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The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) is a playful, friendly, and loyal dog. Despite these characteristics, they’ve got a fearsome reputation, mostly caused by their fighting past. Unfortunately, even today many owners breed them to be aggressive dogs, making public opinion mistakenly label any Pit Bull as dangerous.
For this breed, it is essential to find a registered breeder to buy from, and in the article below I’ll explain why.
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1. These dogs can have unstable temperaments
Generally, their unstable temperament is caused by selective breeding done in the past, when American Pit Bull Terriers were raised and trained for fighting in the ring. Today, responsible breeders are looking for different characteristics, such as playfulness, willingness to please, and a friendly nature.
If bred responsibly, an American Pit Bull Terrier loves being around humans and children of all ages. She’s affectionate, gentle, and obedient, but always ready to protect her human family in case of danger.
When it comes to living with other pets, be warned that these dogs can show signs of animal aggression, especially towards other dogs. They can also chase cats and other animals, such as chickens or livestock, and will likely injure them.
However, when introduced to each other at early ages, cats and Pit Bulls can go quite well together:
American Pit Bull Terriers are intelligent and easy to train, but they can also be stubborn once they grow. The sooner you start training, the better results you’ll have with both potty training and obedience training. A responsible breeder will start basic training with all puppies as soon as possible, meaning you get an easier time with your dog.
When it comes to an American Pit Bull Terrier, we talk about excessive chewing, destructive behavior and, in some cases, aggression towards people and animals, so there are serious risks involved.
Early socialization is important when dealing with this breed. A dog that is around people and other animals from day one has little to no chance of becoming intolerant or developing tendencies towards aggression as an adult.
A good start can spare you expensive obedience school and long training sessions with a behaviorist later in your dog’s life. Furthermore, by getting a puppy from a reliable source, you have a guarantee your dog hasn’t already developed these bad habits.
Buying a well-mannered puppy doesn’t mean you’re done with the job. Pit Bulls need constant training, physical exercise, and mental stimulation to remain in good shape. Leaving your dog alone for too long and not spending enough time with her can still generate unwanted behavioral issues.
3. American Pit Bull Terriers can inherit genetic health problems
Generally, these dogs are healthy, but some of them are prone to a series of health conditions:
- hypothyroidism – being ranked number 6 in the highest rates, by the Michigan State University Thyroid Database;
- hip dysplasia – about 23.5% of these dogs are dysplastic;
- heart diseases;
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA);
- skin problems and allergies.
To minimize the chances of getting a puppy that can develop hereditary diseases, find a breeder who can provide you a complete history of hereditary medical problems for your puppy’s parents and even grandparents and, if possible, OFA certifications from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, for your future dog’s parents.
4. A breeder can help you with legal problems
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a medium to large dog, powerful and muscular, weighing between 30 and 60 pounds (13.5 – 27 kg), sometimes even more. She has a large head, giving the impression of strength, with teeth meeting in the scissors bite.
Determined by these characteristics and a bad reputation, countries all over the world have developed breed specific legislation when it comes to APBTs. In the US only, there are over 700 cities that have specific laws for dangerous dogs. In some countries and regions, these dogs are banned completely.
A good breeder knows legislation in your region and gives you advice about how to follow regulations. According to the Code of Ethics for Breeders of American Pit Bull Terriers, the breeder should even take the dog back if you’re moving to a place where your dog’s life is in danger.
5. A breeder provides useful papers to register your dog for competitions
This is an advantage if you wish to train your dog for specific sports and competitions. American Pit Bull Terriers have great results in activities, like:
Important competitions accept registered dogs only, so having a dog with good references from a reputable breeder can help you make your way through the bureaucracy.
How to find a good breeder
The safest way is to choose a breeder registered with one of the national and international clubs, such as the United Kennel Club or the American Dog Breeders Association. You can find a list of breeders in Europe at eurobreeder.com.
The American Kennel Club, on the other side, doesn’t recognize the breed under the name of American Pit Bull Terrier, but as American Staffordshire Terrier and provides contact information for local breeders. Some say it’s the same breed, while others talk about small differences between them.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a long-term responsibility. Laws are becoming more strict and many dog owners find themselves in the position of quitting on their dogs because of new regulations.
I think getting your puppy from a reputable breeder is the wisest thing you can do. Your dog has small chances to become a threat to your community and won’t force authorities to take severe measures against her.
What do you know about this breed? Do you have such a dog or are you thinking about getting one? Leave a comment below to let us know more about American Pit Bull Terriers.