Adopting A Pit Bull: What You Should Know

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Adopting A Pit Bull: What You Should Know

So, you are considering adopting a pit bull are you?

Well, I am here to tell you that I think that it is a great idea.

As a pit bull mom myself, I understand what comes with being a pit bull parent and I am here to tell you it is pretty awesome.

Ginger + Riley

My girls Ginger and Riley were adopted at 8 weeks old, they were sisters and were the most amazing dogs ever.

They passed away within 6 months of each other at the ripe old ages of 14 and 14.5 and I still miss them every single day.

I am now the mom to a fear aggressive, anxiety ridden American Pit Bull Terrier named Cleo.

While Ginger and Riley loved everyone and everything, Cleo is 100% the opposite of that.

She is afraid of everyone and everything and has very special needs when it comes to walks and visitors to our home.

Pit bulls like Cleo are out there waiting for someone to give them a chance, but it takes a special home to help dogs like her.

Cleo is a hard dog, but when she is in the yard, with her ball, all is right in the world and she can “just be a dog”.

If you can adopt a pit bull like Cleo. Please do.

They deserve it.

adopting a pit bull with anxiety and fear

OK, so yes, having a pit bull is pretty awesome.

But, my job here is also to help you understand what you are getting yourself into so you can make sure a pit bull adoption is right for your family.

Sadly, pit bull breed dogs are often the most common breed found in a shelter and are the first to be euthanized for space or due to ignorance.

Let’s talk about some things you should be aware of before making the decision to adopt a pit bull.

You can also use this list of questions to ask when adopting a dog to help you ask the right questions, no matter what breed of dog you are looking to adopt.

Dealing With Pit Bull Prejudice

I wish this was not a thing, but it is.

You might be walking your pit bull around your neighborhood minding your own business and see others give you “the look”.

The look of how dare you bring one of these vicious dogs into our neighborhood.

You might see people cross the street when they see you coming, because they are afraid.

You may even have someone come out and ask how you can own such a vicious breed.

  • Will you have the composure to deal with these issues?
  • Will you be an advocate for the breed and help change the stereotype?
  • Will you have the ability to educate them about the breed and try and change their perspective?

Remember dealing with people like this requires a calm and patience.

Over-reacting or getting angry will only help these people think that pit bulls are only owned by angry and mean people.

And we know that is not true.

I was thrilled to be a part of a Pit Bull and Pretties awareness campaign that was created to help combat this prejudice! This type of pit bull campaign is needed to help showcase pits in a better way.

Being A Responsible Pit Bull Owner

Being a responsible dog owner in general means doing some of the following:

  • Spay or neuter your dog
  • Preventative medical care
  • Keep them leashed when out and about
  • If possible, keep your dog well socialized
  • Invest in training (positive reinforcement
  • Engage in play with your dog to build the bond and exercise their mind
  • Go on walks and hikes

These are even more important when you own a pit bull or any other “misunderstood” breed like a Doberman or Rottweiler.

A jumping pit bull, can be seen as aggressive, training can help with that.

With so many pit bull dogs getting euthanized every day, spaying and neutering can help save lives.

When in public, keep your dog leashed to ensure they are not put in an uncomfortable position that can scare them.

Protecting Your Pit Bull

Pit bulls are at risk dogs, meaning they are often targeted by dog fighting rings to steal to use in dog fights.

Will you do what is needed to protect your dog?

This means not leaving them alone outdoors, not chaining them outside stores while you “run in for a second” and keeping an eye on them when you are out and about.

Know The Laws About Pit Bulls

Unfortunately, we are still dealing with a lot of prejudice when it comes to pit bull breed dogs.

This means local laws may prevent you from legally owning a pit bull.

Before adopting one, please be sure your locality does not have a ban on owning one.

Some laws do not even specify pit bulls, but may prohibit any dog with a “block head” from being owned.

This is especially true in homeowners associations or apartments.

Many do not allow any type of bully breed.

