Putbulls Have a Favorite Person, and This Is How It Works

If there is one thing that stands out about the Pitbull dog, they really LOOOOVE their people. Of course, they have their favorite ‘human, but they love to be around their family and like to be close to them… all of the time!

  • Pitbulls have a favorite person, they choose this person from: Whoever cares for them in their key socialization period between birth and 6 months.
  • Social experiences
  • Positive associations lead to positive human/dog relationships.
  • The one who matches their energy level and personality

The early experiences in those first vital six months of life are the major influencer, but continued socialization through experiences at home, at doggie daycare, or daily walks matter as well.

The Pitbull dog is a real goofball of a dog. They normally have tons of energy, love to explore, are ready for a game anytime anywhere, and demand your attention.

For a new owner, be aware that the pitbull has no real concept of its size or muscle. They think they are a lapdog and if you are chosen as their favorite one, they will try to be as close as possible to you.

This means sitting on your feet, leaning against you, following you to the bathroom, or sitting in your lap!! Having a fully grown Pitbull climb into your lap is quite an experience!

They can have more than one favorite though. They love children and will put up with as much rough play as your kids can hand out. They love adults, older people and all.

Just a disclaimer here to their nature. Although they adore people, they don’t always like other dogs, so just be aware of that. And the Pitbull image has had a rough time, touted as a dangerous dog which they can be if they have been hurt and mistreated, as can any dog who has been misfortunate enough to suffer mismanagement.

They generally will get on with your cat or rabbit, it just depends on how you manage your ‘family’.

But generally, a well-managed pitbull will gaze at you with love and cuddle as much as you want them to.


The First Six Months of Life

Pitbull puppies are adorable, they are curious, loving and full of beans. This is when a strong impression is made between the caregiving human and the puppy.

  • Like most puppies, they are ruled by their tummy. Whoever provides the food gets their loyalty.
  • They like affection. They start as cuddle bugs and continue like that throughout life.
  • Positive associations such as playtime, cuddles, feeding and walking all create a little dog with an outgoing positive attitude – one who will do almost anything to please you.
  • The more you give to a Pitbull puppy, the more they will want to be with you. If you want to be the favorite, fill their tummies and give them a ton of attention.
  • Care must be taken to teach these solid little pups to enjoy being alone sometimes or lying quietly beside you without trying to climb into your lap, to avoid separation anxiety from developing.
  • They adapt to training well as they love to please their favourite human.
  • Teaching them to ‘quietly welcome’ visitors is important. If you are expecting visitors, give them some treats to hand to your puppy (once they sit quietly and wait) so they experience guests as something good.


Life After Puppyhood

Life after puppyhood doesn’t change much for the owner of the Pitbull mutt. The dog just gets bigger, more solid, yet still seems to have plenty of energy.

From a pudgy little puppy, they develop into robust strong dogs who can be amazingly versatile and are used in police work, drug detection, water safety, hunting, and make great therapy dogs.

Apart from that, they are reliable and fiercely loyal dogs who love children and will watch over them cheerfully.

The term ‘Pitbull’ is a general term that applies to several bulldog and terrier mixes. These mixes include the American Pit Bull Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terriers. The solid Pitbull can weigh in between 35 and 60 pounds for males and 30 -50 pounds for females. It usually takes them a year to reach their full size and for their chest to fill out.

A youngster has a large head and paws, and they kind of grow into these when they reach their height of 18-21 inches. They range in size and height according to their parents.

The Pitbull can develop congenital conditions which include severe allergies and ear infections. But a regular visit to the vet will keep this dog healthy.

Make sure as they grow into adulthood, that they learn to listen to your orders and obey.

They are easier to manage when you teach them not to leap at people (even if it is only in affection) and to be calm around children (their weight could flatten little kids).

Your Pitbull is not a guard dog as they tend to like people. But if you or your family is attacked they will try to protect you.


How Your Pitbull Demonstrates Their Love

Life after puppyhood doesn’t change much for the owner of the Pitbull mutt. The dog just gets bigger, more solid, yet still seems to have plenty of energy.

They will show you that you’re their favourite person by doing the following.

  • Leaning on you and nearly pushing you over because of their solid weight. Some will even like to squeeze between your legs while you stand.
  • Jumping at you means your dog doesn’t have much concern about your personal space. They want to be close to you, really close,  and often you will cop a sloppy tongue slurped over your face which they do because…. you’re their favourite!
  • This brings us to licking. Pitbulls are the lickiest of dogs. They don’t just lick your hand – they lick your feet, your legs, your legs, face and hair and anywhere else where they can get a free shot at. It’s love don’t you know!
  • When you get a Pitbull you inherit a shadow. Where you go, they want to go. They don’t know the meaning of the word ‘privacy’. You may step on them, trip over them, and when you are sitting they will sit beside you – squashed right up next to you. Either that or they will be trying to climb in your lap for a cuddle. When you are the favorite of this dog, you will know it.
  • They will beat you with their wagging whip-like tail, show off their belly in total trust, and even give you their favourite toy which has a lot of value to them! Because they trust you!
  • And they will nibble along your skin or your hair. Relax, they don’t bite. They are very gentle, but they are just reminding you that they are there… as if you could ever forget!

