The American Pit Bull Terrier was first bred to help with farm work, although unfortunately, and especially in America, they were soon forced to participate in blood sports and dog fighting. They are tenacious dogs, and although there are stronger breeds, they have plenty. Despite the image American Pit Bull Terriers have been trusted companions and companion dogs to many babysitters, the problem has been that many owners have encouraged and provoked aggressive behavior. In this article, we want to talk about this breed that is so controversial for many, but that, for us, is one of the sweetest and most intelligent that we can find.
Physical traits of the American Pitbull Terrier
The American Pitbull Terrier measures 35 to 60 cm at the withers and weighs around 20 to 35 kg: they are strong, agile and intelligent dogs. Many people confuse them with American Staffordshire Terriers due to their similar appearance.
American Pit Bull Terriers have a broad head with pinkish, medium-pointed or droopy ears that are medium in size. A few years ago it was common to see them with their ears cut off, but fortunately this cruel practice is now prohibited in many countries. Their eyes are very expressive and communicative, and can be round or almond-shaped. His general build is athletic, muscular and slightly elongated. His tail is not too long and rather thin.
American Pit Bull Terrier Character
People who live with American Pitbull Terriers always praise them and describe them as enthusiastic, vital and fun-loving. And they are just like that! They are protective and stubborn, but they are agile in learning basic commands that will make them adapt to changes quite easily.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is an excellent dog for people who can spend time with their pets and have plenty of love to give them. They are kind, loving and willing to please as they enjoy feeling useful and performing tasks. Although it may seem hard to believe for many, American Pit Bull Terriers are not exactly good guard dogs, as they tend to be too friendly with strangers.
They are known to be very smart, which is why many owners train them for dog sports like Canicross or Agility: they are very good at playing and learning new skills.
Common health problems of the American Pit Bull Terrier
They are generally healthy dogs, although their skin is quite sensitive. You can prevent related problems by offering your American Pitbull Terrier a soft and comfortable bed, as well as pipettes and collars to protect it against external parasites.
Coexistence with an American Pitbull Terrier
Despite what many people think, American Pit Bull Terriers are excellent with children as they are patient and tolerant and don’t mind being hugged and played with. They have high energy levels, which often suits children and allows them to have a great relationship.
Due to their great strength, it is very important to educate and socialize them properly from puppies. And their good coexistence depends on it, especially if you have other pets. American Pitbull Terrier dogs need to learn how to relate to other animals, including dogs and smaller animals, for this relationship to be healthy and equitable.
Caring for an American Pitbull Terrier
The American Pitbull Terrier does not need complex care: it will suffice to brush your dog a couple of times a week (more during the shedding period) and clean off the grime and dirt. They don’t need to be bathed unless they’re dirty, and if you do bathe your dog, you shouldn’t do it more than once a month (unless it’s necessary).
They are active dogs that need to be walked at least 45 minutes twice a day. Combining walking with exercise is a great way to strengthen your muscles and get them to relax when you get home.
Training an American Pitbull Terrier
American Pit Bull Terriers are intelligent dogs that will soon get what you ask of them. You must establish rules with the whole family, and try to comply with them: it will be useless to prohibit a behavior if another member of the family allows it later, since it would only confuse and stress the animal.
You can reward positive behaviors, and you should never allow your dog to act aggressive or threatening. American Pitbull Terriers are strong dogs that require a firm person to guide them, but avoiding punishment and scolding.
As we have mentioned, it is easier to socialize correctly when the dog is a puppy. If you prefer, you can adopt an adult American Pitbull Terrier and modify incorrect behaviors little by little, but always keep in mind that the adaptation process will be long and you may need professional support.
Curiosities and other information about the American Pitbull Terrier
The constant discrimination of the American Pitbull Terrier has led to the condemnation, by certain local and national authorities, of the following matters:
- Australia bans the importation of pit bulls and enforces the neutering of any existing pit bulls in the country as a way to slowly eliminate pit bull overpopulation.
- In Malta it is illegal to own a Pitbull. What you read! If a person is arrested with one in his possession, he will be prosecuted and the dog may be euthanized.
- In Spain, the American Pitbull Terrier is no longer a potentially dangerous dog.
- There are associations around the world that act as defenders of these dogs. It is important to know that, like many other breeds, they are not a dangerous breed if they are well socialized, trained and cared for. It is the irresponsible possession of animals that generates problems, since they are large and have a strong bite.
Do you know more particular characteristics about the American Pitbull Terrier? Have you had or do you have an American Pitbull Terrier? Tell us everything in comments! And also, do not forget to bring your furry friend to our consultation so that we can monitor and improve his health at any stage of his life.