How To Choose A Healthy Pit Bull Puppy: Stick To Reputable Dog Breeders

Deciding to add a Pit Bull terrier to the family is a big step. You should have already done research on the breed to learn the characteristics that Pits possess, and you should have also decided on a male of female. Once you’ve tackled those hurdles, it is time for the next step… finding the perfect puppy for your family.

The best way that I would suggest for finding great puppies is to check with your local American Pit Bull Terrier club. Get in touch with the club’s president and find out when the club meets. Attend a meeting, get to know some of the members, and begin asking around for breeder recommendations.

Alternatively, you can buy dog magazines and go through the breeder listings contained in the resources section. Take some time to call the breeders who you are interested in possibly working with, and spend a brief while on the telephone with them. Ask them questions such as:

- How long have you been actively breeding Pit Bulls?
- How long have you been involved with the breed?
- How many litters per year do you have?
- Where are your puppies kept?
- Are your puppies socialized?
- Etc.

You can also contact your veterinarian and ask them for a referral. A vet will typically know the health of a breeder’s lines, so they can be a great source of inside info.

You most certainly want to stay away from pet shops and puppy mills. In most cases, these sources obtain their puppies from a variety of places and it is nearly impossible to know if they come from healthy bloodlines or not. Also, these shops often charge large amounts of money for their dogs and prey on the uneducated, spur-of-the-moment dog buyer..

Lastly, be sure not to buy a puppy from the first breeder you meet and don’t buy the first puppy that you see. All puppies are cute. Spend time with many puppies so you can see the differences in their personalities and you’ll make a more educated choice I assure you.

History Of The Pit Bull

No other breed of dog has experienced as many discriminations and misconceptions as has the Pit Bull. While some people would tell you that Pit
Bulls are a gentle and harmless pet, other people consider them as wicked and evil enough to be Satan’s guard dog. Although neither viewpoint is accurate, both have some basis in fact and in the dog’s controversial origin.

Humans and dogs have long shared a bond that was based on function. Early dogs that were the least valuable and useful did not make it into today’s time. On the other hand, the most valuable and helpful of dogs remained and created others like them. Ultimately, breed predecessors were produced by breeding the best hunters to the best hunters and the best guards to the best guards. Those that proved to be the toughest and the bravest, which are traits that were most valued during the early times, became more and more specialized.

By the Greek era, large and powerful dogs which were called Molossians, were very popular and valued as a high price piece. Phoenician traders regarded them as an expensive commodity and used them as a bartering item. By means of bartering, the Molossians were distributed along the Phoenician shipping course which included stopovers in ancient Britain. The Molossians who remained in Britain became further specialized and brought about the beginning of the mastiff line of dogs.

The Mastiffs were polished as war dogs in Britain. When the Romans invaded Britain, they were impressed by the Mastiffs’ stance and strength that they brought some back to their country. The Mastiffs then became known as fighters or “dog gladiators” who went against humans, lions, bears, and even against each other.

Like Rome, the British also reveled in this vicious sport. They also placed high worth on contests that showed animals fighting to death. The display of a powerful dog fighting and ultimately killing a bull was the biggest entertainment that the villages could provide its citizens. This form of entertainment extended over all classes and by the sixteenth century bull-baiting and bear-baiting became the finale for a royal night of entertainment.

The dogs’ owners gained popularity for their animal’s impressive act, and the offspring of these dog gladiators were desired and sought after for their capability of delivering high prices. And because of their power, strength, and ability to bring wealth to their owners, more and more of these dogs were produced over the course of time. This is where the Pit Bull claims his heritage.

During part one of our brief history of the Pit Bull we touched up on the origins of the fighting arena which included this dog. From Rome to Britain, these dogs were used as fighting sport dogs which ranged in battles with other Pit Bulls, to lions, to animals as fierce as cage bulls, in which this dog invariably got its name.

In order to understand the influence that created the Pit Bull of today and what could be a dire future for the Pit Bull of tomorrow, you should be aware of its roots and origin. This remarkable and yet controversial dog is a mixture of strength and softness, between fun and serious business, all wrapped up in loyalty and love.

Where did Pit Bulls come from and why were they branded as the most vicious dogs that were ever to walk the planet?

