Are you bringing home a Pitbull for the first time? Pitties are wonderful pets, but if this is your first time parenting one, you need to have a strong personality to be their alpha. Some pawrents find it harder while others find it worthwhile. Regardless of the behavior of the pooch, owning a Pitbull for the first time will be a new challenge.
It’s a happy feeling to have a new baby doggo at home. But after the dust has settled, you’ll realize that it’s not that easy. Taking care of a Pitty requires patience and consistency, if not, your new dog will run the household.
Based on my experience, owning a Pitbull for the first time is synonymous to a chewed carpet, poo everywhere, and tons of visits to the vet. At that moment, there’s no manual I can refer to. But as I learned each day, I’ve accumulated these pieces of knowledge that I’ll share with you as a fellow Pitty owner.
Tough enough to be a Pitbull owner? Well, you should be prepared to face the stereotypes attached to this breed. Due to the violent people that bred Pitties for blood sports, these pooches are stereotyped as aggressive and rabid. But as more and more responsible breeders produce these pooches, they are now lovable and people-pleasers. Remember, aggression is taught. If you raise your pup with love and affection, they will be your buddy for life.
I’ve met a lot of aggressive Pitties but it’s because they are raised in a violent environment. With this, states like Kentucky, Iowa, Arkansas, and Louisiana prohibit domestication of Pitbulls. If you leave on these BLS states, sad to say, but you can’t own a Pitbull.
If you’re lucky to be in a Pitbull-friendly place, I suggest that you meet other Pitties on rescue centers. This is so you’ll have an idea about their behavior. Volunteer to be a puppy-seater once to see how they behave.
New Pitbull owner tips: If you are thinking of having a Pitbull as a first dog, you should think twice. Raising this toughie requires consistency and a strong handler.
Exploring the temperament and behavior
Before you fetch that sweetheart home, make sure that you have a good grasp of its temperament and behavior. Forget about the vicious stigma, a well-bred Pitbull will be a lovable and affectionate pooch. You have to be a dedicated owner so they will grow as funny, clown dogs that are eager to please their family. At some point, Pitbull puppies can be very clingy. It’s all a matter of who handles them.
Take note that Pitbulls are prone to separation anxiety.
If you’re leaving them alone, it will be a challenge to keep a pup at home. You need to have expertise with dogs before bringing home a Pitbull.
You have to keep Pitties accompanied if you don’t want them to chew your belongings away. This breed has a hard-wired tendency to mouth and munch. If you don’t supply them with toys and physical activities, they will vent their boredom somewhere else.
Due to their dark past, Pitbulls have a lingering history of aggression. It’s important that you subject them to training as early as possible.
The energy level
From their muscular build, you can tell that these doggos are energetic and strong. When owning a Pitbull for the first time, you need to have the endurance to take them on long walks. As they grow bigger, their tugging will be more forceful. They also require regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy.
My Pitty can run 10 miles a day and still feel enthusiastic about playing. If you want to own one, you have to keep up with their physical needs.
If you fail to make them tired, they will find ways to do it themselves. They will chase people, run after squirrels, and bolt on your yard. All of these are destructive and harmful for the dog, the people around, and the property itself.
Aside from satisfying their behavioral inclination, exercise is also a staple to keep their muscles lean. If not, your Pitty would become lethargic.
You should be willing to play fetch, do brisk walks, and regular training sessions. A Pitbull needs to have a daily outdoor run or they will become unhappy.
They don’t like being with other dogs
One of the new Pitbull owner tips you should know is that Pitties don’t like being with other doggos. These dudes are territorial and still bears their ancestors’ fighting instinct. The presence of another dog seems like a challenge for them.
Their notorious fighting history makes Pitties a defensive breed. You can’t expect them to be easy-going without proper training and socialization. If you have other four-legged pets at home, you have to be careful or these canines will give a fight. They will run after your cat or challenge your other doggo in a biting duel.
If you are to bring your new pooch in a walk in the park, always bring a break stick. This will help you break your dog apart when he gets in trouble with other pooches. Remember: it’s intended to break fights, not to hit dogs.
This aggression toward dogs can be fixed through early socialization. The good thing about Pitbulls is that they are versatile dogs. They may have the aggression inherited from their parents, but it can be reshaped in a short period.
Pitbulls have one of the most sensitive tummies
Of all the dog breeds I’ve encountered, Pitbulls have one of the most sensitive digestive systems. Their susceptibility to food allergies and other irritants make them one of the most challenging breeds to raise. Pitties react harshly to wheat, soy, and corn among other grains. Since they are deep-chested doggos, these ingredients can induce too much flatulence.
