Pitbull Lifespan – Everything You Need to Know and Helpful Infomation

pitbull lifespan

Pitbulls, commonly seen across America, are frequently misunderstood and labeled as hostile dogs.

On average, your Pitti may get to live and bring joy to you for 8 to 16 years. However, for every rule, there comes an exception.

Slowly but steadily people have started accepting Pitbulls for what they are; a man’s best friend.

And why not? We firmly believe they make a great addition to the family with their super affectionate and tail-wagging exciting nature.

But before you take a dig into it, make sure you get to know about Pitbull lifespan and the factors that shape its years of living.

Come join this journey with us on Pitbull lifespan where we share the “ulti-mutt” ways to make your buddy live a healthier and happier life. It’s time to sprinkle some confetti.

What Is The Pitbull Controversy?

Were you aware that Pitbull is not even a breed? The American Kennel Club refers to it as a mixed breed of dogs that are defined by their muscular traits.

Descending from bulldogs and terriers, Pitbulls have been hyped over the years for being aggressive in nature; all thanks to careless pit bull owners, tabloid media, and myths passed over generations.

But the truth of the matter is that like any other dog, Pitbulls are extremely loving, tender, and great companions.

If we look at the ASPCA breed population data, Pitbull may be the 3rd most adopted breed from shelters. And undoubtedly with excellent temperament scores, Pitbulls have our vote of fondness.

Did you know: The word pit bull comes long back from history stamped for any dog that was used in the heinous sport involving pitting a bull against a dog.

Medium-sized, strong-built dogs with bullish features and physical quirks were mostly trained for this game.

So now you get why these poor souls with big kind eyes have been pigeonholed into the malefic category?

What Is The Average Pitbull Lifespan?

On average, your Pitti may get to live and bring joy to you for 8 to 16 years. However, for every rule, there comes an exception.

While the pit bull breed type may be the major reason behind a long or a short life expectancy, we should not ignore the fact that a well-kept doggo will always live more.

Pitbull Lifespan Based On The Breeds

Interested to know more? Here is how it goes; the average lifespan of the American Staffordshire terrier is 12 to 16 years. An American Staffordshire terrier and Staffordshire bull terrier are well known for their most extended lifespan.

You must be curious whether all pit bull breeds have the same lifespan. All pitbull breeds can reach their teenage if they get good care. Here are a few pitbull dogs’ life expectancies according to their breeds.

The Average Lifespan Of Pit Bulls Mix

Pitbull Breed

Average Lifespan Range

  • American Staffordshire Terrier

12 – 16 years

8 – 15 years

  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier

12 – 14 years

  • American Bully

8 – 15 years

Four Of The Oldest Living Pitbulls

Love, dedication, and proper grooming will take your Pitti a long way. Remember not all heroes wear capes. Here are inspiring stories behind the four oldest living Pitbulls. Get to know these champs and also how long they lived.

I. Poe

Poe was rescued when she was 9. And she was in pretty bad shape. But she was a survivor, thanks to the love of the angelic woman who recused her. Poe had a big smile that would melt anyone’s heart.

She left the world at the age of 20. A fan of car rides and her adopted siblings, Poe is a beacon of hope for all the Pitties out there for a longer lifespan.

II. Tigger

Tigger, another Pitbull crossed the milestone and lived for 22 years. She was rescued at the age of four. Sadly enough her ailing period dragged on for a year. And was finally euthanized in 2018 and laid to rest.

III. Kathy

Kathy, a beautiful mutt Pitbull lived a wholesome life for 22 years and 29 days. She was known to be the angriest dog because she would bark a lot at strangers. Kathy was rescued from a shelter home in Las Vegas. You can connect and know more about the life of Kathy on her Facebook page.

IV. Max

Adopted and loved immensely by his family, Max is the oldest Pit bull ever to live in records. He surpassed the age of 29 and crossed the rainbow bridge just short of a few months before he turned 30.

Max was a beagle, dachshund, and terrier mix and qualified as a Pitbull. He was well taken care of, with regular visits to the vet and immense love from the family. He died a natural death of old age.

5 Major Health Issues That Affect The Lifespan Of Pitbulls

Pitbull Health Issues

A big skull, a strong muscular body, and a powerful jaw, that’s how we would describe a pitbull. And you would think a strong dog like a pitbull does not face any health issues. Well, that’s where we would like to correct you.

Pitbulls are loveable companions just like all other dog breeds. They might have a more stocky body than an average doggo, but unfortunately, they get their equal share in health issues.

Here are some common health problems that this breed faces at some time in its lifespan.

a. Hip Dysplasia

Call it the genes or the obesity, but hip dysplasia may be the most commonly occurring health problem in Pitbulls. Hip dysplasia is a skeletal disorder that occurs in the joint between the hind legs and the hip.

This disfigurement is usually developed during the early years when the joints are still forming. Staffordshire terrier pit bulls are more prone to get hip dysplasia issues than others.

