The term "pit bull" refers to two breeds: the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier. These two breeds were originally bred from bulldogs but are now different, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

There are other dog breeds often confused for pit bulls, like the boxer, the bullmastiff, the cane corso and the presa canario. The pit bull originated in England and is a short-haired dog that grows to 35 to 65 pounds. Pit bulls can herd cattle and aid in hunting, and they are quite strong, can pull weights and often have an athletic build.