The term "pit bull" refers to dogs with sinewy physiques and broad skulls. The American pit bull terrier is part of the category, for example. Although pit bulls are large, powerful and sturdy in appearance, many of them are well-behaved, friendly and indeed nice.
Training and Socialization
Pit bulls might give off a tough and strapping first impression, but that in no way means that these dogs are not nice animals. Looks can be deceiving. However, the key to a pleasant temperament in a pit bull is proper training and socialization -- and from an extremely early age. This actually applies to canines of many breeds and types. If a pit bull has an owner who is dedicated to safety, he'll work hard to teach his dog never to harm others, whether animals or human beings.
Pit Bulls and People
Pit bulls are generally amiable toward people, according to the website for the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society. Pit bulls with the proper training and socialization can be affectionate and faithful dogs. They often are passionate about making their favorite people happy. When pit bulls have good upbringings, they're sweet and consistent in behavior, but at the same time valiant. They frequently get along well with kids. They often even put up with rough handling by small children. It's always crucial to carefully monitor their interactions with children, however. Pit bulls are big dogs -- and often boisterous balls of vigor. The last thing you want is for an overzealous pit bull to run into a small child.
Cases of Aggression
The majority of pit bulls out there aren't fierce toward people, according to the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area. When pit bulls are violent toward people, it generally indicates a problem, perhaps lack of socialization with humans, trauma, neglect or issues with training. If your pit bull ever displays even a hint of aggression toward you or anyone, get professional help for him without delay. Never try to fix the problem by yourself. Look for a dog behavioral expert who has a strong background with pit bulls specifically. If you need any recommendations for canine experts in your region, contact a veterinarian.
Pit Bulls and Dogs
When it comes to getting along with other dogs, pit bulls run the gamut. With the right care and training from their owners, some pit bulls thrive alongside other dogs. Others would rather live solo. Pit bulls, like dogs in general, all vary in terms of how they react to other animals. If you're the new owner of a pit bull and want to stop potential truculence around animals, socialize him while he's a young pup. The goal is to provide your young pit bull with ample good, safe associations to dogs overall.
- Humane Society of Harrisburg Area: Pit Bull Myths
- Animal Humane Society: Understanding Dog Tolerance in Pit Bulls
- Pit Bull Rescue Central: Pit Bulls
- Austin Humane Society: Pitbull Fact vs. Fiction
- PetMD: American Pit Bull Terrier
- Lane County Oregon: Tips for Pit Bull Owners
- ASPCA: The Truth About Pit Bulls
- Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images