Dog Collars For Pit Bulls

There are many kinds of dog collars out there. The type of collar can depend on what you want the collar for. Do you want a collar just for looks? Or are you looking for a non pull type of collar? Dog collars for pit bulls should be able to hold up to the strength of their pull.

trago-choke-collar
Choke Chain hanging around Trago’s neck.

Choke Chains – First of all, NEVER tie your pit bull out with this collar on. If your pittie starts pulling on the leash, this collar will start to choke him, causing him to stop pulling. If your pit bull is smart like my boy was, then don’t let too much slack on the chain because your pittie will slip his head out of it.

Pinch Collars – Again, NEVER leave your pit bull tied out with this collar

trago-prong-collar
Pinch Collar on Trago

I know that there are people who oppose these two collars.  If used the wrong way, then yes I am sure they would cause pain. Being an animal lover especially my animals, I had both of these collars used on myself. Neither one of them caused me actual pain. Just a choking feeling that let up as soon as I stopped pulling against them.

trago-nylon-collar
Trago with a Nylon Collar

Nylon – For a pit bull a high quality collar, usually a couple layers thick, will work. It should be at least 2 inches wide. If it has been chewed on or starts to fray then it should be replaced as soon as possible.

Leather – Leather collars are a little stronger than nylon ones. They should be high quality and a couple of inches wide.

I never left any of the collars on Trago while inside.  They were always taken off once he sat or laid down for me to do so. 

There are different places where you can purchase your pit bull’s collars.  At  pitbullsupply.com, they guarantee that the collar will last for 10 years.  If it doesn’t then they will replace it or give you a refund.  That seems like a pretty good deal to me!  Wish I knew about this company when I had Trago.

 

A Proper Fit

Make sure to measure your pit bull’s neck. Pull the tape measure snug but not tight. Then, add 2 inches. If you can fit two fingers comfortably between the collar and your dog’s neck then it fits properly. If you can not fit two fingers between the collar and the neck then the collar is too tight. For less pressure on your pit bull’s neck, choose a wider collar. A pit bull’s collar can range from 14” to 30″.

My Experiences

Trago would never leave the yard by himself so the only time I would tie him up was if I had to run into the house for something. Whenever he was outside he had his harness on, and that is what I would hook him to. The rest of the time he ran around the yard free.

As a puppy he was a puller, and he pulled hard. Harnesses wouldn’t stop him from pulling. Choke collars didn’t phase him. A regular old nylon or leather collar he could destroy just by pulling against them. He got worse as he got older. If he got loose while on a walk, he would bound around and refuse to come back…. until I shouted “car ride”. I tried different training techniques that friends suggested. Nothing worked. Until someone told me to get a prong (pinch) collar. I took one look at it and said no way.

Well, Trago ended up with that prong collar. And it worked! I was finally able to bring my pit bull for a walk and not get pulled and jerked around. Never once did he make a sound of pain or in any way make me think that it was hurting him. But using that prong collar was like walking a different dog. As soon as he saw me grab it from its hook, Trago would get so excited about going for a walk. He would sit down and let me put it on him. Then, he would walk by my side and follow all of my commands. I would give him slack in the leash so he could sniff around and do his business. He seemed to enjoy our walks together much more, and I know that I did.

 

Feel free to share your thoughts or experiences!!

 


Gifts For Pit Bull Lovers


Pit bull lovers are unlike any other people I have ever met. They are very passionate about the bully breeds. Some of them are even like me…. loves everything pit bull! So, what are some good ideas for gifts for pit bull lovers?

From pitbullsupply.com.

There are many options out there. You could give pit bull jewelry: ear  rings, bracelets, necklaces, rings, and even pins. Pit bull clothes could be another good choice: hoodies, shirts, sweatpants, hats, even shoes. Or if the gift is for someone like me that likes to color to de-stress: there are severalImage result for free images of pit bull coloring books  different pit bull coloring books out there. I would love one those!

If you want to give two gifts for the price of one, then I would suggest purchasing something from a non-profit organization that fights for pit bulls. Pit bull rescues use donations and proceeds from merchandise sales to help feed and vet the dogs, and to help educate people about the bully breeds. There are many pit bull organizations out there, but here are a couple to get you started: pitbullgear.com, pinupsforpitbulls.org, vrcpitbull.com.

Or you could go for a more personal touch. You could take pictures of your giftee’s pit bull and make a collage, or paint a picture of the dog. One thing that I love is that places like Walmart can take your favorite photos and turn them into so many things: blankets, mugs, puzzles, pillows, large canvas… and so many more. I personally would love a blanket made from my favorite picture of my boy!

I hope that I gave you some good ideas on what to give your favorite pit bull lover….for any occasion! Happy gifting!

