About APBT

It is not how the dog is "raised" that makes the largest difference in public safety but how the dog is maintained by its owner.

Against Animal Cruelty

Support our movement against animal cruelty and dog fighting. Click HERE to report animal cruelty.

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” ~ Albert Einstein
American Pit Bull Terrier has been demonized, discriminated and judged mainly by the actions of irresponsible owners. The APBT SAA has as a goal to propagate information about the American Pit Bull Terrier to the general public and to provide with advise and guidelines in how to bring up an American Pit Bull Terrier for those who want to be proud owners of an APBT, as well as to provide a healthy environment for everyone interested in this power-breed.
Abused Dogs
Dog state after dogfight
We are also against animal cruelty, dog fighting and backyard breeders which, in our point of view, are one of the main reasons of the bad reputation that the APBT has got all over the globe by cross-breeding and selling half-breed American Pit Bull Terrier  with a great resemblance to an APBT but different temperament from that of a pure breed APBT from a good bloodline.

We have as a goal to improve the reputation of all the different breeds of Pit Bulls which encompasses a small variety by offering legitimate information based on studies and facts and, although, many of the Pit Bull attacks reported on the news are also a fact it is not, in our believe, the breed that has to be blamed but the dog handler, as an example the favorite or iconic K9 police unit is the German Shepherd which training is to actually attack people, criminals yes but people nevertheless, thus proving the point that any medium or large dog is capable of considerable and/or fatal damage to humans with the right training and in the wrong hands. This been said, what we want to achieve is for the general South African population to be informed of what an American Pit Bull Terrier is all about: a strong medium to large solid built and intelligent dog with dog/animal aggression tendencies but rarely human aggressive.

We offer several services and some of them are still under administrative process and will be released within the next couple of weeks, however the primary goal is to provide valid information based in facts and studies done throughout the years. Please support our cause and promote this website to help prevent BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) from happening in South Africa.

All About American Pit Bull Terrier

Know the history, characteristics, temperament and health risks of your APBT

The Pit Bull Terrier was created by breeding Old English Terriers and Old English Bulldogs together to produce a dog that combined the gameness of the terrier with the strength and athleticism of the bulldog. These dogs (named Bull and Terriers) were bred in the British Isles, and arrived in the United States where they became the direct ancestors of the American Pit Bull Terrier.

In the United Kingdom, Bull-and-terriers were used in blood sports such as bull baiting, bear baiting. These blood sports were officially eliminated in 1835 as Britain began to introduce animal welfare laws. Since dogfights were cheaper to organize and far easier to conceal from the law than bull or bear baits, blood sport proponents turned to pitting their dogs against each other instead. Dog fighting was used as both a blood sport (often involving gambling) and a way to continue to test the quality of their stock. For decades afterwards, dog fighting clandestinely took place in small areas of Britain and America.

In the early 20th century, pit bulls were used as catch dogs in America for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt, and drive livestock, and as family companions. Some have been selectively bred for their fighting prowess.

Pit Bull Terriers successfully fill the role of companion dogs, and police dogs, and therapy dog. Pit Bull Terriers also constitute the majority of dogs used for illegal dog fighting in America. In addition, law enforcement organizations report these dogs are used for other nefarious purposes, such as guarding illegal narcotics operations, use against police, and as attack dogs.

In an effort to counter the fighting reputation of pit bull-type dogs, in 1996 the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals renamed pit bull terriers to “St. Francis Terriers”, so that people might be more likely to adopt them. 60 temperament-screened dogs were adopted until the program was halted, after several of the newly adopted pit bulls killed cats. The New York City Center for Animal Care and Control tried a similar approach in 2004, relabeling their pit bulls as “New Yorkies”, but dropped the idea in the face of overwhelming public opposition.

