The noble pit bull breed has had a bad rap. There are two schools of thought about these dogs. One, that the american bully is a very dangerous animal and should never be around children. Two, that this dog breed is a very loyal and faithful pit bull dog, loving of its family.
So, which is it? Should you have an american pit bull or no? It is a very difficult decision to make, and one which you should weigh carefully. However, there are ways to ensure that your “bully” will be a wonderful pitbull dog. The best of the breed is the black pitbull, or the black and white pitbull, since these dogs are purebred and will not have much of the fighting dog bloodlines from other mixed breed dogs in them. To help you make an important decision about getting a “bully”, the following is provided.
Why “American Pitbull”?
The reason why pitbulls are called pitbulls is that they were originally bred to fight in dog pits. The “bull” part is because these dogs have such thick skulls that they can ram heads and not really feel it. Later, the dogs were trained to herd large cattle, wherein their thick skulls protected their brains from getting trampled and crushed.
It is both their skulls and the fighting instincts that have garnered them a lot of negative attention. Because a vicious male pitbull will not shake its target loose even when clubbed with a bat, and its skull cannot be damaged enough during such an incident to let its target loose, there is always a concern for safety. Still, it is possible to train an american bully puppy to be the sweetest, gentlest dog breed in the world.
The Black Pitbull Puppy and the Black and White Pitbull Puppy
These are not really “types” or “breeds” of pitbull terrier so much as they are the purebred version of the pup coat colors. If you have a purebred pitbull, it is most likely black or black and white. If it is another color (e.g., tan, brown, chocolate, golden, bluenose pitbull, brindle pitbull etc.), it is possible that the pit bull puppy bloodlines were tainted in the past by other pitbull terrier or strong-jawed breeds. If your a pitbull lover and buy a pitbull, and it is black or black and white, be sure to get papers attesting to its bloodlines. You can also have a genetic test done on any pitbull puppy that appears to be black or black and white but you question its lineage.
At any rate, what you want is a black pitbull puppy. A full-grown dog should be well-trained, but only if it was properly trained by a licensed breeder. Starting with a black or black and white pittie puppy is your best option for raising a loving and well-behaved dog. There are plenty of pitbull breeders in the U.S., but be sure to check their license and ask to see their AKC or Kennel Club papers.
Training Is HUGE
Do these dogs still have a fighting instinct? What about a herding instinct? It would not be truthful to say that these instincts are completely gone from these dogs. However, these instincts can be trained in puppies to work for good. For example, a pittie puppy can be trained to “herd” small children in the family and keep the small children from getting too far away from adults. They can also be trained to save the children in the family if the children get too close to dangerous situations.
As for the fighting instinct, a well-trained pittie puppy is not likely to attack or hurt anyone unless a threat is perceived. A pittie that has been well-trained has been observed to be a very mild-mannered dog until its family is under attack, harmed, or the family home has been broken into by potentially dangerous individuals. Then the instinct to fight might be brought to the surface of the dog’s mental status, but only to protect his or her “pack.” Thankfully, such incidents are very rare unless you live in an area with high crime rates and the potential for such risks and dangers.
To begin the training, your pittie puppy should begin obedience lessons at about three months of age. Socialization of these puppies has to begin the moment they are born, or they may not grow attached, trusting or dependent upon humans no matter how genteel they seem. Handling your puppy often and playing with him/her for the first three months is crucial to establishing a loving bond and developing socially acceptable behavior in your dog.
Obedience classes for the next six months or so are key to having a very well-trained and well-behaved adult pitbull. If you are in control of your dog, and he or she is consistently obedient to you, there is little to worry about in terms of aggressive behavior. It is wise to continue training with other family members so that everyone old enough to issue commands is someone your dog recognizes and obeys. That way, regardless of who is in the yard playing with the dog or who takes the dog for a walk, the dog will listen.
Continued Socialization and Lots of Exercise
These dogs are wonderful dogs so long as they receive near-constant attention. They love to be around their humans and they love to play. This is NOT the type of dog you can put in the backyard all day or leave in an outdoor kennel and release when the mood suits you. Pitbulls quickly become de-socialized when placed in isolation situations, thereby destroying all training habits to make them loving pets.