Do Pit Bulls Bark A Lot?

Some dog breeds bark a lot like Chihuahuas, German Shepherds, and Beagles. There are more dog breeds, of course that fall under the ‘barks a lot’ category. A question I’ve been asked is, in general, do pit bulls bark a lot?

From my personal experience with my pit bull and a couple of friends with pit bulls, I would say no to this question. The three pit bulls that I knew did not bark much unless they were playing or extremely excited. Sometimes if there was something or someone in the yard they would bark once or twice to let us know. But I’m not sure if my limited experience is enough to say that the bully breeds bark a lot or not.

The Answer

‘Pit Bulls do bark – all dogs can bark, with the exception of the Basenji – however in general Pit Bulls are not known to be exceptionally noisy. They will bark when alarmed.’ – Christie Long, DVM, CVA

A lot of barking from a dog in the bully breeds depends on the individual dog.  Being a barker or not is just a part of their personality.  Some pit bulls bark at every thing they see or hear.  These barking pitties can be trained to bark less.  Other pit bulls are quiet and hardly bark at all.  Sometimes they only bark because they are bored and want attention.

It seems that pit bulls are more likely to ‘talk’ or ‘sing’ and make funny noises then bark.  They ‘talk’ to other family pets, to human family members, and even their toys.  The following video is of my boy, Trago.  He is ‘talking’, asking for some human food.  He used to make these kinds of noises all the time.  He would have me laughing like crazy.

Trying to learn how to edit videos for our website, so I tried to shorten one of Trago talking….hope it came out ok.

Posted by Heather Towsley on Thursday, October 19, 2017

If you want a pit bull that is more on the quiet side then it might be best to adopt an adult pit bull.  With an adult dog you are better able to get a sense of their personalities.  Pit bull puppies are great fun. But with a puppy it is harder to sense if he/she might be a barker later on.

Does your pit bull bark at everything?  Is your pit bull quiet and laid back?  Does your pit bull make a bunch of funny sounds?  Or maybe your pit bull is a bit of all of the above?  Let me know!

To Let Them Flop Or To Crop A Pit Bull’s Ears?

I personally love the look of floppy ears on pit bulls. Something about theTrago Floppy Ears goofy looks that are accented by those floppy ears just make me smile. There are different reasons why people crop dog’s ears.  What do you think…to let them flop or to crop a pit bull’s ears?

The Reasons

It has been said that ear cropping started because of the dog fighting rings. It was either crop the pit bull’s ears or watch them get bitten and torn off by the other dog. Cropping is still being practiced. Some owners prefer the look of cropped ears over the floppy ears. Other owners get their pit bull’s ears cropped to make them look meaner or tougher. There are owners that get their pit bull’s ears cropped for what they believe to be medical reasons, such as, to prevent ear canal infections and to eliminate the chance of ear flap trauma and infection. Yet, veterinarians have found no evidence of this.

I can not find medical justification for cropping a dog’s pinnas (outer ear). T.J.Dunn, Jr DVM

The Procedure

In order to crop a dog’s ears, the dog needs to be between 6-12 weeks of age. The pup is put under general anesthesia. Normally 2/3 of the ear is removed along with any important nerve endings. Stitches are used to close the cut. The puppy’s ears have to be bandaged for several weeks. The ears need to be checked weekly by the veterinarian and the bandages changed. Like any surgery there could be complications, such as, the ears could become infected, or there may be bleeding, and in some cases the ears may need to be amputated. After being cropped, a pup’s ears will be sensitive and painful for weeks. They can even get phantom pains.

 

Cropped Ear Pit BullEar cropping has been banned in some countries. Australia, Canada, and some European countries have banned the practice. Unfortunately America has not banned ear cropping. I believe this practice should be banned everywhere. I am a firm believer that we should love our pit bulls just the way they were made. There is no necessity for cropping ears so why do it? If you are considering getting your pit bull’s ears cropped, please talk to your veterinarian and get their opinion.

Please weigh in on this issue. I’d like to see your pittie…. floppy ears or cropped, I love pit bulls.

 

Pit Bull Health Information

The pit bull breeds tend to be rather healthy, high energy dogs. That being said, the pittie breeds can sometimes have health issues. Here is some pit bull health information that you might find useful.

Possible Health Issues In Pit Bulls

I know that this is a long list, but it does not mean that your pit bull will have these problems. If you have any concerns that your pittie might be suffering from any of these issues, please consult your veterinarian right away.

