About the Breed

  Fast Facts:

  • Many different dog breeds are lumped into the category "pit bull," even dogs that aren't actually Pit Bull Terriers!
     

  • Bully breed dogs have a true zest for life, and love to be with their humans.  A real "velcro dog."
     

  • They can be athletic, energizer bunnies, couch potatoes, or anywhere in between!
     

  • They are a true terrier, and can be persistent, dedicated, loyal, spirited, and determined.

what is a "Pit Bull"?

Pit Bull is not  a breed of dog. It is most often used as a term to describe a group of dogs with similar physical traits.  Those traits include blocky heads, muscular bodies with broad chests and necks, and short, sleek coats.  The term "pit bull" is commonly used to describe a group of dog breeds, much like the terms "retrievers," "hounds," or "herding dogs." 

 

Dogs that are labeled as a pit bull are often a mix of various breeds.  They might have the genetics of an American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Boxer, Mastiff, Labrador Retriever, or any other breed.

Did you know? 

There are many different breeds that make up what is commonly referred to as a "pit bull".

are pit bulls active?

All dogs are individuals and have their own personal energy levels.  Some pit bull type dogs are couch potatoes and some are extremely active. Pit bulls can do well in an urban environment without a fenced in yard, provided they have enough positive mental and physical outlets for their energy.  Some will do better than others (and our adoption team can help you find a dog with the right energy level to match your life style).

 

Many pit bulls enjoy couch time or napping with their owners, but, true to their terrier roots, they can be rambunctious and mischievous until they mature.  Maturity is usually reached between 2 and 5 years old.  Senior dogs remain joyful and playful.

Most pit bulls are agile, athletic, and want to have FUN!  They enjoy running, swimming, hiking, playing fetch or frisbee, and spending quality time with their people.  These are not dogs that you adopt to keep in the backyard, garage kennel, or on a chain.  They want to be an integral part of your family!

The flip-side of an athletic dog: they can be escape artists!

An athletic dog can scale fences, dig underneath, or Houdini their way out of a supposedly secure yard. If you do not have a secure fence, they should also be on a long leash attached to you.  Always keep your dog indoors when no one is able to supervise their backyard time.  

Did you know? 

Pit bulls make impressive athletes and often enjoy participating in agility, flyball, and other dog sports.  Utilize your dog's innate capabilities and see what you can accomplish together!

breed traits

There are many breeds that make up the category "pit bulls", but, of those breeds, they have many similarities. Every dog is an individual, but knowing a dog's breed and their traits is an important aspect to being a good dog owner.

Pit bull type dogs are intelligent, fun-loving, loyal, dedicated, spirited, and determined.  They love their people with their whole heart, and they have a zest for life unlike any other.  They are true terriers, and share many characteristics with other breeds in the terrier family.

 

Determination is one of their most notable traits. Some people call determination and dedication "stubbornness," but others call it "seeing a task through to the end." Pit bulls absolutely put their heart and soul into whatever it is they set out to do, whether that be acting out in boredom or climbing into your lap for kisses!  They do best with consistent and fair guidelines, expectations, and house rules.

Pit bulls are very eager to please!  We provide a $100 adoption fee refund for alumni who attend a training class within 90 days of adoption.  Pit bulls are very intelligent, and responsive to training, which makes them excellent candidates for everything from basic obedience to advanced dog sports.

Did you know? 

While dogs of a certain breed tend to have similar qualities, each dog is an individual with their own quirks, personalities, and likes and dislikes.

Is a pit bull right for me?

No breed of dog is right for every household.  Dogs should be adopted because that individual is a good fit for your lifestyle and family type, not based on breed or appearance alone.

Our adoption team is highly skilled and will ask you many questions to help you decide if a pit bull is a good fit for your home.  We have many different energy levels, personality types, and ages of dogs in our rescue.  This means that we have adopt-a-bull dogs that suit many different family types!

Pit Bulls love their owners with a heart and devotion unlike any other breed.  With this kind of admiration comes great responsibility! To know the love of a Pit Bull is a love that is unmatched.  Families that are responsible, committed owners know their dogs are well worth

the energy and responsibility.

Keep reading to learn more about the breed and find out if they might be a

good fit for your home.

do they need grooming?

These handsome hunks have very few grooming needs and are generally easy to care for.  They don't have much fur to shed (but you might find their short hairs on your pants), but they do need occasional showers. Most pit bulls have a very short coat, and just need to be wiped down with a grooming mit occasionally.  Nails should be trimmed every 1-5 weeks, depending on how quickly their nails grow.

However - they generally don't like to be cold!!  Your pit bull will want to be where it is warm: inside with you!  Most pit bulls are expert cuddlers, and their cuddling powers seem to increase exponentially when it is cold out!  She may even insist on sneaking under your covers with you, too.

The good news: They'll keep you warm while trying to keep themselves warm.  And, they look great in fabulous little winter dog jackets and sweaters!

Did you know? 

Nail length is an important factor in a dog's overall grooming health.  Keep them short with a clippers, dremmel, or by making frequent visits to your favorite groomer.  Learn about the importance of a short nail length here.

are pit bulls good with kids?

