Meet the Breed: American Pit Bull Terrier
The American Pit Bull Terrier is finally shedding its bad reputation, and dog lovers everywhere are starting to realize just how special these once shunned pups are. Long thought to be dangerous, pit bulls are beginning to be recognized for their true nature as one of the sweetest and most loyal dog breeds around.
Photo by Christopher Ayme
Did you know there are four distinctive breeds that fall under the pit bull category? Each has its unique characteristics, and the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) is no different. The APBT has a body that is distinctive from other stockier pits. The American pit is taller than the pit bull, and despite the height difference, the APBT is roughly half the weight of a pit bull coming in at around just 30-60 pounds. Otherwise, they share the common colorings of other pits with short coats that are typically solid or tuxedo.
Pit bulls mainly get their bad rep from their history in dog fighting. Unfortunately, many people have consequently either failed to train or treat pit bulls appropriately after assuming that they have an aggressive nature. Coupled with high profile cases in the media, these dogs have long been misunderstood as violent, when in reality, they frequently rank in top 10 lists as one of the friendliest and most affectionate breeds. In fact, American pits are discouraged as guard dogs because they’re known to be incredibly friendly, even with strangers!
If you’re thinking about bringing this loving canine into your home, be prepared to provide lots of socializing and bonding opportunities. The American pit is very tied to their owner and affectionate–don’t be surprised if this big baby wants frequent cuddles! Though the APBT are noted for their strength, they can be ideal family dogs. They’ve been known to love children due to their playful spirit and are readily trainable because these precious pits are eager to please. They’ll also need a lot of mental stimulation to prevent boredom, which can quickly become destructive due to their strength.
Dog pawrents will have to toe the line carefully when it comes to training the American Pit Bull Terrier, as they are incredibly intelligent but also very stubborn. Luckily, many pits will enjoy the training process as they will see it both as a bonding activity and intellectual challenge. These pooches are eager to please, which makes them amenable to learning more difficult tasks like potty training.
Teaching these doggos to use an indoor pet potty early on could be preferable. The American pit is not meant for extreme weather nor are they opposed to the idea of jumping a fence. This agile breed is lean yet strong, which makes them one of the most capable canine climbers. Having a real bark pee pad can offer a taste of the outdoors without risking a dog on the loose. This could be especially critical for this breed, as many people still associate pits with danger and often misinterpret their behaviors.