  • Hip Dysplasia – abnormal formation of the hip socket

    Hip Dysplasia
    Hip sockets: a normal hip to severe HIP DYSPLASIA

  • Thyroid Disease – their body doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone
  • Bladder Stones – caused by an inherited condition, Hyperuricosuria, which causes more uric acid to be in the urine
  • Knee Problems – common because of the structure of their legs
  • Skin Infections – skin redness, inflammation, bumps, or hives are usually related to an infection
  • Eye Problems – double eyelashes, which causes the lashes to grow in towards the eye and rub against the eye ball. Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous, causes hazy vision due to failure in blood supply to the eyes. Cataracts, the lenses behind the pupil turn cloudy, eventually causing blindness.
  • Heart Disease/Defects – irregular heart rhythm, valve malformation
  • Allergies – Flea saliva causes an allergic reaction. Allergens inhaled from the air: molds, dust mites, grass, and pollen. Food allergies. All of these allergies can have the same symptoms: tail-chasing, scratching, biting belly, legs and paws, sneezing and coughing, eye and nose discharges.
  • Ichthyosis – is a genetic skin disorder. skin is red and scaly. skin gets
    Ichthyosis
    Paws covered with ICHTHYOSIS

    itchy and sore and flakes off.

  • Cerebellar Ataxia – genetic disorder that doesn’t usually show in pit bulls until the ages of 2-6 years old. It affects the dog’s ability to balance. It causes premature aging and death of cells in the part of the brain that controls coordination.
  • Parvo – is a viral disease that is very contagious and can be fatal. It causes inflammation of the stomach and intestines. Signs of parvo are: diarrhea (can be bloody), vomiting, fever, lethargy, loss of appetite.
  • Cleft Lip or Palate – Birth defects that occur during pregnancy. The
    Cleft Lip/Palate
    Beautiful CLEFT LIP/PALATE pit bull puppy.

    puppy’s mouth or lip does not develop properly.

  • Babesia Infections – Babesia are transmitted mostly by ticks. Babesia are parasites that attack the red blood cells. Symptoms: lethargy, weakness, fever, red or orange urine, jaundice, pale gums and tongue, enlarged spleen, swollen lymph nodes.
  • Deafness – Is usually associated with a white coat. The puppy’s hearing loss usually occurs by 3-4 weeks of age. Deafness can also be caused by infection, trauma, blockage, or poison.

Treatments

There are ways to help prevent some of the above health issues. Schedule regular vet check ups. Feed your pit bull a proper diet and make sure he gets the right amount of exercise.

  • Hip Dysplasia Treatment
    HIP DYSPLASIA treatment.

    Hip Dysplasia – weight control, physical therapy and swimming to help build muscle, pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs, based on the age of the dog there are different surgical options.

  • Thyroid Disease – Diet changes may be made. If thyroid levels are too low, then a hormone medication could be given. If thyroid levels are too high, then an anti-thyroid medication could be given as well as, radioactive iodine or chemotherapy.
  • Bladder Stones – A low-purine diet can help prevent bladder stones. Sometimes surgery is needed to remove the stones. Other times the vet can perform an urohyfropropulsion, where they place a urinary catheter and flush out the bladder with sterile saline.
  • Knee Problems – Maintain your dog’s proper weight. Keep your pittie active but no strenuous activities. Adding anti-inflammatory foods to your dog’s diet could be beneficial, and what dog doesn’t like ‘people’ food? Try to prevent slipping on floors. A knee brace may help your pit bull or supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin. But unfortunately sometimes pain medication and surgery are needed.
  • Skin Infections – Keep the area of and around the infection clean. Twice a day it should be disinfected with a diluted povidone iodine solution. If the infection is bad, your dog may need antibiotics.
  • Eye Problems – Sometimes eye drops applied several times a day is all that is needed. Other times eye surgery is needed.
  • Heart Disease/Defects – Manage your pit bull’s weight with limited activity so there isn’t too much stress put on the heart. There are medications that can help the heart correct irregular heart beats. There is also a surgery to correct a valve or to put in a pacemaker.
  • An Allergy TreatmentAllergies – Aloe vera can soothe the skin. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Apple cider vinegar, used as a rinse for paws, will help to remove pollen and other allergens from being outside. Coconut oil helps reduce allergic reactions to fleas. Start flea and tick control for all of your pets. A weekly bath can help rid your dog of allergens. Vacuum your home twice weekly and clean your pittie’s bedding once a week. Food changes may need to be made. And there are medications: allergy injections, benadryl cortisone.
  • Ichthyosis – This disease is highly un-treatable. But there are things that could alleviate symptoms a bit: medicated shampoos, fatty acid supplements, propylene glycol sprays, topical phytosphingosine (has anti-inflammatory properties).
  • Cerebellar Ataxia – There is no cure or treatment. Keep your pit bull as comfortable and as happy as you can for as long as you can.
  • Parvo – Prevention is key. Make sure your pit bull is up to date on shots. There are no drugs that can kill the virus. Antibiotics, IV fluids, and medicine to stop the vomiting are all needed to boost your pit bull’s immune system to help him fight the virus.
  • Cleft Lip/Palate – Cleft lips are usually only a ‘beauty’ concern. They don’t normally need to be repaired. Cleft palates should be operated on to repair them.
  • Babesia Infections – Dogs that heave survived may relapse. There is no vaccine for babesia. Your veterinarian will probably prescribe antibiotics and discuss any alternatives, such as blood transfusion, with you.
  • Deafness – There is no treatment or cure for a deaf dog. Your deaf pit bull just needs more patience from you.

