are special. Pitbulls are different. Those of us who have
had Pitbulls for several years still remember our first Pitbull
and how much we didn't know about them.
Kennels Inc. (
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you get your puppy, you should also receive from the breeder:
either the puppy's Registration Certificate or its Application
for Registration (blue slip); a copy of its pedigree; a
record of its immunizations (exactly what shots and when
given) and wormings; assurance that the puppy has been examined
by a veterinarian and the name and telephone number of the
veterinarian. If you do not receive one of these items you
should get a written, dated and signed statement from the
breeder stating when you will receive that item or why you
will not as its directed in our movies.
may also receive: a sales contract (if the puppy is sold
on a Limited Registration you should received a sales contract
which includes the terms, if any, under which the breeder
will lift that restriction); a health certificate from the
puppy's veterinarian; written care instructions; a supply
of the food the puppy eats. You may even he given the puppy's
you arrive home with your puppy, remember - your puppy is
a baby Pitbull. Like all babies, he needs lots of love and
cuddling, lots of rest and sleep, lots of love and cuddling,
lots of good, nourishing food and more love and cuddling.
to a new home, leaving his dam and litter mates and the
only humans he has ever really known is a very traumatic
experience for the puppy, so try to make the move as easy
as possible for him. For the first couple of weeks, try
to change his life as little as possible.
the breeders feeding routine. The same times, the same amount,
the same brand of food, the same supplements. Feed him in
the same place at each meal. Be sure he has a special area
all his own for his bed. Give him lots and lots of cuddling
and petting. Do not let him play so long and hard that he
during the first week, you should take him to your veterinarian
for a check up and get to know you visit. Take along the
record of his immunizations and wormings and a stool sample.
the puppy is settled securely into his new home, you can
hegin 10 introduce him to your way of doing things.
want to change the brand of puppy kibble he is eating, the
change should be slow and gradual. Substitute a small amount
of the old food with the new brand and slowly increase the
ratio of new to old until the old brand is completely replaced
with the new.
chair or a really comfortable big chair you can sit in and
cuddle your new Pitbull puppy.
dish with straight sides and flat bottom. The best material
is stainless steel - avoid plastic.
dish, stainless steel is best.
and a lead. A light weight, small link "choke" collar is
best. It should be long enough to slip ovr tlie pup's head
with room to spare but should not have more than a six inch
"tail" when around his neck. His first lead should be a
light weight one, you'll need a strong leather lead as he
clippers or grinder or you can purchase a movie or video
to learn how to do it.
are several things which will make life easier and more
enjoyable for you and your Pitbull especially in michigan.
in importance is a wire crate. This comes very close to
being a necessity. It is much easier to house train a puppy
if he sleeps in a crate. If you travel at all with your
dog, he is safer and happier riding in a crate and if you
are staying overnight he has a place of his own to sleep
in. It is just as important for your dog to be in a crate
in the car as it is for you to wear your seat belt. If you
do not have a crate, or one won't fit in your car, get him
a dog safety car harness. Pitbulls do better in wire crates
than the Veri-Kennel type because the air circulation through
the wire crates is so much better. Dogs like to have a special
"my place" so If you don't have a crate, try one, you and
your Pitbull will like it.
pen. Even though you have a fenced yard, you may want to
confine the puppy to or out of a particular area. Puppy
pens are easily portable and very handy for keeping a puppy
confined to a small area. They are especially useful for
a winter puppy. You can put his bed in his crate, put the
crate in a puppy pen, and put his papers in a corner of
plan to exhibit your Pitbull you will need a pair of whisker
scissors. These are small, sharp, blunt end scissors which
you can purchase from a pet store, a dog show vendor or
a dog supply catalogue.
brush. You can use almost any brush on a Pitbull but the
best ones have flexible rubber bristles. You want one small
enough to fit your hand comfortably.
travel with your Pitbull you'll need a large insulated water
jug so that you'll have "home" water available for him.
