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The American Pit Bull Terrier: Character, Care, and Diseases of the Pit Bull

American pit bull terrier

American pit bull terrier, that is APBT, as Americans call their native breed in short, he is a dog that has been trailed by the bad Piarist for years.

Hearing many peoplepit bull ", He sees the beast with iron jaws through the eyes of his imagination, lunging at the throats of everything that moves.

This is obviously a heavily colored image, but dogs years ago, when dog fighting was a legal and popular pastime, they were champions and were trained specifically for this.

At the same time, their brothers and sisters lived in villages and cities, who, engaged in family life, led an idyllic and joyful existence, occasionally catching rats or taking part in bear hunts.

Their courage and, at the same time, openness towards people made it a flagship race for America.

Their image appeared, among others.in. on posters encouraging to join the army during World War I, or the Buster Brown comic book series popular at the beginning of the 20th century published by the New York Herald.

The breed nomenclature raises some inconsistencies on the grounds that American pit bull terrier it is not a breed recognized in Europe, that is by the FCI.

Hence the name pit bull although it should only be reserved for the hero of this article, it is often used to refer to a very similar character American Staffordshire Terrier, i.e. the so-called. amstaff or Staffordshire bull terrier, that is staffy, which breeds are very popular in Poland recently.

  • American pit bull terrier disposition
  • American pit bull terrier appearance
  • American pit bull terrier grooming
  • American pit bull disease
    • Hip dysplasia
    • Demodex in the American pit bull terrier
    • Hypothyroidism
    • Pit Bull allergy
  • For whom the American pit bull terrier will be the perfect dog?

American pit bull terrier disposition

American pit bull terrier disposition

Pit Bulls are dogs that, contrary to stereotypes, are very friendly.

They used to be trained as dogs who fought fiercely with other members of their own kind, but they were always cheerful and open towards people.

A properly arranged pit bull will be the perfect companion for a family, even with children who will be happy to look after and fool around with them.

He will be our court comedian, and it will be impossible not to smile at him.

These dogs are volcanoes of emotions and enjoy every particle of their body.

Regardless of their size, they can jump on your lap and try to lie down on them as if they were puppies.

They can also inadvertently push or knock over someone standing in their way without realizing they are unaware of their own strength.

They can pull a lot on walks too, which can be quite embarrassing so teach them to walk on a leash as soon as possible.

As terriers, they also like to chew, bite and tug everything, so care should be taken to keep more valuable items out of their reach.

They are very active and athletic, so their excessive energy can be discharged by engaging them in various types of dog sports, such as.:

  • Weight Pulling,
  • High Jump,
  • Wall Climbing,
  • Tug of War (tug of war).

You can also teach them many tricks, which will allow them to develop intelligence, and show us to our friends.

They will also work well as a watchdog, not so much because of their skills in this direction, but also because of their appearance alone.

Of course, the fact that dogs have a certain predisposition to become a dangerous tool, the more it obliges them to get into the right hands, because what the dog will be like depends largely on its guardian.

Consistent training, socialization and command learning are a key element here.

American pit bull terrier appearance

American pit bull terrier appearance

Pit Bulls are medium-sized dogs with a strong body and strongly expressed muscles.

American high pit bull terrier

The height at the withers of a male dog is approx. 45 - 54 cm, and the female 43 - 51 cm.

American weight pit bull terrier

The weight of the dog is about 16 - 27 kg, the weight of the bitch is about 14 - 23 kg.

American pit bull terrier breed description

  • The head is one of the most characteristic elements of the APBT structure.
    It is large and broad, but in proportion to the rest of the body, and gives the dog the appearance of being strong and invincible.
    Viewed from the front, it has the shape of a blunt wedge, and from the side, the skull and the muzzle are parallel to each other and connected by a clearly marked stop.
  • The muzzle is clearly shorter than the skull - the ratio of their lengths should be 2: 3.
  • Cheeks well developed, without wrinkles.
  • The topline of the muzzle is straight and the lower jaw is deep, broad and well developed.
  • Teeth strong, set in a scissor bite, lips tight.
  • Nose large, with open nostrils.
  • Eyes are round, set wide, of all colors acceptable except blue.
  • Ears set high, can be drooping or cropped.
  • The neck is moderately long and muscular, without dewlap, turning into a straight, slightly sloping back.
  • Chest broad and deep, but its depth should always be greater than width.
  • Loins short and strong.
  • Limbs strong, with clearly defined muscles.
  • Round feet with hard pads.
  • The tail is set at the height of the naturally placed upper line, tapering towards the end.
  • Carried below the topline when at rest, equal to or above the topline in excitement, but never curled.

American pit bull terrier coat

The coat is smooth, shiny and short.

All colors allowed, except for merle.

American pit bull terrier grooming

APBT care is not very troublesome.

Dogs have short hair, therefore brushing is limited to doing this at least once a week to get rid of dead hair keep the coat in good condition, shiny and smooth.

Bathing recommended no more than 2-3 times a year, or more often if necessary - if the dog becomes dirty or it is required by the treatment of skin diseases.

We periodically check the condition of the ears, claws and teeth.

American pit bull disease

American pit bull disease

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is one of the most common degenerative joint diseases in dogs.

HD is primarily a genetically determined disease, but a variety of environmental factors may also contribute to its occurrence, such as:

  • incorrect nutrition,
  • improper proportions of minerals in the food,
  • excessive exercise during the period of growth.

Your puppy has normal joints after birth, but due to etc. of the above-mentioned factors, the formation of looseness in the joint and deformation of the structures that create it occurs.

The femoral head becomes "square" and the acetabulum becomes shallower, which promotes sprains and causes painful symptoms when moving.

