Historical background

Around the middle of the 19th century, dog lovers in England, Ireland and Scotland began experimenting with crosses between bulldogs and terriers, trying to get the type of dog that would combine the gameness of a terrier with the strength and athleticism of a bulldog.

As a result, a dog was bred that embodied all the qualities necessary for a super fighter: strength, indomitable courage, and at the same time, gentleness and delicacy towards those he loves. These dogs, obtained by crossing bulldogs and terriers, were brought by immigrants to the United States. The numerous talents of pit bull terriers did not go unnoticed and were appreciated by farmers and ranchers who used APBT as protective dogs, as hunters for catching semi-wild cattle and pigs, for hunting, transporting goods and as a companion for the family. Today, American pit bulls continue to demonstrate their versatility, achieving success in offense, search service, agility, protective service, weight pulling, as well as exterior rings. UKC was the first organization to recognize and register APBT. The founder of UKC, S. Z. Bennett, assigned the registration number 1 to his own APBT Bennett's Ring in 1898.

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Overall impression

The general impression of the APBT is a medium-sized dog, strong build, short-haired, with smoothly outlined, well-defined musculature. This breed is characterized by both power and athleticism. The body is only slightly longer than the height at the withers, but bitches can be slightly longer in body than males.

The length of the forelimbs measured from the elbow joint to the floor is approximately equal to half the height at the withers. The head is of medium length with a wide flat skull and a wide deep muzzle.

The size of the ears is from small to medium, the ears are set high, can be uncapped or cropped. The relatively short tail is set low, thick at the base, tapering to the tip.

The color of the APBT can be of all colors and shades.

This breed combines strength and athleticism with grace and mobility, and should never look overweight, with poor musculature, thin-boned, overly lightweight.


The main characteristics of APBT are strength, confidence, and interest in life. This breed strives to give pleasure and is overflowing with enthusiasm. APBT are wonderful companion dogs for the family, their love for children has always been noted. Due to a certain level of aggression towards dogs characteristic of most APBT and because of their physical strength, APBT requires an owner who will carefully socialize and engage in a course of obedience with the dog. Due to their natural dexterity, they are one of the most capable of climbing and climbing among dogs, so a good fence at home is a prerequisite for keeping this breed in a private house. APBT is not the best choice as a guard dog because of its extremely pronounced friendliness, even towards outsiders. Aggression towards humans is not characteristic of the breed and is highly undesirable. This breed is well trained in various tricks, because it has a high intelligence and a desire to work. APBT has always had opportunities for a wide range of different services, therefore, the over-development of individual features or shortcomings of the exterior should lead to a decrease in the assessment in proportion to the degree of their influence on the universality of the use of the dog.


The head of the APBT is unique and is a key element of the breed type, It is large and wide, giving a feeling of great strength, but at the same time it is not disproportionate to the body of the dog.

When viewed from the front, the shape of the head resembles a wide blunt wedge.

When viewed in profile, the topline of the skull and muzzle are parallel to each other and connected by a well-distinguishable, moderately deep stop. Supraorbital or supraorbital arches are well developed, but not protruding. The head has clear outlines, expresses strength, elegance and character.

Cranial part

The skull is large, flat or slightly rounded, deep, wide between the ears. When viewed from above, the skull narrows slightly towards the foot. There is a groove in the middle, which decreases in depth in the direction from the foot to the back of the head.Cheeks with protruding muscles, but free from wrinkles, When the dog is focused on something, wrinkles form on the forehead, giving the APBT an expression peculiar only to him.


The muzzle is wide and deep, narrows from the foot to the nose, there is a slight depression under the eyes at the junction of the muzzle with the skull.

In length, the muzzle is shorter than the skull, the length ratio is approximately 2 : 3 . The upper line of the muzzle is straight, the lower jaw is well developed, wide and deep. The lips are clean and tight.

Disadvantages: Narrow muzzle, raw lips (bryli), weak lower jaw.


APBT has a full set of even, white teeth. The bite is scabbard-like. Disadvantage: overshot or undershot, distorted jaw, incompleteness (does not apply to cases of tooth loss or removal by a veterinarian)


The nose is large, with wide, open nostrils. The pigmentation of the nose can be of various variants.


The eyes are medium-sized, the shape is from round to almond-shaped, widely spaced and low on the skull. All colors are acceptable except blue, which is vicious. The mucosa (conjunctiva) should not be visible.

