Despite many negative connotations surrounding pitbulls, they can be a fantastic type of dog; loving, loyal, and incredibly energetic. They can make wonderful family pets or loyal companions – completely breaking the stereotype.
From the friendly American Pit Bull Terrier, to the stubborn but affectionate Bull Terrier, there is a lot to love about all the different types of pitbull breeds. If you’ve recently adopted a pitbull, have a pitbull puppy, or are considering getting one, then it is important to know how to care for this unique dog breed correctly.
As with any dog breed, the right care, training, and support; is all needed to help any dog fit into your home and become a true part of the family. To help you harness the endless energy of a pitbull, and really integrate them into your home, we have put together 5 top tips for how to care for a pitbull. If you give your pitbull the right environment to thrive in, the reward will be a healthy, happy, and loving dog.
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Introduce Your Pitbull to Other Dogs and People
Socialization is a big part of owning any dog, and essential if you want to avoid major problems down the line. It can be easily for your pitbull to become isolated and react badly to people and other dogs if they are not properly introduced to them. This is always best done as a puppy, but if you have adopted an older dog, it is just as important to make sure they are socialized.
The key with effective socialization is control – you need to stay in control at all times. Your pitbull should remain on a lead and by your side, so you can always remove your dog and yourself from a situation quickly and easily.
It can help to begin socialization with those people that you can trust, and that you know your pitbull will be around on a regular basis in the future. This could be family, friends, or neighbors. Start slow, and just introduce your pitbull to a couple of people at a time, giving them chance to get used to being around others.
Be patient with your pitbull and give them ample chance to get used to new experiences in their own time. If you think your pitbull is ready, then smaller socialization classes with other dogs can be a big benefit. The environment is controlled, and there is not as much going on as there would be in places like the park, where there are lots of new smells, people, and dogs.
House Train Your Pitbull
All dogs need to be house trained if you want to create a home environment where there are boundaries, and where everyone can live comfortably – including your pitbull! This includes learning where the bathroom is, what belongs to your dog and what definitely doesn’t, and where your pitbull is allowed to go. If you don’t want your dog on the bed or couch, then it is important that you enforce this from day one. This not only gives your dog consistency but stops them getting confused.
For toilet training, it is essential to stay on top of the situation and let your dog out before they ask. At the start, toilet time should be focused on actually going to the toilet, so avoid playing with your dog or distracting them when you take them out. Training your dog to go to the toilet in the right place is a testing time for even the most patient dog owner, but if you stay consistent, persevere, and be patient, then your hard work will pay off.
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Only Use Positive Training Techniques
Caring for a dog can be frustrating, but you should never let any anger seep out when training your pitbull. As a breed, pitbulls are very attuned to training, but they can be incredibly stubborn. Every training experience should be positive, and if your dog is not doing what you want it to, then take a break and try again later.
Positive reinforcement should be given when your dog does the right thing, this could be in the form of a favorite toy, treat, or a bit of play time. When teaching your dog the basic commands, be patient and have fun – if you aren’t enjoying the experience then your pitbull probably isn’t either.
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Consider Advanced Training Course
The majority of pitbulls are very eager to learn new things and are a great breed if you want to try advanced training. This will help to burn off some of that excess energy and keep your dog from getting bored and frustrated. Even just a few fun games, or maybe even a training course once a week, will do wonders for your dog’s focus.
The highly energetic pitbull could benefit from an advanced class in obedience and or faster sports like agility. These can be fun all-round and help to build up that trusting and loving bond between dog and owner.
Create a Tailored Diet for Your Pitbull
Most pitbulls thrive on a diet that consists of a high protein content and very low grain content. While some dogs are happier and more able to stomach higher grain contents, it is normally not the best for the energetic pitbull. This can also help you to avoid the common allergies that pitbulls have with substances like corn and potatoes.
However, each dog is a little different, so it’s important to find a diet that works for your dog, keeping them happy and healthy. It’s up to you and your schedule whether you feed your dog once or twice each day – making sure to split the meals evenly if you opt for twice.
Pitbulls are a highly rewarding dog breed to have as part of your family, but they need your time and your care if they’re ever going to be that wonderful dog they are capable of being. Just a little patience and encouragement, will give your pitbull the environment they need to thrive in.
With this in mind, please be sure to check out our review of the best dog food for pitbulls.