5 Things You Need to Know Before Adopting a Pit Bull Breed

Whether you’re asking yourself, “Should I adopt a pit bull?” or you’ve just adopted your first pittie, we couldn’t be more excited for you! Adopting one of these adorable blockheads does come with some special considerations. Here’s are five things to know before you bring home your pibble:

1. All dogs are individuals.

Every pittie is different. They all have unique personalities, and you have to find the one who is your perfect match. Since there are so many available for adoption, you can take your time finding a pawfect dog because you are guaranteed to find a great one if you do your research. Whether you’re after a pocket pup, big bruiser, snuggle bug, running partner, lazy bum, food hog, agility dog, Canine Good Citizen, therapy dog, baddie, drooler, dry-jowler, or anything in between, she’s definitely out there. There’s no need to rush; keep looking and you’ll definitely find “the one.”

2. You have to know your stuff.

Of course, pit bulls are just dogs with nothing special about them other than being extra good looking, but not everyone has caught on yet. The stigma bullies face is still very real, and you’re gonna have to be ready to advocate and educate. There are numerous ways pit bull owners can be discriminated against, including statewide bans (luckily there are none in the U.S., but bans do exist in some provinces in Canada and even whole countries elsewhere), local laws that ban or require extra precautions like muzzling or fencing in your yard, ordinances requiring extra dog insurance, landlords being jerks, and insurance companies dropping you or raising your rates. While there’s a ton of information online, your local rescue has seen it all and will know the laws in your area, so be sure to ask tons of questions and they’ll point you to necessary resources.

should i adopt pit bull
KME Photography

3. You need to have most well-behaved dog on the block.

A lot of people will have misconceptions about your dog, and sometimes that means that they’ll wrongfully interpret normal dogs-being-dogs stuff as dangerous or aggressive. Since you and your dog will now be full-time breed advocates, you’re gonna want to invest time and energy into helping your dog become the very best she can be. Weird looks (and people crossing the street to avoid you) will still happen, but you’ll take comfort in knowing you have done everything you can to prepare your dog to feel comfortable and confident navigating life. And when she does get the chance to meet skeptics, she’ll win their hearts right away.

4. When you rescue, you’re not just adopting a dog; you’re getting a whole new family.

Saving a dog makes you a hero, and if we learned anything from the Super Friends, it’s that heroes hang out together. You’ll always have opportunities to get involved in rescue, from volunteering to help homeless dogs and assisting in event planning to donating your birthday as a Facebook fundraiser and running 5Ks to support your fave doggo nonprofits. You’ll love spending time with other volunteers who care deeply about your dog and dogs just like him, and you’ll meet countless other rescue pittie pawrents who can’t wait to welcome you into the community.

5. You’re about to adopt the most loving dog on the planet.

Despite frequently difficult pasts, rescue pitties seem to have a remarkable ability to love their people and are eternally thankful. They’re known to be cuddly and affectionate, and they often possess innate sensitivity. They can read your emotions and will celebrate with you on happy days and hermit with you on sad days, and many of them will even go out of their way to cheer you up on rough days. They love to lean on you with their entire body, lay with their giant heads in your lap, and spend all their time trying to make you happy as a token of their endless gratitude. On behalf of dogs everywhere, we can’t thank you enough for rescuing!

What else do you think people should know before adopting a pit bull breed? Tell us in the comments!

(Top photo by KME Photography)

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12 thoughts on “5 Things You Need to Know Before Adopting a Pit Bull Breed

  1. Bethany

    Do NOT get a pittie if you have an aversion to dog slobber. They’re vigorous kisser.

    Please adopt, pitbulls are the #1 breed euthanized. Dogs end up in the shelter for all kinds of reasons…landlords/new baby/new job/etc. Many dogs in shelters have never been abused! That myth prevents so many from adopting….they don’t want a “damaged” dog with “issues”. If you’re thinking of adding to your family, you’re doing yourself a disservice to not check out your local shelter/rescues.

  2. Donna Jensen

    Please don’t believe the BS about “all dogs are just dogs” and set your pit bull up for failure by bringing it to dog parks or other overwhelming social activities filled with other dogs and pets. People with non fighting breeds don’t want to deal with your “mama of a wiggle butt pibble heckin doggo” social experiments. There is a reason these dogs are kept by dog men in yards on logging chains. They have an INNATE desire to fight or attack other dogs or animals. This is not bad, this is just genetics as it is genetics for a border collie to herd or a greyhound to chase little furry critters or a pointer to point. Don’t hate on me- I own a bull breed and nothing has been worth for these dogs than their (mostly failed) rebranding as the ideal American pet.

    1. Kelli

      They’re terriers, they’re bred to work, not fight. You can train almost any dog to fight, but because pits are naturally strong and sturdy they are the preferred option for dog fighting. I agree that not all bullies (or dogs in general) are good dog park dogs, but to say they have an “innate desire to fight or attack other dogs or animals” shows a misunderstanding of their history. It’s imply not true. They have a tendency to need a “job,” something that uses their brain and body, but that is all.

    2. Casey

      Donna, care to explain the many dogs rescued from dog fighting rings and abuse situations that go on to never show aggression again in their lives?
      You don’t speak for all pit bull parents. I’ll take my “mama of a wiggle butt pibble heckin doggo” (that was painful to type) to the dog park as I please!

  3. Donna Jensen

    Casey, what does that matter, that some dogs don’t end up with aggression? And if a dog was rescued from a dog fighting ring, what in blazes are you doing taking them to a dog park? Why do other people and their dogs have to be the recipient of your socialization experiments? I by no means think bull breeds are inherently evil or violent, I OWN one of my own, I just don’t try to turn my dogs into something they are not.

    As a (snarky) aside, how you can abide “pit bull parents” but not the rest of that cutesy word vomit is as baffling as taking a bull breed to a dog park.

    1. Shawn Fatley

      I have taken a pit to park multiple times. I have seen her attacked a couple of times. You know what she did? NOTHING! She sat there and took it. I have seen do nothing but love all other animals. So when I am going to see this aggression that you are so certain that she has? Or are you just talking without actually knowing anything?

      1. Donna Jensen

        Perhaps today, perhaps never. No one knows for sure what any dog will ever do beyond a shadow of a doubt. What we do know are propensities for breeds to act certain ways. So your dog doesn’t fight. Some pointers don’t point. Some Border Collies don’t herd. Some terriers are totally fine with hamsters. So what is your point? That your ONE ANECDOTAL dog doesn’t fit breed characteristics so none do? I don’t follow your logic.

        Your dog does not belong in a dog park especially after you have “seen her attacked a COUPLE of times.” I have only heard about dog fights at dog parks which keeps me away from them. I can’t imagine seeing my own dog attacked multiple times and having my only takeaway being “thank goodness my pibble didn’t fight back!’

    2. s

      I take both of mine to dog parks regularly, for 11.5 years, and neither have attacked another dog or been attacked. You are spreading false information.

  4. Katie Maynard

    Donna Jensen, I will admit you have a few points. Those points however can be said about any dog breed. Look up the facts chihuahuas attack more people then any other breed.
    I have a rescued pit who wants nothing more then to cuddle, steal food and chew on bones. He behaves better than our pointer mix.
    I take him to dog parks all the time and he does wonderful! There was one time another smaller dog did attack him. He sat and took it, however his pointer mix sister decided to step in.
    So you may say once again that one good dog doesn’t determine the breed’s characteristics…. how can you say a “good dog breed” determines the characteristics of a dog?
    It breaks my heart to see a bully mom speaking ill of a bully breed.


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