The pit bull is probably the most misrepresented breed of dog there ever is. People generally think of pit bulls as overaggressive mutts that attack people without even the slightest provocation and have the capacity to maul them to death, dogs that are good only for engaging in dog fights. This image of the pit bull is nowhere near to being accurate; they are very much maligned by the public in general.
Pit bulls are actually very different from the way they are often portrayed. Sure, they look strong and scary, being well muscled and stocky for their size, with their barrel chests and brick-shaped heads, their thick necks and their powerful jaws. Pit bulls, however, are very sociable and affectionate dogs, especially if they are properly trained. Pit bull lovers value these dogs not just for their strength and courage, but also for their caring and protective nature.
With proper training and socialization, even pit bulls can be the gentlest of dogs. Their affectionate and caring nature makes them perfect companions and housemates. And because they have a high tolerance for pain and rough play, pit bulls can be great playmates to small children.
If pit bulls are so great, how come there are stories of them attacking other dogs and people? While there are stories of pit bulls being aggressive enough to hurt animals and people, those incidences are in truth few and far between. More often than not, the media just blew the story out of proportion or did not get the facts right. There are times when the dog involved is not a pit bull at all and only looks like one.
A pit bull that shows aggressiveness towards other dogs and other animals is a dog that has not been socialized properly. A pit bull that attacks people is a dog that has been abused to the point that he has become mentally unstable. When a pit bull, or any other dog for that matter, goes berserk, it is the fault of the human owner, and not the dog himself.
It is true, however, that not all people can own a pit bull for a pet. To be the master of a pit bull, one has to be prepared to meet the demanding responsibilities of owning such a pet. To be the master of a pit bull, you have to be a person who really is capable of loving one. If you are looking into owning a pit bull just because you want to impress people, forget it. You will only end up doing the dog a huge disservice.
A pit bull is an athletic dog that requires a lot of exercise. It would be great if you have a big yard where he can run around to his heart’s content. However, if you live in an apartment, it is still okay to own a pit bull if you really want one, as long as you take him out for long walks every day. Long walks with your pit bull would be good for your health too.
You need to have your house or your property secured and fenced if you decide to own a pit bull. Pit bulls can be willful and mischievous; he will try to jump the fence or slip through the door if he can. Also, if you have a malicious neighbor who has an irrational fear towards pit bulls, having your house or property secured will keep your dog from being hurt by your neighbors or from being stolen.
Caring for a pit bull can be pretty expensive. Before you get a pit bull, be sure you can afford his upkeep. You will need to give him proper dog food, fit him with a good leash and collar, take him to the vet for regular checkups, feed him with heartworm medicine every once in a while, build a dog house for him, and other such things. Dog food alone can amount to around $800 a year. If you do not have that much money to set aside for caring for a pit bull, shelve your plan for a while until you can afford having one around.
Pit bulls also need to be trained. Training a dog takes the entirety of his lifetime, not just in the early years. A pit bull also needs to be controlled all the time, simply because other people are afraid of such dogs. If you do not exert the proper control on your pit bull, you might end up with him being taken away from you. It is a heartbreaking experience that you would not want to have.
Lastly, but most importantly, you must love your pit bull. Pit bulls are very caring and loving dogs that are very loyal to their masters. If you love your pit bull, he will love you too.