APBT Halloween Time
APBT Conforming
APBT Playful


The UKC gives this description of the characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier:

The essential characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier are strength, confidence, and zest for life. This breed is eager to please and brimming over with enthusiasm. APBTs make excellent family companions and have always been noted for their love of children. Because most APBTs exhibit some level of dog aggression and because of its powerful physique, the APBT requires an owner who will carefully socialize and obedience train the dog. The breed’s natural agility makes it one of the most capable canine climbers so good fencing is a must for this breed. The APBT is not the best choice for a guard dog since they are extremely friendly, even with strangers. Aggressive behavior toward humans is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable. This breed does very well in performance events because of its high level of intelligence and its willingness to work.

The standard imposed by the ADBA considers the human aggression as disqualification factor. The APDR (American Preservation Dog Registry) standard points out that “the temperament MUST be totally reliable with people”. However, in all the standards it is mentioned that dog/animal aggression is common to the breed.

The ATTS (American Temperament Test Society) conducts temperament testing since 1977 with several dog breeds, and until now has tested more than 900 APBTs. According to the tests conducted by ATTS the APBTs had one of the highest percentages of approval.

In September 2000, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study which examined dog bite-related fatalities (human death caused by dog bite injuries) in order to “summarize breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks during a 20-year period and to assess policy implications.”

The study examined 238 fatalities between 1979 and 1998 in which the breed of dog was known. It found that “the data indicates that Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs accounted for 67% of human DBRF [dog bite-related fatality] in the United States between 1997 and 1998” and that it was “extremely unlikely that they accounted for anywhere near 60% of dogs in the United States during that same period and, thus, there appears to be a breed-specific problem with fatalities.”

However, the article continued, saying that care should be taken in drawing conclusions based on these data because:

first, the study likely covered only about 74% of actual DBRF cases;
second, records of DBRF may have been biased by the propensity of media to report attacks by certain breeds over others;
third, it is not always straightforward to identify a dog’s breed, and records may be biased towards reporting ‘known’ aggressive breeds; and
fourth, it was not clear how to count mixed breeds.
fifth, such breeds have traditionally been used in dog fighting at a far higher percentage than others. Thus, the disparity of docility versus aggressiveness tends to rank very highly in Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs when compared to other breeds, with human training playing the primary role.

The authors concluded by noting that “breeds responsible for human DBRF have varied over time” (for example, Great Danes caused the most reported DBRF between 1979 and 1980). In the face of this inconclusive data, the study authors recommended that breed should not be the “primary factor driving public policy”, instead making the following policy recommendations: “adequate funding for animal control agencies, enforcement of existing animal control laws, and educational and policy strategies to reduce inappropriate dog and owner behaviors” as likely to be beneficial and specifically to decrease the occurrence of dog bites.

In a peer-reviewed literature review of 66 dog bite risk studies, the American Veterinary Medical Association determined that “breed is a poor sole predictor of dog bites. Controlled studies reveal no increased risk for the group blamed most often for dog bites, ‘pit bull-type’ dogs. Accordingly, targeting this breed or any other as a basis for dog-bite prevention is unfounded. As stated by the National Animal Control Association: “Dangerous and/or vicious animals should be labeled as such as a result of their actions or behavior and not because of their breed.”

In 2014, new statistical evidence emerged regarding the province-wide ban on “pit bulls”, more specifically the American Pit Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier, in the Canadian province of Ontario. It was reported to show that since the ban had been implemented, dog bites involving the two breeds and dogs of their likeness had dropped considerably in the province’s largest city Toronto, yet overall dog bites hit their highest levels this century in 2013 and 2014.


The breed tends to have a higher than average incidence of hip dysplasia. Culling for performance has helped eliminate this problem and others such as patella problems, thyroid dysfunction and congenital heart defects. American Pit Bull Terriers with dilute coat colors have not had a higher occurrence of skin allergies as other breeds. As a breed they are more susceptible to parvovirus than others if not vaccinated, especially as puppies, so vaccination is imperative beginning at 39 days old and continuing every 2 weeks until 4 months old. Then again at 8 months. Once a year after that, as recommend for all breeds.

