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Breed Identification & Standards

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Breed Identification & Standards

Post by Admin on Mon Apr 28, 2008 12:36 pm

Breed Identification & Standards

There are many breeds and mixes that have been mistaken for Pit Bulls, yet very often the "real deal" isn't even recognized. Even dogs reported to be Pit Bulls in bite cases have on occasion, upon further investigation, turned out to be something else entirely.

Pit Bulls have always been bred more for attitude and temperament rather than looks. Because of this reason, there is lots of variation in appearance in the breed. Some breeds are always easy to recognize. They share similar colors and markings, and height, weight, and ear set are uniform. The standards for such breeds call for this uniformity. The Pit Bull standards, however, allow for more variation.

Even though variation is permissible, the Pit Bull "standards" (see below) specify certain physical requirements in the breed. The standards have been written by people who have spent many years with the breed, and understand what the breed should look like. The standards have been approved and adopted by national organizations. Standards identify the "ideal" Pit Bull, and breeders look to the standard when making decisions about which dogs to breed. The goal of any ethical breeder is to produce the "perfect dog". In the Pit Bull world, there is a huge problem with unethical breeders who are breeding Pit Bulls with no regard for the standards. They breed what they like, what they think a Pit Bull should look like (big, or short, or stocky, etc.), and what appeals to the general public (which seems to believe bigger is always better). These dogs do not conform to the standards. These dogs also add even more variation to the breed, looks-wise, which makes it still more difficult to identify what is or is not a Pit Bull.


General Appearance

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a medium-sized, solidly built, short-coated dog with smooth, well-defined musculature. This breed is both powerful and athletic. The body is just slightly longer than tall, but bitches may be somewhat longer in body than dogs. The length of the front leg (measured from point of elbow to the ground) is approximately equal to one-half of the dog's height at the withers. The head is of medium length, with a broad, flat skull, and a wide, deep muzzle. Ears are small to medium in size, high set, and may be natural or cropped. The relatively short tail is set low, thick at the base and tapers to a point. The American Pit Bull Terrier comes in all colors and color patterns. This breed combines strength and athleticism with grace and agility and should never appear bulky or muscle-bound or fine-boned and rangy. Characteristics

The essential characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier are strength, confidence, and zest for life. This breed is eager to please and brimming over with enthusiasm. APBTs make excellent family companions and have always been noted for their love of children. Because most APBTs exhibit some level of dog aggression and because of its powerful physique, the APBT requires an owner who will carefully socialize and obedience train the dog. The breed's natural agility makes it one of the most capable canine climbers so good fencing is a must for this breed. The APBT is not the best choice for a guard dog since they are extremely friendly, even with strangers. Aggressive behavior toward humans is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable. This breed does very well in performance events because of its high level of intelligence and its willingness to work. The American Pit Bull Terrier has always been capable of doing a wide variety of jobs so exaggerations or faults should be penalized in proportion to how much they interfere with the dog's versatility.

Head

The APBT head is unique and a key element of breed type. It is large and broad, giving the impression of great power, but it is not disproportionate to the size of the body. Viewed from the front, the head is shaped like a broad, blunt wedge. When viewed from the side, the skull and muzzle are parallel to one another and joined by a well defined, moderately deep stop. Supraorbital arches over the eyes are well defined but not pronounced. The head is well chiseled, blending strength, elegance, and character. SKULL - The skull is large, flat or slightly rounded, deep, and broad between the ears. Viewed from the top, the skull tapers just slightly toward the stop. There is a deep median furrow that diminishes in depth from the stop to the occiput. Cheek muscles are prominent but free of wrinkles. When the dog is concentrating, wrinkles form on the forehead, which give the APBT his unique expression.

MUZZLE - The muzzle is broad and deep with a very slight taper from the stop to the nose, and a slight falling away under the eyes. The length of muzzle is shorter than the length of skull, with a ratio of approximately 2:3. The topline of the muzzle is straight. The lower jaw is well developed, wide and deep. Lips are clean and tight.

Faults: Snipey muzzle; flews; weak lower jaw.

TEETH - The American Pit Bull Terrier has a complete set of evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors bite.

Fault: Level bite.

Serious Faults: Undershot, or overshot bite; wry mouth; missing teeth (this does not apply to teeth that have been lost or removed by a veterinarian).

NOSE - The nose is large with wide, open nostrils. The nose may be any color.

