Despite their bad reputation, American Pitbull Terrier carries a contagious zest for life which always brightens your day. APBT are intelligent and love to please. This makes them trainable and obedient; which also becomes their downfall.
- If you train them to collect the mail, they will.
- If you train them to fight, they will.
The APBT is a purebred dog. But, due to its checkered past is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. Many breeders argue that the only true pitbull dog is the APBT.
When You Have an American Pitbull
When you have an American pitbull terrier
- personal space becomes a thing of the past. They like to be included in every activity and want constant attention.
- the entertainment never ends.
- you have the world’s best babysitter.
- you can never get anything done because you can’t believe how adorable they are. You can’t stop admiring every part of their body.
- your heart is changed forever.
He’ll always be the biggest baby in your house. The one who makes you laugh like no one else.
You can check further details about the personality of the American Pitbull Terrier breed here.
- Temperament With Children
- Temperament With Other Pets
- The Intimidation Factor
- The Dog’s Trainability
- Protection ability
Comfort you when you need it most. And share every single moment with you.
American Pitbull Characteristics and Care
Lifespan: 8 – 15 years
Temperament: Intelligent, Affectionate, Friendly, Stubborn, Strong-Willed, Obedient, Clownish, Loyal, Courageous
Colors: Black, White, Brindle, Fawn, Tan, Grey, Brown, Blue, Red
Mass: 16 – 30 kg ( Male Adult), 14 – 27 kg ( Female Adult)
Height: 45 – 53 cm (Male), 43 – 50 cm (Female)
Their origin is traced back to Britain. They were developed as fighting dogs and were used in bloodsport like bull baiting.
Pit bulls were produced by breeding between bulldogs and terriers to have the strength of bulldogs and activeness of terriers.
Pit bulls are strong athletic dogs and they were bred to fight animals and other dogs. So socializing them is very important.
- The first six months are very important. Start socialization when they are three to five weeks old. Their prime socialization time is eight to twelve weeks of age.
- Introduce your puppy to new people and animals. At first, it is better to keep them on a leash to stop aggressive behavior. It would take time to be confident and comfortable with such situations.
- Praise and give them treats whenever they greet other people or show good behavior. Treats are good to boost their confidence. And let them know what they are supposed to do.
Enrolling them in puppy socialization classes would be a good idea to socialize them. They will learn basic obedience training and other skills to follow your commands.
Generally, pit bulls have a bad reputation for being too aggressive. But with proper training, they can become good dogs.
- Start training your puppy early. Teach him some basic commands like come, sit, stay, etc.
- Stop puppy biting before it starts. Provide chew toys. Discourage him by moving your hand fast and screaming if he bites you.
- Leash training will keep him in your control. It is also good to discourage aggressive behavior in your puppy.
- Crate training also would be helpful in potty training your puppy. Make sure he considers the crate as a bedroom and goes outside for potty.
- For potty training, designate an area that your pitbull puppy should use for potty. Specify a time too for it.
Positive reinforcement will help you a lot in training your pitbull puppy. Give him treats and praise him.
Don’t ever yell at your pitbull puppy. But you need to have a firm approach to training your puppy.
You can also consult an experienced trainer to know how to train your pitbull.
The microchip is a device about the size of grain rice that remains under the skin of your dog. It has a unique number and by scanning gives the contact information about the dog owner.
Hundreds of dogs go missing each year. And very few are reunited back with their owners because of the absence of microchips.
And also place a collar on your puppy in case of any theft escaped or lost, they can be reunited with you because of microchip or identification collar.
Pitbulls have a short flat coat and short fur. And they need to be brushed few times a week.
- Use a gentle bristle brush. Brush slowly over the whole body in a circular way and make this enjoyable for your pity.
Brushing will spread natural oils to the whole body and will remove any loose hairs. It will also keep the skin clear shiny and healthy.
Pitbull needs a bath and frequently it depends upon their coat shedding, dirt, length of fur, etc.
- Recommended bath period is after every six weeks.
Use a good dog shampoo in lukewarm water. Avoid getting water or shampoo into the ears or eyes. Pat dry with a clean towel.
