American Pit Bull Terrier vs Austrailian Blue Heeler - Breed Comparison

American Pit Bull Terrier is originated from United States but Austrailian Blue Heeler is originated from Australia. American Pit Bull Terrier may grow 6 cm / 3 inches higher than Austrailian Blue Heeler. American Pit Bull Terrier may weigh 14 kg / 31 pounds more than Austrailian Blue Heeler. Both American Pit Bull Terrier and Austrailian Blue Heeler has almost same life span. American Pit Bull Terrier may have more litter size than Austrailian Blue Heeler. American Pit Bull Terrier requires Low maintenance. But Austrailian Blue Heeler requires High maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Terrier dog
Herding dogs
Origin:
United States
Australia
Height Male:
43 - 56 cm
16 - 23 inches
45 - 50 cm
17 - 20 inches
Height Female:
40 - 53 cm
15 - 21 inches
43 - 48 cm
16 - 19 inches
Weight Male:
16 - 30 kg
35 - 67 pounds
14 - 16 kg
30 - 36 pounds
Weight Female:
14 - 27 kg
30 - 60 pounds
12 - 14 kg
26 - 31 pounds
Life Span:
8 - 15 Years
12 - 16 Years
Litter Size:
5 - 10
1 - 7
Size:
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Staffordshire Fighting Dog, Pit Terrier, Pitbull, Pit, Half and Half, Bull Baiter Dogs, Old Family Dog - the Irish name, Yankee Terrier - the Northern name, Rebel Terrier - the Southern name
Queensland Heeler
Colors Available:
Red, Black, Fawn or Bucksjin
blue, red
Coat:
Smooth, Shiny, Short, Single layer
blue speckled or red speckled with dark or cream marks
Shedding:
Minimal
Constant
Temperament:
Affectionate, Courageous, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Playful, Stubborn
Alert, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Grooming:
Low maintenance
High maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
No
No

History

The history of the American Pit Bull Terrier might be a confusing one to some dog lovers and certainly to the general public that tends to lump all the “bully” breeds into a category called “pit bull”. This is because of the negative reputation this group of breeds has acquired over the past 30-50 years due to misuse and mis-breeding by the dog fighting industry. This categorization includes the American Pit Bull Terrier, The American Staffordshire Terrier, the Bull Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

There is major confusion and disagreement on the difference between the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier. The AKC does not recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier as a separate breed, but its founder and the UKC, ADBA do so. In the 1930’s the American Pit Bull Terrier was a recognized breed and in response to the negativity of pit-fighting, they renamed it as the American Staffordshire Terrier.

The American Pit Bull Terrier was developed to be a little larger in size than the Staffordshire in both height and weight. This breed comes from crossing various Bull and Terrier breed to get a working dog. The Amstaff for the most part is bred to be a show dog and is not usually a “street dog” used in dog fighting rings. The direct ancestors of the APBT are the Old English Bulldogs and the Old English Terriers. These dogs are great family dogs, gentle beyond comparison unless raised to fight. They make great therapy dogs as well as police dogs. They are not by nature cruel, aggressive or attack dogs.

Both professional confirmation breeders and street fight breeds have developed new strains of the American Pit Bull Terrier. A few are worth mentioning here.

Old Family Red Nose

One of the oldest strains of the American Pit Bull Terrier they are red in color and that red is a very unique tone. They have a copper colored coat and nose with red nails, red lips and amber or red eyes. These dogs were originally from Ireland and when they came to America they had the red nose. Originally bred for gameness, it is the red color that is sought after now.

Colby Pit Bulls

These are another old breed, but they have black noses and were initially bred by John P. Colby in the late 1800s. These dogs were known to be indominable fighting dogs and were bred into almost every line of American Pit Bull Terriers that exist today. The line is still maintained by the Colby family.

In 1840, George Elliott made a match with Australian Dingo and Collie and got a clever and very active dog breed – Australian Blue Heeler. Soon, he showed his good herding instincts and protective nature and got really popular among the cattlemen and ranchers. Soon, as the USA soldiers arrived in Australia, they decided that it will be a great dog to bring home.

Australian Blue Heeler has short, double coat. The coat is water resistant and helps them when the temperature is too high as well. Their coat is rough to the touch, naturally. They can be found in blue or red coat colour mix. The Blue Heeler isn’t actually blue, but their black coat has a bluish tint. Red Heelers have red fur instead of black. They have long tails, strong legs, Dingo-like heads with pointy ears and muscular necks and balanced and athletic bodies.

Description

True to their reputation as fighters, the American Pit Bull Terrier looks like one – powerful, strong and well built. This belies their gentle disposition but too often they are judged by their looks. With a broad, brick shaped head, thick neck and deep chest, they are stocky, muscular and agile. They usually have cropped ears, but the tails are not docked. Their legs are strong and hindquarters especially muscular. These dogs are much stronger than they look. Round soulful eyes are one of the traits that people who keep these dogs as companion animals love about them. They have a scissor bite and one of the strongest jaws of all domesticated canines.

This breed is somehow designed for an outdoor life and outdoor activity. This implies that Blue Heelers have nature made of the high dose of energy. They are always ready to go anywhere you go, and they will be a loyal friend. They are actually very clever, intelligent and ready to help.

If you are a type of the person who prefers being indoors and having minimal physical activity, Blue heelers are not the type of a furry companion for you. They have a high daily need for the activity, and they love having lots of space to run and explore. Sometimes, you will realize that having a leash is a must because they will get so playful that they will forget about you!

