There are many popular Pitbull bloodlines out there but only a few can say that they contributed to the foundations of the breed. If you talk to any Pitbull enthusiast or breeder, I can guarantee that they will know about the Colby bloodline.
The Colby bloodline is one of the oldest and most well-known bloodlines in Pitbulls. It dates back more than 100 years ago and is considered a foundation of the American Pit Bull Terrier breed.
In this article, I will share the interesting history of the Colby Pitbull bloodline and answer some commonly asked questions about them. Read on if you want to find out if this lineage is for you or if you simply want to learn about the history of Pitbulls.
What Is a Colby Pitbull?
The Colby Pitbull is esteemed as one of the purest and oldest bloodlines or strains of Pitbulls. John Colby began breeding Pitbulls in 1889, and his line has since been preserved by the Colby family.
He is considered one of the most successful breeders in the canine world, and this bloodline is said to be a foundation for the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT).
Colby dogs are well known for their temperament, conformation, and gameness. Gameness refers to the dog’s ability and will to complete any task or die trying. This is why Colby Pitbulls made their name as great fighting dogs.
Pitbulls from this strain are named simply like Colby’s Tige or Colby’s Sara. This is because the Colby name is well-known for the high quality of dogs they produced. This naming tradition is continued today by breeders who use this bloodline.
History and Origin of the Colby Pitbull Bloodline
Pitbulls have a long and complicated history in the United States, and the Colby line is right at its beginning. In 1889, John P. Colby started this bloodline in Newport, Massachusetts. His foundation dogs were imported from Ireland and England.
He started breeding Pitbulls with the perfect temperament, gameness, and physical build mainly for winning fights. An advertisement for the Colby dogs even said: John P. Colby has bred and sold more fighting dogs than anyone in America.
In 1909, Guy McCord and Con Feeley founded the American Dog Breed Association (ADBA). They were also breeders of APBTs and were close friends with John Colby. Colby became a mainstay of the kennel club, and it became the home registration of Colby dogs.
Due to the growing popularity of APBTs in the 1930s, the American Kennel Club (AKC) finally recognized 50 American Pit Bull Terriers. However, the AKC wanted to disassociate them from their fighting backgrounds.
The APBTs were then registered under the breed name Staffordshire Terrier (later changed to American Staffordshire Terrier). Colby’s Primo was used for the breed standards of the Staffordshire Terrier.
John Colby sold his dogs widely to the public, and his family continued the tradition after he died. They boast about 20 generations of their bloodline. According to them, these 20 generations of Colby Pitbulls have more than two million descendants.
Richard Stratton, an expert on Pitbulls, wrote on his blog that it would be difficult to find a modern Pitbull that did not have a Colby dog somewhere in its pedigree.
This is one reason why the term “Pitbull” is still a subject of debate for many. More often than not, it refers to the American Pit Bull Terrier, and many would say that this is the only real Pitbull breed.
However, in the United States, “Pitbull” is an umbrella term for a type of dog that descended from bulldogs and terriers. It includes breeds like the APBT, American Bully, and the American Staffordshire Terrier.
Colby Pit Bull Characteristics: What Does a Colby Pit Bull Look Like?
There is no available official documentation of the Colby Pitbull confirmation online. However, there are some descriptions from breeders and enthusiasts of the line:
- Size: Colby Pits are medium-sized dogs. They are 17 to 19 inches tall and weigh an average of 40 to 50 pounds.
- Coat: The coat of a Colby Pitbull is short and lustrous, similar to what is seen today in APBTs.
- Neck and Shoulder: The neck of Colby Pitbulls is heavy and medium in length. They have muscular shoulders with wide sloping blades.
- Head: Colby Pitbulls have a heavy and broad skull. Their muzzle is also medium in length.
Even with over 100 years of breeding, the Colby bloodline is considered one of the purest lines. If you want to see how they looked back in the day, you can check out this picture of Colby’s Pincher, one of the most famous Colby dogs.
Are Colby Pit Bulls Rare?
