Owning A Pitbull For The First Time (7 Things You Should Know)

Like all dog lovers, owning a Pitbull for the first time is exciting, but you may need answers to a few questions like:

  • What Is the history of Pitbulls?
  • What is the true nature of Pitbulls?
  • Is my Pitbull safe around my children?
  • How easy is it to train Pitulls?

The list may go on, but by the end of this article we promise you will answer many of your queries.

First, let’s take a look at the Pitbull’s bloodline.

First, What Is a PitBull?

To begin with, “Pit bull” or “Pitbull” is not a particular breed. It’s a public term which describes dogs with similar traits. In fact, there are a lot of misconceptions about their sources. 

This is because they have variant characteristics like those of rescue dogs, livestock drivers, game racers, show dogs, etc.

As you can guess, it is almost impossible to precisely identify the different types of pitbulls unless you have the pedigree of the dog in question.

Nevertheless, below is a list of common Pitbull types:

  • Bull Terriers
  • The American Bulldog
  • American Pitbull Terriers
  • American Staffordshire Terriers
  • Staffordshire Bull Terriers
pitbull with family

If you are struggling to identify your Pitbull we recommend you read our article about Finding What Type of Pitbull You Have.

Pitbull Historical Background: Origin, Use, And Where We Are Now.

Traces of Pitbull ancestors can be tracked all the way back to Britain in the 1800’s.

Since by nature they are breeds of dogs with characteristics of brevity, hardwork, and strong temper, they are naturally fierce dogs.

Their masters were lovers of savage sports involving bull-baiting, and Pitbulls were bred specifically for this purpose.

Fortunately, in 1835, the sports that these merciless masters loved was declared illegal. 

However, soon a similar ‘sport’ emerged as dogfighting – a new trend in the streets since no one could resist the temptation of throwing these bloodthirsty creatures in the arena.

image of the Pitbull historical background

The brand-new culture involved a blend of Bulls with Terriers to create Pitbull Terriers – a unique breed with more agility, and fighting hunger but a more temper-controllable.

Eventually this barbaric treatment of Pitbulls was declared illegal and inhuman, and with the old barbaric culture dead and the dwindling of dog fighting popularity, the breed found it’s way to the US via immigrants.

This time it was used for protection and guarding, and also due to its agility it was used in jungle hunting and hog raids.

As times changed so the use and fate of the Pitbull also changed, and they started receiving a better reception than before. 

Pitbull dogs have even found a place alongside prominent people in society like celebrities, politicians, and have been featured on covers of popular magazines and billboard advertisements.

Today Pitbulls are seen as a loyal and loving human companion – not as an aggressive fighting beast.

Understanding the Nature of Pitbull Dogs

Knowing the background of a Pitbull will guide your knowledge of its character traits, and will help you know the best ways to train and care for your particular dog.

Sadly, the original intention of these breeds was to serve as entertainment for people in brutal pit fights, a dangerous bloodbath of dog-to-dog fights.

Knowing this fact may help you understand the inherent qualities embedded deep within their DNA.

To stand in their defense, their behavior is intentional like any other breed of dogs that were specifically bred to develop traits to suit their masters.

For instance, Greyhounds were bred to be runners, Terriers to dig out and catch squirrels, shepherds to herding, and of course the Pitbull for fighting.

Seven Things to Know About Pitbulls

1. Common Pitbull Physical Traits

Although there is a standard physical trait to these breeds, there are subtle variations between them.

Still, a major difference is in their size is brought about by the initial mix.

Although Pitbulls can be difficult to identify due to the many mixes out there, they have unique characteristics you can use to visually identify them.

  • They usually have a solid muscular body, a well-built form, and covered with short fur.
  • The head and shoulders are the most prevalent areas of their body.
  • Their heads are square-shaped, with a wide mouth almost resembling that of a Bulldog, and their shoulders being broad and outwardly pronounced.
  • They display good agility, high energy, and plenty of strength.

But when it comes to height and weight, we will use the standard size of the first mix which is Pitbull Terrier.

It is important to note that the male Pitbull Terrier has a little more pronounced shoulders compared to a female.

For males, their height is usually around 19 inches while females are slightly below at 18 inches, while their weight is almost equal: 30-88lbs.

Pitbull Size Chart.

Adult SizeChestWaistHips

30-40 in

22-26 in32-36 in

32-36 in

24-28 in34-38 in

34.5-38.5 in

26.5-30.5 in36.5-40.5 in

37-41 in

29-33 in39-43 in
2X38-42 in30-34 in40-44 in

If you want info on identifying your Pitbull , see our article about Finding What Type of Pitbull You Have.

2. Pitbull’s Have High Levels Of Intelligence

Not certainly the most intelligent, but Pitbulls were blended for more serious affairs and their original DNA screams combat – the reason they exhibit a combo of great physical agility and high metal intelligence.

  • To respect the master’s orders.
  • To charge the prey.
  • To hunt and trace trails.

Such a high level of skills, therefore, makes them more intelligent compared to other meek breeds.

