If you’re the proud owner of an American Pitbull Terrier, then you are a member of an elite group that knows a few secrets that many people find hard to believe. American Pitbull Terriers have been given a bad rep throughout the world because of a minority in the group who were either not properly raised and socialized, or who had other issues, such as poor breeding, causing vicious behaviors. If you’re not the owner of a pit or have a fear of this breed, you’re encouraged to read on to find out the real truth about them. Here are 20 things only American Pitbull owners would understand.
He’s the guardian of the realm
American Pitbull owners know that their dog would give his life to protect his loved ones. This particular breed is fiercely loyal, and they are particularly watchful over their owners and any small children who are in the family. These dogs have been known stand over babies and toddlers to keep them safe from all potential threats whether human or other animals. They are wonderful family pets who are vigilant in their duty to be the guardian of the people and the homes that they live in. They will let everyone in the house know if there is an uninvited guest prowling around the house or property.
Their appearance can be deceiving
While it is true that an American Pitbull terrier will be wary of strangers and protect the home, they are actually very loving dogs. They enjoy interacting with people and like to give and receive affection. When properly socialized and trained with positive reinforcement methods, this dog breed is as capable of growing into a well-rounded house pet as any other breed. They like to play games like fetch, and also just enjoy spending time in the company of their families.
They miss you when you’re away
American Pitbull terriers form strong bonds with their owners and they desire to be in the company of their one special person, but other trusted family members will do. This is a dog breed that has strong emotions and if left all alone for long periods of time, will become lonely, and even depressed. Your pit desires your company and attention. He’ll be walk you to the door when you leave, and he’ll be anxiously waiting to see you when you get back home. All he really needs is an acknowledgement that he’s your pal when you get home. If you ignore him, you may hurt his feelings. He’s extremely loyal to you and although pits aren’t usually a clingy breed, they do need reassurance from time to time. Don’t let his tough appearance fool you, he’s really a teddy bear in his heart.
You can clear out the park
All you need to do to have the park to yourself is to show up with your pitbull on a leash. You may notice that people who have smaller dogs or children will start moving to the other side of the park. They may even pack up their picnics and go to their cars, calling it a day. While you know that your pitbull is not going to harm anyone, they have the terrible fear that you have just brought a terrible threat into their personal space, even if they are many yards away. People who don’t have personal experience with pits have a fear based on what they have heard about them from news stories and from others who share their fear. When a pit walks into the park, you’re likely to be left sharing the environment only with other pit owners and their pets. It’s not all bad because you’ll have more space to play.
You have to share your space
Pits make a habit of spreading out on the nearest bed, couch, chair or floor space, as long as it is somewhere that is near where you are. Unless you train them to stay off the furniture, be prepared for having your dog jump up onto a couch or chair with you just to share the space. They are known to twist and turn until they fit right into any available space with you. You may feel like two sardines in a tiny can, but he’s not likely to give a single inch. If it’s an uncomfortable situation, you can move if you like, but he’s going to hold his ground unless you make him move.
Your dog scares people
There is no way to get around the fact that people are scared of your pit. It doesn’t matter if he’s the friendliest pup in the world, they are going to feel intimidated when they see him. If you take him on a walk, you’re probably going to have the entire sidewalk to yourself. Even if you have a strong leash, walk by someone with your dog and if they aren’t educated about the facts surrounding this breed, they are likely to cringe and to get away as quickly as possible. You’re probably going to get the same response from people in public when walking a pit as you would if you were carrying a gun or a big knife with you. Try not to judge them too harshly though, Most people are only aware of the bad press that they’ve heard and they don’t know what you do about this sweet and loving dog.
They like to argue with you
Your pit understands by the tone of your voice if you’re giving him a rough time. If he doesn’t agree with what you’re telling him, he will let you know. These amazing pooches have been known to become vocal and to argue back with you. They may respond with an unintelligible garble, but you will know by their facial expressions and body posture, along with the sounds that they are making that they’re making their case and sticking with it. This is one of their hilarious behaviors that will leave you in stitches. Pits will carry on a regular conversation with you, so keep your recording devices handy because you’ll want to play it back over and over again. Did we also mention the fact that pits do not like to be wrong? They’re smart dogs and when they think that they’re in the right, they’ll argue their point…sometimes, even when they know that they’re not.
