Your Pit out in the Public
You may experience breed discrimination. Legislation may prohibit you from living in certain communities, and homeowners insurance may be harder to find. Before you adopt, call your local city hall or animal shelter to find out about your local laws. Check out our Resources page
Do your research. Are your neighbors the kind who might get concerned about a pit bull in the community? Bringing home a pit bull may be tough because many people wrongly associate them as being aggressive. Be prepared with breed facts and history to let people know that it’s bad ownership—not bad dogs—that causes pit bulls to be aggressive.
Set a good example for others. The best pit-bull owners do their best to be advocates for their dogs. Become a proud parent—be sure to show your pit bull the love and care she deserves. The first step is to understand the breed and its challenges before you get a pit-bull, and then only do so if you are completely comfortable with handling this breed. The second step is to raise a happy, well adjusted, trained, and properly socialized dog.
You can then show others how great pit bulls can be, and hopefully teach a few people that these dogs are not all they have been portrayed to be. And always let others know what great companions they make!
Know where your dog is at all times. Do not leave your dog outside unattended. Safely tucked inside the house is the only place your dog should be when you are not home or you cannot directly supervise him. You have no idea what is going on in the yard when you are away – children could be teasing your dog or your dog could be practicing escape techniques they tend to perfect oh-so-quickly.
Understand that your dog may be dog reactive. Take precautions and use common sense – do not allow your dog to run up to unknown dogs, and never allow unknown dogs to run up to your dog. You are your dog’s advocate; you should never expect your dog to automatically be friendly with unfamiliar dogs, especially without a proper introduction. Some dogs cannot be around any other dogs at all, and dog reactivity/aggression is not something you will be able to train out of your dog. You can curb reactivity and often control it, but not stop it altogether. The key to dealing with any reactivity is to understand your dog’s particular triggers and work on controlling the behavior, but most of all – love your dog for who he is! This is not a flaw, this does not mean you have a bad dog nor are you a bad owner, it just is. Management, consistency, and dedication are all important.
Never trust a dog not to fight. Even though your dogs are the best of friends, it’s better to be safe than sorry. All it takes is one time for a fight to break out. This is especially true with multiple dogs in one household of the same sex. Crating and/or separating by rooms are both safe options to use when you are not at home.
Do not breed or buy while shelter animals die. Thousands of Pit Bull type dogs die in shelters each year, and bully rescues are often up to their necks with requests for dogs needing to be surrendered. There are many wonderful pets out there waiting for their forever homes, so instead of going to a breeder or breeding dogs for yourself, contact a rescue or shelter and save a dog from certain death. Instead of being part of the problem, be part of the solution.