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6 Reasons Why Pit Bulls Make Great Pets

You are considering adopting or buying a dog, and one breed you are considering is a Pit Bull Terrier, or one of several breeds that are closely related to this breed. It is important that before you take any steps towards becoming an owner that you thoroughly research the breed so that you understand the challenges of owning this loyal, yet controversial breed.

99% of issues that arise with pit bulls have to do with owners who are idiots. The truth is that this breed has many good traits. A super-dog, if you will. And although the media focuses on the negative aspects, in reality they can be awesome pets for the smart owner. Here are six reasons why:

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1. Pit Bulls are Affectionate Companions

Pitbulls are wiggly, cuddly, affectionate dogs. If you don’t like dog kisses then consider another breed, because most pitbulls love licking. The same goes if you have children and you don’t want them to be a regular target for face washes.

Pitbulls are not aloof – they like to remind you regularly of how they feel about you, and in general this means a lot of tail wagging and kissing.

2. Generally Healthy and Easy to Care For

Yes, pit bulls require a reasonable amount of attention. They do not, however, need a lot of care. They have short coats and are normal shedders, and only need to be brushed semi-regularly.

They don’t tend toward genetic disorders like some other breeds, although they should be inspected at puppyhood for signs of hip dysplasia, but this is a good idea for most medium to large breeds anyway. Most pit bulls do not get larger than 50 to 60 pounds, although there are some larger sub-breeds.

And as long as you exercise the dog regularly, a pitbull can be very comfortable in a small dwelling.

3. People-Orientated, When Socialized Properly

Pitbulls love people. Although this breed frequently gets a bad rap in the media, if you have ever met a pitbull that was raised by a loving, conscientious family then you will understand how much they like to be with people.

The downside of this personality trait is that they can get overexcited when they meet new people, which is something that needs to be addressed through training and positive reinforcement.

4. Pit Bulls are Loyal to their Owners

Your pit bull will be you and your family’s best friend from the day you take them home to the day they pass away. While they will be naturally protective of their family and their property, because pitbulls are so people-orientated they do not make good guard dogs.

Unless you just want them to smother intruders with hugs and kisses.

5. Eager to Please

A pitbull will always do it’s best to make you happy, as long as you are clear about what you expect from them. Many people will mention the fact that this breed is notoriously stubborn, but once they realize that you are the boss, they will work hard to ensure that you were happy with them.

This breed can be challenging, and is not recommended for first time dog owners as you need to be comfortable and confident that you can handle the breed, otherwise they will pick upon the fact that you are less than sure of yourself.

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6. High Tolerance for Pain

Sometimes presented as a negative trait, the fact that pitbulls have a high pain tolerance makes them exceptional family dogs. They easily (and happily) put up with the rough play of children without reacting. At the same time, pitbull owners may have to invest in prong collars, as the shoulder and neck strength of the pitbull means that sometimes an average collar will not do.

It is important that when considering a pitbull as a pet that you carefully screen all puppies and adult dogs to ensure that they respond positively. Dogs of any breed that show fearfulness or aggression towards people or other dogs should be avoided, particularly as a family pet, unless you are willing to put in a lot of extra time and money into behavioural training.

To be a successful and responsible pitbull owner you need to at all times have your pet under control. Dogs should never be left unsupervised with other dogs or children, and should never be allowed to roam off leash except in controlled dog-friendly spaces. Remember that as a pitbull owner you are charged with showing the positive side of this breed, so make sure that you always have a friendly and well behaved pet.

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Puppies And Breeding Pitbulls

Are those who take dog breeding seriously “snobs”? You’ll hear that, commonly, from those who peddle pups and dogs. Why do serious breeders come across as “snobs”?

Because they care passionately about their chosen breed, its history, its present, its future. They care about who owns the breed. They care about how they will pass the breed on to the next generation. They are about how their breed is portrayed in the media.

They don’t just put two dogs together and sell the pups in the local newspaper. That’s a “backyard breeder” – and the ruination of many breeds.

