Pit bulls should always wear a leash on walks, plain and simple. It may not be fair, but these gentle giants have a bad reputation, and wearing a leash makes yours look all the less dangerous. Leashing him properly is the key to making your walk painless and fun.
Put your dog's walking collar on. Your pit bull should always have some type of collar on with his tags attached—for your dog, not wearing tags is like going for a drive without a license for a human. That doesn't mean that just any collar will do, though, and part of it depends on how well-behaved your pooch usually is. For example, no pit bull should wear a choke collar or a prong collar on a walk. An illusion or slip collar is useful for controlling your dog, whereas a body harness is quite the opposite. Harnesses are great for little dogs, but if you put one on your pit bull, he's going to be the one walking you.
Attach your leash to the collar. When you're walking a pit bull, the type of leash you go with makes a big difference—these are big, strong dogs, and the wrong kind of leash can make your walk a lot harder. Make sure that you go with a leash that gives you a lot of control, like a wide nylon leash. Skinny leashes just aren't strong enough, and they don't give you much leverage. If he likes to bite his leash, a chain is a good alternative. Though they're heavy and loud, they're strong, and dogs don't really like to chew on them.
Pay close attention to him while you're walking him. You'll probably want to keep him relatively close, so use a leash that maxes out at around four to six feet—people are often intimidated by pit bulls, and other dogs may want to pick a fight. Because they get such a bad rap, it doesn't matter how sweet your dog is, people are going to want to stay out of his way. Respect their space by keeping him reeled in close to you when you're out and about together.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.