Here are some of the common symptoms to watch out for:

  • Uneven gait
  • Abnormal sitting position
  • Stiffness
  • Slowed activity
  • Inability to move in severe cases

b. Skin Infections

Pitbull may not have furry coats, but they are still susceptible to skin issues. Or maybe a lesser coat makes them more vulnerable to environmental triggers. It can be anything from allergies, infections, or skin diseases like ichthyosis.

Sometimes it is genetics that may be causing skin problems for Pitbulls. If your Pittie is not getting enough zinc in his diet, he may develop a skin infection called zinc-responsive dermatosis.

Be wary of these signs:

  • Paw licking
  • Flaky and irritated skin
  • Redness followed by hair loss
  • Excessive rubbing of the body

c. Cataracts

Ever seen a dog with a cloudy eye? That’s cataracts by the way. And it is pretty common in canines which usually comes as an old age perk.

But not every case of cataracts is due to old age. Sometimes changes in the protein levels in the lens can cause cataracts in Pitties.

Some extreme cases of cataracts may cause blindness. Cataracts in Pitbulls are sometimes caused by genes while eye injuries are another reason for this cloudy eye condition.

If your dog is diabetic, he is in the danger zone of getting that cloudy eye.

Keep an eye on these signs:

  • Murky eyes
  • Rubbing of eyes
  • Altered pupil size

d. Knee Issues

One of the major threats to a Pitbull’s physical well-being is the knee complications they face. Logically speaking, these are extremely active dogs we are talking about.

When this high-level activity combines with the sturdy build, it is no surprise that ligament tears or knee issues arise.

CCL is to dogs what ACL is to humans. The cranial cruciate ligament is a thin ligament on a dog’s knees that bridges the tibia and thigh bone.

The CCL is delicate and at high risk of damage due to the hyperactivity of Pitbulls. Luxation is another knee issue that these dogs face and happens due to the dispositioning of the kneecap.

Beware of:

  • Mild limping
  • Pain
  • Hoping and unable to use the hind leg

e. Hypothyroidism

Have you noticed a change in the coat of your Pitbull lately? It could be anything from dullness to hair loss, especially on the trunk, tail, or rear of the legs.

Get your Pitti checked for hypothyroidism as there could be chances of the thyroid gland not producing enough hormones.

If you have gotten your Pitti spayed at one time or another, the chance of getting hypothyroidism increases (though doctors are still unsure as to why this happens).

Here are some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism in Pitbulls:

  • Weight gain
  • Laziness
  • Loss of hair
  • Flaky skin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle loss

7 Factors That Decreases The Pitbull Lifespan

Here is another trumped-up story about Pitbulls—female Pitbull lifespan is longer than the male.

Here are the things that actually matter when it comes to affecting their lifespan:

1. Genes

Genes load the guns for Pitbulls. In fact, they load guns for any living being. Some serious health issues are passed on genetically. Heart issues, obesity, and cancer are just to name a few.

If you know the family history of your pitbull, which unfortunately is rare unless you get yours from a reliable source, you will be able to detect the signs of certain diseases early on.

If not, then you are in store for surprises. Not good ones though.

2. Obesity

Let’s burst a bubble here. That pot-bellied Pitbull of yours…does not look cute. You are not a smart cookie if you are overfeeding your pitbull since obesity can prove to be fatal for Pitbull’s health. Ideally, a Pitbull should weigh between 55 to 60 pounds.

A Pitbull’s ribs are slightly visible. If you can’t feel the ribs or your Pitbull is panting more than usual, you should realize that your doggo is not in the best of health.

3. Lack Of Exercise

Pitbulls are known for the burst of energy they own. If they are not exposed to physical activities, they are being robbed of their true nature. As a result of which, your Pitbull can fall into serious depression or take on aggressive mode.

Pitbulls are athletically built dogs, their muscles need rigorous movement. Lack of exercise becomes a serious reason for a shortened Pitbull lifespan.

4. Uncaring Keepers

Uncaring keepers become one of the top reasons for a downsizes in Pitbull lifespan. In fact, these people do not deserve the companionship of any pet.

Not feeding them food and water, training them for dog fights, caging them, and noticeable injuries are all stances of this torture. And they should be reported immediately as this comes under animal cruelty.

Other than care, showering your pitbull with affection is also crucial. And if you don’t, your Pitbull can go into severe depression.

This neglect can sometimes take the form of aggression, which can be harmful to the dog itself and the surroundings.

5. Low-Grade Diet

That dishy body of your Pitbull, yes that, it needs good nutrition to stay fit. When the dog food you are giving your Pitbull does not have adequate nutrition that its body needs, expect a noticeable downsize in the Pitbull lifespan.

Lack of good quality protein, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids can result in various ailments. Feeding them off the table can prove to be extremely unhealthy for a Pitbull.

Our recommendation would be to get breed-specific food approved by FDA for your Pitti.

6. Skipping Vet Visits

We might teach you a thing or two about the basics of Pitbull body but your Pitbull needs a professional vet to give him a thorough examination. Skipping vet visits is no heroic deed.

A lot of complications are broiling up inside a dog’s body, especially when they start to age.

When you don’t get them checked, these diseases take a monstrous form that might end up reducing the years of living for your Pitti.