They are very prone to Demodex Mange due to culling for performance. There are two different types of Demodex Mange, namely Localized and Generalized Demodex. Although it is not contagious it is sometimes difficult to treat due to immunodeficiency in some puppies. The Localized symptoms are usually loss of hair in small patches on the head and feet of the puppies. This type will usually heal as the puppies grow and their immune systems grow stronger. The second type which is Generalized Demodex mange is a more severe form of the sickness. The symptoms are more severe and include loss of hair throughout the entire body and the skin may also be scabby and bloody. Generalized are usually hereditary due to immunodeficiency genes that are passed on from Sire and Dam to their puppies. A simple skin scraping test will allow the vet to diagnose demodex mange. The most widely used method to treat Demodex Mange is ivermectin injections or oral medications. Since Demodex Mange lives in the hair follicles of the dog, Ivermectin will kill these mites at the source.

APBT SAA interaction
APBT Blue Gray Nose
APBT Red Nose White Marks


Broadly speaking, the modern APBT is divided into two strains: Strain Black and Red nose. Strain Red nose is often associated with the parent strain which we know as the Old Family Strains of Ireland around abad.17, while the Black nose often associated with old strains: the British Fighting Bull-dogs known as Staffordshire Bulldog, Although there are also other strains , like Blue nose, Purple nose, etc., but most fans are focused on the two strains only..

A little bit of history repeating flashbacks tell the Pit Bull in Europe before going to America. In general, we recognize four periods of Pitbull historical development which eventually get the official name APBT. The first period is: Period Bullbaiting- Bearbaiting (age 14-18), the second period is the period Pitfighting (Dogfighting in Europe around age 17-18), the third is the period of the process of Americanization (Pit Bull originally developed to America from Europe around 1800 until 1960), and the fourth is the period of the 1980s (when the 1970 Dogfighting officially banned by the Government, through decrees issued ADOA). And now we can see the APBT has a wide variety types shapes and sizes according to each fan (fan camp weight pulling, dogfighting, hunting dogs, and conformation show-dog).

I am not discussing the period before the fourteenth century, ie before the age Bullbaiting, because I find it too much for us to explore about the existence of the APBT, indeed before the 14th century: APBT has a descendant of the Ancient Mastiff Dog (Mollosus), but the type or characteristics-characteristics not 100% the same , because in my opinion the Pit Bull is the result of the process: Pit-Fighting and baiting- Bull- dogs for hundreds of years over, which occurs in some regions countries in Western Europe, such as England, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain , France, etc.

No country can claim to be definitive accurate and scientific origins of the Pit Bull, except after at the register by the American dog body that is as thn.1898 APBT in UKC, then in 1909 as a Pit Bull Terrier in ADBA, then in 1939 as the Staffordshire Terrier The AKC, then th.1972 as the American Staffordshire Terrier (Amstaff) in AKC, then th.1974 as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier in AKC. And now the UKC and ADBA Pit Bull admitted as APBT. So until now often arises confusion between Amstaff and APBT or Staffordshire Bull Terrier, APBT because there are some who have dual registers (two different registration: as in AKC Amstaff and APBT in UKC or ADBA) even triple registers.

From a long history, we know that these types are developed unyielding nature (gameness) and fighting abilities. So some farmers are maintaining the purity of the blood of the dog so that the genetic quality of the Pit Bull is not decreased. They do not want to cross the dog with a bloodline that is not considered good (not dogs Pit fighter winner) especially with other types or breeds. Indeed, according to proponents of the theory there is a possibility terrier dog blood donation Pit derived from the type of terrier, but it is not certain what kind of dog and when it happens.

