The following info is about the American Pit Bull Terrier and/or American Staffordshire Terrier. The term “Pit Bull” is used to describe several different breeds of dog and is not a breed itself.
A stable pit bull is an incredibly friendly and outgoing dog. They are goofy clowns who are always trying to get the attention and affection of those they love and they love anyone who will show them even a smidgen of kindness. Pit bulls don’t know a stranger and because of this they are not good guard dogs. Their friendly nature is to invite an intruder in, not to keep them out.
Pit bulls adore children and make family pets. Due to the selective breeding of the original pit bull to never lash out at a human, even when in pain or from injury, pit bulls can tolerate rough handling or play from children. Their outgoing personality has them ready for whatever adventure comes next. As with any breed of dog though, dogs and children should always be supervised when together and proper dog handling should always be taught to kids.
A true pit bull is not the mythical monster that the media has portrayed them to be. A pit bull will never show human aggression. Unless a pit bull is trying to protect their owner from an immediate threat, human aggression is not tolerated in the breed. It should be considered a serious fault as it does not portray their correct temperament.
A proper pit bull is confident and eager to please. This makes them highly trainable and can excel not only in athletic challenges but in all levels of obedience work. Pit bulls are frequently used as therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs and in many other working situations because of their trainability and friendly nature.
Pit bulls require adequate exercise. As a terrier, these dogs are very athletic. Although not a high energy dog, they do require exercise on a daily basis. They love to run and make excellent running or biking partners. Fetch and other backyard sports are also enjoyed by the breed. “A happy pit bull is a tired pit bull.”
Because the pit bull was originally bred to be the ultimate canine warrior, some level of dog aggression is to be expected. Not all pit bulls will become dog aggressive, but it is something that owners need to be prepared for. Often times, intolerance to other dogs will develop in the breed as they reach maturity (between 18 months and 4 years). There are many different levels of dog aggression. Some pit bulls are best as only pets, while others get along with all other dogs. It is common for dogs of the same sex to be more prone to aggression towards one other as opposed to dogs of the opposite sex. Dog aggression is a genetic trait and while it can’t be trained out of the dogs, it can be managed. Knowing what situations your dog will and won’t do well in is the key to responsible ownership.
It is important for owners of the breed not to confuse dog aggression with human aggression. A well-rounded, stable pit bull should never show aggression towards a human. Pit bulls are happy, friendly dogs who want nothing more than to be with people.
Because of their short coats, they cannot tolerate extremely hot or cold weather. They are too susceptible to the winter elements to withstand the cold and their short muzzles make them prone to heatstroke when kept outdoors in the summer. Because of their people-friendly personality, pit bulls are happiest indoors with their owners.
Pit bulls aren’t a breed for everyone. They require a strong leader who is willing to be a responsible owner. Those of us who have chosen the pit bull as the breed of choice for our homes and families will tell you that there is no greater canine companion. Our homes and hearts would not be complete without them.