 

Some of these health issues I had never heard of before I got my boy. Most of them he never had. My pittie had major skin problems though. And there was definitely going on with one of his right back leg. Unfortunately there wasn’t much that my vet could do at the time but recommend diet changes and aspirin. As far as his leg, there really wasn’t anything that I could have done to stop it… other than to not let him be a dog. He loved to run and play. It would have broken his spirit if I kept him from being himself. The skin issues? We never did figure it out. We tried different foods, medications, oils… The only thing that seemed to give him any relief was adding pumpkin to his kibble. After a week of pumpkin twice a day his skin seemed to not be as itchy. Though the itch never seemed to entirely go away.

Hopefully, if you see any odd behaviors in your pit bull, all of this information will give you a starting point. But please, if you do have any concerns about your pittie, talk to your veterinarian. The sooner a problem can be identified the better.

Raising A Pit Bull

Throughout my live I have had many different breeds of dogs. Training and caring for the dogs was never a challenge for me. I loved raising dogs. But none of the dogs that I’d had ever prepared me for raising a pit bull.

Ball of Energy

The pit bull puppy that chose me only a week into his little life wasBall of Energy nothing but energy. I had never met a dog so crazy happy. When I brought him home at 5 weeks old it was all I could do to keep up with him. Between the running, bouncing, getting into things and chewing on everything but his toys, I was exhausted. He would chew apart card bored boxes. Tennis balls didn’t last for more than 5 minutes. And I was afraid that he was going to leave ruts in the floors from all of his zoomies.

Potty Training

I’ve heard horror stories about potty training any breed of dog. I never had any potty training issues with any of the dogs that I raised. My pit bull was no exception. Sure he had accidents from time to time, and most of them were my fault. For months it seemed that I lived for potty time. As soon as he would wake up from a nap… out we would go. I tried to make sure to bring my boy out every 30 to 45 minutes and about 10 to 15 minutes after he ate or drank something. It definitley added up to a lot of outside time, but so few messes to clean up in the house.

Socialize, Socialize, Socialize

Socialize Your Pit BullThrough experience with other dog breeds, I learned that proper socialization is key. Since my boy was meant to be my support companion, and I was often times with friends who had children, my boy needed to be great around people. Since he was born into a house with a large family, he came to me with love for children. I brought him places where his love for children would shine. Although he pretty much liked everybody that he met. He would great anyone that we came across on our walks with a wagging tail and offer a paw for a shake. If he came across anybody sitting down he would climb onto their lap and cover their face in kisses. Young or old, my boy didn’t care, if you had a face he would kiss it.

Crate Training

I had never used a crate for anything other than to bring my dog to the vet. I learned real fast to use a crate with my pit bull. There were a lot of sleepless nights. My boy hated his crate and would cry all night. Eventually he learned that once it was day time he would be out of his crate and leaving the house with me. Once I said ‘it’s time for bed’, in his crate he would go.

I knew a head of time that there was going to be a change in my routine in Crate Trainingthe near future and that I would have to leave my boy home on certain days. I needed to start day time crate training. After almost a year of having him by my side everyday I had to start leaving him behind. It was a very difficult transition for both of us. I started by putting him in his crate for only 5 minutes at a time several times a day. In the crate, give him a treat, say good bye, walk out the door. As soon as the door closed behind me, he would start to cry. He would cry the entire 5 minutes, while I stood outside. Eventually I was able to leave him in his crate for longer and longer periods of time. It finally got to the point where he would not cry at all. I would leave the radio or TV on for him. He seemed to take comfort in the noise.

Positive Reinforcement

Through every stage of training and raising of my pit bull, I used positive reinforcement. There were many treats and words of praise, and gentle pats on his side. I received many head butts on my leg as if he was saying ‘good job’ to me. Or maybe he just wanted another treat.

Though there were some things that I couldn’t teach him, like how to play fetch, the one thing I didn’t have to teach him was how to love. My pit bull never hurt anyone. He was too gentle and kind. I don’t know if it was just his nature, but I like to think that I raised him right….