Pitbulls cropped ears are more susceptible to infections. Check and remove any wax in the ear every week.
- Cover their ears with cotton balls during bath time.
In case of infection take them to the vet. Don’t clean it by yourself.
Trim their nails after every two weeks to avoid any crack or infection in overgrown nails.
Brush their teeth at least once a week using a good dog toothbrush and paste. Don’t use any human toothbrush or paste.
Food And Nutrition
It is important to know that your pitbull has special nutritional requirements.
- American Pitbull Terrier needs high-protein, low-grain dog food that has meat as a major ingredient.
Consult a veterinarian about the type of food. Dry food is usually healthier than wet. Avoid food products that contain meat byproducts corn, or wheat.
- A puppy pitbull needs to be fed two to three times a day. On the other hand, Adult dogs usually fed twice.
Overfeeding may cause obesity. To prevent it check your Pitbulls food and give him meals at a specified time.
Pitbulls are very energetic and agile dogs. They need to be exercised to properly consume their energy.
- American Pitbulls need at least one hour of outdoor exercise.
Daily exercise burns his excessive energy and keeps him active, healthy and fit.
Exercise Ideas For American Pitbull Terrier
- If you go out for a walk or jogging take him with you.
- Let him play with other dogs.
- Let him chase you on a bicycle.
- Playing fetch could be a great exercise for him.
- Provide him some dog toys to play with.
Without exercise, APBT becomes bored and will bark at everything. Your pitbull will also become very aggressive. And can become fat and more vulnerable to diseases.
Pitbulls have an average lifespan of almost 14 years. They are generally healthy but they may encounter some health issues during their lifetime.
- Puppy vaccination starts at 8 weeks of age.
- Followed by the Lyme vaccine at 9 weeks of age.
- Booster and rabies vaccines are usually given at the 12th or 13th week of the puppy’s age.
- Consult a vet about other vaccines.
Depending upon your area have a closer look at the health of your puppy. They are susceptible to parvovirus.
Adult dogs may fall into allergies, hip or elbow dysplasia. Have knowledge about symptoms of these diseases. Regularly take your puppy for a routine checkup.
American Pitbull Terrier 101: Pros and Cons
Unfortunately, Pitbulls have quite a reputation among the general population.
You’ll often hear about pit bull attacks on the television news. You have probably often read about pit bulls showing signs of aggression towards family members. And then we have all those stories about pit bulls snapping and attacking without warning.
All these stories are only one side of the coin. Though the results of people judging the breed on the action of a few of its representatives.
American Pitbull Terrier Pros
Before we start with pros in our guide American Pitbull 101, here are few myths associated with this breed.
- It’s a myth that pit bulls are more aggressive than other breeds.
- It’s also a myth that they’re the most likely dog to bite when provoked.
Now let’s see what makes pit bulls great companions dogs.
APBT is an Excellent Companion Dog
While pit bulls have been bred for bull and bear-baiting, these dogs have a sensitive soul. They don’t do well with harsh treatment.
A pit bull will take every scold or disapproving look to heart. Call them a bad dog or leave them alone for too long and they will be miserable.
Their sensitivity level is also what makes them good companion dogs. They won’t leave your side when you’re upset. They will try to cheer you up with their goofiness. If that doesn’t work they’ll happily cuddle with you until you feel better.
Moreover, Pitbulls smile. And their smiles are so contagious that’ll surely improve your mood no matter how you feel.
APBT Is Affectionate and Loyal
A well-socialized pit bull is a terrible watchdog due to its mellow temperament. As the word goes a pit bull will gladly greet a thief with a wagging tail and demand their attention.
However, in most cases, their reputation is enough to make people reconsider going into your house uninvited.
Pit bulls also love to be around their people. But they simply don’t realize that they’re not the right size for a lap dog. Don’t be surprised if they try to climb into your lap when you sit on the couch to watch a movie.
In addition to this pit bulls are loyal to their owners. If you treat them right you have a friend for life that won’t hesitate to stand up for you.
It is one of the biggest benefits of owning a pit bull. Pit bulls are tons of fun. They will tag along with you pretty much anywhere that allows dogs.
