One of the most common requests I get from clients and guardians regarding their pit bull-type companion is to train them to be “friendly”. Lucky for them, training them to be friendly should be the least of their worries! Pit bull-type dogs were bred to be incredibly tolerant and to have a good nature. In fact, the American Temperament Test Society have conducted temperament tests for many years, and the results have continued to prove that pit bull-type breeds are among the top of the best-tempered breeds, with the latest score of 87.4% pass, they even surpassed (and surpass every year) 121 other common breeds, including the Golden Retriever(!) who scored at 85.2% pass. The biggest misconception I hear among people who are not familiar with bully-type breeds (including Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, and Doberman Pinschers) is that they are bred and genetically built to fight, which couldn’t be farthest from the truth. Dogs, like children, can adapt and learn based on the environment they are raised in and the guidelines they are taught. That is why when my clients ask me to train their dog to be “friendly”, I emphasize on the responsibility they hold as guardians to ensure they develop the right relationship with their companions: one based on respect, trust, and a lot of love.
It is solely the responsibility of a guardian to have the confidence that they can keep their companions safe and under control at any given time, in any given environment, and with any given distraction; that they can guide them from right and wrong; that they can show the world the best version of their companions, just like a parent would with their child. Here at K9s Only, our team of trainers strives to help guardians gain that confidence and knowledge. Genetically, most “power breeds” are meant to be strong, agile, athletic, and clever. Therefore, they require a lot of exercise and training, not because they are difficult to train, but because they are often smarter than their two-legged counterpart. However, as you and I know, these companions also love to curl up and snuggle, they love to give kisses, and more often than not, prefer to be basking under the sun or sleeping on the couch (or as they want you to believe, keeping the couch warm for you, duh)! At the end of the day, I see Pit bull-type dogs and other “power” breeds as high-performance sports vehicles; they require special maintenance and extra TLC.