Please take a moment to review this page before emailing. If
you still have a Pit Bull question or concern, please drop RPB a
line at: If we can't help you, we will try to
find someone who can.

Members of the media please send an email to

  • Do Pit Bulls Have Webbed Feet?
  • How Big Do Pit Bulls Get?


  • My dog Has a Training/Behavior Issue, Can You Help?
  • Should I Worry About my Pit Bull Attacking My Other Pets?
  • If I Raise My Pit Bull With My Other Pets, Will They Get Along As


  • My Dog Has a "Blank" Health Issue! What Should I Do?
  • What Should I Feed My Pit Bull?
  • Should I Dock My Pit Bull’s Tail?
  • Should I Crop My Pit Bull’s Ears?


  • I Don’t Have Papers On My Dog, How Can I Get Them?
  • I Don't Have My Dog's Pedigree, How Can I Find Out His/Her
    Bloodline or Pedigree?
  • How Long Is a Female Pit Bull's Cycle? How Many Times a Year
    Does She Come Into Heat?
  • When Should I Spay/Neuter My Dog? Should I Let My Bitch Have
    Her First Heat/a Litter of Puppies First?
  • I'd Like to Breed My Dog, What Do I Need to Know?
  • My Dog Just Had Puppies, What Do I Do Now?


  • My Neighbor Just Got a Pit Bull, Should I Be Worried?
  • Do You Have Any Advice For Renting With Pit Bulls?

Q) Do Pit Bulls have webbed feet?

We've received a number of emails posing the question, "Do Pit
Bulls have webbed feet?" The simple answer is, "No more so than
other breeds". All dogs have at least a slight webbing between the
toes; this is perfectly normal. Excessive webbing is not a breed trait.

Q) How big do Pit Bulls get?

Pit Bulls can range anywhere from around 25 pounds (the fighting
bred or gamebred dogs tend to be smaller, under 60 pounds) to over
100 pounds (show/pet bred dogs and catch dogs), depending upon
bloodline/pedigree. Please note the word “can” and not “should”. The
average (correct) Pit Bull is around 60 pounds or less. There is a
tendency today towards breeding larger dogs, with some
unscrupulous kennels actually capitalizing on this fad and selling
oversized dogs for unbelievably high prices. Beware kennels that offer
exceptionally large (over 80 or so pounds) dogs. This breed has
always been a medium-small to medium sized animal, and responsible
breeders work to maintain standard.

Q) My dog has a training/behavior issue, can you help?

There are lots of behavior and training resources on realpitbull.
com, so be sure to take advantage of these. See:
Training & Behavior
page. Please consult that page before contacting us for help with a
specific problem.

Q) Should I worry about my Pit Bull attacking my other pets?

Animal aggresion is a concern in this breed, yes. Please see the
following for more info:
Pit Bulls & Other Animals.

Q) If I raise my Pit Bull with my other pets, will they get along as

It's no guarantee that a Pit Bull raised with other pets will get
along with them as adults. Please see the following for more info: : Pit
Bulls & Other Pets.

Q) My dog has a "blank" health issue! What should I do?

This is a job for....Your Veterinarian!!! Please, if your dog is
bleeding, broken, scarred, cut, bruised, vomiting, has bowel problems,
is listless, is seizing, or is having any other health issue, get off the

Q) What should I feed my Pit Bull?

In light of the 2007 huge pet food recall (and because of other
recalls in the past), many people feel unsafe feeding commercial dog
foods and are instead turning to home cooked and raw food diets.

There are many, many recipes available online for free, and in books
that tell you how to prepare food/feed your dog from scratch at home.
Home prepared diets can be loosely categorized as follows: (a)
meat/bone-based raw, no grain (the BARF diet); (b) cooked,
veggie/grain & meat based; (c) cooked grain base, with raw
meat/bones. There are many conflicting mindsets regarding feeding
dogs grain – some sources suggest it is virtually poison, and others
recommend it wholeheartedly. Also a source of debate is the
suitability of homemade diets in general – can the average person
sufficiently take care of their dog’s dietary needs by making their own
dog food? All we can say is before you embark on such a mission,

A quick search online will yield hundreds if not more results on feeding
dogs BARF and home cooked meals. Here are some website resources
that RPBF uses and recommends, as well as books:

Please note : RPB only recommends ORGANIC ingredients when it
comes to home cooked, especially for meats (which should be
humanely raised AND organic). Aside from the health aspect, the
inhumane treatment of factory farmed animals is inexcusable and
support of such companies surely a question of ethics and morals.

If you feel a commerical food is more your speed, please consider the
following (there are many good kibbles, but these are an example):

For more information on pet foods and health, please check out these

Q) Should I crop my Pit Bulls ears?

