Pit Bulls are commonly thought of as one particular breed of dogs. However, Pit Bull is an umbrella term that covers a few breeds of dogs that share similar characteristics.
The definition of Pit Bull generally differs from area to area. In the United States, it refers to dogs from breeds such as American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and other cross breeds that possess similar characteristics.
In the United Kingdom, on the contrary, Pit Bull refers to the American Pit Bull Terrier breed. While the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is considered a Pit Bull in the United States and the United Kingdom, other countries treat it as a separate breed. Generally, Pit Bull mostly refers to the American Pit Bull terrier.
Pit Bulls have a rather contradictory reputation as pets. While many claim they make a great pet like other dog breeds, there have also been complaints of them being violent. They are generally great with both children and adults.
However, they have been occasionally known to become hyperactive and dangerous. So, if you decide to adopt a Pit Bull, it is necessary to have as much information as possible regarding Pit Bulls in detail. It is important to know how to take care of them so that unwelcomed attitudes can be prevented.
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Origin of Pit bull
Pit Bulls were bred from bulldogs for blood sports in the United Kingdom during the early 1800s. They were used in a sport called “Bull Baiting,” where these dogs would wear the bull out till it collapsed.
This was a source of entertainment for the common people back then. To improve the performance of the dogs in the games, people crossbred Bulldogs and Terriers. This is how the Pit Bull Terriers came to be.
Eventually, the British government passed an animal protection act, which ceased animal use for such barbaric sports.
Pit Bulls entered the United States during the civil war with British immigrants. In early America, the Pit Bull was used for multi-purpose. Starting from herding cattle to guarding families. They eventually became known as the American Pit Bull Terrier.
Characteristics of Pit Bull
Physical Attributes of Pit bull
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a large-sized dog breed, even though all Pit Bulls are generally considered to be medium-sized breeds. Since they were bred for fighting, they are strong and sturdy.
They pack more muscles per pound of their weight when compared to other dog breeds. Their neck and head muscles are particularly strong. Their weights lie between 30 to 80 pounds, at a height of 18 to 19 inches.
Pitbull dog has wide faces with small eyes and cropped or uncropped ears. Their flat heads are complemented by robust jaws. Their drooling levels are to a minimum. They have a short coating that is characteristically flat and can be of any color.
Their colors mostly depend on what kind of bulldogs and terriers have been crossbred. They have low shedding as well due to their short coatings.
Moreover, they usually have an average energy level with a low tendency to snore or bark. They also have a low tendency to dig. Their tails are short and thin. A Pit Bull usually lives for 12-14 years.
The personality of Pit bull dogs
Most Pit Bulls are actually quite friendly, even though it’s commonly believed otherwise. They are welcoming to both their families and strang
have a strong desire to please people as well. Due to their history of dog-fighting, they possess a few undesirable characteristics. However, these can be easily tamed with the correct level of grooming.
They have a tendency to bite whenever they are bored or unoccupied. Their history further makes them stubborn and tenacious. Hence, the adopter has to ensure that the tenacity is being channeled and displayed in the correct manner.
Even though they are stubborn, their courage and tenacity make them good guard dogs for your family. However, this is debatable since they are also known to be friendly towards strangers.
Taking Care of Your Pit Bull
Due to their nature, it is crucial to nurture your Pit Bull properly. Their underlying characteristic of aggressiveness may be avoided through proper upbringing. To begin with, it is important that your Pit Bull exercises an immense amount daily.
They should be walked at least twice a day. Exercise channels their energy in a good manner. It also keeps them occupied and entertained. If they are occupied, they are less likely to bite. Toys are also a good idea to keep your Pit Bulls busy. Moreover, it is important to ensure that they receive a healthy and balanced diet.
Since they pack a lot of muscles, it is important for them to have a balanced diet. It helps with the healthy development of their physique. Pit Bulls are sensitive when it comes to harsh weather. They cannot cope with the cold well. Hence, during winters, it may be suggested to cover them with waterproof coats when taking them out on walks.
Moreover, it is advisable that they are supervised when they are with children. Even though Pit Bulls are friendly towards children, it is better to keep them under supervision like with any other large dog.
Grooming Your Pit Bull
Pit Bulls have small and flat coats. Due to this, their shedding levels are also low. Hence, they do not require a lot of effort when it comes to grooming.
It is still advisable, however, to brush them on a regular basis to keep their coats nice and shiny. Feeding your Pit Bulls foods that contain antioxidants also contribute to a healthier and shinier coat. It also helps their nails. Their nails should be trimmed often to prevent painful encounters.
Moreover, they should be bathed once a month, and more often if they are prone to getting dirty. If they don’t get dirty too often, they may be bathed once every few months.
