Pit BullsPit Bull Characteristics and Personality Traits Let’s be clear; the “pit bull” is not a single breed formally recognized by the AKC. Instead, the Pit Bull is a generic classification or slang for many AKC registered breeds and their resulting mixes. Those breeds include the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.   Physical Characteristics of the Pit Bull                        

The Pit Bull is a very muscular, agile dog between 18 and 22 inches tall at the shoulder, with a weight between 35 and 55 pounds. As with most dogs within this size category, the life expectancy is 12-14 years.

The city of San Francisco uses a checklist to determine if the dog is indeed a Pit Bull. Criteria include the shape of the head, eyes, ears, neck, body, tail, hindquarters and coat. According to the guidelines, if the animal matches 5 of 8 items, he/she is in the Pit Bull family.

Grooming for the Pit Bull

Grooming a Pit Bull requires a minimum of effort, and it’s because the short hair requires only brushing to prevent shedding. Some mixes can even be hypoallergenic, a feature important to those prone to allergies.

Pit Bull Health Concerns

Every breed has health issues, and these dogs are no exception. In addition to skin and eye issues, common concerns include diabetes, hip dysplasia, and with a majority of dogs, obesity. However, with the proper diet and exercise, many health problems are resolved easily and make this a low-maintenance breed.  

Pit Bull Personality Traits

Despite the stereotype, the Pit Bull is not aggressive towards humans. “A well-bred American Pit Bull Terrier is a dependable, good-natured, loyal companion” according to Your Pure Bred Puppy.com.  They thrive on human companionship and require proper socialization, the same as any other dog.

Aggression Towards Other Dogs

One of the concerns is the perception that the Pit Bull does not “play well with others.” Many supporters of the breed blame such poor behavior on the fur parents.  According to Petwave.com, if the Pit Bull is not socialized properly, it can naturally be dominant of other animals, including dogs. But this tendency can be eliminated as long as the Pit Bull is socializing throughout its lifetime. This sentiment is reinforced by Our Pack Rescue experience, “Additionally, the human connection that Pit Bulls have is very helpful in managing reactions to dogs as they aim to please us.”

Most important Owner Considerations

So, the research is complete, and the selection is the Pit Bull. Before bringing the pup home, make sure there are more positive characteristics than negative for you.


  • the dog is people-oriented and wants to please
  • this will be a medium to large dog
  • these breeds are extremely muscular
  • they are easy to groom
  • the dog is an excellent deterrent and very loyal
  • is generally friendly towards people


  • it’s necessary to devote time to socializing the dog, for life
  • keep them busy, or they will find ways to be destructive
  • they’re exuberant and downright rowdy, especially as a puppy
  • can be aggressive towards other dogs when not properly socialized
  • stigma – there is always a chance of legal liability

There are lots of rescue groups with variations of the Pit Bull breeds available for adoption, and many of those groups are in this article.The process is pretty tough to ensure proper placement. Matching with the right owner and placement in the right home is the key to a successful, long, and loving relationship.

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