An easily recognized breed with an often unfair reputation, the Pit Bull is perhaps one of the kindest, gentlest dogs that there is if you open your home and your heart to one. For decades, these dogs have had their names dragged through the mud because of “owners” who mistreated them and used them for dogfighting.
But, thankfully, these pups have won the hearts of millions of dog lovers worldwide and are no longer known to be aggressive dogs. In fact, Pitbulls are so loving and gentle that they are known to be bad guard dogs! These dogs are also great family pets and family dogs.
The term “Pit Bull” is simply a name used to describe this type of dog, which is properly known as the American Staffordshire Terrier or even the American Pit Bull Terrier. If you’ve recently welcomed one of those smiling pups into your life, then there are some essentials to have on hand and key things to consider to ensure your pittie stays happy and healthy for years to come.
A Basic Overview of the Pit Bull AKA American Staffordshire Terrier
As mentioned above, for decades there’s been a lot of confusion and misunderstanding surrounding the American Staffordshire Terrier. The name of the dog is often used to describe “bully” breed types of dogs. Often known to have characteristics of the American Bulldog (American Bully), the terrier breed has a wealth of energy.
The term Pit Bull is not the actual name of a dog breed, it's a nickname. In the 1930s, the more proper name of American Staffordshire Terrier (amstaff) was given to hopefully move past the tragic history of these dogs.
Did you know that American Pitbulls became nanny dogs because of their gentleness around children?
In the 1890s breeders of American pit bull-type dogs attempted to have their dogs recognized by breeders and authorities. However, due to their unfair association with dogfighting, the American Kennel Club (AKC) rejected their requests.
After this rejection by the AKC, breeders of American Pit Bull Terriers established a rival kennel club, known as the United Kennel Club who regulated dogfights.
One of the biggest issues with one of these breeds of dogs is that the owners themselves are not held accountable for how they treat their dogs as breed-specific legislation only addresses the dog breed as a whole. Dog owners who abuse their animals or breed them for blood sports are to blame, not the dogs themselves.
From puppyhood, Pitbulls benefit greatly from socialization and playtime with other dogs. Pit Bull Puppies learn a lot at the early stage so it is essential to get them into training.
If you’re recently welcomed a Pit Bull into your life, you’ll want to offer them dental treats, healthy chews, and strong rope toys to satisfy their natural desire to chew. These dogs are hard chewers, so choose durable products for them so that they can enjoy them longer. View our range of Zen dog chews.
These are dogs that are happiest when they are with their people, but given their size and temperament, it’s best to start training early—from walks to doggie manners.
This is a dog breed that is highly prone to developing separation anxiety. A person who works from home could be a perfect match for this breed so that there are not long hours spent away from one another. Despite the myth that these dogs are mean, studies clearly indicated that these dogs are gentle, sweet, and easy-going family members when given proper stimulation, love, and care.
As with many bully breeds, the Pit Bull needs proper socialization and dog training from an early age to help them be the best dog. This is a testament to their lineage, as staffordshire bull terriers and bull breeds, in general, are known for their high energy matched with stubbornness. Pitties are intelligent and love a challenge and have all it takes to be your best friend.
To combat their high energy and desire to become naughty dogs should their anxiety get the best of them, invest in a heavy-duty harness and standard leash to walk your APBT regularly. This will also help to keep them at a healthy weight, since these dogs have a great love for eating, too.
Many lovers of purebred APBTS are passionate about adopting rescue dogs. Anyone interested in pit bull rescues can find out more information here.
Coat and General Health
While generally considered to be a healthy breed overall, the American Staffordshire Terrier is prone to a few notable health issues. For starters, these dogs are known for having skin issues and allergies. Quality skin and coat supplement is essential to combat dry and itchy skin and improve your Pit’s quality of life.
Additionally, Pits are known for having sensitive stomachs, which can directly relate to those allergies mentioned above. For dogs with delicate tummies, Omega 3 Supplements, Bone Broth Supplements, and a premium grain-free kibble are best to keep issues at bay.
The breed is an active one, and their heightened activity level can put them at risk of developing joint issues, hip dysplasia, and arthritis. Start your Pit Bull out young with a quality Joint Care Supplement as preventative care.
Given their love of eating, these dogs are prone to obesity and hyperthyroidism. The best thing you can do for your Pit to give them the best life possible is to ration their food and treat intake and try to think of other ways to spoil them that don’t include food. Fetch toys and car rides and long walks are a great way to do this!
With proper diet and preventative care, these dogs can live a long and healthy life up to 14 years—which is quite long for a large breed of dog. In terms of ideal weight, females are typically considered healthy around 40-55 lbs, and males around 55-70 lbs.
What’s the Best Bed for Your Pit Bull?
The Pit Bull is a total cuddle bug at heart. And with their short, slick coat, they can become cold quite easily. Pits are larger dogs, usually weighing at least 50 lbs, so you’ll want to select a larger bed to accommodate their frame. These dogs love to curl up when they’re sleeping, so choose a bed for them that’s fluffy with lots of cushions that they can sink into.
If you happen to have an older Pit in your life, a memory foam option could be ideal to give them the support they need for tired/achy joints. View our Calming Cuddle Beds Now.