Pit bull breeds are a result of crossbreeding bull dogs and terriers during the 19th century. The result of the crossbreeding, which at times included additional crossbreeding with the Dalmatian and Spanish pointer, are the breeds we know today as the American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American pit bull terrier and the bull terrier.
American Staffordshire Terrier
Originally from England, the American Staffordshire terrier was first named the bull and terrier, because they are the result of crossbreeding a bulldog with terriers. They were brought to America in the late 1800s by immigrants. Today, the American Staffordshire terrier is a playful, fun-loving dog who is good with children and enjoys being part of a family. They are protective of their family but at times, can become aggressive toward other dogs. They are energetic dogs who require daily exercise. Average adult males weigh 57 to 67 pounds and are 18 to 19 inches in height. Females range within the same weight as the males, however, their average height is 17 to 18 inches.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
In the early 1800s in England, breeders were looking to produce a superior bull-baiting dog. They crossbred the bulldog with the black and tan terrier, resulting in a quick acting, fearless, strong dog. Today, the Staffordshire bull terrier is a docile, companion dog who loves human contact and is generally gentle around children. Due to their kind nature toward children, they earned the nickname "nanny dog" in England. The average Staffordshire bull terrier adult males are 18 to 19 inches in height and weigh 35 to 40 pounds, while the females are 17 to 18 inches in height, weighing between 30 and 35 pounds. They require exercise on a daily basis. Their coat care requirements are minimal.
American Pit Bull Terrier
The American pit bull terrier's origin is traced back to Scotland, England and Ireland during the early 19th century. The breed is a result of breeders experimentally crossbreeding different terrier breeds with bulldogs, to develop a strong dog for bull-baiting and dog fighting. European immigrants brought the breed to North America, where the breed is now recognized by the United Kennel Club as the American pit bull terrier. They do not have naturally aggressive tendencies and are an affectionate, playful, friendly companion dog and family pet. The standard adult size for the American pit bull terrier ranges from medium to large with the average weight ranging between 30 and 90 pounds. Coat care for the American pit bull terrier is minimal.
The bull terrier breed came about around 1835, when breeders in England crossbred an old English terrier with a bulldog, which later got crossbred with the Spanish pointer. In 1860, James Hinks crossbred the bull terrier once again with a white English terrier and a Dalmatian. The result from the crossbreeding of the breeds resulted in an agile, strong dog that was suitable for dominating the pits during dog fights and bull-baiting. Today the bull terrier is a companion dog who is affectionate and devoted to his owner. Bull terriers require daily mental and physical exercise. Their coat care is minimal. The average adult size bull terrier ranges from 21 to 22 inches in height with males weighing 60 to 70 pounds and females weighing between 50 to 60 pounds.