Pit Bull-Type Dogs: Strong, Loyal, Arthritis Risk

October 25, 2023

October is National Pit Bull Awareness Month, and those with Pitbulls actually celebrate their chosen breed on National Pitbull Awareness Day on October 29. To celebrate, we are putting the spotlight on the lovable pit bull type and the related Bully breed of dogs as they are one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S. National Pit Bull Awareness Month and Day were created years ago as a way to bring light that these dogs are loyal and loving for families. They are strong, affectionate and because of their build, often at high risk for arthritis in dogs. 

Surprising to some, Pitbulls are not a dog breed. In fact, there are really no breed of dogs that are identified as "Pitbull." The more accurate term is "Pit Bull Type Dogs" because it refers to the breed of dogs in the Pit Bull family, such as the American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier and other dogs. Let's check out all the pit bull type dogs we can!

Pit bull type Dogs are the top Adopted Dog

With growing trends in pet adoption, pit bull-type dogs have become quite popular in the U.S. The organization pitbullinfo.org has estimated nearly 20% of the dog population in the United States to be a “pit bull-type” of dog. This translates to roughly 18 million pit bull-type dogs out there.

One reason: look at these puppies! They are adorable!

Puppy love

Another reason they are loved is because of the wide variety of dogs you can bring to your family. 

Variety of DOG

As mentioned, a pit bull is not a dog but rather a certain type of breed. Just as hounds are not a breed. Unlike the German Shepherd where shepherds are a type of breed. With that in mind, here are the “pit bull-type” breeds as recognized by American Kennel Club (AKC) or United Kennel Club (UKC):

American Pit Bull Terrier

3 American Pit Bull Terriers

The most popular pit bull-type of dog is the American Pit Bull Terrier, which is a member of the UKC Terrier group. It is the tallest and most athletic of the four different main breeds of dogs. It is a medium-sized dog, solidly built, short-coat with well-defined muscle. This dog works best as a family dog with its loyalty and love for children. They are also intelligent, athletic and agile. This dog is usually between 17-21 inches tall and it can weigh up to 60 pounds.

American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier sitting


A member of the AKC Terrier Group, the American Staffordshire Terrier is strong and muscular. Their face is that of unique characteristics such as the infectious eyes, which are telling of the dog’s naturally trustworthy behavior towards their family. This dog is also very graceful and agile. Sometimes called AmStaffs, they are loyal, trustworthy, good-natured companions. They can weigh up to 70 pounds for the male, and 55 pounds for the female and are usually around 17-19 inches tall.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier


A member of the AKC Terrier Group, this playful dog is strong, agile and full of tenacity. They are the shortest of these dogs, coming in at 14 – 16 inches tall, but they are still stocky, weighing up to 38 pounds.  They are very graceful and agile. Sometimes called Staffies, they resemble the dogs who were once in England’s fighting pits. However, today’s responsible breeders are producing sweet-natured, loving, family-oriented Staffies with a reputation for being a patient nanny with children. Like most pit bull-type dogs, the infectious smile is easy to see.

American Bully


The American Bully is a part of the Companion Dog Group for the UKC. There are subtle influences of origin breeds of this dog such as the American Bulldog, English Bulldog or Olde English Bulldogge. This is where you will see the most noticeable characteristic in the thicker, broader build through the shoulders. They have a powerful appearance, but their demeanor is gentle and friendly, which makes them excellent family dogs. They can be up to 20 inches tall but range from 30-55 pounds.

Often adopted dogs

Thankfully, many people have turned to adopt dogs with a pit bull-type mixed breed. According to ASPCA, they are believed to be the third most popular adopted dog. This means there are more pit bull-type dogs out there than ever before.  These adorable dogs have come a long way through the years. They are full-fledged family dogs. For those who think otherwise, the Huffington Post made an awesome infographic: 

pit bull infographic

Pit bull-type Dog Myths vs facts

MYTH: There are only 4 dog breeds recognized as pit bull-type dogs, as mentioned above.

FACT: Interestingly, there are 20 different types of breeds often misidentified as pit bull-type of dogs. The most common dogs confused to be pit-bull types are the Bullmastiff, Dogo Argentino, Cane Corso and American Bulldog. These dogs are several pounds heavier than pit bull-type dogs, and much taller. They can be over 100 pounds and up to 28 inches tall. Pit bull-type dogs are considered medium-sized dogs, they are NOT large dogs.

MYTH: Pit bull-type dogs are better for single people.