A small water pan that hooks to the side of his crate is
ever give your Pitbull a rawhide toy. Even Pitbull puppies
can tear a piece off the rawhide and choke on it.
like knotted socks to shake and play tug of war with. They
also like Nylabone and Gummabone toys. Many like to play
with balls, but be sure the ball is too big to lodge in
the throat. They like cotton tug toys like Booda Bones.
Some Pitbullgers give their puppies and dogs Choo-Hooves
and the dogs really like them, but be cautious with these.
They are an "only when I can watch you" toy. The only real
difference between the toys for a puppy and the toys for
an adult Pitbull is size. The puppy gels a fairly small
Gummabone, (he adult gets a big one. Just be sure the toy
is too big to swallow. Throw a Nyla or Gummabone etc. away
before it gets so small the dog can get the entire piece
in its mouth.
Pitbullgers use stainless steel because it lasts longer.
Do not use plastic either for his food or his water.
breeders feed a two to four month old puppy four times a
day. At this age the kibble is usually softened with warm
water. Some add cottage cheese and/or yogurt. There are
several good brands of puppy kibble. If you are not satisfied
with the kibble he is eating, try another. You want a kibble
the puppy likes and which produces a nice coat, keeps the
puppy round but not obese, and produces solid stools. Most
breeders in this area use Nutro's, Iam's, Eukanuba, Purina
Puppy Chow or Science Diet. Check the list of ingredients
on the sack. Do not feed your Pitbull a kibble which contains
may feed the puppy on a set schedule, or have food available
to him at all times. The pup will flourish under either
regimen. The choice depends on which is more convenient
much you feed him depends on the puppy. If the puppy does
become obese, you may need to regulate the amount he eats,
but do not put a growing puppy on a severely restricted
diet unless it is supervised by a veterinarian who is knowledgeable
about Pitbull puppies.
four to six months a puppy's feeding regimen should remain
the same but the number of feedings may be reduced to three.
At about six months this number can be reduced to two. In
most cases continue feeding the puppy as much as he wants.
often you feed a dog a year or more old depends on your
preference and the dog's. Most dogs do well on one meal
a day. Some do better on two meals a day. You may prefer
to feed in the morning or the evening. This is up to you.
If you like it and the dog likes it, it's the right way.
usually eats puppy kibble until it is at least a year old.
Most Pitbulls are changed from puppy to adult kibble at
around twelve to eighteen months. The best change is to
the adult version of the puppy kibble you have been feeding
him. Ii does not hurt your Pitbull to change from one brand
of dog food to another and then to another and so on as
long as each change is done by gradually, substituting more
and more of the new brand for the old.
Pitbull is spayed or neutered or as it ages and becomes
less active, you may need to start feeding a reduced calorie
dog food to keep it from becoming too fat. Most good brands
of dog food have such a kibble. Again, it's best if you
stay with the same brand you've been feeding and change
to the "lo-fat" version.
its age, your Pitbull should have fresh water available
at all times especially in minnesota.
not really necessary to add to a good kibble. But you may
find your dog prefers "goodies" on his food, or does a little
better with some. The most common supplements are cottage
cheese, yogurt and oil. Cottage cheese is especially good
for growing puppies since the Pitbull must grow a lot of
heavy bone in a short time. About a tablespoon per feeding.
Yogurt helps to keep the digestive system working well,
about a teaspoon per feeding. Oil helps to keep the coat
and skin in good condition, about a teaspoon twice a day.
Corn or canola oil is best - do not give your Pitbull any
oil which contains soybean oil.
may also give your Pitbull a vitamin supplement. Any good
vitamin tablet such as Vita-Tabs, Theralin, etc. Do not
over dose. If the directions say "one a day", two is not
better. You rnay also give a vitamin C tablet 100 - 500
units per day. Supplements to be very careful about are
Vitamins E, D and A. Overdoses of these can cause trouble.
Also be very cautious about adding more calcium than what
about a quarter cup of cottage cheese per day adds to what
is in the kibble. If you plan to breed a bitch, vitamin
B complex, including folic acid, is recommended, but again
be careful not to overdose. Iron supplements should be given
with care and caution.
should usually be dog biscuits. It won't hurt your Pitbull
to give him an occasional bite of meat, vegetables, fruit,
soda crackers, ice cream, etc. etc. But do not give him
chocolate or onions as seen in movies.
