What is a Pitbull? Plus 5 types of Pitbull breeds and variations

A Pit Bull is a family of dog breeds that descended from Bulldogs and Terriers. Pitbulls are stocky dogs with muscular bodies, short coats, great stamina, and tenacity.  These different Pitbull types are affectionate, adaptable, and friendly, contrary to the belief of them being dangerous. 

With that been said this has not stopped the breed stigma that Pit Bull owners have had to deal with over the recent years.

Pit bulls people lovers and they are committed to serving and pleasing their owners and families.

You may also be interested in types of Labradoodles.

We are going to look at the different types of pit bulls and what they are.

What is a Pit Bull?

Pitbull is a term used to classify a group of dogs that descended from bulldogs and terriers. This is contrary to the common belief that Pit Bulls are a specific breed.

There are a variety of Pitbull breeds within this group, which include:

  1. American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT)
  2. American Staffordshire Terrier
  3. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  4. American Bulldog
  5. American Bully

Pit Bulls originated from the United Kingdom in the early 1800s and are amongst the most misunderstood dog breed.

Due to the bull and bear bating and dogfighting history, most people assume that these dogs are aggressive which is further from the truth.

Bull and bear-baiting was a popular and cruel sport among the Brits where Bulldogs would harass/attack a tied bull for hours in pits. The bulls would later collapse from fatigue.

Bulldogs were cross-bred for their strength and feistiness.

The main objective was to breed the most powerful and ferocious line of dogs.

Fortunately, this cruel bloodsport was outlawed by the British parliament prohibiting bull and bear-baiting.

This in return saw the creation of illegal dogfighting as it was much easier to hide from the public eye as well as the law.

Due to the bad reputation that these dogs earned from these sports, they were banned in some countries and states both in the UK and the US.

Some countries have even introduced and enacted breed-specific laws that target specific breeds such as the Pit Bull, others have banned the breed group entirely with some insurance companies unwilling to cover liability bites caused by them.

Are pit bulls that dangerous?

Any dog can be aggressive depending on how he/she is raised, socialized, and treated.

Pit Bulls are not inherently dangerous, just like any other dogs, without proper training, neglect, irresponsible ownership, and abuse they can become aggressive and possibly violent.

In the right hands, this is a perfect addition to you.

Pitties are intelligent and eager to please. This makes them extremely obedient and highly trainable.

This dog type has several different breeds within, let us get into the specifics of the breeds, hybrids, and mixed breeds.

5 Types of Pit Bulls

1. American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT)

The American Pitbull Terrier is a purebred dog, that is recognized by the United Kennel Club as the official Pit Bull breed.

However, the American Kennel Club does not recognize this breed.

The American Pitbull Terrier was a result of crossing American Terriers and English Bulldogs.

This Pit Bull is somewhat taller than other Pit Bull types, with the height ranging from 17 to 21 inches tall which is about 6 – 8 inches taller than the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and weighs about 30 to 60 pounds.

The APBT comes in Rednose and Bluenose color variations that are not separate breeds but rather specific colors that this dog can come in.

Health concerns:

The APBT is prone to some health problems such as;

  1. Congenital heart diseases
  2. Patella problems
  3. Demodex mange
  4. Thyroid dysfunction
  5. Hip dysplasia.


This breed sheds its coat and is not hypoallergenic. It is recommended to use a firm bristle brush while grooming as well as bathe them using a dog shampoo.

Litter Size:

5 – 10 Puppies.

Exercise Needs:

At least 60 minutes of daily mental and physical stimulation.

How much does an American Pitbull Terrier cost?

Getting an APBT puppy (depending on the age) would cost you around $300 – $3000

a) The Blue Nose Pit Bull Terrier

A blue nose pitbull is a variation of the American Pitbull Terrier. His coat has blue and grey tones as well as its eyes, nose, and toenails.

Dog lovers extremely admire and desire them but they are quite rare to find, hence can be quite expensive to acquire one.

They are extremely active dogs that love to exercise and play.

However, the gene that is responsible for the Bluenose Pitbull color is also responsible for low melanin levels that can cause health issues such as;

  • Weakened immune system
  • Cataracts
  • Alopecia
  • Deafness
  • Heart problems

b) The Red Nose Pit Bull Terrier

The Rednose pitbull coat has red/brown/copper tones, their nose, toenails, with the eyes also having similar color tones.