During the sixteenth century, the cruel practice of bull-baiting was the favorite pastime of the British. Bull-baiting is a spectator sport in which one or two dogs were released and would try to grab a bull (which was chained to a stake) by the nose. This exhibit of tormenting the bull often lasted for hours for the purpose of entertainment. The British also had a misguided belief that torturing the animal before killing it made its meat more tender. For these reasons, bull-baiting became very popular to everyone from all walks of life.

This atrocious sport finally became illegal in England at around 1835, but that only forced the dog fighting fans and gamblers to conduct their own covert matches underground. And although organizing an underground bull-baiting event would have been a difficult task, setting up a dog fight in a barn or back room without being caught was quite easy.

The sport favored a somewhat smaller and swifter dog than the ones that were used at baiting bulls and other large animals. Many historians believe that the stocky bull-baiting dogs were crossed with the more swift and alert terriers to create a small, strong, and agile breed that was named Bull and Terrier. Other historians think that the Bulldog of the time was very similar to today’s Pit Bull and it was a simple process of choosing and breeding the most successful fighters.

As the Bull and Terriers or Bulldogs became less recognized for their bull-baiting ability and began to be more popular for their fighting skills in the pits, these breeds became known as Pit Bulldogs, or as we call them today, Pit Bulls.
Nowadays, Pit Bulls are recognized as fun loving dogs that would make wonderful additions to any family. But that way of thinking has not always been the case. Before they were considered great pets, these dogs once endured awful prejudice and unfairness because of their ability and strength.

Although dog fighting is considered illegal, fans and supporters continued to carry out the sport with minimal interference from law enforcement. In the 1970’s however, the American Dog Owner’s Association (ADOA) decided to lobby against dogfights. The association successfully brought public attention to pit fighting, helping to push it into the shadows and completely put an end to the sport.

But that did not stop the supporters and enthusiasts to carry on with the game. Dog fighting continued and went underground. Instead of turning people away, the sport’s illegal nature only attracted more people, many who whom knew more about the game’s pay-offs but had very little knowledge about the Pit Bulls.

Knowledgeable breeders of fighting Pit Bulls could no longer disclose information about training methods for fear of getting caught by the authorities. For this reason, novice dog trainers as well as Pit Bull breeders began using cruel practices to train these dogs. They would often use stolen puppies and other dogs to try to encourage the Pit Bulls to kill. These breeders and trainers would go as far as feed them with gunpowder to make them mean. In addition, they used other people to beat the dogs with clubs in order for them to turn aggressive toward strangers.

Needless to say, these poor methods of training were unsuccessful and the dogs rarely won at matches. The breeders and trainers had no other choice but to discard these dogs. The terrible harm that was done to these dogs made them very difficult to bring home as pets and the harm done to the dog’s reputation was beyond measurable.

While most people shun these dogs because of their notorious reputation, some people seek them in order to have the toughest dog on the block. Although certain types of breeds filled the position throughout the years, it was not until the early 1980’s when the Pit Bull made it to the top of the list.

While most people think that the Pit Bull makes the supreme macho dog, a lot of them do not understand the instinctive nature of the breed and the training it requires. In an attempt to create a bigger and more aggressive dog, these people promote random aggression and even cross their dogs with larger and more aggressive breeds. This mixture of bad breeding and bad training produced more aggressive dogs that have resulted in the Pit Bull’s notorious popularity.

American Pit bulls Are Super Popular, Find Out Why

Pitt Bulls have really gotten a bad rap over the years, but the blame falls, for the most part, on their owners. Remember Spot from the Little Rascals? He was an American Pitt Bull and wasn’t he sweet? Don’t let the bad behavior of some irresponsible owners deter you from considering this type of dog as your new pet. Following is some background information to give you a good idea of what to expect should you be thinking about adopting or purchasing one of these passionate animals.

The American Pitt Bull is a descendant of the Bull and Terrier breeds of dogs, grouped in the Mastiff category with bodies that are stocky and muscular, yet very nimble. Their coats consist of short, shiny, thick fur and are bred in several different colors and patterns. An American Pitt Bull’s ears are usually cropped and they have pointy tails. Their heads are hard and square like cinder blocks and they have incredibly powerful jaws with scissor like teeth. The typical weight of a full-grown American Pitt Bull is around 55 pounds and they stand about 22 inches high. American Pitt Bulls are an overall healthy breed of dog, sometimes prone to hip dysplasia and allergies to grass and usually live on an average of 12 years.