What makes them even more superior is that Pit bulls have a little of every other breed.

That’s why to be partners with a them, you need to be more of a leader, because they tend to be more authoritarian.

3. Pitbull’s Natural Temperament

By all means Pitbulls are amongst the best bloodline for fighting, meaning deep in their DNA they are relentless fighters and mule-stubborn. 

Due to this, they can become selfish and brutal. When they set out to do something, they will attain it regardless of the barrier, like a cage or fence breakout.

However, you cannot conclude a Pitbull is not a fair-minded dog due to its inborn behavior. On the contrary, according to the American Temperament Test Society (AMTTS), a Pitbull Terrier is among the top 5 most stable dogs.

The study also shows, it’s not the dog with the problem, it’s often the human factor, if you treat your Pitbull poorly, then it’s temperament will reflect that.

Pitbulls on a temperament test perform greater than average. The study confirms that Pitbulls are exceptional dogs when given loving family care.

When you give them good care, you will be surprised by how much affection they show people. It’s in their nature to crave attention and affection.

A bit of belly massage here, a cuddle there, a bit of human warmth, and they respond in kind with happiness and love toward their ownners – just big tough teddy-bears!

4. They Are Easy To Train

Due to Pitbulls’ high level of intelligence they are quite easy dogs to train.

However, they can be extremely unruly, reckless, boisterous, and undisciplined. 

Therefore, it is paramount to prioritize their obedience lessons early in their life to help shape a calm personality, and luckily they are loyal, dependable, and easy to give orders to.

Their conduct with other dogs or strangers is no different either – It also depends on the nature and timing of the training.

At the same time, be on the look out, their natural instinct still sleeps deep, and can be awakened by poor handling or intrusive training.

Nevertheless, Pitbulls are one of the most fun, energetic, and humorous type of breeds you can ever own.

Be nice and offer appropriate training early enough and they will reward you with undying loyalty and friendship.

Pitbulls playing

7. Dietry Needs Of Pitbull’s

Pitbulls love nutritious food with high protein, meaning meat feeds are their favorite -either whole meat, or feeds with extremely high proteins.

  • I highly discourage feeding them with salty foods, especially those with high traces of nitrates and phosphorus.
  • To maximize their nutrition intake, avoid dog feeds with high levels of fillers like corn, potatoes, and wheat.

Due to their active nature, giving them 2-4 meals a day will satisfy their needs.

Since they always tell you they are hungry, take note of their daily feed quantity because overfeeding and also feeding your Pitbull within 30 minutes of training can lead to health problems.

Read this article to discover more about the best dog food to help your pitbull gain lean muscle, and what to look for in their nutritional needs.

5. Pitbull’s Are Heavy Chewers

By now, you’ve realized that Pitbull dogs are a no-nonsense type of breed. If they intend to chew and destroy something they have no problem achieving that!

Besides giving them appropriate obedience training – equip them with treats and toys that match their energy.

Get them strong indestructible dog beds and toys made for heavy chewers.

These kinds of accessories will keep them busy and prevent them from chewing your valuable possessions.

Check out some great heavy-duty dog chew toys in our review to get some ideas.

6. Pitbull’s Have A High Pain Tolerance

Pitbulls’ usually have a high tolerance for pain and diseases, and in the case of injury you can easily fail to notice the problem, leading to an advanced ailment.

However, this doesn’t mean the breed is not prone to diseases like kneecap dislocation, hip dysplasia, or degenerative myelopathy.

You should also observe common health care like de-worming and giving quality dog food.

But mainly be on the watch over thyroid and congenital heart defects.

Top Questions About Pitbull’s

What Nationality Were Pitbulls Originally?

The original breed migrated from Britain to America in the 1800’s. Later it was bred into various Pitbull types after the arrival of the first breed into the US.

What Is The Lifespan Of A Pitbull?

A healthy Pitbull will have a lifespan that ranges between 8 – 15 years.

When Is A Pitbull Full Grown?

Pitbulls’ mature slowly compared to other breeds. Therefore, a full-grown Pitbull will take around 2-3 years to mature.

How Fast Can A Pitbull Run?

Pitbulls are built for strength, agility, and possesses immense energy.

Due to these facts, a breed like American Pit Bull Terriers have taken a top spot among the ten best dog runners.

So far, they’ve cracked an impressive figure of 25-30 mph (40-48 km/h).

Final Thoughts

We’ve had a brief look at the history of the Pitbull to help build a understanding of their traits, knowing what they were originally bred for.

The original intent was to raise fierce fighters, ruthless protectors, and irrefutable hunters.

Therefore, you should know owning a Pitbull for the first time comes with immense responsibility …they demand a lot of attention!

If you are more of a calm and reserved person a Pitbull may not offer the companion that matches your character, as they are boisterous and full of energy.

With the correct obedience training early in their life, Pitbull’s will become very  loyal, obedient, adorable, friendly creatures.

Nevertheless, owning a Pitbull is like owning a Lamborghini or a Ferrari. They are a symbol or strength, energy, and glory.

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