Due to their origins as fighting dogs, Pitbulls are considered aggressive dogs and have gotten a bad rap. This is generally due to a poor understanding of these dogs, who, while possessing powerful muscles and strength, are well trained and make excellent working dogs and loving and loyal companions.
What is true is that, being dogs with great power, Pitbulls need an experienced owner who stays at the top of the hierarchy.
Pitbulls are not a single type of dog. This denomination encompasses many different breeds, which share similar physical characteristics and behaviors. Therefore, the name "Pitbull" refers to a type of dog, not a specific breed.
The history of the Pitbull
Pitbulls first appeared in the UK, back in the 1800s, where they were developed as fighting dogs.
The British were fans of "Bull Baiting", which consisted of one or two dogs harassing a bull for hours, until the animal collapsed, either from fatigue or from injuries received.
When these fights were prohibited, rats began to be used instead of bulls. In this case, the winning dog was the one that killed the most rats in the shortest time. The rats were placed in a pit or pit, so that they could not escape.
As more agile and faster dogs were needed than for bullfights, Bulldogs began to interbreed with Terriers. This cross gave rise to very powerful dogs, the Pitbull Terrier, which had the strength of the Bulldog and the endurance and tenacity of the Terrier.
Later on, dog fights gained fame as they were easier to hide as clandestine activity.
Even today illegal dogfights take place. Pitbulls are in high demand for these fights, due to their physical characteristics and character.
Selective breeding was geared towards biting inhibition of humans, as they needed to be able to enter the pit and handle their dogs without being bitten. This resulted in dogs that are loyal and loving to humans, especially children.
When the British came to the United States, they did so with their Pitbulls. These dogs, developed for fighting, turned out to be great working dogs, which also protected their families from thieves and wild animals. Little by little, they stopped being used as fighting dogs and became magnificent companions, enjoying great popularity.
In 1976, dogfighting was outlawed, again drawing attention to clandestine fighting. Pitbulls were used again for this purpose, and people dedicated to this business began to breed their own dogs, without worrying about their temperament or their socialization, since their objective was to obtain benefits in fights. Thus, the Pitbull began to earn its current reputation as a dangerous dog, leading to the development of specific legislation for the breed.
Currently, the Pitbull is recovering its good reputation, thanks to many people who have dedicated themselves to re-educate them and show that they are excellent companions, highlighting their skills as working dogs. Many of these dogs are used in fields such as drug detection, search and rescue, therapy dogs, and many other functions.
Unfortunately, even today some Pitbulls are used as attack dogs, and trained in this way, they can become very aggressive and violent dogs.
However, just because Pitbulls were originally bred for fighting does not mean that a Pitbull's behavior is going to be naturally aggressive, or that it is intended for this purpose. In fact, Pitbulls are intelligent and friendly dogs. They are easy to train, since they are always eager to please their owner, and they are obedient dogs. Precisely for this reason, if they fall into the hands of an owner who trains him to fight, they will do so without hesitation, in the same way that they would bring him the newspaper if they were trained for it.
Pitbull dogs require a responsible owner who trains them properly, who has experience with dogs of these characteristics and who knows how to be the alpha male of the pack, placing himself in the pyramid of the hierarchical structure and not allowing himself to be taken away from this position. If a Pitbull is trained properly, firmly but lovingly, and has its needs met, it will make an excellent companion.
Physical characteristics of a Pitbull
While it is true that there are several Pitbull breeds, it is also true that they have some common characteristics that allow us to identify them as such:
Its head is large, round and flat in shape, with round and wide-set eyes.
His neck is very muscular and of moderate length.
Their jaws are strong and powerful.
Its body is muscular, medium-sized but imposing, and with a fine, pointed tail.
The chest is wide and deep, giving it a strong appearance.
The back is firm and strong, with the top line slightly sloping down.
The legs are strong and muscular. Sometimes they are arched.
His hair is smooth and shiny, rough to the touch. On some occasions, it is curly or wavy. It comes in various colors, such as brown, white, black, chocolate, blue, merlé or multicolored.
The Pitbull weighs between 14 and 36 kilos and measures between 45 and 50 centimeters. There is not much difference between male and female.
Their life expectancy ranges from 8 to 15 years.
Character and behavior of Pitbulls
They are dogs that need a lot of physical exercise, so they require a large space.
They are intelligent dogs that need mental stimulation.
They are not dogs suitable for anyone. They need an owner who knows how to maintain the hierarchy and train it with the necessary discipline. A Pitbull cannot be raised in the same way as a more homey dog. They are fierce dogs, with their own will, so they require firm and forceful training. If you are not capable of being a good leader and you don't train him well, it could lead to behavior problems, and with such a strong dog, the risk of serious injury is high.
A good process of socialization is necessary from the moment they are puppies, especially with respect to other animals.
If there are children in the house, their coexistence must always be under the supervision of an adult. Although the dog is not aggressive, it is a very strong animal that could harm the little ones.
They are loyal and friendly dogs with a big heart.
They have a bad reputation and therefore face bans and restrictions in many places.
Pitbull dogs are considered PPP and are subject to specific legislation.