You will be judged by the dog breed you own
While this isn’t always the case with most dog breeds, you’ll quickly learn that owning a pit bull opens you up to judgment from the masses. People who aren’t familiar with pits will wonder what’s wrong with you. Society is quick to judge us by our possessions and they will wonder if you’re ignorant about what they believe to be the dangers of the breed, or if you’re just a sadist who enjoys torturing them. Prepare yourself to endure some long, hard stares from strangers, but don’t worry, it won’t last long because they’re be too busy clearing out to stand and gawk at you and your dog for long. It’s a great way to discourage unwanted guests and solicitors from knocking at your door.
Guests may be nervous in your home
You should also prepare yourself for those brave souls who will come to visit you despite the fact that you own a pitbull. Often, people who are getting their first exposure to dogs of this breed will feel very uncomfortable. They are to be commended for making the effort, but their nervousness may also make your dog feel uncomfortable. Dogs are sensitive to the actions and reactions of new people and pits in particular will watch their every move. You can see how this could easily become a vicious cycle for both the visitor and the dog. It’s best to let them get to know each other without forcing it. Once your friends and family get to know your dog, and vice-versa, they will become comfortable with one another. It just takes a little time and patience because it’s difficult for people to move past their deep seated fears. If a guest asks you to move your dog to another room, you’ll be faced with a tough decision. You have already fallen in love with him and you know that he’s not a threat. Just remember that it takes time.
American Pits are sweethearts
Any owner will attest to the fact that a properly raised and socialized pit is one of the sweetest and most affectionate dogs on the planet. They love to cuddle with you and spend time just being close. He’s a sweetheart and a big old teddy bear. He’s a dog that you’re extremely proud of owning and you really wish that everyone could understand what you know about him. He’s not the villain that so many have made him out to be, and just by owning him, you’re doing your part to help his kind to be better understood. It’s unfair, but you knew going into the situation that it would be this way. Even though some people will never come around, it’s worth the sacrifice because this dog teaches you the meaning of what unconditional love truly is.
Parents won’t let their kids visit
Your kids may feel bad because there will be a few of their friends who are not allowed to visit your home. This is because their parents are afraid that your pit will hurt them. If your kids have friends who’s parents are pit owners as well, then the problem is solved. If not, it presents a teachable moment for you to educate the children about the harm that prejudice and bias can cause. Most forms of discrimination are born out of fear in the first place. This will show them how it can make other people feel and it’s a valuable life lesson to learn. It’s a shame when this happens because pits are known to love children and to enjoy playing with them. Most pits are protective of youngsters.
They need their own toys, but not just any kind will do
Pits are no different than any other dog when it comes to having their own toys to chew on and play with. Teething puppies and older dogs need to chew and to have something that amuses them. The problem with pits is that they have very strong jaws and teeth. It can be difficult to find dog chew toys and other toys that can stand up to the abuse. Plan on spending some money on the more durable chew toys for your pit, and yes, you will be buying quite a few of them because there really aren’t any made that will hold up for very long.
You might have trouble renting a place
If you’re a pitbull owner and you’re looking for a new place to live, it’s best to buy. If you’re forced to rent then it’s probably going to have to be from a pit owner. Because of the bias against the breed, people are not only afraid of them, they’re afraid to rent to anyone who owns them. While this might sound a bit dramatic, it’s really the truth. Most pitbull owners will agree that it can be an issue. One of the bigger reasons that landlords are hesitant to rent to pit owners is that the dogs are widely considered to be a dangerous breed and this means that the insurance premiums that they pay are likely to go up. This is how insurance companies roll. If they do decide to rent to you, the cost may be considerably higher, but it’s just a fact of life in the current age. Hopefully, things will change over time as people realize that these dogs are not the threat that they are believed to be.
