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The Colby Pitbull Bloodline: A Guide To The Rarest And Oldest Pitbull Line

The Colby Pitbull Bloodline

If you’re a Pitbull enthusiast, you have probably heard of the Colby Pitbull bloodline. Colby Pitbulls is part of the history of the American Pitbull Terrier (APBT) and the American Staffordshire Terrier (AmStaff). So understanding this bloodline and its many controversies is part of understanding much about Pitbull history. 

If you are considering a Colby Pitbull, being a responsible dog owner is crucial. Keeping your dog on a leash in public, with a sturdy no-pull harness, is an essential step toward avoiding accidents. So is ensuring your yard is securely fenced and investing in lifelong socialization, training, and regular exercise.

The issue of Pitbulls is always controversial, so to answer your questions about the Colby Pitbull, we had to go straight to the source and consult Colby’s Book of the American Pit Bull Terrier Joseph L. Colby’s The American Pit Bull TerrierThe original book documents a century of Pitbull breeding by the Colby family.

Notable dogs in the Colby bloodlines have been Colby’s Pinscher, Colby’s Bunch, Colby’s Tige, and Colby’s Gully. Today, it is challenging to get a dog that is purely from the Colby line. However, many Pitbulls and AmStaffs are Colby descendants. In fact, when the AKC recognized the Pitbull Terrier under the name American Staffordshire Terrier, Colby’s Primo was the standard for the breed.

This means that Colby Pitbulls are the blueprint for all registered American Staffordshire Terriers today and live on in many modern APBTs.

Are Colby Pitbulls Aggressive?

Since many modern American Pitbull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers have Colby bloodlines, generally, these are not aggressive dogs, and the vast majority are excellent companions. However, in the interest of full disclosure, aggression does exist in the dog’s history. In 1909, one of Colby’s dogs killed his two-year-old nephew.

As with any Pitbull bloodline, such as the Gator Pitbull or the Razor Edge, or even XXL American Bullies, we must respect the power of this dog and recognize its ancestry. So we strongly encourage responsible ownership, particularly regarding possible aggression toward other dogs. It’s also vital to remember that a dog is not a “nanny,” and no dog should be left with children unsupervised.

History Of The Colby Pitbull

The Colby Pitbull has a long and storied history that begins in the late 1800s. The breed was created by John P. Colby, a well-known dog breeder from Newburyport, Massachusetts, by importing the best “bull and terrier” fighting dogs from England and Ireland. The Colby family would go on to breed dogs for generations.

In the early 1900s, the Colby Pitbull gained popularity as a working dog. They were used for various tasks such as hunting, herding, and even as police dogs. Louis Colby describes them as an “all-purpose” dog. However, they also gained notoriety as fighting dogs and were used in dogfighting rings.

Despite the negative reputation associated with dogfighting, the Colby family continued to breed and promote the breed’s working abilities. Now at this point, sources disagree. Some say that John Colby was a vocal advocate against dogfighting and believed that the breed should be used for more constructive purposes.

At the same time, the Colby dogs were popular in the dogfighting world for their “gameness.” So, while J.P. Colby was instrumental in making the Pitbull (rebranded as the AmStaff) a popular pet dog for the average family, his ties to dogfighting still exist, and this makes him a controversial figure.

In the 1930s, the AKC recognized the American Pit Bull Terrier, which included the Colby Pitbull bloodline. However, the AKC eventually removed the breed from its registry due to its association with dog fighting. Instead, they allowed the same dog to be registered under the name “American Staffordshire Terrier” or AmStaff, to remove the stigma of dogfighting from the title.

The Modern Colby Pitbull

The Modern Colby Pitbull

During the 1980s and 1990s, the Colby Pitbull gained a negative reputation due to their involvement in dogfighting rings and other illegal activities. This led many cities and countries to enact breed-specific legislation, which banned or restricted pit bull ownership.

The Colby Pitbull soon became a popular pet in recent years because of its loyalty, intelligence, and affectionate nature. Responsible breeders have focused on producing dogs with excellent temperaments and working abilities, which has helped to promote the breed’s positive qualities.

Today, the Colby Pitbull remains a controversial breed due to its history of being bred for dogfighting. However, they can make excellent family pets and working dogs with proper training, socialization, and responsible ownership. The breed continues to evolve and adapt to changing times, and responsible breeders and owners are working to promote their positive qualities and advocate against dogfighting and other harmful activities.

What Does The Colby Pitbull Look Like?

The original Colby Pitbulls preferably weighed between 30 and 50 pounds for females and 35 and 60 pounds for males. They are muscular but sleep canine athletes with a broad heads, short and wide muzzle, and powerful jaws. Louis Colby describes their head as “brick-like.”

