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 a great pet for just about any family.
Due to this dog’s natural tendency to protect it’s loved one’s combined with its inherent physical “gifts” when combined with an inexperienced dog owner or one that does not have the “best” intentions for his or her Pit, very bad 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 might be able to “dispel” some of the negative rumors about this awesome dog breed while also try to encourage those that wouldn’t make a good owner choose a “less” challenging dog to own. After all, few of us can think of a time when we heard a news story about a Pug that has 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 shoulder
Weight: 30 to 60 pounds
Dog Breed Classification: Not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) however the American Staffordshire Terrier is which by all accounts is 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 Straffordshire Terrier), this dog had a lot of different names back in the day. Some people called them:
- Yankee Terriers,
- And of course, Pit Bulls.
And despite the fact…
That the American Pit Bull Terrier currently has a somewhat negative reputation, back in the early 1900’s this all-American dog was the mascot of the USA on its propaganda posters for the 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 dog is still not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Now this might be…
Because they are so similar to the American Staffordshire Terrier or it could be 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 the dog hurting humans or other dogs.
So, before you get a pit bull, do check the laws about this breed in your area.
Personality of the American Pit Bull Terrier
The American Pit Bull terrier has a reputation as being full of aggression – and maybe even vicious. While he does come from a background as fighting dogs, and can be aggressive in a crisis situation, the dog is a lot more playful and friendlier than you might think.
Many pit bulls are quite friendly 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 normally 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 on carpets, and so forth. If you have a pit bull, keep in mind, everything is free reign. If it’s valuable – store it away.
You can help an APBT to be better behaved if you train it from the time it is a puppy. American Pit Bull puppies should be trained 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:
- English bulldog,
- Straffordshire Bull Terrier,
- Other bull terriers or other Bully breeds.
There are very few breed-specific legislation on these dog breeds, which can be helpful if you live in an area that prohibits “pitbulls” as pets.
Health of a Pitbull
Whenever you go to buy or adopt a dog, it’s important to go to a breeder who follows certain breeding standards. 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 actually difficult for a lot of 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: it’s possible your pit bull will need hormone replacement therapy for the rest of his or her 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 he or she is a puppy, you need to prepare for what could come.
Many of these conditions may not be life threatening, they can certainly become quite expensive to deal with 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 right 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.