A Pit Bull’s teeth should be brushed at least twice a week to avoid dental problems.
Their ears should also be cleaned weekly. You should also check their ears for redness and bad odor. This can be an indication of infection.
In addition, their eyes and skin should also be checked for any signs of health conditions regularly.
How To Train Your Pit Bull
Since Pit Bulls are very eager to please their masters, they are quite easy to train. It is often advised to train them on a reward-based system. This enables you to show disapproval by simply removing rewards when they misbehave.
It helps bring their behavior under control. It is also important to give them consistent reinforcements so they can learn what is right and what is wrong successfully. Moreover, since Pit Bulls are fun-loving dogs.
it is important to keep a positive attitude towards them while training. Your positivity is likely to motivate them as well. You have to be dominant so that they respect you and obey your orders, in addition to being loving and kind. While they seem to be strong and sturdy on the outside, they are actually adorable little dogs on the inside who crave love just like other pet dogs.
Neglecting them is a no-no since Pit Bulls are known to be bad with separation. They do not cope well with being alone.
Toys are also helpful when training Pit Bull puppies. They can keep them occupied as well as serve as teaching props.
You should also make your Pit Bull used to walking with a leash around its neck. Dog collars are a good way to get them started. Pit Bulls also have to be trained to not see cats and other small animals as prey. This is very important as otherwise, they may end up wreaking havoc in the future when they see such animals. It may also prevent you from getting other pet animals.
To train a Pit Bull, it is crucial that you have patience. It will take some time. However, once they have been trained correctly, they are unlikely to show any hostile behavior. The bad reputation that this breed gets is just a result of poor training. So, it is your job to train your Pit Bull properly.
Feeding your Pit bull dog
When deciding on food for any pet, it is important to know their requirements first. It is important that you feed your Pit Bull dog food and not people’s food, that is appropriate for their age. In broader terms, it is important for your Pit Bull to have a balanced diet to support their healthy growth and development. This diet should consist of high-quality meals to support their heavy muscular build.
The meals should be protein-packed to support their muscles. There should also be enough carbs to support a Pit Bull’s energy levels. The foods should also contain fatty acids and antioxidants for support. The recipes should not consist of any added preservatives, colors, or smells.
In addition, it is preferred if the recipe you choose is grain-free to avoid allergy problems. Since Pit Bulls usually have sensitive stomachs, it is better to avoid allergy-prone ingredients. Due to their sensitive stomachs, it is also suggested that you pick the recipes carefully. Any kind of rashes, irritation, or upset stomach should be a sign for you to change dog food brands.
Pit Bulls usually require 2-3 meals a day, with the final intake totaling 1500 calories for adults and 1000 calories for puppies. They can be given treats in between meals. You should ensure that these treats do not take up a great proportion of your Pit Bull’s total intake.
Here are a few suggested brands for Pit Bull:
-Bully Max High Performance for Pit Bulls
-Crave Premium Adult Chicken
-Taste of the Wild Wetlands Dry Dog Food
Potential Health Conditions and Risks of Pit bull
Sensitivity to heat and cold
The Pit Bull breed is sensitive to both the heat and the cold due to their thin coats. Hence, they require support during harsh weather.
Pit Bulls are more prone to hip dysplasia than other breeds. Hip dysplasia is when their hip joints do not form properly. This leads to Arthritis. This immense discomfort can be treated and so, it is important to identify it as soon as possible.
This is an unpleasant skin condition that can often be found in Pit Bulls. This causes their epidermides to become dry, flaky, and itchy.
This is a condition where the quantity of microscopic mites that live in your Pit Bull’s hair follicles is excessive.
The Pit Bull breed is often susceptible to heart disease and conditions, especially Aortic Stenosis.
Pit Bulls are sensitive creatures that are prone to allergies. Skin allergies are the most common and can be caused by environmental allergens.
Pit Bulls are susceptible to a condition called Hypothyroidism. In this condition, your dog fails to produce sufficient thyroid hormones. It can be treated with pills after diagnosis.
Kneecap dislocation is also quite common amongst the Pit Bull breed. In this case, the kneecap moves out of its original position, causing your Pit Bull to struggle while walking. A mild condition may be fixed with medication. However, a severe condition would require your dog to get surgery.
If their diets aren’t properly balanced, Pit Bulls can become victims of obesity.
The American Pit Bull Terrier also has an inclination towards nerve disease. The problem generally starts when they are puppies. This condition causes dogs to lose their sense of space and distance.
Loss of vision
The Pit Bull breed is also more likely to lose its vision than other breeds. This is usually due to genetic reasons. There is no cure for this condition.
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