Most often, the first symptoms of dysplasia are visible in puppies several months old and these are:

  • frequent lying down,
  • rabbit jumping,
  • general reluctance to move.

In older dogs, we are dealing with the chronic form, in which difficulties with standing up and stiffness of the limbs are observed.

Obese dogs, where the pressure on the knee and hip joints is not conducive to the maintenance of these structures in good condition for years, may also struggle with degenerative changes in the locomotor system at a later age.

In a clinical trial at HD there is often a clear pain when manipulating the pelvic limb in the hip joint and looseness in the knee joints.

X-ray under anesthesia allows for full diagnosis, which shows the condition of bone structures.

Treatment in younger dogs is operative, and the method is selected by the doctor depending on the severity of the lesions and the age of the dog.

In older dogs, dysplasia is most often treated palliatively with anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs or with the use of methods derived from human medicine, such as e.g. stem cell therapy.

Demodex u American pit bull terrier

Demodicosis is a skin disease caused in dogs by the parasites Demodex canis, or canine demodex.

Physiologically, a small number of these parasites live in hair follicles without causing any harm.

Under the right conditions, they multiply significantly, resulting in damage to the follicles and hair loss.

Baldness most often occurs on the lower arms, on the good side of the neck, and on the head, but can affect virtually any location of the hairy skin.

The skin in the area of ​​hair loss is usually dark pigmented.

If there are fewer than 5 such pathologies, we are talking about local demodicosis, and if more, then we are talking about generalized demodicosis.

The diagnosis is made by a veterinarian on the basis of a skin scrap, in which live Demodex is visible.

Remember about the possibility of false-negative results - not finding demodicosis in the sample does not exclude the disease, because these parasites live deep in the skin and may not be found in the collected sample.

Fighting the disease consists of using antiparasitic drugs for a period of several weeks and dealing with possible complications.

If demodicosis occurs in an adult dog, the causes of the weakened immunity should be looked for - systemic diseases, previous treatment, etc.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is an endocrine disease and consists in a reduced production of thyroid hormones in relation to the body's needs.

The disease can progress unnoticed over the years, when symptoms are mild and non-specific.

Most often, the owner brings the pet to the doctor when he notices:

  • apathy,
  • gaining weight despite normal appetite,
  • polydipsia and polyuria,
  • panting,
  • fast fatigue,
  • skin changes.

Of course, these symptoms may relate to completely different diseases, while the doctor examining the animal may decide to perform blood tests for thyroid hormones, most often T4, fT4 and TSH.

Reduced thyroxine values ​​suggest the presence of hypothyroidism, but may also accompany other diseases (the so-called. extra-thyroid syndrome).

Dogs suffering from hypothyroidism are treated for life with oral drugs containing synthetic hormones, and their dose must be adjusted to the level of hormones in the blood.

Therefore, one should remember about follow-up examinations, the frequency of which, in case of well-stabilized hypothyroidism, is the most frequent 6 months.

Pit Bull allergy

Among the allergic diseases occurring in American pit bull terriers we can distinguish:

  • food allergy - hypersensitivity to food ingredients - most often manifested by itching and redness of the mouth, armpits and groin area, as well as digestive and absorption disorders, which results in diarrhea and weight loss
  • contact allergy - hypersensitivity to allergens in direct contact with the skin - skin lesions occur at the site of contact with the allergen - e.g. on the paw pads, the scrotum, or the mouth
  • atopic dermatitis - hypersensitivity to environmental allergens - most often caused by house dust mites, fungal spores and grass pollen. Redness and itching of the skin can affect the entire body, but the main areas are the armpits and groin.

Diagnosing and treating allergies is long and difficult.

Most often, the diagnosis is based on the response to treatment, history and skin appearance.

Allergy diagnosis involves blood tests, but the test is quite expensive and few caregivers decide to do it.

Treatment, depending on the type of allergy, includes diet, antiallergic drugs (steroids or new generation), autovaccines, or elimination of the allergenic factor from the environment.

For whom the American pit bull terrier will be the perfect dog?

Pit Bulls they are definitely not a race for everyone.

While seeing a well-ordered pit bull terrier, we see a super-happy, dove-hearted muscle with a positive attitude towards people, but it does not always end this way.

A person with low self-esteem, who is not sure of what he is doing and is unable to establish authority for himself, will not be a good guardian, on the contrary, he asks for trouble for himself, his dog and others.

A person deciding on pit bull must be consistent, decisive and self-confident, because only in this way will she be able to persuade the dog to obey.

Of course, not by force, but by a consequence, otherwise it will also be on its way to disaster.

We start training these dogs as early as possible, as well as socialization.

American pit bull terriers can have a tendency to clash with other dogs, where they are very relentless and difficult to contain.

That is why a sensible guide is important, who will not cultivate these inclinations in the pooch and skillfully handle him during walks and contacts with other animals.

The American pit bull terrier is on the list of breeds considered aggressive in accordance with the regulation of the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration of April 28, 2003 (Journal. AT. of May 8, 2003) and you must have a special permit to have it.

Owners APBT they will not cross the border with Great Britain, because in this country it is illegal to have dogs of this breed.

Summarizing, what will ours be like american pit bull terrier, it depends on us, because we are responsible for his upbringing.

If we ourselves are afraid of the dog, he will notice and use it.

If we intimidate him, he will notice it as well and become aggressive to defend himself.

There are currently a lot of bull type dogs in shelters, because their care has been taken by unaware or irresponsible people, so make this kind of decisions prudently, so as not to condemn the dog looking sadly from behind bars to suffering.

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