Mabel the Rescue Dog

Encourage Dog Lovers to Adopt 💕

3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)

UPDATE 11/10/2021 – I’m not sure why, but this post is getting a lot of views, and many readers seem to be missing the point. I am not saying that American Pit Bull Terriers aren’t a real breed and I’m certainly not saying anything bad about them. I was just curious about the topic and wanted to make a quick article with a message that breeds aren’t important. All dogs deserve love whether or not they’re recognized by kennel clubs. So, if you’re trying to promote breeding and purebreds, the comments section on this blog is not the place to do so. Thank you to everyone who has adopted a dog in need, especially a Pit Bull! – Molly

If you read my blog often, you know by now that a “Pit Bull” is not a real breed. Pit Bull refers to a muscular dog that fits a certain description. Oftentimes, American Pit Bull Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers are the ones who most commonly fall under this category. But did you know that the American Kennel Club doesn’t recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier as an official breed?

What is an American Pit Bull Terrier?

The American Pit Bull Terrier is one of the many dogs that humans perceive as a “Pit Bull.” The breed is recognized by the United Kennel Club and the American Dog Breeders Association, but not the American Kennel Club.

They are typically medium-sized dogs with a solid structure. Like most dogs, they’re affectionate and playful, but humans are often afraid of them due to the many rumors that have circulated.

American Pit Bull Terriers are one of the most common breeds found in shelters, yet people keep breeding them and other Pit Bull breeds, which is not okay. If they’re so popular though, why aren’t they recognized by the AKC?

Why Aren’t They Recognized?

The AKC recognizes around 200 dog breeds, which is less than other breed registries. This is because they have a strict way of welcoming a new breed into their database.

AKC recognition requires proper registry of that breed. There must be a written request to add the breed and proof of that breed’s history and standards. There are many pending breeds for the AKC, but if there are very few of that breed in America, then they often don’t have an interest in including them.

The following are the official requirements for accepting a new dog breed in the AKC:

  1. A demonstrated following and interest (minimum of 100 active household members) in the breed (in the form of a National Breed Club). 
  2. A sufficient population in this country (minimum of 300-400 dogs), with a three-generation pedigree. Dogs in that pedigree must all be of the same breed. 
  3. Geographic distribution of the dogs and people (located in 20 or more states). 
  4. AKC must review and approve the club’s breed standard as well as the club’s constitution and by-laws. Breed observations must be completed by AKC Field Staff.

If you ask me, it’s all a little crazy though. All dogs are dogs. We shouldn’t need to be registered to prove that we’re a specific breed. American Pit Bull Terriers are fairly common in the United States, so the fact that they haven’t been registered yet is still a little confusing.

What Official AKC Breeds Are the Most Similar?

The AKC registers many other dogs that could fall under the “Pit Bull” category. This includes the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Cane Corso, and Dogo Argentino. Many humans will argue that these are “expensive purebreds” and not Pit Bulls, but any dog with a broad head and a muscular body could be called a Pit Bull, which could prevent them from living in rented homes.

As confusing as the AKC’s database is, it’s not something that dog parents should stress about. All dogs are special and loving, whether they’re an official breed or a mutt. Humans need to stop worrying about labels and start loving their dogs for who they are. After all, we’re a part of the family.

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Categories: FAQ

One thought on “Why Are American Pit Bull Terriers Not Recognized By the AKC?

  1. Sharon says:

    I think my Ada could be described as a pit bull, I love her to bits but I think crossing the particular breeds she is is not a good idea. I would not trade her for anything but I have her because she was in a shelter and needed a home and I needed a dog, plus I have always had working dog breeds so I knew what I was getting into at least. I see dogs like Ada returned to shelters all the time and it is heart breaking.

    Liked by 1 person

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