|Pit Bulls n' Other
|Terrier - or 'terrior-ist'?
Pit Bulls are bred down not only from bulldogs, but also
from fiesty hunting and ratting terriers. Ya know, those
frisky, tenacious little dogs that chase everything that and
meaner than they, and have larger than life attitude. These
are the relatives of Jack Russels, Fox Terriers, Patterdales,
and other similar breeds. Because this type of dog was
bred for high prey drive - the intrinsic drive all dogs possess
to one degree or another - they often end up in hot pursuit
of small animals, unable to help themselves because it's
just so darn fun (well, not for the animal being chased).
Because Pit Bulls retain this high prey drive, a
hand-me-down from their terrier ancestors, this breed may
often prove problematic in a home that also keeps cats, or
similar small critters. Sometimes a chase is just a chase -
other times, a dog in the heat of the moment may actual
catch and do harm to the animal it was after.
A home with cats that is bringing a Pit Bull into its midst
should consider carefully the ramifications of adding a dog
which tends to hit the high end of the prey drive scale.
Choose an adult dog that's lived with cats peacefully, and
be sure to always keep dog and cat seperated when no
The bulldog side of the coin:
At the heart of the APBT breed is a bulldog: bold, loyal,
courageous beyond all compare. These dogs were bred to
catch and hold bulls for the butchers of England-past. Not
only were they used for this job, but also for the gruesome
'sport' of bull and bear baiting. That means these dogs
were used to catch and hold animals many hundreds of
times heavier than they, much stronger, and much meaner.
Pit Bulls can be savvy around farm animals, and some have
even been known to make herding dogs! However, let's
not forget - dogs will be dogs! And for that reason, don't
expect your Pit Bull to necessarily view a horse or a cow as
a friendly, over-sized playmate. Keep your Pit Bull on leash
when around new types of animals, introduce him slowly to
the concept of large-smelly-prey-animal (which is essentially
all horses and cows are to dogs), and remember that not
only could your Pit Bull potentially hurt one of these
animals, these hoofed critters could potentially seriously
harm your Pit Bull as well.