How the Term “Pitbull” Was Derived

Posted at 7:35 pm on 05/07/2017 by Iron King
Summary: Pitbulls aren’t just one type of breed. This article will dive into the depths of the various classifications of pitbulls and how the term “pitbull” came to be. 

The term pitbull is a somewhat vague and generalized depiction of the breed. For instance, it’s used to categorize the American Pitbull Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the American Bulldog all together in the same breed category. You’ve often heard people discuss pitbulls in a very broad fashion, but it’s the same as if someone were to use the term “hounds”, which depict breeds like the bloodhound, basset hound, and beagle. A seasoned pitbull breeder can easily tell you how to differentiate one type of pitbull from another.

Pitbull Derivation

The term pitbull comes from the bloody sport of baiting. In the past, pit-fighting circuits were created solely for entertainment purposes. These brutal battles consisted of multiple dogs fighting each other to the death. Years later, after this sport was outlawed in the early 1800’s, these dogs were then introduced to the United States by English immigrants.


The most common characteristics that you’ll find on a pitbull are a blocky head, stocky body, and a muscular frame. Many journalists and media outlets have skewed the image of pitbulls by labeling them as a large and vicious dog that will injure anybody that they deem a threat, when in fact these dogs are the most loveable and loyal companions out there. Although they’ve had a rough and turbulent past, it doesn’t define who they are. They aren’t genetically built to fight and tear apart everything in their sight, that’s just a myth. Ask all the red nose or blue nose pitbull breeders out there and they’ll tell you that these dogs make fantastic household pets – and even work well with children too. Just don’t expect them to make the best guard dogs without formal training. They’re more likely to assist the burglar than intimidate him.

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