When adopting a dog you must allow them time to adjust to their new life. They have been separated from their owners in the past and a common problem with such dogs is separation anxiety. This can lead to destructive behaviour when left alone. Pit Bull and American Pit Bull Terrier are particularly susceptible to
this condition because of their strong need for companionship. A few precautionary measures can be taken to smooth the transition into the home. Do not make a big fuss when entering or leaving your home. Ignore your dog five minutes before leaving and five minutes after returning.
To convince your dog that you will always return to him/her, frequently pick up your keys, put on your shoes, and leave the house for very short periods of time throughout the day. Start by leaving for five minutes at a time and work your way up to a few hours. Never discipline your dog upon returning, even if s/he has destroyed something in your absence. This creates an association of punishment with your arrival and will make separation anxiety worse. If you find that your dog is chewing things when you are gone, one option is to get a large dog kennel and keep your dog crated when you are out. Ask your Veterinarian to help guide you through this procedure.
Great care should be taken during interpet introductions. All interactions should be controlled and consistently monitored. When you leave your pets at home, separate them into different rooms, or keep them in their own kennel.
As long as you keep vaccinations upto- date, your Pit Bull and American Pit Bull Terrier should be relatively problem-free in the health department. Your Veterinarian could be pleasantly surprised that Bull-and- Terriers often take medicine willingly and needles without flinching. You may find that your dog picks up many cuts and scrapes even on uneventful walks. Their short, single coated fur does little to protect them from sharp stick, twigs and rocks. Enthusiastic antics and a high pain tolerance often mean that deep cuts will go unnoticed until you get home. Keep a bottle of Hibitane Antibacterial Soap on hand and simply wash any superfi cial cuts as soon as they are noticed to keep them from becoming infected.
Pit Bull and American Pit Bull Terrier breeds do not grow a ‘second’ or ‘winter’ undercoat. This is great news for those who desire a dog that doesn’t shed in the Springtime. However, it also means that they lack protection against the elements. They should be monitored in anything but temperate weather. Their high muscleto fat ratio causes rapid heat loss, so they get cold very easily and should never be made to live outside. You will notice your dog shivering in cool weather and may even witness steam rising from your dog’s body under cold and moist conditions. For this reason, many people buy sweaters for their dogs. On the opposite side of the scale, Pit Bull and American Pit Bull Terrier are also very susceptible to heat stroke. Although they love to be warm and so actively seek out sunny spots, they need to be monitored carefully on a hot summer day. Keeping the head and neck area cool is an important measure for preventing heat stroke.
It is a legal requirement to muzzle Bull and Terriers in many locations. Many argue that muzzling enhances the negative image of these breeds. If you are concerned about such laws get active in the fight against them. Don’t worryyour muzzled dog can defend itself long enough for you to break up a fight, if one should occur. The best muzzles for the Bull-and-Terrier are the baskettype that enclose the front of the muzzle instead of the nylon tube that simply holds the mouth closed. On a hot day or after exercise, your dog needs to open its mouth wide to pant and cool off. The basket muzzle is most accommodating.