Pitbulls are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world because of their energy and looks. However, pitbulls often also get a bad reputation for being aggressive or dangerous. There can also be a lot of misconceptions about this popular breed. Today, we will talk about how you can prepare your home for a pitbull, considerations to make if you get a pitbull, and, most importantly, we will determine if this dog breed is good with kids.
How Big Do Pitbulls Get?
Pitbulls are one of the more moderately sized breeds out there. Male and female pitbulls are typically close in size. You can expect your pitbull to grow to 18 to 21 inches in height. They also typically weigh between 35 and 60 pounds. Of course, your pitbull may be smaller or larger than these ranges based on their diet, genetics, and overall health.
How Much Energy Do Pitbulls Have?
Pitbulls are naturally a very energetic breed. That goes back to their origins where they were originally bred to work physically exhausting tasks like bull-baiting, herding, and other guardian tasks. Because of that, most pitbulls are still very excitable and are considered high-energy dogs. However, they aren’t always out of control. Instead, if you get a pitbull, you can expect it to be very playful, energetic, and enthusiastic.
In general, pitbulls require a lot of physical exercise to get all of their energy, so expect to take them out for multiple walks each day. They can also spend hours playing in the backyard. Pitbulls also demand mental stimulation to stay alert and remain healthy and happy.
With that said, all pitbulls are not created equal. Although most will be energetic, the amount of energy they have can depend on factors such as their diet, genetics, and overall health.
How to Train Pitbulls
It is no secret that pitbulls have a negative reputation for being vicious and out of control. However, just like with most dogs, they only tend to get out of control if they are not trained correctly. If you get a pitbull as a puppy, then it is important that you start training them right away. When you bring your dog home, train them with these steps:
Socialize Your Puppy
Many dogs act out because they are in unfamiliar circumstances or they are frightened by unfamiliar people or animals. In order to prevent that, make it a point to socialize your pitbull right away. Introduce them to your family, bring them to the dog park so they can see other animals, and bring them on walks around town so they can get used to other people.
Also, pitbulls can sometimes be violent against other dogs due to their history of being bred as fighting dogs. You can erase this compulsion by teaching your pitbull to focus on you when they are surrounded by other dogs. To do so, teach them the command “look” which means that they turn to you when called.
Teach Basic Commands
Once you get a pitbull, teach it the basic commands, such as “heel,” “sit,” “stay,” “come.” Keep in mind that your pup can get bored or distracted easily, so make your training sessions relatively quick. Usually about 15 minutes. When your pup listens to your commands, reward him with positive reinforcement. That could be a petting, praise, or a treat.
When you are training a pitbull, consistency is key. Teach them every day and use the same commands every time and continue to reward good behavior. Also, it is important that you avoid punishment-based training. Although they are generally peaceful, pitbulls can react negatively to violence or anger by acting out. They could continue that behavior even after the training ends and they could take out their anger on your kids.
As with all dogs, patience and persistence is key. Stick with your regular coachings and eventually your pitbull will come along. If you find that you are unable to successfully coach your dog, then consider hiring a professional trainer that has had experience with pitbulls. It can be worth the cost to ensure that you have a well-behaved dog.
How Much Maintenance Do Pitbulls Require?
Due to their excessive energy levels, pitbulls are generally considered to be a high-maintenance breed.
Typical Maintenance Requirements
A lot of the maintenance that your pitbull will require revolves around their physical activity. Since they are so energetic, this breed will require a lot of exercise. At a minimum, a daily walk and outside playtime is required to help them work out their energy. In addition to having time to run around, pitbulls are often also a very affectionate breed and they may demand a lot of your time and the time of your children, so consider that before you move forward.
As far as grooming is concerned, pitbulls have a smooth, short coat that requires minimal grooming. With that said, pitbulls do shed and you can mitigate that by occasionally brushing them to remove loose hair.
