October 24th is National Pit Bull Awareness Day! Pit bulls and pit bull mixes make up a whopping 20 percent of American dogs. They are also one of the breeds most often found in shelters. However, as you may know, they have had some bad PR. A vet discusses the pit bull below.
Pit bulls were first bred in the 19th century. The first of them were a result of crossing the Old English Terrier, which is now extinct, and the Old English Bulldog. Those pups became known as ‘bull and terrier’ dogs. They are the ancestors of today’s pit bull. It’s worth noting that the term pit bull is actually an umbrella term for several dog breeds: American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bulldog. However, there is some disagreement on this. Some breeders insist that the only true pit bull is the American Pit Bull Terrier. (We’ll leave that debate to the AKC.)
As you probably know, pit bulls are surrounded by a lot of misconceptions. This is very sad, because many of them are very sweet and lovable. However, it is important to recognize that some pits do have a strong prey drive.The biggest thing is to just be responsible with them. Fido should never be allowed to run around off-leash, or left unsupervised with other pets. If you have a yard, make sure your fencing is sturdy secure, so your canine companion can’t get out. Proper training is a must as well. We also strongly recommend spay/neuter surgery. Ask your vet for specific care tips.
As with any other dog, adopting a pit is a lifetime commitment, so think it over carefully before you proceed. Because many places have restrictions, you’ll need to think about future plans. You’ll also need to consider your household and family. Pits aren’t always a great mix for a family with cats or other small animals. Some do best as only pets, while others enjoy having other canines around. Of course, every dog is unique, so a lot will depend on Fido’s personality and history. You may find
Celebrating Awareness Day
There are many little things you can do to raise awareness about pit bulls. Even just sharing posts on social media can help dispel harmful stereotypes. You can also support a pit bull rescue by donating or volunteering. Of course, if you have a pit, treat Fido to a special snack or a new toy.
As your animal clinic, we’re here for you. Contact us anytime!