PitBullary - Pit Bull Related Info
Living with a Pit Bull
Being a responsible Pit Bull Parent starts before your
Pit Bull comes to live with you.
so your adopting a bully breed
You will not be just be giving a dog a home, you will be adopting your most loyal family companion. All dogs have individual personalities, but most Pit Bulls are people dogs and LOVE being with and around their people. Pit Bulls are devoted dogs that tend to be intune with your emotions. Research and learn as much as you can about these dynamic dogs, as they have a long and unique history, that is well worth investigating and that can help you understand them better.
first days home
We know your excited about bringing home your new family member, your family is excited, but the first days, dogs, all dogs need time to decompress and adjust to their new people, homes, surroundings and schedules.
Many people do not realize how crucial decompression is and how this will make or break your dogs introduction to their new life. It is also imperative that if there are resident dogs, that they have time to adjust to a new dog in the home. Many people do not realize that this takes time and cannot be rushed. Please set your dog up for success. Puppies acclimate quicker than adult dogs do. Allow a couple weeks of calm living, for dogs to decompress, become comfortable in the new home and learn their routines. Try not to add in too much stimulus for a couple of weeks, leave meeting new people or animals to after the dog has had the opportunity to adjust to his new life.
don't let your dog be a lost dog
Have your dog licensed and microchipped, make sure you register and keep your microchip updated with the chip company. Should your dog get lost, this is the easiest possible way to have them returned home. Unlike a collar or tags, that can easily break, fall off, or be removed, a microchip is a reliable way for shelters or vets to get your contact information and increase the odds that if found, your dog will be returned to you. Most shelters, rescues and veterinarians have chip scanners.
spay and neuter
By having your dog sterilized, you will do your part to help an already overpopulated breed of dog. Pit Bulls are the number one dog euthanized today. Spaying and neutering prevents unwanted litters, it helps to protect against some serious costly health problems, and may help reduce behavioral problems.
Bully breeds can do "ok" in an apartment dwellings and urban settings, as long as they get plenty of exercise and outdoor activity on a daily basis. It can be difficult to find secured (fenced in areas) to allow your dog to run off leash. Tennis courts, ball fields or a friends fenced back yard are a couple of options. We do not suggest dog parks, as dogs can learn bad behavior from other dogs, it is an unstable environment and if anything happens, it will be the Pit Bulls fault.
***Be sure your condo association or landlord allows bully breed dogs in the complex, be dedicated that if you should have to move you will find a place that your dog can move with you. Too many times dogs are relinquished due to renters not knowing the rules of their complex, new landlords purchasing the properties with new rules, or having to move and not finding a new place that will accept bully breed dogs.
keep em' busy
Pit Bulls are high-energy dogs that need exercise every day. Even a short 15 - 30 minute walk, game of fetch, frisbee, or biking with your dog will help burn off energy. When you walk your dog LET them sniff! to them it's like reading a newspaper, and also gives them mental stimulation through their olfactory nerves. The mental enrichment your dog gets on a slow walk with lots of time for sniffing is much greater than they would get on a fast-paced walk. This means a shorter sniffy walk can tire them out and they will generally be more relaxed and less likely to exhibit destructive or mischievous behavior when at home.
Remember a tired Pit Bull is a HAPPY Pit Bull!
keeping your dog safe
Pit Bulls are known to be great escape artists. Never leave your dog unattended in a yard. Bored dogs find ways to entertain themselves and this typically means, getting themselves into trouble. Keep your dog properly confined. Typically a 6-8 foot fence should be adequate, provided your dog is not a fence jumper, once they learn they can jump a fence, they most likely will continue to do so. We do not suggest electric fencing, it does not prevent other animals from entering your yard, and if dogs really want to go through it, they will. A physical fence can act as a visible barrier.
Socialize your dog. Puppy socialization is extremely important, as a very young dog they need to be socialized around people, other dogs, other animals and as many things as you can possibly think of. You have a small window of time during their first year that can help them be fear free and comfortable during their entire life with everything they will encounter. Take your dog to as many places as you possibly can, to experience as many different things as they can, meet as many people as they can, and while they are young meet as many other dogs as possible. Puppy playgroups are typically offered by many training facilities. A training facility will be much more structured play with people who are knowledgeable about dog body language and people knowledgeable about play styles.
Training at a facility also helps with socialization. At home do short homework training sessions of 5 or 10 minutes throughout the day for mental stimulation and dogs tend to learn better and quicker with multiple short sessions. You can find trainers by your locality by visiting The Association of Professional Dog Trainers website. Becoming familiar with canine behavior will prove to be a big help so that you can enjoy a great success with your dog.
say no to dog parks
Stay away from dog parks. Pit Bulls may not start a fight, but they will finish it. There is instability in dog parks, most owners do not recognize dog body language, or are not even paying attention. If a scuffle starts you can bet that your Pit Bull will be to blame, regardless of who started the fight.
food for thought
Most veterinarians suggest a scheduled feeding. Typically twice a day splitting the total day's intake into two meals. Some people free feed, meaning food is available all day at anytime of day. In multiple pet households especially Pit Bull households this is a big no no. Scheduled feeding provides structure, feeding is more sanitary, it allows you to easily track your companion’s food intake which can help alert you to possible sickness, it offers a bonding opportunity, and it allows you to estimate when your dog will need to relieve himself.
when to supervise
Never leave Pit Bulls unsupervised with other dogs or animals. Many Pit Bulls get along well with other pets and may live happily with other dogs without incident their entire lives. But, you can’t assume that this will always be the case. Unfortunately, those of us involved in rescue and Pit Bull circles have heard too many stories about dogs who’d been best friends for years, until the day something triggered a fight. Therefore, it’s up to you to make good decisions to manage your dogs and to keep them safe when you’re not present. You can use gates (provided your dogs respect gates), crates or different rooms to separate animals when no one is there to supervise them.
a little on leashes
Obey leash laws and ordinances in your area, and always have your dog on a leash unless you are in an enclosed private area. There is nothing worse than coming upon an unleashed dog while out walking your own dog. We do not suggest retractable leashes, for many reasons, however, when out hiking or for for extra range to play, you could potentially use a long line leash which is a non-retractable longer leash, that is great tool for distance training or for extra freedom, still maintaining control from the handler.