Did you know?
Dogs have about 100 different facial expressions, most of them made with their ears. Unfortunately, the bull breeds, including Pit Bulls only have about 10 which often leads to misinterpretation.
American Pit Bull Terrier
You become responsible forever for what you have tamed. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Descended from bulldogs and terriers brought to the United States, the American Pit Bull Terrier is now known for his role in dog fighting. In fact, these dogs came to the US in the early 1800s as all-around farm dogs and frontier guardians.
The United Kennel Club recognized the Bull and Terrier Dog as the American Pit Bull Terrier in 1898. The American Kennel Club recognized the American Pit Bull Terrier as the Staffordshire Terrier in 1936. The name was changed in 1972 to the American Staffordshire Terrier to distinguish the breed from the Staffordshire Bull Terrier of England, the ancestor of the American dogs.
As blood sports such as dog fighting are now illegal, the Pit Bull today is bred as a loyal family pet and guardian. He has also been used successfully as a police dog and a therapy dog. However, irresponsible ownership has resulted in Pit Bull Terriers being used for illegal dog fighting, guarding illegal narcotics operations, against police, and as attack dogs.
Potential owners should be aware that many countries, including Canada, have enacted breed specific legislation which imposes limitations and conditions on ownership of these dogs. Ontario has banned ownership completely.
Photos displayed courtesy of Roberta McLaughlin, V-Twin Kennels, Manitoba
The Pit Bull is compact and extremely strong for his size. Typically, he stands up to 19 inches (48 cm) tall at the shoulder. He is powerful and muscular and may weigh up to 60 pounds (27 kg). The Pit Bull has a short, smooth, coat that comes in any colour or combination of colours. Grooming needs are minimal.
The Pit Bull is a courageous and fearless animal with a very high activity level. He is may be instinctively hostile to other household pets and other animals as he has a high prey drive. In spite of his bad press, this dog is very loyal and devoted to his family. Being a people-friendly dog, he is not a good guardian of property, though he is an excellent guardian for his master. The Pit Bull is a very intuitive animal and has no trouble identifying and responding to real threats towards his human. However, he is not the best choice for the first time dog owner. This is a strong-willed, dominant dog. It is especially important that a prospective owner of a Pit Bull check out the breeder to ensure the animal is properly handled and socialized.
Intelligent, and strong-willed, the Pit Bull must be socialized early and placed in obedience training. Firm, consistent training will produce a calm, obedient, loving, companion. Guard and/or attack dog training is not appropriate for this breed. His owner must be committed to providing appropriate supervision and daily, vigorous exercise – always on a leash. The Pit Bull enjoys running alongside a bicycle and makes a good jogging partner. A fenced backyard is ideal.