The breed is all – not the money or show ring wins. And so they ask questions, do home checks, refuse sells. They are not snobs – they are serious breeders.

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RED FLAG WARNINGS OF POOR BREEDING PRACTICES:

Beware of” breeders who are new to the breed.

Novices often make the mistake of limiting their attention to current events within their breed. Dog Breeding As A Fine Art.

Whenever a breed becomes popular, there is an influx of novices not only ignorant of what constitues a good specimen but much more lacking in any knowledge of animal breeding.

Planned Breeding to many novice breeders, the idea of a ‘bloodline’ means nothing more than a clever kennel prefix or a popular stud dog.

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Merely giving it a name will not transform a jumbled family of dogs into a useful genetic contribution.

Selective breeding is a long-term project, far beyond the scope of one dog, or one litter of puppies.

Beware of “breeders” who do no health testing – run away from breeders who assure you their dogs “don’t need to be health tested”.

There is NO breed or strain which does not need to be health tested. There is NO excuse. A serious breeder does extensive health checks – period.

Beware of “breeders” who try to explain why breeding away from the standard is “better”.
A good grasp of your standard’s intent will simplify many breeding decisions, and will keep you grounded when fads of type sweep through your breed.

Beware of “breeders” who tells you that reputable breeders are “jealous” of them.
This defensive attitude should be a very strong warning.

Beware of “breeders” who charge ridiculous amounts for their dogs because they are from a “famous” line.

As a general rule, once a family (of dogs) has become famous and fashionable, all the offspring, irrespective of quality are used for breeding and selection practically ceases. Under such conditions, the family naturally and rapidly deteriorates, because constant and careful selection is just as necessary to preserve or augment improved qualities as it is to originate them. The Principles of Dog Breeding.

What exactly is a pitbull anyway?

If you wouldn’t know a pitbull if you saw one, you’re not alone. Pit
bull is actually not a breed of dog. Instead, the term “pit bull”
refers to not one, but three dog breeds. Add to that, the fact that
there are over twenty different dog breeds that are regularly mistaken
as being pit bull and you can see how easy it becomes to mis-identify
them.

The three breeds that fall under the pit bull umbrella are the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier. One quick way to keep them straight is to think “small, medium and large” in the order listed above. Some people feel that the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier are essentially the same breed. And indeed, many
owners are now getting dual registrations on the same dog. Registering the dog as an APBT with the United Kennel Club and as an Amstaff with the American Kennel Club. Here is a picture of each type of pitbull dog grouped together for comparison.

 

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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American Bull Terrier

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American Staffordshire Terrier

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So what do you think? Are the APBT and the Amstaff essentially the same breed or not? My point is not really to debate that here. After all, if the experts can’t agree, why should you or I lose sleep over it? But, if you ever find yourself locked in a room with a pitbull aficionado, at least now you can perhaps hold your own. Aside from the pretty obvious differences in sizes, there are some very striking physical similarities. And the ancestries of all three breeds are very much intertwin. The pitbull head is often described as being wedged-shaped. But, I think spud-shaped is really more descriptive. The eyes are wide-set. There’s the signature strong jawline and muscular body. The ears when left natural (as they are in the above photos) are either rose or half pricked. Some breeders do still like to crop the ears. It’s a matter of personal preference.
And, personally I prefer natural for two reasons.First, I just think natural ears look better. They look so militant with their ears cropped. Secondly, the cropped ears and docked tail are vestiges of the breed’s fighting days when cropping and docking had practical value because it gave an opponent less to grab on to. Now that dogfighting has finally been outlawed in most countries, there’s just no need to do it.So, do you think you’d be able to recognize a pitbull now? If you want to test your mettle, you can play

Find the Pitbull.

But, a word of caution–don’t get discouraged. Few people get it
right the first time. Here’s a hint: the pit bull you are looking for
in this game is an American Pit Bull Terrier. Good luck!

