Celebrating Pit Bulls, Rotties, and Other Misrepresented Breeds
Each year, thousands of pit bulls and other unfairly maligned dog breeds are euthanized or passed around from shelter to shelter. From negative press to misinformation, dogs who fall in the pit bull family (such as the American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier) and those who love them, face certain challenges with respect to perception and ownership.
Facts About Pit Bulls for Prospective Guardians
As mentioned, there is no single breed that is “pit bull”, although each of the terriers that fall into this category are presumed descendants of the English bull-baiting dog, a dog that was used to assist in the killing of large predators.
Many dogs are trained to hunt, from Jack Russel’s to Great Danes. This historical fact doesn’t, however, determine aggression as an ingrained and unavoidable instinct. And, while all dogs have the capacity to bite or attack, there are certain truths about each breed, given their genetic propensity to perform certain tasks.
Educating yourself about your pet pit bull is an important and necessary step in keeping him safe, protecting other pets and people, and dissuading negative views on these wonderful dogs.
Key facts about pit bulls include the following:
- As a pit bull guardian, you will be subjected to a lot of questions and some prejudices and fears about your pet – it’s a good idea to be prepared to answer questions
- Pit bulls are typically quite loyal to their owner and/or the family, which is why so many, unfortunately, use them as “guard dogs” – so lifelong training and positive reinforcement will be a part of this breed’s care, as well as secure fencing around the home, etc.
- Pit bulls require a lot of interaction and exercise – be prepared to give your time and energy to this loving, rowdy breed
- If you are a renter, you may be up against many hurdles, since negative press has given this breed a bad rep with landlords and lawmakers
- They love to talk – and sometimes a lot – so if you don’t like a chatty, sit on your side of the couch, big personality dog, this breed may not be for you
- If you happen to adopt an adult pit bull or mix, it’s recommended that you spend some time with a professional trainer and possibly even a veterinarian to determine if your pet will benefit from additional behavioral assistance
Rottweilers and Dobermans
Rottweilers, like their gregarious buddies, are outgoing, assertive, and very loyal. Unlike the oftentimes comedic and affectionate pit bull, they can be a little more serious and less affable (but, again, this varies). Also bred for their protective drive and dominance within a pack, they require plenty of socialization and training from a young age.
Many Rotties can be trained to live peaceably with smaller breed dogs and cats, but with an ample amount of supervision and caution during the initial introductions and/or training stages. They, too require a lot of opportunities for play and exercise, which is true of most dogs that fall into sporting or working groups.
Doberman Pinschers are probably the most energetic of these breeds and really do require brisk, long walks and will benefit from having the space to run. If you choose a Doberman for your pet companion, he will be a great candidate for higher level agility training or a jogging/biking/hiking buddy.
Like the Rottweiler, Dobermans tend to be dominant dogs and will need to be assessed for their suitable with other pets in the household.
The important thing to keep in mind about all dogs is the potential to bite. Since children are often the victims of such incidents, it’s important to understand your dog and the breed, despite his size, and provide training, socialization, and supervision.
Thankfully, there are many who adore pit bulls, Rottweilers, and other breeds unfairly viewed, like all of us at Schertz Animal Hospital. If you would like more information on adopting the right pet for your family, please contact us.
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Schertz Animal Hospital
Since 1976, Schertz Animal Hospital has offered the greater San Antonio area outstanding pet care. Our state-of-the-art animal hospital in Schertz, TX compliments our stress-free handling and experienced veterinary staff. Make an appointment online or give us a call at (210) 659-0345 today!