The American Pit Bull Terrier is a dog that has a rich history as a farm dog. To raise a happy and healthy pit bull, an understanding of the breed's traits is necessary. Proper exercise, toys, training, and vet care are critical elements for having a well balanced pit bull.
As a farm dog, the American Pit Bull Terrier's job was to protect the livestock and crops from vermin and predators. This involved continual patrolling of the farm and its perimeter. Although the original pit bull differs from the shorter, stouter pit bull of today, proper exercise is critical.
Exercise is a necessity for a happy and healthy dog of any breed, but especially for the Pit Bull. Without daily exercise, the pit bull terrier becomes bored and anxious. Walking or running two to five miles everyday should be enough keep both of you in shape.
Games and Activities
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a fun loving dog. Pit bulls will enjoy a game of catch or fetch. Dog parks and agility courses make fun and interesting outings. Agility courses challenge your pit bull on an intellectual and physical level.
Chew toys are essential for a happy and healthy pit bull. Chewing is a healthy way for your pit bull to relieve tension and frustration. Pit Bulls are power chewers. They have powerful jaws and they love to chew.
Expect the average pit bull to demolish their toys in record time. Be very careful of toys with squeakers as these can be ingested resulting in intestinal blockage and other serious issues. Nylabone and Kong toys are good choices. Some chew toys offer a challenge; like a hidden treat. This type of toy is a pit bull favorite.
Pit bulls are extremely smart and they respond very well to positive reinforcement. This can be in the form of a treat or just lots of love and praise. Basic commands such as sit, stay, down, and heel are easy to teach. These commands are important as they will make your American Pit Bull Terrier a good citizen.
Socialization is an important part of raising a happy pit bull. Many pit bulls have aggressive tendencies and it is part of their territorial nature. As soon as your puppy has all of its vaccinations, bring them out into public settings as often as possible. Flea markets, parks, town squares, farmer's markets, and pet stores make wonderful outings for your pit bull.
Happy and healthy pit bulls require vet care. Keep your dog up to date on vaccinations and flea and heartworm preventatives. Hip dysplasia is a real problem for pit bulls. Discuss hip dysplasia with your vet and learn what the warning signs are.
Raising a happy and healthy pit bull is a rewarding experience. Meeting the needs of this breed is not difficult, but it requires effort. Happy and healthy American Pit Bull Terriers are wonderful canine citizens that are a joy to be around.