Pitbulls are dogs that seem to be highly misunderstood. Some people have the perception that these dogs are exceedingly dangerous, while others say that this breed is anything but hostile. There are many conflicting opinions regarding Pitbulls, and it is time to clear up some of the misconceptions and tell the truth about this amazing breed.
Pitbull is a term that refers to a group of dog breeds with similar attributes and characteristics. These dogs are powerful, patient, loyal, friendly, and can be well-trained with diligence and consistency. Pitbulls are great for families and do not deserve the negative reputation.
There is a lot to learn about Pitbulls, including how to take care of them, train them well, their behavior, and what it is like to live with these dogs. Is a Pitbull the right choice for your lifestyle? What do you need to know about these dogs before getting one? Are Pitbulls as dangerous as they say? Let’s find out!
The term ‘Pitbull’ is highly misunderstood by many, and dogs are given this label are often misunderstood themselves. Let’s take the time to fully explain the term ‘Pitbull’ and identify the dogs given this name to better understand them moving forward.
The name Pitbull is not as straightforward as most people believe. This name is not given to one breed, but it is rather used to refer to a group of dog breeds with very similar characteristics or attributes.
Pitbull refers to a group of dog breeds, including American Pitbull Terriers, American Bulldogs, American Bullys, American Staffordshire Terriers (American Staffys or Am-Staffs), and American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and other dogs that bear similar square heads and stocky, muscular builds.
The confusion between these breeds lies in their similar sizes, appearances, attributes, and even temperaments. These dog breeds are all a result of crossbreeding bull-breeds and terrier-breeds.
The source of the Pitbull breeds is a crossbreed of the Old English Terrier and the Old English Bulldog, both of which are now extinct.
Pitbulls were originally bred for various purposes, including hunting, dog fighting, working, and even defense.
The desirable characteristics of these dogs that were bred into them, including aggression and defensiveness, as well as strength, stamina, jaw strength, toughness, loyalty, dedication, and athleticism, have resulted in a collection of breeds that require specific training and care, as with mistreatment these dogs can become difficult to control.
With that being said, these dogs are all well-known for having generally gentle temperaments and are easy to look after if they are treated well and consistently trained.
As with any powerful dog breed, they must be treated accordingly and trained and handled to promote obedience and consistent behavior, but Pitbull breeds require some extra attention to maintain this.
Now that we have defined Pitbulls and we understand these dogs on a deeper level let’s get into some of the details of owning and training these animals to determine whether or not these dogs are as dangerous as they say they are and to find out if these dogs are an ideal fit for you.
Are Pitbulls Hard To Train?
We have established that Pitbull breeds are highly athletic, and they can be difficult if mistreated, but what are these dogs like to train, and are they difficult to keep under control?
The truth is that despite the reputation that Pitbull breeds have been given, they are remarkably easy to train. The keys to training these breeds are consistency, dedication, and positive reinforcement.
Pitbull breeds do not respond well to negative reinforcement, but they are very receptive to praise and positive reinforcement. Pitbull breeds are very intelligent dogs, and they are eager to please their owners, making them easy to train with this type of training technique.
If training is started early enough, these dogs will learn good behavior very quickly, and if they are consistently taught, their intelligence and eagerness will keep these dogs in their good ways for the rest of their lives.
Some specific breeds may require more dedicated training and more stern techniques, but every Pitbull breed is trainable, and their training is easy to maintain with consistency.
Just be sure to provide lots of good attention and affection to a Pitbull that you are training, and they will be receptive to your training without hesitation.
Are Pitbulls High Maintenance?
Pitbull breeds are known for their toughness and intensity, but they are also great big softies. These dogs are high maintenance, but not in the way you may be thinking.
This type of dog is not high maintenance because they are difficult to care for, but they are high maintenance because they require a high level of attention and affection. Neglecting a dog like this may result in adverse behavior. Thus they do best in caring environments and are better for those seeking a companion dog rather than having a dog for protection.
