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Should You Let Pitbulls Play Fight? All The Do’s And Don’ts

Should You Let Pitbulls Play Fight? All The Do’s And Don’ts

Are you ready to find out if it is safe to let your furry friends engage in a little rough and tumble? 

Well, grab your snacks and settle in because we’re about to dive deep into the world of Pitties and play fighting. 

Today we will be exploring this majestic dog breed, their natural instincts, and all the do’s and don’ts in order to find the right answer to this ever-lasting question. 

So, whether you’re an experienced dog owner or simply a curious animal lover, you won’t want to miss this! Let’s get started and find out if you allow Pitbulls to play fight! 

Should You Let Pitbulls Play Fight?

two pit bulls are fighting on the sidewalk
Photo from: @harlowtheodore

As a breed, these pups are known for their energy, strength, and loyalty. But, they also have a bit of a “ruff” reputation. 

First off, it’s important to remember that there are different types of Pitties, and they are unique in their own way. This means that their size, behavior, and energy levels can vary. Some may be smaller, some larger, and some may be more energetic and playful, while others may be more laid-back.

While allowing play fighting in Pitbulls is generally a positive experience for both you and your pup, it comes with some very specific caveats. 

Let’s set the record straight and find out if play fighting is a good idea for Pitbulls! 

What Is Pitbull Play Fighting?

Pitbulls engage in play fighting with other dogs as this makes them feel happy and hyped! 

Gentle and innocent play fighting is a pawsitive experience for them, but it is important to make sure that it is done in a controlled and supervised environment.

Let’s have a quick chit chat about the canine “pack mentality” to understand this subject better. Dogs are pack animals and play fighting is a natural way for them to socialize and establish hierarchy within a group. 

So, it’s not necessarily a bad thing for dogs to play fight with other canines, as long as it’s done in a safe and controlled environment, such as a dog park or during a supervised playdate. 

You may notice younger dogs attacking older ones, chasing their tails, nibbling or licking each other’s ears, or even biting each other’s necks. 

Don’t fret, it is how they play. 

Pitbull Play Fighting Or Aggressive Behavior?

two pit bulls are lying on the bed and playing
Photo from: @arya_thepitbull_

Play fighting is when Pitbulls engage in mock combat, using their paws, mouths, and bodies to playfully chase, tackle and bite each other. It’s usually done with relaxed body language and the dogs will take turns being the “aggressor” and the “victim.” 

Tag-like chasing is another pawsitive sign of play fighting! The dog may chase the other dog or its owner, often tagging them and then running away to initiate a playful chase.

You will see the signs of playfulness such as a wagging tail, relaxed body language, perked up ears, and relaxed facial expressions. 

Another thing you will notice is the signature “play bow” which is when your pup lowers their front end and brings his bum up! It’s like he’s saying “Let’s play!”

But, as with everything, too much of anything can be really bad, and play fighting can turn into aggression very quickly.

Aggressive behavior, on the other hand, is when these dogs act out of hostility or dominance, using their strength and teeth to assert their dominance over other dogs or animals. They may growl, snap, show their teeth or bite with the intent to harm.

That said, if you notice any signs of aggression, such as growling or biting, it’s best to separate the dogs. Both you and other owners have to make sure that all dogs involved are well-socialized, friendly, and healthy.

Oh and, pay attention to the size and breed of the dogs involved in play fighting. Some breeds may be more prone to aggression and it’s important to be aware of this and supervise the play accordingly. 

Unfortunately, due to their breeding history and year-long involvement in dog fighting and other nasty events, these pups have acquired a bad reputation. But, we all know that Pitties are some of the most gentle and clingy dogs out there!

Play Fighting With Dogs And Other Animals

The behavior of both male and female Pitties when meeting new canines can be different compared to when they are play fighting with friends.

When they meet new canines, it’s important to introduce them slowly and in a controlled environment. This allows the dogs to get to know each other and establish a relationship without the pressure of a play session. 

It’s also important to pay attention to the body language of both dogs to ensure that they are comfortable and not showing any signs of aggression.

On the other hand, when Pits play fight with friends, they have already established a relationship and have a clear understanding of boundaries and acceptable behavior. In this case, play fighting can be a normal and healthy activity as long as it’s supervised and the dogs are socialized and friendly.

It is not recommended to let these dogs play fight with kids or cats. These pooches are strong and energetic, and their play can be rough and may accidentally end up causing harm to a smaller or more fragile animal or person. 

Remember, Pitbull dogs can have a strong prey drive and may see small animals such as cats as prey rather than playmates.

Should I Encourage My Pitbull To Play Fight?

two pit bulls are playing in the house
Photo from: @adventures_of_gatsby_the_blue

First off, it’s important to remember that play fighting is a natural and healthy behavior for all dogs. It simply allows them to burn off energy, bond with their owners and other dogs, and practice their social skills.

However, before you “unleash” your Pit’s play fighting side, there are a few things to keep in mind. Supervising, socialization, and training are the most important things to consider in order to avoid aggressive behavior. 

A well-trained and socialized Pittie will be more likely to understand the rules of play and be able to control their bite and strength during playtime.

When it comes to finding playmates, it is best to seek out other friendly and outgoing dogs for them to play with. Avoid playdates with dogs that are known to be aggressive or overly dominant, as this could lead to big trouble.

So, to pawsitively answer the question, yes, you can and should encourage your Pitbull to play fight, as long as it’s done safely and responsibly. 

Should I Punish Aggressive Behavior In Pitbulls?

Pawsitively not! 

When it comes to dealing with aggressive behavior in Pitbulls, and other dog breeds, punishment is not the way to go. It’s important to remember this type of canine behavior is often a symptom of a deeper issue, such as fear, separation anxiety, or lack of training and socialization. 

So, instead of punishing your Pittie for bad behavior, it is better to dig deeper and try to understand the root cause. 

It’s also important to remember that these dogs are individuals and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to addressing aggressive behavior. What works for one Pit may not work for another, so it is best to consult a professional dog trainer if you stumble upon a dead end.

When it comes to addressing aggressive behavior, positive reinforcement training techniques are often more effective than punishment.

Try teaching them a new trick or voice command, such as “speak” or “roll over”, which will give them something else to focus on.

If you notice aggressive behavior during playtime, it is best to distract your pup with his favorite chew toy, separate him from other dogs, or even put him in “time out”. You can also use a “time-in” technique, where you can set aside a specific time of the day for quality playtime, where you can supervise and encourage appropriate play behavior.

Make sure to do this straight after your dog has shown aggression towards another, so that he knows what he did was wrong. 

It’s also important to provide your Pittie with plenty of exercises, mental stimulation, and socialization, because a tired and mentally stimulated pooch is less likely to act out aggressively.

To Sum It Up

I think that we’ve reached a pawsitive conclusion of our journey on Pittie play fighting! And the answer is a ruffin’ good one! 

So, should you let Pitbulls playfight? Yes, these pups can and should play fight, as long as it’s done safely and responsibly.

They are not naturally aggressive, and play fighting is a natural and healthy behavior for them.

But it’s important to supervise playtime to ensure that it stays playful and doesn’t escalate into aggressive behavior. 

Proper training, socialization, and attention are key to having a happy and well-behaved pooch!  After all, a tired Pit is a good Pit, and a happy dog surely makes an amazing addition to any household! 

So don’t be afraid to let your pup play, just make sure to keep an eye on him and keep the doggie fun going!