Dog researchers believe the Pit Bull aka American Staffordshire Terrier, came from the same lines as the Staffordshire Terrier. The original crossing of breeds started with an older type of Bulldog with some older types of other Terriers. Thus we have the dog currently known as the Bull Terrier.
These dogs became popular for individuals who enjoyed fighting dogs. Dog fighting was very popular despite the fact that it was illegal. North America started to see many Staffordshire Terriers inthe late 1800s when they were brought over specifically for entertainment … dog fighting as disgusting as that is. It was at this time that they became known as the American Bull Terrier.
Americans seemingly wanted to create a larger, more aggressive version of this dog. Thus they crossed the English and the American versions, creating a new breed of dog that was recognized by the AKC in 1936. The official breed name was American Staffordshire Terrier (Pit Bull).
The American Staffordshire Terrier can have an aggressive temperament if they feel defensive, especially in response to protecting its family. Needless to say, these pets make an excellent watchdog and will protect its owners and property. They also have shown a very strong prey drive for smaller animals. Obedience, exercise and proper socialization is a must.
Overall, they are a happy animal when raised properly. They love to run and play and be with their family. They need to be positively exposed to as many different things as possible. And, we need to keep them out of the hands of the nefarious, crooked element who wants to tie them up on big logging chains, fight and treat them inhumanely.
Thankfully, there are many rescue and humane organizations who are trying to help these mistreated dogs. Please consider giving a few dollars to these groups as it will help the breed overcome its position just as the Doberman, German Shepherd and other “aggressive” breeds have in the United States.
Taking Care Of Your Pit Bull
Pit Bulls need plenty of exercise on a daily basis. Long walks mixed with obedience. Although these dogs can live outdoors if necessary, it is preferred is they live in the home with its family. Grooming and upkeep is easy. Vet visits should be regularly scheduled.
The American Staffordshire Terrier lives an average of 12 to 14 years. Hereditary breed specific health concerns can be CHD, PRA, and cerebellar ataxia. Minor issues are elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and heart disease.
Sometimes allergies and cruciate ligament rupture can occur. Veterinarians recommend that you have your dog checked for hip and elbow problems, eye issues, thyroid, and cardiac.