Pit bulls are one of the most misunderstood dog breeds in the world. These are a few of the misconceptions that exist about pit bulls.
Some believe that pit bulls have locking jaws. This is not true. But because of the pit bulls tenacious and determined personality, when they bite down on something they are often determined not to release it.
Another myth about pit bulls is that they are all vicious. This unfortunate stereotype comes from the actions of a few bad people who use pit bulls as fighting dogs. In general, the pit bull is a dog that loves people. If well-trained and socialized from a young age, he can be a wonderful family dog.
There is much misinformation about pit bull type dogs, and there are also campaigns to outlaw them. In many cities, like Denver and Miami, pit bulls may be prohibited, and sometimes it is not easy to get a homeowner’s insurance policy if you own a pit bull. Some communities that allow pit bulls have very specific ordinances about how a fence must be constructed in your yard. So check local ordinances carefully to make sure it is legal to own a pit bull in your community.
If you own a pit bull or are planning to get a pit bull and you’re looking for the perfect name, check out this article – Pit Bull Dog Names: Cool Names for Pit Bull Breed Dogs.
What Are the Different Types of Pit Bulls?
When you say the term “pit bull,” most people believe that it refers to a single breed of dog. But there are actually several types of pit bulls. The three most common types of pit bulls are the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Here are some facts about the three different types of pit bulls.
American Pit Bull Terrier
The American Pit Bull Terrier typically weighs between 30 to 60 pounds and stands 17 to 21 inches high. This dog’s coat is short and smooth. The coat can be a variety of colors including red, brown, black, fawn, brindle and white.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is very muscular. This powerful dog can be a challenge to walk on a leash if not properly trained.
At one time the American Pit Bull Terrier was an iconic breed. They were used in advertising, and they were American military mascots. But once dog fighters began to exploit the breed, their reputation changed.
The American Pit Bull Terrier has a reputation for being aggressive because of his history as a fighting dog. But with the right people who understand his personality, the pit bull can be a good family companion. A pit bull requires a lot of love. With a loving owner and the right socialization, training, and love, the American Pit Bull Terrier can be a docile and affectionate family pet.
Pit Bulls are known for digging, pulling and chewing – destructive behaviors that you will have to deal with as an owner. Give your American Pit Bull Terrier plenty of chew toys and a place where he is allowed to dig in the yard. And keep your prized belongings out of reach to protect them.
American Staffordshire Terrier
The American Staffordshire Terrier is closely related to the American Pit Bull Terrier. The American Staffordshire Terrier is the larger of the two breeds, but they have a similar personality and activity level.
The American Staffordshire Terrier typically weighs between 50 and 60 pounds and stands about 17 to 19 inches high. This dog’s coat is thick but short and can be found in a variety of colors and patterns. The dog’s body is muscular with a square build.
Although he may look intimidating, when it comes to people this breed is more of a lover than a fighter. This breed is very friendly and devoted to its owner, and he generally likes people. With the right owners and the right socialization, training, and love, he can be a docile, trustworthy and affectionate family dog. This dog loves to be the center of attention and will often follow you around from room to room.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier typically weighs between 28 to 38 pounds and stands about 14 to 16 inches high. This dog’s coat is smooth and short. The coat can be found in a variety of colors including fawn, white, black, blue and brindle. This breed is known for its broad head.
Despite his pit bull reputation, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier loves people. In fact, in his native Britain, he is nicknamed “the children’s nursemaid” and the “nanny dog”. This breed makes an excellent playmate for children, but you should always supervise their interaction, as with any dog.
Whatever it is that you are doing, your Staffordshire Bull Terrier will be there doing it right along with you. Because of his love for people, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier will protect them from any threat.
Because of his terrier nature, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is known for digging, chasing cats and not getting along with other dogs.
To learn more about the different types of pit bulls, go to What Are the Different Types of Pit Bulls?
What You Need to Know About the Pit Bull Temperament
If you’re thinking about getting a pit bull, it is imperative that you understand pit bull temperament.
A strong determination is one of the most fearsome pit bull temperament traits. Combine that unyielding determination with his enormous strength and powerful jaws and you’ll see why a pit bull often is dreaded. Some people believe that a pit bull’s jaws actually lock to prevent it from never letting go, but this is not the case. It is simply his strength and his undying determination that drives the pit bull. He is a superb fighting machine and a serious confrontation can be fatal for the opponent. This is one of the reasons many people believe that pit bulls should be banned. This is a debate that will no doubt continue for many years to come.