When you get a pitbull, you should know that they are a highly intelligent breed so they will require a lot of mental stimulation. There are multiple ways to entertain a pitbull. You can purchase interactive toys that your pup can chase around the house. You can also allow them to hang around with other trained dogs on a supervised playdate. Just like humans, dogs require regular socialization, so these playdates can work wonders. If you work during the day, then you can also bring your pitbull to a doggy daycare facility where they can be engaged all day.
Healthcare and Common Issues
It is essential to bring your pitbull in for regular veterinary visits to get them checked out, get up-to-date on their vaccinations, and to get any necessary supplements. Pay special attention to the ailments common in this breed, which include:
- Bone Diseases – Hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, kneecap dislocation.
- Skin Problems – Because of their short coat, they may develop mange and skin allergies.
- Various Ailments – Thyroid and congenital health defects.
Overall, a pitbull is typically expected to live about 12 to 14 years, which makes them a great long-time companion for families.
How Much Does It Cost to Own a Pitbull?
The initial cost to purchase or adopt a pitbull will typically cost you between $300 – $1,000 depending on the seller. Then you will need to pay the initial costs to give the dog everything they need, including food, a bed, toys, and their initial shots and vaccinations.
Once you are through with that, you can expect to pay between $500 – $2,000 per year. The annual cost will depend on the quality of food you buy and the type of training, medical care, and grooming they will require. Since this breed needs a lot of space to move about, you will also need to factor in the cost of expanding or securing your yard or the cost of a large kennel.
How Old Should Your Child Be When You Get a Pitbull?
While they can be loving, pitbulls are also very rambunctious, so you should not bring them home around toddlers or other young kids. At a minimum, your children should be at least 8 to 10 years old before they have a pitbull at home. If this is your kid’s first experience with a dog, then you need to ensure that they are mature and responsible enough to handle a breed that is as energetic as a pitbull.
Your child must also be capable of following instructions and showing the dog respect. They should know to not pull on its tail or ears, poke the dog, or try to ride its back. Any of these behaviors could result in the dog becoming defensive. In addition, a pitbull is a major responsibility so you and your kids must be fully committed to providing a loving and safe home for the dog.
Are Allergies an Issue With Pitbulls?
No, allergies are not typically an issue with pitbulls. Some people may be allergic around them due to the combination of hair, skin cells, and saliva. However, that can be the case with any dog. However, people aren’t typically allergic specifically to pitbulls.
General Tips and Precautionary Measures
There are several tips that you should consider when you care for a pitbull.
Neuter/Spay Your Dog – By putting your pitbull through this procedure, you can help to ease some of their fussiness and curb the territorial aggression that many dogs can have.
Follow Leash Laws – Even if they don’t intend harm, your pitbull can get very excitable and run after other dogs and animals. To prevent an incident, ensure that you follow all leash laws when out in public.
Watch For Warning Signs – If your pitbull begins to become aggressive towards strangers or your family, then seek help from a trainer immediately. Don’t delay or the situation could get worse.
Microchip Your Dog – Since pitbulls are so energetic, it is a good idea to get them microchipped. If they run away and you lose track then you can follow their location with an app on your phone.
Don’t Let Negative Comments Affect You – The fear of pitbulls is real. Many people may see your dog coming and get out of the way or they make a comment about how dangerous a pitbull can be. You know your pup better than anyone so don’t take offense. Ignore negative comments and enjoy time with your dog.
Before you bring a pitbull home to your kids, you will need to gather some essential supplies to ensure the dog’s comfort and happiness.
- Food and water bowls.
- Collar with identification.
- Training crate.
- Potty training supplies
Verdict: Are Pitbulls Good with Kids?
So, should you get a pitbull for your family? The answer is a yes, if they are old enough to handle the responsibility. Pitbulls can be rambunctious and full of energy, so you need to prepare your family ahead of time before bringing this pet home. However, if your child is older, mature, and they can handle the responsibility, then consider adopting a pitbull today.
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