Pit Bulls – Basic care and facts
Pit Bulls make wonderful family pets. Before bringing a Pit Bull into the home, decide if you have enough time and money and if your house is the best home for a new dog. On average, owning a dog can cost thousands of dollars each year.
Your dog needs to be fed at least once a day and have access to fresh water at all times.
Pit Bulls are athletic and need a ton of exercise: walk your dog at least once a day, play fetch with him, and take him to training classes. A tired dog is a well-behaved dog!
Make sure your dog is licensed with the city or county. If your dog is not licensed and up-to-date on required vaccinations, you may have to pay a fine. Be sure your dog wears ID tags.
Have your dog microchipped (a tiny chip placed under the skin between the shoulders that, when scanned, gives information about how to contact you if your dog is lost). Your vet can do this.
Be sure to keep your dog indoors when unattended. Dogs that are left outside can be stolen or might accidentally eat something poisonous. Also, Pit Bulls have short coats that do not protect them from bad weather.
Make sure your Pit Bull is spayed or neutered (a surgery that makes them unable to have puppies). Hundreds of Pit Bulls die every day in shelters because too many people are breeding them. On average, up to 70% of dogs in urban shelters are Pit Bulls or Pit Bull mixes. Most do not end up adopted; they end up being put to sleep. The chances of your puppies (or their puppies) ending up in a shelter are high. For every puppy you breed, that means one less home for a Pit Bull in a shelter. Spaying or neutering your dog also protects against forms of cancer.
Many dogs enjoy playing with other dogs, and some dogs do not. Many Pit Bulls do not like other dogs, although they love people. Take leashed walks with your dog to see how he reacts to other dogs. Never leave your Pit Bull unattended with other dogs. Never take him to a dog park. If your dog gets in a fight, even if it’s the other dog’s fault, people will say it’s the Pit Bull’s fault and it will be another bad mark against the breed.
No child should ever be left alone with a dog. It is very important that you make sure any child playing with a dog is behaving and that the dog is comfortable with the child. Regardless of how well your dog behaves with kids, if dogs and kids are together a parent should be watching.
There are many myths regarding Pit Bulls
that are simply not true.
- MYTH: Pit Bulls have locking jaws. Like all terriers, Pit Bulls may be determined but their jaws are the same as any other dogs.
- MYTH: Pit Bulls do not feel pain. This is FALSE! Pit Bulls can be hurt just like any other dog.
- MYTH: Blue dogs, blue nose or red dogs are a special breed of Pit Bull. Just as people have different hair and eye colors, so do dogs. Dogs who are bred only for color may also have health or temperament issues, since they are more likely to be inbred.
- MYTH: Pit Bulls “snap” at any time. Once again completely false. Pit Bulls are typically very stable dogs. No dog just snaps. Issues that come up are typically due to health issues or ongoing unrecognized/ignored temperament issues. Some owners don’t recognize issues with their own pets or choose to ignore them.
- MYTH: Pit Bulls need to fight. That’s what they are bred for. It is not natural for any dog to want to fight to the death. Pit Bulls feel pain just as any other animal or person. Dogfighting is a felony in every state and a federal felony. Even attending a dogfighting is a felony in most states.
- MYTH: If my Pit Bull is aggressive to other dogs, he will also be aggressive toward people. Pit Bulls can tell the difference between dogs and people. Many dogs who don’t like other dogs love people and can be good pets if properly supervised around other dogs.