Breed of the Month: American Pit Bulls

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Two American Pittbull Terrier dog in studioOne of the infamous dog breeds out there is the American pit bull. They have been deemed “inherently vicious” as they are supposedly vicious towards both animals and humans. However, this breed is actually ideal for those seeking companionship and want a furry friend for the whole family. While it was known for its courage and tenacity, it has a soft side that will make you wonder why anyone would be afraid of it.

Breed History

Pit bulls, which include the American pit bull, the bull terrier, and American Staffordshire terrier, were bred in the early 19th century in England for the then-popular sports of bull- and bear-baiting. After these were deemed inhumane, breeds listed under this term were used for dog fighting. Because of their history and bred aggression, people started fearing pit bulls.

However, bull and terrier breeds were actually bred to avoid biting humans. This is because human handlers wanted to be able to separate dogs without getting hurt. As a result, the strong, protective dog was also gentle and family-friendly. When bull dogs accompanied American immigrants, they were used around the newfound farms to hunt wild game, protect the property, and provide companionship to settlers. Till today, they are known for being protective as well as extremely friendly towards their owners.


American pit bulls are usually 17-19 inches long while their weight ranges from 30 to 85 lbs. Because of their size, they aren’t ideal lap dogs. However, they’re confident, keenly aware of their surroundings, and capable of alerting you in case they notice strangers. Regardless, they’ll fail as guard dogs because they’re very hospitable, greeting “their” guests whenever they drop by. Still, expect them to attack if you or your family is in danger.

Behavior around Others

Pit bulls love children; as sturdy, energetic and tolerant animals, they make ideal playmates. However, as is the case with any dog, you’ll need to be around to supervise your dog’s interaction with your children. After all, he may not understand the fine line between aggression and play. Besides, your child may not be aware of the importance of steering away from Rover while he eats or naps. Therefore, spare your whole family and your pooch a lot of heartache and practice safety. Aside from that, get the help of dog trainers to ensure that your pup is always on his best behavior.

Now mixing with other dogs is a different story. Because of their dog fighting genes, pit bills may be aggressive around other dogs. This is why you should socialize them early and explain what behavior you expect from them. Only then can you minimize or overcome this issue and ensure their ability to interact with other pets you have or will adopt in the future.

Level of Care Required

Pit bills require around an hour of walking, playing or exercising. However, don’t leave your own outside for long because it goes against their personality. As they’ve adapted to becoming housedogs, they can’t be left outside for long. As for feeding pit bulls, you’ll need two meals consisting of 1.5 to 2.5 cups of high quality dry food. How much he can eat will depend on his size, age, body, metabolism and activity level. Finally, grooming pit bulls isn’t a very demanding task since their coats are easy to keep clean. You may need to brush their teeth 2-3 times a week, trim his nails once or twice a month, and check weekly for pests.

Is an American Pitbull Perfect for You?

Before adopting a pit bull, ask yourself the following questions:

What are the Federal, State or Local Laws on Adopting Pit Bulls?

Find out if pit bulls are banned in your city, state or town. You may need to abide by some statutory requirements, especially if you have a Homeowners Association.

Can You Protect Your Dog?

As you know by now, pit bulls are the worst guard dogs because they love people a lot. This will make you the “guard dog” since you’ll need to protect him. You’ll especially need to be protective as others may unjustly fear him based on myths and misconceptions.

Will You Keep Her Even if She Loses Her Temper Around other Dogs?

Dogs’ temperaments are bound to change at one point. If she ever becomes less tolerant towards other dogs, you need to be prepared. In addition to socializing her early, take precautions to keep her and other dogs safe.

Are You Willing to be a Responsible Parent?

Before you say ‘yes’, you need to understand what this responsibility means. In addition to spaying or neutering your pooch, you should always keep her on a leash unless you’re in a secure enclosed area. You should also be ready to enroll her in dog obedience training, a time-consuming but very necessary commitment for both pets and their owners.

If you have any more questions about American pit bulls, we’d love to answer them. So get in touch with us or comment on this post and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.