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Responsible Ownership
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Responsible Ownership
Responsible Pit Bull Ownership: Good Pit Bulls Have Good Owners
This page is a collection of the key factors in responsible Pit Bull Ownership and how to ensure a healthy and safe life for your dog and those around him/ her.
In the hands of a responsible owner, All of the Pit Bull Breeds are like every other
breed and should be granted the same right to live a healthy and safe life as
all others do.

The trait, most commonly abused and neglected (creating a dangerous dog) by
irresponsible owners is the same trait that make this breed one of the best in the
world:
Loyalty.

This Loyalty, when properly fostered and encouraged, is what makes the Pit Bull
Breeds one of the best and most patient in working with children and the elderly,
working as service and therapy dogs, police K9's and search / rescue dogs, as well
as a simple family member/ pet.

When abused, this loyalty
can channel into aggression, territoriality,  and other
non-social behaviors.

The true Responsible Pit Bull Owner and Advocate acknowledges this loyalty and
commits to a life time of care and supervision of their dog, to proper diet and
veterinary care, spay or neutering of their dog, licensing and micro-chipping their
dog, supplying positive and constructive exercise and socialization to their dog,
applying rules and boundaries, and including their dog as part of their family/ pack.
A well-raised pit bull of proper temperament is the most loyal and loving dog in
the world. Pit bulls truly love people, especially children, and are great family
pets!

Responsible pit bull guardians do the following to ensure the safety and health
of their family pet:

  • Research and understand the breed before you adopt a pit bull. There
    are no bad dogs; only bad/irresponsible owners.

  • Vaccinate, microchip, and license/register your dogs.

  • Spay and neuter your dog as early as possible. Altered pets live longer,
    happier, and healthier lives. They are also more stable and easier to
    control when not triggered by their sexual hormones. Females that are in
    their reproductive cycles, and males who are triggered by their sexual
    hormones, tend to be far more reactive and aggressive than those who
    are not. To date, no fatal dog attack by an altered dog (of any breed)
    has ever been reported.

  • Abide by any federal, state, or local laws pertaining to pet ownership and
    the pit bull breed. Research the laws of your state/city/township on your
    own to ensure you are meeting all of the statutory requirements with
    regard to ownership of your pit bull.

  • Ensure that your apartment, condo, or rental house allows pit bulls
    before you sign a lease.

  • For the safety of your dog and the general dog population, keep your pit
    bull behind a secure locked fence!

  • Never allow your pit bull off-leash, except in a secure and safe enclosed
    area (for example, your securely fenced yard). Pit bulls are “escape
    artists” and dogs are just like human children. When not supervised, the
    decisions they make are often not in their best interest. When a Golden
    Retriever runs up to a person, they say “How sweet!” but when a Pit Bull
    does the exact same thing, people scream “Vicious dog!” When the
    public sees a pit bull on the loose, they do not wait before calling animal
    control or even the police. Due to the bad reputation of pit bulls, these
    dogs are frequently killed by police officers. This is an unfortunate truth—
    do not make the reputation of the Pit Bull worse than it already is.

  • Always keep your Pit Bull on leash. Even if you believe you have full
    control of your dog, pit bulls are very strong and you cannot predict
    his/her reaction if a cat or a squirrel runs in front of him. Use a Gentle
    Leader, Martingale-type collar, or no-pull harness when your pit bull is
    leashed. Do not use choke collars or prong collars!

  • Never take your Pit Bull to a dog park! Even if you think your Pit Bull is
    wonderful with other dogs, all it takes is once. If a Labrador starts a fight
    and your Pit Bull finishes it, whom will everyone blame? Let’s face it; the
    Pit Bull is always at fault in the eyes of the public.

  • Properly house, feed, and care for your dog. A pit bull should be a
    member of your family!

  • Never try to use your pit bull as a guard dog, for fighting, or keep it
    chained/tied up/penned or outside unattended at any time (all dogs
    should be inside pets when not playing/walking/pottying outside under
    human supervision). Pit bulls are terrible guard dogs because they love
    people so much. You need to be the “guard dog,” because your pit bull is
    always at risk of being stolen.

