Can A Pitbull Be A Service Dog?

Pit bulls are one of those dog breeds that you either love or hate. For many, their dislike for these breeds comes from a lot of misconceptions about them.

Can A Pitbull Be A Service Dog

According to many, pit bulls are extremely dangerous. Others will tell you that these dogs are some of the most loving and kind animals you will ever meet.

One question that many people have about pit bulls is whether they can be service dogs or not.

As anyone can imagine, there are likely to be arguments for both sides. However, the truth is very clear – of course they can be service dogs!

If you want to find out more, all you need to do is keep reading to find out everything you need to know.  

About Pit Bulls

There are four dog breeds that are referred to as being “pit bulls” – these include the American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bully.

These breeds have many similarities with one another, and often get mixed up. The term “pit bull” is an umbrella term given to all dogs that exhibit the characteristics of these dogs.

In other words, the term doesn’t refer to the genetic makeup of a specific breed.

Pit bulls are generally very strong and powerful animals. Depending on the specific breed you’re talking about, their sizes can vary greatly.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier can weigh up to 33 lbs,  the American Pit Bull Terrier up to 60 lbs, the American Staffordshire Bull Terrier to 71 lbs, and the American Bully up to 132 lbs.

Looking at the average maximum weights alone, it’s clear that each of these breeds are very different. Does that have an effect on whether they can be service dogs, though? 

While all pit bull breeds do have the potential to be incredibly dangerous, like many dogs, they are typically not aggressive animals.

Aggression is, for the most part, something that a dog is taught, often for fighting. Dogs that are trained to fight may be seen as a danger to people as well as other animals.

However, a dog that is brought up in a loving environment will reflect that.

As such, if any pit bull breed is properly raised, you have as small a possibility of being attacked by one as you would any other breed.

Can Pit Bulls Be Service Dogs? 

To answer your question – of course they can be! Any dog can be a service dog, provided it gets the right training.

Pit bulls require consistent discipline and a firm but fair and gentle training regime.

Owners need to be able to offer pit bull dogs this kind of training in order for them to be successful.

Like all dogs, it is incredibly important that you socialize these dogs early. They should be exposed to all kinds of different sights, smells, people, and other dogs as soon as possible.

Doing this ensures that they are comfortable in different environments and helps them retain confidence.

This is a key element if you wish for a pit bull to become a service dog, as they need to give you their undivided attention at all times. 

As long as these dogs get the proper socialization yearly in their lives, and receive all the correct training, they make excellent service dogs.

Their size and strength makes them perfect for a number of people with varying needs.

Generally, their strength and size makes them great for balance and pulling – they could even pull wheelchairs!

They are great with children and are very energetic and sturdy. Overall, they are a well-rounded dog that would do well in most situations.

Why They Make Great Service Dogs

As we briefly mentioned, the pit bull’s energy and tolerance are two hugely beneficial characteristics.

Provided they are socialized early, these dogs have a lot to offer to anyone who would like one as their service animal.

They are incredibly strong, but also loving and devoted to their humans. 

These dogs probably aren’t aware of just how big they can get, however. That means that they will probably think your lap is a great spot to sit, no matter how big or small you are.

These loving animals aren’t necessarily the best choice for guard dogs, though, as they are a little too friendly. Chances are, they will think an intruder is a welcome guest!

If guarding isn’t your primary reason for a pit bull dog, however, they are amazing. As service dogs, they can get you through anything.

Their strength can physically help you if need be, and their tolerant temperament means that they have the patience of a saint. 

Some Useful Things To Know About Pit Bulls

Pit bulls have extremely strong jaws. As such, they do love to chew things. Using low quality and easily breakable chew dogs for them is not recommended at all.

For these dogs, you will need to get a high quality and durable chew toy for them to enjoy (see also ‘Is It Safe To Give A Dog Marrow Bones?‘).

If you try to skimp on the money, they will go through toy after toy in no time – which will end up costing more money! 

These dogs are eager to please you, which makes them a great option for a service dog.

As long as you can train them properly and give them everything they need, they will never let you down. 

It’s important to note that, because of misconceptions about this breed, there are bans on owning them in some regions.

That, however, doesn’t mean that anyone who owns a pit bull breed as a service dog is allowed to be discriminated against.

As a service dog, your dog is allowed to go anywhere you can, so you must never let anyone tell you otherwise simply because of their breed.

Final Thoughts 

Overall, pit bulls make incredible service dogs. As long as they receive the proper training and get everything they need for you, you will never be disappointed in what they have to offer.

Everything about these dogs points to the fact that they make good service dogs. Their loyalty, strength, and eagerness to please are all qualities that service dogs should have. 

Anna Granger
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