If you do a quick Google search, you will find many breeders advertising that they have or have used Colby dogs in their lines.
As mentioned in the previous section, they were sold and bred widely so many dogs can have some Colby blood in their pedigree.
However, it might be a little tricky to find a 100% pure Colby dog. You would have to trace back its pedigree to the original Colby line.
Why Are Colby Pitbulls Controversial?
Colby Pitbulls are a bit controversial mainly because of their history as fighting dogs. They were originally bred to win fights and the line was very successful at it.
Although dogfighting has long been outlawed, illegal fights still occur. Unfortunately, there are still some people who want them for their fighting abilities.
This is a dilemma that perhaps all Pitbulls face. They are beloved pets for some, while others are extremely cautious about dogs with a fighting history. There are legislations in several countries about the ownership of Pitbulls.
Colby Pitbull Size and Weight: How Big Do Colby Pitbulls Get?
Male Colby Pitbulls are around 18 to 19 inches at the withers, while females are 17 to 18 inches tall. A fully grown Colby Pitbull would be around 40 to 50 pounds.
For reference, Colby’s Primo, born in 1935, had a height of 18 inches at the shoulders and weighed 45 pounds at one year old. Colby’s Amethyst, a Colby dog bred by AMP Kennels and Louis Colby in 2010, weighed 50 pounds.
In comparison, the ADBA standards for the American Pit Bull Terrier’s weight is 30 to 75 pounds. In the United Kennel Club (UKC) standards, the weight for males should be 35 to 60 pounds, while females should be 30 to 50 pounds.
However, note that their standards also state that proportion is more important than being in these specific weight ranges.
Colby Pitbull Temperament: Are Colby Pitbulls Inherently Aggressive?
Colby Pitbulls made great fighters because they are intelligent, athletic, and loyal. These same traits can make them good companions and pets, with the correct training and socialization.
They can also make good working dogs because of their strength and willingness to please.
Like other breeds, they can be aggressive without proper training and socialization so it is best to start training them at a young age.
In an archive of their website, Louis Colby notes that their Pitbulls can do well in obedience work and make good companions for children.
But to manage your expectations, both the ADBA and UKC state that some level of aggression is still characteristic in this breed. Because of this, they require stricter and more intensive training and socialization.
READ NEXT: Male vs. Female Pitbull: Which Is Better?
Colby Pitbull Lifespan and Health Issues: How Long Do Colby Pitbulls Live?
There are no health issues specific to the Colby bloodline. However, you should take note of some diseases common to Pitbulls:
- Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia occurs when the hip joint is not formed properly. It causes dysfunction and pain.
- Allergies: There are several causes for allergies in Pitbulls. It can be inhalants, chemicals, food, or fleas. An allergy test would be the best way to find the allergy source and address it.
- Hypothyroidism: This is a condition wherein the thyroid gland is not functioning normally, so not enough hormones are produced. Hypothyroidism in canines can lead to weight gain, lethargy, and even coat changes.
In terms of lifespan, American Pit Bull Terriers live for an average of 12 to 14 years. There is no indication that the lifespan of the Colby line differs from others.
How Much Does a Colby Pitbull Cost? Are They More Expensive Than Other Bloodlines?
On average, Pitbull puppies with decent bloodlines can cost anywhere around $800 to $1,000, varying slightly depending on the specific breed. For Pitbull puppies with well-known or established bloodlines, the price can be anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000.
Since the Colby line is regarded as a top Pitbull bloodline, expect the price to be on the higher end. But be sure to ask for papers and check its pedigree before paying a large amount of money for a pure Colby pup.
Places to Find Colby Pitbull Puppies for Sale and Adoption
It is unknown whether the Colby family still sells puppies to the general public. Their official website is not available anymore.
However, you can check out these Pitbull breeders that specialize in the Colby bloodline:
- Ability Made Pits (AMO) Kennels – This breeder specializes in pure and mixed Colby Pitbulls. They post all the sires and dams on their website. They also put links to the pedigree of each puppy on an online database.
