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What is Responsible Pit Bull Ownership?

By on April 12, 2011

What makes someone a responsible Pit Bull owner? The answer really depends on who you ask. Since I cannot answer for everyone I’d like to share with you what I feel makes a responsible Pit Bull owner.

First and foremost doing your research before you get a Pit Bull Terrier. If I had a penny for every email I received that asked, “Jason, I just bought a Pit Bull Terrier. What do I do now?” I could buy my own Movie studio.

Training. This is by far the single most responsible thing Pit Bull owners can do. I am not talking about taking Jr. to puppy class and that’s that. I’m talking about 10-12 years of daily training.

Behavior problems, not disease is the leading cause of death in dogs under the age of 3 years old. (American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior)

Veterinarian care. Why people do not take their dogs to the vet is beyond me. If money is an issue then you do not need a dog. Sorry but that’s responsible Pit Bull owner 101 stuff. Which leads me too …

Financial stability. If you rent, if you don’t have money for dog food, if you can’t afford vet care, if you are struggling to feed yourself then for the love God do not get a Pit Bull Terrier.

The average dog cost $800-$2000 per year in vet care and food costs alone. Add training, collars, leashes, treats, and toys and you can estimate another $500-$1000 on top of the average cost.

Spay/Neuter. If you are not competing in working dogs sports or showing your dog in conformation spaying/neutering your Pit Bull should be a priority. When you do that is not as important is getting it done.

Proper housing. Whether you allow your dog inside or not is your choice. However if you keep your Pit Bull outside provide them with adequate shelter. Do not chain them to a barrel with a three foot chain and expect them to be comfortable.

Common Sense Approach to Health. Are you looking for a 5 lb weighted collar for your dog because you think it will make them stronger? If yes, then you’re not using common sense. Putting weights on a dog only serves to break them down. I’m not saying that weight training is cruel or that you shouldn’t exercise your dog. What I’m saying is use common sense when it comes to your dogs health.

Advocacy. Years ago I wrote an article about Pit Bull ownership and in that article I stated, “It is every Pit Bull owners duty to help preserve the breed through responsible ownership and advocacy.”

I still believe this. If you own a Pit Bull Terrier it is your responsibility to present a good image of the breed. It is your responsibility to your dog that you provide for them and not just basic care but the best of the best.

It is your responsibility to educate yourself on the origin of the breed, the history of the breed, the many uses of the breed, and when confronted with an idiot who wants to hate on you about your dog it is your responsibility to set the record straight.

Maybe my view on a responsible owner differs from Jane Q Pit Bull owner. Maybe what makes a responsible owner is more than what I’ve mentioned here. Or maybe people will see this post as a load of bull poo. In any case, respecting your dog is the most responsible thing you can do. How you do that, well, that’s entirely up to you.

Until Next Time,
Jason Mann
Author – The Pit Bull Training Handbook – Gear, free articles, and free video training available.

About Jason Mann

Jason Mann is the founder of and retired professional dog trainer. He retired from Dog training in 2013 so he could devote more attention to and helping Pit Bull owners around the world learn how to live a more peaceful life with their dogs as well as educate the general public about the true nature of these incredible canines.


  1. Drew

    January 28, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Great article, loved it Jason definitely good stuff. If only Pit Bull owner was as responsible as outlined here we would be fighting a downhill battle instead. Keep up the great work.

  2. kat

    April 23, 2012 at 9:26 am

    i have had a blue nose pit for two months now. i got him at five months old and he is a loving addition to my family. recently he has shown aggression towards males that he doesn’t know. i am not sure about his training previously. all i do know is he was kennel kept a lot and not allowed out a lot. he has never been aggressive towards members of my family but I’m afraid of the aggression towards people whom are not family. Can he be saved? everything I have read says to put him down if he has human aggressive behavior. Help please!!!!

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