Pit bull, Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier–which breed name is the correct one?
There is a lot of misinformation about breed identification out there. Pit bulls are not actually a breed, but a category of similar breeds including the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and about 18 other breeds with some similar appearance characteristics. It's impossible to categorize any one breed-specific behavior or physical characteristic from this large collection of breeds and blends.
What breeds are Bully Breeds?
The pit bull is just one breed that is categorized under the bully breed label. All the following breeds help to make up the bully breed category:
- Alapaha blue blood bulldog
- Ambullneo mastiff
- American bulldog
- American mastiff
- American pit bull terrier
- American Staffordshire terrier
- Anatolian mastiff
- Australian bulldog
- Bantam bulldogge
- Banter bulldogge
- Belgian mastiff
- Boston terrier
- Buldogue campeiro
- Bull terrier
- Ca de bou
- Cane corso
- Catahoula bulldog
- Dogo Argentino
- Dogue de Bordeux
- Dorset olde tyme bulldogge
- English bulldog
- Fila Brasileiro
- French bulldog
- Great Dane
- Miniature bull terrier
- Neopolitan mastiff
- Olde Boston bulldogge
- Olde English bulldog
- Pyrenean mastiff
- Renascence bulldogge
- Spanish mastiff
- Staffordshire bull terrier
- Standard bull terrier
- Tibetan mastiff
- Valley bulldog
- Victorian Bulldogge
Why are pit bulls misunderstood?
Quite simply, fear sells. Have you seen the news? Read the paper? Pit bull attacks earn disproportionate media coverage.
For a comprehensive and thoroughly researched resource on the history of the pit bull and why this once iconic dog is now publically demonized, we suggest Bronwen Dickey's new book Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon, which explores the history of America's most feared dog, and finds that negative characterizations of pit bulls are based on myth and misinformation.
What is Breed Discriminatory Legislation (BDL) or Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), and where can I learn more about it?
Being knowledgeable about BDL or BSL is important for any dog owner. Breed specific legislation targets dog breeds such as pit bulls and pit-bull-type dogs because they are inaccurately and unfairly deemed dangerous and therefore deserving of prejudicial rules and regulations. Breed bans are ineffective, expensive to taxpayers and cruel to specific breeds or types of dogs and their families. These laws do not incorporate sound science and they do not stop dog bites, and they have been condemned by the ASPCA, the American Kennel Club, the American Bar Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association and Best Friends Animal Society, among others. There are many informative resources that provide specific information on this topic:
- Best Friends Animal Society
- Bad Rap
- Animal Farm Foundation
- National Canine Research Council
- The Dog Bite Placebo: the Media, Myths, and Politics of Canine Aggression by Karen Delise (downloadable PDF)
- Even Chance
- Stubby Dog
My Pit Bull is Family created a pit bull friendly housing database to help families with pit bull type dogs fight discrimination in finding affordable housing.
Can you recommend resources where I can find more information about pit bulls?
Education is key to being a responsible dog guardian. Listed below are reputable sources that contain accurate information about pit bulls:
Rehoming a Dog
I found a stray pit-bull-type dog—what do I do?
Please take the dog to your local vet to be scanned for a microchip. If positive, please contact the person listed on the microchip. Also, please contact your local animal shelter and ask if anyone has reported a missing dog recently. Born Again Pit Bull Rescue does not have a shelter facility and therefore cannot take in stray dogs.
Does Born Again Pit Bull Rescue take owner-surrendered dogs (a dog I can no longer keep)?
BAPBR does not have a shelter facility and therefore cannot house dogs. However, we always strive to help you and your dog as much as we can, namely through courtesy rehoming posts on our website and social media platforms. Additionally, you can list your dog for adoption yourself on www.pbrc.net and www.adoptapet.com (both are free and for everyone).
Can I come visit and meet the dogs at your facility?
Born Again Pit Bull Rescue does not have a physical building or facility. The dogs promoted on our site are all in foster homes or shelters. To meet a specific dog, please follow the instructions listed with each posting.
Why does Born Again Pit Bull Rescue also promote “not-a-bulls”?
While a desire to assist pit bulls and pit bull guardians remains at the heart of our organization, our ultimate goal is to promote health, homes, and happiness for all dogs.
Why is Born Again Pit Bull Rescue insistent on spaying and neutering?
We exist as an organization due to pet overpopulation. There are more homeless dogs than people willing to open their homes to them. In the case of pit bulls, the figures are even more disproportionate. These dogs are among the most popular breeds in the country, while at the same time they are the most misunderstood by the media and the general public and suffer the highest euthanasia rates in shelters across America.
Taking care of your pit bull
What should I consider if I’m thinking about adopting a dog?
Below are some considerations for you to keep in mind during your decision-making process. There are many factors and considerations involved in adopting any breed, so be sure to consult with anyone who is assisting you in finding the right match to make sure your expectations coincide with the realities of dog ownership.
- As with every dog, your pit-bull-type dog will require your time, patience, love, and consistency. Bringing a dog into your home is a lifelong commitment, so consider what goals and plans you have in the next 10-15 years. Pick a dog that matches your present and future lifestyle.
