Know about Breed: Pitbull
- Lifespan: 8 - 15 years
- Temperament: Clownish, Strong-Willed, Stubborn, Affectionate, Obedient, Intelligent, Loyal, Friendly, Courageous
- Colors: Black, White, Brindle, Fawn, Tan, Blue, Grey, Brown, Red
- Mass: Male: 16 - 30 kg (Adult), Female: 14 - 27 kg (Adult)
- Height: Male: 45 - 53 cm, Female: 43 - 50 cm
- Origin: United States, United Kingdom
- American Pit Bull Terriers were once an iconic American breed. They were American military mascots, advertising stars, and popular farm and family dogs. But when dogfighters criminally exploited the breed's loyalty, tenacity, and bold nature, the Pitties reputation took a hit from which it hasn't yet recovered.
- The APBT has a formidable reputation and appearance, but he is meant to be a dog who loves and accepts people. In the hands of loving owners and given the right amount of socialization, training, attention, and love, he can be a docile, affectionate family dog.
- Unfortunately, he comes with societal baggage. People who have Pit Bulls may face restrictions on where they can live or which homeowner's insurance they can purchase.
- Pit Bulls can be highly people-oriented, but they don't necessarily like other dogs or small furry creatures like cats. Some Pit Bulls may become friends with cats in the household and seem to love every dog they meet, but they arguably are not typical of the breed. If you want a dog you can take to the park who will play nicely with other dogs, a Pit Bull is probably not for you.
- The APBT typically weighs 60 pounds or less and is very muscular. Pitties are powerful dogs and can be a challenge to walk on a leash if not well trained; pulling can become an issue. For healthy Pit Bulls, it can be a good idea to channel that desire to pull into a dog sport, such as weight pulling or nose work.
- A Pit Bull's grooming needs are modest. His coat needs brushing a couple of times a week to help manage to shed, and his ears need to be kept clean and his nails trimmed.
- From his earliest days as a farm dog to when he was bred for dogfighting, the Pit Bull in America has always been an active, confident dog with a playful nature and spirit. He is best described as enthusiastic and comical.
- Whatever else those old dog-fighting breeders did, they created a dog who is extremely resilient and stable, as well as typically very friendly to people. That�s why so many Pit Bulls, even from the worst backgrounds, go on to be loving, trustworthy family dogs. That said, they need early socialization and training to become their very best. And they certainly have some normal behaviors that can be highly destructive when not properly channeled.
- American Pit Bull Terriers are known for their propensity to dig, pull and chew. Protect your belongings by putting them out of reach. In the yard, provide your Pittie with his own special place he's allowed to dig. And make sure you have a never-ending supply of tough, vet-approved chew toys and balls for him to play with.
- Overall health permitting, this can be an athletic dog who could make an excellent partner for a jogger, runner, or cyclist. Many Pitties enjoy swimming and retrieving. Thanks to their intelligence and desire to please, healthy APBTs also tend to perform well in dog sports, such as agility, drafting (pulling carts or wagons), freestyle, nose work, obedience, rally, and tracking.
- The Pittie is a good communicator. He will make all kinds of unusual noises as he tells you about his day.
- One of the misconceptions about Pitties is that they are vicious guard dogs. Hardly. They might look scary, and that serves them well as far as intimidating potential intruders, but the truth is that most of these dogs are friendly. When it comes to being a guard dog, well, they're sometimes just a little too outgoing to succeed. With their families, they're not always aware of their size and will often attempt to squeeze into a lap for some loving.
- Nonetheless, even carefully bred APBTs are usually strong, determined, and smart dogs, and backing down is not part of their normal behavior. The idea that the Pit Bull is some kind of dual-personality dog ready to switch from a loving pet to a killer in an instant is generally unwarranted, but like all dogs, he needs to be trained and socialized.
- All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don't walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on her puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.
- The APBT can develop certain health problems that may have a genetic component, including the following:
- Hip dysplasia
- Demodectic mange
- Remember that after you've taken a new puppy into your home, you have the power to protect him from one of the more common canine health problems: obesity. Keeping a Pit Bull at an appropriate weight is one of the easier ways to help ensure a healthier dog for life.
- The grooming needs of the Pit Bull are modest. He brushes his coat a couple of times a week to help manage to shed. The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually twice a month. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath. If the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with a gentle ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian.
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