American Pit Bull Terrier Temperament

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American Pit Bull Terrier Temperament

Remember, it is incredibly important to understand your dog breed in order to keep him or her healthy and happy. Choose the characteristics you want on our Dog Breed Selector to find the right dog that meet your needs!

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American Pit Bull Terrier Overview

The American Pit Bull Terrier temperament is known for being courageous, affectionate, and friendly. They are known as the life of the part by clowning around and being goofy towards their family, friends and strangers.

Check out our American Pit Bull Terrier page to learn more about the breed and its characteristics!

The American Pit Bull Terrier temperament has been known to have a very strong character, sound nerves and an extremely intelligent mind. This makes the Pit Bull an ideal pet and companion for large households that have children. The Pit Bull temperament is such that they will be loving and playful for the most part but also strong and vigilant when their family members need to be protected. That being said, it will never be necessary for you to train your Pit Bull temperament for guard or attack because they are naturally inclined to do so when the need arises in their environment. This does not mean that Pit Bulls do not need to be trained -because it does- and we will talk about this in a bit.

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American Pit Bull Terrier Origins

If all this is true, then why is there such a huge emphasis at all times on the aggressive and killer Pit Bull temperament? Perhaps, a look at the history of the American Pit Bull terrier will explain the situation. Pit Bulls are medium-sized, solidly built, short-hair dogs that have ancestry in England and Ireland. They were bred first to bait bulls and bears. When this was deemed to be inhumane, rat-baiting and dog-baiting became the more suitable use of the Pit Bull. Pit Bulls were used in both of these sports and because of the prevalence of putting them in the pits with rats, the name ‘pit’ was added to its name. Because of humans engaging them in inhumane behavior, the Pit Bull temperament has a high prey drive, a strong personality and high guard dog instincts. While this has been made to sound dangerous by media and many other sources, the reality is that in many cases (since we have not researched everything) the Pit Bull temperament can very well be controlled by proper training and socialization. It is also just as true that Pit Bulls can be loving and loyal dogs. This means that it is up to us humans to decide how the Pit Bull acts.

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for a thoughtful look at a much maligned breed. Pits are great dogs but not for everyone, and not for lazy owners that won’t take the time to socialize, train and exercise them. If you’re into Pits and stories of ‘good’ dogs redeeming ‘bad’ owners, check out Gimme Shelter.

  2. I’m more scared of petting a Chihuahau than a Pit Bull. Chihuahuas just scare the bejeesus out of me. But maybe because I grew up in a household with 8 Pit Bulls. And none of them had a history of biting people or being aggressive. One time, a drunk stranger got inside our yard. Some of the Pit Bulls were barking, while the others are tugging him at his pants pulling him out of the yard. Talk about cooperation. And one time 2 of them were able to go escape. All they did was run and play hide and seek in the bushes along the road.

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