The American Bully Kennel Club Standard
The American Bully should give the impression of great strength for its size. Compact to medium/large size dog with a muscular body and blocky head. Powerful in its movement and should display effortless movement at the same time. Keenly alive and alert to its surroundings. The American Bully should have the appearance of heavy bone structure with a Bully build and look.
The American Bully is a companion breed exhibiting confidence, a zest for life, along with an exuberant will to please and companionship with their family. This making the American Bully an excellent family companion. Despite the American Bully’s fierce and powerful appearance their demeanor is gentle. They are great with kids, and extremely friendly with strangers, other dogs, and other animals. Human or dog aggression, extreme shyness, or viciousness is very uncharacteristic of the American Bully and is highly undesirable.
• The distinct heavy, large and broad head of the American Bully exemplifies breed type.
• Medium in length, deep throughout, broad skull, well chiseled with very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct and deep stop, and high set ears.
• Ears- Set high and can be either natural or cropped.
• Eyes- All colors equally accepted except blue eyes which is a fault and albinism (pinkish to red), which is a disqualification. Lack of pigment around the eyes is undesirable. Eye shape is oval to slightly roundish, low down in skull and set far apart. Visibility of the haw should be minimal.
Faults: Blue eyes. Overly visible haw.
Serious Faults: Both eyes not matched in color.
Disqualifying Faults: Albinism eyes.
• Muzzle- Short-Medium in length and broad in width. Length to be shorter than the length of the skull measuring 25% to 35% (1/4 to 1/3) of the overall length of the head. The muzzle is blocky or slightly squared to fall away abruptly below eyes. The topline of the muzzle is to be straight with nose neither pointed nor turned up in profile.
• Jaws- well defined.
• Under jaw- to be strong and parallel to muzzle, never turning upward.
• Lips- semi close and even, some looseness accepted (more so with the XL and Extreme varieties) but not preferred.
Faults: Muzzle too long or snipey; lack of pronounced, deep stop; weak under jaw; under jaw turning up; nose turning up or pushed back; excessive flews.
• Upper Teeth- to meet tightly outside lower teeth in form or scissor bite accepted.
Faults: Level bite, overshot bite, undershot bite and wry bite.
Serious Faults: Severely overshot or undershot bites, measuring 1/4 inch or more.
• Nose- all colors acceptable except albinism (light pink in color).
• Heavy, muscular, slightly arched, tapering from shoulder to back of skull. Compact to medium size should have minimal or no loose skin (some looseness of skin is accepted with the XL and Extreme varieties).
Faults: Neck too thin or weak; neck too short or too long.
• Shoulders to be strong and muscular with wide blades set wide; and well laid back. The upper arm is approximately equal to the length of the shoulder blade and joined at an angle of approximately 35 to 45 degrees.
• Front legs- straight from legs, large or round bones, pastern are short and nearly erect.
• Feet- slight turning outwards is accepted as long as feet do not measures a 45 degree.
Faults: Upright or loaded shoulders. Upper arm too short. Front toeing out more than 45 degrees; feet toeing in; front legs bowed; down at the pasterns; splayed feet.
• Heavily muscled, massive “Bully” body type of compact/medium length giving the impression of great power for its size and exemplifying the breed type of the American Bully.
• Well-sprung ribs, deep in rear and all ribs close together; rib cage to extend to the elbow.
• Forelegs- set rather wide apart to permit chest development.
• Chest- should be deep, broad and well filled in.
• Fairly short to medium back, slight sloping from withers to rump or straight accepted with gentle short slope at rump to base of tail. (slightly higher rears accepted for XL and Extreme varieties) but not desired in the compact medium size. The American Bully should give the appearance of a square body, equal in length when measured from point of shoulder to point of buttocks and from the withers to the ground.
Faults: Back too long; rear higher than withers; weak or swayed topline; roached or wheel back.
• Well-muscled, let down at hocks, turning neither in nor out (slight turns accepted in the XL and Extreme varieties).
• Muscular development, angulation and width of the hindquarters should be in balance with that of the forequarters.
• When viewed from the rear legs are to be straight and parallel.
• Croup should have a slight downward angle.
Faults: Hocks turning in or out (slight turn out accepted in the XL and Extreme varieties).
Narrow hindquarters; straight or over-angulated stifle joints; bowed legs.
