Pit Bulls are like every dog in the sense that they can easily get along with other animals, and can just as easily harm or kill those animals. There are several things to take into consideration.
Pit Bulls even from the same litter will have varying degrees of “prey drive”. Prey drive is a genetic quality that makes dogs driven to chase and kill animals.
Even dogs with high prey drives can coexist with other animals, but it demands a constant responsibility of the owner.
Obedience training is a must for all dogs, but can be very helpful for an owner of a highly prey driven dog. Having a dog that responds to general obedience commands like “leave it”, “heal”, “off”, “sit”, “down”, and “drop it” or “out” can help the owner keep other animals safe from their dog.
The owners of a dog with high prey drive must ensure that access to other animals is kept from their dog. In other words, the dog is put into a different room if the ferrets are let out, the chickens have a coop that is secure, or that the family cat lives in a room where the dog is not able to enter
Also, a dog with high prey drive must be kept on leash when on walks. If the dog is not secure or not walked on lead and kills another animal, that dog may face mandated euthanasia in some locations.
Early socialization with other animals can help create a relationship of friendliness or tolerance between a dog and other animals. This socialization will not cease the development of intolerance in a highly prey driven dog, but that is usually more of an exception than he standard.
Although many Pit Bulls can and do get along very well with other animals, it is important to understand before bringing a puppy home that ownership involves a willingness and ability to make adjustments if the dog does not tolerate other animals.
A benefit to adopting an older puppy or full grown Pit Bull is that many of their behaviors will have begun to show themselves. Many rescues and some shelters will know how the dogs respond to other animals.
Rescues often have Pit Bulls available that have lived in family situation foster homes. A potential adopter that has other animals can ask to meet the Pit Bulls for adoption that have shown good behavior with other animals.
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