The pit bull is not a breed, but is a name used when describing the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and pit bull type mixed breeds.
Pitt Bull – Dog Breed Profile – Negative Reputation as Fighting Dogs
Pit bull type dogs were originally bred for dog fighting and bull and bear baiting. However, the majority of pit bull type dogs are now bred for the purpose of human companionship.
In recent years pit bull type dogs have gained the negative reputation as fighting dogs. In several areas of the country pit bull type dogs are subject to breed specific laws. These laws impose strict requirements for owners of pit bull type dogs. In some areas, it is illegal to own the breed. Owners of pit bull type dogs are constantly struggling to change the many public misconceptions regarding pit bull type dogs.
Pitt Bull – Dog Breed Profile – Loving, Affectionate, Powerful Dogs
In contrast to their negative reputation, pit bull type dogs are magnificent, affectionate, loving dogs who are very devoted to their owners and generally friendly to humans. They are extremely smart dogs who are easily trainable and eager to please. Pit bull type dogs are protective of their families if the need arises. They are also characteristically strong-minded, self-confident, easily motivated, creative and courageous. Pit bulls type dogs usually have a high energy level and enjoy exercise daily.
Since pit bull type dogs can sometimes tend to be dominant and aggressive to other dogs, it is important for owners of pit bull type dogs to establish a leadership role early in the dog’s life. It is also advisable for owners of pit bull type dogs to enroll their dog in a basic obedience training class. Socialization of pit bull type dogs is also imperative.
Pit bull type dogs are generally medium sized dogs with powerful, muscular, sturdily built bodies. Their short glossy coats may be a variety of colors including white, tan, fawn, merle, brown, liver and brindle.
Pitt Bull – Dog Breed Profile – Health Issues
The life expectancy of a pit bull type dog is between twelve to fourteen years. Although they are usually healthy dogs, pit bull type dogs are susceptible to hip dysplasia, cataracts, allergies, thyroid deficiencies and congenital heart disease.
Pitt Bull – Dog Breed Profile – Advertising Dogs
Pit bull type dogs have been used widely used in advertising. Some famous examples of this are Tige, the Buster Brown dog, Nipper, the RCA dog and Spuds McKenzie, the Bud Light dog. Many episodes of the children’s television show, The Little Rascals, featured Petey, a pit bull mix. In addition, a pit bull named Backup regularly appeared in the television show Veronica Mars.
Pitt Bull – Dog Breed Profile – Dogs of the Stars
Celebrities that have owned pit bull type dogs include Fred Astaire, Jamie Foxx, Michael J. Fox, Madonna, Shaquille O’Neal, President Theodore Roosevelt, President Woodrow Wilson, General George S. Patton, Helen Keller, Steve Irwin, Jon Stewart and David Spade.
Pitt Bull – Dog Breed Profile – Versatile Dogs
Pit bull type dogs are versatile. Working pit bull type dogs are used as police dogs, military dogs, search and rescue dogs and therapy dogs. Pit bull type dogs also often compete in dog sports such as agility, herding, obedience, conformation, Schutzhund and French Ring.