• Medium in comparison to size, low set, tapering to a fine point and extending approximately to the hock.
• When relaxed tail is to be carried low. When moving tail is carried level with the topline or in a raised position when excited (challenge tail), but should never be carried curled over, breaking the plane of the back (gay tail).
• Tail to be clear of any kinks, knots or any curvature.
Faults: Tail to long or too short approximately up to an inch above or below point of the hock.
Gay tail (carried over the plane of the back).
Serious Faults: Kinked or knotted tail. Extremely short tail.
Disqualifying Faults: Screwed or Bobbed tail.
• Should be of moderate size, compact, well arched and tight.
Faults: Splayed or flat feet; long toes.
• Short, close, stiff to the touch and glossy.
Faults: Curly or wavy coat.
Serious Faults: Long coat. COLOR
• All colors and patterns are permissible except the color merle.
Disqualifying Faults: Color Merle
• Dogs should be healthy and should NOT reach the point where it is considered obese.
• Weight- There is no particular weight for the breed.
• Height and weight should be in proportion of the body frame.
• Height-Please see Variety Amendments.
• All varieties to exhibit “Bully” characteristics and traits as described in the American Bully Standard, which are key elements of breed type to the American Bully breed.
STANDARD AMERICAN BULLY
o Males under 17″ – 20″ at the withers. Females under 16″ – 19″ at the withers.
• Should be effortless and powerful. The action must, however, be unrestrained, free and vigorous with powerful drive off the rear. (Some paddling and lumbering accepted in XL and Extreme varieties), but not preferred in compact to medium.
• Front and rear reach should be moderate and in balance with one another.
• Legs turn neither in nor out, nor every cross or interfere with each other.
• Dog moving on the same plane – Each leg moving in the same plane shared with the other leg on the same side.
• Backline should remain level, with flexing to be very slight.
Faults: Rolling; pacing; sidewinding; hackney action; paddling or pounding (exception in the XL and Extreme varieties where some is accepted). Not moving o the same plane; legs over reaching; legs crossing over in front or rear; rear legs moving too close or touching.
Faults to be penalized but not disqualifications for showing are:
• Overly visible haw
• Muzzle too long or snipey
• Lack of pronounced/deep stop
• Weak underjaw
• Underjaw turning up.
• Albinism nose (light pink) Nose turning up or pushed back.
• Tail too long or too short (approx. 1″ from point of hock)
• Curled tail (gay tail)
• Level or flush bite
• Slightly undershot mouth
• Slightly overshot mouth
• Wry or cross bite
• Neck too thin or weak
• Neck too short or too long
• Upright or loaded shoulders
• Upper arm too short
• Severe turned fronts (in or out)
• Bowed front legs
• Down at the pasterns (weak pasterns)
A great Article on dog breeding \Inbreeding \linebreeding
A very liberally edited version of an article by Jerold S. Bell, D.V.M. that appeared in the September 1992 American Kennel Club Gazette, “The Ins and Outs of Pedigree Analysis, Genetic Diversity, and Genetic Disease Control” …
Dr Jerold S. Bell, D.V.M bred German Short hairs(http://www.westwindgsps.com/ ) He is a master Bird dog hunter so these words are really worth ready for anyone who plans on dog breeding.
Without exception all breeds of dogs are the result of inbreeding. Inbreeding has either occurred through natural selection among a small isolated population (i.e. the dingo) or through the influence of man breeding selected animals to derive specific traits. Either way intensive inbreeding is responsible for setting enough of the dominant traits that the resulting group breeds true to type. At which point a population of dogs can be said to be a breed.
Dogs actually have more genes than humans. Tens of thousands of genes interact to produce a single dog. All genes are inherited in pairs, one from the sire and one from the dame. If the inherited genes from both parents are identical they are said to be homozygous. If the pair of inherited genes is not similar they are said to be heterozygous. The gene pairs that make a German Short Hair breed true to type are obviously homozygous. However, variable gene pairs like those that control coat color, size, scenting ability, etc. are still heterozygous within the breed as a whole.
Line-breeding concentrates the genes of a specific ancestor or ancestors through their appearance multiple times in a pedigree. When a specific ancestor appears more than once behind at least one animal on both the sire’s side and yet another animal on the dame’s side homozygosity for that animal’s traits are possible.
