Weight for mature male within considerable condition is between 35-60 pounds. A height of about 16 to 20 inches at the withers for the female is to be considered preferable. Weight desired for mature females within considerable condition is between 30-50 pounds.
Feet are round, proportionate to the size of the dog, well arched, and tight. Pads are hard, tough and well cushioned. Dewclaws may be removed. Fault: Sprayed feet.
Fairly short. Slight sloping from withers to rump with gentle short slope at rump to base of tail. Loins slightly tucked.
Short in comparison to size, low set, tapering to a fine point; not curled or held over back. Not docked. Fault: Long tail (tail tip passes beyond point of hock); Gay tail; Kinked tail; Bobbed tail; Screw tail
Short, close, stiff to the touch, and glossy. Fault: Curly, wavy, or sparse coat
Any color, solid, combination of colors or patched is permissible. Faults: Albinism; merle
The American Pit Bull Terrier carries a confident attitude, always alert and on the ready. When trotting, the gait is effortless, smooth, powerful and well-coordinated, showing good reach in front and drive behind. When moving, the back-line remains level with only a slight flexing to indicate suppleness. Legs do not turn in nor out. Feet are not to cross or interfere with each other. As speed increase, feet should gravitate toward center line of balance.
Faults to be penalized but not disqualifications for showing are:
Overly Short tail
Pink or Albino eyes
Severe turn fronts
Severe turn to rears
Displaying or possessing aggressive behavior towards humans