Do Dog DNA Tests for Pit Bulls Work? (Solved and Explained)

Many dog owners are intrigued by the idea of revealing their puppies’ breeds. They think that it will help them be better owners when they know more about the dog’s character and subsequently knowing how to handle it.

Pit Bulls are tricky. Not every dog with a muscular body and a blocky head is a Pit Bull. The opposite situation is also true.

Some people resort to DNA tests to figure out an answer to whether their dog is a Pit Bull.

However, The question remains: Dog DNA tests for Pit Bull – do they work?

Note: If you click some of the links in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Are our DNA Tests Applicable to Pit Bulls?

A striking, but necessary, information is that there isn’t such a thing as the Pit Bull breed.

The Pitbull Breed

“Pit Bull” refers to a diverse group of breeds that have similar characteristics.

This type of dog was the result of combining guarding-type dogs with terriers. Therefore, Pit Bulls genetically match many of the main breeds. So, a DNA test for Pit Bulls is not applicable.

Get Our #1 Easy, Homemade Dog Food Recipe (Vet-Approved), 100% Free!!! Click to get it NOW!

The breeds from which Pit Bulls come include the American Staffordshire Terrier, Bullmastiff, American Bulldog, and Boxer.

These DNA tests identify whether your Pit Bull has any breed ancestry involving breeds such as the ones mentioned above. Those breeds are generally associated with the term “Pit Bull.”

The Pit Bull Heritage

Researchers call this “Pit Bull heritage”. Meaning that the results showed that the dog is at least 12.5 % American Staffordshire Terrier or Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

However, since Pit Bull isn’t a breed in itself, it can’t be tested for.

On a side note, there is also the pedigreed American Pit Bull Terrier, which is considered a “Pit Bull”. Nonetheless, there is no DNA test available to test for them. They’re genetically close to American Staffordshire Terriers.

Can You Visually Identify a Pit Bull?

Many people think that you can easily spot a Pit Bull by appearance. In fact, this is how it works in many shelters.

The most common physical traits of a Pit Bull include a weight range of 30-90 pounds. They also tend to be well-built, short, and they vary in color. However, the most prominent feature in a Pit Bull is the wide jaw.

Pit Bulls are highly energetic and have a playful temperament. They require daily exhaustive exercise to release their energy. They also have a strong prey drive, that’s why they must be kept on leash.

So you think you know Pit Bulls well enough?

Get Our #1 Easy, Homemade Dog Food Recipe (Vet-Approved), 100% Free!!! Click to get it NOW!

A study has been conducted that showed how wrong it is to depend on physical traits when identifying a Pit Bull.

The study also showed that up to almost half of the time, the staff of a certain shelter labeled dogs like Pit Bulls when they lacked any DNA evidence to support this claim.

dog 1715281 640 1
Purebred pitbull or mix?

What Are Dog DNA Tests?

If your dog is of mixed breed one of the most popular ways to know its origins is to do the DNA test.

Not all tests are done out of curiosity, some people use these tests to give veterinarians background information about their pet. It allows for more informed decisions when it comes to their pet’s health.

For example, Boxers are more likely to get cancer. Knowing such a potential risk early on can save the dog’s life.

Moreover, these tests let you know about the dog’s character traits. If a dog was found to be mainly a terrier, this means that it will have a lot of energy.

Almost all the DNA tests available on the market use a cheek swab method to compare the dog’s breed against several main breeds. This type of test is for dogs with mixed breeds.

Embark | Dog DNA Test | Breed Identification Kit

However, for purebred dogs, there are other methods of testing.

Get Our #1 Easy, Homemade Dog Food Recipe (Vet-Approved), 100% Free!!! Click to get it NOW!

Are They Accurate?

DNA test kits are priced around $60 and above. You can buy them online or get them from retail stores.

However, there are pricier options that use blood testing. You have to take your dog to the veterinarian’s clinic to conduct this test.

The accuracy of the tests depends on 2 elements. First, the database of the company making the test: the more breeds they have in their database, the more accurate the result is.

Second, how many breeds the dog has: if the dog comes from many breeds, with each breed contributing very little to the total, chances are the results won’t identify all of the breeds.

A dog with purebred ancestors will show more accurate results.

How Are DNA Tests Done?

These tests are very simple to conduct. You can buy a DNA test kit from retail stores or online and carry it out in the comfort of your home.

Before you start, make sure that your dog’s mouth doesn’t have any food remains. To reduce the possibility of this happening, it’s advisable to wait for 2 hours after the dog eats.

Take out the swab without touching the brush end. Hold your dog’s head and firmly place the swab inside the dog’s cheek. Roll the swab up and down inside the dog’s cheek. Do this 20 times.

Once you’re done you should put the swab back into the paper envelope and seal it properly.

Get Our #1 Easy, Homemade Dog Food Recipe (Vet-Approved), 100% Free!!! Click to get it NOW!

Make sure that you have filled out this envelope with your dog’s name, breed, date of birth, and sex.

Dna My Dog - Canine Breed Identification Test Kit - at-Home Cheek Swab Kit - Personality Traits


Finally, if the question posed is: do DNA tests work with Pit Bulls? The most accurate answer will be yes and no. “Pit Bull” is a term used to refer to dogs that come down from different breeds.

You can use the DNA test to know whether your dog belongs to any of those original breeds associated with Pit Bulls. It’s crucial to know that not all Pit Bull-looking dogs identify genetically as Pit Bulls.

Pit Bulls are one of the most famous dog types out there. Although they aren’t recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), they have always been an American icon and for some, even more, a family member!