Dogs 101 Pitbull Dog

Dogs 101 pitbull dog: As a dog owner, you want to understand the breed you’re bringing into your home. Pitbulls are a controversial breed that often gets a bad rap in the media, but with the right owner and training, pitbulls can make loyal and loving companions. Before you adopt a pitbull, learn the facts about this energetic and intelligent breed.

Pitbulls were originally bred in England in the early 1800s for bull-baiting, a blood sport where dogs harassed bulls. After bull-baiting was banned, pitbulls were bred for dog fighting. This history has given the breed an undeserved reputation for aggression. However, pitbulls today can make great family dogs. With proper care, training, and affection, pitbulls are playful, gentle, and form strong bonds with their owners.

Pitbull Dog

While pitbulls are not for everyone, if you want an energetic, playful dog and are willing to commit the time to proper training and socialization, a pitbull can be a perfect choice. Learn about the breed’s history, characteristics, exercise needs, and living requirements so you can make an informed decision about bringing a pitbull into your life.

The History of Pitbulls

The pitbull has a long and complex history. Originally bred in England, Scotland, and Ireland in the early 1800s, the pitbull was developed from bulldog and terrier breeds to create a stocky, muscular dog for the cruel sport of bull- and bear-baiting.

When baiting was outlawed in the 1830s, pitbulls were bred and trained for dog fighting. Unscrupulous breeders developed increasingly aggressive strains of pitbulls for this purpose. Dog fighting was banned in the United States in 1976, but it continues illegally to this day and has contributed to the pitbull’s reputation as a dangerous breed.

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However, pitbulls were once viewed positively and kept as companions. In the early 20th century, pitbulls were considered a model of courage, loyalty and friendliness, even featured in pro-American propaganda during World Wars I and II. Some pitbulls still exhibit these traits today as beloved family pets and therapy dogs.

The reality is that a dog’s behavior depends on both nature and nurture. While some pitbulls have been bred and trained to be aggressive, the breed is not inherently dangerous. Responsible breeding and ownership are key. Pitbulls require early socialization, training, exercise, and affection to become well-adjusted, friendly dogs.

Bans and restrictions on pitbulls are controversial and considered by many experts to be ineffective. Education and promoting responsible ownership are better solutions to prevent aggression and attacks from any breed.

The history of the pitbull is complex and often disheartening, but with care, compassion, and commitment to ethical practices, we can work to give pitbulls a more positive future.

Pitbull Breed Standards and Characteristics

As a pitbull owner, it is important to understand the breed standards and characteristics of these dogs. Pitbulls are medium-sized, stocky dogs with a short coat, broad head, and strong jaws.

  • Size: Male pitbulls typically stand 18-22 inches at the shoulder and weigh 35-65 pounds. Females are slightly smaller. Pitbulls are classified as medium-sized dogs.
  • Coat: The coat is short, stiff, and glossy. Common coat colors include brown, black, white, tan, and brindle.
  • Head: Pitbulls have a broad head, flat skull, and pronounced cheek muscles. Their ears are usually cropped or uncropped. Uncropped ears are short and stand erect.
  • Body: Pitbulls have a stocky, muscular build. They have a deep chest, strong neck, and straight back. Their tail is medium in length and tapers to a point.
  • Temperament: Pitbulls are energetic, intelligent, and affectionate dogs. They are not inherently aggressive but require responsible ownership and training. Early socialization and obedience training are essential. Pitbulls can be aggressive toward other dogs, so proper handling and control are important.

With their stocky build, broad head, and short coat, pitbulls have a very distinctive appearance. However, their temperament and behavior are shaped more by their owners and environment than by their physical characteristics. Responsible ownership, training, socialization, and control are required to ensure pitbulls display their naturally friendly and energetic temperament. Overall, pitbulls can make great companions for experienced dog owners.

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Common Pitbull Myths

There are several common myths about pitbulls that are not supported by facts. Pitbulls are often misunderstood and misrepresented in the media, leading to unfair stigmas against the breed.