EYES - Eyes are medium size, round to almond-shaped, and set well apart and low on the skull. All colors are equally acceptable except blue, which is a serious fault. Haw should not be visible.

Serious Faults: Bulging eyes; both eyes not matched in color; blue eyes.

EARS - Ears are high set and may be natural or cropped without preference. If natural, semi-jerk or rose are preferred. jerk or flat, wide ears are not desired.

Neck

The neck is of moderate length and muscular. There is a slight arch at the crest. The neck widens gradually from where it joins the skull to where it blends into well laid-back shoulders. The skin on the neck is tight and without dewlap. Faults: Neck too short and thick; thin or weak neck; ewe neck; dewlap.

Forequarters

The shoulder blades are long, wide, muscular, and well laid back. The upper arm is roughly equal in length to the shoulder blade and joins it at an apparent right angle. The forelegs are strong and muscular. The elbows are set close to the body. Viewed from the front, the forelegs are set moderately wide apart and perpendicular to the ground. The pasterns are short, powerful, straight, and flexible. When viewed in profile, the pasterns are nearly erect.

Faults: Upright or loaded shoulders; elbows turned outward or tied-in; down at the pasterns; front legs bowed; wrists knuckled over; toeing in or out.

Body

The chest is deep, well filled in, and moderately wide with ample room for heart and lungs, but the chest should never be wider than it is deep. The forechest does not extend much beyond the point of shoulder. The ribs extend well back and are well sprung from the spine, then flattening to form a deep body extending to the elbows. The back is strong and firm. The topline inclines very slightly downward from the withers to a broad, muscular, level back. The loin is short, muscular and slightly arched to the top of the croup, but narrower than the rib cage and with a moderate tuck-up. The croup is slightly sloping downward. Hindquarters

The hindquarters are strong, muscular, and moderately broad. The rump is well filled in on each side of the tail and deep from the pelvis to the crotch. The bone, angulation, and musculature of the hindquarters are in balance with the forequarters. The thighs are well developed with thick, easily discerned muscles. Viewed from the side, the hock joint is well bent and the rear pasterns are well let down and perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are straight and parallel to one another. Faults: Narrow hindquarters; hindquarters shallow from pelvis to crotch; lack of muscle; straight or over angulated stifle joint; cow hocks; sickle hocks; bowed legs.

Feet

The feet are round, proportionate to the size of the dog, well arched, and tight. Pads are hard, tough, and well cushioned. Dewclaws may be removed. Fault: Splayed feet.

Tail

The tail is set on as a natural extension of the topline, and tapers to a point. When the dog is relaxed, the tail is carried low and extends approximately to the hock. When the dog is moving, the tail is carried level with the backline. When the dog is excited, the tail may be carried in a raised, upright position (challenge tail), but never curled over the back (gay tail). Fault: Long tail (tail tip passes beyond point of hock).

Serious faults: Gay tail (not to be confused with challenge tail); kinked tail.

Disqualification: Bobbed tail.

Coat

The coat is glossy and smooth, close, and moderately stiff to the touch. Faults: Curly, wavy, or sparse coat.

Disqualification: Long coat.

Color

Any color, color pattern, or combination of colors is acceptable. Height and Weight

The American Pit Bull Terrier must be both powerful and agile so actual weight and height are less important than the correct proportion of weight to height. Desirable weight for a mature male in good condition is between 35 and 60 pounds. Desirable weight for a mature female in good condition is between 30 and 50 pounds. Dogs over these weights are not to be penalized unless they are disproportionately massive or rangy.

Gait

The American Pit Bull Terrier moves with a jaunty, confident attitude, conveying the impression that he expects any minute to see something new and exciting. When trotting, the gait is effortless, smooth, powerful, and well coordinated, showing good reach in front and drive behind. When moving, the backline remains level with only a slight flexing to indicate suppleness. Viewed from any position, legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward center line of balance. Faults: Legs not moving on the same plane; legs over reaching; legs crossing over in front or rear; rear legs moving too close or touching; rolling; pacing; paddling; sidewinding; hackney action; pounding.

ADBA Conformation Standard Breakdown!

A. To truly understand any breed standard, one must know the history behind a breeds existence.
B. The purpose of a judge is the unbiased selection of quality breeding stock with true breed type.
C. The responsibility of judging is to put up the dogs that conform most to the conformation standard leaving personal bias aside.

