RESOURCES : Collapsed

Life Expectancy:  12 - 16 years
Dog Breed Group: Hybrid or Terrier Dogs*
Weight:  30 - 85 lbs.
Height: 17 - 19 inches

Where Does the Pit Bull Rank?

It is important to recognize that much confusion exists surrounding this dog. The term “pit bull” originated in the early 1800s. The term still refers to any combination of at least five dog breed mixes that have broad heads and muscular bodies:  the English bull terrier, the American bulldog, the Boxer, the American pit bull terrier, and the American Staffordshire terrier.

*Pit bulls are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a breed so do not fall into a dog breed group, however in the 1930s, the AKC recognized the American Staffordshire terrier to separate the dog from his pit-fighting history.  Across the pond, the United Kennel Club (UKC) recognizes a breed called the American pit bull terrier. 1

How Trainable are Pit bulls?

Like all dogs, especially strong, muscular breeds, the Pit bull should be trained and adapts well to learning manners. This misunderstood dog needs to always appear on his best behavior to combat misperceptions he faces by those who wrongly label him aggressive.

Shedding Friendliness

Pit bulls do shed so regular brushing or wiping with a damp cloth can keep the hairs off your floor and furniture.

Ease of Grooming

The Pit bull’s short coat requires little grooming, just an occasional bath and brush.


This breed is prone to health conditions like allergies and skin issues, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia and heart disease, so regular veterinary exams are important for your Pit bull.

Exercise Needs

The exercise needs of the Pit bull are considerable as these dogs maintain a puppy exuberance well into adulthood. Strong and muscular they should always be walked on-leash or supervised in a securely fenced yard. Playing fetch and spending time with their family will be favorite past times. A Pit bull is not the dog for you if you do not have time to engage daily.

Good with Children

Nicknamed, “The Nanny Dog,” the Pit bull is known for his kindness with children and quickly becomes part of the family.2 As with any breed, pitties should be trained and supervised and children should be taught to respect dogs and play gently with them.

Barking Restraint

These dogs are average barkers but vocalize less when they are being engaged by their loving family.

What You Need to Know About Pit Bulls

The Pit bull is a loving and gentle dog. Pit bulls do not make good protection dogs as they are tail-wagging wiggle-butts eager to meet everyone and ever loyal to their people. They have a joy for life, keep their puppy exuberance and always want to be part of the family. They do love to chew, so provide only durable toys and supervise as their powerful jaws can bite through flimsy toys.

Training a Pit bull

As with any dog, your Pit bull should be trained and socialized. The breed can be a bit stubborn., and coupled with his strength, your pittie can become hard to handle if he does not realize that you are the one in charge.  Pit bulls are very smart and learn commands quickly, but always train with gentle and positive reinforcement. Keeping your dog on-leash in public situations is a smart idea to avoid aggression towards other dogs and since breed-specific legislation exists in some areas, always learn local requirements, and do your research when travelling with your Pit bull to avoid complications.3


Blue, brown, grey, black, white, red, and brindle are the many colors and patterns a Pit bull’s short coat may come in. The stiff  hair requires little grooming, but these dogs shed, so regular brushing and wiping down a cloth can maintain their shine. Their natural oils keep their skin and coat healthy, so unless they become dirty or stinky, bathing no more than monthly but as infrequently as 2 to 3 times per year may suffice. Use only dog shampoo for pittie’s have sensitive skin.4

Health Problems5

Hip Dysplasia: Very painful malformation of the hip ball and socket.

Hypothyroidism: Dysfunction of the thyroid gland that causes weight gain, poor coat, reproductive issues, and other problems.

Heart Disease: Aortic stenosis, an abnormal narrowing between the left ventricle and the aorta,  is the most common heart issue in these dogs.

Common Health Issues for Pit Bulls

  • Allergies & Skin issue
  • Heart disease
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism

Protect your Pit Bull with Dog Insurance

Thinking of bringing home a new dog? Consider protecting them with a dog insurance policy from MetLife Pet Insurance.1  Our dog insurance policies can provide the coverage and care your furry family member deserves.  Get your free quote today.

Protect your Pit bull

Coverage in 3 Easy Steps

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions. 


1American Staffordshire Terrier History: How the AmStaff Separated From the "Pit Bull" – American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 2021

2-3 American Pit Bull Terrier,”

4How Often Should I Bathe my Pitbull,” The Petcare Project, June 23, 2020.

 5 “American Pit Bull Terrier,”