There is no such breed as “Pit Bull”. We do sometimes use the term “Pit Bull as slang for “American Pit Bull Terrier” and related breeds (discussed below). The APBT is a distinct breed of registered dog, just like the German Shepherd or the Beagle. APBT pedigrees can be traced back for generations.

The American Pit Bull Terrier originated in England at least 150 years ago. Irish and English immigrants brought them to America in the mid-19th century. In 1898, Chauncey Bennett formed the United Kennel Club (UKC) for the sole purpose of registering “Pit Bull Terriers.” In 1909, Guy McCord, a close friend of John P. Colby started the American Dog Breeders Association (ADBA). Now under the stewardship of the Greenwood family, the ADBA is the largest APBT registry and has recently begun registering other breeds of dog. The ADBA is the organization to which the Lone Star State Pit Bull Club belongs.

In 1936 the American Kennel Club (AKC) registered the breed as the “Staffordshire Terrier”. In 1972, this name was changed to “American Staffordshire Terrier” to distinguish it from its English cousin, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Many American Pit Bull Terriers are registered in both the ADBA and the UKC. Some APBTs, depending on the bloodline, are even additionally registered as AKC American Staffordshire Terriers. However, no APBT is also registered as an AKC Staffordshire Terrier.

The ADBA conformation standard is unique because it has held steadfastly to the breeds’ working heritage. The written standard, and the way judges are trained to interpret it, has changed very little over the years. The APBT must be athletic, sturdy, healthy, confident, proud, and outgoing. The points on the below graph must be constructed in the manner of a working dog, according to strict criteria. In ADBA conformation shows, cosmetic elements such as color, ears cropped or not cropped, and even total size, are irrelevant.

ADBA Conformation Standard

Please see the ADBA website for the detailed conformation standard and ways to get involved. Check out the events calendar for a show near you.