Rednose Pit Bulls are obedient, trainable, and intelligent like any ATBT. Color does not affect other qualities of the American Pit Bull Terrier.

These dogs are best suited for experienced dog owners that are used to powerful and large dogs.

Training should be consistent and done patiently for the best results.

2. American Staffordshire Terrier

Contrary to common belief, the Staffordshire Terrier did not originate from Staffordshire, England as the name suggests. This breed was developed in Birmingham, West Midlands in the US in the early 1970s.

You can learn more about the friendly American staffy.

The main aim for the breeding of this dog was to separate him from the Pit Bull’s bad reputation and checkered history.

Therefore, this dog is recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Staffordshire Pitbulls can be stubborn and require firm owners that are consistent with training. If well trained, you can expect him to be a people-oriented dog who is loyal and eager to please.

It has a thick glossy and stiff coat, muscular build and for it being small in size it is a very strong dog.

With a broad head, this breed boasts an extremely strong jaw with a medium-length muzzle.

The American Staffordshire Terrier’s height ranges from about 18 – 19 inches for males and 17 – 19 for females. They weigh between 60 and 90 pounds making them the heaviest of all other types of pit bulls.

Health concerns:

  1. Congenital heart diseases
  2. Thyroid dysfunction
  3. Hip dysplasia
  4. Elbow dysplasia
  5. Cerebellar ataxia
  6. Luxating Patella


This breed is not hypoallergenic as it tends to shed. Regular brushing and grooming are required using a firm bristle brush while grooming as well as bathing them using a dog shampoo.

Litter Size:

5 – 10 Puppies

Exercise needs:

These dogs will enjoy daily exercise sessions of at least 60 minutes that will involve both physical and mental activities.

Puppy cost:

An American Staffordshire Terrier puppy costs between $500 and $1500.

3. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terrier

These dogs were bred by English coal miners. These miners wanted lighter, faster, and reliable working dogs.

He was crossed with other dogs to make him stronger and suitable for dogfighting, bull-bating, and bear-baiting.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the lightest Pit Bull type, weighing between 24 and 38 pounds and stands at between 14 and 16 inches.

They have a muscular body type with a shiny coat that is easy to maintain.

Despite their history, these dogs are great for an active family as they have a sweet, obedient, and loyal personality.

Health Concerns:

Some of the health issues this dog is prone to include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • PHPV
  • HC


The Staffordshire Bull Terrier sheds moderately throughout the year and will require frequent brushing to get rid of loose and dead hair to minimize shedding.

Litter Size:

5 – 7 Puppies

Exercise needs:

Since this dog has extremely high energy it requires daily jogging and long walks to be at its best.

Puppy cost:

A Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy costs between $400 and $1500.

4. The American Bulldog

The American Bulldog is another type of pitbull that originated from England.

It has a muscular physique making him a great dog for a variety of tasks that require stamina, strength, and hard work.

Learn more about the American Bulldog also known as the Old Country dog.

This breed was originally used in bear and bull-baiting. Immigrant farmers also used them as stock guard dogs.

They make for great work companions as they are affectionate, loyal, and assertive breeds. Over recent years the American Bulldog has been trained for tasks such as tracking and guarding dogs.

American Bulldogs are sturdy, muscular and have powerful jaws with a square-shaped head.

It is a great companion for children with high protective instincts. This dog is loyal, brave, and determined provided it has been trained well it will always obey what you tell it to do.

The approximate height of a male Americal Bulldog is between 22 and 28 inches and between 20 and 26 inches for females.

Health concerns:

The American Bulldog is a relatively healthy dog though it may be prone to;

  • Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis or NCL
  • Hip dysplasia


This dog will need a coat brushing at least twice a week to keep shedding at bay.

Litter Size:

5 to 9 puppies.

Exercise Needed:

At least 60 minutes of daily exercise.

Price of Puppy:

An American Bulldog puppy will cost you between $500 and $1000.

5. The American Bully

This is a very popular and recent type of pit bull. They were developed in the 1980s as a result of crossbreeding between the English Bulldogs and the American Pit Bull Terrier to create a perfect family Pit Bull.

The American Bully inherits hard-working instincts from its parent breeds.

This dog stands at between 16 and 20 inches as weighs as much as 80 pounds.

There are also variations of the American Bully that include the XL Bully, the Classic Bully, the Pocket Bully, and the Standards Bully.

Let us look into the details of each.

a) XL Bully

This is the largest American Bully variation.

