One of the most common traits of Pit Bulls is the never-ending loyalty they have towards their people. I may be biased but in my opinion, it would be hard to find a more loyal dog.
Today I thought I would take some time and talk about all the wonderful traits Pit Bulls have, because there are many.
Obviously, like any breed of dog, there are some negative traits and I will discuss those as well.
Common Traits Of Pit Bulls
Affectionate– VERY. They love just about anyone they come across, even people they don’t know. Now, just because many Pit Bulls are all lovey-dovey does not mean all of them are, so take care as you would with any dog. Let me give an example of my situation.
I have 2 Pit Bulls, Riley and Brooke. Riley I’ve raised from a puppy, Brooke we adopted when she was 5. You would think that since Brooke’s history doesn’t seem to have been all that great before us, that she would be the one to be a little fearful of people. And you would think that Riley, the one I raised from 3 months of age, would be the lover. WELL, strangely, that would be wrong.
Brooke loves everyone. That tail wags her body all over the place. She may sound mean, with all that barking and whining, but she is the farthest thing from it. She will be your best friend, even if you don’t want one.
Riley, she’s different. She is very cautious of people. She will bark at you, a lot, especially if you’re a man. She takes a bit to warm up and I keep an eye on her until I know she feels safe. We socialized her quite a bit as a puppy so it doesn’t make a ton of sense to me. The only thing I can come up with is that she is not an overly confident dog. She feels the need to protect me at all times, and I guess that’s my fault because I can be a nervous person at times. I try not to be, because I know it directly affects her, but sometimes I just can’t help it. We are working on it.
So there ya go..here’s 2 Pit Bulls, raised the same the last 5 years, and yet totally different dogs. Yes, Pit Bulls are affectionate but again, as with any large breed, be aware of what you’re doing.
Attention Hogs– Both of my dogs love attention, even the one who doesn’t love people. Ha. Ha. Seriously though, all they want is to be the light of your life, the air that you breathe, the only thing that matters. That’s not too much to ask right? When you have a Pit Bull in your family, you know they require a lot of attention, affection, and quality time. They thrive on interaction with their humans. And honestly, why have a dog at all if you don’t want to give them all of those things.
Eager to Please– Even if your Pit Bull isn’t technically trained in obedience, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to please you. Again, I will use my 2 dogs as an example. Riley HAS been trained and even though she wasn’t at the top of her class, she will still do everything she can to make me happy. Brooke- as far as I know, has never been trained. She knows sit, but that’s about it, and I think I probably taught her that along the way.
Put a treat in front of them and they are the best trained dogs in the history of the world. Know what I mean? So yes, Pit Bulls are obedient to their people because they love you, are eager to please you, and will do anything for you. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons dog fighters have chosen this breed. Pit Bulls can be too eager to please and therefore will not turn on their handlers, no matter how much I personally wish they would.
Adaptable– Pit Bulls are extremely adaptable and will do well in almost all environments, as long as they have proper exercise. They are very energetic dogs who need an outlet. When they are able to get their ya ya’s out, whether it’s in a fenced in yard or long walks daily, they will be fine no matter if they live in a house or an apartment, in a city or the country.
Couch Potatoes AND Energizer Bunnies– Both of these are very common traits of Pit Bulls. As much energy as they have, and they do, they are also serious couch potatoes. A well rounded Pit Bull will love running his crazy head off but he will also love lounging around on the couch just as much. It is a balance you should work towards achieving.
When it comes to using dog parks to release your Pittie’s energy, I personally don’t recommend them because there always seems to be a problem and it’s just not worth it. You can have the nicest Pit Bull in the world, nicer than all the other dogs at the park, but if something goes wrong, you know who will get blamed. And that is maddening.
Strong and Determined– Pit Bulls are strong and powerful dogs. They are athletic and love to have a good time. They are also very determined and use their power to get what they want. Whether that’s jumping a short fence, digging a whole, or destroying furniture, if they want to do something, chances are they will. Pit Bull owners have to be aware of their dogs abilities and dog proof their yard- if you have holes, fill them up. If your fence is too low, build a higher one. Pay attention to what your dog does and act accordingly.
Pit Bull Dog Aggression– NOT to be confused with people-aggression. (Pit Bulls are NOT, I repeat NOT, naturally aggressive towards people) When you hear of dogs attacking people in the news, these dogs are in the minority and most likely are being bred to fight, aren’t taken care of, are being abused, and the list goes on)
When it comes to Pit Bull dog aggression, you have to be very aware. I am not saying your Pit Bull will attack another dog however I am not saying he won’t either. He may not start the fight however there is a good chance he will do some serious damage in the meantime. All dogs can fight, it’s just that Pit Bulls will go at it with more intensity. Because of this, you must be vigilant.
Again, I will use my 2 as an example. Best friends for years then one day they got into a fight over a toy. (My fault for not realizing there was only 1 toy to play with) It happened SO fast I wasn’t prepared for it. I won’t go into details but needless to say, it was a traumatic time for them AND me. They still love each other and have since been together under very close supervision, however I will not take that chance again. Like Tia Torres from Pit Bulls and Parolees has said, I have been warned. So to this day I keep them separate when I am the only one home. It’s not fun, but it’s for their safety. If it’s happened once, it will most likely happen again.
Of course I am not saying this will happen with your Pit Bull. There is a good possibility that it never will. However the fact is, Pit Bulls are very strong, determined, powerful dogs. It is best to be proactive and avoid a fight rather than try to break one up. That is NOT fun.
With all of this being said, Pit Bulls have many fantastic traits and make awesome pets for many families. I can’t imagine having any other type of dog.
If you are considering adopting a Pit Bull just keep in mind that the wonderful traits they possess also make them a little hard to handle for people who aren’t sure what they are doing. This is not to say don’t ever adopt a Pit Bull, you should! However, do your homework, they are worth it.
There are many resources available, including local professionals and training videos. And of course I am available too.
If you have any questions or concerns, drop me a comment and we will talk about it.
As always, if you have multiple dogs, with one being a Pit Bull, and they aren’t getting along, keep them apart until you consult a professional.