APBT Is Smart
Sadly one of the reasons why people often get away with using pit bulls for dogfighting is their intelligence and eagerness to please.
Pit bulls don’t need a lot of repetition to learn a command. They’re ready to do whatever you want as long it will make you happy.
While pit bulls might be a little stubborn they’re not the worst dog breed to train. They definitely respond well to consistent training and gentle discipline.
APBT is Easy to Maintain
Do you want a large muscular dog that won’t shed much around the house?
Then the pit bull will fit right in.
These dogs have an easy to groom coat. Their low-maintenance coat comes in a variety of colors. They don’t require a lot of brushing.
An occasional bath will be enough to keep the doggy odor under control.
APBT is a Healthy Breed
Many popular dog breeds are prone to cancer or other serious conditions. So another pro of owning an APBT is that they’re generally healthy despite being a large powerful dog.
They live on average 12 to 16 years.
Some pit bulls do develop health problems though for example heart disease and hip dysplasia. But getting your dog from a respectable breeder will lower the chances of your pitbull getting sick.
American Pitbull Terrier Cons
Pit bulls belong to the terrier dog group. This means they have some typical terrier characteristics.
In other words, they can be stubborn bossy, and independent. That’s why pit bulls need a confident owner. This will establish his/her position as the leader of the pack and will be strict but fair.
APBT Are Energetic
This isn’t necessarily a con depending on how active your lifestyle is. However, owning a pit bull means dealing with their high-energy needs.
It’s common for owners to wonder how to calm down a hyper APBT because this dog gets very excited during playtime. It might be hard to get the young dog to calm down.
To deal with this hyperactivity you need to make sure that your pitbull has enough opportunity to burn off its excess energy.
You must make sure that a pit bull is stimulated both mentally and physically. In addition to this, you can ignore your pitbull puppy when it gets too hyper.
You should always reward calmness as much as possible.
APBT Have a High Potential for Mouthiness
American Pit bulls are famous for their strong bite. This has made some people come to believe that they have locked jaws. That’s a myth.
What’s true is that pit bulls have the potential for mouthiness. It means that American pit bulls love to hold things in their mouth. They might use their mouths to hurt their owner.
In most cases they’re not biting to hurt but to play. You should always teach them what they’re allowed to chew on and what they aren’t.
Some Pitbulls Are Dog Aggressive
My pitbull is aggressive towards other dogs is something you’ll hear from many pit bull owners.
Unfortunately, American pit bulls terrier don’t always get along well with other dogs. The pit bull breed requires a lot of socialization and training to overcome this problem.
Often people think that dog aggression and human aggression are the same. However back in the days when pit bulls were used for bull-baiting.
They weren’t trained to be aggressive towards people. Otherwise, it would have been impossible for handlers to approach these dogs.
If your pitbull is dog aggressive it doesn’t mean that it will attack people. But as a pit bull owner, you’ll have to recognize when your pitbull is showing signs of aggression.
If a pit bull shows aggression towards dogs or people intervenes immediately to prevent escalation.
APBT Don’t Like to Be Alone
Another con of owning a pit bull is that they don’t want to be alone. This means they aren’t a suitable breed for busy people.
As already mentioned pit bulls are very affectionate and sensitive. They don’t feel happy when they’re separated from their owners for long. So they might become destructive out of boredom.
It can be a bad idea to leave a pit bull with free reign of the house.
Legal Liabilities and Breed Discrimination
Owning a pit bull means that people are going to judge your dog. This is based solely on what they’ve heard or read.
You can expect to hear an earful from strangers about pitbull dangers. Everyone has an opinion on why APBT snaps all of a sudden.
In addition to this Pitbulls are banned in some states in the USA. You might have problems renting an apartment or getting insurance if you own a pit bull.
The bottom line is that pit bulls are excellent companion dogs for the right kind of owner.
Unfortunately, the breed attracts the wrong type of people who are looking for a powerful dog to show off or take part in dogfighting.
But as long as you treat your APBT fair and well, owning a pit bull has far more pros than cons.