One of the most amazing things about this breed is their ability to adapt to almost any situation. They serve in a wide variety of professional fields as well as making outstanding companions.
Their attitude, courage, and never say die approach to life makes them exceptional dogs for such fields as search and rescue, therapy dogs, guide dogs, and police and military drug and bomb sniffers.
So what can you expect from an American Pit Bull Terrier? Let's take a look below.
Common Traits and things to expect from the breed are:
High levels of exercise EVERY DAY
A wonderful family dog
A very "people loving" dog
A dog that can be destructive to furniture or other objects if left alone
An easy to train dog that can make a wonderful partner in agility, jogging, or other activities
May not get along with other dogs, especially of the same sex
A dog that you cannot leave unattended with other dogs, no matter how well they get along
A pet that you may be unable to take to off-leash dog parks
A poor guard dog; it is not a breed trait to be defensive of car, home, etc.
A social dog; most pit bulls greet strangers like long lost friends
A healthy dog that is not especially prone to many genetic diseases
A 12 + year commitment
A dog that you may be unable to travel with due to breed specific restrictions
Criticism from friends/family members that are misinformed about the breed
A dog that requires high quality food to maintain health
Vet bills for regular check ups, spay/neuter, vaccinations, and flea and other parasite treatments
A dog that is safe with people. Human aggression, severe shyness, and instability are not traits typically found in Pit bulls.
As a whole the breed is one of the most stable and safe dogs around today. Far to many news stories are blown out of proportion (go figure huh?) to sell newspapers and get people to tune into the 6 o'clock news.
While we do understand that yes, some of these dogs do indeed bite and attack people. They are not representatives of an entire breed of canine. In other words, while 20 dogs out of 5,000 will bite, that doesn't mean the other 4,980 will.
Having a multi-dog household
Many people have great success in having a Pit Bull in a multiple-dog household. Some Pit Bulls will not tolerate other dogs, but more often Pit Bulls enjoy having canine family members. Some people believe that the easiest way to ensure success with having more than one dog in a household is to get them as puppies and raise them together.
This method can work, but it is not always successful. Due to the varying degrees of intolerance for dogs that can be acquired genetically, raising puppies together is not a guarantee for compatibility. Many dogs end up in shelters due to intolerance towards the other family dog as they mature.
A risk must be assessed when brining a Pit Bull puppy home into a house with other dogs, or brining two puppies home together. An owner needs to understand that they may have a situation as the Pit Bull matures where the dogs cannot be together safely. This usually is not the case, however being unprepared for this possibility is not fair to the dogs involved.
When bringing home a Pit Bull puppy, the new owner needs to assume responsibility for the breeds predisposed behavior and make a commitment to keep it safe and happy for its entire life no matter what may arise.
Having puppies of separate sexes, and having them altered before full maturity may decrease some of the chances for aggressive behavior. Making efforts to keep tension and fighting from starting is very important. Feed the dogs separately, even if they seem to share a food bowl without problems.
Be cautious when offering raw meat, bones, and special treats. A good idea is to have the dogs separated at feeding time. While some people resist this idea, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Having duplicates of favorite toys can help eliminate the dogs feeling the need to guard from each other. Interacting with the dogs equally can help keep them from feeling a need to compete for attention.
Activities such as going for walks together, playing ball in the yard, going to the river for a swim, or lying on the couch side by side for petting during a movie are ways to enjoy the dogs together and thus strengthen the bond with the dogs and with the owners.
You must remember that there is a possiblity you will have dogs that will never get along. In this case you must be prepared to keep them seperated for life.
A diamond is a diamond and a stone is a stone, but man is part good and part bad...