If you want to have a Pitbull, it is recommended that you have experience with large, strong and characterful dogs, as well as time and patience to train and be with him. You should also check current local legislation, as some breeds and types are illegal, depending on the country you are in.
You should also follow some guidelines to walk around your city safely. Although Pitbulls are not necessarily aggressive, they are breeds that possess a lot of strength and, if they attack, they can be difficult to control and cause serious injury.
Many of the Pitbull breeds are excellent dogs for children, but always with supervision, again due to the strength they possess.
# 1 American Pitbull Terrier
The American Pitbull Terrier is the quintessential Pitbull, Pitbull Dog black. It is believed that the rest of the Pitbull breeds were created from him. It comes from the cross between an English Bulldog and an American Terrier.
American Pitbull Terriers are friendly and balanced dogs, highly intelligent and hardworking. They get along very well with children.
Contrary to what their fame might indicate, they are not good watchdogs, because they tend to be affectionate with everyone. However, they will defend their family to the death if necessary.
They are dogs for people who can dedicate a lot of time and attention to them. They need rigorous training and a lot of discipline, gentle but consistent. It is important to socialize them during their puppy stage, and that they receive specific training to limit their tendency to dominance and their stubbornness. They are very strong animals that need to be very well trained so as not to constitute a danger.
The American Pitbull Terrier is taller than other Pitbulls. Its weight ranges between 13 and 25 kilos. He is a great chewer. Give him sturdy and durable toys, as his jaws are very powerful.
# 2 American Staffordshire Terrier
It is another of the most recognized Pitbulls. In fact, much of the specific legislation for Pitbulls applies to the American Pitbull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier.
The American Staffordshire Terrier is a muscular dog, calm and affectionate with his family. Instinctively inclined towards physical activity, he makes an excellent working dog.
He is an intelligent dog that is eager to please. Due to his intelligence, he needs mental stimulation. Firm but gentle training is essential for these dogs. Like all Pitbulls.
Prejudices against black dogs: do they really exist?
Prejudices against black dogs: do they really exist?
FOR DOG LOVERS
My parents adopted a totally black dog last year and I must confess that this surprised me. Their other dogs are a yellow Lab and a white Maltese, so when they decided to adopt a dog from a shelter I thought they would come home with a similar light colored pet.
Instead, adopt Lady Agatha, an all-black pit bull mix with beautiful brown eyes that are almost impossible to capture in photographs. My parents went to the shelter and passed the "black dog syndrome" test. Would you approve it too?
Why are dark-colored dogs overlooked
Three whippets - black dog syndrome
The “black dog syndrome” is the name used to refer to the phenomenon by which, in animal shelters, black dogs are adopted less frequently than lighter colored dogs.
This is a long-known idea, but it began to spread in the early 2000s. It probably emerged in shelters, where employees and volunteers were witnessing first-hand the trend for black animals to spend more time in your instalations.
But why are dogs whose fur is black overlooked in packs? There are several characteristics of black dogs that can be decisive:
They do not attract attention: the fur of black dogs in the poorly lit enclosures of some shelters can cause adopters not to notice them.
It is difficult to take good photos of them (as is the case with my parents' dog, Lady Aggie, whose charming eyes are lost in her glossy black fur). If the photos are bad, black dogs may see fewer clicks on their internet profiles and fewer in-person adoption requests.
Because of their dark face, their facial expressions are more difficult to read, and people want to feel an immediate emotional connection to the dog they are adopting.
Their dark hair may be more visible on furniture when they move, and some people just don't like having to clean too much.
Black dogs are sometimes associated with darkness and bad omens in popular culture (remember the Grim from Harry Potter?), Which can make some people hesitant to take one home with them.
Prejudices against black dogs: fact and fiction
Those who work in shelters tend to have abundant anecdotal evidence that confirms the prejudice against black dogs. Even I can contribute as I have been a volunteer at a dog shelter for a decade and one of my current jobs is at a cat shelter.
In my workplace, it is true that in a room full of kittens, blacks are often the last to find a home. In my experience, the same is true when it comes to adopting black dogs: those that are totally dark tend to spend more time in the shelters than those that are lighter in color or of various colors. However, they eventually end up being adopted.
In a blog post written for the professional website of the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), Dr. Emily Weiss reported on a 2012 study that sought to discover whether biases against black dogs were real.
The study found that participants' perceptions of dogs were "more influenced by their internal stereotypes about breed" than by color. For example, in the study, a black Lab was perceived as "less hostile, friendlier, less dominant, and more submissive" than a brown pit bull and a brindle boxer. In this case, the perception of the race was much more important than the color.
Apparently, coat color is not the first thing that most people consider when evaluating a dog. As reported in an article in English on io9.com, a study conducted with dark-colored dogs at a shelter in the United States in 1998 determined that while color was a factor, it was actually at the bottom of the list of the adopters' considerations when choosing their pet.
How Adopters Choose Their Dogs
According to the study presented by io9, the main considerations when choosing a dog are:
Race. People want purebred dogs, "regardless of color."
Size. Both big and small: people want a dog that fits in with their home and lifestyle.
Age. Adopters tend to have a greater preference for young dogs, Pitbull Dog black.
Personal experiences. According to the study, "some people had an aversion to stray dogs."