Breed Lexicon

Pit Bull

pit bull (pit bull type dog) Not Capitalized — Used to describe pit bull types and any other similar, related, or look-a-like breed, mix or dog of unknown ancestry. Also sometimes used to describe any type of dog used for pit fighting. Although it is technically incorrect to call anything but a purebred APBT a Pit Bull, use of the term “pit bull” to describe a specific group of dogs has become so commonplace in certain circles that we felt the need to include it in the list of definitions. Breeds that are typically referred to as pit bulls or pit bull type dogs (including in breed-specific legislation): American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Bull Terriers and American Bulldogs, also any mix of the below mentioned breeds, or dogs that look similar to the below mentioned breeds.

American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) –The full, correct name for the breed commonly referred to by its nick name, “Pit Bull”.  This is a purebred breed of dog, recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) and the American Dog Breeders Association (ADBA).

American Pit Bull Terrier

American Bulldog (AB) –Typically larger than the Pit Bull, this is a breed that was created from bulldogs brought over to America from England early in the 1900’s. Generally this breed is mostly white, with or without solid or brindle patches, and should have uncropped ears. Fanciers of this breed often claim this is the “original” bulldog. While it may very well be a close representation of the “breed that started it all”, the AmBull is actually a relatively new breed, and should be considered a “recreation” of the APBT’s very close ancestor.

American Pit Bull Terrier

Bulldog, (English) — Capitalized. This is the breed registered with the AKC as simply “Bulldog”. It is a very old breed, and in its original form, this was the dog that helped largely create the APBT. However, the modern day Bulldog is so radically different from the original version, that it is virtually a completely new breed, barely resembling the old time bulldog of English bull-baiting fame.

American Pit Bull Terrier

bulldog–Not capitalized:  Some breed fanciers tend to refer to their APBTs as “bulldogs”. Realize that “bulldog” is more a classification than any sort of official name or even a nick-name. Just as there are many “types” of retrievers, hounds, or terriers, there are a number of breeds that fall under the heading of “bulldog”. Also, many people believe that the APBT is the closest living replica of the original bulldog, and feel that the breed got “cheated” when the name was officially given to that OTHER bulldog, the English version recognized by the AKC. In casual conversation, the name still gets used quite frequently in reference to the APBT.

American Pit Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier (BT)–The “Budweiser dog”, very often mistaken for a Pit Bull. This breed was developed by crossing Pit Bulls with the Dalmatian, Pointer and white English terriers. It is similar in build and close in size to the Pit Bull, but its head–being egg-shaped–is the feature that sets it apart from other similar breeds. The Bull Terrier is recognized by the AKC.

American Pit Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier (SBT) –A close relative of the Pit Bull and AmStaff. When the bull-and-terrier crosses were being made in the 1800’s, certain strains that stayed in England developed into the SBT. Eventually, the SBT made its way to America where it was later recognized by the AKC. This breed is a bit smaller than the Pit Bull and AmStaff, never has cropped ears, and as a rule tends to be much less dog-aggressive.

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