II. OVERALL APPEARANCE 20 POINTS

A. Conforming to breed type
1. Should look like an American Pit Bull Terrier from across the ring
2. Sturdy, three dimensional. Giving the impression of strength, not slight or frail.
3. Appears square, with heavy boned, solid front end with a light and springy back end.
4. Should look athletic, not bulky. Musculature should be smooth but defined.
5. Presentation of an adult dog should be of a lean, exercised animal showing a hint of rib and backbone (without hipbones showing) with muscles firm and defined. Clean, glossy coat with short trimmed nails. Presentation of dogs in the puppy classes should be of a well nourished puppy, showing no ribs, backbone or hips. Coat should be glossy with short, trimmed nails.
standard pitbull

D. HEALTH

1. The vitality of the dogs spirit, the gloss of the dogs coat and the sharpness of the dogs eye, will exude the healthfulness of the individual animal.
2. Colors or color patterns known to be genetically linked to health problems will be considered a serious fault . Major faults:merle color pattern, albinism(white dog with blue or pink eyes, pink nose, lips, no pigment present on pads, rims of eyes etc.)

III. ATTITUDE 10 POINTS

A. Confident and alert
B. Interested in things around them, in control of their space, not threatened by anything in their surroundings.
C. Gentle with loved ones Faults: shy or timid



IV. BACK END 30 POINTS

A. Loin
1. Broad and long enough to square the dog. Too short can interfere with a dogs flexibility. Too long a loin causes the dog to carry excessive weight and affect a dogs agility and quickness..

B. HIP
1. Long and sloping with adequate width. This can be judged by the set of the tail, which should be low.
2. Ideal slope of hip should be 30 degrees to the ground.

C. PROPORTIONS OF THE BACK LEG

1. The femur should be of a length so that the stifle joint is proportioned in the upper 1/3 of the rear assembly.
2. The tibia-fibula is the longer bone of the rear assembly
3. The length of the metatarsal is moderate, with muscles that attach equally on each side of the bone so that the hocks moven parallel to each other, deviating neither in or out. The metatarsals bones, hock and lower part of the tibia will be light, fine and springy.
4. Rear angulation - ratio between the lengths of the bones and the muscles which attach on these bones, causes a bent stifle which leads to a well bent hock. This contributes to the natural springiness that is desired in the rear assembly.
5. The muscle attachment is long and deep, well past the joint , which causes the muscles to appear smooth, but defined. (Not bunchy).
Faults: short or flat hip, straight stifle, double jointed or slipped hock, cow hocked, bunchy muscles.
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Re: Breed Identification & Standards

Post by eamo s on Sat Mar 06, 2010 3:06 pm

Admin wrote:There are many breeds and mixes that have been mistaken for Pit Bulls, yet very often the "real deal" isn't even recognized. Even dogs reported to be Pit Bulls in bite cases have on occasion, upon further investigation, turned out to be something else entirely.

Pit Bulls have always been bred more for attitude and temperament rather than looks. Because of this reason, there is lots of variation in appearance in the breed. Some breeds are always easy to recognize. They share similar colors and markings, and height, weight, and ear set are uniform. The standards for such breeds call for this uniformity. The Pit Bull standards, however, allow for more variation.

Even though variation is permissible, the Pit Bull "standards" (see below) specify certain physical requirements in the breed. The standards have been written by people who have spent many years with the breed, and understand what the breed should look like. The standards have been approved and adopted by national organizations. Standards identify the "ideal" Pit Bull, and breeders look to the standard when making decisions about which dogs to breed. The goal of any ethical breeder is to produce the "perfect dog". In the Pit Bull world, there is a huge problem with unethical breeders who are breeding Pit Bulls with no regard for the standards. They breed what they like, what they think a Pit Bull should look like (big, or short, or stocky, etc.), and what appeals to the general public (which seems to believe bigger is always better). These dogs do not conform to the standards. These dogs also add even more variation to the breed, looks-wise, which makes it still more difficult to identify what is or is not a Pit Bull.