However, if this specific ancestor appears only through a particular offspring of the ancestor in question then the Breeder is actually breeding on this offspring of the ancestor rather than on the ancestor itself. This is why having many “uncovered crosses” to a specific ancestor (those that come through different offspring of this specific ancestor) gives the Breeder the greatest chance of making the desired traits of the specific ancestor homozygous.
Homozygosity greatly improves the chances that the resulting pups will in turn pass on the desired traits of the specific ancestor to their pups. When selecting pups from a line-bred litter the Breeder must choose pups that display the desired traits of the specific ancestor or they have accomplished little. In fact, if these traits are not present in a line-bred pup it is very likely that it inherited its genes from the remaining part of its pedigree and will be unable to breed true to type. Because the Breeder selected “out” for the pups that didn’t display this original ancestor’s traits.
Inbreeding significantly increases homozygosity, and therefore uniformity within a litter. One of the best methods of evaluating how successful a line-breeding has been is to gauge the similarity of the litter mates as compared with pups of other litters with similar pedigrees. Considerable similarity among litter mates tells the Breeder the genes have “nicked” or paired together as anticipated. The resulting pups will likely be able to pass these genes to the next generation.
Undesirable recessive genes are always masked by a dominant gene. Through inbreeding a rare recessive gene can be passed from a common ancestor on both the sire and the dame’s side creating a homozygous recessive offspring. The resulting offspring actually displays the trait neither of their parents displayed (even though both of them carried it). Understand that inbreeding does not create undesirable genes it simply increases the chance that traits which are already present in a heterozygous state within the breed will be displayed.
When it comes to dog breeding to many breeders outcross as soon as an undesirable trait appears, blaming the problem on breeding “too close.” Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact out-crossing insures that the undesirable trait will be carried generation after generation in a heterozygous recessive state only to rear its ugly head again and again. Therefore the Breeder who turns away from breeding “close” is simply passing a known problem on to succeeding generations and future Breeders.
When an undesirable trait is “unmasked” the Breeder who does his breed a real service is the one that stays with his line long enough to rid it of the undesirable trait. By controlling which specimens within their line are used for breeding in succeeding generations this Breeder can eliminate the undesirable trait. Once the recessive gene is removed it can never again affect the Breeder’s line. Inbreeding doesn’t cause good genes to mutate into bad genes it merely increases the likelihood that they will be displayed.
The “inbreeding coefficient” (or Wrights coefficient) is an estimate of the percentage of all variable genes that are homozygous due to inheritance from common ancestors. It is also the average chance that any single gene pair is homozygous due to inheritance from a common ancestor. Our pedigrees display the inbreeding coefficient for each dog in the first 4 generations of a specific dog’s ancestry. Each inbreeding coefficient is calculated from that dog’s 10 generation pedigree.
Note: Inbreeding does not cause good genes to somehow mutate – it only increases the likelihood that existing genes will be displayed – allowing the Breeder the chance to eliminate what had previously been unseen in their particular line although it was always present.
At Westwind GSPs we gauge the amount of homozygosity in an animal using their inbreeding coefficient (or Wrights coefficient) – which can be seen as an estimate of the percentage of all variable genes that could be inherited from common ancestors. It is also give us a mathematical value for the average chance that any single gene pair is homozygous due to inheritance from a common ancestor.
Our pedigrees display the inbreeding coefficient for each dog in the first 4 generations of a specific dog’s ancestry. However, the inbreeding coefficients displayed for each dog in our pedigrees is in turn calculated from that particular dog’s 10 generation pedigree. We can trace most of our dogs back more than 20 generations – some as far back as 35 generations.
Our German Shorthairs
Four generation pedigrees that contain 28 unique ancestors for the 30 positions in the pedigree would obviously generate a low inbreeding coefficient. Yet a ten generation pedigree for the same dog might look quite different. If this dog were to have say 700 unique ancestors filling the 2048 positions in the pedigree the results for the same dog would be a much higher and truer inbreeding coefficient. Sometimes what appears to be an out-bred mix of genes in the first few generations (especially with owners naming their own dogs) ends up being a fine example of line-breeding when the pedigree is extended.
However, it must be remembered that simply knowing the inbreeding coefficient of a dog does nothing to help us understand which ancestors the dog is actually bred on. We know that the animal in question has many crosses to the same ancestors but we don’t know which ancestors they are. To understand this, and to unlock the secrets of a dog’s pedigree, we must do a homozygosity study.
