Consider Adoption When Choosing a Pit Bull

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You've read So You Want a Pit Bull, and you definitely want to grace your home with the joy that is a pit bull. Your next step consists of deciding whether to purchase a dog from a reputable breeder or adopt a rescue.

The Benefits of Adoption

While there are certainly valid reasons for selecting your new companion from a reputable breeder, there are also plenty of excellent reasons to choose a shelter or rescue dog instead.

  • Save a life. When you adopt a pit bull, you save a pit bull. Pit bulls are overbred and frequently fall into the hands of humans ill-suited to care for them (and sometimes get stuck with humans who shouldn't own any dog, period). As a result, they are the most numerous breed in shelters. Hundreds of pit bulls die in shelters every day. Others are stuck in no-kill shelters for years, living out their lives in a tiny space with minimal attention from anyone. When you adopt a pit bull from either kind of shelter, you've truly given him a second chance at life.

  • Cost. By adopting, you save hundreds of dollars. Adopting a dog typically costs $90-150 and also includes vaccinations and a spay/neuter operation. These services could easily cost more than the adoption price if you purchased them separately. Meanwhile, the price of a pup from a reputable breeder usually runs $500 at a minimum, and in some cases, can soar to a thousand dollars or more.

  • Pet Appreciation. As anyone who's ever owned a rescue can tell you, these dogs know what you did for them and they are grateful. Unlike dogs that have been treated well from birth, rescues have previously been lost, abandoned or mistreated and don't take a happy life for granted. They will usually go out of their way to learn the rules of your household and show you how much they adore their new home.

Adult Dogs vs. Puppies

There are plenty of puppies in need of a new home, but don't rule out adopting an adult dog. Advantages of choosing an adult pit bull include:

  • Housetraining issues: An adult dog is more likely to already be housetrained. Even if they aren't housetrained, adults can hold it longer, which makes housetraining easier. They can make it until you get home from work, and you'll be able to sleep through the night without having to get up to let them out.

  • Temperament around other animals: No matter how adorable a puppy, you can't predict all of the behavioral changes that will occur as he matures. Many dogs become more dominant and less forgiving of other dogs around the age of two. Same-sex dog aggression is of particular concern with many terrier and working breeds. Even the most friendly puppy may become less tolerant of other dogs as she reaches social maturity. On the other hand, if you adopt a dog-friendly adult of at least 2 or 3, you can feel reasonably confident that she will remain that way. Obviously this issue is particularly important if you already have a dog and need the new arrival to get along with your existing companion.

  • Overall predictability: Even besides dog aggression issues, when you adopt an adult dog, you know for sure what to expect with regard to temperament, behavior, and energy levels. This is not always possible to predict with a puppy. In addition, all adult pit bulls put up for adoption are temperament tested to a degree no other breed is subjected to. When adopting an adult pit bull, you are assured of getting an exceptionally patient, tolerant, human-friendly animal.

Anything Pedigreed Dogs Can Do, Rescues Can Too

Okay, rescues are usually ineligible in most show rings, though there are some dog shows for non-pedigreed dogs. But otherwise, it's a case of "anything you can do, we can do better." Or at least as well. Rescue pits routinely win obedience titles and weight pulling championships, earn agility titles, and even compete in herding trials. Rescued pit bulls work as therapy dogs, and rescues are the pits most often used in search and rescue. Police departments usually choose pit bulls from shelters and rescue groups to work as bomb and drug sniffing dogs. And, as with all breeds, anyone can tell you that rescue dogs make the most wonderful companions you could ever wish for.

So, when it comes time to choosing your new American Pit Bull Terrier, please consider choosing a rescue.

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Adopting's picture
Adopting
Thu, 02/24/2011 - 8:47pm

I'm thinking of adopting this dog in the picture.  Is it a pit bull?

Maybelline64's picture
Maybelline64
Fri, 05/20/2011 - 11:21am

As the founder of Pit Stop Rescue (I only take Pit Bulls and I only take pregnant mommas or mommas with litters), I implore you to adopt instead of buying. As you can imagine there aren't very many people who will foster a pregnant bitch let alone one with pups, I do this willingly and with enthusiasm. I can tell you that all you have to do is look around, and you can still adopt a pure bred Pit puppy if you feel that is what you need. I have a litter right now of 5 babies that were whelped in an animal shelter in Iowa, their amazing and smart momma was found already pregnant and wandering around emaciated. To the backyard breeders, you may believe you are responsible, but always remember this.......The puppies you sell aren't fixed, most likely the people buying from you will want to breed as well, so they can have "cute" little babies to make money on. In all likelihood many of the dogs you sell will end up in shelters, and 90% of those will be euthanized just for being a Pit Bull... Please adopt, and for God’s sake, please spay and neuter your Pits!

southern_pit79's picture
southern_pit79
Fri, 05/20/2011 - 1:51pm

I adopted Layla from my local humane society. They aren’t equipped to handle pregnant or nursing dogs. Layla was with a foster like you for the end of her pregnancy and until the puppies were weaned. The puppies were adopted out and Layla languished in the shelter for 5 more months until I got her. The fosters wrote a letter about her which the HS folks read to me when I was considering adopting her, their letter is what sent me over the top to adopt her. What a great decision. The letter was right on and she is an amazing dog! As I have said before she makes me want to go right back to the HS and adopt another pitty but since I have had her for just a month I know I need to wait. Watching shows like Pit Bulls and Parolees and Pit Boss it really makes me for adopting rather than buying from breeders. I know for sure that I have saved a life, even if they are a no kill shelter.

Maybelline64's picture
Maybelline64
Fri, 05/20/2011 - 3:45pm

In this case, I have momma as well and she is amazing. My son and husband want to keep her and a puppy, I always have to be the bad guy and say no. We have 4 dogs already and need to keep room for more mommas and their babies. Know that you did a wonderful thing adopting her, she will love you furever for it :)