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American Pit Bull Terrier
(Pit Bull, Pit Bull Terrier, PIt bull Dog, American Pit Bull, American Pit Bull Dog)
However, the American Staffordshire Terrier is historically so strongly related to the American Pit Bull Terrier that to this day fanciers of these dogs consider the American Pit Bull Terrier the working type (or UKC name) and the Amstaff the show type (or AKC name) of one and the same breed.
Because pit bull is an all-encompassing term used to describe several breeds of dogs, THE pitbull, or American Pit Bull Terrier. is often confused with other dog breeds of similar characteristics, such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier. Miniature Bull Terrier, Bandog, Pit Bullmastiff or even the American Bulldog and mixed breeds or genetically modified mongrels that include any of these breeds.
The American Pit Bull Terrier descends from dogs imported at the end of the 1800's and beginning of the 1900's by the english, scottish and irish immigrants to such ports as Boston, Ma, Portsmouth, NH and New York.
These dogs were crossbred to become larger and taller producing offspring that was a very versatile working dog fit for guard work, protection, hunting and dog fighting.
Farmers and ranchers used their American Pit Bull Terriers for protection, as catch dogs
The resulting breed, the American Pit Bull Terrier became known as an "all-American" dog. Pit bull type dogs became popular as family pets for citizens who were not involved in dog-fighting or farming. In the early 1900s they began to appear in films, one of the more famous examples being Pete the Pup from the Our Gang shorts (later known as The Little Rascals ).
During World War I the breed's widespread popularity led to its being featured on pro-U.S. propaganda posters.
In 1898 the United Kennel Club (UKC) was founded by American Pit Bull fanciers who wished to establish pedigrees and record bloodlines for the dogs born in the US. One of the founders, C. Z. Bennett, assigned U.K.C. registration number 1 to his own APBT, Bennett's Ring in 1898. From that moment on, cross-breeding was no longer accepted, as had often been the case before that.
Gradually the UKC started registering other breeds and the American Dog Breeders Association was founded in 1909 by APBT breeders who wanted to create a register that solely accepted American Pit Bull Terriers.
During the "Great Depression of the 1930's" the American Kennel Club added American Pit Bull Terriers to their registry under the name of Staffordshire Terriers. With this new name for the breed, they needed a standard. After visiting a few kennels, a committee headed by Wilfred T. Brandon chose Colby's Primo as a standard for the breed.
Other breeders continued to register their dogs with the UKC and the ADBA. The UKC adopted a standard very similar to the AKC one.
Still today some fanciers of these dogs consider the American Pit Bull Terrier the working type and the Amstaff the show type of one and the same breed.
© Catherine Marien-de Luca for Bulldog Information 2003-2007.
All rights reserved. Photos courtesy of Colby's Pit Bulls.