There is no other dog breed in the world, that gets more attention than Pit Bulls. I have always had a huge fascination with Pit Bulls as a dog breed. They have always seemed to me to be a very special breed.
Anytime you hear any talk about Pit Bulls people seem to get fired up very strongly for or very strongly against. What I find so interesting is why are people so conflicted about this breed. Has it always been this way?
No other dog breed is more talked about then this breed. What about Pit Bulls makes them loved or hated?
History of a pit bull
Where does the Pit Bull breed come from. Well to be honest, they really aren’t an actual breed, but a term used to describe the breed American Pit Bull Terrier breed.
An American Pit Bull Terrier is a purebred dog breed recognized by the American Kennel Club under the name American Staffordshire Terrier or also called the American Pit Bull Terrier.
Back in the day they were one of the most popular dog breeds around. They were often used by the military as strong mascots due to their physical appearance and fierce strong look. The military would use them as messenger dogs simply because of their can do attitude.
Their popularity also led them to be used as farm dogs to drive cattle and even as family dogs.
The Pit Bull was brought to England in the 19th century by immigrants from England, Ireland and Scotland. These dogs are also recognized by the name “Pittie.”
The stature and physique of the Pit Bull are unmatched by any other breed. No other breed looks like a Pit Bull. They have very strong standout features like :
- strong jaw
- impressive size heads
- very large necks
- muscled hind quarters
- big gait
When they stand straight up and down they almost look like they are leaning forward because they are standing so proud. They are very confident, loyal and playful dogs.
They have an average life span of 8-15 years, and a height of approximately 45-53 cm tall with a weight of around 16-30 kg. Depending on whether your dog is a male or female the size and weight will vary.
They have an extremely strong jaw line with a flat head and ears the generally stand up straight. There is nothing like the smile you get from a Pit Bull. It is unlike any other dog. With an open mouth, it can almost look like they are laughing.
Pit Bulls were originally used for bull baiting and herding purposes as a working dog breed. Their reputation is one that has led them to be strongly discriminated against over the past many years.
Originally their head strong attitude and working capabilities gave them a very good reputation as a great working breed. They historically have been known as very courageous and heroic dogs.
Over the past few decades their reputation has taken a serious negative turn.
It all changed when dog fighting rings and criminals took off creating dog fighting as a type of business.
Gambling on dog fighting has become a huge problem in many countries. For that reason these dogs started to be bred strictly to fight and or be used as bait dogs. They use aggression training and growing up in abusive environments to train these dogs for their own greed.
Because of this type of breeding and environment the dogs quickly got labeled as aggressive and vicious dogs. Yes these dogs can be trained to attack and injure, but so can many other breeds of dogs. The breed has been unfairly judged for the work of greedy men and horrible dog breeders.
Yes there at times a Pit Bull gets labeled negatively, but in the same breath, there are many people doing their very best to change that opinion. Pit Bulls have so many wonderful qualities that seemed to get overlooked. Some of these amazing features are:
- Friendly personality
- Easy to care for
They if trained properly are eager to please and crave attention. They love to be around children and are a wonderful family dog. Like any dog, you always want to be around to supervise any interaction with dogs and children for everyone’s protection.
Caring for a Pit Bull
Like many dogs Pit Bulls require some very important things to be amazing loving family dogs. Because they are part of a working breed of dog, they do require quite a lot of exercising. They require 20-30 mins minimum of exercise every single day.
On top of physical exercise, it will important to give them plenty of mental stimulation. You can incorporate it with the exercise, or separately. They enjoy things like playing Frisbee, throwing the ball around or you could even go as far as enrolling them in competitive obedience classes. Agility training is something they do very well with due to their strong body and high energy.
Keeping a Pit Bull busy will make sure that your dog does not become bored. A bored dog is a destructive dog and do not get tired easily. Structured obedience training is a great way to make sure your dog learns the proper way to behave and follow rules. Dogs need to learn good manners around other people and other dogs.
Socializing any type of dog is crucial to ensuring that they will be well-adjusted and happy, but with Pit Bulls it is even more important. Making sure they get out and are in social environments as soon as possible. This will help them overcome any bossiness or stubbornness they may have as a puppy. Teaching them to be playful with other dogs and children in fun happy ways ensures they do not become overprotective or aggressive.
When it comes to grooming your Pit Bull, they really have very low grooming requirements which makes them a low maintenance dog breed. Not many trips to the groomer like some dogs.
What’s the real truth
The real honest truth about Pit Bulls is that they are amazing and beautiful dogs. Extremely loyal, affectionate and wonderful family dogs. Like most dogs, the breed and individual dog is only as good as their owner. If they are treated, trained, loved and treated with respect can be the best dogs in the world.
I spend 7 years living in Ontario in Eastern Canada, where Pit Bulls are not allowed. Every other province in Canada does not ban the ownership of a Pit Bull. In the US, there are many states that have bans like Ontario, but it is a state by state legislation. So make sure that before you inquire about getting a Pit Bull that you know the rules and regulations where you live.
I will never understand how you can hold a breed of dogs responsible for ever dog in that breed.
Yes I realize that the odd Pit Bull dog has been responsible for attacking people at times in history. I just don’t believe that saying that every dog in the breed is the exact same dog with the exact same issues. It just doesn’t make logical sense. Well what about Pit Bulls? To me any dog brought up in a loving, happy, environment with proper training and socialization will not grow up to be a vicious dog, let alone a killer.
If you are seriously considering Pit Bulls as the breed for you, do your homework to see if it is a good fit for you and your lifestyle. They are a serious commitment and huge responsibility, so think long and hard. There are many Pit Bulls in different states and provinces that are in need of being rescued to a forever home right now, so please help if you can.