Heaven is by favor; if it were by merit your dog would go in and you would stay out. Of all the creatures ever made, man is the most detestable. Of the entire brood, he is the only one… that possesses malice. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. ~ Mark Twain
”Pit bull” is not a breed. It’s a generic term often used to describe all dogs with similar traits and characteristics known to the public as “pit bulls.” When we use the term “Pit Bull breeds” here, it should be understood to encompass American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
Pit bull breeds are wonderful, loving animals with a zest for life, an unmatched sense of loyalty and an uncanny ability to “tune in” to their owners wants or needs. Pit bull breeds have superior physical and mental characteristics that make them excellent partners for responsible, active, and caring owners. These same outstanding qualities can, however, make them a little difficult to handle, for people who don’t have a lot of experience with dog ownership or for those who don’t understand the breeds well.
Luckily, Pit Bull breeds are intelligent, very responsive to training, and, above all, eager to please. Therefore, Pit Bull breeds should be enrolled in obedience classes as soon as possible. If you are lucky enough to obtain an older dog, enroll them immediately into a group class for training and socialization.
Responsible Pit Bull breed owners always obedience train their dogs.
Pit Bull breeds are more susceptible to parvovirus, so it is important that they receive all their vaccinations before coming into contact with other dogs or entering areas of high canine traffic.
This makes private classes necessary, to obtain valuable early training for puppies. Good trainers realize that a puppy, that has not received it’s full series of shots, needs to be protected but, usually will provide a specialized, age appropriate private class. This will prevent the development of many bad habits such as pulling, jumping, and nipping. Do not allow your puppy to do anything you don’t want your adult dog to do (ie. climb on the couch, sleep in the bed, invade your lap, etc.) A well-behaved Pit Bull is the best ambassador for the breed. This is the easiest way to fight breed prejudice and misconception.
Pit bull breeds are quite resilient and can do well in an urban environment, provided they have enough exercise and other positive outlets for their energy. Many Pit Bulls are easygoing couch potatoes, but like all terriers, they can also be somewhat rambunctious until they mature. Most dog breeds do not reach full maturity before two years of age (in many cases three years) Pit Bull breeds remain playful throughout their lifespan (nine to fifteen years) and have a great sense of humor. True clowns at heart, these dogs will make you laugh like no other.
Pit bull breeds are energetic, agile, and strong. They are also very resourceful and driven. Determination is one of their most notable traits. They put their heart and soul into whatever they set out to do: whether it is escaping an inadequately fenced yard, to explore the neighborhood, destroying your new couch when left home alone, or climbing into your lap to shower you with kisses!
A tired dog is a well behaved dog, never under estimate the importance of daily exercise. But, do keep in mind walks and games of fetch are much more suitable ways to exercise these breeds, than a trip to the dog park.
Dog parks are breeding grounds for germs and are almost always full of unpredictable people and dogs. Responsible Pit Bull owners know Pit Bull breeds are far too classy for public playgrounds!
With any breed it is important to remember to exercise both the dog’s body and mind. Remember, a tired dog is a happy dog and a bored dog is not a good thing! Dogs will find some very inventive ways to entertain themselves that the owner may not like (often involving the garbage can, kitchen counter and cabinets, feather pillows, dirty laundry and various items of furniture).
Remember also, that Pit Bull breeds are enthusiastic breeds that may very well overwhelm young children or older people with their affection. All dogs need to be taught to sit and greet people calmly, rather than fly into folks from a full out run with sloppy kisses.
Misidentification is prevalent in the lives of dogs known as Pit Bulls. It is also the number one reason for the misconceptions and discrimination, that plaque these breeds.
Sensationalistic media reporting of “Pit Bull Attacks,” combined with the fact that there is no accurate data kept on dog bites, by breed in the U.S. has caused these dogs to become the most abused, most misunderstood, most often euthanized dog in our country. Below you will find a link to the AKC and UKC breed standards for the American Staffordshire Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The three breeds most commonly referred to as Pit Bulls.
We have also provided a list of other dogs commonly misidentified as Pit Bulls and a list of dog breeds, each widely accepted, each ancestors of the original Bull and Terrier. The dog of the 1800’s, bred to among other things, fight one another for human entertainment, and the dog believed to have begun the “Pit Bull” lineage.
We provide this information, in the hope of creating a better understanding of who and what these breeds are. We believe that through education, we can best serve these wonderful animals and stop the genocide that surrounds the nickname “Pit Bull.”
Piper with Darlamax, Chesapeake