A homozygosity study is not a percent blood calculation. The percent blood of a dog and its immediate ancestors is relatively easy to estimate but not that important. In fact the dog will have 50% of its blood from it’s sire and 50% of its blood from it’s dame. But if these two dogs have no common ancestors the inbreeding coefficient would be 0%. Homozygosity is far more important in determining what traits a dog is capable of passing on to its offspring than percent blood but it is extremely difficult to calculate without the use of a computer.
So while knowing a dogs inbreeding coefficient is important in accessing its potential to throw its type we still need to clearly understand which dogs behind a particular dog are the most influential. Simply knowing how homozygous a particular animal is does nothing to help the conscientious Breeder understand this. To understand this and to unlock the secrets of a particular dog’s pedigree we must do a homozygosity study. We need to know which ancestors the dog in question is bred on.
On more than one occasion we have seen pedigrees in which the most influential ancestor for a homozygous trait doesn’t even appear in the first three generations. In this type of situation it is not unusual for this particular ancestor to contribute 50% of the homozygous genes of the dog in question. In this case if a dog is 16% inbred one ancestor would be responsible for 8% or 50% of the dogs homozygosity. It is of paramount importance for the dedicated Breeder to know not only the inbreeding coefficient for the resulting litter before the mating is done but also which dogs in the pups pedigree are influencing their genetic potential.
Far too many matings have been done only on the basis of physical appearance with little if any regard to the sire’s and dame’s respective pedigrees or the interplay between the two. Novice Breeders don’t realize that individual dogs may share desirable traits but inherit them differently. This is especially true of polygenic traits, such as ear set, bite, or length of forearm. And many Breeders fail to understand that breeding dogs which are phenotypically similar but genotypically unrelated won’t produce the desired traits in the current litter – and will actually reduce the chance of these traits being reproducible in the next generation.
Conversely, individual German Shorthairs with the same pedigree do not inherit exactly the same genes and will not breed identically. Dogs in a litter are no more similar than brothers and sisters in a human family. Think about it. If dogs have more genes than people and they are as dissimilar as human siblings need we worry so much about the “too close” we hear sounded by all those who know little or nothing about linebreeding. At Westwind GSPs we regularly breed litters with a Wright’s Coefficient of more than 20% with superior results. There have been examples in German Shorthairs of fine animals with inbreeding coefficients as high as 65%.
The secret is that all line-breedings must be made on a combination of performance, appearance and ancestry. If a Breeder is going to be successful in solidifying a certain trait they must rigorously select breeding specimens which display the desired trait and have similar pedigrees. In so doing Breeders have a chance of making this desired trait homozygous over time. This is the one key to successful line-breeding that is most often missed by unsuccessful Breeders.
In choosing a line of dogs within any bred it is wise to choose a line with “critical mass”. Find a line within your breed where the most pre-potent individual was mated many times and produced many superior offspring. Without enough genetic diversity it will be more difficult to find animals within the line that do not also share the faults of the pre-potent individual. These are the faults the Breeder will have the most difficulty in eliminating.
No matter how limited the critical mass the Breeder must never breed animals that are poor examples of what the Breeder is trying to produce simply because they share common ancestors. Breeding “paper” is the quickest way to ruination and is largely responsible for the negative attitudes people have toward line-breeding. To a Breeder no dog is worth more than what it is able to produce. No amount of titles can overcome an animals inability to reproduce its own great traits. Look at the lack of production from Secretariat (a thoroughbred race horse).
Most beginning Breeders suspicion they should start with a brood bitch of a particular line and they are correct. If at all possible the new Breeder should obtain females that come not just from the same important stud but actually come from the same Motherline that is behind the stud in question. Instead of trying to get a bitch as close to the stud in question look for a pedigree in which the mothers of the sires are themselves from the same genepool. This is the female who will likely produce great pups.
Motherlines in German Shorthairs
In all mammals the females are “X” “X” and males are “X” “Y” which means that only females carry the genetic code particular to the part of the gene string that is missing in all males. Horse Breeders refer to it the “X Factor” and have demonstrated that the gene responsible for the large heart so many great racing stallions have can be traced back thru their motherlines to a single mare that lived more than 100 years ago. If a stallion has an oversized heart – like Secretariat – this particular mare will show up in his motherlines over and over again. The mares themselves don’t have the large heart but they carry the gene for it on their “X” chromosome. Likewise the stallions do not throw the large heart themselves.
