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Are you thinking about adding a dog to your home? If you’re considering a Pitbull for your new canine companion, there are plenty of reasons to adopt one into your family. Before we discuss all the reasons Pitbulls make great pets, let’s first talk about what a Pitbull is.
What Is A Pitbull?
The term “pitbull” can be misleading, as it’s often used to define a dog breed, but it isn’t actually a breed at all. Pitbulls are, in fact, a group of breeds descended from bulldogs and terriers.
Pitbull may be (incorrectly) used to describe a formal breed or even just a general appearance that can’t be specifically identified. Many times, a dog is labeled a pitbull because “you know it when you see it.”
Some breeds associated with and misnomered Pitbulls include the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Bully, American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
So keep in mind that while many of the Pitbull breeds share similar traits, a Pitbull is not a “breed” that might have definite characteristics in terms of appearance or temperament.
10 Reasons Pitbulls Are Such Popular Pets
While Pitbulls are sometimes a source of controversy, such as breed-specific laws banning their ownership in certain cities, these dogs can make fantastic pets. Here are just a few reasons why Pitbulls make such popular companions.
1. Pitbulls are very healthy.
One reason Pitbulls make very popular pets is that they are very healthy. Most Pitbull breeds and mixes are not plagued with many of the ailments associated with other pure breeds.
Many large pure breeds are strongly associated with health issues like hip dysplasia and heart disease resulting from years of artificially selecting traits.
Pitbull breeds do not have such strong connections to health problems, and while some might experience hip dysplasia, occurrences are at a much lower rate than other breeds of comparable size.
These health issues are even fewer when you adopt a Pitbull of mixed heritage. Pitbulls are one of the longest-lived groups of large dogs, with a life expectancy of 12 to 16 years.
2. They are low maintenance.
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance dog, Pitbulls are a great choice.
Their short coats require very little to no brushing.
A Pitbull’s hair is easy to keep clean with a bath once a month or so and the short coat produces little odor in between washes.
The hair length has an added bonus too: if your Pitbull is a fan of rolling in dirt or mud, it tends to fall right off their coat afterward. Similarly, a Pitbull’s coat dries very quickly too.
3. Pitbulls are friendly.
With the bad reputation Pitbulls have gotten over the last few years, this one may come as a surprise. If you look into the history of Pitbulls though, it shouldn’t surprise you at all.
Pitbulls are so named because they were bred to fight in pits. Pitbulls would fight bulls, bears, and later other dogs in gruesome battles. Pitbulls were not bred, however, to fight people.
So while your Pitbull may require extra socialization as a puppy to prevent the development of aggression towards other dogs, chances are your Pitty will love people.
Don’t be surprised if you adopt a Pitbull who has a chronic need to say hi to every single person they see.
In fact, Pitbulls can be so friendly sometimes that it hurts; you will have to take care to train your Pitbull on how to greet friends and family calmly, in a manner suited to their large size.
4. Pit bulls are loyal.
Pitbulls have been working side by side with humans for centuries. That bond is visible in human-Pitbull relationships to this day. A Pitbull is looking for a best friend and will bestow upon their person an undying loyalty. Pitbulls will quickly attach to “their” person, so it’s important to make sure they socialize with all different kinds of people as well, especially during puppyhood. Your Pitbull will often take cues from you on how to behave towards other people; if they see you socialize positively with others, they will too. Their loyalty has an added bonus: they are so eager to please you that training is much easier than with a more independent dog.
5. They are very athletic.
Pitbulls have strong, barrel-chested, muscular bodies that make them the perfect athletes. Pitbulls participate in all manner of dog sporting events and activities. Some of these activities include:
- Cart or weight-pulling
- Ring Sports
A Pitbull’s athleticism not only helps them excel in sports but also in jobs with herding or law enforcement and as service dogs.
6. Pit-bulls are great with children.
The American Temperament Test Society is an organization that compiles data assessing each dog breed’s ability to interact with humans. They keep records of breed statistics that indicate which breeds are most or least likely to have issues interacting with people.
According to the website, 86.7% of Pitbulls pass the ATTS test of temperament and obedience. This places these “Bully” breeds in the top 5 of the most stable dog breeds in the United States.
Pitbulls are loyal, people-oriented dogs that thrive as part of the family unit.
They are sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pats from uncoordinated kids and aren’t typically triggered by running and screaming.
That being said, you should always teach children how to interact appropriately with a dog and supervise all interactions until children are old enough not to be knocked over or behave incorrectly.
7. They have a goofy personality.
Pitbulls are incredibly full of personality. They love their people – and most other people too – and will do whatever it takes to soak up your attention.
They are always ready to play and be loved on.
Many may resort to clownish antics to get you to notice them. While some of these games may be entertaining and fun, their intelligence can also get them into trouble.
Pitbulls are notorious for getting into things they shouldn’t, especially when they’re seeking attention or bored. Make sure your Pitbull has plenty of physical and mental stimulation in the forms of toys, games, and playtime and you will be able to enjoy his goofy antics on a daily basis.
8. Pitbulls are excellent cuddlers.
Depending on the breed, Pitbulls can weigh anywhere between 30 and 80 pounds. Don’t let a Pitbull’s size fool you, they consider themselves to be the best lap dogs around.
The most decorated dog in World War I, Sergeant Stubby, was a Pitbull.
While you might envision Stubby as a war dog, his renown actually came from comforting wounded soldiers in the infirmary. Sergeant Stubby cuddled, kissed, and loved on thousands of soldiers on the Western Front.
This behavior is typical of Pitbulls; they want to cuddle, and they want to cuddle hard.
9. They are incredibly handsome dogs.
Pitbulls come in many sizes and colors, but they’re all adorable.
Ever heard of a Pitbull smile? Those large, wide mouths and long tongues leave Pitbulls with some of the goofiest grins in the dog world. They’re powerful, stocky stance is well-proportioned and aesthetically-pleasing.
Don’t be surprised if people stop you in the street or on a trail to comment on how attractive your dog is.
10. They make terrible guard dogs, but great watch dogs.
Pitbulls’ strength and overall appearance can make them seem very intimidating.
Coupled with their poor reputation from dog-fighting rings, you might think Pitbulls make excellent guard dogs. In most cases, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Pitbulls have a tendency to love every person they come into contact with, and so they are just as likely to cover a visitor with kisses as they are to lovingly greet an intruder.
Your Pitbull may achieve some success as a watchdog, as they will alert you when someone comes to your door, but this is usually because they are excited to greet their next new friend.
Like any breed, Pitbull breeds have their share of pros and cons.
When all is said and done, Pitbull breeds are a loving, loyal addition to any family. As long as they are properly socialized with other dogs from a young age, you shouldn’t ever have to worry about your Pitbull.
They are low maintenance, easy-going dogs who are content just to be around their people. If you’re considering adopting a Pitbull into your home, you won’t be disappointed.
Taylor has a degree in Animal Science from the University of Georgia. She worked as a zookeeper for several years and is now a freelance writer. She and her own pit mix, Dobby, bicycled 3200 miles across the United States and thru-hiked the Long Trail together.