Pitbull Dog Breeds: All about owning a bully breed

Pitbull breeds VOSD Blog

What is Pitbull?

The Pitbull dog breed by itself is not a ‘breed’. It is how a group of dogs is defined. They are from a crossbreeding of bulldogs and terriers. There is a common misconception that a Pitbull is a separate breed like a German Shepherd. It is a fact that Terriers are famous for their agility and bulldogs are a great example of tremendous physical strength. Crossbreeding them has brought about a great fighting dog ( perhaps this is really not needed in this world and time! Did you know this breed of dogs is extensively used in illegal dog fighting rings in Punjab and other states in India? VOSD has rescued many bully dogs who were either on death row due to aggressive behavior and biting incidents or languishing in a shelter after being rescued from an illegal fighting ring. Read the story of Shilpi, a Pakistani Bully Dog, who was rescued by VOSD).

Pitbulls breeds form a group that consists of the American Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Red Nose American Pitbull Terrier, and Blue Nosed American Bull Terrier.  The original Pitbull came from Great Britain and when the English brought these fighting dogs to America, many American dog breeders wanted to create even greater fighters out of these dogs. That is how the American Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, Staffordshire Bull Terrier came about.

Characteristics: The basic characteristic of these breeds is that they are fighting dogs. While these dogs may not be involved in actual fighting as it is banned in many countries, they are still considered fighting dogs. Breeders in India have shortened the name of the American pitbull terrier and call it simply as a Pitbull. As the name suggests, the origin of pitbulls is the United States. While they may be fighting dogs, they are considered great companions and love children. But, they can be aggressive when facing other dogs.  Pitbull owners find these dogs easy to train as they are found to be highly receptive to positive reinforcement. 

Size and weight: Pitbulls are usually of medium size and they weigh anywhere between 15 to 27 kgs. 

Appearance and grooming: All Pitbull dog breed types are muscular. Their heads are square-shaped, they have a fleshy nose also square-shaped and they have large almond-shaped eyes. They have long, straight tails. They usually have red, black, or buckskin coloured coats. They barely shed and need grooming only once a week. 

Diet and Exercise: Pitbulls need a minimum of two hours of exercise daily. They usually do well with a high protein diet. 

Health concerns: Some health issues that may arise include eye problems, cancer, and hip dysplasia. 

Myth versus reality

Myth: Pitbulls breeds are inherently dangerous. 

Reality: Not all pit bulls are dangerous. In fact, repeated testing of such breeds has shown them pass with flying colors. This testing has been conducted by the American Temperament Test Society. 

Myth: All pitbulls have been mistreated and will be aggressive if rescued.

Reality: Mistreatment or aggression is not restricted to pitbull breeds. Any dog that has been mistreated may show aggression. The cause of aggression is almost always socialization issues and/or abuse, regardless of the breed.

Recommended roles for a pitbull dog breed

All types of Pitbull are suitable for a variety of roles. As they are known for their agility and strength, they would do very well in dog sports. They also do very well as working dogs. For example, they can be useful in search and rescue teams; they can be trained as police dogs, they can be very successful in border patrols, and they can be of great assistance to the hearing impaired.  

Which Is The Best Pitbull Dog Breed? 

Staffordshire Bull Terrier – as they are gentle, patient with family members especially children / best-suited type of pitbull for households.

Are Pitbulls banned in India?

A lot of pedigree dogs like Pitbulls, Great Dane, German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher, Labrador are abandoned every year that end up at shelter homes. That’s why the government of India banned the import of pedigree dogs for breeding purposes in 2016. Other than this ban, there is no specific ban on owning pit bulls.

Should you buy a pitbull?

Before planning to buy a pitbull just out of the excitement of owning a pitbull puppy, learn about the following facts.

  • What is a Pitbull dog?
  • Can I own a Pitbull in India?
  • Does the law ban Pitbulls in India?
  • Are Pitbulls dangerous dogs?
  • What is the price of a Pitbull in India?
  • Can Pitbulls survive in India?

Once you are sure that this is the type of dog for you, then go ahead try to adopt a rescued Pitbull than buy a puppy from a puppy mill, or else be a responsible pet parent and avoid getting a Pitbull if you are not completely prepared to commit to the responsibility. This breed of dog needs space, exercise, attention, and training.

If you can’t commit to any or all of these please stay away from getting a Pitbull to your home. There are hundreds of Pitbulls languishing in shelters across India because some stupid person felt that he or she would be able to buy a Pitbull to show off to their neighbors without understanding the responsibility and challenges that come with owning a Pitbull.

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