Critter Culture
Want To Be a Pit Bull Owner? 10 Things To Know

Want To Be a Pit Bull Owner? 10 Things To Know

Critter Culture Staff



Pit bulls have a bad reputation to the point where, in some states and municipalities, they've been completely banned. They're frequently looked down on by communities and owners of other dog breeds. While it's unfortunate that pitties don't get the love, the breed—or, more specifically, its carers—has earned its reputation through frequent attacks on humans and other dogs.

To make matters worse, pit bull owners often make excuses for their pets, blaming other dogs and other dog owners when their pets attack or even resorting to denying their pit bull is a pit bull altogether.

While pit bulls can be friendly, loving family members, owners must keep their guard up when inviting one into their home. Even with training, the breed does seem to be more likely to turn on children, owners, and other pets with little warning.


Owning a pit bull can be emotionally taxing

American Staffordshire Terrier Pete Bull and his owner are walking around the city. Milan Markovic/ Getty Images

Owning a pit bull comes with a certain stigma and, in some cases, judgment from neighbors, friends, and other pet owners. Owners are often found employing tactics to mitigate this stigma, such as denying that their dog is a pit bull, stating false facts to deny the breed's aggression, and becoming ambassadors for pit bulls.


Pit bulls are often bred for violence

Portrait of purebred pit bull terrier standing in forest ingridkirchmaierova / 500px/ Getty Images

Pit bulls are often bred for dog fighting, protection, intimidation, and other forms of violence. One study indicated that criminals are more likely to own vicious dog breeds, and in many cases, the dogs are forced into criminal activity. Unfortunately, these owners are also less responsible than other pet owners, which means the dogs often lack adequate training and care, and this just enhances their poor reputation.


Many organizations use other names to disguise pit bulls

American Staffordshire terriers hamikus/ Getty Images

In many cases, pit bull owners and organizations such as the American Kennel Club have renamed the pit bull breed to protect its reputation. In 1936, the American Kennel Club formally recognized the pit bull under the name Staffordshire terrier, which later became the American Staffordshire terrier. Later in 1994, the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals named the breed the St. Francis terrier.


Pit bulls aren't predictable

Staffordshire bull terrier dog standing in a garden looking at the camera next to a bull dog figurine. CBCK-Christine/ Getty Images

Even if you own a pit bull that's shown love and affection toward you and your family members, you should always keep a watchful eye on them, especially around children and other animals. Pit bulls are unpredictable pets that can turn quickly, especially if they've been abused or trained to fight by a previous owner.


Pit bulls may not qualify as service dogs

Portrait of a pitbull on walk on a hiking trail with its owner on a mountain. Marco VDM/ Getty Images

Pit bull owners have taken advantage of the American Disabilities Act in the past, claiming that their pit bulls are service dogs, so they can bring them aboard airplanes and to other public places (this is not limited to pit bulls, however). This has led to overstimulated pitties attacking airline passengers. As a result, some airlines have opted to ban the breed, even if it does have service or support dog status.


Pit bulls can't always be rescued

Scary pitbull with big fangs; a rabid dog behind the metal fence Wirestock/ Getty Images

Many pit bull owners pride themselves on their ability to rescue and tame vicious pit bulls who've been treated poorly. Before attempting to rescue a dog with a negative history, remember that some dogs can't be retrained. Instances in which a pit bull rescuer has been attacked or even killed by their rescue dog aren't common, but they do exist.


Lots of exercise is vital, not just a nice-to-have

Man and his dog in their daily routine Pekic/ Getty Images

Pit bulls are an active breed that requires strenuous exercise every day. Owners that don't keep their pit bulls engaged are more likely to be met with aggression and destructive behavior from their dog. It's best to take the dog for walks or runs at least two times daily.


Negative pit bull behavior is genetic

Two dogs are playing in nature Pit bull and staff ira bezugla / 500px/ Getty Images

While many pit bull owners may have you believe that the breed only has a bad reputation because of owners that mistreat the dogs, it's important to know that vicious and aggressive behavior is a genetic trait. While not every pit bull will turn on its owner or another human, bad behavior is engrained in their DNA and will always be a possibility.


Pit bulls are not a loyal breed

portrait of happy man in red hat and sunglasses with american terrier in dogs walking area park in sity IURII KRASILNIKOV/ Getty Images

Another common misconception that pit bull owners would have you believe is that they're loyal to their owners. While the pit bull can be a loyal, loving dog, the breed turning on its family members or fellow household pets isn't unheard of. The best way to prevent this is through frequent socialization.


Pit bulls must be leashed in public

Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog lying on his side on grass smiling, looking at the camera taken at ground level. He is looking at the camera. CBCK-Christine/ Getty Images

Even a pit bull that's proven trustworthy and kind should always be leashed in public places. Although many pit bull owners have been known to blame environmental factors or other animals for their dog's attacks, the pit bull's aggressive nature is the likely cause for most of these incidents. By keeping the dog on a leash, most attacks and injuries can be prevented.



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