|The American Kennel Club Breed Standard
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.
Medium length, deep through, broad skull, very pronounced cheek muscles, distinct stop; and ears are set high.
Cropped or Uncropped, the ladder preferred. Uncropped ears should be short and held rose or half prick. Full drop to be
Dark and round, low in skull and set far apart. No pink lids.
Medium in length, rounded on upperside 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
Heavy, slightly arched, tapering from shoulders to back of skull. No looseness of skin. Medium in length.
Strong and muscular with blades wide and sloping.
Fairly short. Slight sloping from withers to rump with gentle short slope at rump to base of tail, Loins slightly tucked.
Well sprung ribs. deep in rear. All ribs close together. Forelegs set rather wide apart to permit chest development. Chest
deep and broad.
Short in comparison to size, low set, tapering to a fine point: not curled or held over back. Not docked.
The front legs should be straight, large round bones, pastern upright, no resemblence 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 with out roll or pace.
Short,Close, Stiff to te touch, and glossy.
Any color, solid, parti, or patched is permisible, but all white, more than 80% white, black and tan, and liver not to be
Height and weight should be in proportion. A Height of about 18 to 19 inches at shoulders for the male and 17-18 inches for
the female is to be considered preferable.
Faults to be penalized are: Dudley nose, light or pink eyes, tail to long or badly carried, undershot or overshot mouths.
AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER (REVISED NOVEMBER 1, 2008)
View Registration Requirements
Revised November 1, 2008
©Copyright 1978, United Kennel Club, Inc..
Sometime during the nineteenth century, dog fanciers in England, Ireland and Scotland began to experiment with crosses
between Bulldogs and Terriers, looking for a dog that combined the gameness of the terrier with the strength and athleticism
of the Bulldog. The result was a dog that embodied all of the virtues attributed to great warriors: strength, indomitable
courage, and gentleness with loved ones. Immigrants brought these bull and terrier crosses to the United States. The
American Pit Bull Terrier’s many talents did not go unnoticed by farmers and ranchers who used their APBTs as catch dogs
for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt, to drive livestock, and as family companions. Today, the American Pit Bull Terrier
continues to demonstrate its versatility, competing successfully in Obedience, Tracking, Agility and Weight Pulls, as well as
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.
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 except merle. This breed combines strength
and athleticism with grace and agility and should never appear bulky or muscle-bound or fine-boned and rangy. Above all
else, the APBT must have the functional capability to be a catch dog that can hold, wrestle (push and pull) and breathe easily
while doing its job. Balance and harmony of all parts are critical components of breed type.
Very Serious Fault: Any disproportionate overdone characteristic (such as short legs, excessive bone or massive head or
body) that would interfere with working ability.
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 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.
Very Serious Fault: Overly large, heavy heads.
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.
Very Serious Fault: Muzzle too short, which impairs breathing capability.
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 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. Prick or flat, wide ears are not desired.
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 thin or weak; ewe neck; dewlap.
Very Serious Fault: A short, thick neck that would interfere with functional ability.
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.
Very Serious Fault: Legs shorter than half the total height at the withers.
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
Very Serious Fault: Overly massive body style that impedes working ability.
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.
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.
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.
The coat is glossy and smooth, close, and moderately stiff to the touch.
Faults: Curly, wavy, or sparse coat.
Disqualification: Long coat.
Any color, color pattern, or combination of colors is acceptable, except for merle.
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.
Very Serious Fault: Excessively large or overly massive dogs.
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 back (top-line) 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.
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Unilateral or bilateral deafness. Long coat. Bobbed tail.
Note: Although some level of dog aggression is characteristic of this breed, handlers will be expected to comply with UKC
policy regarding dog temperament at UKC events.
|THE AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIER
The AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIER possesses a unique heritage of COURAGE, DETERMINATION, INTELLIGENCE, AND
RELIABILITY. He is of medium size, comes in a variety of colors, and RADIATES POWER, AGILITY, and CONFIDENCE. He has been
used for generations as a general purpose farm dog, a catch dog for semi-wild pigs in parts of the South, a guard and protection dog, and
as a companion dog. The STAF'S RELIABILITY AROUND CHILDREN is one of his most ENDEARING AND CONSISTENT
The appeal of the STAF to the true dog lover is through his COMBINATION of INTELLIGENCE, COURAGE, AND PHYSICAL
SOUNDNESS - in short, an OVERALL TOUGHNESS COMBINED WITH RELIABILITY that is seldom equalled in the canine world.
He has the senses, intelligence and strength to do many different jobs.
IT WOULD BE A MISTAKE, HOWEVER, TO ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO RUSH OUT AND BUY A STAF. THIS IS NOT A BREED
TO BE TURNED LOOSE, UNTRAINED, IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD. MOST STAFS ARE NOT ESPECIALLY AGRESSIVE, BUT
NON-THELESS WILL NOT BACK DOWN IF CHALLENGED TO FIGHT. THE DAMAGE AN AVERAGE STAF CAN DO TO
ANOTHER DOG, IN EVEN A FEW MINUTES IS CONSIDERABLE. A PROSPECTIVE BUYER SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE
BACKGROUND OF THIS BREED. AS IS OFTEN THE CASE IN LIFE, THE BEST REQUIRES SOME WORK. IF THE OWNER IS
WILLING TO PUT IN A LITTLE EFFORT IN TRAINING HIS STAF PUPPY, HE WILL BE AMPLY REWARDED WITH ONE OF
THE FINEST OF ALL DOGS AND A WONDERFUL COMPANION.
THE AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIER
- H. RICHARD PASCOE- 1977