Any coat color was allowed, but most photos of the original Colby Pits show white dogs or white dogs with tan, brown, or brindle patches. It’s worth noting that the red and blue-nose pit bulls were not in the Colby bloodline. All Colby Pitbulls had black noses with wide nostrils. In the video below, you may notice that black noses tend to be a marker in pure Colby Pitties.

Personality, Temperament & Trainability 

The Colby Pitbull is known for its loyalty, intelligence, and courage. They are a highly social breed and thrive on human companionship. They are also known for their fierce loyalty and protective nature towards their family, making them excellent watchdogs. The Colby Pitbull is also known for its playful and affectionate personality.

The Colby Pitbull is an intelligent breed that responds well to positive reinforcement training methods. Colby Pitbulls love to please their owners and can be trained to excel in various activities such as obedience, agility, and even therapy work. However, it is essential to socialize them early and train them consistently to prevent aggressive behavior.

Keeping this dog mentally stimulated and physically active is vital since bored and frustrated Pitbulls often develop behavior problems and can be extremely destructive. Below is a video of what to aim for when you start training your Colby Pitbull puppy:

Is The Colby Pitbull For You? Challenges Of Owning Pitbulls

The Colby Pitbull, like all pitbull breeds, has had a controversial reputation due to their history of being bred for dogfighting. This has led some cities and countries to enact breed-specific legislation, which bans or restricts pitbull ownership. Pitbull owners need to be familiar with laws and regulations in their area that may apply to Pitbulls.

Certain homeowners associations (HOAs), landlords, and dog insurance companies may not cover your Pitbull. So be sure to understand all the legal implications of having this dog.

Responsible ownership being a responsible owner of a Colby Pitbull means: 

  1. Providing them with proper training, socialization, exercise, and medical care.
  2. Securing your yard or outdoor areas is also important to prevent escape or attacks on other animals. 
  3. Responsible owners should also be aware of their dog’s behavior and temperament and take appropriate measures to avoid any aggressive behavior.
  4. Keeping your dog on a leash and investing in muzzle training for public areas is often necessary.
  5. Always supervise your dog with a child or small animal that could activate their prey drive.

General care of the Colby Pitbull

General care of the Colby Pitbull

Grooming needs

Colby Pitbulls have minimal grooming requirements for general care due to their short and smooth coat. Regular brushing and occasional bathing with a dog wash for sensitive skin are usually sufficient to keep their coat in good condition. It is also essential to clean their ears regularly to prevent infections.

Remember good dental care and regular monthly nail clipping with a dog nail trimmer.

Dietary needs

All dogs need a healthy and balanced diet for their health and well-being. Feed them high-quality, balanced dog food that meets their nutritional needs based on age, weight, and activity level. 

Overfeeding or feeding them inappropriate food can lead to health issues such as obesity and digestive problems.

They need a quality, high-protein diet, but issues like kidney stones can influence their ideal diet. So keep in mind there is no one-size-fits-all diet for dogs. Health conditions, age, and activity all affect your dog’s perfect diet.

Exercise needs

Exercise is crucial for the physical and mental health of Colby Pitbulls, and you should aim for about 60 mins a day of physical activity. They are an energetic breed that requires regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Daily walks, runs, and playtime in a secure backyard are excellent ways to give them the necessary exercise.

These dogs love intense workouts such as weight-pulling. It is also worth investing in a treadmill like in this video:

Health Problems In the Colby Pitbull

The Colby Pitbull is generally a healthy dog that can live for between 8 and 15 years. However, according to Breed Predispositions to Disease in Dogs and Cats, several hereditary conditions exist to look out for.

  • Eye issues like retinal dysplasia
  • Cystine or urate kidney or bladder stones
  • Congenital heart disorders (about 30% of AmStaffs in America develop problems with arrhythmia or irregular heartbeats).
  • Demodectic mange 
  • Atopic Dermatitis (itchy skin from allergies)
  • Cancers such as mast cell tumors and lymphoma
  • Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a Colby Pitbull cost?

The cost of a Colby Pitbull can vary depending on various factors such as bloodline, age, and location. However, on average, a Colby Pitbull puppy can cost between $1,500 to $3,000. It is crucial to research and find a reputable breeder who follows ethical breeding practices and health screenings.

Is The Colby Pitbull Okay With Kids And Other Animals?

Colby Pitbulls can be great with children and other animals when properly socialized and trained. However, as with any dog breed, it is essential to supervise interactions between children and dogs and ensure they are always treated with respect and kindness. It is also important to remember that every dog is an individual, and their behavior can vary based on their personality and experiences.

These dogs are sometimes aggressive toward other dogs and have a high prey drive. This means they are often not suitable for multi-pet households.

Final Thoughts

The Colby Pitbull is a loyal, intelligent, and affectionate breed that can make an excellent family pet with proper training and socialization. However, due to their controversial history and potential for aggressive behavior, it is essential to be a responsible owner and provide them with a safe and secure environment.


Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions.

Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

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