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A Note on the Use of the Term, “Pit Bull”
The term “Pit Bull” as used in these pages, is meant to refer to the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) breed ONLY. This is a purebred recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) and the American Dog Breeders Association (ADBA). However, the media, legislators and others use this same term incorrectly to describe a certain group of dogs that actually includes several breeds and types. Included in this group are:American Pit Bull Terriers/American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, sometimes Bull Terriers and American Bulldogs, mixes with percentage of blood of any one of these breeds and dogs that simply look like these breeds. Understandably, many people are confused about what a “Pit Bull” actually is, since the popular public definition is so wide and the breeds above actually share similar history and physical characteristics.
The broader use of the term “Pit Bull” is a fairly new development, and seemingly the roots of the redefinition lie with the misinformed media. Along with the myriad myths propagated by careless reporting came misapplication of the nickname “Pit Bull”. The American Pit Bull Terrier literally had its name stolen and applied to all manner of breeds and mixes that had never before been so called. Indeed, ask a Staffordshire bull terrier, Bull Terrier, or American Bulldog owner if their dog is a ‘Pit Bull’ and you will hear a resounding, “No!” The American Pit Bull Terrier is the only breed with the words “pit” and “bull” actually in its name, and the only one of the above breeds/types that is most commonly, correctly, and historically, called a “Pit Bull”.