Pit Bulls : Dog Sports All Stars
At A Glance
Pit Bulls, most people hear these words and automatically think they are only good for one thing, dog fighting; but this is far from true. Pit Bulls are very versatile creatures that excel at many things. They are built for performance, they emanate strength, power and athleticism. They are of medium stature, very well muscled and have a short coat. They have a brick like wedge shaped head with strong wide jaws. They possess a strong body with a deep chest, solid rear and powerful hind legs. They are agile, tenacious,intelligent, friendly, loyal and determined to please; qualities that make them great canine athletes.
World of Oportunities
Owning a pit bull opens up a wide range and variety of sports and activities that you and your four legged friend can participate in. Pit Bulls were breed to be working dogs, thus making them optimal companions and working partners. Dog sports allow you to work very closely with you dog, truly learning their personality and forming a strong bond with them. When entering the world of competitive dog sports you must be as dedicated to your dog as he/she is to you. Not everyone or every dog is cut out for competitive sports but those who are reap many benefits.
Weight pull, if done properly can be a great outlet for a Pit Bull's determination to never give up. Because of their strength, determination, will to exceed and desire to please they are one of the top breeds in this sport. Pulls can be held on dirt, snow or rail, no matter the surface, the distance to pull is usually 16 feet The dogs are harnessed and attached to a cart or sled and weights are added in increasing increments. When using the rail system the dog usually pulls on a carpeted area while the cart rides a metal rail. Having the cart and dog on on different surface allows for much heavier weights to be pulled. The dog has 60 seconds to pull the cart across the finish line, at no time can the owner touch or physically correct the dog. If the dog doesn't finish the pull with in the time frame they still cross the finish line with help, but not awarded any points. There are several organizations that hold these competitions but the most common are the International Weight Pull Association (IWPA) and the American Pull Alliance (APA) which allow all Pit Bulls (rescue dogs and mixes) to compete. Neither of these organizations allow bating of the dog, meaning treats or toys can not be used to lure the dog to pull the cart/sled. Because each pull consists of different surfaces and conditions pull weights can not be compared from pull to pull.
Agility is a great off lead sport for Pit Bulls that have been well socialized around other dogs. This fast paced sport is a great showcase for a Pit Bull's natural talents. In agility the handler really gets to learn how to work with their dog as a team. The handler will guide their dog through an obstacle course without touching the dog or any of the obstacles. The trial is timed and the dog with the least faults and the quickest time is declared the winner. On many of the objects there are contact points that the dog must touch with it's paw, if not touched that is a fault. The dog must run through, jump over, weave through and climb over obstacles in the course. This is a very exciting sport for handler, dog and spectator. Common agility obstacles include weave poles, tunnels, a frames, sea saws, tire jumps, dog walks and chutes.
If your Pit Bull loves to jump and retrieve than Flyball could be an excellent choice. Flyball is a relay contest in which a team of four dogs run a course. The dog takes off from the starting line jumping over four hurdles spaced 10 feet apart and then step on a spring loaded box at the end which shoots out a tennis ball. The dog catches the ball and races back to the handler jumping the hurdles once again. Once the first dog crosses the line the next dog starts and this goes on until all four dogs have ran the course. The first team to have all dogs complete the course with no faults win.
Because the Pit Bull has a strong desire to please they are an excellent choice for obedience trials. The dog and handler work together to display the dog's ability to obey commands. In a trial the dog must perfectly perform certain tasks as the handler commands. Some of the basic commands are sit, come, down, stay and heel. Several organizations offer obedience titles. The titles may vary slightly depending on the organization but are usually along the lines of Companion Dog, Companion Dog Excellent, Utility Dog, Utility Dog Excellent and Obedience Trial Champion. In fact the highest record in obedience is held by an American Pit Bull Terrier named Maddy.
Work It Out
All in all Pit Bulls are working dogs. They have the physical and mental qualities that make them an all round versatile breed. There are many more dog sports out there to choose. If you have the determination to achieve a goal than your Pit Bull more than matches it. If you are willing to dedicated yourself to your dog than you will not be disappointed in the results. Pit Bulls are truly canine all stars, capable of almost anything.
- American Pit Bull Registry is everything Pit Bull - Service, therapy, rescue and other types of work
An International Pit Bull Registry and information resource. The Internets most comprehensive site on Pit Bulls. Everything Pit Bull and more.
- Homepage of the American Rescue Dog Association
The American Rescue Dog Association, ARDA, sets the standards for providing the public with competent trained search and rescue volunteer personnel and canines to work with local, state or federal law enforcement agencies.
- Pit Bull Dog Agility Training:Pit Bull Terrier Dog Agility Training
- American Pit Bull Terrier Breed Information & Pictures (APBT, Pit Bull or Bull Dog )
Detailed Information on American Pit Bull Terrier, from Health to Temperament you will find the information you need on American Pit Bull Terrier
- Pit Bull 101
- Activities For You and Your American Pit Bull Terrier
Pit Bulls are extreme athletes they thrive competiting in tough sports like weight pull. Getting involved in a dog sport is not only a great way for you and your dog to spend time together. It's really fun too!
- Official Pit Bull Site of Diane Jessup
Wonderful information here.
- Pet Pit Bull - Breed Information
Created to add balance to the media hype, the Pet Pit Bull site is dedicated to improving the reputation of the breed by presenting Pit Bulls in a positive light. This website includes positive Pit Bull press, Pit Bull photo galleries, breed informat