A healthy male XL Bully stands between 20 and 23 inches with females standing between 19 and 22 inches.

The basic physical appearance of the XL Bully is similar to other American Bullies, but with a bulkier, heavier, and more muscular body. Dog lovers adore the XL AM Bully for its massive build and height.

XL Bully has a life expectancy of about 10 to 12 years.

Their coats appear to be close to the skin, shiny, and stiff.

They are people-oriented and generally happy, sociable, friendly dogs. Soft-natured but powerful.

Their muscular build of an XL Bully often tends to scare children but once there is a bit of familiarity, they can be the very best of friends.

b) Standard Bully

The Standard Bully breed closely resembles an American Pit Bull Terrier with his general size and look.

It is regarded as one of the best American Bully breeds.

They have a large heavy broad head with a thick and compact body.

This dog has great stamina and great but he is also affectionate and loyal especially towards their family and masters.

c) Classic Bully

The Classic Bully closely resembles the Standard Bully with several differences in its physical appearance.

It has a compact body but is much lighter with heavier bones and lean muscles.

They have a similar temperament to Standard Bully hence, the Classic Bully is sociable and friendly by nature.

Just like the Standard Bully, the Classic Bully is trustworthy and very loyal to his master and family.

d) Pocket Bully

This is just another variation of the American Bully, the Pocket Bully is much shorter in height than the other subtypes.

Is the American Bulldog the same as the American Bully?

The American Bulldog and the American Bulldog are 2 different dogs that closely resemble each other in appearance, temperament, and personality. However, there is a noticeable difference in their sizes with the American Bulldog being larger and more muscular than the American Bully.

Pit Bull Mixes

Several popular Pit Bull mixes include but are not limited to;

1. The Pit Bull Husky Mix (Pitsky)

A Pitbull Husky Mix is known as a Pitsky, it is as a result of crossbreeding an Alaskan or Siberian Husky with a purebred American Pit Bull Terrier.

This breed has a fun and loving personality and has a lifespan of 12-15 years.

As this mixed breed is a cross between a Pitbull, and either a Siberian or Alaskan Husky, the size can vary greatly. They may weigh between 30 t0 70 pounds and be as tall as 19 to 21 inches.

A Husky Pitbull Mix is an intelligent and devoted dog breed that is hardworking and provides great companionship.

Read more about the Pitsky here.

2. The Pit Bull Labrador Mix (Labrabull)

Pitbull and lab mix

A Pitbull Labrador Mix commonly known as Labrabull is a result of crossbreeding a Labrador with a purebred American Pit Bull Terrier.

They are sometimes called a

  • Pitador
  • Labrabull
  • Pitador Retriever
  • Bullador

The Labrabull is a high energy dog that is easy to train and makes a great addition to the family.

Read more about the Labrabull here.

3. The Rottweiler Pit Bull Mix (Pitweiler)

A Rottweiler Pitbull Mix is known as a Pitweiler, it is as a result of crossbreeding a Rottweiler with a purebred American Pit Bull Terrier.

They are unbelievably strong and loyal companions who are eager to please their masters.

Which is the best Pitbull for you to choose from?

Since there are many different breeds and types of Pit Bulls one may wonder which of them is the best bloodline or breed.

Each dog has different traits and characteristics hence this is the wrong question to ask.

What should be taken into consideration when seeking to adopt a Pit Bull is our lifestyle needs and how they match up with the traits and features of each Pit Bull.

Without looking too much into the differences here is what you should consider if you want to adopt a pit bull.

  • Since they are such active dog breeds and require quite a bit of exercise to keep them at their best, they need a committed and active owner who also loves to exercise.
  • They need a patient, tough, and persistent owner to train them and socialize them accordingly.
  • The dog is quite strong and adult supervision is necessary if they are children in your home.
  • It is the owner’s responsibility at all times to take the dogs out for walks.


Pit Bulls are not a specific breed of dog but a classification of a type of dog that is used to describe purebreds and mixes alike.

The American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier are types of Pitbulls that are purebreds.

To get a Pit Bull Mix usually the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) is the one that is crossed with other breeds of dog (e.g. Pitbull Husky Mix that produce a Pitsky).

Pit Bulls need responsible owners and handlers are they are quite strong dogs and in the wrong hands, they could be quite dangerous.

They need time, love, and patience to be at their very best.

Leave a comment below and tell us what you think about this kind and loving dog.

There you go WOOOF!!!!

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