Insuring A Pit Bull

Another issue with the breed is getting insurance.

Not all insurance companies will offer coverage for dog related incidents if it involves a pit bull.

If you are committed to owning a pit, then just be aware you may need to change insurance companies.

Pit Bulls With Other Dogs

Listen, all dogs are just that, dogs.

I am not sure why we always have the high expectation that our dogs must love all other dogs.

Think about it, do you really love every person you meet? I am guessing no.

Please do not expect your dog to like every dog it meets.

It probably won’t. Not because it is a pit bull, but because it is a dog.

When adopting a pit bull from a shelter or rescue it is sometimes hard to know their past and triggers that may make them a not so happy go lucky dog.

While a shelter or rescue will try to gauge how dog friendly a dog might be, you have to be ready to learn more about your pit bull when it comes to meeting and greeting other dogs.

A dog’s tolerance level can be extremely dog friendly or extremely dog aggressive.

You will have to learn to understand what your pit bull’s level is and learn to manage it.

Pit Bulls Saved From Dog Fighting

There are some people that will say to not adopt a pit bull because they might have been used for fighting.

I very much disagree with that recommendation.

Many pit bulls that have been saved from dog fighting rings have went on to make great pets and even become dog friendly.

You can watch the documentary The Champions.

This movie focuses on the fighting dogs used by Michael Vick and the second-chances they got at living a life of a normal dog.

Dog Aggression In Pit Bulls

Just like people, dog’s can become more aggressive as they get older.

This is not just a pit bull thing, but all dog thing.

Some dogs may not show whether they are really dog friendly until they are about 2 or 3.

If your puppy was a truly social dog and then you notice the change in their acceptance of dogs as they get older, can you deal with it?

Will you be able to handle a dog that is not dog friendly?

If this is something that you are not willing to deal with, then adopting an older pit bull is the best way to deal with it.

A Fun Take On Why Pit Bulls Are Not For Everyone

As a pittie lover, owner and advocate, I admit that the breed is not for everyone.

They have some qualities that not every family is really going to embrace, so let’s cover those below.

10. They will steal your spot on the couch the minute you get up.
9. They have no idea what personal space is!
8. Their zoomies will leave rings in your yard and prevent grass from growing – but the entertainment factor is off the charts.
7. They will lick your visitors – and by lick we mean bathe.
6. The bits from their bones will poke holes in your feet when you walk across the floor.
5. They will make you feel horrible for not walking them with their big sad puppy eyes.
4. They will look at you like you committed a crime against them if you don’t let them lick your ice cream bowl or have your cookie.
3. They will cause wide spread happiness in large group settings because of their big smiles that only pitties can give.
2. They will crack you up by shaking their butts so hard you think they are going to snap in half.
1. They will steal your heart like a thief in the night, showing you complete and pure love that only a Pit Bull can show.

And that my friends – is the real pit bull.

Reasons To Not Adopt A Pitbull

Love Pitties? Please feel free to share this image!

When Pit Bulls Attack

Yeah yeah yeah – we know pit bulls are mean and aggressive and what about all the reported bites?

Well, all dogs bite and pit bulls have a detriment because so many adopt or buy them for not so great reasons like dog fighting, security or breeding.

So what should people really be afraid of, pit bulls or their owners?

This video is a funny look at a pit bull parent.

Guaranteed to make you laugh.

This is a great example of creative marketing that garners attention and makes an impact, all while being entertaining.

Talk to me! Tell me about your pit bull.

What obstacles have they overcome.

What amazing things do they do that make your family laugh or proud.

Jill Caren CharityPaws

Jill Caren

Jill is an avid animal lover who spends her time helping animal rescues by photographing homeless pets and through her work on CharityPaws.

She is currently owned by Cleo, an American Pit Bull Terrier and Snoopy Cat. Her inspiration comes from her girls Ginger and Riley (RIP) – pit mix sisters who were loved family members for almost 15 years.

You can find her on LinkedIn and Instagram.

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