Do you want to add a strong, no-nonsense kind of dog to your family? If so, you might be thinking about a Pit Bull Terrier. And why not? After all, in the “right” hands, the American Pit Bull Terrier can make an excellent pet for just about any family.
Due to this dog’s natural tendency to protect its loved ones and its inherent physical “gifts,” when combined with an inexperienced dog owner or one that does not have the “best” intentions for their Pit, terrible things can happen.
This is why…
We wanted to take a moment and describe what it might be like to own an American Pit Bull Terrier and try and shed some light on this dog breed so that we could “dispel” some of the negative rumors about this remarkable dog breed. At the same time, try to encourage those who wouldn’t make an excellent owner to choose a “less” challenging dog. After all, few of us can think of a time when we heard a news story about a Pug that had gone wild and injured a person.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Pit Bull Fast Facts
Country of Origin: America (USA)
Original Purpose: Dog Fighting
Height: 16 to 22 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 30 to 60 pounds
Dog Breed Classification: Not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC); however, the American Staffordshire Terrier is by all accounts a very close relative
Lifespan: 10 to 16 years
Origin of the American Pit Bull Terrier
This is a dog fighting kind of dog with a history right in the good US of A. A cross between bulldogs (American Bulldog) and Terriers (likely the American Staffordshire Terrier), this dog had a lot of different names back in the day. Some people call them:
- Yankee Terriers,
- And, of course, Pit Bulls.
Although the American Pit Bull Terrier currently has a somewhat negative reputation, back in early 1900, this all-American dog was the mascot of the USA on its propaganda posters for World War I. It’s also made its way into popular culture as the name of a famous rapper, the RCA trademark, and more.
These guys are also…
Not necessarily a new dog breed to the United States because as early as 1898, the American Pit Bull Terrier was “officially” recognized by the United Kennel Club. Oddly though, the American Kennel Club (AKC) still does not remember the dog. This might be because they are so similar to the American Staffordshire Terrier or because Pit bulls aren’t welcome in every state or district. Breed-specific legislation is in place throughout the United States, which has been put in place due to incidents of dogs hurting humans or other dogs.
So, before you get a pit bull, check the laws about this breed in your area.
Personality and Temperament
The American Pit Bull terrier is known to be full of aggression – and maybe even vicious. While he comes from a background of fighting dogs and can be aggressive in a crisis, he is much more playful and friendlier than you might think. Many pit bulls are pretty close to people. That’s not to say they’re the best around children – you will still want to be careful – but they deserve a few more friendly points than customarily given.
One thing to keep in mind is that these guys love to dig and destroy. You might find him pulling on a pillow, chewing carpets, etc. If you have a pit bull, remember that everything is free reign. If it’s valuable – store it away. Also, you can help an APBT to be better behaved if you train it from when it is a puppy. American Pit Bull puppies should be taught from the time they are eight weeks, no later. Otherwise, you will see why this dog is sometimes named the American Bully (hint, it’s not just a play on words).
Other Breeds to Consider
If you are thinking of getting a pit bull, then you should also check out some of these dogs:
There is very little breed-specific legislation on these dog breeds, which can be helpful if you live in an area prohibiting “Pitbulls” as pets.
Potential Health Concerns
You must go to a breeder who follows specific breeding standards whenever you buy or adopt a dog. You can check online for certain verifications and recommendations on the best breeders of this breed of dog. This will help increase your chances of getting a healthy Pit Bull puppy. Of course, even the best breeders cannot ensure perfect health. Here are some of the most common health concerns for a pit bull.
The most common health issues for a Pitbull include:
- Hip Dysplasia: this is common among all bull breeds. They have small hips, and it’s difficult for many female pit bulls to give birth without a C-section.
- Allergies: this can be problematic depending on where you live and what your dog is allergic to.
- Hypothyroidism: your pit bull may need hormone replacement therapy for the rest of their life.
Remember, any dog can get sick at any time. The question isn’t just about genetics. So, regardless of how healthy your dog is when they are a puppy, you must prepare for what could come.
Many of these conditions may not be life-threatening, but they can become quite expensive, particularly if they become recurring issues. This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.
Now will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?
No, probably not. But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?
For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.