Is Pitbull a good Service Dog? A balanced view

It might be shocking to many to see a Pitbull Service dog. Pitbulls are considered aggressive due to their past history and some negative media coverage.

Let us look at the reasons why he is a good service and why he is not the best for this job.

Can Pitbull be a good service dog?

Yes, Pitbull can be a good Service dog provided he is well trained and socialized to do the same.

A dog’s nature and temperament are not restricted to its genetic composition or his past history.

Temperament relies heavily upon the environment and lifestyle he is raised in. How he is trained and disciplined also plays a major factor in his character and behavior.

A rough and cruel upbringing can shape a Pitbull into a bully or even worse, a danger. Even today, the stigma surrounding the Pitbull dog breeds still exists among people.

Some states in the USA prohibit Pitbull as a pet in some neighbourhoods. If you wish to get one as a family pet, you will have to look at state laws. These laws vary from state to state.

However, the new “Fair Housing Act” allows individuals who are diagnosed with a mental or emotional disability to keep a Pitbull regardless of restrictions.

This law allows the owner of a Pitbull to be along with him as long as he has the paperwork to show that the dog is an Emotional Support Dog. You need to make sure he is well trained and is under your control and not a danger to society.

Reasons why Pitbull is not the best choice as a Service dog?

Let us also look at the other side. Below are a few reasons why Pit is not the best option as a Service Dog.

  1. Pit has the characteristics of a Terrier which can make their training difficult.
  2. It takes a long time and effort to invest to know if training has made him a good service dog. If after a year or two, he is still aggressive, the time and effort go in vain.
  3. There are many better and popular options like a Labrador or a Golden Retriever who are more docile and easier to train with less aggressive traits.

Why do people think Pitbull cannot be a good Service Dog?

Like many other popular breeds, Pitbull was also developed by crossing two dogs English Bulldog and Terrier.

Idea was to get the strength of the English Bulldog and the agility of Terrier to be used in the bull-baiting games that were prevalent in the UK.  

Due to this, he gained the reputation of a fierce and unpredictable dog. People refused to eliminate this misconception and could not think better of them.

Is it true? No!

While they do have a high prey drive, they are also great companion dogs provided they can be trained and socialized well.

A dog is only as good as its master. The dog inherits the same personality as his master and some bad owners train them to be aggressive.

Discipline and training can make Pitbull into quite a smart, non-aggressive, family pet. But when a task is distributed to him, training will make him effective in satisfying the requirements.

With this new mindset, people have begun to take this matter seriously. Several Pitbull dog associations across America like have started training these dogs with all their efforts.

This will hopefully change the thoughts and feelings towards this misunderstood dog breed. People will then open to the thought of having a Pitbull as a service dog.

Pitbull Service Dog

What qualities make Pitbull suitable as a service dog?

Becoming a service dog requires a large amount of effort and training. Once he gets this, Pitbull dedicates the rest of his life to serving the people.

  • Pitbulls are well built powerful dogs, coupled with intelligence and a sharp mind. This makes them suitable as good police dogs. Training must begin as soon as possible to instill these effective skills in them.
  • The Pitbull is smart and has a sixth sense by knowing if something is not right. They can sense a person suffering from a medical emergency and can alert someone for help.
  • It is a strong, muscular dog that can pull a wheelchair with training. This is useful for people with mobility problems.
  • When it comes to protecting, a Pitbull has natural aggression. Army personnel can spend time directing these natural instincts in a way that benefits security forces.
  • Some rehabilitated Pitbull (rescued from dogfighting) can relate to people who have also experienced trauma. This applies to army veterans, firefighters, and police officers. Their ability to understand emotions is an asset.

Types of Pitbull service dogs

Based on their character, agility, and build a role is given to each Pitbull. All these roles still require hours of intense training with a human professional. Here are five areas where Pitbull service dogs are useful.

Pitbull as Police/military dogs (Sniffer/chaser dogs)

These dogs thrive on being active and enjoy having a purpose and routine in their lives. Pitbull can be trained as a service dog in various departments of safety forces. This includes police and military departments.

The police need dogs to complete duties that humankind cannot do. Some activities like running are best left to our canine friends.

The dogs must undergo an intense training course along with the handlers. The dog and the handler must bond well as their success is based on this.

Using their impeccable smelling capabilities dogs are unmatched by any technology. These canines are used to find explosives, firearms, ammunition, or drugs.

Drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, and many other illegal drugs can be sniffed out. They greatly help the fight against drugs and drug smuggling.

They can be used to sniff out suspected terrorists’ hideouts or drug dealers’ dens. Their noses can be refined to pinpoint any substance making them a critical part of police searches.

Pitbull as Attack dogs

These dogs have a naturally muscular body and know how to fight. They can be trained to direct this brute force to subdue criminals. By tackling these suspects to the ground, they assist the police.

Pitbull in rescue services

As mentioned, Pitbull can smell even the faintest smell with their nose. This in combination with hearing is an asset in rescue situations.

After earthquakes, cyclones, and other natural catastrophes, the Pitbull rescue dog can help find survivors buried under rubble.

In cases of life and death, the speed of the Pitbull can save lives. People may not be fast enough to find survivors in time.

Therefore, these skilled animals are part of rescue missions throughout the world. Utilizing their natural senses has become normal or we should say essential for humans.

Dual-purpose Pitbull

These are patrol dogs, guard dogs, skilled in the art of tracking while on or off a leash. By giving them a smell of clothing, they can search a building for clues.

They are used for finding missing persons. You can also spot a Pitbull service dog sniffing luggage at airports. This is to find illegal smuggling of drugs and money.

Pitbull for Therapy/guide dogs

Therapy dogs are trained to work with people with special needs, for example; physical handicaps.

These dogs (elderly Pitbull dogs) visit the hospitals, old age homes, even cancer patients to allow them to destress while petting the animal. This also helps people with anxiety and other diseases.

Deaf people can have dogs that can alert them to sounds of people around them or the ringing of a door bell, even a call from their mobile phone.

Elderly people who live alone can benefit by having a companion dog. They can call for help when a situation arises. They can even be trained to fetch medications for their owner who suffers from a heath condition.

Their most important role is as a companion dog, to comfort people and remove any feelings of loneliness. This also applies to single people who hate coming home to an empty house.

You should also keep in mind that they are trained for one specific purpose and cannot change their role.

Here are a few interesting posts on Pitbull that you might be interested in

  1. How big do Pitbull get? Height, weight & info of pitbull mix
  2. Pitbull with cropped ears – Is it safe and healthy?
  3. White, Black or Grey Pitbull with blue eyes