How big pitbulls get depend on a number of factors. Because pitbulls are not an AKC recognized breed of dog, there is no size standard for them. "Pitbull" is a generic name commonly given to a dog with a certain look, and they come in a variety of sizes.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Portrait of the american staffordshire terrier. Isolated 2 image by Sergey Sukhorukov from Fotolia.com
The Staffordshire bull terrier, though a purebred dog, is sometimes referred to as a pitbull. If the puppy in question has parents who were members of this breed of dog, their height will range from 14 to 16 inches and they may weigh anywhere from 24 to 38 pounds. The males are usually larger than the females.
American Staffordshire Bull Terrier
А bull terrier image by Olga Barbakadze from Fotolia.com
The American Staffordshire bull terrier is a different breed from the Staffordshire bull terrier. Sometimes referred to as an "Am Staff," this dog is also sometimes called a pitbull. If the pitbull is actually an Am Staff, a male can stand as tall as 17 to 19 inches, while a female is between 16 and 18 inches. The Am Staff weighs between 57 and 67 pounds.
American Pit Bull
pit bull playing with a ball image by bruce from Fotolia.com
There is a breed called the American pit bull that is not recognized by the AKC but is recognized by 12 other breed clubs. This is the breed made notorious by the football player Michael Vick. These puppies are the result of breeding of two dogs with very specific traits and their size varies greatly from 14 to 24 inches and 22 to 78 pounds. The actual size of the dog does not matter as much as the dog's proportions of weight to height.
American bully is another non-AKC recognized breed frequently called a pit bull. This breed is currently only recognized by five breed clubs. The American bully is a short, stocky dog with a large head and wide chest. This pitbull-type breed reaches a height of 18 to 21 inches in males, 17 to 20 inches in females and a weight of 70 to 120 pounds. There are five categories of American bully according to body type and height and weigh varies greatly.
All Mixed Up
Many dogs known as pitbulls are actually crossbreeds of several bully and non-bully type breeds. Naturally, the potential sizes would depend entirely on the size of the parents and the breeds that went into the breeding.
Michelle A. Rivera is the author of many books and articles. She attended the University of Missouri Animal Cruelty School and is certified with the Florida Animal Control Association. She is the executive director of her own nonprofit, Animals 101, Inc. Rivera is an animal-assisted therapist, humane educator, former shelter manager, rescue volunteer coordinator, dog trainer and veterinary technician.