The harm here is that too much gas can lead to gastric torsion. This is a typical but lethal condition where the stomach of a Pitbull twists due to excess air. When left untreated, it can bore a hole on the doggo’s tummy which can lead to death.
As much as they have sensitive stomachs, Pitbulls are also hefty-eaters.
If you don’t control their portions, they will grow as obese dogs. If you don’t have the patience and time to handle this, Pitbulls may not be best for you. Just one of the honest new Pitbull owner tips here, my friend.
But if you’re willing to dedicate some time to them, your acts of love will be reciprocated. You just have to be patient.
You have to socialize them
It’s imperative for Pitbull owners to expose their pooches to other dogs if they want them to grow friendly. But first, never take your new Pitbull to a dog park right away. You will be caught in a nightmare of barking, tugging, and brawling dogs. Aside from fueling the aggression of your dog, other pet owners will hate you.
Start by introducing another dog, say your friend’s or neighbor’s pet. Let him approach the other dog in his own timing. It will also help to have other people around aside from the members of your household.
If you want your Pitty to be good around people and other dogs, do the socialization as early as possible. They can be stubborn at first, but even adult dogs can yield to training if done well.
Always have your Pitty in a leash when meeting other people and dogs. You’ll never know when he will be in defensive mode. When owning a Pitbull for the first time, ensure that each interaction will be a positive one. Keep your eyes close to your Pitty so you can intervene when things got rough.
Devotion and love
Do you want a people pleaser and a dog that will do anything for you? A Pitbull is exactly what you’re looking for. If you raise a Pitty well, it will be loyal to you for life. Based on my own experience, Pitties love responsibilities and when you give them one, they will be eager to accomplish it.
Pitbulls tend to be overprotective too. However, you should train them to listen to you and follow you. Take note, though, that the devotion of a Pitbull can become demanding. They always want to be beside you. I’ve proven that to my own pooch who won’t spare a moment, not even my private bathroom time.
As much as possible, don’t leave your Pitbull for alone for a long time. Based on my experience, this doggo can get really heartsick and the price I had to pay is a shredded ottoman and a wrecked couch.
My technique here is to stop making a big deal out of goodbyes. Just exit that door and don’t give too much fuss about going to work. You’re doing it every single weekday, so what’s with the endless dog smooches?
The concern about families with kids
Do you have kids and planning to take a Pitty home? If you have a little baby, I advise that you delay the interaction first. Pitbulls have an innate curiosity and a possible case of aggression. Since babies and toddlers have sudden moves, the doggo might think of it as a threat.
Subject the Pitbull to socialization and training first. Later on, you can introduce the pup but always be in the middle to intervene in case it didn’t go as planned. Let the pup approach the toddler, let him sniff, but if he starts to mouth, shove him away.
For grown-up kids, Pitbulls would be a great companion. They are as protective and loving as they are to their paw-rents.
Again, if you’re not yet familiar with the behavior of the new pup, never risk letting it roam around the house if you have a little one.
My Pitbull was a bit rash when he was still young. But as he grows up and gets exposed to other dogs and people, he mellowed down. Now, he’s one of the sweetest dogs and he never fails to get a compliment at the dog park.
New Pitbull owner tips: be consistent and sure of your rules!
Not good guard dogs
Yes, Pitbulls aren’t great guard dogs! If you raise them as family pets, don’t expect them to have a “guard dog” mode. They will be friendly to strangers. Unless they are threatened, they won’t even bark or bite. They will just lick and sniff an intruder instead of driving it away. Although training can gear your Pitty as an aggressive doggo, it can’t happen in line with friendliness as a family pet.
If you’re looking for a dedicated guard dog, you might as well look for breeds like German Shepherds. Pitties get distracted easily. Just give them a toy and they will play along. Also, they have a tendency to wander around.
If we are to compare Pitties to humans, they are the ones who sneak out of work to have a good time. Besides, they are happy and friendly dogs who want to meet a lot of people.
Believe me when I say this: Pitbulls are great escape masters. I once put mine on a wire crate and it didn’t take him long to get out, wreck the crate, and sustain a concussion. It’s actually my fault for underestimating my doggo’s physical strength. If you’re planning to crate the pooch when you go out, invest on a reinforced steel type. Never plastic, they will just chew it like gum.
If plans are underway of owning a Pitbull for the first time, make sure that you get your yard fenced.
Like what I said, you can’t trust this pooch to stay within your established limits. When they see a speeding rabbit, they won’t resist the urge to chase. The same goes for kids and other people that will pass by your property.
Still, allow your pooch to have his free time without a leash. Let him romp until he gets tired. This is important, especially if you can’t take him to a walk.
Owning a Pitbull for the first time is an exciting idea. However, you should also prepare for the responsibility that awaits.