7. Poor Schooling

We are all here to learn, even our dogs. Dogs are pack animals and following rules and obedience run in their blood.

When you don’t school your Pitbull, you are robbing them of mental stimulation and confidence. And the biggest thing you are damaging is your bond with your Pitti.

Training a Pitbull can help them come out of the stigma that has been clouding them for centuries. An unschooled Pitbull depicts destructive behavior which can be life-threatening for the dog and everything and everyone around it.

5 Best Practices That Can Boost The Pitbull Lifespan

Welcome to Pitbull pup parenthood. You are now responsible for the life of an over-energetic doggo.

You have to play by the book for bringing up a healthy and happy Pitbull. These sturdy-built doggos are sensitive and demand a certain way to be raised.

Here are some best practices that can help you raise a healthy Pitbull.

A. Help Your Pitbull Maintain That Beach Bod

Who doesn’t love how complementing a Pitbull’s body looks? The buff body is an aura of compelling strength.

Who in the right mind would want that to go away? Lets’s say we ditch the part about looks and focus on the health issues that overfeeding introduces in Pitbulls.

Pitbulls are not made to have obese bodies. If you are overfeeding your Pitti, you are welcoming the chances of heart issues, joint problems, metabolic and digestive disorders, and back pain to say the least.

B. Good Food=Good Mood

We want to ask these two questions before we begin:

  • What age is your Pitti?
  • Does your Pitti belong to the large breed or the medium-sized one?

The answers to these two questions will unlock the Pitbull diet mystery box. If by any chance you are feeding the wrong breed and age food to your Pitbull.


The major cause of crippling dysplasia in Pitbull. Shocked? We thought so too. Remember that the dog food for your Pitbull should be protein-rich, with no gunk, please.

To raise healthy dogs, do not neglect the number of probiotics in the diet as probiotics are crucial for healthy digestion.

C. Yay To Regular Vet Visits

Regular vet visits for your Pitti–you have our nod of approval. Annual checks are a must when you take on the responsibility of a four-legged furry friend. For new pups, you must get them vaccinated. You can imagine the consequences when you fail to do so.

Pitbulls have certain health issues that start to show up with time. If these issues are timely dealt with proper medication or treatment, your Pitti can live a long and healthy life.

D. Daily Workout

Did you know that a good workout makes the brain release the “feel good” hormones in Pitbulls?

And you thought humans are the only ones having the privilege of endorphin release. Let them experience “runner’s high” by giving them opportunities to engage in a workout routine.

So we have happy dogs, but what about health? Exercise can help get rid of the extra belly that your Pitti has started to show. It can shoo away gastrointestinal issues that can occur frequently in a dog’s body.

A daily workout routine can disciple the dog like no other and can help them lead a healthy life. And the best part–it can kill boredom leading to a destructive attitude.

With amazing athletic talent, your Pitbull could be your swimming, running, or playing fetch partner.

A good two hours of playtime or any sustained physical activity with your doggo and he is good to go.

E. Shower Them With Care And Love

For every loving and healthy Pitbull, there is an equally loving keeper behind it. So shower your Pitti with the love and attention it deserves.

After all, you are responsible for raising a warm and kind-hearted Pitbull.

Happy Pit bulls live more. Your devoted time and love is the price you have to pay when you become a Pitbull parent. In return, you get unlimited cuddles and slurps. Hmm, not a bad deal, right?


The heartbreak whipped up by the mere thought of losing your muttly wuttly is unimaginable. Though we do agree that genetics play a huge role in determining the Pitbull lifespan, keeping your Pitbull healthy may increase its life expectancy.

Just like other doggos, Pitties have breed-specific health problems. They are more prone to skeletal disorders than any other health issue. Regular vet visits can help you foresee upcoming health threats.

Pitbulls are loveable dogs and deserve a loving home as much as any other dog breed. It’s time we put a stop to the unfair generalization of Pitbulls and bring one home to shower it with utmost love and care.

Want to read more about the dogs you love? Grab your pupcorn and hit our blog section to know about anything and everything doggo. We love you furry-much!

FAQs About Pitbull Lifespan

You asked and we responded. Here are the answers to some of the most asked questions about Pitbulls.

What is the average lifespan of a pitbull dog breed?

If we look at the average lifespan of a pitbull, it lives between 8 to 16 years. This range varies with the breed type and the care it gets. There are cases where pitbull have lived more than 20 years. But almost every pitbull sees the teenage years.

Which Pitbull dog breeds have longer lifespans?

American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers may have the longest lifespan out of all the breeds in the pitbull mix.

American Staffordshire Terrier is a medium and short-haired pitbull with a life expectancy of 12 to 16 years, while Stafford Bull is a short to medium-sized dog with a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.

What factors increase a Pitbull’s lifespan?

Regular visits to the vet, ensuring that your Pitti gets the right nutrition, proper training, regular exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and most importantly love and kindness are some of the factors that boost the lifespan of a Pitbull.

But doing these once in a blue moon will have you standing in the middle of nowhere. Make a routine out of it and you will see amazing results.

Images from unsplash.com

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