A new addition to the family is exciting, but we can often forget about the responsibilities that come along with getting a dog. Pit Bulls, like all other dogs, have a unique set of traits and tendencies.
It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these beautiful dogs so you can adequately take care of them and raise them into the best they can be.
We’ve got some great tips and the 18 things you need to know as a first-time Pit-Bull owner to help you feel confident bringing home your new friend.
1. American Pit Bull Terrier
While there are many different types of Pit Bulls, the most common, and the one we are talking about, is the American Pit Bull Terrier. Both the American Dog Breeders Association and United Kennel Club have formally recognized this breed. It’s important to note that each breed of Pit Bull may have slightly different qualities and traits.
As a general guideline, a male Pit Bull, 18-21″ tall should weigh between 35lbs and 60lbs. A female, 17-20″ should weigh between 30lbs and 50lbs. Use this rule to identify if your dog is overweight or underweight.
Pit Bulls have got a bad reputation for being violent and ferocious, but this is not necessarily true. As with any dog, it comes down to the owners and their training. They are, by nature, very loyal with excellent temperament, making them great for families. On ATTS testing, Pit Bull is around 87.4%, which is a high rating.
They are incredibly strong dogs, and they must be properly socialized and trained from a young age. It will ensure their safety and the safety of others as they grow into a loveable adult Pit Bull.
4. Doesn’t Like Other Animals
Throughout history, Pit Bulls took part in dogfighting, and they’ve still got it in their genetics. Pit Bulls don’t tend to get along very well with other dogs and cats. You will need to take extra time to socialize your dog to ensure it doesn’t go around picking fights. That said, even once socialized, they may still snap back if provoked by another dog.
5. Not the Best Pick for a Guard Dog
While it would seem that their aggression would be beneficial as a guard dog, it’s the opposite. In general, most Pit Bulls love people, but it’s animals they have issues with. They’re more likely to make friends with an intruder then protect against them.
6. Specialized Diet
Each breed is unique and needs different nutrients to build a healthy body. As Pit Bulls are very muscly, they will need a high protein and high carb diet to keep them healthy. Look for food with 20% fat, 35% carbs, and 45% protein.
7. Health Problems
One of the most prevalent health issues in Pit Bulls is Hip Dysplasia. Hip Dysplasia is common in many large breeds and involves the hip joints failing to develop properly. It can lead to pain in the joints and develop into crippling over time.
It’s a genetic problem, and you can’t do much to repair it, but you can combat the symptoms and effects by supplementing with glucosamine. It will lubricate the joints and reduce pain in the joints.
Another common issue is Demodex mange. It’s a skin infection that is itchy and red, caused by a strain of mites. The mites on their own are harmless, but if your dog is malnourished, stressed, or has a low immune system, they will reproduce.
Demodex mange can range from slight hair loss to dramatic inflammation. The best way to combat this is to ensure your dog is receiving proper nutrition and kept calm and happy.
Read Our Review: Best Foods for Pitbulls
8. Vaccinations & Checkups
Since Pit Bulls are prone to parvovirus, they must always be up to date on their vaccines. If anything, more important, then other breeds. The first vaccine should be when they are 39 days old and given every two weeks until the age of 4 months.
Another vaccine should be given at eight months and then once a year after that. Always take your Pit Bull for regular vet checkups to ensure they are healthy and happy.
9. Going to the Bathroom
Pit Bulls can be on the stubborn side; therefore, it’s vital to toilet train them when they are puppies. Look for visual cues that they need to go to the bathroom, such as sniffing or looking around a lot. Even if they don’t, make sure to take them out a minimum of 5 times each day.
You’ll want to train them to go in the same spot each time, so take them to the same place and make them stay there until they go to the bathroom. If they do have an accident, don’t punish them or put their face it in, that will just make it worse.
The younger the dog, the easier it will be to socialize them. Since Pit Bulls are stubborn, it will take additional care to train them to interact with others, especially other dogs. The most crucial step is to train your dog to come when called.
That will ensure the dog will come back to you if an issue arises with another dog or person. Once done, you can begin introducing them slowly to other dogs but always make sure they are on a leash.
Pit Bulls need lots of exercises to maintain healthy body weight. As they are quite muscly, they can quickly become chubby and overweight. Weight-pulling is another excellent exercise to keep them in good shape.
12. Don’t Hit Your Dog
Regardless of what they do, never hit your dog. There is no positive gain from doing this.
13. Always Supervise and Secure Your Dog
Because of the nature of Pit Bulls, it’s important always to supervise them when they are playing with another dog. They can be triggered within a split second and end up fighting with the other dog. Since they are so strong, these fights can often end in injury.
If they are on their own, make sure they are in a secure area. Whether your dog is inside or outside, make sure they are in a safe space that is appropriately secured. Pit Bulls are very smart and can find ways out by digging or knocking things over.
Pit Bulls are powerful and do well in many dog sports. They enjoy agility courses, flyball, weight pulling, and lure courses. They also do well with obedience training competitions.
There are restrictions in many countries when it comes to Pit Bulls. Prepare yourself for ownership conditions and legal paperwork when you get a Pit Bull. Many countries will also require mandatory sterilization.
16. Neuter or Spay
It’s important to spay or neuter your Pit Bull as early as possible. They can tend to be much more aggressive when not neutered or spayed, and their temperament will but much milder afterward.
17. They Get Excited
Pit Bulls are very excitable and don’t always realize their strength. They can also get carried away, which could end in a fight with another dog. When out for walks, steer clear of other dogs that look excited or ready to play.
18. Beware of Extreme Temperatures
Pit Bulls don’t do well in extreme temperatures. They can quickly overheat or get hypothermia, so you want to ensure they are in an environment with controlled temperature and stay hydrated.