Pit Bulls as Pets

Pit Bulls as a breed of dog are energetic, highly trainable, and friendly.  They can make great family pets.  As they are so friendly and were not originally bred to guard, they tend to be horrible watch dogs.  Their look and their breed are typically the only guard dog qualities they possess.

Pit Bulls tend to be tenacious and energetic. They can play for hours on end. They are not good lap dogs nor are they good dogs for couch potatoes. They need lots of mental and physical stimulation. They are probably a little hard to handle for first time dog owners, though.

Pit Bulls can be great with children. One characteristic of a Pit Bull is that they are bred to withstand pain. Therefore, they tend to be able to endure the antics of young children. They also can tolerate having their feet and tails stepped on. 

Pit Bulls need lots of supervision as pets. They are powerful and resourceful. Whatever they set out to do, they put their heart and soul into it. But, this can include escaping from a fence or otherwise getting themselves into mischief. 

One common misconception of Pit Bulls is that once they become aggressive with another animal, they will become aggressive with people.   Pit Bulls were originally bred to fight dogs, so dog aggression is common.  They are terriers, so high prey drives are common.  Human aggression is not common in this breed of dogs.  In most cases of Pit Bulls attacking humans, the dog has either been trained to be aggressive towards people, was abused, or was seriously deprived of socialization towards people as a puppy.

Lilian Akin, CPDT

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