And so it is with German Shorthairs. The bitches are far more important than the studs in carrying particular genes forward. Understand that this is true even if the genes most sought were originally found in a pre-potent male. The key for any successful Breeder is to isolate those females that carried his traits and breed off of them. It has been our experience that many important traits are indeed sex linked and carried by the dames from generation to generation.
Successful Breeders realize they are fighting “the drag of the breed,” which is the tendency for all animals to breed back toward mediocrity. If it didn’t work this way super species and super races would have developed long ago in every animal on earth. For instance in human beings it is impossible to breed parents with high IQs together to produce higher IQs. Even when two genius have children the average IQ of their children will be half way between normal and the average of their IQs.
By the way Einstein himself was the off spring of parents who were themselves first cousins – and he married his first cousin. So much for the tails of woe you heard in school about the effects of inbreeding. In fact the history of the German Shorthaired Pointer is replete with many examples of intensive inbreeding that produced some of the more influential dogs in our breed.
Useful information on Motherlines This article was originally written in the 1930s by Dr. Kleemann (by whom the German Kleemann Seiger or KS tests were developed and for whom they are named. It was first reprinted in the Kurzhaar Blatter in August of 1962 then subsequently translated into English and reprinted in the GSP News in 1963. Once again it has been reprinted here (after being edited for brevity) for your review.
What is the meaning of “Motherlines?” The idea is too often confused by breeders with “motherside” or the bottom side of a pedigree, but Motherlines is the whole of the bloodlines of all the mothers, including the father’s mother and the other mothers on the father’s side of the pedigree; but always the mothers.
[the success of Motherline breeding comes from utilizing very important sex-linked genes present only in the additional DNA of the X chromosomes of great producing (Stamm) females. Since a male dog has 76 paired chromosomes plus an X and a Y chromosome the only place a male can inherit these important sex-linked genes is through his mother. Therefore, when this son becomes a father only his resulting daughters (never his sons) get this valuable X chromosome back again (along with another X chromosome from their own mother)
In turn, when these resulting grand-daughters become mothers the art of breeding lies in selecting only the male offspring that inherited this valuable X chromosome (as these great-grandsons will be able to pass the important sex-linked genes on to their get) In so doing we bring the influence of the Stamm female (through this valuable X chromosome) to the topside of the pedigree and dramatically improve our chance of producing great pups true to type when we breed to quality females from the same Stamm line. Thus the importance of having an unbroken Motherline on both sides of the pedigree]
Pedigrees only serve as a guide to show us what “blood” could be carried by certain animals. Only through careful study of a particular animal’s offspring and intimate knowledge of its ancestors can we determine what “blood” an animal is actually carrying. It is necessary to breed both according to bloodlines and performance to achieve success. We are looking for animals who are outstanding performers within the same bloodline.
It is only by inbreeding that we can double up on the good and bad qualities so we can see what we are dealing with. When faults in the line come to the surface we can skim them off and get rid of them. By out-crossing we only cover up the faults and reduce our knowledge of what to expect in subsequent litters. Anyone who condemns inbreeding must in turn condemn the detective who brings crimes to light as well as the messenger who brings bad news.
A good brood-bitch is feminine, of finer build, a light and pretty head with a smaller and thinner neck, lots of nobility, but also depth for growing pups. You should be able to recognize a good brood-bitch at 100 meters and not find it necessary to look between her hips to tell her sex. Often I have seen young bitches which looked like grown males receiving much attention and being considered as future outstanding brood-bitches. These bitches never lived up to expectations.
And then there is Herta von der Maylust who was considered a “cat” at shows because of her fine build and light bone structure and was advised not to be bred because (it was thought) she would only produce poor small puppies. Yet Herta is a Stamm (original ancestor) mother behind many of our great dogs today.
If you have a bitch you must select a stud with complimentary motherlines. It is much simpler if you have a bitch from a great motherline so that you can profit from the long experience of breeders in that motherline and have little difficulty in choosing a good stud dog. With a little known motherline it is difficult to find the proper mate since there is but a small number of dogs to choose from. Look for a pup with a continuous motherline from known performers.
