When one thinks of a Pit Bull one may picture a vile, aggressive animal ready to strike and devour. Remember that Pit Bulls are very strong, energetic, agile and powerful dogs. They also are very resourceful. Determination is probably their most notable trait. Whatever they set out to do, they put their heart and soul into it. Whether it is escaping an inadequately fenced yard to chase the neighbor's cat, or destroying your new couch when left home alone, or climbing into your lap and shower you with kisses! They just don't give up easily. Being a powerful dog, they may require sufficient and adequate control. An insecure person who wants only an aggressive dog to bolster some personal human inadequacy should never become an owner of one of these dogs. An uncaring or negligent person should not buy a Pit Bull or any other dog for that matter!With that being said, a very important characteristic of Pit Bulls is their love of people. These dogs are indeed remarkably affectionate, and often crave attention. They are wonderful coddlers and nothing beats a good belly rub. In fact, most Pit Bulls think that they are lap dogs! They usually are exuberantly happy upon meeting their owner's friends or even friendly strangers. So much so that new owners sometimes worry that their dog is too sweet and fun-loving to protect their home and family. A multitalented companion, the well-trained Pit Bull is suited for a variety of exciting activities. They excel at obedience, agility and weight-pulling competitions, events which showcase intelligence, trainability and strength. In addition, the Pit Bull's pleasant nature makes him or her, an ideal candidate for therapy work with people. Human aggression, severe shyness, and instability are not traits typically found and accepted in Pit Bulls. Dogs with these traits are not good representatives of the breed and should not be placed into adoptive homes. Like any other breed, Pit Bulls could develop behavior problems if mishandled, abused, poorly bred, or unsocial. In such instance they could result in displaying inappropriate aggression. A large, strong, powerful dog’s attack can do a lot of damage if unchecked. This is why serious temperament evaluation is so important when dealing with dogs of certain size and potential. Unlike the myth propagated by the media though, human aggression is not a problem specific to the Pit Bull breed. In fact, Pit Bulls tend to do better than average in temperament tests. These dogs really do make wonderful, loving and very loyal companions as long as you understand them well, and know how to establish your leadership in a positive way. Something very important to keep in mind with Pit Bull type dogs is their background as fighting dogs. Humans have created very specialized dogs through emphasizing desired traits and eliminating unwanted ones. It is no different with the Pit Bull breed. The American Pit Bull Terrier has been 'selectively' bred for hundreds of years to fight other dogs. Even in dogs that are not recently bred from fighting lines, the urge to rumble can arise at any time. Not to strongly emphasize this fact is to be negligent.
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