Responsible Pit Bull Ownership 101
Being a responsible Pit Bull owner means being a responsible dog owner, period. Below are the things you SHOULD do as a responsible Pit Bull owner:
- Walk your dog on a secure leash and collar; if you use a prong collar, back it up since prong collars can pop open. A good leash to have is one with a clasp on each end, such as this one.
- Contain your dog. Make sure your dog cannot get out of your house or yard by ensuring you take proper containment measures. If you have a yard, make sure your fence is secure, and do not to leave your dog free in the back yard unsupervised for long periods.
- Steer clear of dog parks when they are being used by others -- dog parks often have dogs that are not appropriate for them. Furthermore, if there is an incident between your Pit Bull and another dog, the Pit Bull is likely to end up being blamed, regardless of who is at fault. Even if your dog is not blamed, a bad incident at a dog park can set your dog up for a lifetime of issues. Check out our blog to read about dog park incidents gone bad.
- Train your dog and make sure your dog is well socialized to many different people, places, sounds, and experiences.
- Spay or neuter your dog unless you have a dog that is registered with a legitimate kennel club like the AKC, UKC, or ADBA and you are actively showing your dog or working your dog toward one or more sporting/obedience titles. Never breed your dog unless you are showing or working your dog, it is registered with a legitimate kennel club like the AKC, and you plan to fully health test your dog prior to breeding. Health testing does not mean your dog has its rabies vaccination and was checked out by a vet. Health testing means X-rays of hips and elbows (OFA certification), checking thyroid, heart, and genetic conditions things like ataxia. (If you do not know what OFA or ataxia are, you definitely should not breed your dog.). Sacramento city and Sacramento County both have low cost spay and neuter resources for Pit Bull owners.
- Get regulary vet checkups and appropriate vaccinations for your dog.
- CGS and ATTS: Consider getting your dog its canine good citizen certification and look into the ATTS.
- Shhh! Do not allow your dog to bark incessently and disturb your neighbors
- Help your dog find its way home. Mistakes happen. Dogs get lost or stolen. Consider getting your dog a permanent form of identification, such as a tattoo or microchip.
- Scoop poop! When walking your dog in public, make sure to carry poop bags and pick up after your dog.
- Exercise and Socialize! Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and is a part of your family, not left outside alone, whether on a chain, in a kennel or the garage. Dogs are social creatures, and they need plenty of human interaction.