Adding a dog to your household is a big commitment. We, at PBRC, feel that sharing your life with a pit bull is a wonderful thing! The love, companionship, and sense of humor these dogs bring to our lives is truly a gift.
PBRC encourages owners to make responsible choices about dog ownership.
Here are some things to consider before you adopt a Pit Bull…
- What are you looking for in a pet? Consider the amount of time, exercise, training, and care required to maintain a healthy, happy dog. Each dog will vary in his/her needs, so when working with a rescue or shelter, be sure to ask as much information as you can about the dog.
- Is everyone on board? Make sure that everyone in your household is in agreement about adding a pet, and specifically, the dog you have selected to adopt. All household members should meet the dog prior to bringing the dog home, to ensure a good match for everyone involved.
- Take a test drive! When adopting a dog, get to know the dog as much as you can before you take the dog home. Visit the animal multiple times at the shelter or rescue, talk to staff and volunteers who handle the dog, and ask to walk the dog and interact with him/her off leash in an adoption visiting area.
- What about your other pets? If you’re adding a Pit Bull to a home that has other pets, make sure that the dog you select will be a good fit. While some Pit Bulls can live quite happily with other pets, not all dogs can live with cats or other dogs. Some prefer to be the only pet in your heart and home. Check with the rescue or shelter staff to see if the dog has been evaluated for compatibility with other animals. Introductions should be done carefully and over time, to allow the animals time to acclimate comfortably and safely. For more information on multiple pet households and introducing dogs to other pets, please review the following pages:
- Are you a homeowner? If so, check with your homeowner’s insurance company regarding dogs. Sadly, some insurance companies have policies that exclude coverage based on breed of dog.
- Are you a renter? If so, make sure that your lease allows for pets. Some landlords, management companies, and even condo associations have restrictions regarding number of pets, type or breed, or weight limits. Be upfront with your landlord about the breed of dog, as insurance companies sometimes prohibit certain breeds and your landlord may be restricted by his/her insurance carrier.
- Where do you live? Unfortunately, some cities or counties have passed breed specific legislation (BSL). The best and most accurate way to find out if your city welcomes dogs of all breeds is to verify with your local Animal Control. Some cities have their animal ordinances and municipal codes online. To learn more about BSL, please visit our web page: http://www.pbrc.net/breedspecific.html
- Is moving in your future? You will need to make sure that you are able to take your Pit Bull no matter where you live. BSL, individual rental management company restrictions, and insurance can all influence whether or not your dog is a welcome companion in your next living situation. Be sure that you are willing to commit to owning a Pit Bull and that you will take the time to find housing that accepts your dog. Military bases do not allow Pit Bulls, so if you are in the military or considering it, a Pit Bull may not be right for you.
- Read about the breed. Educate yourself about the American Pit Bull Terrier. Every breed has certain traits; while each dog is an individual, each breed has certain general characteristics. Pit Bulls of correct temperament are gregarious, friendly, athletic, and intelligent. They love people and they love to be engaged in activities with their people. Pit Bulls are not suited to be left alone in a yard; they want to be inside and part of the family. They are not suited to be guarding or protection dogs. Pit Bulls require daily exercise. They are very trainable and generally enjoy learning new things whether it be tricks, obedience, or sports. Walking, jogging, hiking, playing fetch, and swimming are also activities that many Pit Bulls enjoy; as a Pit Bull owner, you will need to keep your dog physically and mentally exercised. PBRC has great informational web pages about these wonderful dogs. Other websites we recommend for learning more about the breed are: www.badrap.org and www.animalfarmfoundation.org
- As with adopting any pet, you will need to make sure you have the time, money, and resources to take care of your Pit Bull for the rest of his life. A healthy Pit Bull can live 10-12 years. Some live even longer. Make sure you are committed to owning and taking care of the dog for his full life. In general, Pit Bulls are hearty dogs, but they can be prone to skin issues such as mange or allergies. Orthopedic injuries such as ACL tears are also somewhat common in the breed; due to their athleticism and high pain tolerance, some dogs acquire injuries while playing or exercising and may not show pain until the injury has become significant.