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Pit Bull Awareness Month

October 1 2021

It’s National Pit Bull Awareness Month! This is a great time to raise awareness about this oft-misaligned breed. Pit bulls and pit bull mixes comprise a whopping 20 percent of America’s pet dogs. They’re also one of the breeds most likely to be found in shelters. A local vet discusses the pit bull below.

Basics

The name pit bull is actually an umbrella term for a few different dog breeds: the American Bully, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bulldog. However, there is some ongoing disagreement here. Some breeders insist that the only true pit bull is the American Pit Bull Terrier. (We’ll leave that debate to the AKC.)

History

The first pit bulls were bred in the 19th century. These were a combination of the Old English Terrier, which is now extinct, and the Old English Bulldog. Those puppies became known as ‘bull and terrier’ dogs. They are the ancestors of the dogs we now know as pit bull.

Temperament

You’re probably aware of the fact that pit bulls have a pretty bad rap. They are actually restricted in many areas. This is very sad, because many of them are absolute cuddlebugs, and just want ear scritches and belly rubs. Pit bull mixes also suffer from that bad PR. That said, it is important to recognize that some pits do have a strong prey drive. The main thing is to be responsible with them. Pit bulls should never be allowed to run around off-leash. If you have a yard, make sure that your fencing is secure, so your canine companion can’t get out. Proper training is also very important. We strongly recommend spay/neuter surgery as well. Your vet can give you more care tips.

Adoption

Adopting any dog is a lifetime commitment, so think it over carefully before you proceed. You’ll need to consider your household and family. Pit bulls aren’t always a great mix for a family with cats or other small animals. Some do best as only pets, while others enjoy having other canines around. Of course, every dog is unique, so a lot will depend on Fido’s personality and history. Take time to get to know Fido, and don’t hesitate to ask questions about him.

Celebrating Awareness Day

There are many small things you can do to help raise awareness about pit bulls. Even just sharing posts on social media can help dispel harmful stereotypes. You can also support a pit bull rescue by donating, volunteering, or even fostering. Of course, if you have a pit of your own, treat Fido to a special snack or a new toy.

Our Advice on Pit Bull Awareness Month in 2024

What is National Pit Bull Awareness Month?

National Pit Bull Awareness Month is a dedicated time to highlight and improve the public’s understanding of pit bulls, addressing the misconceptions surrounding this breed. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the positive qualities of pit bulls, promote responsible ownership, and encourage adoption from shelters where they are disproportionately represented. This month aims to dispel myths, showcase the loving and loyal nature of these dogs, and advocate for their fair treatment. In Rialto, CA, our vet clinic supports this initiative by providing education and resources to help ensure pit bulls and their owners thrive together.

Which breeds are encompassed under the term “pit bull”?

The term “pit bull” broadly refers to several breeds, including the American Bully, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bulldog. There’s an ongoing debate about which breeds precisely fall under this umbrella, with some insisting the American Pit Bull Terrier is the only true pit bull. This classification often stems from their shared characteristics and history despite the variance in breed standards and appearances. Our vet clinic recognizes the importance of understanding these distinctions to promote responsible ownership and care.

Why do pit bulls have a negative reputation in some areas?

Pit bulls often face a negative reputation due to a combination of media sensationalism, misconceptions, and a history of being bred for dog fighting. These factors have contributed to a stereotype that unfairly labels them as inherently aggressive. However, aggression in dogs is more closely related to factors like upbringing, training, and socialization rather than breed. In Bloomington, CA, our clinic works to educate the community about the true nature of pit bulls, emphasizing that they can be loving, loyal, and gentle pets with the proper care and socialization.

What are some characteristics of pit bulls’ temperament?

Pit bulls are known for their strong loyalty, affectionate nature, and eagerness to please their owners. They often display a playful and energetic temperament, enjoying activities and exercise. Despite common misconceptions, pit bulls can be incredibly gentle and good-natured, especially when properly trained and socialized from a young age. They possess a remarkable ability to bond with humans, making them excellent companions. It’s essential to remember that, like any breed, individual temperaments can vary, and a loving environment plays a crucial role in nurturing their positive traits.

What measures should be taken to ensure responsible pit bull ownership?

Responsible pit bull ownership involves several vital measures: providing proper training and socialization from an early age to ensure they are well-behaved around other animals and people. Secure, safe housing is crucial to prevent escapes and ensure their safety and that of the community. Spaying or neutering helps reduce aggression and roaming behaviors. Regular veterinary care, including vaccinations and check-ups, maintains their health. Lastly, understanding and respecting the breed’s needs and characteristics, including their energy levels and strength, ensures a harmonious relationship between pit bulls and their owners.

As your animal clinic, we’re here for you. Contact us, your local animal clinic in Rialto, CA, anytime!

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