Pitbull-Type Breeds & Pictures
There are 4 widely recognized "pitbull-type" breeds by AKC/UKC breed standards (all members of the Terrier Group of dog breeds): the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The term "pitbull" or "pit bull" is not a breed but instead, it is a term used to describe a "type" of dog based only on its physical appearance (not on genetics or lineage) - just like a German Shepherd is one breed of many unique "shepherds" or "shepherd-type" breeds. While the four breeds listed above are the recognized AKC/UKC pitbull-type breeds, the common physical characteristics of pitbull-type dogs can be found in over 20 breeds (and in even more mixed breeds) - for example, Labrador Retriever Bulldog mixes have similar physical characteristics as pitbull-type breeds but in fact this mix is distinct and different from any of the pitbull-type purebred and crossbred breeds. The common use of visual breed identification is one of the reasons why the estimated population of "pitbull-type" dogs is so high (up to 20% of the total U.S. dog population). Learn more about each of the unique AKC/UKC recognized pitbull-type breeds below.
Unique AKC/UKC breeds that are considered "pitbull-type" breeds
Estimated "pitbull-type" dog population in the U.S. (20% of dogs)
Other breeds with similar physical characteristics
The AKC/UKC Pitbull-Type Breeds
- American Kennel Club (AKC) - American Staffordshire Terrier
- American Kennel Club (AKC) - Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- United Kennel Club (UKC) - American Bully
- United Kennel Club (UKC) - American Pitbull Terrier
- Note: American Bulldogs, Bullmastiffs, Cane-Corsos, and Dogo-Argentinos are all unique breeds and are not pitbull-type breeds (although they are frequently misidentified as pitbull-type dogs because of their appearance). Most of these breeds are members of the Working Group of dog breeds.
Pictures of Pitbull-Type Dogs
An easy way to identify websites and organizations promoting bias and misinformation about pitbull-type breeds is any website that publishes aggressive pictures of pitbull-type dogs. Aggressive pictures can be found for any breed, but these biased and cherry-picked pictures never represent the breed as a whole. The pictures below of pitbull-type dogs are representative of the various pitbull-type breeds as a whole:
Note: Cropped (clipped) ears are a human modification of dogs performed for cosmetic reasons. As cropped ears are not a natural trait (of any dog breed), pictures of dogs with cropped ears were not included. Pitbullinfo.org supports the American Veterinary Medical Association's position against the practices of ear cropping and tail docking.