WHAT TO EXPECT
Pit Bulls Form Very Strong Bonds With Their Owners
Ever had a fan club before? Get ready, because you'll have a loyal and devoted comrade for life.
This friendship does come with a price tag. You'll have to honor your dog's loyalty and devotion and commit to giving him quality time every day for life. Most dogs enjoy one to two hours of attention a day. To banish your dog to the backyard or leave him alone for long periods for weeks on end can cause him to become depressed and even destructive.
Pit Bulls Are Agile, Athletic, and FUN
Oh yeah, big time fun! Are you ready to give your dog the work outs he wants and needs?
Many pit bulls are natural born show offs and drop jaws wherever they compete in dog sports including agility, fly ball, dock diving and Frisbee fun.
Make sure that your dog doesn't use his track star skills to weasel out of your yard though. Many are stolen or forever lost once they're out. Your yard should have a secure fence and your dog should stay indoors when no one's home.
Dog Aggression Happens
Dog will be dogs. Your job is to set your dog up for success.
In all dog breeds, dog tolerance levels can range from very dog social to very dog aggressive. Most well socialized pit bulls fall somewhere in the middle. Even with the big help of socialization and obedience training, this confident breed can be pushed to fight if sufficiently challenged by another dog. This bravado can bring you trouble if not understood and not managed well, especially in today's anti-pit bull climate. Dog tolerance comes from a blend of nature and nurture and is influenced by a dog's genetics, socialization, training, and owner management ... not "How he was raised." You ultimately hold the key to your dog's success with other dogs.
Pit Bulls Can Be Butt Heads!
Take me to your leader. It's time to dust off that treat bag and get to class!
While pit bulls are known for their gushy, affectionate, even comedic personalities, they can certainly be pushy and willful too. They'll happily make up their own rules if you don't set some in place. This means you'll need to be a fair, decisive leader for your enthusiastic pet. Obedience classes are still one of the best ways to bring out your inner-leader and build great manners in your dog. The upshot to all this training: Pit bulls tend to be highly intelligent and typically excel in obedience work.
Pit Bulls Love the Great Outdoors
Have you earned your Outdoor Adventures badge yet?
Finding safe, secure places to run your dog off leash can be problematic, if not next to impossible. Many areas don't allow dogs to be off lead and areas that do can be full of dangers for your pet, specifically in the form of ill-mannered or under socialized dogs. If your dog finds himself in a fight with another dog, things could go badly very fast. You may be the one to get into trouble and your dog could end up confiscated by animal control, even if there was no damage and even if he wasn't the one to start the fight. Look for: fenced in ball fields with a gate you can monitor, hiking trails where on leash rules are respected by all, a friend’s big back yard.
Pit Bulls are Social Butterflies
It's a tough crowd out there.
Your dog will LOVE going places with you to see the sights and visit with your friends, family, and strangers on the street. Heads up though - you'll need to wear a thick skin in some situations. Ever since the dogs fell victim to the careless deeds of unethical breeders and reckless owners, pit bulls and dogs that look like pit bulls have taken a hit. Media driven myths, misdeeds, misunderstanding and hysteria abound. It can be hard to be anonymous when you walk with your dog. Perfect strangers will want to talk with you about pit bulls - some with friendly comments and some will say the rudest things. It can all seem like a grueling exercise at times when you're navigating insensitive comments.
There's a bright side to this madness. By taking your well behaved pit bull out into the world, you know you'll be actively working to educate and dispel breed myths every single day. Hanging out at the local coffee shop with your lovable dog by your side will probably bring you more interesting conversations then you ever thought possible
A Family Pit Bull is A Kid's Best Friend
Good Enough for our gang, Good Enough for Yours!
It's a well-known fact: Well socialized, responsibly owned pit bulls make some of the best family dogs. The American Canine Temperament Test Society lists this breed as having one of the most stable temperaments of any of the purebreds, right up there with golden retrievers. Well socialized pit bulls will typically go out of their way to lick little faces and will wag, wag, wag their tails when they see a child.
Be aware that these are strong, active, sometimes bouncy dogs who can knock smaller sized kids down in their exuberance. As with ANY breed, no dog should ever be left alone with a young child.
Pit Bulls are Clean, Short Coated, Hardy and Beautiful!
Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful
With few grooming needs, they're generally easy to care for. However, as short haired beasts, pit bulls are universally committed to their creature comforts and really don't appreciate being left out in the cold. Your dog will want to be where it's warm - inside your house with YOU. She/he may even insist on sneaking under the covers with you. When planning for cool weather, you may want to budget in for some dog fashion. These beauties do look fab in dog jackets, even the biggest naysayers tend to melt when they see pit bulls in clothes - So work it!
Robust and hardy, they tend to be playful and active throughout their lifetime. They can live to be as old as eighteen, although 12-15 is the norm. Because some are born with hip and elbow dysplasia and (more common) faulty knees, you're wise to keep your dog trim to curb the need for expensive corrective surgeries from carrying excess weight. Allergies and itchy skin are common, but generally respond well to holistic treatments and a nutritionally balanced diet.