Is my dog a Pit Bull Terrier?

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Is my dog a Pit Bull Terrier? Empty Is my dog a Pit Bull Terrier?

Post by Rachel33 on Tue Jun 10 2014, 15:49

This is a topic that is coming up constantly on the forum at the moment, so the staff thought it best to create a sticky for this particular question.

The Pit Bull Terrier is a breed in itself, however, a Pit Bull "Type" dog is determined by the appearance and measurements of a dog only; even Staffordshire Bull Terrier's that are pure bred and have papers, but are larger than standard, have been known to have been determined as type. There are various people that are trained to determine whether your dog could be deemed as type or not; for example Dog Legislation Officer's, Dog Warden's and Rescue Centre Staff, be assured that the "bloke down the pub" is not one of these trained people.

There are very few pure bred Pit Bull Terrier's in the United Kingdom, though there are lots of crossbreed dogs that can appear to be of type. A few examples of these crosses can include;
Staffordshire Bull Terrier x Labrador
Staffordshire Bull Terrier x English Bull Terrier
Boxer x Labrador

Here is some information taken from the DEFRA website, detailing how to identify a Pit Bull Terrier type dog;

Identifying Pit Bull Terrier (PBT) types
The following information is aimed to provide a starting point for identifying Pit Bull Terrier (PBT) types. It should not be seen as an exhaustive list of characteristics and further expert advice and guidance must be sought at an early stage. There are no photographs provided to assist with this as these animals can look very different yet
have a substantial number of characteristics present and be considered a PBT. If you cannot obtain advice from your local DLO and need assistance in identifying an alleged s1 dog you may contact the Status Dogs Unit at the Metropolitan Police at statusdogs@met.police.uk

The standard used to identify a PBT is set out in the American Dog Breeders Association standard of conformation as published in the Pit Bull Gazette, vol 1, issue 3 1977 – please refer to this for the full description and also relevant cases as this is only a brief overview. Although the law does not require a suspected PBT to fit the description perfectly, it does require there to be a substantial number of characteristics present so that it can be considered ‘more’ PBT than any other type of dog.


• When first viewing the dog it should appear square from the side, and its height to the top of
its shoulders should be the same distance as from the front of its shoulder to the rear point of
its hip.
• Its height to weight ratio should be in proportion.
• Its coat should be short and bristled, (single coated).
• Its head should appear to be wedge shaped when viewed from the side and top but rounded
when viewed from the front. The head should be around 2/3 width of shoulders and 25 per
cent wider at cheeks than at the base of the skull (this is due to the cheek muscles).
• The distance from the back of the head to between the eyes should be about equal to the
distance from between the eyes to the tip of its nose.
• The dog should have a good depth from the top of head to bottom of jaw and a straight
box-like muzzle.
• Its eyes should be small and deep-set, triangular when viewed from the side and elliptical
from front.
• Its shoulders should be wider than the rib cage at the eighth rib.
• Its elbows should be flat with its front legs running parallel to the spine.
• Its forelegs should be heavy and solid and nearly twice the thickness of the hind legs just below
the hock.
• The rib cage should be deep and spring straight out from the spine, it should be elliptical in
cross section tapering at the bottom and not ‘barrel’ chested.
• It should have a tail that hangs down like an old fashioned ‘pump handle’ to around the hock.
• It should have a broad hip that allows good attachment of muscles in the hindquarters and
hind legs.
• Its knee joint should be in the upper third of the dog’s rear leg, and the bones below that
should appear light, fine and springy.
• Overall the dog should have an athletic appearance, the standard makes no mention of ears,
colour, height, or weight.

If you do feel that you may have a Pit Bull Type dog, or have been contacted by the police in regards to your dog's breed - contact DDA watch http://www.ddawatch.co.uk/ who will be able to guide you further.

But always remember -
- DO NOT SIGN OVER YOUR DOG -
- DO NOT SIGN A DISCLAIMER -
- DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING -
until you have spoken to a professional and fully understand all of the legal documents
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Is my dog a Pit Bull Terrier? Empty Re: Is my dog a Pit Bull Terrier?

Post by Matea on Sat Jul 26 2014, 16:16

Great topic first of all! I came across a great text the other day-which subject is "not a Pit Bull", i have to share it here-and i hope it will help somebody to realise that there is a difference in the breeds, and that the APBT,AST and SBT are not the same.
I have a AST (from a respected kennel in Zagreb-Croatia), but my baby girl for an example is not a pure breed AST. In the beginning i didn't have any doubts. I knew she was out of the typical AST standard with her white color and blue eye...I had some experts telling me that i have a AST X APBT mix dog, with a typical APBT head and AST body.
The point is that a lot of people don't recognize the difference, and they think it's the same breed, but in reality the history shares a completely different story.

how to tell the difference between bully breeds
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Is my dog a Pit Bull Terrier? Empty Re: Is my dog a Pit Bull Terrier?

Post by Rachel33 on Wed Jul 30 2014, 09:35

Thanks for your reply! I think the problem is that in America most bull breeds are called Pit Bull's.. Even boxer x labs can be named as they have the right look about them, and that trend appears to have come to England. I worked in kennels for a long time, and had to put to sleep a lot of dogs that were deemed as type. In my opinion, 2 out of 100+ looked to be Pit Bull Terriers, the rest were just poor cross breeds.
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Post by sayer1986 on Tue Sep 02 2014, 22:07

Oh my god this was so helpful thank you, I've been searching the internet for months for a post like this,
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Post by Matea on Wed Sep 03 2014, 20:49

No problem Smile
Glad to see it helped somebody
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Post by Stan and Holly on Fri Jan 02 2015, 18:43

Don't they say that an APBT has a brick shaped profile whereas a SBT eg, has a tear shaped profile.
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Post by tomsk497 on Mon Feb 23 2015, 14:39

Hi what do you think of my dog,get friends and family commenting on how big he is.hes 7 month old just and weighs 18kg and stands about 17" tall at the rear.i personally dont care,hes lovely and extremely well behaved.but it has got me thinking a little.any help would be great.

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