Photo: KME Photography
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 what to know before adopting a pit bull:
1. All dogs are individuals
Every pit 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 just-right dog because you are virtually guaranteed to find a great one. 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 will definitely find “the one.”
2. You’re going to have to really 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 faced by bullies 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 is 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.
3. You need to have most well-behaved dog on the block
A lot of people are going to 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 automatic full-time breed advocates, you’re going to 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 organization. You’ll love spending time with other volunteers who care deeply about your dog and dogs just like him, and you will meet countless other owners of rescue pitties 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? Tell us in the comments!