At this time (Dogfighting 17th century) here we can see, due to the interest of keeping / maintaining a characteristic of Pit Bull Fighting which includes gameness, fighting behavior, bite pressure, wrestling ability, etc., which makes certain characteristics of a bloodline / breeder, the possibility of inbreeding (inbred or line breding) is quite large, since each farmer is having a strong confidence on the quality / her own bloodline privilege.

Meanwhile in Ireland, never mind there is a group of families who like to develop its complaint dog, named: family Cork & Kerry, according to informed sources, the family makes a characteristic / specificity characteristics that have the appearance of the dog’s body is almost all red body (red copper), red nose, red eyes yellow / yellow, toenails, lips, red mouth, and with a high fighting ability.

Strains developed by Cork & Kerry’s family became known as the Strain “Old Family”. However, there are two arguments about the definition of the origin of this Old Family. The first is the sense of this strain developed by many people who do not have a sibling relationships in Ireland. While the second sense is this strain developed only by a family group for several years. Opinions seem to be more towards the first opinion.
For many causes, the old type of family is almost an inbred product yields are very close, so if we have a type like this, we usually get the recessive traits in the offspring, therefore if once mated with a dog that is dominant (eg strain black nose) then the offspring will be hard to go back resembling the origin of the properties owned by the family’s old dog.

In my opinion: with a simple sentence that is when strains were crossed with blacknose rednose offspring will be more powerful then the derivative of its black nose, and it will be difficult to return the traits / temperament or the shape of the puppies were born in order to get back on ciri- rednosenya characteristics. Because Red (red) are usually recessive (weak) against the other colors except white. Strains Old Family later changed its name to The Old Family Reds strains, even when the initial rednose dogs arrived in America, they already reveal traits in particular that is a red nose (Rednose).

While the Old Family growing strains, other strains are in fact also been a long time that the Black nose has also been developed, an old coal mining area in the United Kingdom known as: Staffordshire, has used a Pit Bull to pull a train of coal mines in the halls, and of course a lot of this type that has long been used for dog fighting or used as a hunting dog, and guard plantation / farm. Pit Bull was in the area of ancient Britain at this age (around age 16-17) is usually the blacknose Pit Bull (Pit Bull black nose). And most farmers fighting dogs Black nose Pit Bull is also always strive to produce puppies with the characteristics of a special fighting ability (other than the other), and after getting the desired typical (example: Chest-dog: the dog who attacked towards the chest / his neck and bite type tore / ripped), then the breeder will strive to always mengkonsistenkan, so any chicks that are born of the bloodline breeders always have the typical privileges. (not lost).

Where did the arrival of the nose pit bull dog and red colored body (before it was developed by the Irish people)? This is a question that continues to roll, with some arguments fans. But according to my opinion, Strain Old family actually comes from an old strain: Black-Nose Pit Bull that was developed based on the characteristics of the body (body color) and the style of fighting (Fighting behavior) certain desired his breeder, for the purpose of purifying / patenting a Pit Bull type / Fighting-dog at that time.

Both of these strains (Rednose and Black nose) and then continue to be preserved by the owners, and some of them were brought to America (the immigration process: the UK, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Germany, etc migrated to America circa 1700 to 1800) for development in the area. In the early days of his arrival in America, the farmers do not know / investigate many of the differences and advantages of the Black nose with Rednose Pit Bull. In the Americanized period (1875-1970), which occurred around 1900, we know the name: the leading Breeder: William J. Lightner which used strains in the Old Family Reds breedingnya program. But unfortunately after some time he did not have the results that he wanted, so he gave up on the strain at the time of his move from Louisiana to Colorado and switch to other strains size is rather small, dark and blacknose.

Then we also know a famous comic writer named: Dan Mc Coy. That has always been of interest / concern is what about the pit bull, and she has a lot of knowledge about this breed. Expertise and ability in breeding made ​​him become a valued and needed as breeders consultant for the fans / Pit Bull breeders that time. Mc Coy worked with many fans of the Pit Bull, among others: Bourgeous, Bob Hemphill (rednose fans). They secured descendants rednose strains left by Lightner. Some of the famous dog at that time were: Harvey’s Red Devil and Owen’s (Ferguson) Centipede.

