Owning a dog is a huge responsibility. Every dog deserves an owner that is dedicated to responsibly raising them. Owning a dog is a lot more than just providing them with food, shelter, and the occasional vet visit. A responsible dog owner must provide their pet with the tools to succeed and the opportunity to be a good dog.
Raising a pit bull is pretty much the same as raising any other breed. Just like any breed, if raised well, a pit bull can be an excellent and well-behaved dog. The only real difference between raising a pit bull and raising any other breed, is that pit bull owners should try to go the extra mile. There are a lot of people out there who will look to criticize pit bulls at any opportunity. When you own a pit bull the stakes are raised. If a chihuahua bites someone, it’s not a huge deal, but if a pit bull bites someone it will have more publicity and bigger consequences.
Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when raising your pit bull:
- Spaying and neutering- As Bob Barker famously said, “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.” This is the most important and responsible thing that any owner can do for their pet. Getting your pet spayed or neutered not only helps control pet overpopulation, but has several other benefits as well. This simple and inexpensive procedure will help improve your dog’s health, reduce their urge to roam or escape, and help prevent them from acting aggressively or developing aggressive habits.
- Exercise- Pit bulls are extremely active dogs and need to be exercised everyday. Whether you take your dog for a walk or play fetch in the backyard, they require over 30-minutes of exercise a day. If a pit bull does not get enough exercise, they can become anxious and develop the sudden urge to run around the house and destroy any pair of shoes they can find. Overall a well exercised dog, no matter what breed, is a lot more enjoyable to be around.
- Keep your dog on a leash!– Don’t be that one person in the neighborhood who lets their dogs roam around without a leash. Whenever your dog is in a non-fenced area, they need to have a leash on. You may think that you have the sweetest dog in the world, but it still needs a leash. Letting your dog roam free is just asking for trouble and causes a lot of stress for fellow dogs and dog owners.
- Know your dog’s signs and body language– When something is wrong, your dog’s body language will normally alert you. The best way to help prevent potential conflicts with other dogs is to know your dog’s body language. Here is a very helpful and well illustrated chart that depicts signs of anxiety in dogs.
- Obedience training– Obedience training is very important for young pups. Every owner should be able to control their dog and every dog should have a basic understanding of how to socialize and behave.
- Don’t just supervise your dog; be observant– Never leave your dog alone with young children or other dogs. Dog fights can happen with any breed and in order to prevent them from happening you have to be supervising your dog. However, just being physically present isn’t enough. It is important to be aware of signs of aggression and be observant enough to act before something bad happens.
- Socialization- Socialization is very important for young pups. Early socialization can help a dog adapt to new and unfamiliar environments. Socializing your dog and introducing them to new experiences can eliminate a lot a future stress and anxiety in your dog. However, it is also important to not rush your dog and to introduce them to new experiences at a healthy pace. You don’t want to socialize your dog at a pace they are uncomfortable with, but at the same time you don’t want to avoid socialization. It is important to find a balance between the two.