While it’s true that the pibull was originally bred as a dog intended to fight, they’re not the aggressive animals many believe that they are. We’ve said it before; any dog can be taught aggressive behavior with an irresponsible owner at his side regardless of breed, age, color or size. Pitbulls were originated with the purpose of being aggressive, but they are not bad animals despite the fact that many people are certain they cannot live in homes with other animals. It’s a common misconception and we hear it all the time, “I can’t get a pitbull because I have cat/dog/bird/poodle/whatever at home already,” and it’s just an excuse. Some might believe it to be true, but if you love the pitbull and you want one of your own, you can have one with another animal in the house. With proper socialization, you can have any animal you want in your home, regardless of your already present animals.
Pitbulls are People Dogs
The truth is that this is a breed that is very loyal to people and prefers them to other animals. That doesn’t mean they are going to attack or torture other animals, or even behave improperly toward them. The trick is to know what you’re getting into, how to make the situation work best and how to ensure that your animals are going to get along. This breed does prefer people, so your best bet is to begin socializing your pit when he or she is brand new. Without this socialization at this early age, it becomes difficult to train your dog to behave around other animals. This is the first rule of raising a pit with other animals.
That said, while it’s not impossible to adopt an older dog and bring it home to a house filled with pets already, it might be a bit tricky. If that dog was not socialized growing up, it might be more aggressive and withdrawn from your other animals and leave you with some worries when they’re alone together. The same can be said if you have a pit and have not socialized it for its entire life and suddenly bring another animal into the house. There are exceptions to every rule, but this is what most people can expect from this situation.
Go with Opposite Sex Dogs
According to the ASPCA, many dogs are more likely to become aggressive with one another if they are the same gender, whether they are spayed or neutered or not. This is not a pit breed rule only; it applies to all dog breeds. The best case for raising more than one dog in a home where at least one is a pitbull is to ensure that you have dogs of the opposite sex. When this happens, the dogs do not view the other as competition, and they are more likely to get along. When you set your dogs up to succeed from the beginning like this, things tend to work out better in the long run every time.
Watch for Changing Behavior
You might have a pit puppy and think that he is wonderful with your other dogs. It’s true; they can be wonderful with other dogs when properly trained and socialized. However, they are known to become a bit more aggressive and annoyed with other dogs as they mature. It’s not uncommon to find that a pit decides he no longer wants to play nicely with other pets in your house around 3 years of age. Again, this is not a guarantee, and it doesn’t happen to everyone. But it does happen, and it’s something you should watch out for. Very few incidents are random and out of the blue.
Some dogs with health issues such as neurological disorders will snap with no warning, but this often happens out of nowhere with no signs and no relation to breed. However, there are usually signs when a pit is maturing and changing.
As they mature, their personalities change. When you are aware of these changes, you can very likely stop your animals from having serious issues. Watch your pit as it grows up. Take note of changes in his or her personality. This could be anything; we can’t tell you what to look for because all dogs are different and you are the only person who knows what differences your dog might be showing. These signs of intolerance might mean you have to intervene with the relationship your dogs have, and it might mean that you have to separate them when you are not around for safety reasons.
Keep Your Dog on a Leash
This is a rule that should apply to all dogs when they are not in your fenced yard or home – not just pits. However, we are talking pits. Even if you have no other animals and you want to take yours to the park or on a walk, use a leash. Do not take a pit to a park with no leash, because sometimes simple playtime can trigger a fight. These are dogs that are known for being a bit ‘scrappy’ at times, and when they’re playing they might take things too far if they feel that they are being prompted to do so.
It’s not going to happen to all dogs, but it could happen to any dogs. This is why it’s always best to have your best foot forward when introducing your dog to other animals. You never know how other animals that aren’t familiar to you will react, and keeping your dog – and the dogs of others – safe is always a priority. The ASPCA recommends never leaving dogs unattended to play, particularly those that do not live together on a daily basis. It’s not because they’re going to harm one another, but there is never a reason to take an unnecessary chance.
Pitbulls are definitely dogs that can be around other animals and you can live in a house with multiple animals, including a pit, without ever encountering any issues. However, you always have to be prepared, informed and educated when it comes to living in a home with multiple pets, particularly around the time you begin introducing new animals into your home.
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