Vices: bug-eyed, raw eyelids, third eyelid


Ears are highly planted and can be either uncapped or cropped (without any preference). In uncooped ears, either semi-erect, rose-shaped, standing or hanging wide ears are preferable. Neck The neck is of medium length, muscular. In the area of the nape of the neck has a slight bend. From the junction with the nape of the neck, the neck gradually expands and passes into well-laid back shoulders. The skin on the neck is tight-fitting, without suspension. Disadvantages: too short and thick neck, thin or weak neck, sheep neck, suspension.


The shoulder blades are long, wide, muscular, well laid back. The shoulder is approximately equal in length to the shoulder blade and is connected to it at right angles. The forelimbs are strong and muscular, the elbows are adjacent to the body. When viewed from the front, the forelimbs are perpendicular to the surface and are located at a moderately wide distance from each other. Pasterns are short, powerful, straight, flexible at the joints. When viewed in profile, they are almost vertical. Disadvantages: Straight or loaded shoulders, elbows turned outwards or inwards. Weak pasterns, curved forelimbs, twisted wrists, clubfoot or smudge.


The chest is deep, well filled, moderately wide, accommodating the heart and lungs, but the width of the chest should never exceed its depth. The front surface of the chest does not protrude too far from the point of the shoulder (shoulder joint). The ribs are well stretched back, well curved in the area of departure from the spine, then become flatter, forming a deep chest reaching the elbows. The back is strong, strong. The topline goes slightly down the slope from the withers to a broad, muscular, even back. The loin is short, muscular, slightly curved to the upper point of the croup, while it is narrower than the chest and slightly raised. The croup is slightly sloping.

Hind limbs

The hind limbs are strong, muscular, rather widely spaced. The thigh is well filled on each side of the tail and deep from the pelvis to the perineum. The musculoskeletal system and the angles of the hind limbs are balanced in relation to the forelimbs. The hips are well developed with powerful, prominent muscles. When viewed from the side, the hocks are with well-defined angles, the metatarsals are well laid back and perpendicular to the surface. When viewed from behind, the metatarsals are straight and parallel to each other. Disadvantages: Narrow delivery of the hind limbs, poor filling of the area from the pelvis to the hock joint, insufficiently developed musculature, lack of angle or excessively pronounced angle of the knee joint, Cow, sickle-shaped hocks, curved WK (barrel-shaped delivery). \


Paws are round, proportional to the size of the dog, with well-curved fingers, collected. Pillows are dense, rigid, elastic. The claw of the additional (fifth) finger can be removed.

Disadvantages: Loose paw.


The tail is positioned in such a way that it is a natural continuation of the top line, tapering to the tip. When the dog is in a calm, relaxed state, it keeps its tail low, while it reaches approximately to the hocks. When the dog moves, it usually keeps its tail at the level of the back. When excited, the tail can be lifted up, lifted up. But it should never bend with a hook over the back (a cheerful tail). Disadvantages: long tail (the tip of the tail goes behind the hocks).

Vices: A cheerful tail (not to be confused with a tail raised when excited), a tail fracture Disqualification: a short tail, no tail.


The coat is shiny and smooth, dense, moderately hard to the touch.

Disadvantages: Curly, wavy, sparse hair Disqualification : longhair


Any color, color shade or combination of colors is acceptable, except for merle color.

Height and weight

APBT must be both powerful and agile, so the exact correspondence of the figures of weight and height is less important than the correct proportions of weight and height. The preferred weight for an adult male in good condition is in the range of 35 to 60 pounds. (from 15.9 kg to 27.2 kg) The preferred weight of an adult female in good condition is between 30 and 50 pounds. (from 13.6 kg to 22.7 kg) . Dogs slightly exceeding this weight should not be penalized for this. With the exception of disproportionate massiveness or lightness.


The APBT moves briskly, cheerfully, with a confident posture, expressing its readiness to see something new and exciting at any moment. On the trot, the movements are effortless, smooth, filled with strength, well coordinated, demonstrating a good swing of the forelimbs and a good push of the hind legs. When moving, the top line remains flat, slightly bending, demonstrating elasticity and flexibility.


Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchidism. Malice or extreme timidity. Unilateral or complete deafness. A short tail. Albinism. Color merle. Hair length.

Note. Although some level of aggressiveness is characteristic of this breed, at UKC events, handlers should be prepared to pass a temperament test (at the request of an expert) in accordance with the UKC policy.