Pitbull breeds have short hair and require no grooming, but they do shed and can be quite messy; while they do not need to be brushed daily as other breeds do, they can make a mess and need to be cleaned up after regularly.
Those who own these dog breeds report that their beds and sleeping areas get dirty very quickly, as these dogs enjoy the outdoors and tend to run, roll, and bound through dirt, sand, mud, and soil, which means their sleeping quarters can get dirty very quickly.
These dogs are known to be diggers and jumpers, which provides a unique set of challenges to Pitbull breed owners, but if you keep these dogs entertained and well-exercised, these types of issues should not be too troublesome, as Pitbulls that dig or escape are simply looking for something to do.
Feeding these dogs is not too challenging either; they require a well-balanced diet due to their athleticism and muscularity, but they are not particularly difficult to feed either. Take the time to find a diet that works for you to prepare with a high level of protein and vitamins, and these dogs will be happy with what they get.
Pitbull breeds need some cleaning, but they are not difficult dogs to take care of if you can handle an active breed.
Pitbull dog breeds have a reputation for aggression, but the truth is that these dogs are not any more aggressive than other bull or terrier breeds. The only difference is that Pitbull breeds are typically stronger than other breeds, making them more intimidating.
However, most of the aggression that people experience with these breeds is due to a lack of training and proper care. No one ever hears of a Pitbull that has been treated well and well-trained acting out or actively harming people.
The natural Pitbull temperament is a dog that is intelligent, friendly, affectionate, and gentle. These dogs are courageous and obedient, they can be stubborn and very strong-willed, but they are also known to be clownish, playful, and exceedingly loyal.
These dogs are not innately hostile, but they can become aggressive if mistreated, neglected, or abused.
Pitbull breeds are powerful, especially the larger breeds such as American Bulldogs, making them seem intimidating. Still, the truth is that with proper care, these animals are not likely to be aggressive toward anyone that they know well.
These dogs can be very protective, and some of these breeds were bred intentionally for defense, which means that they can be aggressive towards intruders and people that they do not recognize, but these breeds can be trained to be more accepting of strangers.
Do Pitbulls Need A Lot Of Space?
Pitbull breeds are particularly athletic, ad they are capable of some impressive physical strength, speed, and agility, but do these dogs require a lot of space and exercise?
The breeds that fall under the name Pitbull are varied, and this means that the exercise and space requirements of Pitbull breeds vary as well.
The more athletic and agile breeds such as American Staffies and American Pitbull Terriers require more space and more exercise than the smaller, less athletic breeds such as Staffordshire Terriers.
Understanding each specific Pitbull breed is important to determine how much space the dog will require.
With that being said, all Pitbull breeds will do fine in smaller spaces, and they can even make great apartment dogs because they are generally very quiet. Still, they must be frequently exercised if they are kept in small areas, and they must also have an increased level of affection and attention in these circumstances.
Pitbull breeds can do very well in open spaces, especially those breeds that enjoy running and exploring. A Pitbull in a large area will have more space to explore and find more things to do, requiring less attention and affection.
Are Pitbulls Good Family Dogs?
Pitbull breeds are strong, and they can be intense, which is why many are concerned that these breeds are not suitable for families, especially those with children. However, it is important to remember that a dog can only be judged by its actions, not by its breed.
The truth is that Pitbull breeds are excellent family dogs. These dogs are wonderfully kind, affectionate, loyal, and gentle. American Pitbull Terriers have even earned the nickname “Nanny Dogs” because they are exceptionally trustworthy around children.
These dogs are strong and intense, but they are also gentle and patient, especially with people they know and love. No Pitbull breed is inherently, naturally dangerous, and if they are raised well in a family environment, they grow to be great family pets.
American Staffordshire Terriers, American Pitbull Terriers, and American Bullys are especially good family dogs. They are easily trained, which makes them ideal for any family, even those who have small children.
