Hooray! October is National Pit bull Awareness Month! Did you know Pit bulls and Pit bull mixes make up a whopping 20 percent of American dogs? Pit bulls and mixes are also one of the breeds most often found in shelters. A vet discusses the Pit bull below.
The name Pit bull is actually an umbrella term for many dog breeds: the American Bully, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit bull Terrier, and the American Bulldog. But, there is some disagreement here. Some contend that the American Pit bull Terrier is the only authentic Pit bull. (We’ll leave that debate to the AKC.)
First bred in the 19th century, Pit bulls originated as a combination of the Old English Terrier, which is now extinct, and the Old English Bulldog. Those pups became known as ‘bull and terrier’ dogs. Today’s Pit bulls are descendants of these breeds.
As you likely know, Pit bulls have a pretty bad rap. That bad PR also includes Pit bull mixes. This is very sad, indeed, because many of them are true cuddlebugs, always panting for ear scratches and belly rubs. That said, it’s still important to recognize that some pits do have a strong prey drive. So it’s important to be responsible with them. These pups should never be allowed to run around off-leash. If you have a yard, ensure that your fencing is secure to prevent your canine companion from getting out. Likewise, proper training is a must and can go a long way towards keeping your pup safe and happy. We also strongly recommend spay/neuter surgery. Ask your vet for specific care tips.
Adopting a pit is a lifetime commitment, just like with any other dog. So think it over carefully before you proceed. Consider your household and family. Pits aren’t always a great mix for a family with cats or other small animals. Some enjoy having other canines around, while others do best as only pets. Keep in mind that every dog is unique, so a lot will depend on Fido’s personality and history.
Celebrating Awareness Day
There are many things you can do to raise awareness about Pit bulls. Sharing posts on social media can help dispel harmful stereotypes. Supporting a Pit bull rescue by donating or volunteering can also help. Of course, if you have a pit, treat Fido to a special snack or a new toy.
As your animal clinic, we’re here for you. Contact us anytime!