Pit bulls love people. The pit bull temperament is not vicious. Instead, their temperament is clownish, loving and loyal. A pit bull loves his family and wants to be a part of everything they do. The protective and fearless pit bull has a playful and friendly nature and it has a strong desire to please people.
Separation anxiety is a big part of the pit bull temperament. It is very important that pit bulls get enough exercise throughout the day and that they have enough activities to keep them busy while they are left alone. Otherwise, they will become destructive.
While pit bulls love people, they are not so crazy about other animals. Animal aggression is a very common part of the pit bull temperament. Some pit bulls are so aggressive that it is not safe to keep another pet in the house. Because of their fighting history, even if they are raised alongside cats or other dogs there is no guarantee that they won’t go after them one day. Pit bulls have a very tenacious and determined personality. Even the most easygoing pit bull won’t back down from a challenge. Along with dog-directed aggression, the pit bull is known for its high prey drive towards cats, rabbits, birds and other such animals.
To learn more about the pit bull temperament, go to What You Need to Know About the Pit Bull Temperament.
Should You Take in a Pit Bull Rescue?
Should you take in a pit bull rescue? Or is it dangerous to adopt a pit bull that has an unknown history and parentage?
Adopting a pit bull with an unknown history can be a risk, but each dog should be judged on its own merits by his current personality and behavior. While it is true that many pit bull rescues of unknown heritage have been horribly abused, neglected or forced to fight, they still love people more than anything and they can still become loving family pets. Responsible rescues and dog shelters will evaluate dog behavior before putting the dog up for adoption and offer only those pit bulls that display the proper temperament toward humans for adoption.
Some may think that it is better to adopt a pit bull puppy instead of an adult pit bull. But since the adult dogs are already grown up, their personality has already developed. You can see whether your pit bull is dominant or submissive with people and whether he has aggression to other dogs. Dog aggression is a trait that does not develop in some dogs until they are fully mature. So it is possible that the cute little puppy that you adopt who is friendly with all other dogs may not like dogs at all later in life. That includes dogs that they have grown up with and lived with their entire life.
Before you take in a pit bull rescue you should understand the federal, state and local laws pertaining to pit bulls. Before you adopt, make sure that pit bull type dogs are not banned in your area. Make sure that your homeowner’s association allows you to own a pit bull. Also, make sure that your homeowner’s or rental insurance policy does not prohibit you from owning a pit bull. And before you adopt, make sure that you are willing to deal with the stigma that many people believe about pit bulls.
To learn more about pit bull rescues, go to Should You Take in a Pit Bull Rescue?
Common Pit Bull Health Problems
If you’re thinking of getting a pit bull, you’ll want to consider pit bull health problems. All dogs can develop genetic health problems. It’s the same with people – you have the potential to inherit a particular disease or condition. But just because the dog has the potential to develop these genetic health problems, that doesn’t mean that he necessarily will.
The American Pit Bull Terrier can develop genetic health problems that include hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, allergies and demodectic mange. Make sure the breeder can provide documentation from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) or the University of Pennsylvania (PennHip) that both of your puppy’s parents have hips that were rated in good condition. The breeder should also provide an OFA health certification for thyroid.
The American Staffordshire Terrier can develop genetic health problems that include hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, allergies, demodectic mange, cerebellar ataxia and heart disease.
Before you buy an American Staffordshire Terrier, make sure that the breeders can provide documentation from OFA or PennHip that both of your puppy’s parents have hips that were rated in good condition. The breeder should also provide an OFA evaluation by a board-certified veterinary cardiologist, an OFA thyroid evaluation from an approved laboratory and an OptiGen DNA test for cerebellar ataxia.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier can develop genetic health problems that include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, juvenile cataracts, and allergies. These dogs can also suffer from a metabolic disorder known as L-2-Hydroxyglutaric Aciduria. Before you buy a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, make sure that the breeders can provide documentation from OFA or PennHip that both of your puppy’s parents have hips that were rated in good condition. The breeder should also provide you with the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) documentation that shows their breeding dogs have had their eyes tested and are free from inherited juvenile cataracts. As for L-2-Hydroxyglutaric Aciduria, there is a DNA test that tells breeders if a dog is a carrier of this condition. Do not buy a dog from a breeder that cannot provide written documentation that the parents do not have this condition.
To learn more about pit bull health problems, go to Common Pit Bull Health Problems.