Pit Bull Informational Pages
by Diane Jessup 

HOUSING THE PIT BULL
The Basics of Pit Bull Ownership and Common Sense Dog Care

Fencing
Collars and Leashes

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Sleep is as important for a dog's mental health as it is for humans. Lack of deep sleep can cause behavior problems and physical illness.

Proper sleep is often overlooked as a cause for stress related behaviors and illnesses. Sleep deprivation is one important reason long term (so called "no-kill") shelter housing is such a poor option. Shelter situations are most often crowded, noisy and very stressful. Those adopting a pit bull from a municipal shelter or rescue should expect that their new friend will need plenty of uninterrupted sleep for the first week. Be aware that the animal's temperament may change - for better or worse - as it gets the sleep it needs and its mental state stabilizes.

 


In the US, this child is more than 100 times more likely to be killed by its parents or guardians than by a dog.

Pit bulls, of course, are not somehow different from other dog breeds. OK, perhaps they do have a touch more heart, a touch more courage, a touch more determination! But in reality, a dog is a dog is a dog.

Pit bulls, like and other breed, come in a variety of temperaments with varying levels of "drives". There are shy, submissive pit bulls, bold, arrogant pit bulls, very even tempered and calm pit bulls, and fiery, quick-to-pick-a-fight pit bulls. Some pit bulls live peacefully among many other animal companions, some will be aggressive toward any other animal in sight. This range of behaviors is normal in any dog breed, and is determined almost exclusively by genetics, NOT by training.

It is hoped the following information will be of use to the average pit bull owner, who can adapt it to their own pit bull and its unique personality.

 

WHERE TO KEEP THE DOG

The relationship you have with your dog(s) will dictate how they are housed. Are they constant companions who share your days and nights, ups and downs, joys and sorrows? Are they cherished pets who reside in a dog-appropriate environment during the day while you are at work and spend "after work" time with the family? Or are they "stock animals", purchased not as companions but for the purpose of breeding, fighting, showing or as status symbols, destined to a life of constant kenneling, chaining, or crating?

A dog is an intelligent, highly social animal to whom isolation is as odious as it is to us. A lonely dog is a destructive and noisy dog, and loneliness (and its resulting behaviors) are the most common reason dogs are turned into shelters or otherwise disposed of. A pup seems like a fun idea - but caring for a canine life companion in an appropriate way is a tremendous commitment of time and energy. Tragic indeed are kennels (and rescues) which boast of housing anywhere from a couple dozen to a couple hundred dogs. Their dogs live lives of tragic and often squalid isolation. A very few moments of attention a day is the very best these dogs can expect.

Happily, most pit bulls live as family companions, in the house where they belong. Pit bulls are active animals, however, and are far happier outside during the day, tethered or in a roomy kennel. The exception to this is in extremely hot or cold weather, when a dog's activity level drops. Obviously, the very best place for a pit bull to live is with you, in the house as your companion. However, many people work during the day necessitating leaving the dog unattended for several hours at a time. Where is the best place to keep the dog? House? Yard? In a kennel or tethered? Each situation has merits and drawbacks.

 

Pit bulls should have a large, well fenced yard for daily exercise. A dog proof fence is absolutely necessary to protect your dog - and the breed. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to contain a dog and yet so many people fail to, resulting in "incidents" which harm the breed. There is NO excuse for allowing a bulldog to run loose in the neighborhood.


 

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