CONFORMATION STANDARD FOR THE AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER

All American Dog Registry International, LLC 

Type, Attitude, & Balance/ Condition – 20 pts:
Upon sight the dog should be easily identifiable as an American Pit Bull Terrier. This breed is an athletic dog that should be equally balanced from the front to the rear. This is a medium sized breed of dog from top range of 60 lbs. to a lower range of 30 lbs. A balanced dog refers to the equality of hip and shoulder angles as well as the front and rear musculature; if one part is more exaggerated or has more angle degree than the other it throws off the balance.

APBT’s have a blocky, wedge-shaped head, a well-muscled jaw attached to a neck of adequate length proportionate to the size/ height of the dog. The angles of the shoulder and hip should be a 45 degree angle from the ground. These dogs are athletes and should have a sleek, lean physique; however, puppies should never appear underweight. A puppy should always have a healthy layer of fat as they are constantly growing. All of these attributes meld together to form what we call the American Pit Bull Terrier.


The dog should always be in control of his/ her own area, interested in their surroundings and affectionate towards it family. The APBT should not be nervous, shy, or spooky to the point of “hugging the ground”, spastic with fear, or tail tucked continuously. As puppies they should be exposed safely to differing surroundings, people, and experiences. Adults may be boisterous, this breed is not one that necessarily enjoys another dogs company. Some are more tolerant of others, but it is generally accepted that they can and may exhibit dog aggression and also have a fairly high prey drive towards smaller animals. This breed is a happy, full of life dog; often described as having a sense of humor.

The APBT is a dog that should be balanced, meaning they should not be over-exaggerated in any area. Smooth, lean muscle should flow from one part of the skeletal structure to the other without being too lean nor too bulky. Their height to weight ratio should also balance each other. Males are generally no bigger than 60 lbs, while females are generally 50lbs and under at maturity. As adults in good condition they should have a flexible, free gait.

No one coat color is preferred. Nose colors may be black, red, chocolate, or bi-colored. Please reference the AADRI, LLC color chart for details. Merles and albinos will not be accepted due to the excessive genetic problems with their own health as well as when improperly bred.

Head – 5 pts: The size of the head should be in proportion to the rest of the body, roughly 2/3’s as wide as the shoulders and should be wedge shaped, but not without an adequate stop. From the tip of the nose to the stop should be the same measurement as from the stop to the back of the head. Cheek muscles should be well developed and lips should fit snugly around the teeth/mouth. Faults: Nose too short, disproportionate size

Neck – 2 pts: Neck should be muscular and of adequate length that the bottom jaw is level to center of the spine when standing relaxed.

Teeth – 2 pts: Scissors bite (top teeth slightly over but tightly over bottom) is preferred, however deciding factor will always be the canines. They should fit tightly without large gaps. Wearing or dubbed teeth in an older dog is perfectly acceptable. Faults: Excessively over or undershot bites, Serious Fault: Missing canine(s)

Eyes -2 pts: Eyes should be almond in shape. Color of eyes will be relative to coat color. Red/ chocolate dogs can have copper, gold, or green eyes. Piebald dogs will occasionally be seen with one blue eye. Two blue eyes are rarely seen and are not preferred and should never be bred to another piebald or white dog because of obvious recessive genes. An eye that is bi- or even tri-colored is not allowed as this is significant to merle dogs. Fault: Two blue eyes, Disqualifying Fault: One eye bi-or tri-colored

Ears – 1 pts: There is no preference to cropped or uncropped ears. They must have two ears and be relative to the size of the head.

Rear – 25 pts: When the dog stands squarely the hip angulation should be at 45 degrees to the ground and the rear pastern should be vertical from the hock to the ground. Dogs should not straight-stifle (this is where there appears to not be any angles from the foot to the hip), or be cow-hocked (when hocks turn in toward each other). The rear is the drive-train of your dog and should have adequate lean muscle, appearing athletic and capable of propelling the dog forward with ease. The rear should not be too heavily built and not slight in build. Faults: Unbalanced between front and rear angulation, cow-hocked, Serious Faults: Straight-stifle

Torso/ Body – 10 pts: Chest should be well-developed with a prominent breastbone and not hollowed, giving the dog plenty of room for lung expansion. The rib cage is elliptical in shape with the greatest depth at the elbows. There should be a healthy length of rib cage without the dog appearing short-bodied; a short-bodied dog will become out of breath much quicker. The loin is well muscled and of proportionate length to the height/weight ratio, in females this can be a touch longer (helpful for a brood bitch). The torso should appear solid yet flexible. Faults: Hollow chested, barrel chested, Serious Fault: Loin too short, loin excessively long

Front – 20 pts: Shoulder blade should lay at a 45 degree angle to the ground. Front legs should be straight and solid; neither toeing in (pigeon-toed) nor turning out (easty-westy). Elbows should be held snug to the rib cage, and the point of the elbow should be level with the bottom of the rib cage. To be properly balanced a dog should have what is termed adequate bone, not being heavy boned and not being too slight in bone. Faults: Unbalanced between front and rear angulation, toeing-in, toeing-out, elbowing out, Serious Fault: Down in the pasterns

Feet – 1 pts: Feet are preferred round and compact like a cat’s feet; however, longer toes and a rabbit-like look are often observed. Fault: Dew-claws on hind legs

Tail – 1 pts: When relaxed the tail should resemble an old fashioned pump handle and the tip should reach the hock. Tail should not be docked or altered. Faults: Too short of a tail, Serious Faults: Docked or altered tail

Skin/ Coat – 1 pts: Skin should be tight, coat short and slick, and glossy. Coat should feel soft and skin should be supple and elastic. This denotes good health and well-being. This is the ultimate test of whether a dog is dehydrated. Serious Faults: Loose skin, long coat hair, Disqualifying Faults: Albinism, Merle coat coloring

Movement – 10 pts: When a dog is balanced with correct angulation they will move with a fluid, flexible motion that appears effortless. Faults: High-stepping, Rolling side to side movement, Serious Faults: Lameness, feet that cross-over or interfere with each other as dog moves


Major Faults and Disqualifying Faults - No spayed or neutered dogs are shown in pointed conformation classes, we encourage them to join us in our fun classes and to participate in our active events of Weight Pull and Treadmill. Conformation classes are to exhibit the best candidates for breeding purposes that we have. It should encourage responsible breeding for the best qualities of the APBT; stable temperament, intelligence, structural soundness, and quality pedigree. All males must have two testicles, if not they are disqualified from showing. No human aggressive dogs should be on the show grounds. All dogs being excused from the show ring for human aggression will be recorded by the host club and reported to AADRI, LLC., after the 3rd report (if necessary) the dog will be banned from the show ring.