Did you know that October is National Pit Bull Awareness Month? If not, there’s a good chance that you know someone with a pit bull. A whopping 20 percent of America’s dogs are pit bulls or pit bull mixes. They are also one of the breeds most likely to be found in shelters. A local vet discusses the pit bull below.
Pit bulls were originally bred in the 19th century, as a combination of the Old English Bulldog and the Old English Terrier, which is now extinct. Those pups became known as ‘bull and terrier’ dogs. They are the ancestors of today’s pit bull.
Actually, the term pit bull is an umbrella term for several breeds: the American Bully, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and the American Bulldog. However, there is a bit of disagreement here. Some people insist that the American Pit Bull Terrier is the only true pit bull. (We’ll leave that one to the AKC to decide.)
As you probably know, there is a lot of bad PR attached to pit bulls. This is very sad, because many of them are sweet, loving dogs that just want ear scritches and belly rubs. Pit bull mixes also suffer from those stereotypes. That said, it is true that some pits do have a strong prey drive. That’s why it’s so important to be responsible with them. Fido should never be allowed to run around off-leash. If you have a yard, make sure that your fencing is secure, so your canine companion can’t get out. You’ll also need to make sure your pet is properly trained. We strongly recommend spay/neuter surgery as well. Ask your vet for specific care tips.
As with any other pooch, adopting a pit is a lifetime commitment, so think it over carefully before you proceed. You’ll need to consider your household, schedule, and family. Pits aren’t always a great mix for a family with cats or other small animals. Some do best as only pets, while others enjoy having other canines around. Of course, every dog is different so a lot will depend on Fido’s personality and history.
Celebrating Awareness Day
There are many ways to raise awareness about pit bulls. Even just sharing posts on social media can help dispel harmful stereotypes. You can also support a pit bull rescue by donating or volunteering. Of course, if you have a pit of your own, treat Fido to a special snack or a new toy.
As your animal clinic, we’re here for you. Contact us anytime!