General Appearance

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a medium-sized, solidly built, short-coated dog with smooth, well-defined musculature. This breed is both powerful and athletic. The body is just slightly longer than tall, but bitches may be somewhat longer in body than dogs. The length of the front leg (measured from point of elbow to the ground) is approximately equal to one-half of the dog's height at the withers. The head is of medium length, with a broad, flat skull, and a wide, deep muzzle. Ears are small to medium in size, high set, and may be natural or cropped. The relatively short tail is set low, thick at the base and tapers to a point. The American Pit Bull Terrier comes in all colors and color patterns. This breed combines strength and athleticism with grace and agility and should never appear bulky or muscle-bound or fine-boned and rangy. Characteristics

The essential characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier are strength, confidence, and zest for life. This breed is eager to please and brimming over with enthusiasm. APBTs make excellent family companions and have always been noted for their love of children. Because most APBTs exhibit some level of dog aggression and because of its powerful physique, the APBT requires an owner who will carefully socialize and obedience train the dog. The breed's natural agility makes it one of the most capable canine climbers so good fencing is a must for this breed. The APBT is not the best choice for a guard dog since they are extremely friendly, even with strangers. Aggressive behavior toward humans is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable. This breed does very well in performance events because of its high level of intelligence and its willingness to work. The American Pit Bull Terrier has always been capable of doing a wide variety of jobs so exaggerations or faults should be penalized in proportion to how much they interfere with the dog's versatility.

Head

The APBT head is unique and a key element of breed type. It is large and broad, giving the impression of great power, but it is not disproportionate to the size of the body. Viewed from the front, the head is shaped like a broad, blunt wedge. When viewed from the side, the skull and muzzle are parallel to one another and joined by a well defined, moderately deep stop. Supraorbital arches over the eyes are well defined but not pronounced. The head is well chiseled, blending strength, elegance, and character. SKULL - The skull is large, flat or slightly rounded, deep, and broad between the ears. Viewed from the top, the skull tapers just slightly toward the stop. There is a deep median furrow that diminishes in depth from the stop to the occiput. Cheek muscles are prominent but free of wrinkles. When the dog is concentrating, wrinkles form on the forehead, which give the APBT his unique expression.

MUZZLE - The muzzle is broad and deep with a very slight taper from the stop to the nose, and a slight falling away under the eyes. The length of muzzle is shorter than the length of skull, with a ratio of approximately 2:3. The topline of the muzzle is straight. The lower jaw is well developed, wide and deep. Lips are clean and tight.

Faults: Snipey muzzle; flews; weak lower jaw.

TEETH - The American Pit Bull Terrier has a complete set of evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors bite.

Fault: Level bite.

Serious Faults: Undershot, or overshot bite; wry mouth; missing teeth (this does not apply to teeth that have been lost or removed by a veterinarian).

NOSE - The nose is large with wide, open nostrils. The nose may be any color.

EYES - Eyes are medium size, round to almond-shaped, and set well apart and low on the skull. All colors are equally acceptable except blue, which is a serious fault. Haw should not be visible.

Serious Faults: Bulging eyes; both eyes not matched in color; blue eyes.

EARS - Ears are high set and may be natural or cropped without preference. If natural, semi-prick or rose are preferred. Prick or flat, wide ears are not desired.

Neck

The neck is of moderate length and muscular. There is a slight arch at the crest. The neck widens gradually from where it joins the skull to where it blends into well laid-back shoulders. The skin on the neck is tight and without dewlap. Faults: Neck too short and thick; thin or weak neck; ewe neck; dewlap.

Forequarters

The shoulder blades are long, wide, muscular, and well laid back. The upper arm is roughly equal in length to the shoulder blade and joins it at an apparent right angle. The forelegs are strong and muscular. The elbows are set close to the body. Viewed from the front, the forelegs are set moderately wide apart and perpendicular to the ground. The pasterns are short, powerful, straight, and flexible. When viewed in profile, the pasterns are nearly erect.

Faults: Upright or loaded shoulders; elbows turned outward or tied-in; down at the pasterns; front legs bowed; wrists knuckled over; toeing in or out.

Body

The chest is deep, well filled in, and moderately wide with ample room for heart and lungs, but the chest should never be wider than it is deep. The forechest does not extend much beyond the point of shoulder. The ribs extend well back and are well sprung from the spine, then flattening to form a deep body extending to the elbows. The back is strong and firm. The topline inclines very slightly downward from the withers to a broad, muscular, level back. The loin is short, muscular and slightly arched to the top of the croup, but narrower than the rib cage and with a moderate tuck-up. The croup is slightly sloping downward. Hindquarters

The hindquarters are strong, muscular, and moderately broad. The rump is well filled in on each side of the tail and deep from the pelvis to the crotch. The bone, angulation, and musculature of the hindquarters are in balance with the forequarters. The thighs are well developed with thick, easily discerned muscles. Viewed from the side, the hock joint is well bent and the rear pasterns are well let down and perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are straight and parallel to one another. Faults: Narrow hindquarters; hindquarters shallow from pelvis to crotch; lack of muscle; straight or over angulated stifle joint; cow hocks; sickle hocks; bowed legs.

