The Pitbull is actually one of two different breeds: The American Pit Bull Terrier or the American Staffordshire terrier, although many people mix them up with other types of breeds and generically assume relatives of these two classifications are considered Pit Bulls. The Pitbull breed generally combines the traits of two breeds and has the strength and athletic qualities of a bulldog, as well as the drive and intelligence of a terrier. If given proper training and handling, a Pitbull can be a loving and companionable family dog.
The Pitbull comes in many sizes and can range from thirty five pounds to approximately sixty five pounds. Their short haired coats come in various colors including brown, tan, white, black, reddish brown, or a mix of more than one of these colors. Some have patches or are brindled, which is a marbled type of brown color and can be very beautiful. The Pitbull has an athletic, compact, stocky body, wide skull, and broad chest.
Because the Pitbull is eager to please and athletic, it is a great dog for competitions such as Frisbee, agility, and obedience. The Pitbull loves people and this breed of dog is always ready to please their owners. The powerful jaws on a Pitbull mean they chew through dog toys quite quickly, so for those considering owning a Pitbull, investing in the toughest chew toys possible will be a smart move.
As far as personality, a Pitbull is always ready to please and exudes enthusiasm for life and for his or her family. Contrary to popular belief, the Pitbull breed loves children and these dogs are great companion animals for them. Most Pitbull dogs today are family pets and because they are so intelligent, they are very responsive to training. Because the Pitbull breed is fun loving, energetic and athletic, games like throwing a ball or Frisbee to them will keep them well exercised and the fiercely loyal and loving sweethearts they were meant to be.
Although through the years, some Pitbulls have been bred for fighting, and this has given the Pitbull breed a bad reputation as dangerous and aggressive. The Pitbull who is trained and handled properly will not be aggressive. In fact, for many years in American history, the Pitbull was considered the "nanny dog" and people wanted them as family dogs for their protective, patient and gentle qualities.
At the turn of the twentieth century, the Pitbull breed was so loved that they were American mascots gracing World War II propaganda posters, and later starring in advertisements for Buster Brown shoes. Hollywood has used Pitbulls in many roles including, "Petey" from Little Rascals, Jennifer Beal's dog in the movie, "Flashdance" and as "Chance" in the more contemporary children's movie "Homeward Bound."
The Pitbull breed has so many redeeming qualities that they are currently being used as therapy dogs in school, nursing homes and hospitals. They are also used as search and rescue and military dogs. The Pitbull is a breed of dog that is loving, energetic, enthusiastic and athletic. These qualities help to make Pitbulls the perfect dogs for families as well as positive contributors to society today.