american pit bull terrier

fuckin cute

fuckin cute

“The following information is based on my personal knowledge, extensive research, and experience in the breed. It is intended primarily for the first time or potential pit bull owner who needs to know what to expect from their dog, both positive and negative. This page will give information on the proper temperament of this breed, typical behavior, proper toys, and training info. This page is intended as a brief overview of the breed, and should be only one of many sources the new or potential pit bull owner should investigate in order to understand the responsibility of owning this breed. Unlike almost any other breed, pit bull ownership comes with some unique responsibilities. As the owner of an American Pit Bull Terrier, your actions and those of your dog will affect not only yourself, but EVERY owner and EVERY dog of this breed. If you are thinking about getting a pit bull, please think about that before committing yourself to an American Pit Bull Terrier.”

A Word About Breed History

Pit Bull History

This bit of history will help explain much of the apparently
contradictory traits (to novices) common in this breed.

Much of a dog’s temperament relates to it’s breed history and genetic inheritance. I won’t go too deep into the history of the Pit Bull as there are many good books and websites that cover the origin and history of the breed. It is common knowledge however, that the Pit Bull breed was developed for blood sports: Bull baiting, bear baiting, and later, dogfighting. What is not common knowledge is that in the days of organized dogfighting, the handlers of the combatants were habitually IN THE PIT with the dogs for the duration of the fight. They were required to pick up and separate the dogs several times while the dogs were in full fight frenzy. Before the fight, the handlers were required to wash each other’s dogs, and after the fight, the badly injured dogs were often treated at ringside by strangers. Any dog that attacked or bit a handler (even if it was the other dog’s handler) or anyone else at any time was culled, often on the spot, and would never have been bred.

To Summarize the Proper Pit Bull Temperament

1. Pit Bulls are often dog-aggressive to one extent or another (this often shows up at or near sexual maturity). A dog that was previously non-dog aggressive may “turn-on” and suddenly doesn’t like other dogs of the same sex, or, for that matter, any dogs at all, even housemates they have been raised with.

Pit Bull Dog

2. Pit Bulls may exhibit intense “prey drive”, leading them to “stalk” small animals such as cats, rats, chickens, livestock, or other pets.

3. Pit Bulls are precocious and incomparable escape artists, who will often seem to squirt right out of a supposedly secure yard or enclosure. When coupled with # 1 and # 2, you can see why a responsible Pit Bull owner is a vigilant pit bull owner.

4. Pit bulls are intelligent, and most enjoy training, if it is done properly. This makes them excellent prospects for dog sports such as agility, obedience, weight pull, and Frisbee competitions.

5. Pit Bulls tend to LOVE people. All people. This makes them a poor choice for a “guardian breed”. Most of them are simply too friendly to protect a house against strangers.

6. Pit bulls tend to be very “soft” with their family, meaning that they are eager to please their humans. They should not have to be “shown who’s boss”, but will thrive under “positive leadership”. A Pit Bull of proper temperament is a devoted and loving family member, inspiring immense loyalty to the breed. You will often hear a Pit Bull’s owner tell you that after owning one, they will never own any other breed.

The Physical Pit Bull

Pit Bull Tessa

Built for performance, the pit bull is a medium sized, very muscular, short coated breed. The head is bricklike, the jaws strong and wide, the ears may be cropped or not (I prefer uncropped dogs for several reasons).

The body is typically very strong, with a deep chest, powerful and proportionate hind end and solid legs. The overall impression should be of power and athleticism. This is not a dog for couch potatoes, as they require A LOT of training and exercise.

With this breed it is important to remember to exercise both the dog’s body and mind. Remember, a tired pit bull is a happy pit bull and a bored pit bull is NOT a good thing! They will find some very inventive ways to entertain themselves that the owner may not like (often involving the garbage can, kitchen counter and cabinets, feather pillows, dirty laundry and various items of furniture).

Remember also, that this is a VERY enthusiastic breed that may very well overwhelm young children or older people with it’s affection. This breed needs to be taught to sit and greet people calmly as it’s natural inclination will probably be to climb into their lap, put a paw on each of their shoulders, and attempt to wipe their face off with it’s tongue. Attempts to convince a full grown pit bull that it is too big to be a “lap dog” will, more often than not, fall on deaf ears if it was not taught “manners” as a puppy. Do not allow your puppy to do anything you don’t want your adult dog to do (eg climb on the couch, sleep in the bed, invade your lap, etc.).

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