- Depending your dog’s age and energy level, your pit-bull-type dog may require a lot of exercise (this is true for any dog). Terriers in particular are typically high-energy dogs, so you should be prepared to provide the daily exercise they require. In addition to regular exercise, dogs love a regular routine and can act out when they are not able to predict the day's events. You must be able to provide stability in your dog's life.
- Keep in mind that dogs aren't cheap, so factor the costs of dog ownership into your monthly budget. These costs include food (dogs need a premium diet with high nutritional value) and vet check-ups at least once a year. Pit Bull-type dogs often need extra tough toys and chew treats, since they are powerful chewers. They must also be watched with their toys and treats to ensure they don't ingest solid objects that need to be removed surgically.
- All dogs require attention and training, regardless of age, and positive reinforcement is very important when training any breed of dog. Click here for some helpful training resources.
- Many breeds carry a stigma, and this is unfortunately the case for pit-bull-type dogs. Some people will be wary of your dog and you may find yourself defending your choice of companion. Your best defense is helping to educate your friends, family and neighbors on the general misconceptions of pit bulls and by introducing them to your well-trained, well-socialized pet who happily demonstrates how wonderful these dogs can be.
Are there specific types of dog food you recommend?
Dogs need a premium diet with high nutritional value. We encourage you to avoid pet food with corn-based meat bi-products typically sold in the supermarket. Though convenient and less expensive than our recommended brands, these products are unhealthy and unethical. Meat bi-products and meat meal (a main ingredient in many commercial dog food brands) consist of rendered animal parts taken from euthanized or carcass animals. These parts are not nutritious and can be highly contaminated.
Here at Born Again Pit Bull Rescue, we feed grain-free pet foods as much as possible. In the wild, your dog or cat's diet would consist of primarily meat-based proteins, and the occasional fruit and vegetable. Grain was consumed very little. Pet foods with high grain percentages have been found to cause or irritate dogs’ food allergies. Grain is also very hard to digest, especially in aged pets. Some of the benefits of feeding grain-free food includes a shiny coat, decreased allergies, healthy skin, increased appetite in picky eaters, increased energy, ease in passing of stools/reduced stools, and decreased weight in obese dogs.There are several high-quality dog food brands on the market; some of our favorites include:
- Taste of the Wild
- Solid Gold
The Dog Food Analysis website is an excellent research resource—it provides additional information and independent reviews on dog food.
Are there specific types of leashes and collars you recommend?
BAPBR recommends clip martingale collars. This ensures the dog cannot back out of the collar and is good for strong dogs that may pull, but does not act as a choke collar (choke collars are NOT recommended and do not accomplish the goal of less pulling). We also walk our dogs on front clip walking harnesses. We do NOT recommend walking any dogs on a “flexi” (retractable) leash.
- Buckle Martingale Collars
- Freedom No-Pull Harness
- Soft Touch Front Clip Harness
- Shine for Dogs leashes and collars
- Sirius Republic Collars and Leashes
- Collar Mania, Ready-to-Wear and Custom Made Collars
Are there specific types toys you recommend?
Toys should be appropriate for your dog’s current size, as balls and other toys that are too small can be swallowed or become lodged in your dog’s mouth or throat. We recommend that you never leave dogs unattended while chewing on bones or playing with toys. Not only could they choke, but it’s also unsafe to leave two dogs unsupervised with bones or high value toys. These are some of the toughest, long-lasting toys and chewies we’ve found for strong-chewers.
- West Paw design Zogoflex Tux
- Chuck-it Ultra Balls
- 6″ Unbreakoball Dog Toy
- Deer antler chew toys
- Bully Sticks
- Kong-type toys (look for the black kongs which are designed for tough chewers), especially when filled with goodies, such as broken up treats, a mixture of peanut-butter and kibble, etc. Freeze it for extra fun!
You can combine toys and treat/meals to help keep your dog busy and mentally stimulated. Your Pit Bull and You blog offers fun, bully-friendly ideas on toys, treats and enrichment for your furry friends.
The Oregon Humane Society offers additional tips and tricks to ensure you’re using dog toys as safely and effectively as possible.
Are there specific dog trainers you recommend?
Dogs require training, regardless of age, and BAPBR strongly recommends Positive Reinforcement Training for all dogs.
Group Classes & Private Training
- Oregon Humane Society
- Doggy Business
- Synergy Behavior Solutions
- Trusting the Heart Dog Training
- Paw and Hand K9
- Sit Stay Fit
Do you know of insurance agencies that are pit bull friendly?
There are a few agencies out there that allow all family members, but always check with your agent and ask lots of questions. Policies can change without warning, so be sure to review the fine print regularly.
Farmers Insurance (Bully Friendly Insurance)
21901 NE Halsey St Ste 203
Fairview, OR 97024-9736
State Farm Insurance
Contact an agent close to your area:
Where can I find more information about housing rentals where pit bulls are welcome?
Too many pit bulls end up in shelters because their families are unable to find housing without breed restrictions. Thanks to the awesome work being done by the non-profit My Pit Bull is Family, there's a database of rental listings from all over the country that is helping pittie-loving families find good homes. Learn more about this important movement, and please contribute to the database so we can help Oregon and Washington listings grow.