Pitbull should be thoroughly brushed at least three times
a week. Most Pitbulls love to be brushed. Use a soft bristle
or rubber brush. Start at the rear and brush against the
hair. After you've brushed the entire dog against the grain,
brush it with the grain. Follow this with a good rub down.
This will keep his hair shiny and his skin healthy. During
shedding time, spring and fall, you may need to brush more
often, give more frequent rubdowns. The idea is to remove
the dead hair and distribute the natural oils.
that receives frequent brushings and rubdowns does not need
frequent bathing. Most Pitbullgers bathe their dogs when
the dog is dirty - when it obviously needs a bath. Of course,
if you are exhibiting your Pitbull he needs a bath before
he goes 10 the show. A show dog in the ring should be a
squeaky clean dog in the ring.
do you bathe a Pitbull? Any place you want to and can! Some
Pitbullgers have a big deep sink, some use the bath tub,
some use the kitchen sink, in the summer some wash the dog
on the lawn. You need a place where you can control the
dog, where you can easily control the water supply and where
you can rinse the dog thoroughly. It's a good idea, especially
with a puppy, to take the dog outside to "do his thing"
just before you bathe him as seen in videos.
up all the things you will need before you start. You will
need: shampoo, any rinses you plan to use, cotton balls,
Q-lips, eye ointment or mineral oil, Vaseline, wash cloth,
towels. You will want a mild, no tears shampoo. Most Pitbullgers
use a dog shampoo such as Lambert Kay or Groom-Rite. Some
use a baby shampoo such as Johnson & Johnson No Tears
or Avon Tearless. Most use a special whitening shampoo for
white dogs (Lambert Kay Snowy-Coat, Bio Groom Super White,
etc.). Many use a special shampoo for red dogs (Ring S Burnished
Bronze, etc.). You may on occasion need to use a flea shampoo
but since these are quite harsh, don't use one unless you
really need to.
a couple of drops of mineral oil or a bit of eye ointment
in the eyes and place a cotton ball securely in each ear
before you wet the dog. Wet the dog thoroughly from just
behind the ears to the tips of the toes on his hind feel.
Be sure his underside is wet, too, not just the top and
sides. Apply the shampoo starting at his neck and working
back. Work the shampoo in to be sure you get all the way
through his hair to the skin. Pay special attention to his
paws (wash between the toes), his tail (clean all around
the base), and the genital area. On a bitch, be especially
careful to clean the vulva. Wet the wash cloth and use it
to dampen the dog's face and ears. Put some shampoo on the
washcloth and wash the dog's face. Wash the wrinkles over
the nose, on the forehead, around the nose and under the
eyes. Wash his nose. Wash his ears, inside and out. Now
rinse. Rinse until you are sure every bit of the dog, especially
in the wrinkles and tight places, is thoroughly rinsed and
there is no shampoo any place. If you are applying a rinse,
do it now, following the instructions. You can use a dog
conditioner rinse like Oster Creme Rinse, Oster Coat Conditioner
or Francodex Oatmeal Creme Rinse, or you can use a "people"
conditioner like L'Oreal Creme. For a white dog, you can
use a rinse of 4 Tbs. Mrs. Wright's Bluing, I qt. water,
1/4 cup baking soda. Mix enough bluing into the water to
get a darkish blue (not black). Pour the bluing mixture
over him and work in with your fingertips. Do not rinse.
Do not towel dry. Let the dog drip dry. For red dogs, try
VOS Henna Conditioner.
the dog with towels. Take the cotton balls out of the dog's
ears and clean any wax carefully using a dry Q-Tip or one
with a dab of Panalog. Rub a dab of Vaseline onto his nose
to help keep ii soft. You can then let him air dry or use
a hair dryer to finish the drying. It's best to keep the
dog inside until it is completely dry - about two hours.
