The media often condemn pit bulls for being vicious and aggressive, although the numbers beg to differ. Considered one of the most misunderstood pets in the US, the pit bull is a kind of dog stuck in the middle of a debate between those who say they should be banned, and those who defend their pets and know them better than anyone.
If you are on the fence and you don’t know who to believe, here are some facts about pit bulls you should know.
- They are a symbol of the US, but they came from England
- They love people
- Their natural determination can be used for good or bad
- Their jaws don’t actually ‘lock’
- You can’t use a pit bull as a guard dog
- Pit bulls need strong leaders as owners
- They are uncomfortable wearing heavy chains
- Use verbal reprimands, not corporal punishment with your pit bull
- They get quickly used to pulling
- Puppies are hungry, so be ready for this
- Pay attention to the tail wagging
They are a symbol of the US, but they came from England
Pit bulls were first brought to the US from England, where they were trained to fight or were involved in a cruel form of so-called entertainment called ‘bear baiting’. That was happening at the beginning of the 20th century. A lot has changed since then. During the world wars, pit bulls were a symbol of the US Army, symbolizing the strength, tenacity, and bravery of the people fighting on the front.
They love people
It is such a common thing to say that pit bulls are aggressive. But they are actually loyal, and they love people. A pit bull is the kind of dog that will come to sit next to you on the couch, cuddle with you, and stay somewhere close, to be in the vicinity of people.
For this reason, they are also good around kids. They can even be considered nanny dogs because they have a natural affection toward any humans, especially the tiny ones.
Their natural determination can be used for good or bad
If there are mean and vicious pit bulls out there, it is all because of the training they received. Their tenacity is legendary, but that can be manipulated for the wrong gains. If you harness this trait of pit bulls, you can teach them tricks!
However, those who are trained to fight in a ring have their human owners to blame for their behavior. Their tenacity makes them excellent fighters, just as it would make them the most interesting breed to train to perform tricks.
Their jaws don’t actually ‘lock’
There is quite a legend going around about the pit bull’s bite. But there is no such thing as a locking mechanism that makes a pit bull incapable of letting go of something he or she bit on. It is their natural determination that causes that, and not some internal mechanism invented by hysterical media.
Actually, if you were to compare pit bulls to the German shepherd and Rottweiler breeds, they might be inferior concerning how strong their bite is. That is just to give you the right information on the matter.
You can’t use a pit bull as a guard dog
If pit bulls are as aggressive toward people as some might make you believe, they should be excellent guard dogs. No one should dare to trespass if you have such a beast ready to protect your home, right?
The truth is nothing could be more remote from what can happen if you leave a pit bull in charge of your home protection. Any burglar knows that the best tool they can bring with them is some toys for pitbulls and just fool your so-called guardian into letting him pass and rob your home to his heart’s content.
That happens because pit bulls simply love humans too much. They cannot see a burglar or someone with evil intentions for who he is. This is the reason why no one recommends to get a pit bull as a guard dog.
Pit bulls need strong leaders as owners
Another thing anyone should know is that not everyone can be a good owner for a pit bull. Because of the strong personality of this dog, you need to be a strong leader yourself. If you have never owned a dog, a pit bull should not be your first choice.
Pit bulls respond well to authority and strong leadership. They are also very active, both physically and mentally, which is why you should be the same. If you don’t think you have these traits, it is better to think of another breed for your next dog.
They are uncomfortable wearing heavy chains
One mistake that some pit bull owners make is that they believe that making their pit bulls wear heavy chains will make them look tough. Actually, pit bulls are quite uncomfortable with such items as the chains chafe their necks.
Use verbal reprimands, not corporal punishment with your pit bull
Pit bulls respond well to training, but you should never hit yours while trying to instill discipline. Verbal reprimands and constant training are much better, and they will get you the desired results.
They get quickly used to pulling
When you walk your pit bull, make sure that you don’t let him or her pull. That is something that pit bulls like doing, and, if you don’t step up, they just believe that they are allowed to do it, and they will just do it even more.
Puppies are hungry, so be ready for this
While most breeds need to be fed only a certain amount of food, even when they are during their most demanding development stages, pit bull pups should be allowed to eat as needed. Pit bulls are very muscular and very active, and that kind of physical constitution requires a lot of fuel to burn. So don’t hesitate to feed your pup as much as he or she needs.
Pay attention to the tail wagging
You may think that a wagging tail is a sign of happiness, but for a pit bull, it is a sign of excitement. The more excitement your dog feels, the more likely he or she is about to get into a fight. Pull the leash and reinforce the training carried on at home to prevent incidents.