Feet

The feet are round, proportionate to the size of the dog, well arched, and tight. Pads are hard, tough, and well cushioned. Dewclaws may be removed. Fault: Splayed feet.

Tail

The tail is set on as a natural extension of the topline, and tapers to a point. When the dog is relaxed, the tail is carried low and extends approximately to the hock. When the dog is moving, the tail is carried level with the backline. When the dog is excited, the tail may be carried in a raised, upright position (challenge tail), but never curled over the back (gay tail). Fault: Long tail (tail tip passes beyond point of hock).

Serious faults: Gay tail (not to be confused with challenge tail); kinked tail.

Disqualification: Bobbed tail.

Coat

The coat is glossy and smooth, close, and moderately stiff to the touch. Faults: Curly, wavy, or sparse coat.

Disqualification: Long coat.

Color

Any color, color pattern, or combination of colors is acceptable. Height and Weight

The American Pit Bull Terrier must be both powerful and agile so actual weight and height are less important than the correct proportion of weight to height. Desirable weight for a mature male in good condition is between 35 and 60 pounds. Desirable weight for a mature female in good condition is between 30 and 50 pounds. Dogs over these weights are not to be penalized unless they are disproportionately massive or rangy.

Gait

The American Pit Bull Terrier moves with a jaunty, confident attitude, conveying the impression that he expects any minute to see something new and exciting. When trotting, the gait is effortless, smooth, powerful, and well coordinated, showing good reach in front and drive behind. When moving, the backline remains level with only a slight flexing to indicate suppleness. Viewed from any position, legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward center line of balance. Faults: Legs not moving on the same plane; legs over reaching; legs crossing over in front or rear; rear legs moving too close or touching; rolling; pacing; paddling; sidewinding; hackney action; pounding.
Dont take this up wrong people, the dog described above is for show standards. I personaly prefer the working type of Bulldog, they arent as impressive looking as the show version, but they make up in nearly every other way :D
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Re: Breed Identification & Standards

Post by celticpitbulls on Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:14 pm

im not to sure about that eamo,, i think id have to agree with this standard and main reason is because it doesn't interfere with the performance of the breed in any way, this standard describes a well structured working dog.. keeping a standard works more in the lines of recognizing a breed and it enables us to have all the desires of the breed and making them all identifiable at the same time, this could only be a positive way of separating the APBT from any other bull breeds and crosses, 1 of our major problems with the APBT is mistaking identity. if breeders were to keep to a standard and breed to enhance the quality of the breed there would be no such thing as the back yard breeders that hasn't a clue about breeding and a lot of the time their breeding dogs with major faults.
don't get me wrong i have seen some cracking looking dogs here in Ireland but if some1 asked me did i know a reputable breeder i couldn't say i do..
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Re: Breed Identification & Standards

Post by eamo s on Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:52 am

Ive to agree with you with what you just said. If there is any reptable breeders here, sadly its underground Sad It would be easier too identify a Pitbull that has all the general traits n charicistics about them. If they where a recognized breed over here, and reptable kennels we wouldnt have all this trouble....
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Re: Breed Identification & Standards

Post by celticpitbulls on Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:28 pm

eamo s wrote:Ive to agree with you with what you just said. If there is any reptable breeders here, sadly its underground Sad It would be easier too identify a Pitbull that has all the general traits n charicistics about them. If they where a recognized breed over here, and reptable kennels we wouldnt have all this trouble....

well eamo with the help of all you guys there's no reason why we cant change that. :D
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Re: Breed Identification & Standards

Post by eamo s on Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:04 pm

Thats very true Lil, we could improve the breeds name too :D
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Re: Breed Identification & Standards

Post by Harry on Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:06 pm

Thats the goal of the walks isn't it.
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Re: Breed Identification & Standards

Post by eamo s on Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:11 pm

Its the main reason why this forum was set up, to educate people on this breed of dog. To help owners be more reponsable for their pets :)
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