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Chile Pepper, A Pit Bull Rescued From Death

“Life gave me lemons, but I made lemonade….and lemon parfaits….. and lemon squares and lemon sorbet, and lemon meringue pie… ”

Chile Pepper, May 1, 1997

Hi! My Name is Chile Pepper, and this is my story, in my own words. because I was such a “hot little item” for quite some time, my foster mom gave me that name.

My Early Life

When I was a tiny pup, about five weeks old, three mean guys cut off my ears with scissors. Two of them held me down while the other cut: it hurt a lot; and I cried and cried. A couple of days later I was still bleeding and unresponsive, so I was taken to the vet, nearly dead.

I was so limp and listless that the doctors and nurses wondered if I would live because of the blood loss and collapsed lung. But I was a brave little boy and very determined that I would live to love another day! Perhaps you saw me on TV, in newspapers, or featured in an SPCA video.

Later I was an honored guest at The Roundhouse (the New Mexico State Capitol) with Ali MacGraw, speaking for animal/child abuse legislation — how animal abuse is an indicator for future, or even current, child abuse in a home….

Determining that I was an animal abuse case, the Santa Fe County Animal Control took possession of me. Next, I was turned over to the Animal Shelter for protection, then placed with a foster family. I was taught me to be gentle with children — my foster home had 3 big dogs and a 2 year old little girl. My foster mom, Carmen, taught me good manners; since I was an American Pit Bull Terrier, she knew I would have to be extra well behaved so that the terrible reputation that preceded me (very much unfair to my breed!) would be defused, and I would win people over. She patiently worked with me, and soon I absolutely loved having my ears rubbed and scratched!

Bad Guys Learn To Respect Animal’s lives

The three mean guys, who thought they would make me a fight-to-the-death dog, went to jail, paid fines, and did community service.

After several months, when the hoop-la was over and people no longer feared for my life, it was time to go to a new home. My foster mom loved me, and I made her laugh, but I was too big for her small home.

How I Met My New Human

Over Christmas, while my foster family was on holiday, I spent a week with my good friend Kate Rindy, director of the Santa Fe Animal Shelter. I got a visit from a girl named Annie. Her office was near by, and she had walked over; she often came to visit the shelter and enjoyed saying, “Hi!”to all the animals. This time she made a special trip just to see me!

I could tell she loved me right away, and I loved her, too. I jumped up and gave her a great big hug! I put my big pink nose all over her and could smell all the other doggies and horses and country life. I could tell that she loved doggies and let them snuggle on the couch, sleep on the bed, and ride in the truck with her everywhere she went. I knew this was the human for me, but she went away and didn’t come back.

There were several families who had qualified to adopt me, and my foster mom took me to some of them for try-outs; keeping my tail between my legs and sulking, I told them I was not happy with them; so back home we went. I knew I wanted to live with Annie and figured that if I waited long enough and told my foster mom what I liked and didn’t like, she would eventually figure it out. I kept thinking of Annie, and as it turned out, she kept thinking of me too.

HOMECOMING!

Then one glorious Saturday my foster mom and I went to visit Annie’s home and all her critters. I was joyous beyond belief! Right away I played and ran with a Cattledog puppy. Hallelujah, I was finally in the home of my dreams! Annie loves me!

There is a pond to play in, lots of other doggies who happily accept me, a kitty to sniff, couches and beds on which to lounge, vehicles to help drive; and the horses leave me the most delicious round cookies (guaranteed to form great green clouds four hours later!). I was ecstatic! For the first couple of weeks I was quite the “Velcro”dog, somewhat unsure if this was a permanent home or not. my new human was not going to be out of my sight. I wanted her to know how happy I was to be part of her family.

Now it’s 2006, and I’m nearly ten. I’ve had such a wonderful life, in spite of two TPLO surgeries in 2000 (tore my stifle [knee] ligament and had the tibia bones realigned). I still run along on horseback rides, where I can pursue one of my favorite activities, chasing rabbits. I’m not fast enough to catch them, but what a fun game we play!

Thank you for reading my story. I hope you enjoyed it!

Tail wags, wet nose presses, and LOVE, Chile-the-pitbull.

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