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Black Pitbull: Pictures, Facts, History & Origin

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By Nicole Cosgrove

black pitbull lying

The Black Pitbull is a color variant of the controversial American Pitbull breed. Pitbulls are banned in some countries and while the breed is not banned by U.S. laws, some cities do ban the breed because it has a history of being used as a fighting dog and has been the cause of some fatal dog attacks.

Height 17–19 inches
Weight 40–90 pounds
Lifespan 12–16 years
Colors Black, white, gray
Suitable for Active families: check local laws first
Temperament Loving and affectionate with family

In general, the breed is known to be loving and loyal to family, although it is demanding of attention from its humans and does require both physical and mental stimulation to prevent it from displaying unwanted behaviors. Socialization and training are essential to ensure that the Black Pitbull is friendly, sociable, and well-behaved.

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Pitbull Characteristics


The Earliest Records of Black Pitbulls in History

The Pitbull breed dates back to the United Kingdom in the 19th Century. They were bred from the Old English Bulldog and used for the cruel sport of bullbaiting. The dogs were essentially pitted against bulls and would attack and pester the bull until it passed out from fatigue or as a result of its injuries.

When bullbaiting was made illegal in 1835, the dogs were then pitted against rats and, eventually, against one another. The breed had to be strong and athletic, as well as agile and tenacious. The Pitbull, which got its name from the pits in which it fought and the bulls that it originally fought against, also had to be gentle around humans as fights would attract large crowds and handlers would need to be able to safely interact with the dogs.

Pitbulls made their way to the U.S. in the latter half of the 19th Century and became known as American Pitbulls. During both World Wars, the Pitbull became the U.S. mascot, and the dog became as popular as a family pet or companion dog because it was loving and loyal to family but ferociously protective over its humans.

black pitbull with chain collar
Image Credit: Romero Joel, Pixabay

How the Black Pitbull Gained Popularity

The Pitbull initially became popular as a fighting dog and was used in blood sports including bullbaiting and ratting, as well as in dog fighting. While it continued to be used in this way, typically in underground fights, its ferocious reputation meant that it became popular with criminals and gangs, who would pit their dogs against one another in illegal underground fights and would also use Pitbulls for protection.

However, the ferocious fighting side of the Black Pitbull is only a part of the breed’s characteristics. It is also known to be loyal and loving with family and these characteristics made it popular with families and other owners. It was gentle with children, sometimes being referred to as a nanny dog because it would protect its human children as though they were puppies. It was also active and energetic, which made it a fun companion for family members of all ages.

Because of the Pitbull’s use in dog fighting and for protection, the breed did become known for attacks on people, and there was a spate of lethal dog attacks by Pitbulls. This led to the breed being outlawed in various countries including the UK and Australia. Currently, there are no federal laws that outlaw the ownership of Pitbulls in the U.S., but some cities have banned them.

Formal Recognition of Black Pitbulls

The American Pitbull Terrier was first recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1898 and is also formally recognized by the American Dog Breeders Association. However, the American Kennel Club does not formally recognize the Pitbull as a breed, referring to it as a type of dog, rather than a specific breed. The Black Pitbull is a color variant of the breed that is predominantly black in color but may include a white or gray flash down the chest and some other markings.

black pitbull standing on the grass
Image Credit: PortalPageOne, Shutterstock

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Top 3 Unique Facts About Black Pitbulls

1. They are Illegal in Some Cities

Pitbulls are illegal in countries including the U.K. and Australia. Strictly speaking, they are not illegal in the U.S., but a growing number of cities are banning them. Because the Pitbull isn’t an officially recognized breed, most cities that ban dangerous dogs only require that a dog meet certain physical characteristics to be considered a Pitbull-type breed, which means that crosses are covered by the ban. It also means that some other breeds could, in theory, be banned under the same laws. Always check your local laws before taking on a Pitbull.

2. The Pitbull Isn’t Really an Official Breed

As mentioned above, the Pitbull isn’t recognized as an official breed but is considered a type of dog. At least according to the American Kennel Club. The United Kennel Club and the American Dog Breeders’ Association do formally recognize the American Pitbull Terrier as a breed, however.

3. They Smile

The Pitbull smile is one of the things that Pitbull owners love about the breed. The dog raises the corners of its mouth, its tongue lulls out from between its teeth, and the dog looks as though it is smiling.

pitbull puppy sitting outdoor with owner
Image Credit: CoreRock, Shutterstock

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Does the Black Pitbull Make a Good Pet?

First and foremost, potential owners should check with local state, city, and federal laws to ensure that it is legal to own a Black Pitbull and that it can be taken out in public. They should also ensure that they get the dog from a reputable breeder that raises Pitbulls as family companions.

Early socialization and training are also important because the breed doesn’t always get along with other dogs, although it will usually get along very well with family members, friends, and even strangers. Beyond this, the Pitbull will need regular and consistent exercise, as well as mental stimulation, and no dog should ever be left unattended around very young children. The Black Pitbull will usually make a loving and loyal family member that is always up for adventure and especially enjoys time outdoors with its humans.

It is also worth considering that, in some areas, Pitbulls have a negative reputation, and owners have been confronted about their pets.

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The Black Pitbull is an uncommon color variant of the American Pitbull Terrier breed. Although originally bred for bloodsports and banned in some countries and cities, the breed can make a very loving and loyal family pet that is great with family members and strangers, although does require socialization and training to ensure it tolerates other dogs.

It is strong and agile, requires regular exercise, and because it is such a good companion dog, the Pitbull can suffer separation anxiety if left alone for too long. But in the right hands, and with the right owner, it can make an excellent companion.

Featured Image Credit: Alessandra Sawick, Shutterstock

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