Skip to main content

5 reasons why you should rescue or adopt a pit bull

A gray and white pit bull puppy playing with a pink and green tennis ball.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Contrary to popular belief — not to mention the pit bull’s reputation as a fearsome attack dog prone to turning on his owner — pits are typically gentle, affectionate dogs. According to Jennifer Lafountain, pit bulls aren’t actually a breed. Rather, they’re a mixture of five or six breeds, and they’re listed as a “terrier mix” on their adoption paperwork. Unfortunately, the stereotypes following pit bulls often mean that adoptions are rare. Pit bull adoption rates are frequently lower than most other breeds. October 23 is National Pit Bull Awareness Day, and we’re celebrating with a list of the top five reasons you should adopt a pit bull next. 

1. Pit bulls love children

Don’t believe the myths: Pit bulls are no more likely to attack your children than any other breed. In fact, pit bulls were once nicknamed “the nanny breed” because of their fierce devotion to their family, particularly children. We believe there’s no such thing as a bad dog; there are only irresponsible owners who don’t know how to train a dog. Like any other dog, your pit bull will need obedience training. Children should be taught to be calm and gentle around dogs of any breed, and you shouldn’t leave any breed unattended with your child. The same holds true for pit bulls. 

2. Pit bulls are relatively healthy

Like most mixed-breed dogs, pit bulls are generally healthier than purebred dogs. As a result of breeding to develop a specific set of characteristics, purebred dogs have a greater risk of inherited diseases and other health conditions like hip dysplasia. Due to their mixed genetics, pit bulls tend to have fewer health problems than other dogs. That’s not to say they aren’t at risk for common health problems, but it does mean there’s a somewhat reduced risk of your pit bull developing issues as he ages. 

A brown and white pit bull wearing a chain collar and smiling at the camera.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

3. Pit bulls love to cuddle

Despite his tough-guy reputation, a pit bull is more likely to cuddle you than bite you. Pit bulls are one of the most devoted dogs, and they express their devotion by plastering themselves against you. If you take frequent trips, a pit bull might not be the best option for you. They enjoy bonding with their owners and may suffer from depression and separation anxiety if you spend a lot of time away from home. Most pit bulls also have short coats, so you should expect your pup to demand snuggle time when it’s cold outside. Lastly, like wolves and other dogs, pit bulls have a pack mentality, and you are their pack alpha. Just as wolves trust their pack alpha to lead them, your pit bull will look to you for guidance and affection. 

4. Pit bulls don’t require too much grooming

We hate to disappoint you, but just like we feel compelled to bust negative myths associated with pit bulls, we have to dispel a positive myth, too. Regardless of what you might have heard, pit bulls do shed. Fortunately, they have short coats that don’t require haircuts, so you’ll save plenty of money on grooming expenses. Pit bulls are single-coated, which means they don’t have a dense undercoat as St. Bernards do. Dogs with double coats shed heavily twice a year in the spring and fall, but single-coated dogs shed small amounts year-round. Weekly brushing helps cut down on shedding and distributes your dog’s natural oils through his coat, leaving it glossy and healthy. Pit bulls tend to have sensitive skin, so if your pup gets dirty and needs a bath, look for a shampoo with gentle, nourishing ingredients like coconut oil, oatmeal, and aloe vera. 

5. Pit bulls are sweet and playful

If you want a pup who’s capable of making you smile during even the darkest times, a pit bull is a great option. Known for their hilarious antics, loyalty, and sweet temperaments, pit bulls are ideal companions for anyone willing to overlook the stereotypes surrounding them. In fact, the American Temperament Test Society rated pit bulls as one of the most affectionate dogs, ranking higher than beagles and golden retrievers. Despite their size, pit bulls are perfectly content to crawl in your lap for a snuggle session. They’re often called “Velcro dogs” because they form such strong bonds with their pet parents. 

A brown pit bull smiling at the camera.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Often maligned due to their use as fighting dogs by unscrupulous owners, pit bulls aren’t the vicious breed they’re portrayed to be in popular media. A pit bull is much more likely to attack you with kisses than with his teeth. You’ll need to train your pit bull, but that’s true no matter what breed you adopt. We hope you’ll consider welcoming one of these sweet, playful pups into your home.  

