Pit bull feet--how to tell an Amstaff from a pit bull
I work in a pet stop in Australia and was wondering if Pit Bulls don't have webbed feet, are there any other ways to recognize a Pit Bull at 8 weeks of age? We are not allowed to sell them and the Am. Staffy is extremely similar so thought you may be able to help.
A webbed foot (or absence of one) has nothing to do with whether or not a dog is considered a pit bull. It is simply a non-issue. The breed standard for the American Pit Bull Terrier reads like this:
"The feet are round proportionate to the size of the dog, well arched, and tight. Pads are hard, tough, and well cushioned. Dewclaws may be removed."
Nothing about webbing one way or the other. And, that only takes the APBT into account. In the U.S., the term pit bull is used to refer to several bull breed type dogs that have large, blocky heads and muscular bodies--including the Amstaff.
I guess Australia has a law that says Amstaffs are ok and pit bulls are not. That's a real dilemma. Especially since the breed standard for the Amstaff was actually set by an American Pit Bull Terrier named Primo in the 1930's. So how someone could be expected to reliably tell them apart based solely on appearance is beyond me.
The only distinguishing feature that is without question is that an Amstaff's nose must be black. No other color is considered acceptable by the AKC. Of course, a lot of pit bulls have black noses too...
Here in the U.S. we have such a horrific pet overpopulation problem that pet shops (is that the same as a pet stop?) that sell live animals have largely fallen out of favor with the public. We still have them, just not as much.
We've never done a very good job here of regulating the breeding industry and consequently people who made their living supplying pet stores started churning out dogs 'puppy mill' fashion without regard to the health or well being of the animals involved. The public got so turned off by this that people started voting with their feet and getting their pets elsewhere.
Generally, the feeling here is that reputable breeders will not sell to a pet store because they want to place their pups themselves to be sure they are going to good homes.
But, things may be different in Australia. And, all this is just basically to say that the best way to know a dog's breed is to know the breeder and only deal with people who are honest.
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