Introducing a Pit Bull to Your children
A common misconception about Pit Bulls and children is that they are incompatible. This misconception has even caused some quite dedicated Pit Bull owners to give their Pit Bulls away when a new baby arrives home, from a fear that their Pit Bull may possibly harm the new baby. On the other hand, there are many Pit Bull owners who excitedly bring their baby home without any concern about the infant's safety around their Pit Bull. Neither response is accurate or reliable. Although it is a fact that dogs - any dogs - can hurt babies, it is also true that they can be protective of babies. How you introduce your baby to your Pit Bull could make a major difference to how well the dog will act around your baby.
Generally speaking, Pit Bulls and children have a special connection. Pit Bulls and children get along well, and Pit Bulls often feel very protective of the kids. In fact, the Pit Bull's close relative, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is nicknamed "the nanny dog" in England because it has been known to act as a babysitter for the family children. Many a Pit Bull has been known to save a child's life. Unfortunately, many Pit bulls have also been known to harm a child. Some Pit Bulls may be suspicious of children. This is because your Pit Bull may not understand what kids are, or because they have had bad experiences with them. When you introduce Pit Bulls and children, do it very carefully. Advise your child to be gentle and offer your Pit Bull a treat. Never allow young children to sit on the dog, pull his ears, hair, or tail. Tell them not to run from the dog, scream sharply around him, stare at him, or hurt him. Never allow your kids to pick on your Pit Bull. Here are other things that you should keep in mind before you bring a baby and a Pit Bull together:
1. Before you introduce the baby to the Pit Bull, the dog should already be fully trained on how to "stay," "sit," and "lie down" on command.
2. Make sure that the Pit Bull is secured on his leash the first time that you introduce him to the baby. You can muzzle the dog if you are still uncomfortable with the leash. The problem with this is that you do not want him to associate muzzling with the baby. The dog should already be familiar with the having the muzzle on before meeting the baby.
3. Keep the Pit Bull away from the baby during the baby's first few days at home. Let your dog get familiar with the smell and sound of the baby. You need to be very careful during this time because some dogs may not comprehend that you have a new small human in the house and not a "prey animal".
4. Have your Pit Bull sit and stay before you bring the baby to the room and then reward the dog for staying. Move the baby closer to the dog while rewarding him for his good behavior. Once you are secure about the dog's comfort level, allow him to sniff the baby. But remember, you should never leave the Pit Bull (or any dog) and baby alone together during the baby's first few weeks at home.
Information on Curbing Dog Aggression