There has been much damage done to the image of the Pit Bull due to media,
misinformation, and Pit Bull owners who do not know how or choose not to
manage their dogs well. The following are several guidelines any responsible
dog owner, and particularly a Pit Bull owner, should follow.
ALL DOGS SHOULD BE SPAYED/NEUTERED, CURRENT ON VACCINATIONS, AND MICROCHIPPED: Spay/Neuter helps control population and can help with behavior. Even with good owners, accidents happen. A microchip gives your dog a better chance of finding his/her way home. Keeping your dog disease/illness free is important. Healthy dogs contribute to a safer community.
TRAINING: A well behaved and obedient dog is important, not only for you and your family, but for breed image. Pit Bulls aim to please and are eager to learn. Training helps you maintain control of your dog and offers your dog mental stimulation. One of the primary causes of relinquishment, abandonment, and eventual euthanasia is behavior problems and an owner who does not know how or is not willing to manage behavior.
SOCIALIZATION is crucial in maintaining a dog with sound temperament. Expose your dog to a variety of experiences when he/she is young.
OWNERSHIP IS A RELATIONSHIP AND A COMMITTMENT FOR LIFE: A good owner will not easily give up or attempt to rehome a dog with life changes, moves, etc. Do not take on the responsibility of ownership If you are not serious. Almost all homeless/stray dogs had an owner at some time.
KNOW THE BREED: We cannot stress enough how important it is to educate yourself on characteristics of the breed you are adopting. We often hear "it is how they are raised". A great environment is essential. Raising a dog with appropriate interaction, socialization and training is very important, however, people frequently forget the role genetics play in forming a dog's personality and characteristics. Knowing the traits of a Pit Bull or other breed will prepare you to control behavior and to appropriately meet the needs of the dog. Not everything can be "trained out of" your dog. Knowing Pit Bulls may have a tendency toward dog aggression, avoid dog parks. Always supervise your Pit Bull when he/she is playing with other dogs or other people. Do not chain. Recognize that a dog may react to different situations in different ways and be sensitive to these needs. Being a good owner is not a matter of changing the dogs' inbred characteristics, but EDUCATING yourself, ACCEPTING them, and MANAGING them responsibly.
IN THE COMMUNITY: Your Pit Bull should be a breed ambassador and a reflection of a knowledgeable owner. Pit Bulls should never be allowed to roam freely and should always be kept on a leash when they leave the house/yard. Be a good neighbor. Monitor barking. Be respectful with waste/smell.
OBEY ALL LOCAL AND STATE ORDINANCES:Responsibility includes following city/state rules on vaccination, licensing, registration of your dog, etc.
PROMOTE A POSITIVE IMAGE: Do not give people a reason to maintain negative opinions of these dogs. Make it difficult for people not to change their minds about Pit Bulls! Again, use factual and accurate information in advocating for Pit Bulls!
Click here for further suggestions on responsible ownership by Pit Bull Rescue Central.