Editors' Recommendations

Topics
Mary Johnson
Contributor
Mary Johnson is a writer and photographer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her work has been published in PawTracks and…
Is getting a puppy for Christmas a good idea? You can’t return them like an ugly sweater
Here's what to know before you bring a puppy home this holiday
Woman snuggling Samoyed puppy in front of the Christmas tree

Of all the viral holiday videos to make their way around the internet, there’s nothing quite as heartwarming (and adorable) as seeing a new puppy jump out of a box on Christmas morning. It’s easy to see why many families feel inspired to get this surprise present for their loved ones and show up with a new furry friend during the holidays!
Getting a puppy for Christmas can seem like a special, even life-changing gift, but the cleaning and work accompanying them aren’t as cute. Many families -- especially kids -- aren’t prepared for the effort and expense of raising a dog, which unfortunately leads to pets being dropped off at shelters not long after the holidays.
If you’re considering gifting a puppy to your family this Christmas, make sure you do the research and consider the obligations that pet parenthood entails. Here’s what to know.

Why getting a puppy for Christmas isn’t always smart
Although raising a dog can be a rewarding and joyful experience, it also requires work, patience, and responsibility. Is your family ready to take this on? Are you willing to pick up the slack if they prove that they're not?
According to the shelter staff at the Marion County Humane Society in West Virginia, shelter admissions tend to increase every year at the end of January. Unfortunately, many of these pets are Christmas gifts that families weren’t ready to care for.
“People that got a new puppy or a new kitten, and they expect their young child to take care of them,” one shelter tech told WDTV. "Of course, if the kid doesn't do it, the parent doesn't want to take care of them, either.”
A lack of research is also a huge factor in unsuccessful pet adoptions. Not all dog breeds will do well in all homes, so consulting an expert or doing some reading is vital before taking action. And remember — a cute, tiny puppy can still grow into a huge, rambunctious dog (depending on their breed), so you’ll need to be prepared.
It’s also important to consider where you’re adopting your new pup from because not all breeders are reliable. As awful as it is to acknowledge, some people sell sick and injured dogs for a quick buck. Needless to say, a dog with health concerns can be as loving of a companion as any other — after treatment, of course — but you have a right to be informed about the condition of your new friend, including information about the puppy's parents.
Shelters can help you get to know your pup a bit before bringing him home, but rescued dogs will still need some extra time to adjust to their surroundings. The honeymoon phase may not be as happy-go-lucky as you expect, especially if there has been any past trauma for your pup. If this is the case, don't be upset if your new dog isn't matching the holly jolly spirit!

Read more
Best reptile pets: These are the 5 most affectionate reptiles you can welcome into your home
These friendly reptiles will make great additions to your family
Basking Chinese water dragon

When you picture an adorable pet, you probably don't visualize an iguana. Reptiles aren't generally considered the cutest of animals, but that doesn't mean you can't find a cuddly one. Whether you're looking for a new buddy for yourself or for your lizard-obsessed kid, there's a reptilian beast out there that will work great in your home.

With proper socialization, these guys can learn to be handled daily, some even by children. If you want a new pet that enjoys human company, consider one of the most affectionate slitherers — they're the best reptile pets for handling.

Read more
Why is my dog whining? 6 common reasons and what you can do to stop it
If you wonder "why is my dog whining?" — check out the possible causes
Sad dog resting his head near a shoe

Let’s be honest: No matter how much we love our fur babies, living with a dog that's a whiner can drive you crazy. Whining can be irritating, heartbreaking, and even anxiety-inducing for owners. Whether it's distracting you from work, making you sad to leave the house, or making you worry that something is wrong with your dog, figuring out why your dog is whining and what you can do about it is important.

No matter how disruptive it is, always remember that whining is a form of communication for our dogs, say training experts at the ASPCA. The key is to properly interpret the noise and figure out how to work with her on it; to try to answer the question, "Why is my dog whining?"

Read more