People that are unfamiliar with Pitbulls often have many misconceptions. Typically they believe what they have seen in the media where Pitbulls are portrayed as mean, vicious and dangerous dogs. Rarely do they get a glimpse into the affectionate, loving, and cuddly nature of the Pitbull.
Are Pitbulls affectionate? On average the Pitbull is one of the most affectionate, loving, and cuddly dogs you will meet. The Pitbull is an incredible family companion that bonds strongly with their family and is especially gentle and affectionate with children. This affection is built into Pitbulls DNA.
Ask any Pitbull owner and they will tell you how loving and affectionate their dog can be. As an owner of 2 Pitbull type dogs, and as someone who has worked with countless Pitbulls over the years, I can tell you they are overflowing with affection.
In this post I will go over some of the reasons why Pitbulls are so affectionate and some of the ways they show affection. Let’s dig in.
Why Are Pitbulls So Affectionate, Cuddly And Clingy?
One of the primary reasons that Pitbulls are so cuddly, affectionate, and at times clingy is due to their history. In the early days of the Pitbull they were used in many horrific sports such as bull baiting and dog fighting. As a result handlers of these dogs needed their Pitbulls to be undeniably human friendly.
During these bloodsports Pitbull handlers would oftentimes need to intervene to end matches. This meant that they needed to be able to pull their dogs off the opponent with no fear of the dog turning on them. Even a minor sign of aggression towards humans was met with that Pitbull being culled and never bred.
As horrible as these early days of the Pitbull were, they did produce one of the most loyal, loving, and human oriented breeds of dogs. The Pitbull was not only kept by owners for fighting, but as a companion animal among the family. As a result the Pitbull has human friendly behavior built into their DNA.
Once pit fighting and bull baiting sports were made illegal the Pitbull became primarily a family companion and working dog. As the breed evolved over the years this affectionate and loving nature was cultivated to become one of the trademarks of Pitbulls.
“The APBT is not the best choice for a guard dog since they are extremely friendly, even with strangers. Aggressive behavior toward humans is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable.”United Kennel Club
Do Pitbulls Have A Favorite Person?
Pitbulls as a general rule will have a favorite person within the family. Though they are loving, affectionate, and loyal to all family members. Typically the one family member that shows the greatest leadership, care and attention for the dog will be favored. This can be hard to discern in some cases, and be blatantly obvious in other cases.
Regardless of which family member is deemed the favorite, the loyal nature of your Pitbull will extend to everyone. The Pitbull responds very well to calm, assertive, and positive leadership. Even if you are not the favorite person, your Pitbull will respond and respect this type of leadership from everyone.
How Do Pit Bulls Show Affection?
There are several ways that Pit Bulls show affection. Everything from physical contact, to specific sounds, gestures, and gift giving can be a display of affection. Some of these loving behaviors can be bad or unwanted behaviors, so it is important to teach your Pitbull what is appropriate affection, and what is not.
These are just some of the ways a Pitbull will show affection to someone.
Leaning And Laying On You
Physical contact is one of the main ways a Pitbull will show affection. Laying on your feet, legs, and even chest when given the chance. Leaning is also a popular Pitbull affection move. Any sort of gentle contact is an obvious sign that your Pitbull loves and cares about you. They just generally love getting as close to you as possible.
Giving You Lots Of Affectionate Kisses
One of the reasons a Pitbull will lick you is to display affection. Though there can be a variety of other reasons, generally licking is a natural behavior to show love and affection towards you. This behavior is a way to welcome you and provide security and comfort much like a mother Pitbull will lick her puppies.
Jumping For Joy
Excited behavior such as jumping up, or jumping up on you is a sign of affection from a Pitbull. This is one of those behaviors that many would deem inappropriate. As much as you enjoy the fact that your dog is happy to see you, jumping up is not good manners.
Teaching your Pitbull to not jump when they are happy to see you should be done in a positive manner. You don’t want your dog to learn not to be happy to see you, but just that you prefer other ways of displaying affection. Show your dog how to properly greet you and others without jumping up.
Bringing You A Favorite Toy
Pitbulls are great gift givers when they are happy to see someone. One of the ways a Pitbull will show how happy they are to see someone is by bringing them a favorite toy or item. My dogs always show their favorite toy when a visitor arrives they are happy to see. This behavior shows a wanting to play and engage with that person.
Affectionate Pibble Nibbles
The famous Pibble Nibble is a behavior that some Pitbulls will display with people they love and care for. There are a number of reasons why Pitbulls will do this gentle gnawing of clothing or skin on a person, and one of those is affection.
The Pibble Nibble is believed to be a loving gesture of happiness and mimics grooming that mothers and littermates will display as puppies. Getting a Pibble Nibble is usually a good sign that a Pitbull is very fond of you.
Sighs Of Content
A sigh of contentment is one of my favorite ways my dogs show affection. These loud sighs will happen when a Pitbull is curled up close to, or even on a person. The sigh is a sign of relaxation, contentment, and general comfort with their surroundings.
When a Pitbull lets out a big sigh when lying close to you, they are showing how much they love their current situation.
Give Me Belly Rubs!
One of the most trusting moves a dog will perform is showing you their belly. Not only is this a sign of submission, but a love and trusting display of affection. Pitbulls love belly rubs from those people they love and care about.
My dogs will show me their belly from across the room sometimes just to get in a good rub and some quality affection time with me. When you have a Pitbull show you their belly, it’s best to oblige them and share the love.
Bum Wiggles and Wags
The nickname I have for my dogs are Mr & Mrs Wiggles. Pitbulls don’t have just a normal tail wag when they see someone they love, they have a whole body wiggle starting from their butts to their heads. The Pibble wiggle is a display of affection that is too cute for words. Joy, love, excitement, and affection all bottled up into a big wiggle bottom dance.
Having A Pitbull Shadow
Why does my Pitbull follow me everywhere? As a whole this behavior is because they love you and want to be around you as much as possible. Pitbulls bond very strongly to members of their family and want to be with them at all times.
This behavior can be an adorable sign of affection, but it can also become clingy, annoying, dangerous, and potentially neurotic behaviors. Establishing boundaries with your Pitbull is important. They will need to learn to spend some time alone comfortably without being at your feet all day.
This behavior can be a sign of separation anxiety which can lead to many destructive behaviors. Proper training to avoid this from developing is a must.
Pitbulls that follow you around to places like the kitchen can be dangerous as well. Sharp objects, hot foods, and tripping hazards such as your dog are not a good mix. Establish areas and times when your Pitbull needs to be out of the way and in a safe area.
Pitbulls have many ways to show affection and this list is just a few of the common ones. Anyone that has met a Pitbull raised in a loving home can confirm what a wonderful family companion they are.
Give your Pitbull the loving, caring, calm home with the right kind of leadership. In return you will have one of the most affectionate, loyal, loving, and gentle family dogs. The care and cuddles you give will be returned tenfold in affection by a Pitbull.
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