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Over the past few years, the Pit Bull has taken a lot of heat from the media about being a dog breed that's more bite than bark. The misconception that this breeds a man eater is reinforced by it's amazing, muscular build. Unfortunately, over breeding, abusive owners, and the fighting circles have caused this pooch to be maligned unfairly. Sure, it's a naturally strong willed breed, but with the right training and owner, they can be a loyal, loving friend. Here's more about this dog to help you understand this misunderstood breed... History: Most sources trace the Pit Bull, or American Pit Bull Terrier back to England, but the exact date of their origination is constantly a source of controversy. Most Pit Bull experts agree they were bred between the late 18th and early 19th centuries and are most likely a mixture of a Bulldog and Mastiffs, although some sources suggest other breeds were part of their crossbreeding. All sources agree that the breed was used for bull baiting and fighting. This has a great deal to do with the tendency to label them as aggressive dogs, because they were bred for aggression from the beginning. The breed became known as a fighting and bull baiting dog in England and Ireland during the late 19th and early 20th century. Around the mid-1900s they were introduced to the United States as herding and cattle catching dogs instead of fighting and performance dogs. Around this time, their appearance changed slightly, becoming larger and longer in the legs than their Irish and English ancestors. The American version weighed an average of 50-55 pounds, whereas the English version only weighed 25-30 pounds. The American Pitbull Terrier became recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1936, although they eventually diverged into the American Staffordshire Terrier. The UKC still refers to this breed as the American Pitbull Terrier, but all other Kennel Clubs now refer to them as the Staffordshire Terrier. Until the 1980s, the Pit Bull was barely recognizable by most of the public and only became popular in the last twenty years. Description: It is often difficult to correctly pick out Pitbull dogs, as their weight range fluctuates from 35-75 pounds. Some are even known for being smaller or larger than this weight range. Almost all are similar in height, though, standing fairly low to the ground at between 18-22 inches tall. This gives them an extremely stocky, muscular, and compact appearance. This particular breed has also has a powerful stance, a broad chest and muscular legs. Pit Bulls are known for having very strong, wide heads, perky ears, and incredibly powerful looking jaw. Although it used to be common to dock the tail of a Pit Bull puppy, they are now often left with long, straight tails. Most dogs will have a good portion of white coloring on their bodies, but will never be completely white. They may also have mixture of brown or black or even be completely


brindle as well. Breed Temperament: Remember when it comes to Pit Bull dogs, it is all in how they are raised and handled. Over breeding and fighting circles have caused Pit Bulls to have a bad reputation in recent years. For those who are willing to overlook the media hype on the danger of this breed, these animals can and do make excellent pets, because they are fiercely loyal, loving and obedient once properly trained. Add this with their strong appearance and they will make an excellent watch dog and guard dog for your family as well. Because of their strong personalities, need for exercise and aggressive tendencies, this breed is not meant for a first time dog owner. They will do best with an owner that has experience handling dogs. Once properly trained, many actually have the temperament of teddy bears who love lounging around with the family. Life Span: 12-14 years Common Ailments: This breed is known for being hardy, but may be prone to hip dysplasia, skin allergies and cataracts. Suitability with Children: Yes, but will need firm handling as a puppy Suitability with Other Pets: No, have a tendency towards aggression with other animals Living Conditions: Will do best in a home with a large yard and regular, daily exercise Trainability: Need a firm handler because of their tendency towards a dominant personality, as well as their innate, aggressive instincts. Exercise Requirements: High Maintenance Costs: Low As you can see, the Pit Bull isn't anything to be afraid of. With proper training and a lot of loving care, this breed can make for an excellent family pet.

When Richard Livitski isn't busy digging up Pit Bull information, he's working on his dog names website http://www.dog-names-and-more.com where dog names and puppy names in all shapes and sizes can be found.

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American Bulldog Biting