Can Dog DNA Tests Detect Pit Bulls?

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do dog dna tests detect pitbull

Do dog DNA tests detect pit bull? Yes and no.

The problem is that the term “pitbull” does not refer to a single breed. It is used as a general umbrella term that covers a number of breeds, including:

  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT)
  • American Bully
  • Bull Terrier
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Mastiff
  • Bullmastiff
  • Boxer
  • American Bulldog

When the general public uses the term “pit bull”, they’re usually referring to a dog that’s composed of a mix of some of the breeds listed above.

Most folks also consider any dog that has a certain “look” a pitbull, generally characterized by a square-shaped head and bulky body.

That being said, dog DNA tests can certainly identify if your dog has any breed ancestry involving the bully breeds listed above, including the American Pit Bull Terrier (which traditionally was the breed “pit bull” referred to, until it became a term synonymous with all bully breeds).

Our favorite DNA test for detecting APBT and other bully breeds in Embark.

Why the Embark Dog DNA Test is Great for Detecting “Pit Bulls”

Embark’s Dog DNA Test is perfect for detecting a variety of bully breeds. With Embark, you can see which breeds make up which percents of your dog:

embark breed summary

Not only that, Embark proves descriptions and breed background for each breed listed in your dog’s genetic makeup.

embark breed description

You can also see your dog’s ancestry all the way back to their great-grandparents, giving you an idea of your pup’s heritage.

embark family tree

Embark Tests for Genetic Issues Too

If you choose the Breed + Health Kit, you’ll also get access to Embark’s health screenings, which test for over 215 health risks, including breed-specific genetic issues relating to bully breeds like American Pit Bull Terriers or American Staffordshire Terriers.

pitbull genetic screenings

If you’re looking to test for bully breeds in your mixed-breed dog, Embark is a great choice!

4 thoughts on “Can Dog DNA Tests Detect Pit Bulls?”

  1. You have your breeds incorrect.,American Pit Bull Terrier is a breed.,American Bully..American Bulldog..are not and they are mixes of am American Pit Bull Terrier!! How can someone believe these test are accurate..when you have not done their homework. American Bully has only recently been accepted as a breed! And American Pit Bull Terrier have been around for over 50 yrs!!!!!

    • Hi Kim – not sure where you get your information – I’d be curious to see. American Bully and American Bulldog are dog breeds.

      American Bully is recognized by the UKC – you yourself said it has been recently accepted as a breed, so not sure why you also claim it is not a breed. While American Bulldog is not officially recognized, this breed name is quite common and popular. A simple Google search will prove that. I do agree American Pit Bull Terrier should be on this list, but not all dogs commonly defined as “pit bulls” are American Pit Bull Terriers.

      The term “pit bull” simply refers to the look certain dogs (from the breeds we’ve discussed here) have. 🙂 Hope that helps.

  2. Your list of pit bull breeds is very inaccurate…apbt,am staff’s and Staffordshire bull terriers are the 3 breeds most commonly considered pit bulls.The other breeds only resemble them and lead to so much misinformation about pits and leads to them being misidentified


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