Cropping is a personal choice, but please consider the following

  • The AKC standard for AmStaffs actually states UNcropped is
    preferred. The UKC APBT standard does not promote cropped
    over natural.
  • Cropping is a completely COSMETIC AND UNNECESSARY surgery.
    During surgery, the dog is placed under general anesthesia
    which ALWAYS brings with it the risk of complications and even
  • Cropping IS painful for the dogs, despite what some people try
    to convince themselves and others; there are tons of sensitive
    nerve endings in the ears.
  • Ears are one of a dog's main means of communication.
  • If you do choose to crop, it should be done before the puppy is
    12 weeks of age. Cropping after this age is more painful for the
    dog, as the cartilage in the ear has begun to set and harden as
    the pup gets older.
  • Make sure you choose a vet who crops on a regular basis and is
    familiar with the correct cut and length for a Pit Bull. It helps to
    bring a photo of exactly the type of crop job you would like
    done. RPBF’s advice is to look at photos of AKC Am Staff show
    dogs, as these dogs are usually cropped the correct length and
  • Be prepared for a LOT OF AFTER CARE! Taping, splinting,
    cleaning, etc. The pup will come back with STICHES all up and
    down the outside of his ears. If the ears are not properly cared
    for, they will wrinkle, fall, fold, bend, and generally not stand
    correctly. The risk of a crop job turning out poorly is enough to
    keep many people from cropping their dogs; a bad crop job can
    truly ruin a dog's expression and general appearance.
  • Don't be fooled: cropping IS a major deal. It's not like trimming
    nails or clipping fur. It is SURGICAL AMPUTATION.

Owners should carefully consider ALL THE FACTS before they choose
to put their dogs through this painful and unnecessary surgery

Q) Should I dock my Pit Bull's tail?

The simple answer is "no". Pit Bulls are not supposed to have their
tails docked. NO Pit Bull standard accepts docked tails.

Q) I don't have papers on my dog, how can I get them?

If your dog is a rescue/adoptee, or came from an unscrupulous
breeder that a) didn't register the litter, or b) never gave you papers,
you *do* have registration options within the three major registeries:
The United Kennel Club (UKC) offers Limited Privilege Papers (LPP) for
American Pit Bull Terriers. From their website, "[LPPs are] for purebred
dogs of unknown pedigree and for mixed bred dogs. Dogs may enter
obedience and agility. Purebred dogs of the Gun Dog Group may also
enter Hunting Retriever events. Dogs must be spayed or neutered." If
you have a litter of pups from unregistered parents, you cannot
register the litter. LLP papers are issued singularly only. For more
information, please see the UKC website:

The American Dog Breeders Association (ADBA) has a program called
Limited Performance Privileges (LPP). This program allows dogs to be
registered to enable them to compete in ADBA performance events. As
with the UKC LPP, dogs must first be spayed/neutered. You may visit
the ADBA website to obtain more information on this program:

The American Kennel Club (AKC) offers what is termed PAL/ILP, or
Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinate Listing Privileges. These
papers allow you to enter certain AKC-sponsored events such as
obedience and agility. Your dog must be neutered to be considered.
AKC does not recognize a breed called American Pit Bull Terrier, but
does recognize American Staffordshire Terriers (AmStaffs). Any "pit
bull" registered with the AKC would be referred to as an AmStaff.
Please see AKC's website for more information:
org/love/faq.cfm  For most people, the driving force behind pursuing
papers such as those described above is the desire to compete in
UKC, ADBA, or AKC sponsored performance events. Such papers do
not increase the value of your dog, nor do they prove he is purebred.

Q) I don't have my dog's pedigree, how can I find out his/her
bloodline or pedigree?

If you don't have the pedigree of your dog, and your dog isn't
registered, there is nothing you can do to determine what his
bloodline is just by looking at him, or by doing blood/DNA testing.

Q) How long is a female Pit Bull's cycle? How many times a year
does she come into heat?

The average female dog's estrus cycle lasts 21 days, and will occur
2 times a year. Pit Bulls generally come into their first heat at
approximately 6 months of age. This is true of most breeds.

Q) When should I spay/neuter my dog? Should I let my bitch have
her first heat, or have a litter of puppies first?

In the past, the earliest that dogs were spayed or neutered was
at 6 months. However, with new procedures now being practiced,
early spay/neuter surgeries are more common (albeit controversial).
Puppies as young as 8 weeks old can be altered. Please contact your
veterinarian for more information on your options. It is not necessary
or recommended that your bitch go through one heat cycle prior to
spay surgery, and she certainly does not need to give birth to a litter.

Q) I'd like to breed my dog, what do I need to know?