Take the time to train a Pitbull, and teach your family to do the same, and you will never have to fear the presence of a Pitbull in your home.
Are Pitbulls Good With Other Pets?
Pitbull breeds are excellent family dogs, and they are generally safe with people, but the unfortunate but true reality is that this is not always true with other animals.
While these dogs are naturally gentle and patient, they were originally bred for hunting, working, fighting, and capturing animals significantly larger than themselves. This selective breeding does mean that Pitbull breeds can be aggressive toward other animals.
However, with that being said, the way a Pitbull treats other animals and how they react and behave around other animals is entirely dependent on how the dog is raised.
Pitbull breeds that are well-socialized, well-trained, and well-treated are unlikely to be aggressive toward other dogs or other pets, so long as they do not feel threatened.
Some dogs have a flee instinct, others have a freeze instinct, but Pitbull breeds have fight instincts. These dogs will defend themselves if they are threatened by an aggressive animal, especially other dogs.
This is why it is best to get a Pitbull from a young age, or even as a puppy, to ensure that it can be properly socialized with other dogs or the other animals that you have in your home. A Pitbull breed raised with other animals will be perfectly comfortable and safe with those animals for its entire life.
What Are Pitbulls Like To Live With?
At this point, we have learned more about Pitbull breeds, what their behavior is like, how they are with other animals, and what their temperament is, but let’s turn our focus now to living with Pitbull breeds to find out if this type of dog is a good fit for you.
Living a Pitbull can be a challenge, but it is also incredibly rewarding. These dogs are challenging to own because they require such devoted attention, but the devotion that they receive is returned tenfold.
If you spend the time to get to know a Pitbull, and if you put effort into giving the dog the attention it requires, it will become a loyal friend for life, and it will be very easy to maintain the training and handling of the dog.
However, there are some quirks that come along with owning a breed like this that everyone who is thinking about getting a Pitbull must understand.
Pitbull breeds are gentle and loving, but they can be aggressive. Understanding how to control a Pitbull when a dangerous situation occurs is essential for anyone who lives with a Pitbull.
Training is an essential aspect of Pitbull ownership as well, which means that Pitbull owners must have the time and the understanding to commit to training these dogs well for them to reach their full potential.
Living with a Pitbull also means cleaning up messes. The dogs themselves are not inherently dirty, and they have short hair, which is easy to clean up and maintain, but these dogs love the outdoors, they are diggers, and they are runners, which means that they get dirty very quickly.
These attributes mean that Pitbull breeds must be washed regularly, and Pitbull owners must be prepared to clean up the dogs’ sleeping areas and the spots that they frequent the most very regularly.
Pitbull breeds are diggers, which means lawn and garden maintenance is something Pitbull owners must be ready for as well. These dogs are also climbers, jumpers, and escape artists – so if you are interested in getting a Pitbull, be sure that they are tagged, colored, chipped, and that your yard is escape-proof with high walls or fences.
Living with a Pitbull means having a dog that loves unconditionally but expects the same love in return. It means living with a dog that loves walks, playing, running, exploring, and will enjoy toys and treats as well.
A Pitbull is a softy that must be trained in the event that its base instincts and strength get the better of it, and in these instances, Pitbull owners must be prepared to take control of their dog.
Do Pitbulls Shed?
Among the most frequently asked questions surrounding owning Pitbull breeds is whether or not these dogs shed?
Pitbull breeds do shed. However, they have very short hair, which means that they do not need to be brushed to rid their bodies of excess fur or fur build-up. This makes Pitbull shedding maintenance very easy, and it simply requires some sweeping in the indoor areas that the dog frequents.
These dogs do shed a lot in the spring when their fur changes from a winter to a summer coat, but for the rest of the year, shedding can be considered minimal. The moderate shedding that these dogs experience can be difficult to manage, but the short hair makes it easier to handle.
Pitbull breeds are therefore not hypoallergenic, and they are not suitable for those seeking such a dog, but their fur is significantly easier to manage than those of long-hair breeds.
