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The American Pit Bull Terrier is a strong, muscular and impressive dog, which belongs to the medium-sized dogs with a shoulder height of up to 55 cm. With its compact build, it also reaches a weight between 17 and 27 kg.
In summary, you should not underestimate the attitude and upbringing of an American Pit Bull Terrier. Because of its sad past, the breed brings certain challenges that require experience with dogs and responsible handling.
It has short, dense and glossy fur that can be found in many different colors. His head is large and brawny with semi-erect ears. Unfortunately, it still happens that the ears of terriers are clipped to make them look more dangerous. In this country, however, this practice is fortunately prohibited.
American Pit Bull Terriers live on average between 8 and 15 years.
Contrary to certain prejudices that portray the American Pit Bull Terrier as aggressive, when seriously bred it is a very calm, lovable and loyal dog with a very high irritability threshold. He loves to be in nature and is a very bright and playful fellow but also extremely attentive and intelligent.
He is very loyal and affectionate to his family, making him perfect as a family and companion dog. He is also good-natured and relatively neutral towards strangers.
The terrier got its unjustified reputation from the sad abuse of the breed for dog fighting. The dogs were made intentionally aggressive for this purpose, which gave them a bad reputation as a dangerous breed. However, with good breeding and socialization, the dogs absolutely do not live up to this reputation, on the contrary. They are usually willing to submit to their humans and would never attack anyone.
First and foremost, before you get an American Pit Bull Terrier, you must remember that the dogs are on the breed list in all three of Austria’s listing states, Vienna, Lower Austria and Vorarlberg. Be sure to find out in advance what the requirements are and what you need to do to be allowed to keep a Pit Bull Terrier. In general, be prepared for skeptical looks and some rejection and prejudice.
When traveling, also note that in some countries, just the appearance of the dogs can be enough to deny them entry.
So, the American Pit Bull Terrier is not a dog that you should get just like that.
Apart from that, he is a very active and bright dog for whom occasional walks are not enough. In fact, the intelligent dog should be exercised both physically and mentally. You can also do all kinds of dog sports with him excellently.
As far as training is concerned, it is extremely important that you convey to your dog from the beginning that you are at the top of the hierarchy. You must remain very consistent but in any case non-violent, absolutely have experience with dogs and build a deep trust relationship with him. If you do not succeed in training him, he may try to take the lead, which can be very dangerous in this breed. So in education, you have a great responsibility to prevent that.
But once you have succeeded, you will find in your terrier an extremely obedient companion who will gladly submit, crave your approval, and want to read your every wish from your eyes.
As far as other dogs are concerned, make sure that your terrier gets used to being around other dogs when he is still a puppy, otherwise there is also a risk that the extremely strong dog will show aggressive behavior. It is best to visit a suitable dog school with him.
So you should think carefully about the purchase, be quite sure that you are up to the challenge and also look very carefully at the breeding and origin. If you have mastered all this, you will have a lot of fun with your dog.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is relatively undemanding as far as his diet is concerned. The feed should only have a high meat content. You should adjust the amount to his activity level and age. While for puppies it is better to divide the food into several, smaller meals a day, for adult dogs 2 meals a day are sufficient. Make sure your dog rests a bit after eating so as not to overwhelm his digestion.
I’m sure your dog will be happy about occasional chews and treats, too.
Grooming is also very straightforward, as brushing your dog once a week is perfectly sufficient. It’s best to get him used to the procedure while he’s still a puppy. Most of the time, dogs even find brushing pleasant, so you can also strengthen your bond with him.
You should not bathe your dog, but if it is unavoidable, it is best to use mild dog shampoo.
In addition to grooming, you should also regularly trim your dog’s claws and check his eyes and ears, cleaning them if necessary.
In addition, you can prevent the formation of plaque and tartar by brushing the teeth with a dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste. He is also sure to gratefully accept dental care snacks.
Although American Pit Bull Terriers enjoy the best health per se, unfortunately, there are some diseases that are typical for the breed. These include hip dysplasia, which is limited with good breeding, hip osteoarthritis, which occurs mainly with obesity, and various allergies. The short coat also makes them susceptible to skin diseases such as canine demodicosis, which is caused by a heavy infestation of certain mites.
Otherwise, however, the dogs are very robust.
The history of the American Pit Bull Terrier is unfortunately a sad one, as it was bred mainly as a “fighting dog” for dog fighting. To make the dogs as aggressive as possible, they crossed strong bulldogs and nimble terriers and let them compete against other dogs in rings, so-called “pits”, from which their name was also derived. Although dogfighting is mostly banned today, it is still done illegally.
In addition, the breed has only been officially recognized by the United Kennel Club in the USA , which is said to have strong links to dog fighting that still takes place.
Efforts to distance themselves from dog fighting and to make the dogs suitable for family use eventually led to a split-off of the Staffordshire Terrier, which bears a very strong resemblance to the American Pit Bull Terrier, but has been recognized by major governing bodies and is thus subject to more precise breed standards and controlled breeding.
Due to lack of control by associations and irresponsible breeding in the past and partly also in the present, the dogs could unfortunately still not get rid of their image and as fighting dogs and certain predispositions to aggressive behavior and therefore require great responsibility in the attitude and education.
In summary, you should not underestimate the attitude and upbringing of an American Pit Bull Terrier. Because of its sad past, the breed brings certain challenges that require experience with dogs and responsible handling. However, if you master all this, you will gain an extremely loyal, loving and entertaining companion who would do anything for you.