First, you need to know that there are thousands of established
"breeders" in the world producing Pit Bulls every year. There are many
more casual, or "backyard", breeders adding to that number. Also to
be factored in are accidental breedings and stray dogs reproducing on
their own. Many of these Pit Bulls will not find homes, or end up in
homes that are abusive or neglectful. The dogs that don't find homes
will be dumped on the street or end up in one of the many shelters or
rescues that are working to clean up the problems caused by poor
breeding practices. Many of these dogs will just be euthanized due to
lack of sufficient homes. Ask yourself why you wish to bring more Pit
Bulls into this world, given the already staggering population - many
of which don't have, and never will have, homes of their own. If you
do decide to breed your dog anyway, be prepared to hit the books
and start researching. Breeding is no simple task when done correctly
and ethically. To start, please see the
breeding page here on

Q) My dog just had puppies, what do I do now?

Please contact a veterinarian immediately and get the pups/bitch
on an established, recommended health and care routine.

Q) My neighbor just got Pit Bulls. Should I be worried?

The question you should concern yourself with isn't breed-related,
but rather human-related: "Are my neighbors responsible?" What
does "responsible" mean? Well, a responsible owner keeps their dog
leashed and/or safely confined at all times; does not allow their dog
to be excessively noisy; and is sensitive to the concerns of their
neighbors and willing to discuss any issues that may arise. So, is your
neighbor responsible? If yes, lay your fears to rest. If you feel your
neighbor is not responsible, attempt to discuss your concerns with
your neighbor in a diplomatic fashion. If your neighbor is not
responsive, put your concerns in writing and then take them to your
local police or animal control. Especially when a neighbor is allowing
their dog to run loose, do not allow your concerns to be brushed
aside. Be persistent until the problem is solved. No one should have
to live in fear of their irresponsible neighbor's dog.

Q) Do you have any advice for renting with Pit Bulls?

Renting with any dog, especially one over 20 pounds can be
difficult. But when your dog is a Pit Bull, you have both large size and
the breed's bad reputation working against you. Many landlords are
understandably worried about potential legal ramifications involving
allowing a "pit bull" into their buildings.

Above and beyond any anti-breed regulations that apartment
complexes may have, and the fact that some private landlords don't
want the breed in their buildings, there are local breed specific laws to
contend with as well as building insurance that may restrict Pit Bulls. It
can be very difficult finding Pit Bull-friendly housing. What to do?

First, if you do not own your own home and are contemplating getting
a Pit Bull, stop and think. Do you plan on staying where you are
currently living for an extended period of time? Have you talked to
your landlord and is he willing to put into writing that he will accept a
Pit Bull into his building? Has he contacted his insurance carrier to be
sure he will remain covered?

If you do not plan on staying in your current abode, and think you may
move from rental to rental over the course of the life span of any dog
you obtain, a Pit Bull may be the wrong breed for you. Being forced to
give up your dog because you cannot find an appropriate home for
both of you can be heartbreaking for you and devastating to your dog
which is a member of a breed it is extremely difficult to rehome. In
most cases, RPBF would dissuade a person who does not own his/her
own home from getting this breed.

If you currently own a Pit Bull and are in the process of trying to
relocate, there are several things you can do stack the cards in your

1) Research the town you are moving to and make sure there are no
breed specific laws on the books.

2) Avoid complexes which tend to have more stringent, "in-writing"
pet rules.

3) Seek out private buildings.

4) Do not mention off the bat that you have a Pit Bull, as this will scare
most landlords away immediately. Show up to view the apartment in
clean, neat, professional looking clothing, have a cover-letter typed up
( this should be an introduction to who you are, and mention you have
a dog), references, as well as any pertinent financial information (like
bank/savings account info and employment info; if you can prove
upfront that you have the security deposit and first month’s rent, you’
ll be a step ahead of the game). Your goal is to make a good
impression and come across as responsible and professional.

5) Have a packet on your dog - a picture, references for your dog
(such as vet and friends who can vouch for good temperament), and a
doggy resume. The resume should have some basic information on
your dog (name, breed, age, basic history), as well as list
accomplishments such as graduation from obedience class, Canine
Good Citizen certification, etc.

6) Present the above information to your land lord in a matter of fact
way, do not "ask" if you can have a Pit Bull in the building. Let the
landlord draw his own conclusions from the packet you provide.

7) When you find a landlord that agrees to accept you and your Pit
Bull, make sure your lease states that your dog is allowed and
preferably it should mention breed. The point here is to dot all your i's
and cross all your t's. A landlord may later claim he never ok'd your
dog and try to evict you. Having things in writing puts the law on your

8) Once you move in, always, always, always be responsible. Keep
your dog quiet and well-exercised. Clean up after your dog. Respect
the rights and fears of other renters in your building. Do not let your
dog cause damage to the apartment, and if damage IS caused by
your dog, be sure to take money out of your own pocket to repair it.
Be a good renter! Leaving a good impression will make it easier for
the next Pit Bull-owning renter that comes along. Bad dog-owning
renters make it harder for all of us to rent.
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