The American Pit Bull Terrier, also known at times as the Pit Bull, the Pit Bull Terrier, the American Bull, the American Pit Bull, the American Pit Bull Dog, the Pit Dog, the Half-and-Half, the American Bull Terrier, the Yankee Terrier, the Yankee Bull Terrier and the Staffordshire Terrier, descends from the Staffordshire Bull Terrier of England. This is a well-balanced dog whose tremendous strength is unusual for its moderate size. Pit Bulls, who are not recognized by the American Kennel Club, share a common history with the AKC-recognized American Staffordshire Terrier. Pit Bulls, like Am Staffs, are stocky, powerful yet agile, well-muscled and highly intelligent. Although descended from dogs bred for bull baiting and pit fighting, and unfortunately still used by unscrupulous owners in illegal dog fighting circles, Pit Bulls have many remarkable qualities, including their gameness, trainability, loyalty and affection.
The Staffordshire Terrier was accepted for registration in the American Kennel Club Stud Book in 1936. The name of the breed was revised in 1972 to the American Staffordshire Terrier, to distinguish it from the Staffordshire Bull Terrier of England, which is much lighter in weight. The American Pit Bull Terrier was the first breed registered with the United Kennel Club, in 1898. Pit Bulls and Am Staffs are virtually the same animal, with different club registrations. Most Pit Bulls are between 17 and 19 inches at the withers and weigh on average between 60 and 80 pounds. Their short, stiff, glossy coat can be of any color or color combination. Pit Bulls require minimal grooming; brushing with a firm-bristled brush and an occasional bath should suffice.