Pitbull Dog Breed
Pitbull is the common name for a type of dog. Formal breeds often considered in North America to be of the pit bull type include the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The American Bulldog and the Bull Terrier (standard and miniature) are also sometimes included. Many of these breeds were originally developed as fighting dogs from cross breeding bull-baiting dogs (used to hold the faces and heads of larger animals such as bulls) and terriers. After the use of dogs in blood sports was banned, such dogs were used as catch dogs in the United States for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt and drive livestock, and as family companions, although some owners still bred and used them for illegal dog fighting. This practice continues to this day, but is illegal in many nations.
- Height: 18-24 inches
- Weight: 35-60 pounds
- Lifespan: 10-12 years
- Best suited for: Families with older children, active singles, houses with yards, guard duty
- Temperament: Loving, energetic, watchful, brave
- Comparable Breed: Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Many people believe that the Pitbull is a wonderful family companion while others believe that this hybrid needs to be banned from their communities and make its way into extinction. The truth is that some Pitbulls are absolutely reliable pets that are great with kids and love people. Unfortunately, others will readily attack people and pets and at some point, even harm or kill members of its own family.
Those who want to have a Pitbull as a member of their families must do their research. Buying a Pitbull on the corner or through the local classifieds ads is a risky situation. It is essential that the buyer talk to the breeder extensively about his experiences and hopes for this hybrid breed. They should ask about health clearances as well as meet both of the parents and any other relatives on the premises. Because of the bad breeders of “Pitbulls” or whatever it is that they are breeding and calling them Pitbulls, it is pertinent that the potential buyer be educated and be pro-active when thinking about bringing a Pitbull into his household. To learn more about Pitbulls, please read on.
Those who want to have a Pitbull as a member of their families must do their research.
Nobody really knows where the Pitbull began. This is because there is no stringent delineation as to which breeds are being used to develop it. People are breeding Pitbulls willy-nilly. In essence, they are taking anything that resembles a Pitbull and breeding it to another dog and calling it a Pitbull. Without dedicated breeders banding together and laying out a path as to the development of the Pitbull, no one can truly know its origin.
It would be wonderful if we could report that the Pitbull was developed as a result of breeding breed X to breed Y. Unfortunately, this is not the case. We know that the Cockapoo was developed by breeding a Cocker Spaniel to a Poodle but with Pitbulls, the mixes are unclear.
Pitbulls are generally considered to be puppies resulting from any breed bred to a Bull Terrier or Staffordshire Terrier. Yes, there are Pitbull breeders who will disagree but the vast majority of “Pitbulls” are simply a descendant of one of those purebred dogs.
The indiscriminate breeding of Pitbulls has caused major issues within U.S. cities. Many cities are trying to ban these dogs because of their aggressive behaviors. Proper breeders who care about the dogs will ensure that both of the parents have stable temperaments and also refuse to sell their dogs to people who plan to fight them, breed them or use them as guard dogs.
Because of his athleticism and size, the Pitbull requires a lot of food. It’s best to feed a high quality diet specifically formulated for active dogs. Dry kibble is essential as it prevents tooth decay, plaque buildup, premature tooth loss, gum disease and bad breath.
Pitbulls require assertive owners who are adamant of being the leaders in their households.
Pitbulls require assertive owners who are adamant of being the leaders in their households. Laid back owners who can’t be bothered to work with the dog in obedience training, should rethink their decisions to getting a Pitbull. Pitbulls want to be the dominant entity in the home and without a strong leader; the family and home will be in chaos and under the control of the dog.
All training should be done in a positive way. Harsh and physically abusive techniques will only cause the Pitbull to balk or protect himself. Indeed, dogs do have the same fight or flight instinct that humans have. Positive training techniques using praise and treats work best for Pitbulls.
There is a major dispute as to the proper weight for Pitbulls. The vast majority of breeders believe that Pitbulls should weigh between 35 and 60 pounds and stand from 18 to 24 inches tall at the withers.
Unfortunately, temperaments vary greatly among this hybrid breed. Some are sweet and loving while others are aggressive and problematic. The temperaments can be the result of upbringing but they dogs can also inherit certain tendencies from their parents. Until this hybrid has been completely developed and standardized, there is no safe way to say that these are safe dogs for families.
Common Health Problems
Because the Pitbull has a high tolerance for pain, he can be ill or hurt and the owner will never know about it, until it is too late. There are a number of issues within this hybrid breed including hip and elbow dysplasia, subaortic stenosis, cranial crutiate ligament rupture, cataracts, cutaneous hemangeoma, hypothyroidism, cutaneous histocytoma, allergies, Von Willebrand’s Disease and various cancers.
The average Pitbull lives to be between 10 and 12 years old.
Pitbulls are bundles of energy. They need loads of exercise to keep them healthy and happy. This hybrid dog will gladly go hiking in the mountains, running through the neighborhood or tearing through the yard chasing varmints. He is active and must have loads of exercise.
Not the best option for apartment dwellers, Pitbulls need to have a place to burn off their energy. Without proper exercise, the Pitbull can and will become destructive. Owners can come home from work to find furniture torn apart, holes chewed in walls and doors demolished. These are strong dogs and can really cause thousands of dollars in damage without proper exercise and stimulatin.
Some are sweet and loving while others are aggressive and problematic.
The American Kennel Club does not recognize the Pitbull as a breed. The registries that do recognize them are the American Pitbull Registry, Sporting Dog Registry, American Bully Registry, Worldwide Dog Registry, American Dog Breeders Association, American National Dog Registry and the Worldwide Dog Registry.
Pitbulls should have a shiny and glossy coat that lies flat against the body. The coat should be single and smooth, never fluffy or tufted. All colors are possible but most reputable breeders frown upon merles. Blue eyes are also unacceptable to those breeders who truly want to develop a stable and healthy breed.
Pitbull puppies are cute but they can be little monsters once they feel secure in their new homes. It’s best to crate train this hybrid as he will chew on anything he can sink his teeth into. A mere six-week-old puppy can chew the leg off of a table or chair inside of an hour. Pitbull puppies need constant supervision.
Early socialization with people and other animals is essential for this hybrid. The puppy should also begin Puppy Kindergarten classes as soon as he is vaccinated. The leadership role must be established early in life for the Pitbull and family to coexist happily and without problems.