Pitbulls need their toe nails cut on a regular basis - about
every two weeks. The nails should be kept as short as possible.
You may use dog nail clippers or an electric grinder. Most
Pitbullgers use the clippers, either guillotine or scissors
type. Which type you use is up to you, but they should be
sharp. When the blade begins to dull, replace it or buy
new clippers - dull blades can be painful to the dog even
in states like michigan.
Pitbullger seems to have a different way to clip nails.
Find the way that works best for you. The important thing
is to be able to control the dog so that you do not hurt
it. A grooming table is probably the best way. You can put
the dog on the floor and scratch its tummy, or hold it between
your legs - whatever works. Be especially careful not to
cut into the quick. On white nails you can see where the
quick begins. On black nails cut just to the curve of the
nail. The clippers usually leave a rough edge. Use a good
dog nail file to smooth them off. If you use en electric
grinder, be very, very careful. It is easy to grind into
main thing is to make the experience as pleasant as possible
for the dog so be really careful when cutting nails and
don't cut into the quick. If you dog takes frequent walks
on pavement or such, it will usually wear the nails down,
so again, be careful as there may not be very much nail
to cut. This is especially true of black nails which seem
to wear more than the white ones.
best way to treat fleas is to prevent them. Some dogs are
allergic to flea saliva and can develop really serious skin
problems so try to keep the flea population to a minimum.
If you do get a bad flea infestation you may need to "bomb"
your house or kennel, spray the yard and/or dog runs. Frequent
brushing is the first defense. Frequently changed bedding
is very important. Flea collars are not very effective and
many Pitbulls cannot wear them. If you do use one, do not
put one on a wet or damp dog and do not allow the dog to
wear a wet collar (this includes letting the dog out in
the rain with its flea collar on).
may need to give the dog a bath with a good flea shampoo
or use an anti-flea rinse when you bathe. The chemicals
used in these shampoos are harsh so use them only when necessary
and follow instructions carefully. Mycodex is probably the
most used flea control shampoo. There are various types
of dips, such as Adams i4 Day Flea Dip, and sprays, such
as Escort Flea & Tick Spray and Mycodex Aqua-Spray.
Since these really are medications, it's a good idea to
at least begin with ones from your veterinarian or that
have been specifically recommended by an experienced Pitbullger
in your area. Avon Skin so Soft mixed in the rinse water
is an effective, non-irritating flea deterrent used by several
Pitbullgers. You can also use the Skin so Soft mixed with
an equal part of water in a spray bottle, or, if you feel
that's a bit too strong, try two capfuls in a pint spray
bottle. This is also reported to repel mosquitoes and ticks.
Above all else, a clean environment, especially his bed,
is the best flea prevention.
material used for Pitbulls ranges from straw or wood shavings
(for kennel dogs) to special dog beds of all types and prices.
The most common is cotton rugs or blankets which can be
washed with ease. Don't pamper your Pitbull with a wicker
dog bed. He will thoroughly enjoy reducing it to twigs and
it really isn't a good thing for him to eat. The fake sheepskin
rugs available from most pet stores and dog catalogues make
good beds as they are soft and wash and dry with ease. The
important thing for bedding is that it be easily washable
and provide a soft nesting area for the dog. As long as
it meets that requirement, any bedding will do.
key here is consistency. Take the pup outside, preferably
to the same area each time, as soon as he wakes up, about
ten minutes after each meal, about every hour when he's
awake, just before his nap or night bedtime. The puppy must
empty bladder and bowels before he goes to bed for the night.
