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Definition of a Pit Bull

A dog of any of various breeds having a muscular body, broad powerful head, and short coat, especially an American pit bull terrier, an American Staffordshire terrier, or a Staffordshire bull terrier. Also called pit bull terrier.
American Pit Bull Terrier: American Pit Bull Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier: American Staffordshire Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terrier: Staffordshire Bull Terrier

History of the Pit Bull

English BulldogThe English Bulldog was bred for baiting bulls.  All terriers, known as ‘ratters’, were originally bred to kill vermin.  In the early 19th century the English Bulldog was bred with either the white English Terrier, the Black & Tan Terrier, or the Fox Terrier.  The English breeders were trying to make a dog that had the agility and spirit of the terrier but also the tenacity and courage of the Bulldog.Fox Terrier
In 1870, this mixed breed dog showed up in America.  These dogs were used in America to be guard dogs, live stock drivers, cattle catchers, and lovable companions.  They were first known as Pit Dog.  Then, Pit Bull Terrier.  Then later, they were named American Bull Terrier.  After that, they were called Yankee Terriers.
Cow and Pit Bull
In 1936, the breed’s name was changed to Staffordshire Terriers by the American Kennel Club.  The first registered Staffordshire Terrier was named Wheeler’s Black Dinah.  In 1972, the breed’s name was revised to American Staffordshire Terrier.