Another fan of Old Family Red Strains named: Bob Wallace (1950), began a research / testing of the quality of the dogs Red-Nose (red nose) is. Bob eventually get to a conclusion and put it in an article titled: There is no Magic in Rednose. Where he believes the power / ability to rednose for lowering properties / characteristics superior as great as capabilities that allow lowering the bad traits in the puppies. In the article Bob’s assumption / belief those fans who overestimate the Red-Nose Strain advantages compared to Black nose, rednose Bob holds that strains can thrive with good quality is precisely the course of his / her ability itself, which remains at two initial concept Pit dog breeding: selecting (tillers election / candidate sires who have fought that good quality) and culling (allowance / disposal of the seedling-seedling / prospective breeders who do not have a standard dog Pit).

Some dogs Bob Wallace and Mc.Clintock (circa 1940-1950an) is very well known and is the Old Family Red bloodlines are:
1. Rusty Wallace’s,
2. Wallace’s Red Brave,
3. Wallace’s Red Rock,
4. Red Raven (farmed Mc.Clintock used Bob as one of the plants),
5. Wallace’s Red Rube,
6. Wallace’s Red Poncho (“schooling” dog), etc.

As a strain, the Old Family Red has some important things, first: This strain is famous for its gamenes nature, many of the leading pit bull breeder in the history of the APBT, has made ​​several important contributions in building and strengthening these strains, such as reviewed above: Lightner, McClintock, Menefee and Wallace.

Inevitably, indeed rednose dogs generally look more beautiful / good in terms of appearance, anatomy is compared blacknose. However this strain also has contributed to the development of good American Pit Bull, which makes this kind: as the number one type of dog breeders recognized the fighter to date. Some old rednose strains still showed characteristic and robustness until now, we can see also in some of the leading kennel in the US, with the result of the dominant breedingnya rednose like: kennel Wilrox and Lonzo etc, many of the child is still able to show how the first strains of this rednose grown and used in dogfighting.

Regarding Strain Old blacknose, we can see this type has actually been around longer than its relatives Rednose called: Old Family. Blacknose pitbull can be seen clearly in the centuries old paintings 15-18 in England and Germany: the name of: British Fighting Bulldog, Bullenbeiser, Brabanter called Bullbaiting-dog or a name that should be: Original Bulldog. Maybe when the first known / recorded breeder blacknose patented strain, it is now known as Old family- Black. I see it has a distinctive strain blacknose well. Some breeders are more focused strains blacknose and also old enough recognized: John.P.Colby (1875-1941) followed his son Louis Colby (Colby family has membreeding more than 5000 dogs) and continued by his sons until now, and we also know Joe Corvino, Tudor Earl, Howard Heinzl, Howard M Hadley, Floyd Boudreaux, Hammond, Wood, Garner, Sorrell, Crenshaw, etc. where each puppy from a breeder that has unique advantages for the study. (such as agility and FB).

As for the Old blacknose Strain this, in my opinion this strain is still required research / investigation deeper (DNA-test, Performance test, etc.) on all its advantages / disadvantages. Among others, why the various forms / types of head Black nose pitbull different (some sources have the aura of a similar shape and head like tigers, bears, lions), and there is a small size of about 15 kg, there were 20kg, 30kg there is even now developed some weigh 50kg or more?

Why is there little pitbull that has agility and fighting ability is higher than the larger Pitbull. Why most blacknose have endurance capabilities breath longer / stronger than rednose? And many more questions that need to be investigated the answer for those who have a great interest in this iron dogs.

The Reality About American Pit Bull Terrier

By recommending this site and spreading the word you can help to prevent Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) in South Africa
American Pit Bull Terrier South African Association Logo small
Your donations will help to relocate stranded APBT’s and to keep our community running!