By Amber Kingsley
In honor of National Pit Bull Awareness Month, held every October since 2011, we thought it was a good idea to honor these great terriers and give some advice on keeping them active, which will lead to a longer, healthier lifestyle. Pit Bulls have long held a bad reputation for being mean or aggressive, but they aren’t alone in these canine-based myths, which are often devoid in fact.
Back in the day, it was German Shepherds that were sometimes seen in a negative light, perhaps because of their association with the police and military. Then came Doberman Pinschers, often used as guard dogs, which may have been the cause of fear. But just like Pit Bulls, they make great family pets and are almost always gentle with children. In fact, when it comes to your personal safety and health, you’re in more danger coming into contact with fecal matter than you are when it comes to interacting with these playful animals.
Realistic & Unrealistic Expectations
If you’re expecting a Pit Bull to be a guard dog purely due to their reputation, you’re not thinking correctly. Just like any dog, you can train them to be protective, but what you should truly be expecting from them is the need for a great deal of exercise. While many of them are perfectly happy to be a couch potato, this sedentary lifestyle isn’t good for them long-term.
Remember other factors when it comes to their activity levels as older dogs won’t need as much exercise, nor should they be as rambunctious as a puppy. Sometimes it’s a personality thing as some Pit Bulls will want to run and play all day, and others are happy to be lap dogs. Be sure to check with your veterinarian to ensure your canine is getting enough activity and exercise.
Do’s and Don’ts
Again there’s some expectations about Pit Bulls that aren’t true, for example, if you think they’ll be happy spending all day (or night) outdoors without you, this is another fallacy. These terriers are extremely social and friendly animals and should should expect this canine to be your constant companion. These dogs are happiest when they’re by your side, in your lap and want to be cuddled and given plenty of love and affection.
They’re also extremely intelligent and when coupled with their high-energy levels, they’ll need to be trained and supervised. You’ll find these brainy and brawny dogs are capable of almost any kind of activity you’d associate with other canines, such as:
Agility and endurance courses
Fetching and playing tug-of-war
Hide-and-go-seek whether they’re looking for you or a treat
Hiking, jogging and biking alongside you
Dock diving / jumping and swimming
Search and rescue animals
Here at Rural Dog Rescue, we believe in every dog, from little Chihuahuas to enormous Great Danes, they’re all equal in our eyes. Equal of being treated with the same level of love and respect as any animal, regardless of their size or breed.
Travel junkie, Amber Kingsley, is a freelance writer living in Santa Monica, CA. Her art history background helps her hone in on topics that are of interest to readers. She is a dog enthusiast and loves spending time with her pomeranian, Agatha.