How to Tell if a Pit Bull Puppy Is Full Blooded?

There appears to be a lot of confusion and controversy surrounding the pit bull breed. This derives mainly from the fact that the term ''pit bull'' does not refer to a breed of dog alone, but rather to a group of dogs. Three breeds of dogs mainly constitute the pit bull group: the American pit bull terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier and the Staffordshire bull terrier. For a pit bull to be full blooded, it must be a purebred specimen of one of these three breeds.

Check through the papers that came with your puppy from the breeder. If you own a purebred puppy, it would have come with pedigree papers and registration papers from a reputable kennel club or pedigree service. An American pit bull terrier puppy, for instance, very likely will be registered with the United Kennel Club, whereas Staffordshire bull terrier or American Staffordshire terrier puppies would likely be registered with the American Kennel Club.

Look up the standards for the American pit bull terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier and the Staffordshire bull terrier in a good breed book and compare your puppy to them. You may not be able to see particular traits, however, until your pit bull puppy is older and better developed.

Have a professional dog breeder who specialises in breeding pit bulls see your puppy and give you an opinion. He should be able to tell if your pit bull may be full blooded. Some veterinarians also may be able to give you an appraisal.

Invest in a DNA kit test to see what breeds are detected in your puppy's blood lines. The Wisdom Panel test kit, for instance, can trace your pit bull's ancestry and detect the presence of American Staffordshire terrier and Staffordshire bull terrier components. These tests cannot determine 100 per cent breed purity, but at least can prove a dog is 75 per cent from one specific breed.


The only absolute way to prove a pit bull is purebred is with pedigree papers. Some crossbreeds might well be purebred, but simply lack the paper to prove their blood lines.


Avoid backyard breeders when acquiring a pit bull puppy and deal with reputable breeders. Being registered by the American Kennel Club is not necessarily a sign of a quality puppy. Be wary of groups that are registering dogs. Some may be unethical and register even mixed breeds, for a fee.

Things You'll Need

  • Papers accompanying puppy
  • Breed standard books
  • Reputable breeder or knowledgeable veterinarian
  • Dog DNA test kit
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About the Author

Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.