The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) is a purebred dog breed recognized by the United Kennel Club and American Dog Breeders Association, but not the American Kennel Club.
It is a medium-sized, solidly-built, intelligent, short-haired dog, whose early ancestors came from the British Isles. Compared with the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier is larger by margins of 6–8 inches cm in height and 25–35 pounds in weight.
The American Pit Bull Terrier varies in size. Males normally are about 18-21 inches (45–53 cm) in height and around 35-60 pounds in weight. Females are normally around 17-20 inches in height and 30-50 pounds in weight.
According to the ADBA, the American Pit Bull is prescribed to be medium-sized and has a short coat and smooth, well-defined muscle structure. Its eyes are to be round to almond-shaped, and its ears are to be small to medium in length, typically half prick or rose in the carriage.
The tail is prescribed to be slightly thick and tapering to a point. The coat is required by the ADBA to be glossy, smooth, short, and stiff to the touch.
Many colors, color patterns, and combinations of colors are acceptable to the ADBA, except that both the ADBA and UKC do not recognize merle coloring. Color patterns that are typical in the breed are solid and tuxedo.
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Despite the everyday use of the term “pit bull” to encompass a whole category of dogs and the legal use of the name to include several breeds in legislation, some conservative professional breeders of the American Pit Bull Terrier, as well as some experts and supporters, claim that historically the APBT is the only true “pit bull” and the only breed that should be denominated as such.
Twelve countries in Europe, as well as Australia, Canada, Ecuador, Malaysia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and Venezuela, have enacted some form of breed-specific legislation on pit bull-type dogs, including American Pit Bull Terriers, ranging from outright bans to restrictions and conditions on ownership. The state of New South Wales in Australia places restrictions on the breed, including mandatory sterilization. The breed is banned in the United Kingdom, in the Canadian province of Ontario, and many locations in the United States.