Home of American Pit Bull Terrier Heritage, Gameness, Temperament and Conformation   


American Pit Bull Terrier Network was started for one purpose and one purpose only: To draw more people into the breed events, to develop a new generation of modern breed ambassadors, and promote the positive aspects of this amazing breed. 

Muscle Diagrams, Skeletal Diagrams and Conformation Landmark diagrams

Temperament of the APBT

In The Tempest by William Shakespeare, Prospero refers to Caliban as : "A devil, a born devil, on whose nature, Nurture can never stick;"

The above is the same argument used by those who would seek to destroy an entire breed of dog through legislation. Seek to destroy the archetypical American canine.  Visit the "Super dog" page to learn what a failure of basic rationality this perspective is.


PRIME MISSION AND MESSAGE: Judges must begin to look at temperament, structure, and health in that order to make a placement in the breed ring.

The Temperament of the APBT is THE MOST important aspect of the breed.

American Pit Bull Terrier moves with a jaunty, confident attitude, conveying the impression that he/she expects any minute to see something new and exciting.

THE STANDARD SAYS: The essential characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier are strength, confidence, and zest for life.

Judges: Temperament is fundamental and the most important aspect of the breed.  The above line from the standard uses the wordESSENTIAL. This means the essence of the breed is its temperament and outgoing enjoyment of every moment not its substance, head size or movement.

Confidence is a must!  Puppies may be nervous and wide eyed but should never avoid the judge.  Adults that show any type of fear or HUMAN aggression should be disqualified and judges should follow through on signing the book on it.

Judges for the sake of our breed do not hesitate to dismiss a dog and certainly never pick a dog (even a 6-12 month puppy) that is fearful or aggressive toward humans.  Our breed is in mortal danger because too many dogs with fear and human aggression are being bred.  People do not realize that temperament is 80% (some say more) genetic in dogs. 

APBTs make excellent family companions and have always been noted for their love of children.

DISQUALIFICATION!!!  Some dogs will nervously bark at a person who is acting strange or in a threatening or in a fearful manner.  They will in EXTREME situations protect their humans better than any other breed.  There are more stories of the APBT saving lives than there are of pure bred APBTs taking lives. 

They do not show unprovoked aggressive behavior in ANY form to any person.  If a judge even suspects that a dog is fearful or aggressive they should be safe and dismiss the dog.  Wagging tail is a must at least in the class dog rings!!!! 

Older more mature or bored competitors can take the GR CH class very seriously but an alert and friendly dog that is alive and reacts to their environment should always to be expected by the judge.


The American Pit Bull Terrier has a complete set of evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors bite.

FIGURE 10 here

Fault: Level bite.  ( see faults page)

Serious Faults: Undershot (see photo below and faults page), or overshot bite (See faults page); wry mouth; missing teeth (this does not apply to teeth that have been lost or removed by a veterinarian).   (see faults page)

A UKC Judge and APBT breeder notes that it is becoming highly prevalent to see dogs with missing P1s (the premolars right behind the canines) This can be a problem and judges should point this fault out to exhibitors if it is noticed.  A missing P3 may be more significant but if a breeder breeds two dogs with missing P1s this is setting a genetic trait that significantly weakens the jaw. f If a judge points this out to an exhibitor it is more likely they will seek a mate that has proper dentition. page)

These figures indicates the location of the various teeth.  This diagram can be referred to along with the following clinic on canine dentition.

These figures indicates the location of the various teeth.  This diagram can be referred to along with the following clinic on canine dentition.

1 ( normal incisor occlusion 2) side view of normal incisor occlusion 3) normal premolar tooth relationship 4) horizontal lines illustrate normal occlusal plane of upper and lower arches 

 The teeth are highly specialized structures which serve as weapons of offense and defense, as well as for the procuring, cutting, and crushing of food. 

We can see from this image that these teeth have the proper occlusion. Imagine as the dog is closing its mouth the teeth will meet each other in a nice mesh!

NECK - is of moderate length and muscular. There is a slight arch at the crest.

 A IMPORTANCE OF A NECK!!! Judge and APBT Breeder notes with dismay that he is seeing a predominance of APBTs in the show ring with thick short necks and judges that are putting these dogs up consistently.  Also of concern are very thin necks which are not as prevalent but of equal significance as a fault.  A short stubby thick neck is a FAULT!!!!!!  The neck should DEFINITELY have more length than the dogs skull and should have a shape that tapers from the shoulders to where it joins with the head. BULL NECKS are not optimal, nor moderate, nor functional in a all around working breed.

                                                            3 dogs with short necks that are too thick


The shoulder blades (scapula) are long, wide, muscular, and well laid back. The upper arm (humerus) is roughly equal in length to the shoulder blade (scapula) and joins it at an apparent right angle. A Judge and breeder notes that it is becoming common to see dogs with significantly shortened upper arms.  This gives the dogs top line a "hot rod" or "high in the rear" look when moving.  The dog may even move correctly but this is a serious problem that is occurring in the breed.

This dog has wonderful layback. This is well-laid back. This dog has a functional layback of almost 42 degrees. The lines passing through the shoulder indicate a perfect 45 but this is not quite the case. Also notice the 90 degree angle formed by the humerus and the scapula (the shoulder and the upper arm)

The pasterns are short, powerful, straight, and flexible. When viewed in profile, the pasterns are nearly erect (see pictures above for profile of pasterns).

Above is a small study on pasterns. Note that nearly erect, short and flexible in order to exist simultaneously must by necessity conform to moderate and flexible. There are 3 pasterns shown above which will breakdown quickly on a working dog. These are the 3 upright pasterns. The moderate flexible pasterns shown provide a good general ideal. The nice length flexible pasterns fulfill the ideals of a true working breed that needs agility and flexibility. Finally the short flexible pasterns also provide good moderation.

We are a small kennel of American Pit bull Terrier , located in Atlanta Ga, producing a limited number of litters per year. This is because we believe in quality over quantity.