Know Your Pitbull Better

The Pitbull or American Pitbull Terrier (APBT) is one of the most ferocious breeds of dogs. They are medium in size and have a solid built with short hair as compared to other breeds and their ancestry can be traced England and Ireland. It belongs to the molosser breed group. The American Pit Bull Terrier have been bred from a similar lineage, but got different names from the two very important American kennel clubs. The name Staffordshire was given by the American Kennel Club and American Pit Bull Terrier by the United Kennel Club. Compared to the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Pitbull Terrier is bigger by 6–8 inches in length and 25–35 pounds in weight.

The Pitbulls were initially bred in order to bait bulls and bears. However it eventually became inhumane and as a result rat-baiting and dog-baiting got more popularity. The dogs have been used in sports as well. Counties such as Europe, Australia, Canada, Ecuador, Malaysia, and Venezuela amongst many others have specific breed legislations such as mandatory sterilization, ownership conditions with certain breeds completely banned. Certain breeds are banned in the United States, Ontario in Canada, New South Wales and United Kingdom.

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Characteristics

The average healthy height of the Pitbull should be 14 to 24 inches or 35 to 60 cm and they can weigh around 22 – 78 pounds or 10 – 35 kg. They are not only powerful but also agile and their actual weight and height are not as important as their correct proportion of weight and height. One of the most common misconceptions about them is that they are huge and weigh around 85 pounds or more but it is not the majority. Most of the large ones have been cross bred and are called American Bullies that gets mixed up with the Pitbull Terriers.

However some of the common characteristics are as listed below:

  • Medium sized with a shorter coat and a well-defined muscle structure.
  • Round to almond shaped eyes and small to medium ears.
  • A slightly thick tail that tapers up to a point.
  • Glossy, smooth and stiff coat varying in color.
  • Stronger than many other breeds of dogs, confident, enthusiastic and easier to please
  • They make excellent family companions and have strong affection for children.
  • However, since they are also aggressive and powerful they require strict training and disciplined ownership.
  • Because of their natural agility they are one of the most capable canine climbers. In fact because of this reason there is a strict need for fencing.
  • They also have higher levels of intelligence and have a strong willingness to work.

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Health

The Pitbulls have higher rates of hip dysplasia, heart defects, thyroid abnormalities and patella disorders. The one with mild coat colors are not as prone to skin allergies as other breeds. They are also more vulnerable to parvovirus especially if they are not vaccinated on time, and even more as puppies. This is one reason that their vaccination is done as early as when they are 4 to 5 weeks old and should continue till they turn 4 months old. Then they would need it again when they turn eight months. After that it is recommended that the vaccination be done once a year.

They are also very susceptible to which is not only contagious but also difficult to treat because of immunodeficiency, especially in some puppies. The Localized symptoms are usually loss of hair in small patches on the head and feet of the puppies. However it heals with growth and development of the immune system.

Pit Bull Life Expectancy

Most of the dogs have a limited life span and there are only a few that live for as long as a decade or two. The lifespan of a Pitbull depends on a number of factors.

The average life span of a Pitbull can be between 13 to 15 years. The larger ones such as the APBT’s or bullies live for 14 to 16 years. The smaller ones like Great Dane’s that are below 30lbs can also live longer with a life span of 8 to 9 years. The ones that are extremely huge in size can have a shorter life span. For a better life expectancy it is essential to provide good care and feed them well. Physical training is equally important. Also one must not ignore the role of genetics and always get a dog from a reliable breeder. Providing goo d vet care s also necessary with timely vaccination and other checkups. There have been cases with the Pits living for as long as 20 years and as short as 3 years. Therefore it all depends on a good physical training, disciplined socialization and necessary health care for a better and longer life span.

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