The average life expectancy of an American Pit Bull Terrier is about twelve to fourteen years making them one of the longer living large breeds. The breed tends to have a higher than average incidence of hip dysplasia. They may also suffer from patella problems, thyroid dysfunction and congenital heart defects. American Pit Bull Terriers with dilute coat colors have a higher occurrence of skin allergies.
They are very prone to Demodex Mange due to their short coat. There are two different types of Demodex Mange, namely Localized and Generalized Demodex. Although it is not contagious it is sometimes difficult to treat due to immunodeficiency in some puppies. The Localized symptoms are usually lost of hair in small patches on the head and feet of the puppies. This type will usually heal as the puppies grow and their immune systems are stronger. The second type which is Generalized Demodex mange is a more severe form of the sickness. The symptoms are more severe and include loss of hair throughout the entire body and may also be scabby and bloody. Generalized are usually hereditary due to immunodeficiency genes that are passed on from Sire and Dam to their puppies. A simple skin scraping test will allow the vet to diagnose if the dog has demodex mange. The most widely used method to treat Demodex Mange is ivermectin injections or oral medications. Since Demodex Mange lives in the hair follicles of the dog, Ivermectin will kill these mites at the source.
Being intelligent, athletic dogs, American Pit Bull Terriers excel in many dog sports, including weight pulling, dog agility, flyball, lure coursing, and advanced obedience competition. Some APBTs have been known to do well in schutzhund as well. Out of the 66 dogs who have earned UKC "superdog" status (by gaining championship titles in conformation, obedience, agility, and weightpull), 23 have been American Pit Bull Terriers, and another 13 were Staffordshire Bull Terriers, a close relative of the APBT. The American Pit Bull Terrier is a working dog, and is suitable for a wide range of working disciplines due to their intelligence, high energy, and endurance. In the United States they have been used as search and rescue dogs, police dogs performing narcotics and explosives detection, Border Patrol dogs, hearing dogs to provide services to the deaf, as well as general service dogs.
Traits Weight 30 to 78 lb (14 to 35 kg) Height 17 to 22 in (43 to 56 cm) Coat smooth Color any besides merle Litter size 5 to 10 Life span 12 to 14 years