Adopting Pit Bulls and Other Bully Breed Dogs

Dog Adoption

If you are looking at bringing a dog into your home, a good way about that is to adopt. You can find all sorts of dogs at your local no-kill shelter and animal control facility, and believe it or not, you can find purebred dogs as well as mix breeds, puppies and adults, small dogs and big dogs. No matter what you are looking for, you can usually find it; sometimes it just takes a little patience before you find just what you are looking for. Just remember that if you are looking for a specific breed of dog, you can always find breed specific rescues in your area; you do not always have to rely on regular dog rescues and shelters that have all sorts of dogs and cats available for adoption.

When you have decided to take the plunge and adopt a dog, you want to make sure that you are ready for anything that may come your way.

You also want to be prepared for what you will see at the shelter. Sometimes it¹s not a pretty site to see. You¹ll find dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds staring at you from the other side of the bars. It¹s not nice, but remember if you can save just one dog from living in a kennel, you are helping out.

Adopting Bullies

Just like any other dog, you want to make sure that you have the proper time to care for, train, socialize, and love a bully breed dog, before you bring one home to your family and other pets. You want to remember that with any dog you will need time to be figure out and learn the dog and reshape the dog¹s current habits into those that you want to see.

If you are interested in adopting a bully breed dog such as an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Bull Terrier (there are others, these are just the more common), you want to make sure that you know the breed. Many rescues will not adopt out these dogs if you do not have past experience, but that is not always the case (below you will find common restrictions for adopting bully breed dogs).

Just remember that you can successfully rescue and adopt a bully breed dog, of any age and live happily together under one roof. You just need to know and understand the mindset of these dogs and, of course, it doesn¹t hurt to have past experience raising the dogs.

Common Restrictions for Adopting Bully Breed Dogs

  • Past animal abuse charges: the more obvious restriction and for obvious reasons

  • Young children: many rescues will adopt older bullies to families with small children but not younger puppies
  • Same sex dogs: some rescues will not adopt a female bull to a home where there is already a female dog or vice versa
  • Current dog: many rescues will still allow you to adopt a bully with a current dog, but many prefer that you adopt older dogs versus a rambunctious puppy
  • Experience: The more past experience that you have with bully breed dogs- training, socializing, raising, and rescuing- the more likely you are to being able to adopt any age or temperament bully
  • References: Some rescues require references to adopt bullies, which usually consists of your vet and one or two other people

Other clauses to some rescues, especially breed specific bully rescues may include:

  • The dog be spayed or neutered before actually coming home
  • The dog be an indoor dog, yet not left in the kennel or home alone for extended periods.
  • The dog attend proper training classes with a local training group or training sessions with the actual rescue behaviorist (if offered)

And, as common sense goes, the shelter will assume that you will:

  • Not leave the dog unattended with other pets
  • Not leave the dog unattended with young children
  • Not leave the dog unattended without proper constraint, such as a dog kennel or dog proofed room.

See the trends common sense says "do not leave a dog unattended."

Myths About Adopting Bullies

There are enough myths about Pit Bulls and other bully breed dogs, so why shouldn¹t there be myths about adopting one.

The common myths about adopting Pit Bulls and other bullies can include:

  • When you adopt a bully breed dog, especially a Pit Bull, you do not know what you are getting and it is automatically a dangerous dog.
  • The dog is there for a reason, whether that be behavior or health, so I don't want it.
  • Because many shelters have regulations that you can't adopt a bully, that must mean they're dangerous adopt.
  • Puppies are better to adopt because you can train them and the puppy will bond better than an adult or older bully.
  • An adopted bully is more likely to turn on the owner.
  • The shelter is invading my privacy to screen my background before they give me the dog.
  • Certain color coats are rare, which means they must be special.

These myths are pretty self explanatory, so I'm do not think they need to be covered in further detail. Just remember that a myth is called such because it is not necessarily true.

You can find these myths and others in more detail by clicking on Why Should You Adopt a Dog.