- Rampage Kennels – Rampage Kennels breeds American Pit Bull Terriers with old bloodlines, including Colby and Heinzl. Their Colby dogs and puppies are dual-registered with the ADBA and UKC.
- Zarate Bulldog Kennels – Zarate Bulldog Kennels also specializes in Colby dogs. Their website lists the planned breeding for the year with the pictures and pedigree of the sires and dams.
Let me reiterate that if you’re after a 100% pure Colby dog, you would have to do your research on its pedigree. Some kennels breed Pitbulls from strains mixed with the Colby line.
As an alternative to buying a puppy, you can also choose to adopt a Pitbull. With this option, it will probably be more difficult to find a Colby. However, you would do a lot of good by adopting since a lot of Pitbulls end up in rescues or shelters.
Here are some rescues or shelters you can check out to find Colby Pitbulls for adoption:
- PittieLove Rescue – PittieLove Rescue is a volunteer and foster-home-based Pitbull rescue. They have strict adoption policies in place to ensure the welfare of the rescued Pitbulls. For example, their contract requires owners to enroll their Pitbulls in formal training. You can begin the application process by submitting a form on their website.
- Out of the Pits – Out of the Pits is a rescue organization based in New York that has been rescuing Pitbulls since 1994. They only allow adoptions within a two-hour radius from Albany, New York. Their adoption process also begins by completing an online form on their website.
- The Pit Bull Pen – The Pit Bull Pen is a volunteer group based in Washington. The Pitbulls surrendered to them are placed in foster homes and the group does the work to make the dogs ready for their new homes. Aside from adoption, you can also apply as a volunteer or as a foster home on their website.
Getting a Pitbull is a long-term commitment. Many people underestimate the effort needed to raise a Pitbull well, which is why a lot of them end up in rescues.
So before you purchase or adopt one, make sure that you and your household are 100% ready and committed.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Pitbull Bloodline?
According to the ADBA, a Pitbull bloodline can be defined as a family of dogs that breed true to the traits or purpose the breeder intended.
The breeder sets the specific standards or traits for the line, and it should be produced consistently for generations before being considered a bloodline.
How to Determine a Pitbull’s Bloodline?
The easiest way to know a Pitbull’s bloodline is to ask for documentation from your breeder. Any responsible breeder would give this to you without hesitation. Pitbulls are usually registered with the American Dog Breed Association and the United Kennel Club.
There are also online pedigree databases where you can easily check a Pitbull’s lineage. Ask for the names of the sire and dam so you can try checking online.
You can visit the following sites for Pitbull pedigrees:
What Are Other Pitbull Bloodlines?
Bloodlines are very important for Pitbulls because they were created for different purposes and preferences.
Here are other famous Pitbull bloodlines in the United States:
- Jeep: This bloodline was created by James Crenshaw in 1976. Jeep, his first dog, was considered one of the best fighting dogs of his time and produced many other champion dogs. A distinct feature of this line is their deep and elliptical rib cages, with small and firm forearms. A Jeep Pitbull also has very muscular and wide shoulders.
- Gottiline: Gottiline Pitbulls were created by Richard Barajas. He bought the first sire, Juan Gotty, in 1997. These Pitbulls look shorter and stockier than other lines, with a distinctive brick-like head. It is considered one of the most popular lines in the United States.
- Razor Edge: Razor Edge Pitbulls were bred to be companions. Dave Wilson and Carlos Barksdale wanted a breed with the physique of a Pitbull and the temperament of a Staffordshire Terrier. They are also popular in the United States as family dogs.
A Pitbull’s bloodline is an important thing to consider, and you should study them carefully if you are planning to get yourself a Pitbull. Dedicated breeders created these bloodlines for a purpose, and each has its pros and cons.
A Colby Pitbull is intelligent, athletic, and determined. These are traits that made them great fighting dogs. However, with the proper training and socialization, these inherent traits would also make Colby Pitbulls great working dogs and loyal family companions.