Thinking About Adopting a Dog?
A bit about how a new dog will change your life and what to consider in your decision-making process…
What will you tolerate?
Ask yourself that question. Have the whole family ponder it. Make a list of things you just won't stand for, or won't have time to manage or work with. Share it with anyone from an animal organization that is assisting you in finding the right match. This is invaluable information for them to have to determine what dogs may or may not work with your expectations.
Expect more responsibility and more monthly expenses
- Dogs need exercise and depending on their age and energy level, they may need a lot of exercise—even when it's raining out. Terriers are typically high-energy dogs and you may need to invest in some good rain gear.
- They require your time, patience, love and consistency. Some of these are easier said than done. When you bring a dog into your home, this is a lifelong commitment to that dog—so consider what goals and plans you have in the short and long-term—the next 10-15 years. Do you want to move? Vacation? Have children? These are all considerations as you choose a dog to adopt into your family. They cannot simply be relegated to a back yard or dropped off at a local shelter when you find that your lifestyle has changed and your dog is not equipped to handle the changes. Pick a dog to make part of your family that has a positive history of living with children or the right temperament, or who does well with pet sitters and other strangers if you travel or work a lot. The goal is for you to think through the changes you may have, or hope to have, in the coming years and choose thoughtfully.
- Dogs love a routine—dogs can act out when they are not able to predict at least some semblance of a routine—be it breakfast at about the same time followed by an outdoor potty break. They'll be more successful when they can rely on some stability from you.
- They aren't cheap!
- They require training, even adult dogs need this important time of bonding. Using positive reinforcement is EXTREMELY important when training any dog of any breed. Many of the pit bull type dogs that are rescued from animal welfare organizations clearly demonstrate that they have received little or no basic training, neither in obedience nor in household manners; yet these same dogs respond well to such training by the rescuer or the adopter. It seems likely that failure to train the dog is a significant cause of abandonment.
- Dogs need a high quality, premium food diet—you wouldn't feed your kids junky processed foods and fast foods for every meal—dogs deserve foods with high nutritioual value.
- Dogs need to go to the vet at least once a year for a check up.
- Pit Bull Terriers can often have seasonal and/or food allergies that have costs to treat and manage.
- They also need extra tough toys and chew treats because these dogs can often be extra tough on them. They need to be watched with their toys and treats to ensure they don't ingest solid objects that then must be removed surgically, which can easily happen with power chewers.
You're not getting a "dog park" dog
Have you liked every single person you’ve ever met? Not likely. Not all dogs enjoy every other dog they meet. If your dog likes most other dogs they’ve met, they should be introduced to other dogs that you know are well-mannered and dog-appropriate in a supervised and controlled manner. BAPBR does not recommend taking your dog to dog parks. You don’t know the other dogs, you don’t know their guardians, nor how they will react to new situations or new dogs—for a breed that is already so closely watched by the public, it’s important to take extra precaution to not put your dog into a situation with too many unknown variables. Head over to our Dog Parks page to learn about why we never recommend the dog park for these dogs.
Be prepared for prejudice and work to change hearts and minds!
As a Pit Bull Terrier guardian, you will be constantly required to defend your choice of pet. You will have friends, family members and co-workers who will not understand and pointedly tell you all they know about "those dogs" and what "those dogs" will do. Whether you like it or not, your dog is a breed ambassador and you will be forced to educate others on an almost daily basis. People will walk to the other side of the street as you walk your dog. Some people will happily meet your dog and tell you how pretty she is and when you tell them your dog is a Pit Bull Terrier, they will recoil in fear and act as though they have been struck by a bolt of electricity. Some will refuse to let their children play at your house. Your only defense is a well-trained, well-socialized companion pet that shows them how wonderful these dogs can be in the right hands and homes.