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The American Pit Bull Terrier belongs to a family of dogs commonly known as "pit bulls". Often known by other names such as the Pit Bull and the American Bull Terrier, but not to be confused with the American Staffordshire Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier is recognized by the United Kennel Club as a distinct breed.
Many of the misconceptions surrounding the American Pit Bull Terrier are largely a result of misinformation and misunderstanding. An internet search will show that people fear pit bulls due to reports of bites or attacks by dogs which are often wrongly identified as a 'pit bull' when they may in fact be other bull breeds hence evoking irrational and emotional response from the public.
The origins of the American Pit Bull Terrier can be traced back to the early 1800s in the England, Scotland and Ireland. The pit bull has a high prey drive as it was originally bred as working farm dogs to herd and guard livestock. Later, the bulldog and terrier breeds were cross-bred for the purpose of bull- and bear-baiting where they were trained to attack and defeat the larger animal. When baiting of animals was later banned, they were then bred for dog fighting until the "sport" became officially illegal. Early European immigrants introduced the pit bull breed to North America where the vast majority were used as brave, hardworking frontier dogs responsible for herding and guarding the livestock.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is an athletic, muscular dog which is known to be playful and friendly. Their natural aggressive tendencies are toward other dogs and animals, not people. If you properly train and socialize your American Pit Bull Terrier as a puppy, it will be well-behaved, obedient and eager to please. This is important so that your dog can relate well to other dogs or pets that you may have.
All dogs, regardless of size or breed, can become aggressive towards humans or other animals if they are not properly socialized or handled by their owner. Dogs who were abused or neglected may display aggressive behavior out of fear. It is important to know that the American Pit Bull Terrier is not a dangerous breed if they are properly socialized and well cared for.
A good reason to consider owning an American Pit Bull Terrier as your family pet is the relative low maintenance it needs. It doesn’t need excessive care on a daily basis – simply brush its short, lustrous coat a few times a week, more during shedding.
It is a highly energetic and athletic breed and requires daily exercise. Vigorous physical activity is recommended to overcome boredom and potentially destructive behavior. Their high energy levels and agility make them excellent with children.
Daily walks are good exercise for us as well as our pet dogs. Always keep your pet American Pit Bull Terrier on a leash while walking and ensure it doesn’t chase other animals which it may think are potential prey. When you're beginning to socialize your pet baby, a good quality harness and leash make it easier for you to maintain control and restrain him when other dogs are present.
They are generally healthy dogs although they can have sensitive skin or skin allergies due to its short coat. Give them a soft, comfortable bed which will not irritate their skin.
The American Pit Bull Terrier dogs are known to be intelligent and enjoy mental stimulation. Your family will enjoy spending quality time playing games and learning new skills together.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is now popularly regarded by many as a friendly companion and a great family dog. It's becoming a favorite All American Dog!