Responsible Pit Bull Ownership
Any pit bull owner should fully admit that these dogs are not the right breed for everyone to own. Pit bulls are a breed that require a lot of attention, training, dedication, and most of all, a tough skin. With BSL rearing its ugly head in different parts of the world, it is important that pit bull owners are responsible, and a positive representative of the breed. Please, help set a good example!
– Pit bulls are affectionate and devoted family pets: That means that they require a lot of attention and love; Banishing a dog to the backyard for the entire day, or leaving him/her in a kennel hours on end is no way to treat your pooch. At the very least, two hours a day must be spent with your furry friend, or you might end up with a pit bull that is destructive and depressed.
– Pit bulls are agile and athletic: That means that they need a lot of exercise. Any dog, but especially pit bulls, need at least one hour of exercise every day. Without exercise, and a way to release energy, your pit bull may become bored and destructive, or simply obese!
– Pit bulls may possess animal aggression: A trait that is not uncommon amongst dogs of any breed, animal aggression simply means that your dog may not get along with other animals, especially other dogs. A responsible owner will accept this and ensure that any dog on dog socialization is monitored closely to prevent a fight from breaking out. In this case, off-leash dog parks are an obvious ‘no, no’ for any dogs possessing animal aggression.
– Pit bulls receive a lot of bad hype: This is why pit bull owners need to develop a thick skin, and instead of retaliating to any negative comments or stereotypes about the breed, they should aim to educate the public. Being a positive ambassador of the breed is one of the best ways to help people realize how wonderful these dogs really are.
Here are a few tips on what it means to be a responsible dog owner:
- Obedience train your dog: So that you may have him/her in check in all situations, whether in a crowd or around other animals, or even at home. Never hit or smack your dog; it IS abuse and no dog learns from negative disciplining.
- Neuter/Spay your dog: Breeding should be left to highly knowledgeable, reputable, and responsible people that have the experience and dedication. Please do not allow more unwanted dogs to end up in shelters or city pounds; there are many wonderful pets waiting for a loving and dedicated owner to take them into a forever home.
- Socialize your dog with everyone and everything: Slow, careful on leash introductions to other dogs and lots of interaction with different kinds of people. Never leave your dog unsupervised with other animals or children.
- Respect the local laws: Do not let your dog run around freely on the streets; this adds to the negative image that people have of pit bulls and dog owners in general. Please remember to pick up after your dog at all times – poop and scoop, don’t bend and pretend!
- Exercise your dog regularly: If you think that 15 minutes a day is enough, think again. A well exercised dog is a happy and healthy dog. At least one hour of exercise a day is needed for a medium sized breed.
- Do your research: Before you even think about getting a dog, do your research. Make sure your lifestyle can accommodate a new addition into your family. Check to make sure that you are not allergic to dogs, and that you have the time and dedication it takes to raise and care for a pet. The reason that so many dogs end up in shelters is because owners find that they have ended up with an animal that they were not ready for in the first place, or that they cannot cope with vet costs, behavioral problems and training, etc.
A.Barber’s APBT, Luna’s Dark Eve
It isn’t only “bad” dogs who bite. Dogs often bite when they are sick, injured or afraid. Some also bite to protect their homes, families, food and toys.
Different dogs react differently in each situation, so always be cautious, especially with dogs you don’t know. It’s important to be aware of situations which may frighten or anger a dog. A neighbor’s normally friendly dog may become aggressive if someone enters the house unannounced or if a child reaches through a fence to touch the dog.
- Don’t disturb a dog who is eating, sleeping or caring for puppies.
- Don’t approach a dog’s food, toys or bowl.
- Never tease, chase or yell at a dog.
- Don’t play roughly with dogs, or grab their ears and tails.
- Be aware that older dogs, and those with disabilities, may be easily irritated or frightened. Always treat these dogs with respect and be considerate of their limitations.
- Don’t take food away from a dog or pick up dropped food in a dog’s presence.
- Don’t run or ride a bicycle past a dog. Some dogs like to chase fast-moving objects.
- Don’t corner, crowd or stand over a dog, and do not put your hand over a dog’s head, as this may make the dog feel defensive.
- Don’t approach unattended dogs — in yards, in cars or outside stores.
- Adults should place themselves between their children and any unfamiliar dogs. Children should stand back and never put their faces close to a dog’s mouth.
- If you can’t avoid an unfamiliar dog and she approaches you, don’t stare. Allow the dog to sniff you. If you’re not sure she’s friendly, stand still and avoid eye contact.
- If the dog does attack, “feed” him your back pack, jacket, purse, or anything else that can come between you and the dog. Don’t try to run away as this may make matters worse.
- Teach children about safe behavior around dogs and about the importance of treating all animals with respect. Ensuring children understand and observe the safety guidelines will reduce the chances of a negative encounter with a dog.
- Babies and small children require adult supervision around any dog, even their own.