If you get a black pittie or a black and white pittie, you have to spend a lot of time playing with him/her. Exercise is also crucial to the dog’s social and emotional well-being because they are naturally athletic dogs and need to constantly move. If you can’t be at home and with your dog for several hours a day, or have another family member spend a lot of time with the pittie at home, don’t get a pitbull. They need that constant interaction with you and that playful and athletic lifestyle to remain good pets.
Black Pitbulls, even these purebreds, suffer from common physical ailments. Those ailments include hip dysplasia, ear health, skin and coat problems, and dental issues. All of these are preventable with proper veterinary checkups and exams, canine dental care, and excellent food.
Food is key to preventing a lot of internal problems in your dog. Cardiac and arterial diseases are more common in pitbulls as they age, but these issues can be delayed if you are feeding your dog a raw diet. The raw diet focuses on delivering healthy meat-based nutrition to your black pitbull dog. In addition to meat, raw diets for dogs include some vegetables to aid in digestion and effective bowel movements. Naturalistic approaches to keeping your dog healthy will reduce the frequency with which you visit your vet for health complaints in your pittie.
Additionally, a healthy american bully puppy is a happy and content pittie. If your pup is getting the best food and the best nutrition, his physical, mental, and emotional states are in balance. Then your dog is more likely to obey his training and less likely to be of ill mood, ill mind, or ill body.
Grooming of a Pitbull
Part of the daily attention you give your pittie (and he/she LOVES this!) is grooming. Keeping nails trimmed and his/her coat brushed makes your dog feel loved. Everything a pitbull lover should do! A short bristle brush is all that is needed to brush your dog’s entire body and keep shed hair from accumulating on the furniture and in the carpeting. The brushing not only improves the dog’s mood and close bond with you but also improves the softness and shine of the dog’s coat.
Keeping his/her nails trimmed makes it easier for your very athletic pitbull to move without pain. Imagine if you had ten overly long toenails and had to run. It would be very painful, if not downright uncomfortable. Then you would be grouchy, growling, and unpleasant. The same holds true for the pitbull. Short nails prevent pain and no pain means you have a happier dog.
Pitbulls can develop depression and anxiety as a result of being left alone too long or not having enough interaction. A depressed pittie is not just sad, but crabby. Trying to get a pitbull to play after being left alone too long requires a lot of patience, since they tend to sulk rather than get up and play again. Anxiety arises too, showing up in undesirable behaviors like chewing and shredding of furniture, clothes and shoes or walls and fences.
The very best way to avoid a moody pittie is to never leave them entirely alone for several hours. Doggy daycares may not be inclined to take pitties because of the negative publicity these dogs have had, so you may need to find a private pet sitter who is willing to walk your dog and play with him/her if you can’t be home to do it yourself. Kenneling them for long hours doesn’t help with anxiety either, so leave that option out and try to get someone who is willing to care for your dog in your short or long absence.
Other Helpful Advice About These Beautiful Dogs
The pitbull is a mid- to large breed dog. Their wide-set eyes are very soulful, almost human at times. If you are an excellent human, they are excellent dogs. There are a few other issues that may arise from having a pittie though.
For one, most insurance companies will not insure homeowners who own a pitbull or pitbull mix. Other insurance companies may only insure homeowners with pitbulls at a much higher and costlier rate. It is rare, but there are a few insurance companies that will insure pitbull owners IF the owners can produce certificates testifying to the full, successful and accomplished obedience training of the dogs. Before you get a pitbull, you might want to check with your homeowner’s insurance policy to see whether or not incidents with your dog are covered.
Lastly, you may want to adopt a shelter pittie. That is particularly noble, but you have no idea what you are getting. These dogs in the shelters may be puppy mill dogs, unsocialized and a potential risk. A lot of the pitties in rescue may also be fighting dogs, which pose a higher risk. They are okay’ed for adoption because they seem docile and uninterested in fighting, but you never know. It is best to get a pittie puppy from a reputable breeder and train it up instead.
Is the brindle pitbull rare? Not as rare as you would think. A Brindle pitbull can either be an American Staffordshire Terrier or and American Pit bull terrier.