Pitbulls are inherently aggressive and dangerous

This is a false stereotype not supported by evidence. Pitbulls were originally bred in England as “nanny dogs” to watch over and protect children. Aggressive behavior in pitbulls is often the result of irresponsible ownership, abuse, neglect, and training to be aggressive. Pitbulls are not inherently aggressive or dangerous. With proper care, training, and affection, pitbulls can make loyal and gentle companions.

Pitbulls have a locking jaw mechanism

This is a myth. Pitbulls do not have a locking jaw. Their jaw anatomy is the same as any other breed. Some pitbulls may be bred and trained to hold on during a fight, giving the false impression of a locking jaw, but there is no physical locking mechanism in the pitbull jawbone or musculature.

Pitbulls require a lot of exercise and space

While pitbulls are energetic dogs and require daily exercise and activity, they can adapt well to apartment living with responsible owners. Pitbulls need mental stimulation, play, and interaction with their owners more so than a large amount of space. Daily walks, playtime, training, and quality time with their owners can fulfill a pitbull’s needs in smaller living spaces. The key is an owner willing to commit the time to properly care for a pitbull.

All pitbulls should be banned

Breed-specific legislation that bans or restricts pitbull ownership is misguided and ineffective. Aggressive behavior problems are the result of irresponsible ownership, not the breed itself. Banning pitbulls will not reduce dog bites or attacks and punishes responsible owners and dogs. Education, enforcement of laws, and promoting responsible ownership are more effective ways to reduce aggression in dogs.

Pitbulls can make wonderful and loving companions when given a responsible and caring owner. Do not let myths and stereotypes prevent you from considering a pitbull as a pet. With the right owner, a pitbull has as much potential for affection and loyalty as any other breed.

How to Care for a Pitbull: Diet, Exercise, and Health

Caring for a pitbull requires providing it with a proper diet, exercise, and health care. As a pitbull owner, it is your responsibility to ensure your dog’s wellbeing.


Feed your pitbull a high-quality dog food that is specifically formulated for large breed dogs. Look for a formula with real meat like beef, chicken or fish as the first ingredient. Pitbulls need a diet high in protein to maintain their muscular physique, so aim for at least 30% protein. Also choose a formula for large breed dogs, as it will have the proper calcium/phosphorus balance for your pitbull’s growth and development.

  • For an average adult pitbull, feed 3-4 cups of dry dog food per day, split into two meals.
  • Always have fresh, clean water available for your pitbull.
  • Avoid feeding your pitbull table scraps, as this can lead to obesity and other health issues.


Pitbulls are energetic dogs and require daily exercise and activity. Aim for at least 60 minutes of exercise per day to keep your pitbull in shape.

  • Walking, jogging, hiking, and playing fetch are all great ways to exercise your pitbull.
  • Make sure your pitbull has opportunities for mental stimulation as well through training, interactive dog toys, and socialization.
  • Never leave a pitbull chained up or confined to a small space. This can lead to aggression and behavior problems.

Health Care

Take your pitbull for routine veterinary checkups and care. Make sure your pitbull is up to date on vaccinations, deworming, flea and tick prevention.

  • Have your vet examine your pitbull’s eyes, ears, teeth, heart, and joints at each checkup.
  • Pitbulls can be prone to certain health issues like hip dysplasia, allergies, and heart disease. Early detection of any problems is key.
  • Groom your pitbull regularly by brushing, bathing, trimming nails, and cleaning ears. Check for any unusual lumps, wounds or skin problems at each grooming.

Providing the essentials of a proper diet, exercise and health care will help ensure your pitbull lives a long, happy and fulfilling life as your faithful companion. Be a responsible owner and make your pitbull’s wellbeing a top priority.


As you have learned, the pitbull is a complex breed that requires an experienced owner. While they were originally bred as fighting dogs, pitbulls can make loving and devoted companions when properly trained and socialized. However, their powerful physique and tendencies toward aggression mean they are not suitable for inexperienced owners or families with young children. If you commit the time and resources to properly care for a pitbull, they can become a cherished member of your family. But you must go into pitbull ownership with realistic expectations of the breed’s challenges and be prepared to take on the serious responsibility of managing a powerful animal. For the right owner, a pitbull can be the perfect companion. For others, it may lead to heartbreak. Make sure you understand what you’re getting into before bringing one of these misunderstood dogs into your home.

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