They don’t play fair
Your pit tends to be a bit one sided when it comes to equal treatment. It can be really tough to amuse a pit. If they’re in the mood to play, then they’re more likely to be amused by any clowning around that you do, but if not, they’re apt to ignore you. Be prepared to learn that when your dog is feeling silly and giddy, you’re expected to jump up and act like you’re amused. If you don’t you’re going to hurt his feelings. Is this a little one sided? Of course it is, but this is just something that you’re going to have to learn to live with.
He can run you out of a room
Any pit owner will tell you up front that you had better find the right kind of healthy and nutritious dog food formula that doesn’t make your dog gassy, and stick with it. This goes for doggie treats too! Pits are notorious for passing the worst kind of foul smelling gas that will clear the room in an instant. It will even run other pets out of the room. The wrong kind of dog food can make you sorry that you ever bought it. The same is true for feeding him table scraps. You’ll learn in time, through trial and error, which foods are okay and which are not, and we know that there are many pit parents out there who are shaking their heads in hearty agreement with our warning. It’s not pleasant for anyone in the house, and sometimes your dog will even get up and leave the room himself.
They are great manipulators
Pits have very expressive faces and they know how to use this to their advantage. They are professional beggars and mooches and they know how to melt your heart like butter. Some of their facial expressions are hilarious and will make you laugh, but others will make you feel like a real heel if you don’t share what you’re snacking on with them. Steel yourself and prepare for the mind games or your pit will learn how to manipulate you into doing what they want you to do, instead of the other way. We dare you to try to find a pit that doesn’t do this.
They like to win
Pits are a highly competitive dog breed, and they like to win. This means that you must be at the top of your game. From day one, you need to establish yourself as alpha, or your dog will try to rule the roost. You’ll discover this fact when you’re doing something as simple as playing a game of fetch with him. This dog won’t take it easy on you. It’s not time to quit until he’s had enough. If you leave the game early, he’s going to bug the heck out of you so it’s really not worth it to try. Your best bet is to wear him out so he’ll want to give up, but it’s got to be his idea to end the game or he’s going to be a little put out with you.
He’s mastered the dreaded head tilt
Like the Australian Shepherd breed that is the king of the head tilt, the Pit is right up there with them. This breed knows how to use the head tilt to communicate in a wide variety of ways. When he has a question, he tilts his head. When he’s listening intently to what you’re saying, or if he’s feeling inquisitive about something, he tilts his head. It is very much like human behavior. If you see your pit tilting his head, it is probably because he needs more information or wants to know more about something. It can even mean he’s questioning whether or not you’re going to give him a treat. The worst thing about the head tilt is that it is so darned cute and endearing that it could alter your better judgment so you let him get away with something that you ordinarily wouldn’t. Try to be careful because this master of manipulation will use the head tilt against you.
You have the best jogging companion
Pits have an amazing musculature, and this breed needs to have regular exercise. If you regularly jog around a few blocks, then you have the perfect jogging companion in your pitbull. They are good running partners and have the stamina to keep up with you for a few miles, but you’ll need to have a strong leash. They will protect you from the dangers of muggers and other criminals who might see a sole runner as easy prey. When they see a pitbull running with a person, most criminals are apt to run the other way. If someone is stupid enough to take the chance, this strong and brave dog is fully prepared and equipped to keep you safe from harm. He would give his life protecting you, but the odds are that one growl from him and any would be attackers would flee in terror.
You won’t want the word to get out about your dog
Sometimes it’s nice to have a dog that wards off unwanted guests just by the reputation of the breed. The truth of the matter is that once people get to know your dog, they will realize that he’s not a threat to them. He’s such a loving and affectionate dog that once they give him a chance, he’s more likely to lick them to death. Once the word gets out, the pests that you really don’t want to visit you may begin to feel a little too comfortable in your home. All your guests will really need to do to be welcomed wholeheartedly by your dog is to show him a little attention. American Pitbull terriers are deeply affectionate to people that they like and trust. If you’re the type of person who prefers to live a solitary life, then it’s best to let people think that you are in fact living with a monster because once they get to know your dog, the cat will be out of the bag.