Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Training: Crate, Puppy, Socializing, Obedience, Guard dog, Hunting and Tracking
Gramercy, Louisiana, United States
Posted January 3, 2019
American Pit Bull Terriers are one of my favorite breeds. Despite lingering prejudice, which is thankfully going away due to advocacy groups, they still find their way into many homes, and for good reason.
Pits are one of the friendliest breeds I have ever encountered. They tend to genuinely love people and used to be a staple for a "nanny dog" to watch after small children. They are high energy, playful, and as tough as a piece of iron. Though they have a stigma associated with them, Pits do not make the best natural dogs due to this extremely playful nature. That being said, they are easily trained to be guard dogs because of how closely they protect their families.
The aggression that some people attribute to Pits is not fully unwarranted. Pit Bulls do have a tendency towards animal aggression, particularly other dogs. This DOES NOT mean they are going to be an absolute danger to other pets, and the overwhelming majority do perfectly fine in multi-animal households. In situations of provocation with other dogs, Pits are more likely to attack vigorously as opposed to giving a growl or a "slap on the wrist" nip.
Several of the historical health issues that Pits have been susceptible to have been being bred out in more recent years. There does remain a slightly higher problem fighting off parvovirus and demodex.
As a pet owner, I have had nothing but fantastic experiences and magical memories with Pit Bulls. Working with them in a professional environment has been on par with private experiences. Due to their loving nature and natural toughness they are some of the easiest dogs to work on, which is not only a blessing for those in the veterinary medicine field, but a dog that is easier to work with is easier to steer towards recovery.
***small story with potentially uncomfortable (pg-13) language for some follows***
Highlighting the toughness of this breed, I'll share a quick story from years ago. I was working the overnight emergency clinic at an animal hospital. A man pulls up outside and is walking a Pit up to the door. The Pit is moving stiffly but walking. When he came in, he explained that this was one of his hog dogs and that it had gotten gored by a hog. This Pit Bull was standing on all fours, quietly looking up at us. Its abdomen was open and some intestine was exposed and hanging low enough to almost brush the ground. When bending down to meet her, she greeted me with a complete tongue bath on my face while whipping her tail back and forth like she was trying to slap her sides with it. I have never seen another breed with a threshold for pain on that level. Truly an amazing breed. Everything was still intact, surgery went fine, and she went on to run again through the woods with her fur friends.