“In my experience as an expert on breed identification, various dog types have been erroneously misidentified as American Staffordshire Terriers or American Pit Bull Terriers, and when there is a mixed breed dog involved accurate identification becomes problematic. In my opinion, when percentages fall below approximately 75% for the American Pit Bull terrier or American Staffordshire terrier, I do not feel that it is possible to accurately assess the breed composition of a mixed breed dog based on appearance alone for the purpose of stating that the dog is partially American Pit Bull terrier or American Staffordshire terrier or a closely related breed.”
~Richard H. Polsky, Ph.D, CAAB
Animal Behavior Counseling Services, Inc.
Certified applied animal behaviorist / Dog Bite Expert

The three breeds most often referred to as Pit Bulls. Three separate breeds. Each, with distinct differences, size, weight, physical features, yet all called Pit Bulls due to an ancient bloodline. But, an interesting fact is the same dog can hold a dual registry with the AKC (American Kennel Club) as an American Staffordshire Terrier, and the UKC (United Kennel Club) as an American Pit Bull Terrier.

Follow the lives of any litter of puppies, any breed, from birth to death, no two of those puppies will turn out exactly alike. It is not possible for every “Pit Bull” from three different breeds, to be dangerous. Each dog, like each human and each tree is an individual and should be seen as such.

It is believed that the three breeds of today, most commonly referred to as Pit Bulls, all began in the seventeenth century, in the British Islands, with the blending of three now extinct breeds…the Bulldog, the Black and Tan Terrier and the Old English White Terrier.

Dogs From The Same Ancestry

You cannot judge a book by it’s cover nor a deed by a bloodline. Each of the dogs listed below, are heirs to the bloodline of one or all of these dogs. Yet they are not ostracized or feared.

The dogs in this list, like Pit Bull breeds, or any other breed of dog, need love, care, understanding and guidance to become happy healthy family pets. The fear and unfairness surrounding the Pit Bull breeds, is due solely to their exploitation by man and media.


Alapha Blue Blood Bulldog          Dogo Argentino                       Norfolk Terrier
American Bulld                            English Bulldog                       Norwich Terrier
American Pit Bull Terrier              English Foxhound                   Otterhound
American Staffordshire Terrier     Fila Brasileiro                          English Pointer
Airedale Terrier                            Smooth Fox Terrier                  Rat Terrier
Australian Cattle Dog                  Wirehaired Fox Terrier             Sealyham Terrier
Australian Terrier                         French Bulldog                        Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Bedlington Terrier                        German Longhaired Pointer    Tosa Inu
Border Terrier                              Harrier Hound                          Toy Fox Terrier
Boston Terrier                             Jack Russell Terrier                  Toy Manchester Terrier
Bull Terrier                                  Lakeland Terrier                        Welsh Terrier
Bullmastiff                                   Manchester Terrier                   Yorkshire Terrier
Dachshund                                 Miniature Bull Terrier
Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Pit Bull breeds may share a bloodline with many other dogs but, no other dog breeds, in history, have been as abused or misunderstood as the dogs labeled Pit Bull.

More often than anyone realizes these dogs take the blame for the acts of other breeds. When a dog bites, someone at the scene may say they thought it was or it might have been, a Pit Bull. That’s it, decision made, the media reports a Pit Bull Attack. Those three words guarantee attention and guarantee ratings.

Kramer and Friends, Chesapeake

The story goes out, later the dog responsible is found, it turns out to be a hound mix or a Boxer. The misidentification is never made public, people, having heard the report, continue to fear Pit Bulls and the prejudice against these dogs just keeps growing.

In fact, if the dog involved is found not to be a Pit Bull, the story may never run, or they report, a dog bite, no breed mentioned.

Unfortunately the media is not alone in false identification of Pit Bull breeds. A dog owner chases a Roaming Romeo away from their Lab, just moments too late and the litter is called Lab/Pit mix. It is not easy to visually identify the breed of a dog, especially if it is running away.

Later some of that litter is turned in, or picked up stray by animal control, at that time a visual identification of breed will be made. This is simply a guess based on a physical appearance. DNA testing of every shelter dog is an unrealistic concept and looks can be deceiving.

Below you will find a list of dogs often misidentified as Pit Bulls and a link to test your own identification abilities. Can you be deceived?

African Boerboel                      Central Asian Ovtcharkas
Alapha Blue Blood Bulldog      Dogo Argentino
American Bulldog                    Dogue de Bordeaux
American Bully                        Entelbucher Sennehund
Black Mouth Cur                     Fila Brasileiro
Bull terrier                               Labrador Retriever
Bullmastiff                               Old English Bulldog
Boxer                                      Patterdale Terrier
Cane Corso                            Presa Canero
Catahoula Leopard Dog         Rodesian Ridgeback