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All About the Pit Bull

Blond pit bull close-up

October is National Pit Bull Awareness Month. Here is why we love the breed.

Pit Bull Terriers have been getting a bad rap (pun intended) for a very long time, but why? There are so many falsehoods about the breed that have been told for so long that it has become hard to separate fact from fiction.

The breed was originally brought to the United States in the mid to late 1800’s with their British immigrant owners. Around that time the breed was named the Pit Bull Terrier or the American Pit Bull Terrier.

The term “Pit Bull” refers to dogs with the same physical characteristics and personality traits. These include the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and dogs that are mixes of both.

Personality

Pit bulls are active and intelligent, playful and funny. Their intelligence can get them into trouble. Once they set their mind to something they give it everything they’ve got. So, if your dog is determined to scale your 6-foot fence then be prepared. Pit bulls don’t usually throw in the towel.

Trainability

Because of their intelligence, they are quick to respond to training. Their intelligence is also the reason you should start training your pit bull as soon as possible. Since pit bulls can be unfriendly to other dogs if not properly socialized at a young age, once your puppy has the proper vaccinations a group obedience class or puppy class can be a great way to expose your pit bull to other dogs.

Exercise Requirements

Pit bulls generally require a good amount of exercise, so if you are a couch potato a pit bull may not be the right dog for you. If your dog does not get enough exercise they will find their own way to expend that excess energy and you may not like the results, so get your pit bull out for some daily exercise.

Grooming Requirements

Because the Pit Bull has a short coat, grooming is easy. A daily brushing with a rubber curry brush, followed by a quick wipe down with a clean cloth will remove the dead hair and skin cells and stimulate the natural oils in your dog’s coat, leaving your Pit Bull’s coat looking healthy and shiny.

Breed Specific Legislation

Unfortunately, many cities have banned the breed. This breed-specific legislation bans all dogs of a certain breed regardless of each individual dog’s temperament. The fact is, any dog can bite from the smallest chihuahua to the largest St. Bernard and these breed bans are, in my opinion, unfair and ineffective. Thousands of dogs are euthanized each year, just because they are a certain breed. Most of these dogs are not dangerous and have no history of aggression.

If you are in a city where Pit Bulls are legal, and you want a smart, charming, funny, energetic dog that requires a lot of exercise, but little grooming then consider the Pit Bull.

Do You Have A Pit Bull in Your Life? Please Let Us Know Why You Love Your Pit Bull.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Tethering Your Dog is a Bad Idea

 

Dog tethered with a chain

Tethering puts your dog at risk.

                                                                                                                                                                    What is tethering? According to Rebecca Wisch of Michigan State University College of Law“Tethering or chaining a dog under most state laws means that a person ties a dog with a rope or line to a stationary object.” Chaining or tethering your dog outside seems innocent enough, but there could be some big consequences. Sure, the dog gets to be outside and you have the peace of mind he will not run away, but at what cost? Here are a few of those possible costs:

Aggression

Dogs that are continually tied up can get frustrated with their inability to move about, causing them to become aggressive. Dogs are also territorial and that small plot of land they are confined to becomes something that needs to be fiercely defended. Also, dogs are very social beings and being confined outside, away from interaction with others for long periods of time can be psychologically and emotionally damaging (think solitary confinement).

Escape

If your dog is tethered in a yard that is not secure there is a possibility that one day that tether will snap, and your dog will escape. Ask yourself this question; would you come back?

Injury or Death

Dogs that are chained run the risk of getting entangled in their chains or tethers, breaking or cutting off circulation to a limb. They can injure their necks and backs when they hitting the end of their tether. They also run the risk of hanging themselves if their chain is caught on an object. Tethered dogs are vulnerable to attack from other animals as well as venomous snakes and insects. Extreme heat and cold can be deadly to dogs confined to the outdoors. And dangerous weather events such as hurricanes and snowstorms can also be life-threatening.

Neglect

Dog tethered with a chain

Tethering can cause emotional and physical harm to a dog.

Are tethered dogs really thought of as family members? Are they getting regular meals and fresh water? Are they provided with adequate shelter? What about veterinary care? What about simple things such as affection and play? They are simple things that dogs need.

These are just a few of the damaging effects of being tethered outside. It is no wonder more and more states, cities and towns are making it illegal to tether your dog. Click here for a comprehensive list of the states that have addressed tethering and chaining.

Here in Florida, there are several cities that have made tethering illegal, but the whole state is not on board yet. Here are the Florida cities and counties where it is illegal to tether your dog (Sourced from PETA.org): Collier County, Fernandina Beach, Hallandale Beach, Hernando County, Hillsborough County, Lake County, Lee County, Miami-Dade County, Marion County, Martin County, Mount Dora, Okaloosa County, Palm Beach County, Pasco County, Pembroke Park, Pinellas County, Sarasota County, and St. Lucie County.

What can you do if you see a dog that is tethered? Call your local Animal Control and report the abuse.

The Importance of Picking Up After Your Dog

 

Every day I am out walking dogs and every day I see piles left by dog owners who don’t pick up after their dog. I get it! Sticking my hand in a bag so I can pick up a warm pile of dog poop is not exactly on the top 10 list of my most favorite things. But what are the consequences of not picking up after your dog? Well, there are many. Here are just a few of the things that dog poop can contain:

  • E-Coli
  • Salmonella
  • Parvovirus
  • Roundworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Cryptosporidium

[Read more…]