According to the American Kennel Club, the American pit bull terrier isn't a breed. The AKC changed the name of the breed in the 1930s to the American Staffordshire terrier, a decision many breeders disagree with. Regardless of the name, the dog still needs a loving and educated owner.
Handling Human Reactions
There is a great deal of misinformation circulating about the American pit bull terrier. Confusion and panic about the potential of vicious attack pit bulls might cause some disturbances when you are in public with one. It might be hard, but you will need to handle other people's bad reactions to your dog with calm dignity. If you get worked up, so will your pooch. Calm owners have calm dogs. Let people see your American pit bull trying to love you to death and you might just change their perceptions.
Pit bull terriers need to meet and play with both people and dogs on a regular basis. Dog parks and canine-friendly shopping centers are a great place to take your dog so that they learn how to mind their manners in new surroundings. A socialized dog is much easier for a veterinarian, groomer or doggy sitter to manage. Socialization will also help make sure that your dog is friendly to guests, both human and canine, who visit your home.
Training is an import part of dog ownership, no matter what the breed. Training an American pit bull isn't very hard as long as you do it with confidence and consistency. This breed loves to make people happy. An American pit bull will do most anything to make his owner happy, as long as he sees that owner as his alpha, or leader. Firm training with positive reinforcement goes a long way with this love-crazed breed. Since the dog is such a muscular and strong animal, you might want to add “drop it” to your list of basic training commands.
This is a meaty dog who needs to exercise or he will get fat, fast. A happy pit bull terrier is one who gets to play vigorously with his family for at least an hour every day. You should run, jump and tumble with your dog daily. In addition to burning off excess energy, playing will reaffirm your bond with your dog. Pit bulls are loving companion dogs and they do best with owners who can spend good quality time with them.
The American pit bull terrier has a short wire-haired coat that doesn't need a lot of grooming. To keep the coat clean, brush your dog with a stiff brush once per week. Brush or clean his teeth twice per week. Check and clean his ears weekly and trim his nails monthly. Since the dog requires so little grooming, you might want to practice holding his paws, touching his toenails and looking in his ears on a regular basis. It is way easier to groom a pittie that is used to be handled. Let's face it, this is not exactly the type of dog that is easy to force into anything.
- Dog Time: American Pit Bull Terrier
- American Pit Bull Terrier Handbook; Joe Stahlkuppe
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