Is Pit Bull One Word or Two? And Why It Really Matters

There is a lot of prejudice towards Pit Bull type dogs because of their history in being used as fighting dogs. Many people believe they are aggressive by nature and can’t be tamed. But throughout the years these dogs proved to be gentle-natured and great with their families.

Let’s learn more about the history of Pit Bulls and where the name came from.

Is Pit Bull one word or two? Pit Bull is two words. The first word “Pit” comes from the pits where these types of dogs were used to hunt rats for entertainment. The second word “Bull” refers to the dog’s ancestor, the Bulldog, as well as “Bull Baiting”, which is a blood sport that these dogs were used in to fight with bulls.

Pit Bulls have a long history of being mistreated and used in blood sports solely for the entertainment of humans. Keep reading to learn more about their history, how they got their name, and which breeds are known as Pit Bulls.

Is Pit Bull One Word or Two? 

The name “Pit Bull” is composed of two words: Pit and Bull. Each of these words has its own history which can be traced back to the early 1800s in the United Kingdom.

Let’s take a close look at how the words originated and how they came together to describe this specific type of dog.

  • Pit – In the mid-1800s, a sport called ‘Ratting’ was invented where people would gather a bunch of rats in a pit and set a couple of dogs against them to see which dog will kill the most rats.
  • Bull – Before “Ratting” was invented, a cruel sport originated among the struggling class called “Bull baiting” where people would bring two or more dogs, usually bulldogs, and make them fight the bulls to the death. The “Bull” part refers to the Pit Bull’s ancestor the Bulldog as well as the sport.

Ratting and bull-fighting required the dogs to be strong and fast, so people mixed the Bulldog breed with the Terrier breed to make a new type of dog, more commonly known as the first Pit Bull Terrier. By bringing together their history and ancestry, the Pit Bulls earned their name among other dogs.

What Is the Correct Way to Write Pit Bull and Why Does it Matter?

If you go around reading different publications, you will notice that the word Pit Bull is not always written this way, with both words capitalized.

Many people, bloggers, journalists, and even animal rights advocates would write the name as “pit bull” or “American pit bull terrier”. This might sound insignificant at first sight but it’s not.

Capitalizing a name gives it significance and deems it important. It’s a recognition that every other dog type or breed gets except the Pit Bulls. Pit Bulls already suffer from great misconception in life and are often looked down upon as not a real breed or just mutts, and this attitude towards these gentle dogs is translated in writing as “pit bulls”.

So, the next time you write about these gentle, family-loving dogs, make sure you capitalize both letters.

What Dogs Are Called Pit Bull?

Since we have established that Pit Bulls are a type of dog and not a specific breed, there are many dogs that fall under the category of Pit Bulls. Let’s learn more about some of them:

American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a descendant of the 19th-century Terriers and Bulldogs that originally existed in the United Kingdom.

It is well known to be very physically active, agile, and a good hunter. They are great family dogs as they are very affectionate and loving while being strong and protective.

American Staffordshire Terrier

The American Staffordshire Terrier is also a descendant of the 19th-century Terriers and Bulldogs. Unlike the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier was bred in America.

They were never used for fighting so they’re soft but do not always get along with other dogs. They have a high hunting drive but are affectionate with their families.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier or the Staffy is an older breed than the previous two and is considered part of the ancestry. It has also been used in fighting pits like the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Nowadays, it’s more well known for its goofy smiley appearance and its good nature with its owners, especially children.

American Bulldogs

The American Bulldogs are maybe the most direct descendant of the British bulldogs which were used in fighting arenas and pits in the 1800s.

When they were brought to America, they were used on farms to chase away other prey and protect the farm animals. They are big in size and need training to learn to be affectionate with strangers.

American Bully

The American Bully is the newest breed in the family of Pit Bulls. It’s a natural extension of the American Pit Bull Terrier and shares many of its characteristics but differs enough to be considered its own breed. The American Bully is big and bulky looking with wide heads, but they are very gentle and loving family dogs despite their intimidating looks that may make you think otherwise.

Related Questions 

Why Do People Say Pit Bulls Are Mean?

This assumption that Pit Bulls are mean is a result of the Pit Bull’s history in dog fighting sports since the 1800s. They are naturally strong, agile, and smart dogs and that’s why they were used as fighters in these sports. However, this kind of sport is now outlawed and Pit Bulls are mostly bred as companion dogs.

How Strong Is A Pit Bull’s Bite?

A Pit Bull’s bite is about 240-330 PSI, which is considered to be fairly strong. They were originally bred as fighting and hunting dogs and this bite force can definitely bring down larger prey. However, it’s possible to teach them bite inhibition to be safe around people and other dogs.

Why Are Pit Bulls Sometimes Referred to As Nanny Dogs?

Pit Bulls are sometimes called nanny dogs because they are very affectionate towards their families and especially around kids. Despite their fighting nature and history, they are now bred as house pets and are loving and nurturing dogs.

Helpful Resources 

5 Types of Pit Bull Dog Breeds

PitbullsHome Personally-Tested Picks for Pitties:

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