This page discusses the most notable traits of pit-bull-type dogs, including their great love for people and their potential for dog aggression. You will learn that pit bulls make wonderful and loyal family companions. Like all dogs, they require intelligent, responsible, and dedicated ownership. Because of the breed’s undeserved negative media image, pit bull owners have to be even more careful and responsible than the average dog owner.
They must also be aware of the myths (urban legends, really) surrounding their dogs. Owners must be well educated about bully breeds, because they will likely face comments from friends, families, and neighbors.
Unfortunately, some people obtain pit bulls for the wrong reasons—to boost their own image, for dog fighting, or for backyard breeding—which makes life difficult for responsible owners. The good news is that pit bulls are now more popular than ever, and each good owner has an opportunity to reshape the breed’s image in positive ways.
When you adopt a pit bull, you adopt the most energetic, intelligent, and loyal friend you’ll ever have, but you also take up a responsibility to represent the entire breed.
It’s unfortunate that one of the original purposes of the pit bull was dog fighting, but it is a fact that cannot be denied or ignored. Even more unfortunate is the fact that they are still chosen for this purpose, even though it is illegal in all fifty states and, in certain instances, as the Michael Vick case illustrates, a federal crime.
Adopting a pit bull, loving it, and training it as a breed ambassador are the most important things any of us civilians can do to combat people like Vick.
PBRC does not wish to overemphasize the fighting aspect of the breed’s history, a history that does not negate their various positive traits or their scientifically proven gentleness toward humans. But we do acknowledge the importance of respecting the breed’s history.
This is not to suggest that pit bulls are “different” or “unique” in a way that makes them dangerous. Those who claim that pit bulls are “different” fail to understand that all dog breeds are, in some way, different from each other. That’s what makes them dog breeds! (Besides, many breeds were historically bred to fight other animals. Pit bulls are not unique in this sense.)
To put it simply, no matter what kind of dog you have, understanding its breed is the first step toward being a good dog owner. By nature, pit bulls are intelligent, fun loving, and affectionate. It’s our job to help them fulfill that potential.
Pit bulls are wonderful, loving animals that deserve the chance to have a good life.
Pit bulls have superior physical and mental characteristics that make them excellent partners for responsible, active, and caring owners. These same outstanding qualities can, however, make them a little difficult to handle for people who don’t have a lot of experience with dog ownership or for those who don’t understand the breed well.
Luckily, pit bulls are intelligent, very responsive to training, and, above all, eager to please. Therefore, pit bulls should be enrolled in obedience classes as soon as they are up-to-date on their shots. (Pit bulls are more susceptible to parvovirus, so it is important that they receive all their vaccinations before coming into contact with other dogs or entering areas of high canine traffic.)
A well-behaved pit bull is the best ambassador for the breed. As we’ve already noted, this is the easiest way to fight breed prejudice and misconception.
Pit bulls are quite resilient and can do well in an urban environment, provided they have enough exercise and other positive outlets for their energy. Many pit bulls are easygoing couch potatoes, but like all terriers, they can also be somewhat rambunctious until they mature.
Maturity can come relatively late with this breed (two to three years old in some cases). Pit bulls remain playful throughout their lifespan (nine to fifteen years) and have a great sense of humor. True clowns at heart, these dogs will make you laugh like no other.