If you start teaching them to be friendly with other dogs while they are still pups, they will accept that kind of lifestyle. But, if your Blue Heeler is raised as the only dog on the ranch, note that they won’t be very friendly toward other dogs.

Since most of the herd dogs usually respond to only one person, most of the Blue Heelers can follow this old instinct. They can be very independent, as well, and they are usually not the type of the dog that will always be around your leg waiting for a cuddle or ear scratch. But, they build the respect towards humans depending on how they treat him so they can be very lovable and friendly pets.

If you are still confused about their name, you must know that the Blue Heelers can actually lightly nip your heel for attention. They are not aggressive, but they tend to be very protective of the family, humans around them and their property.

Health Problems

Though the American Pit Bull Terrier is healthier than most large dogs, they do have an issue with hip dysplasia. Breeders have been working to breed this out of the APBT and their work in this area has helped with the other issues with the patella, heart and thyroid. The APBT can have skin allergies and Demodex Mange. This condition can be either deadly or just a localized skin issue. Immunizations and testing is essential for this breed. When not immunized, American Pit Bull Terrier puppies have a greater incidence of parvovirus than other breeds. They also might have cataracts and congenital heart disease.

Eye problems

Progressive Retinal Atrophy usually causes slow and painless loss of sight. This process takes years, but there are cases where this disease took only months before the dog ended up completely blind. It is advisable to take your Blue Heeler to the vet for a test that can tell you if your dog is carrying the gene for this disease.

Lens luxation is a disease where the lens of dog’s eye separates partially or completely. Good news is that this disease can be treated.

Joint diseases

Most common is the hip or elbow dysplasia. This is the disease where hip joints do not develop properly and begin to grind. This condition can sometimes be treated with physiotherapy, but there is a chance that your Blue Heeler will need a surgery. If you have a habit of regular vet checks and keeping your dog slim and fed with quality food, you can a make a big difference.

Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD) causes the dog to have excess cartilage and deficient bone, where cartilage does not get replaced by bone during fetal development. This disease usually requires surgery and prescribed medicines.

Deafness

Congenital hereditary sensorineural deafness – CHSD is a common form of deafness.

Bilateral deafness can be identified when the dog is still a puppy, more-less at six weeks of age. A puppy with deafness in only one ear is harder to identify, but it can happen.

Portosystemic shunt means that the blood flow is getting back into the bloodstream instead of passing through the liver. That means that liver can’t clear out the toxins, and the organ itself fails to grow properly. This inherited type of shunt can be treated with surgery if the diagnose is set on time.

Caring The Pet

Feeding

How you feed your American Pit Bull Terrier puppy is important to her health as an adult and long life. The adult dog should be fed one and a half to two and a half cups of high quality food twice a day. Puppies should be fed more often as they grow. DO not feed your APBT soft or canned dog food. Their food should be dry. Be careful not to feed too much as you do not want an obese American Pit Bull Terrier.

Health issues

As previously mentioned this is a healthy breed with problems with:

Cataracts

These are usually inherited, and the pup may show signs early, or they could be developed later in life. They can be removed.

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia as in many larger, stronger breeds this can be a major problem. Breeds should test for it and APBT breeders are attempting to breed it out of the APBT.

Congenital Heart Failure

This is a congenital issue that breeders are also breeding against and if they have it your American Bit Bull Terrier was likely born with it.

Allergies

Many APBT are allergic to grasses or out outside allergens. Shots or medication can deal with these.

Exercise and games

This is an athletic, joyful breed that loves to play, love sports and loves any activity that bonds it with its family. Some of the many sports the American Pit Bull Terrier likes to participate in include: agility, obedience competition, weight pulling, lure coursing and fly ball. He also needs backyard exercise and daily walks.

When walking your American Pit Bull Terrier, make sure she is on a leash as the breed has a tendency to be aggressive with other dogs coming into their space. The APBT loves to work. They are good therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, even service dogs.

Feeding the puppy

Choose a dog food that will provide nutrients that will help in the bone developing. Since they are more likely to suffer from joint diseases, you must take this advice seriously. It would be great if you speak about this with your vet before you choose food on your own.

Feeding the adult

The best food for Blue Heeler is a high-quality food which supplies them with premium nutrition to fuel their activity.

They also drink a lot of water, so be sure that they always have a fresh water available.

Points for Good Health

Lots and lots of the outdoor activity and a quality food. You must be very cautious because this kind of dogs gets overweight easily because they just love the treats and extra food portion.

Games and Exercises

Any outdoor activity that is mentally challenging and interesting enough to keep them from running in the field trying to catch anything that moves.

Characteristics

For those who live with the American Pit Bull Terrier there is no better dog. The APBT loves people and loves children. They think they are lap dogs, and they certainly are watch dogs. They love their people but their barks at strangers at home are not because they are protecting their people but rather they are greeting the strangers into their home. Unfortunately, they will not greet another dog in the same way. However, when their people are seriously threatened they will give their lives to defend them.

These are strong, confident dogs who want to please their people. They love children and make great family dogs but require a strong owner and a strong pack leader. The need to be under control around other dogs and because of their strength, need a strong owner. It is their aggression towards other animals that must be controlled.

Children friendliness

They are generally good with children, but you must be aware of their inherent desire to herd. Always supervise when your Blue Heeler is around small children.

Special Talents

Ball tricks, frisbee fun, running companion, herding cattle.

Adaptability

It is best to buy a puppy. These dogs get attached to one human and to the territory.

Learning ability

They are generally quick learners. If you teach them to be playful, friendly and loving, they will learn it in no time. So be aware of the decisions that can cost you when the dog grows up.

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