What Is a Pit Bull Terrier?

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The Terrier breed is a big family. A Pit Bull Terrier is a part of that big family. While most Terriers are already recognized by all pure dog breed organizations, Pit Bull Terriers are not. What is a Pit Bull Terrier? How is it different from other Terriers?

What Is a Pit Bull Terrier?

A Pit Bull Terrier is originally bred to fight, the reason why they can be aggressive if not trained and socialized properly. They have a muscular built and an intelligent mind.

They used to accompany farmers in doing farm works and scare away other animals. Later on, they were socialized with families and became companion dogs.

Pit Bull Terrier

A Pit Bull Terrier is recognized by the United Kennel Club and American Dog Breeders Association, but not yet by the American Kennel Club. This dog is recognized by the AKC as similar to the American Staffordshire Terrier and Bull Terrier and not a separate breed.

Personality and Temperament of a Pit Bull Terrier

Since Pit Bull Terriers have a history of dogfighting, there are some personalities and temperaments that you have to deal with when owning one. However, those unlikely behaviors can be corrected through consistent training and early socialization.

Here are the different personalities and temperaments of a Pit Bull Terrier.

  • Confident and Protective. Pit Bull Terriers have a sturdy built that gives them the confidence to stand tall. They can also be protective of their human when something unusual happens.
  • Outgoing and Fun. Pit Bull Terriers are fond of going outside and explore. They are a medium-sized ball of energy that enjoys toys, walks, and other physical activities such as chasing your tennis balls or outdoor Pickleball balls. Perhaps, it’ll be challenging to take photos of your dog using your camera because of their energy. Don’t forget to keep him on a leash when going outside, both for his and other animals’ protection.
  • Affectionate. Though Pit Bull Terriers have muscular bodies, they still love to be around children and their owners. They can show loyalty and love towards their owner just like any other dog breed. They will defend you if needed.
  • Intelligent. Pit Bull Terriers are also smart and trainable. Aside from physical activities, you can also train them mentally to keep them smart and attentive. Mental training is also good to instill positive behavior.
  • Aggressive. Pit Bull Terriers are generally aggressive that’s why in some places, you are not allowed to have one of them because they are deemed dangerous. However, this temperament can be altered with a friendly one. Train and socialize them properly to minimize aggression, especially towards other animals.
Pit Bull Terrier

Who Should and Should Not Get a Pit Bull Terrier?

A Pit Bull Terrier breed is not for everyone. It is not just a small, cute pet that you can carry, put on your lap, feed, repeat, and the job is done. There are things that you should be committed to having a good relationship with a Pit Bull Terrier.

A Pit Bull Terrier is for you if…

If your response to all these ideas is ‘no,’ then a Pit Bull Terrier might not be the best breed of dog for you. Unless you are planning to hire a professional trainer, which can also be a good decision.

Nevertheless, just like other dogs, Pit Bull Terriers need to build a connection and affection to their owner, not just their trainer. Because at the end of the day, you will be the one dealing with each other.

Common Health Issues of a Pit Bull Terrier

Pit Bull Terriers, though they have a strong body, are not exempted from several diseases. Some of these diseases can be hereditary and based on their genes. Some are acquired due to poor lifestyles and upbringing.

  • Bone diseases. Pit Bull Terriers can experience hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and degenerative myelopathy (DM). These diseases are mainly caused by their body structure and genes.
  • Skin problems. Pit Bull Terriers are also prone to some allergies that can manifest through their skin. They can also have mange due to mites living on their skin and coat.
  • Organ and gland failure. Pit Bull Terriers can also have heart diseases, diabetes, and hypothyroidism. These disorders are mainly caused by old age or a bad lifestyle.

How to Take Care of a Pit Bull Terrier

Pit Bull Terriers are not so hard to take care of. They have their common needs that you should give as their owner. Here are some of the ways on how to take care of a Pit Bull Terrier.

Pit Bull Terrier sleeping outdoors
  • Feed him a high-quality and age-appropriate diet. Give him food on a regular schedule to avoid him asking for it at any time he thinks he’s hungry. 1 ½ to 2 ½ cups of dog food will be good for a day. This is to prevent obesity and other ailments.
  • Don’t forget to take your dog for a daily walk and other exercises at least an hour a day.
  • Do not leave your Pit Bull Terriers outside the house if the weather is cold. Do not leave them inside the car alone as well.
  • Brush their fur at least once or twice a week. Brushing prevents the build-up of dirt on his skin and you can easily detect the presence of any parasite.
  • Brush his teeth with a dog toothpaste two to three times a week to prevent tartar build-up and diseases caused by bacteria.
  • Trim their nails at least once or twice a month.
  • Visit your vet regularly.

Related Questions

Is a Pit Bull Terrier a Good Family Dog?

A Pit Bull Terrier is a good family dog as long as they are trained to be with people – adults and children alike. They are great companions, especially for children.

Do Pit Bull Terriers Suddenly Snap or Lose their Temper?

Pit Bull Terriers do not snap or lose their temper suddenly without any trigger. Their aggressiveness can be overcome by proper training and socialization. Make sure not to bring him to places that stress or trigger him, especially if he has trauma or anxiety.


Pit Bull Terriers are good companion dogs. They may be originally bred as fighters, yet they can be loving and obedient when given enough attention. A Pit Bull Terrier is also a trustworthy, loyal, and intelligent dog.