FACT: Pit bull-type dogs are great family dogs! In fact, they are in family homes more than ever. This myths started when people thought pit bull-type dogs could be aggressive naturally. It's been proven that a dog's aggressive behavior is learned. Experts ranging from the AKC to the ASPCA, have confirmed this as a fact. Remember, aggressive dogs are a characteristic of an individual dog, NOT a breed!

MYTH: Pit bull type dogs are stubborn.

FACT: Pit bull-type dogs love to please their moms and dads. They often put their families ahead of themselves. We love this Halloween costume on this adorable American Staffordshire Terrier. Pitbulls love to please their owners, just like most dogs do. They'll even wear a silly costume for their mom or dad!

Halloween costume on American Staffordshire Terrier

MYTH: Pit bull-type dogs bite.

FACT: Pit bull types are NOT the primary dog bite culprits. A look at the statistics of extreme dog bites done by pitbullinfo.org, found that pit bull-type dogs are not at the top of the chart of dogs that bite. A review of the bites to humans over the years found the breed risk table for dog bites actually shows Malamutes and Chow Chows up higher than pit bull-type breeds. 

MYTH: Pit bull-type dogs are hard to train.

FACT: Pit bull-type dogs are a very trainable dog breed! In fact, Hollywood has embraced pit bull-type dogs as movie stars! In one of Hollywood's biggest movies, "Once Upon A Time in Hollywood," an unlikely scene stealer of Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio was the adorable pit bull "Brandy," played by three different real-life dogs. Brandy had a big part in the storyline of this 2019 movie, written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.  

Health PROBLEMS of Pit Bull Type Dogs

The good news is the pit bull-type dogs are usually very healthy, athletic dogs.  Of course, there are always health issues that might come up. The top ones include:

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia in Pit Bull TYpe Dogs

The most common health issue is from the result of having a larger, stocky build. This puts a lot of pressure on their joints.  Which in turn, can cause Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia, a genetic defect that impacts the joints and causes trouble with mobility.  Sometimes, the dog may even need surgery to improve mobility and prescription medication. Pit bull-type breeds could benefit from preventative dosing of a joint supplement added to their daily diet. 

Pitbulls often get Arthritis in Dogs

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia go hand in hand with arthritis in the pit bull-type breed of dog. This is the first step of significant health issues needing attention. Again, a preventative measure can benefit these dogs as their stocky build impacts their joints over time. If your dog is over age 5, some more noticeable signs of arthritis include:

  • Reluctance for exercise and play.
  • Stiffness in the morning after sleeping the night through.
  • Visible stiffness from getting up from lying down.
  • Having difficulties doing routine activities such as going in the car, running up or down stairs and jumping on furniture.

However, sometimes the signs are not as obvious. When they reach the point of being noticeable, most likely the symptoms have been going on for a while. 


It’s always best to prevent problems, rather than fix them afterward. Pitt bull-type dogs can start to slow down sooner than expected due to joint pain or arthritis. Help relieve these signs safely and naturally by adding a joint supplement to their diet.

Here’s how to stay on top of these health-related problems in your beloved pit bull.  

  1. Prevent signs of arthritis before they start! Joint supplements can promote joint health and cartilage development which keep dogs active and youthful, for longer. Learn what to look for in joint supplements for your dog.
  2. If your pit is over age 5, consider starting them a joint supplement as cartilage improvement can be seen in most pit bull-type dogs with a daily dose. 
  3. Of course, make sure your dog is still active to help their joints work better. This includes regular exercise such as walking and playing outside with your dog.
  4. Keep the weight down. The heavier the dog, the more pressure on their joints. Every bit of exercise and proper feeding amounts will help as they age.



Parnell Living Science is the expert on osteoarthritis (OA) or arthritis in dogs. We created a unique formula with key anti-inflammatory ingredients to combat the signs of aging. The best arthritis treatment for pit bull type dogs is Glyde Mobility Chews. Glyde uses natural, gluten-free ingredients to promote healthy joints to let your dog do everything he or she loves to do!  Glyde is the only nutraceutical that contains proven levels of three key components that work to relieve the painful signs of arthritis.

The proven levels of these key ingredients are what makes the formula unique:

Protecting a dog’s ability to run and play is key to preserving its quality of life. That’s why early recognition and treatment of osteoarthritis (or arthritis in dogs) is so important. 20% of dogs over the age of 1, and 80% of dogs over the age of 8 will shows signs of OA. Glyde can help protect your dog from signs of aging through arthritis.

The key to success with pit bull-type dogs is to continue to love them unconditionally, and respect and enjoy them now and as they age. These big dogs need the best joint supplement for dogs, such as Glyde Mobility Chews for dogs. These loyal dogs will do the same in return. And most importantly, keep them as happy and healthy as possible!




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