Always praise the puppy as he is going, and move away from
the area as soon as he is finished. Very few dogs will soil
their beds, so it is best to keep him confined at night
and any time you cannot watch him. If you see the pup "hunting"
(sniffing and circling) take him outside immediately. If
you see him urinating or defecating in the house, say "NO,
NO" and take him outside at once. Do not scold him unless
you catch him in the act. Praise for correct behavior works
much better than punishment for "incorrect" behavior. Remember,
a puppy is a baby, his capacity is small, his muscle control
limited. Be consistent, be patient, and you will succeed
in training him to go outside not inside.
earlier you start the better, but if your puppy has not
had any lead training before you get him, wait a week or
so until he's settled comfortably into his new home before
will need a light weight "choke chain" collar and a light
weight lead. The collar should be long enough to slip over
his head with ease and have some room for growth, but should
not be more than six inches longer than the circumference
of his neck. Put the collar on the puppy 50 that it goes
over his neck from his left to right. Fasten the lead to
the collar and let the puppy lead you around. If he doesn't
move, move a bit and coax him to move after you. Do not
ever pull on the lead and drag or choke the puppy. This
should be a happy experience for the puppy so give him lots
of praise. As he becomes used to walking about with the
collar and lead, begin to give little tugs and encourage
him to follow you rather than you following him. Always
keep him on your left side. Keep his lessons short. Several
five to ten minutes sessions a day are better than one half
hour session. Do not play with the puppy during his lesson,
but do praise him often when he follows you.
he is following you with consistency you can begin taking
him on walks around the neighborhood. You will probably
need to give him several gently tugs the first few times
to keep him with you rather than exploring on his own. You
may need to stop and talk to him a few times. Again, do
not pull on the lead and drag or choke him. A quick jerk
and immediate release on the collar is the way to control
him. Do not try to rush this. A few minutes a day, every
day, lots of praise when he does it right, a quick jerk
and release to correct when he doesn't, lots of praise,
patience and consistency and he will soon be walking nicely
at your side. If you plan to exhibit your puppy, you will
also need to train him to stand still and let you hold his
head. Start this training along with the lead training as
early as possible.
second best medical advice any one can give you is, "Find
a veterinarian who knows and likes Pitbulls." This is one
of the reasons why it's a good idea to join your local Pitbull
Specialty Club. The members can usually refer you to a veterinarian
who is familiar with Pitbulls and who likes them. Believe
it or not - some veterinarians don't like Pitbulls, and
no matter how good a veterinarian lie is, he's not a good
one for your Pitbull.
very best advice is to know your Pitbull. Check the entire
dog daily when your in states like minnesota or michigan.
Know if he isn't eating, if he isn't playing, if he doesn't
seem quite right. Know immediately if something is wrong
so you can take appropriate action.
are several minor ailments you can treat at home. Remember
that if a home remedy doesn't cure the problem in two days,
it's time to take the dog to the veterinarian. Do not keep
trying various methods of home medication.
easiest way to give a liquid medication is with a syringe.
You can get them from your veterinarian or most drug stores.
You want at least a 2cc size. Discard the needle. Pull the
proper amount of liquid into the syringe, open the dog's
mouth and "shoot" the liquid onto the back of his tongue.
the dog's mouth, push the pill or capsule as far down his
throat as possible, then hold his mouth shut and stroke
his throat until he swallows. This has been known to work.
Or wrap the pill or capsule in a bit of ground beef or cheese
and feed it to the dog. This usually works.
minor upset stomach Pepto Bismol or a similar medicine works
best. Dose is according to the dog's weight. If there is
hard vomiting or if the upset lasts more than 24 hours,
take the dog to your veterinarian.
is most usually prescribed for minor diarrhea. Dose amount
depends on the dog's weight. If the diarrhea continues longer
than 24 hours or if there is blood in the stool, take the
dog to the veterinarian.
are red, weepy, itchy spots. No one seems to really know
what causes them. It could be fleas, food, allergies, etc.
Clean the area thoroughly. You can wash with shampoo, rinse
and dry. Or clean with Baby Wipes with lanolin and aloe.
