Not everyone has the strength to physically handle an 80-120# American Sentinel when it is in a high drive state of mind such as hog work or protection training. My daughter, Courtney, is a small young lady and has problems with her shoulder as well. Even though she does handle a few of our American Sentinels, the smaller APBT is considerably easier for her to manage being they are only about half the size of the American Sentinel.
When selecting various lines of APBTs, we chose to stick with dogs from game bred lines due to their exceptional athleticism, drive, and health. We also demanded that these dogs display phenomenal stability, thereby ensuring the dogs would maintain clarity of mind even when doing intense work such as hog catch or protection training...after all, these dogs were going to be working with my family. As a result, we opted to go with lines primarily founded upon Redboy/Jocko. Dogs that were selected where then screened in terms of working ability and hip x-ray exams (only keeping dogs with "good" or "excellent" ratings). Not every dog met our requirements, and some were returned to the breeders.
Most game bred APBT range in the 30-55# range when in good physical condition; however, the Redboy/Jocko dogs are often on the larger side of game bred dogs (males generally being 45-65#, females generally being 40-55#) and maintain what we consider to be minimal sufficient mass for most hog catch or protection work applications. While they are considerably smaller than and obviously not as powerful as the dogs in our American Sentinel program, the game bred APBT is considered by some people to be the most powerful and durable breed of dogs in existence when looked at on a "per pound" basis. Pound for pound, few breeds can compare to this mid-sized breed, and when properly bred and handled by responsible owners, these mid-size dogs are very capable, healthy, and stable dogs.
As stated above, the APBT as a breed is limited in size and power, as it is rare to find true APBTs that are in shape and can still honestly hit the scales over the 60#s mark. While there are people out there advertising "XL" pit bulls, those dogs are not truly pure bred APBTs, and unlike bandogs, the "XL pit bull" dogs are bred for looks, not health or performance; therefore, they tend to have health issues and also lack drives and confidence that is expected of the true APBT. Of course, healthy examples of XLs exist, but they are not very common.
The APBT as a breed generally lacks the traits needed to be a good family protection dog or sentry dog, as they tend to like people, including strangers. They still can be trained for protection work, but they generally have to be trained with prey drive alone. Some however do balance nicely and can still be very successful at such work when properly trained, but I would not claim the APBT as a naturally protective breed. They do have very high prey drive however and like the American Sentinel they tend to make excellent hog catch dogs.
The biggest weakness in the APBT as a breed is public opinion. Due to being owned by so many irresponsible people; however, they are generally great dogs if they are owned by responsible people and when they are bred by people that know how to eliminate undesired traits from the breed. When properly bred, the APBT is a phenomenal athlete that really likes to work and please its master. In the wrong hands, they can be a lot of trouble. If you are interested in an APBT, learn about the breed first, and be sure to maintain the highest level of personal responsibility.
Redboy - Jocko - Jeep bloodline - Click HERE to see his Pedigree.
Extremely prey driven & very sharp. He is also a tremendous athlete. Lucky is one of those rare APBTs that is both "people friendly" while also naturally protective at night or when someone behaves in a suspicious manner. He is a also a big game dog.