A well-raised Pitbull is an affectionate beast. A gentle giant if you will, although they forget how strong they are now they have grown up so expect to be flattened occasionally.


The Reason Your Pitbull Loves You and Other Humans

The Pitbull was considered to be an all-purpose worker as they evolved in the United States. Their role was varied. Some were used as all-purpose herding dogs. Other dogs were trained as guardians, service dogs, and some were used for hunting.

Their role became entwined with that of humans and they worked alongside them all day.  Their affection for one person soon became transferred towards the whole family.

Dogs love company, they are pack animals which means they like to belong to a group, even if that group is a different species.

An average Pitbull is affectionate with everyone they meet. And they are especially noted for their affection towards children.

Watch out for that long sloppy tongue that they love to slap you with.

They will climb into anyone’s lap, just so they feel warm and wanted.

The only exception to this rule is if the pitbull has come from an abusive or neglectful past.

Sadly, Pitbulls that have been abused by a certain group such as men, older people and even children are less likely to show affection, especially to this group. They may be very affectionate with some family members but yet be reserved and fearful around others.

But to a caring owner who treats them well, feeds them, takes them for walks and showers them with love, will be rewarded with a devoted and cheerful companion.


Training the Pitbull

The Pitbulls are easier to train than many breeds, and this comes from their willingness to please their owner.

  • They pay attention, don’t tire and require fewer repetitions to learn.
  • To discipline your dog, you have to set them up to succeed by understanding their natural behaviour and needs. When your dog misbehaves you should withhold what they love and crave the most … and that is your attention.
  • When they behave and get it right, lavish them with praise and cuddles. What does a pitbull love more than anything? You’re right if you said your attention. They love love love to be acknowledged and pampered.
  • Start the training when your puppy is young, and get them used to follow you around while you have them on the leash. Reward them with praise and treats (two of their most favourite things) when they do it without fighting the leash.

What about love bites? You have to ignore your pup when they bite – hard though that may be. Redirecting their behaviour eg encouraging them to play with their toy, works well as does a reward with praise and treats when they don’t bite or stop biting when you command them to STOP!

Don’t go crazy if they bite; get up and walk away and ignore them.

Pitbulls have a lot of pent up energy so you need to play with them as much as possible to get rid of it all. They do calm down as they grow older and become less hyperactive.

When you are training the love of your life – talking about your Pitbull here just so we are clear – these are the commands that they must understand.

These are the Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, Off, and No commands.

Once they learn these, life becomes easier. The Pitbull is a dog that will respect a strong leader. If you don’t learn to control them, they will control you.

A strong leader will be their favourite person because they will get rewarded with attention and treats when they do well.

So why wouldn’t they do what you ask so that they can get what they want … your attention and food?


Preventing a Pitbull From Becoming Clingy.

The Pitbull has been bred or designed for human companionship and because of this, your dog can develop separation anxiety even when separated for the shortest of times.

If you are your pet’s favourite, you may find a dog who clings like Velcro to your legs.

Caused are as follows.

  • Boredom – if your dog only has you to look forward to ways of entertaining themselves; life without you can become boring, even if it is only for 20 minutes or so.
  • If you give them the benefits they crave such as attention and love, of course, they will want to be with you all the time and they will become anxious when you leave.
  • If you are the alpha person they will follow you to ensure you are safe.
  • Lack of training them to be alone without you can create clinginess.

The Cure.

  • Train using the ‘stay’ command. It will teach your dog that it’s ok for you to go somewhere without needing their company.
  • Start by leaving them just a brief distance away, then build up the distance as they gain confidence.
  • Reward them when they do well. Downplay it if they perform and start again.
  • Train them to ‘ Go to your place’ which may be a mat on the floor. When they go to the mat as ordered, lavish praise upon them.
  • Install baby gates to physically restrain them from becoming a velcro dog (one who sticks to your side).
  • Set limits on your dog. They shouldn’t be able to have the free run of the house, sleep on your bed, or whatever. Make it a special treat when they can sleep in your room.
  • Keep your dog busy so they don’t get bored. Offer a variety of challenges so they are mentally fit and start when they are a puppy before they develop any bad habits.


To Have and Belong for Ever and Ever…

The Pitbull is a confusing mixture of pure muscle, action and goofiness. They can be adorably cute or quiet and aloof.

Like any breed of dog, they can become aggressive through lack of training, neglect and irresponsible ownership.

They are a breed that responds well to training, they like living with people, and can be a dedicated companion.

They will have a favourite human. It may be the one who feeds them and takes them for walks, or it may be several people in the same household.

They need a firm, fair hand and they will love you for it. Their happy smile, bright eyes and enthusiasm for anything you suggest will steal your heart.

Just remember –  you can encourage and lead a pitbull to learn, but you can’t push or punish them to learn!

Writer: Jean Brewer

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