The American pit bull terrier is a medium sized, muscular dog that is well built and solid. The American pit bull terrier, unfortunately, has evoked more negative responses from people than any other dog breed and is considered to be extremely aggressive. However, with correct socializing and training, the American pit bull terrier is a good-natured and affectionate animal. This breed also is intelligent and loyal.
The American pit bull terrier can range in size from 22 to 110 pounds, but the 35 to 65 pound range is the most common. Dogs larger than this tend not to be purebred. Regardless of coat and nose color, all American pit bull terriers conform to the identical breed standard. Different eye, nose and coat coloration does, however, give these dogs a unique physical look.
Red-Nose Pit Bull Terriers
A strain of pit bull terriers that had red noses was brought into America from Ireland during the mid 1800's. These dogs were bred specifically for fighting and became known as the Old Family Red Nose strain. The red nose was an unintended side-effect of this selective breeding program, but has remained in the breed. Dog fighting was not restricted at the time the red nose strain was developed in Ireland. Champion fighting dogs were worth a great deal and inbreeding was common at that time. Repeated inbreeding within a closed gene pool brings recessive traits, such as red coloration, to the fore. By the time the Old Family strain of pit bulls reached America, the red nose and coat was well established.
Blue Pit Bull Terriers
Blue pit bull terriers have a blue coat that ranges in color from a dark charcoal to a light silvery gray. The nose leather of these dogs also is grayish in color. The blue to dusky gray color actually is a diluted black resulting from a recessive gene and is caused through inbreeding. Currently, the blue American pit bull terriers have begun to overtake the red dogs in popularity.
Blue American pit bull terriers tend to experience more health problems than the red-nose pit bulls. Blue pit bulls typically suffer from various skin diseases, which range from mange to hot spots. These dogs also are more susceptible to immune disorders and nervous conditions than the red-nosed dogs. The reason for this is that those cells that are responsible for color are closely linked to the immune and neurological systems.