27 Things Every Pit Bull Owner Should Know

1) American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull Terrier generally weighs 40-65 pounds. Most of the information in this article is about American Pit Bull Terriers (ABPTs).

2) American Bully

Just for comparison’s sake, the American Bully is a bigger dog, weighing 70-100 pounds. Their size and height depends a lot on their breeding.

3) They’re Well-Tempered

Pit bulls score high in tests of temperament. In tests performed by the American Temperament Testing Society (ATTS), American Pit Bulls have an average grade of 86.8%.

4) Coat & Nose Color

You cannot use coat color to identify your breed. Different coat colors or nose colors do not mean that one dog is more rare or healthy than another; that’s just their color.

5) They’re Fighting Dogs

American Pit Bull Terriers were bred to be fighting dogs. It’s not uncommon for even well-socialized pit bulls to act aggressively toward other dogs.

6) Pit Bulls Love People

Pit bulls are NOT naturally aggressive toward people unless they feel threatened or they were poorly socialized. 

7) Most Pit Bulls are not good guard dogs

Because the majority of Pit Bulls are fond of people, most of them do NOT make good guard dogs. Without proper protection training, they are more likely to lick an intruder than attack them. If you want your Pit Bull to become a guard dog, it will take countless hours of protection training. If you want a natural guard dog, you need a different breed.

8) Not every Pit Bull Should be bred

If your Pit Bull’s bloodline doesn’t consists of champions, it’s best to let reputable breeders do the breeding. This is important because American Pit Bull Terriers are over-bred, which means that thousands of them end up in the pound.

9) Pit Bulls Are Persecuted

Because of their fighting heritage, Pit Bulls often get a bad rap and are persecuted by the media whenever there is a dog fight. For this reason it’s highly important to make your dog a positive role model to change this public (mis)perception.

10) Avoid Putting Chains On Your Dog

Some people like to put heavy chains on their dogs because they think it looks tough. But the truth is, this is hard on your dog and can rub their necks raw.

11) Pit Bulls Need to Exercise

While some dogs may be content with sitting around the house, Pit bulls need exercised daily in order to stay balanced and happy. Daily walks (or runs) are recommended. Setting up a spring pole or using a flirt pole are both great ways to exercise your dog as well.

12) Pit Bulls Need Socialization

American Pit Bull Terriers need a lot of socialization and love being around people. If you leave your dog at home while you work, think about hiring a dog walker to take your dog out once a day.

13) All Pit Bull Owners Should Own a Break Stick

As a pit bull owner, you should own a break stick to help you break up any dogfights that occur. Just insert the stick behind the dog’s back teeth and twist to pry their mouth open.

14) Use a Reputable Breeder

Reputable breeders will have their dogs registered and will have the proper papers for all of their dogs. Their dogs will also be tested for health & temperament before making any sale. Additionally, they WILL be concerned about who is adopting their dogs—and they will ask for references to make sure that you will be a good owner.

15) Avoid “Backyard Breeders”

Backyard breeders tend to be inexperienced and do not evaluate the health of their dogs. Their dogs do not meet the breed standard and are not considered show quality. These people will not be associated with a kennel and may not even have papers. Any dog you get from a backyard breeder is liable to be less healthy and suitable than it should be.

16) Never Hit Your Pit Bull

Verbal reprimands are all that should be necessary to discipline your dog. If you find yourself wanting to hit your dog, two things you might need are:

  • Obedience lessons
  • Anger management classes

17) Don’t Let Your Dog Pull

If you let your dog pull you while you walk, then you are rewarding the dog for pulling. Train your dog to walk properly and you will make a better impression on everyone you meet.

18) How to Trace Your Dog’s Bloodline

Many people think you can trace your dog’s bloodline by the dog’s appearance—but this is not true. The only way to track down your dog’s lineage is by using a reputable registry like the UKC or the ABDA. (In order to do this, your dog needs to have been born with papers.)

19) Be a Proud Owner!

Pit Bulls are a proud, loyal, loving breed of dog. No matter what they say in the press and the papers, you should be proud to own this amazing breed!

20) Pit Bull Pups

Don’t separate a pit bull pup from its mother until at least 6-8 weeks. The mother’s milk is the healthiest thing in the world for the developing Pit Bull, and it should feed on that milk for at least 6-8 weeks to grow up as strong & healthy as it can.

21) Puppy Hunger

While your dog is a puppy, you should feed it as much food as it can get. This is an important stage of development and your dog needs all the nutrition it can get. (You can always taper back the food later on.)

22) Take Your Dog to the Vet

This should go without saying, but many people still don’t do it—and it’s so important. Vets may be able to point out signs of things going on in your dog before it’s too late. To reduce your vet bill, you can give your dog ivermectin instead of heartgard. This one easy switch will save you nearly $100.00 every year.

23) Have a Behavior Issue?

If your pit bull is having a behavior issue, look for a dog trainer who is Animal Behavior Certified. Most behavior issues are due to lack of exercise. Two great exercises you can do with your dog are the flirt pole and the spring pole

24) Secure Your Fences

If you’re fencing your dog in the back yard, make sure it’s buried sufficiently deep in the ground. This is a powerful breed that could knock over a shallow fence.

At the same time, make sure the fence is tall enough that your dog can’t jump over it. (Dogs can strangle themselves if they try to jump a fence with a leash on.)

25) They’re Heat-Sensitive

American Pit Bull Terriers are short-haired dogs, which means they are prone to both overheating and hypothermia. So if you keep your dog outside make sure they have everything they need to stay both cool and warm like shade, blankets, and plenty of water.

26) Don’t Walk Your Pit Bull Off-Leash

No matter how well trained your dog is, you never know what happens if you meet another dog (particularly an aggressive one that isn’t trained). Always walk your dog on a leash.

27) Tail Wagging ≠ Happiness

Just because your dog is wagging his tail, that does NOT mean that he’s happy. Tail-wagging means your dog is excited, and the more excited a pit bull is, the more likely a fight is to break out. So if you’re out on a walk, you should probably steer clear of stranger dogs wagging their tails.

  • Have a tip of your own? Leave a comment! We would love to hear it!

  • GOROGORO

    ”11) Pit Bulls & Dog Parks Don’t Mix

    Pit
    bulls tend to be aggressive toward other dogs, so keep them away from
    dog parks. Anytime a pit bull is around other unleashed dogs, it’s a
    recipe for trouble.” – ONLY AN IDIOT CAN WRITE THIS CRAP. BESIDE THE FACT THAT IT IS !UNTRUE!
    , DOING THIS WILL CAUSE LACK OF SOCIALISATION ETC ETC.

  • Jashan Bhangu

    Isn’t Pitbull a good guard dog??

    • Jashan Bhangu

      is boxer dog good as a guard dog

      • Some of the best “Natural” guard dogs include the Italian mastiff, belgian malinois, german shepherd, doberman pinscher, rottweiler, and the giant schnauzer.

  • Jose

    my Pitbull doesn’t like anyone but family in the home all day she guards my kids. She lets nobody around them ,
    no training required

  • Madeleine

    Very good and accurate points. My rescue boy always barks aggressively at the door bell, but the minute the “stranger” opens the door he’s going happy go lucky pet me..
    He is constantly seeking human attention but unfortunately not from other dogs.