How Long Do Pitbulls Live?
Anyone who wants a Pitbull breed must be ready to own this type of dog, and part of owning a Pitbull is being ready for a years-long commitment.
This leads many prospective Pitbull owners to wonder how long these dongs are expected to live under healthy conditions. How long do Pitbulls live?
Pitbull breeds can live anywhere from eight to sixteen years, depending on the specific breed. Some breeds live longer than others, but the life expectancy of these breeds is all relatively similar, and every Pitbull breed will live for at least eight years, provided they have no medical conditions or injuries and they are well cared for.
These breeds do not have many natural ailments or common issues, mainly because they are the result of crossbreeding, which does not cause the same issues as generations of pure-breeding, which often results in breed-specific disorders and health problems.
The table below outlines the life expectancy of recognized Pitbull breeds, provided they are well cared for:
|Pitbull Breed||Life Expectancy|
|American Staffordshire Terrier||12 – 16 years|
|American Bulldog||10 – 15 years|
|Staffordshire Bull Terrier||12 – 14 years|
|American Pitbull Terrier||8 – 15 years|
|American Bully||8 – 13 years|
Is A Pitbull The Right Match For You?
If you are considering getting a Pitbull-type dog for yourself, it is important to consider the information that we have covered to help you determine whether or not this type of dog is a good fit for you.
These are desirable dogs, but the reality is that Pitbull breeds are not well-suited for everyone, and they should only be taken on by those who are prepared for these demanding animals.
If you want to get a Pitbull breed, consider the following before you do:
Pitbulls Require Time And Attention
Pitbull breeds are very demanding regarding attention and affection, and if you do not have the time to give your dog this level of attention, then perhaps a more independent breed is better suited for you.
If you do have the energy and time to devote a few hours a day to your dog, then a Pitbull breed may be ideal for you.
Pitbulls Require Consistent And Diligent Training
Pitbull breeds require significant training. These are strong-willed dogs that can be stubborn. These attributes, combined with their athleticism and strength, can make them challenging to train.
This means that training a Pitbull breed requires diligence and consistency. If you can provide this type of diligent and consistent training, then a Pitbull-type dog can become your best friend.
Pitbull Breeds Require Space Or Frequent Exercise
Pitbull breeds are energetic and athletic, which means that they need to be exercised or they need enough space to exercise on their own.
If you are considering getting a dog like this, be sure that you have the space for them to exercise on their own or that you have the capacity and the time to take the dog for frequent walks, runs, or romps in the park.
Pitbulls Escape Easily
Pitbull breeds are known for escaping even the most secure yards. These dogs can jump far higher than you may expect, and they are strong enough to break through most fences and barriers if they choose to.
These dogs also love exploring and are drawn to the outdoors, which further increases the likelihood of their escape from a yard. If you want to get a Pitbull breed, be sure that your yard is built to contain an animal like this.
Consider Your Lawn And Garden
Pitbull breeds are not ideal for those who are very concerned about the state of their lawn or have a carefully cultivated garden. These dogs are explorers, diggers, and runners with a need for entertainment.
This means that Pitbull breeds are likely to cause damage to gardens, even if they are well trained and well-exercised.
Do You Have Other Pets?
If you do already have other dogs or pets, be sure to get a young Pitbull or a puppy, as this will make integration with other pets far easier.
Pitbull breeds can be aggressive toward other animals, especially those that they do not know well, and they must be trained and socialized accordingly. This must be a consideration for anyone who gets a Pitbull breed.
Pitbull breeds are excellent dogs, so long as you have the capacity to keep them well. These dogs are gentle, loving, kind, patient, and loyal, but they are also strong, stubborn, strong-willed, and challenging to train well.
If you want to get a Pitbull breed for yourself, carefully consider all of the requirements that come along with the breed, you are a Pitbull person, or you are not a Pitbull person. If you have the capacity, diligence, and patience for a Pitbull, they can be incredibly rewarding to own.