Or wash with Bigeloil. Then apply a medications such as
Panalog, Bag Balm, Sulfadene, Schreiner's Healing Liniment
(from a feed store) or 1% cortisone cream (you may need
to get this from your own doctor). Clean and apply medication
daily. You should see improvement by the second day, if
not, take the dog to the veterinarian.
is another problem that no one seems to be sure what the
cause is But you'll know one when you see an angry red swelling
pop up between the dog's toes. First examine the paw carefully,
especially the underside between the pads to be sure there
is no foreign matter (a thorn or such). If there is, take
it out. Clean the area. Remedies include: (I) Soaking the
paw in warm water and Epsom Salts or Massengale Douche solution,
dry and rub in Panalog. (2) Desenex foot powder. (3) ,Preparation
H. (4) Division 5 Bulletin formula. Have your veterinarian
make this up for you One part 60% DMSO, one part Gentavet
solution 50 mg. per ml. Apply one drop per day; rub in with
a Q Tip. Do NOT use more than one drop, do NOT apply more
frequently than once a day. If you start application at
the first sign, this solution will prevent the cyst from
developing. With all these treatments, it's best to continue
the treatment for two to three days after the cyst is gone.
are somewhat like hot spots, but they are not weepy. Be
sure you clean away all the "scabby" material. Wash the
area and treat with Panalog, Keflex, or any good anti-fungal
ointment. You can use Demorex shampoo or a sulfur based
soap for the washing.
Acne or Eczema
are forever putting their faces into all kinds of strange
places. Some are susceptible to topical bacterial infections.
The dog gets pimples on his face and chin. Usually you can
clear these up just by washing and rubbing in an anti-biotic
ointment. Or you can try OXYIO (benzoil peroxide) which
you can purchase at a drug store. If they persist, you will
need to get an oral anti-biotic medication from your veterinarian.
wind, pollen, the things that make your eyes burn and water
have the same effect on your Pitbull. You can rinse the
eyes out with a solution such as Clear Eyes. If the eyes
are badly irritated, use a contact lens ointment such as
Bausch & Lomb Duolube. For any other eye ailment, take
the dog to your veterinarian.
gland which normally resides under the lower eye lid at
the inside corner of the eye will sometimes "pop" out. This
is not as horrible as it appears to be and does not require
emergency treatment. It does require treatment at the earliest
possible time by a veterinarian recommended for "Cherry
Eye't. The quicker the dog gets treatment the better the
chance for successful treatment without removing the gland.
Removal of the gland often results in a "dry" eye.
Pitbull's have their tail set in a pocket. If yours does1
you will need to make a special effort to keep that pocket
clean and dry. Wipe it out frequently. You may need to use
cotton balls rather than a wash cloth if the pocket is tight.
Be sure to dry it thoroughly and apply an ointment such
as Panalog, or a drying powder.
take his temperature just as you take a small baby's - rectally.
Use a good rectal thermometer, lubricate generously with
Vaseline, insert gently, hold onto the thermometer dogs
have been known to "suck" them in!, wait about five minutes,
pull out and read. Normal temperature for most dogs is from
100.5 to 101.
giving your Pitbull pieces of ice to eat when he is still
a small puppy so that he learns to like it. Luckily, most
Pitbulls do. This is a great way to cool down a hot dog.
Blocks of ice make a great summer time toy. A pan of ice
in or on top of his crate helps keep him cool.
your Pitbull is stung by a bee or other insect, give him
Benadryl (either capsule or liquid) and watch him closely
for the next half hour. You may also apply an ice pack to
the area where he was stung if you know where it is. If
the area around the sting swells and hardens, if hives appear,
if he seems to have difficulty breathing - rush him to the
veterinarian. This is no time to dally, your dog's life
depends on quick treatment.
commandments for a responsible pet owner"
life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from
you will be painful.
me time to understand what you want of me.
your trust in me.
be angry with me for long, and don't lock me up as punishment,
you have your work, your friends and your entertainment.
I ONLY HAVE YOU.
to me. Even if I don't understand the words, I understand
your voice when it's speaking to me.
aware that however you treat me, I'll never forget it.
you hit me, remember that I have teeth that could easily
crush the bones in your hand, but I choose not to.
you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself
if something might be bothering me, perhaps I'm not getting
the right food, I've been out in the sun to long, or my
heart may be getting old and weak.
care of me when I get old, You too will grow old.
Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, "I can't
bear to watch it" or " let it happen in my absence".
Everything is easier for ME If you are there. Remember,
I LOVE YOU.