Vick's Pit Bulls Going Up for Adoption

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Comments 11 comments

annbrown profile image

annbrown 5 years ago from North Carolina

I have an AmStaff. She is a wonderful, crazy, loving dog!


tabarious horton 5 years ago

i want to adop a blue pit.


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 6 years ago from Georgia Author

I wouldn't say that you dog is a bully breed.

Most bully breeds include Pit Bulls, AmStaffs, and sometimes Bulldogs are considered this. Generally, those with "bull" in them.


Tracy 6 years ago

What breed is considered a bully breed dog..I have a 2 yr old gladiator Dane.. He is mastiff and dane..weighs in at about 180lbs. I have been told he is..I call bull shit...


Robyn S. profile image

Robyn S. 7 years ago from So. Cal

Whitney - thanks for posting this hub. I realize you wrote it a over 6 months ago but I am looking to adopt a puppy for my kids and I so I did a search on adopting here on Hubpages. Your hub came up.

I want to go through our local shelter or rescue organization. I've been primarily looking for shepard or lab mixes but I've seen a ton of bullies both young & old. I too was (am) a little skeptical of adopting one but now I will look at the dog itself (personality, background, etc.) before excluding it from my list.

Thanks again - Robyn :)


Whitney05 profile image

Whitney05 8 years ago from Georgia Author

It definitely takes work with those bullies who have been abused, but with the right experience, it is possible to rehabilitate those dogs. I think that is a big misconception about these dogs. The same goes for purchasing a purebred, typically you should have experience because these are very stubborn and strong willed dogs.


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 8 years ago from NW Indiana

I have an adopted mixed bull something. He is great but it took a couple of years to get him through issues of abuse. I highly recommend that anyone taking on a full grown animal be very cautious about the temperament of said animal. Our dog,"Foster Child" was quick to bite and very untrustworthy when we got him. He did a little damage before he learned to coexist with friends and family. Four years now and I trust him but not under stressful conditions. He would have been put down if he had not landed in our home. A lady from the animal clinic knew us and begged us to take him in so that he did not make an appointment with the animal shelter. Lots of love, food and security brought him around. I do encourage adoption and have two large dogs from the shelter. They are the light of our home and especially Foster. C.S. Alexis


allshookup profile image

allshookup 8 years ago from The South, United States

We adopted 2 bullies last year. They turned a year old in July. They are brothers. They do get a bad rap. They are about 80-85 lbs now and my Yorkiepoo walks up to them and plays with them. They are so gentle. My son wrestles with them both and they are so so easy with him. I feel no fear at all from them. I wish people would just give them a chance. Did you see on TV where they have rehabbed them and alot of them are working as therapy dogs in hospitals and nursing homes? I was so happy when I found that out. It was awesome to see the pictures of those dogs while there at his house then to see the same dogs now. It just shows how great friends and family members they make. I hope alot of people see this hub. I'm so glad you did it. And I thank you for both of our bullies. Keep up the GREAT work!! :)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

Whitney, great hub. I think it's great for people to adopt dogs from shelters. I am an avid supporter of out local human society and they do a great job of preparing pets for homes. Dispelling myths and fears that people have about dog adoption is an important and worthwhile part of helping to save animals. Thanks!


RachelOrd profile image

RachelOrd 8 years ago from Palm Coast

These dags can be great family pets. I think it is important to get rid of the "viscous dog" stigma. It's great to see Michael Vick's dogs going to good homes!


Ed 8 years ago

As a fan and owner of a Bull Terrier, I think you've posted a great article for those interested in getting a bully breed dog. I think your readers will find that bully breeds are the most loyal dog you can get. They'll lay on your couch all day or spend hours with you outside. They simply want to be with the alpha dog (you). With that being said, you made a good point when you said NOT to leave the dog unattended for long peridos of time. My first bull terrier destroyed part of my carpet one day while I was at work. She didn't do this to cause havoc, she did it cause she was alone and bored. Readers, please don't get a bully breed unless you are willing to spend a ton of time with your animal.

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