Fight Cruelty

Tips for Adopting a Pit Bull

ASPCA responder playing with pit bull

Thinking about adopting a Pit Bull? Well, congratulations! Despite the bad rap they get, Pit Bulls can make very sweet and loyal family dogs. Adopting a Pit Bull should be fun and joyful, so we’ve created a list of handy tips to help you make good choices. Additional information on raising and training a well-adjusted Pit Bull.

Socialization is the key to a happy and confident Pit Bull. All Pit puppies should be enrolled in a puppy class where part of the time is devoted to off-leash play with other dogs. 

Pit Bulls are enthusiastic learners. They enjoy trick training and many graduate at the head of their obedience classes. There are many Pit Bull rescue groups that can recommend training classes. 
It’s play time! Pits are moderately active indoors and extremely active outdoors—be prepared to spend a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes twice a day engaged in aerobic-level activities with your dog. 
You may experience breed discrimination. Legislation may prohibit you from living in certain communities, and homeowners insurance may be harder to find. Before you adopt, call your local city hall or animal shelter to find out about your local laws. 
Do your research. Are your neighbors the kind who might get concerned about a Pit Bull in the community? Bringing home a Pit Bull may be tough because many people wrongly associate them as being aggressive. Be prepared with breed facts and history to let people know that it’s bad ownership that causes Pit Bulls to be aggressive. 
Adoption is the best option. By rescuing a Pit Bull, you are saving a dog that needs a home and family. Adopting a Pit from a shelter means that the dog will have had an initial health evaluation and should also have already been vaccinated and spayed or neutered for you. More and more shelters use a standardized evaluation to assess the behavior of their dogs. If the dog you’re interested in has been evaluated, ask to see the results so you can get a more complete picture of the dog’s typical reactions to things. 
Consider adopting an older Pit Bull. With an adult dog, what you see is what you get. Their personality is already developed, and you'll be able to spot the characteristics you're looking for much more easily than with a puppy. 
Establish house rules for your new Pit that everyone will stick to. Consistency is the key to training Pit Bulls. Decide on the behaviors you find acceptable and those that you wish to discourage, such as: 

• Is she allowed on the furniture? 
• Is it okay for her to bark in the backyard? 
• Can she play with toys in the house? 
• How do you want her to behave when guests come into the home?

Set a good example for others. Become a proud parent—be sure to show your Pit Bull the love and care she deserves. And always let others know what great companions they make!