The ASPCA explains that the term "pit bull" applies to several dog breeds and mixes between them. However, most experts agree that the two breeds that best suit the "pit bull" label are the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier. Proving a dog's pedigree is only possible if its parents have papers from a reputable kennel club such as the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club.
According to Pit Bull Rescue Central, the UKC recognizes the American Pit Bull Terrier as a purebred dog, but the AKC does not. The AKC will only allow the registration of American Staffordshire Terriers. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are another breed that can be registered with both kennel clubs, but there is some disagreement as to whether it should be classified as a pit bull.
Because there are other breeds that closely resemble pit bulls, it is impossible to know if a dog is full-blooded without seeing pedigree papers. Unfortunately, some dishonest breeders turn to shady kennel clubs for falsified papers on dogs that do not have verifiable lineage. Researching the kennel club to determine its authenticity is a vital part of determining the purebred status of a dog, notes Pit Bull Rescue Center.