Q:

How can you tell if a pit bull is purebred?

A:

Quick Answer

The American Dog Breeders Association describes purebred American Pit Bull Terriers as athletic, heavy dogs that do not stray into bulkiness with defined and smooth musculature. The head must be in proportion to the body with a neck long enough to seat the head above the top of the back when upright. They must be socialized and gentle without displaying signs of aggression or timidity.

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Full Answer

Pit bulls are typically well socialized, so unruly behavior or aggressiveness may indicate that a dog is not of a pure pedigree. The proportions are also an important factor in determining if a dog is purebred.

If no pedigree is available, breed is determined by appearance, but pit bulls are difficult to categorize because the word refers to over 20 breeds, not including those that are mixed with Boston terriers, French bulldogs and English bulldogs. Because of this ambiguity, some breeders and researchers criticize the unreliability of visual markers for identifying breed.

An alternative to visual identification is DNA analysis. The documented accuracy rate for DNA identification is much higher, averaging 90 percent. Another important factor in the improved accuracy rate of DNA analysis is that many animal control officers and veterinarians are not trained in breed identification. Some states and buildings prohibit the ownership of pit bulls.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How much does the average pit bull weigh?

    A:

    The weight range for an average American pit bull terrier varies greatly and can be between 25 and 85 pounds. Male pit bulls usually weigh between 35 and 65 pounds. Females are a little smaller, weighing in at between 30 and 60 pounds.

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  • Q:

    How can you tell if a pit bull is full-blooded?

    A:

    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.

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  • Q:

    What is a pit bull mixed with?

    A:

    The American pit bull terrier is a purebred dog recognized by the United Kennel Club, the American Pit Bull Registry and several other organizations, but the American Kennel Club does not recognize it. It was developed by crossing the Old English terrier with the Old English bulldog.

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  • Q:

    What is a pit bull?

    A:

    The modern pit bull terrier is a dog that traces its lineage back to bull-baiting dogs of England that were used to hunt bears and other large animals. Although they have a loving disposition, the strong jaws of pit bulls make them ideal for illegal dog-fighting competitions.

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