Pit Bulls attract attention wherever they go, and most of the responses they get are not on the positive side. You have a dog that often times undergoes so much discrimination and misconception because of his strength and the origin of his breed. You have a special responsibility as his owner and leader to make sure that your Pit Bull is an example of why this breed can be wonderful pets. Below are some tips for you to help you gain a more positive image for your Pit Bull.
1. Teach your dog good manners for his sake as well as the sake of his breed’s reputation. To formally recognize his outstanding manner, the AKC offers the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certificate. Use this certificate to convince your landlord, your friends and neighbors, or insurance agents that your dog is well behaved and a model canine citizen. Your dog does not have to be a purebred or an AKC-registered do in order to enroll. The test evaluates several behaviors such as his ability to accept strangers, remain calm and friendly, sit politely, and walk politely on a loose leash.
2. Have your dog pass an official temperament test. This ten part series of testing is being offered by the American Temperament Test Association. The test evaluates all aspects of a dog’s temperament including his friendliness, shyness, aggressiveness, and stability. Dogs who pass this test earn the Temperament Tested (TT) title after their names. The association keeps records of how many dogs in each breed pass or fail. Based on their record, Pit Bulls score among the best of breeds, a fact that is very helpful to the breed’s reputation.
3. You have a very strong, tough, intelligent, courageous, enthusiastic, agile, and obedient dog. These qualifications are exactly what the American Rescue Dog Association is looking for to become one of their Search and Rescue (SAR) dogs. See if your dog is up for the challenge!
4. Many people are surprised to learn that there are a lot of Pit Bulls out there that act as therapy dogs. These dogs bring entertainment, companionship, affection, and unconditional love to people in nursing homes, mental health facilities, hospitals, and prisons. Therapy Dogs are very stable, friendly, and well-trained. Your dog needs to complete a short program to be certified as a Therapy Dog.
5. Create a good example for other Pit Bull owners to follow. Do not let your Pit Bull wander around the neighborhood. Obey all leash laws in public. Have him sit at your side or heel in a crowded place. Never let him jump on or scare people, chase cats, fight other dogs, bark hysterically, or behave aggressively.