American Pitt Bulls are not people haters! Most vicious experiences being publicized about these dogs are actually the result of mixed breeding! Raised in a loving environment, they will be very good with children and other people. American Pitt Bulls do, however, have a tendency to be aggressive toward other animals, but only if they are brought up in an unsociable atmosphere – it all depends on how you raise them. Brought up correctly, these dogs can make very obedient, loyal and affectionate pets.

It is advised that you raise your Pitt Bull from the puppy stage to ensure a good temperament. When properly trained, these dogs will make excellent companions for your family. They are protective and make outstanding guardians for your property. American Pitt Bulls are very active and love to run, but even if you have an apartment or home without a yard, they will be very happy as long as you give them sufficient exercise and play time. Because of their tenacity, you will want to make sure to keep them on a leash when taking them out in public.

Please acknowledge that if you’re planning or interested in purchasing an American Pitt Bull, it is your responsibility as the dog’s owner to raise it in a manner in which it will not become a terror. If you don’t, you will surely regret it and most likely lose your animal altogether.

The great debate over laws concerning pitbull bites

Pitbull Puppy Training

A vast number of cities and states in recent months have adopted laws and ordinances geared towards significantly decreasing or eliminating pitbull bites, either by banning ownership of the breed itself, or by some form of muzzling.

Incidents of pitbull bites have certainly been on the rise, but is it really the fault of the dogs themselves? Consider the case against NFL quarterback Michael Vick and his conviction for sponsoring illegal dog fighting. Of the 51 dogs that were rescued from Vick’s property, many of them pitbulls, 47 of them not only survived, but a vast majority of them have been rehabilitated and adopted by loving families.

Pitbull bites have been on the rise because humans have specifically bred the species to be fighting dogs. Originally, pitbulls were bred to be family farm dogs, and were considered very loving, especially around children. Incidents of pitbull bites were rare then, because the breed had not yet been subjected to the whims of trainers intent on turning them into vicious predators.

The laws that have been enacted in several states concerning pitbull bites are now being challenged on the federal level, as arguments being made that breed-specific legislation is considered unlawful and unconstitutional.

A recent study was conducted by National Geographic, in which pitbull bites was the focus. It tested the theory, or myth, that pitbulls were considered to have the most bite pressure. According to the study, conducted by Dr. Brady Barr, the pitbull had the least amount of bite pressure when compared to German Shepherds and Rottweilers.

While pitbull bites have certainly been in the news, the real news should concern the humans who control them. The thoughtless custody and need to breed the pitbull as an aggressive dog is where the focus should be, and not on the pitbull itself.

Training a pitbull to be a loving family dog

Pitbull Puppy Training

The myths surrounding pitbulls in recent years have surrounded around the fact that they are a vicious breed and should not be kept around children. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Training a pitbull to be a loving family dog is generally no different than training any other breed of large dog.

Pitbulls generally have a tendency to protect their “pack”, whether that means their breed family, or human family. It’s very important that when training a pitbull, the owner establishes themselves as the leader of the pack. Cesar Millian, renowned dog behavior expert referred to as “the dog whisperer”, is a big proponent of this school of thought.

Millian is firm in his belief that when training a pitbull, the owner absolutely must establish themselves as the leader, and that is not achieved by yelling at or hitting the dog.

When training a pitbull, it’s important to give them an established set of commands. Understanding those commands will help the pitbull in determining what behaviors are acceptable. Do not repeat the commands, say them just once.

One terrific suggestion in training a pitbull to understand commands and what is permissible is simply teaching it to “stay.” Put your pitbull in one spot and have him stay. The dog will naturally continue to try to get up, but be firm with your command and put him back again. The idea isn’t necessarily that the pitbull will stay for a long period of time, but rather that it understands you are firm in your commands and that he must listen.

Pitbulls, like many other breeds, are playful and rambunctious as puppies. When training a pitbull, set up an established program with lots of positive reinforcement and rewards for good behavior. Being consistent with every training session and command is essential when training a pitbull.

Training a pitbull requires patience and a good plan, but no more so than other breed. Unlike the myths, your pitbull can easily adapt to your home and be the loving family dog that your children will cherish.