It is a well known fact - Well managed pit bulls are some of the best family dogs.  The American Canine Temperament Test Society lists this breed as having one of the most stable temperaments of any purebred, right up there with Golden Retrievers.

Many pit bulls love to spend time with children. However, we must remember that dogs are sentient beings with their own feelings, concerns, fears, and tolerance levels.  

 

Children should never be allowed to climb on or pull on a dog, or take toys, food, or other possessions from a dog.  A child should never approach a dog, give hugs to, or invade their personal space. They should instead wait for the dog to approach them.

 

Regardless of the dog breed, the majority of bites to children happen from the family's, grandparent's, or a relative's dog.  It often happens when adults are watching or nearby.  

 

This tells us that supervision is not enough. 

 

Adults should always manage all interactions between a dog and children to make sure everyone is comfortable.  A dog cannot verbally tell us when they are uncomfortable, so we need to learn their body language instead.  Remember, any dog can bite.  Check out this article to learn more.

For dogs that love children, we need to remember that pit bulls are strong, active dogs and can easily knock over smaller sized kiddos or overwhelm them with exuberance. Having a harmonious, well managed household with both dogs and children isn't easy, but it is delight when it is done right!   Learn more here!

 

Did you know? 

As with ANY breed, no dog should EVER be left alone with a child, and close supervision is always required.  If you cannot actively manage the situation, put up a gate to separate dogs and children.

what about dog aggression?

Regardless of breed, an individual dog's tolerance level with other dogs can range from very Dog Social to very Dog Aggressive.  Most pit bulls fall somewhere in between.  To make things even more confusing, dog tolerance levels can shift during a dog's lifetime.  A late-maturing puppy that started off as very Dog Social can lose their forgiving nature and become more Dog Tolerant as they grow older, catching many owners by surprise.  

 

In other cases, Dog Aggressive adults can become much more Dog Tolerant with training and socialization opportunities.  A large part of an individual dog's success with other dogs depends on the genetics he inherits, his early life experiences, and how well or not well he is managed.  Dog Aggressive or Dog Selective dogs don't have to live a life isolated from other dogs.  Those who are managed and trained properly can enjoy their lives in the presence of other dogs out on walks or in certain situations.  It is not about "how he was raised," but how his is managed in each moment.

No matter what your dog's tolerance is for other dogs, it is your responsibility to keep him well socialized and properly managed, especially around dogs he does not know.  Good management is KEY and must be kept up for the life of your pet.  This includes avoiding rushed greets with other dogs, doing SLOOOOW introductions with potential dog friends, and eagle-eye supervision during doggie play sessions.

To prevent trouble, all pit bull owners should stay very alert to the different types of things that could trigger your dog in a dog fight.  (Stiff body posturing? Tug-of-war with each other? Stealing toys or food? Escalated play?)  Leaving terrier breeds along together unattended, no matter how much they "love each other" is unwise.  Trust us!  Separate your dogs when you aren't there to supervise and you'll never have to worry about them getting into a Big Bad Argument while you're away.

Even with the big help of socialization and obedience training, this confident breed can be pushed into a fight if sufficiently challenged by another dog.  This big bravado can cause you and your dog BIG trouble if not understood or managed well, especially in today's anti-pit bull climate.

Did you know? 

Given their historical circumstances, pit bulls can be less tolerant of dogs than other breeds. Pit bull owners must understand that their dogs may not get along with all other dogs, especially dogs of the same sex, and manage them so they can enjoy their world while keeping everyone safe and happy.

are pit bulls social?

Typical pit bulls love people!  They love to go places with you to see the sights and visit with your friends, family, and strangers on the street.  Everyone is a candidate for their new best friend!  

Unfortunately, their love and devotion to their owners has made their susceptible to abuse.  Over the last 20 years or so, the pit bull has fallen victim to the careless and malicious deeds of irresponsible or shady owners and unethical breeders.  This bad combination, along with the handiwork of a sensationalist media, has done a terrible thing to our beloved breed.  

As a result, myths, misdeeds, misunderstanding and hysteria about the breed abound. When you walk around with your lovable, adorable bully, you'll no doubt encounter people who'll be afraid of her or who give you trouble for having a pit bull.  People might cross to the other side of the street, feel like they need to "educate" you, or give you hard or staring looks.

However, others will want to tell you how wonderful your dog is!  By taking your well behaved bully out into the world, you'll have the pleasant opportunity to talk to lots of different folks that you meet.  By doing so, you can help dispel the myths about pit bulls as you proudly show off your dog.  Hanging out at the local coffee shop with your lovable pit bull by your side will probably bring you more interesting conversations than you ever thought possible.  

Because of these reasons, the Social Butterfly of the Dog World makes a lousy guard dog! They might bark at a burglar looking through the window, but will lick his hand and show him to the new TV once he's in the house.  The thief may even try to steal your pit bull!  Do NOT get a pit bull if you want a

guard dog.  Consider an alarm system instead.

Did you know? 

Pit bulls regularly score higher in tests such as the American Temperament Test Society’s standardize temperament test than dogs like Golden Retreivers: http://www.atts.org  Human aggression is not tolerated in the breed.

© 2017 by Sioux Empire Pit Rescue. 

PO Box 2321 Sioux Falls SD 57101