  • Owning a dog is for LIFE (the natural life of the dog) – provide needed
    veterinary care (from a licensed veterinarian) and do not allow your pit
    bull to be abused, neglected, or abandoned.

  • Do not sell, give away, or dispose of your pit bull. If you must re-home
    your pit bull, contact a reputable pit bull rescue. Do not post your dog on
    Craigslist as “Free to a Good Home.”

  • Enroll your pit bull in a positive reinforcement training class (training
    which uses reward-based methods and does not involve coercion of any
    kind, including but not limited to choke chains, prong collars, or shock
    collars). Ongoing classes or practice for the life of the dog are best.

  • When out with your dog, pay attention to your surroundings and balance
    the needs of the public with your dog’s needs. This means picking up
    your dog’s mess, not letting him/her jump on or annoy others, and
    avoiding off-leash dogs that may run up and instigate a fight.

  • Socialize your pit bull with humans as much as possible before and after
    they reach maturity, and be sure that you dog’s experiences are
    ALWAYS positive. Your pit bull should meet all kinds of adults and as
    many respectful children as possible. Socialization with people should be
    part of your dog's training for his/her entire life. Relegating a dog to the
    backyard or keeping it chained 24/7 can lead to disaster. If you are not
    willing to socialize and train a dog, please do not get one. You want your
    dog to be able to handle new situations with confidence and pleasure. As
    with obedience classes, once is not enough—ongoing socialization will
    ensure your dog’s happiness by showing him that the world is a
    wonderful place. And please remember, socialization does not mean your
    dog running around with other dogs off leash! An obedience class in
    which he may never get to “say hello” to any other dog is good
    socialization!

  • Understand that pit bulls may be dog-aggressive. Some pit bulls love all
    other dogs, but this breed was initially created and developed for the
    sport of dog-fighting. As a result, pit bulls have an important
    predisposition for dog-aggression, so you must take precautions and use
    common sense. Do not expect your dog to be friends with unfamiliar
    dogs. Some pit bulls cannot be around any other dogs at all. If your pit
    bull is dog aggressive, you cannot “train out” the desire to fight another
    dog anymore than you can “train out” the desire to chase running rabbits
    in the a greyhound. You can curb this behavior and often control it, but
    you cannot stop it completely. So you must always take precautions to
    keep your dog safe as well as other people’s dogs.

  • Early socialization with other dogs may help, but is not a guarantee that
    your pit bull will not become dog aggressive at some point. ALWAYS be
    prepared for it! Remember that even if a non-pit bull dog starts the
    hostilities, the pit bull has the genetics to finish the fight, and will most
    likely pay the price in the hands of the authorities.

  • Never leave a pit bull alone and unsupervised with other animals. Even
    though you think they are the best of friends, it is better to be safe than
    sorry! All it takes is one time for a fight to break out. This is especially
    true with multiple pit bulls in one household. Do not take any chances
    and never trust your pit bull not to fight another dog!

  • Always monitor pit bulls when they play with other dogs, and don’t let
    things escalate. Roughhousing can trigger a fight if not kept under
    control. Pit bulls like to play rough and can be pretty vocal. Their games
    often mimic a real fight and can be overwhelming for the other dog. Don’t
    let the dogs push it too far. As the “leader” it is your responsibility to keep
    your dog under control.

  • Give your pit bull daily exercise. Pit Bulls need a job—whether this job is
    obedience classes, taking a walk with you every day, sitting on the couch
    with you in the evenings, or something more intense such as search and
    rescue, a pit bull needs to feel important and needed. Pit bulls are highly
    intelligent animals with finely tuned problem-solving skills. They need an
    outlet for this energy.

  • “Don’t breed or buy while shelter animals die!” With thousands of pit bulls
    dying in shelters, do not be a part of the problem—be part of the
    solution! Instead of buying a pit bull from a breeder, adopt one from a
    rescue!!

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