When sire and dame have the same motherlines you can generally count on outstanding pups and you will have classy breeding stock. To improve your motherline, you must bring together matching bloodlines holding fast to the good qualities and abolishing the bad. You then breed for performance, boldness, conformation, nose and waterwork. The Shorthair must be able to hunt for hours without tiring, he must have an outstanding nose and never give up on the retrieve of wounded game regardless of the distance.
Our German Shorthaired Pointers
Dr. Kleemann had been dead for 20 years when this article was first published, which was nearly 40 years ago. We all owe a great debt to Dr. Kleemann for his artistic ability to pick the right breeding stock when the breed was still very young and his willingness to put his keen observations in writing for the rest of us to follow.
ing for the rest of us to follow.
A few Steelhead dogs particapated in Racines Pitbull awarness walk. Around 30 dogs showed up and we all walked down main street as a big pack. No fighting no nonsense just a walk through downtown racine with a bunch of bullies. Good times.
The journal times came out to help the pitbulls and we appreciate it a lot.
Chunk made the paper.
Another link with more picture from the Racine Pitbull awareness walk.
If you want to be apart of the next walk please shoot me a email,text, or call we want as many dogs as possible to come out and play.
Hit the link. Just a little truth about the breed and stating that we are Americas Breed.
The United Kennel Club was the first registry to recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier. UKC founder C. Z. Bennett assigned UKC registration number 1 to his own APBT, Bennett’s Ring, in 1898.
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. Thereis 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.
Muzzel – 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 (*beep* tail).
Fault: Long tail (tail tip passes beyond point of hock).
Serious faults: *beep* 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.
Disqualifications: Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Unilateral or bilateral deafness. Bobbed tail. Albinism.
General Impression: The American Staffordshire Terrier should give the impression of great strength for his size, a well put-together dog, muscular, but agile and graceful, keenly alive to his surroundings. He should be stocky, not long-legged or racy in outline. His courage is proverbial.
Head: Medium length, deep through, broad skull, very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop; and ears are set high. Ears – Cropped or uncropped, the latter preferred. Uncropped ears should be short and held half prick or rose. Full drop to be penalized. Eyes – Dark and round, low down in skull and set far apart. No pink eyelids. Muzzle – Medium length, rounded on upper side to fall away abruptly below eyes. Jaws well defined. Underjaw to be strong and have biting power. Lips close and even, no looseness. Upper teeth to meet tightly outside lower teeth in front. Nose definitely black.
Neck: Heavy, slightly arched, tapering from shoulders to back of skull. No looseness of skin. Medium length.
Shoulders: Strong and muscular with blades wide and sloping.
Back: Fairly short. Slight sloping from withers to rump with gentle short slope at rump to base of tail. Loins slightly tucked.
Body: Well-sprung ribs, deep in rear. All ribs close together. Forelegs set rather wide apart to permit of chest development. Chest deep and broad.
Tail: Short in comparison to size, low set, tapering to a fine point; not curled or held over back. Not docked.
Legs: The front legs should be straight, large or round bones, pastern upright. No resemblance of bend in front. Hindquarters well muscled, let down at hocks turning neither in nor out. Feet of moderate size, well-arched and compact. Gait must be springy but without roll or pace.
Coat: Short, close, stiff to the touch and glossy.
Color: Any color, solid, parti, or patched is permissible, but all white, more than 80 percent white, black and tan and liver not to be encouraged.
Size: Height and weight should be in proportion. A height of about 18 to 19 inches at the shoulders for the male and 17 to 18 inches for the female is to be considered preferable.
Faults: Faults to be penalized are Dudley nose, light or pink eyes, tail too long or badly carried, undershot or overshot mouths.
Adopted and approved June 10, 1936
Nose “definitely black”: Before AKC registration, there were registered American Pit Bull Terriers with red noses. These dogs came from different root stock and had a different appearance – including liver coloration. The intention here was to prevent them from entering the AKC breeding pool of American Staffordshire Terriers. The nose should be black – not red or pink. We now know that it is genetically impossible for a blue dog to have a black nose, yet there were blue Am Staffs then, as now, and they were shown and finished championships. The nose should appear darkest charcoal on dogs with blue dilute coloration. Forgiveness can be made for dark charcoal on this color, but the darker the better. The nose should still appear as black to the observer. A dudley nose (flesh coloured) is listed as a fault. For dogs without dilute coloration the nose must appear as written – definitely black. – Staffordshire Terrier Club of America Inc.
A group shot from our last BBQ.