Pitbull-Type Dogs Are 20% of Dogs in the U.S.
Pitbull-type dogs are by far the most popular "strong breed" dogs in the U.S. - more popular than German Shepherds, Boxers, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, Huskies, Mastiffs, and many other strong breeds. While some claim that pitbull-type dogs only represent around 6% of the dog population in the U.S., in reality pitbull-type dogs (and the many pitbull-type mixes) are the 3rd most popular dog type adopted from shelters and the 5th most popular dog type registered by veterinarians. In fact, we estimate that pitbull-type dogs and their many mixes account for 20% of dogs in the U.S. based on recent shelter and veterinary population data (provided below). While the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) is a distinct breed, the broader label of "pitbull" is not a breed but instead a generic term used to loosely describe a type (or category) of dog based only on its physical appearance resembling any medium-sized dog with physical characteristics from any of the numerous "bully-type" (or bulldog-type) breeds. Therefore, our 20% pitbull-type population estimate includes the 4+ unique breeds commonly assigned to the broad "pitbull-type" category, a large number and variety of pitbull-type mixes, and other breeds and mixes that can get labeled as "pitbull-type" dogs due to their appearance.