Are Pit Bulls Loyal to Their Owners?

Loyalty can be described as a sense of duty or of devoted attachment to something or someone. 

When someone or something is loyal, he develops a strong emotional attachment to those around him. That’s precisely what you want in a four-legged companion. 

So, are Pit Bulls loyal? Absolutely!

There are a lot of misconceptions and half-truths about this dog breed. Some people say they’re dangerous dogs responsible for fatal attacks. Others view Pit Bulls as loyal companions, unlikely to hurt a fly.

So let’s delve into the subject and separate fact from fiction.

Nurturing their loyalty

a woman hugging her pit bull


Although the American Kennel Club describes the breed as stubborn and strong-willed, they also use terms like loyal, clownish, obedient, gentle, and courageous when describing their temperament.

And it’s those enduring qualities of affection and loyalty that pet owners should try to nurture and develop.

This comes with a lot of training.

So if you’re planning on welcoming one of these beautiful dogs to your family, try to adopt one from young - a puppy if possible. This will allow you to form a strong bond with your dog that will develop over the years.

Training can start as early as 8 weeks; at this early age, a pup can already learn to sit, wait, and respond to basic commands like fetch.

As your pup grows older, make sure to socialize him well with other dogs and humans. Take him for a walk in the park every other day or employ a dog walker to do it for you if you don't have time for it.

a pit bull wearing a harness from Sparkpaws

The more time your dog spends with other people, the better he’ll cope with stressful situations, believe it or not.

You also need to set up a good routine. This includes feeding him at the same time every day and playing with him regularly. 

When dogs feel their owners love them and don’t neglect them, they will show loyalty when it matters most.

How do they compare with other dog breeds?

While Pit Bulls are very loyal dogs, they certainly aren’t the only breed to show this admirable quality.

In fact, most working or service dogs are known for their loyalty. These breeds include the German Shephard, Bulldog, Golden retriever, and Beagle.

However, Pit Bulls display more loyalty to their owners than other dogs because of their bravery. Where some dog breeds will be loyal to their owners but perhaps hesitate to show their courage, Pit Bulls excel at taking a stand for their dog dads or moms.

Examples of Pit Bull loyalty

Many stories on the internet show just how loyal these dogs can be, Here are a few examples:

Lilly, the Fearless and Loyal Companion

 lilly the hero pit bull


Lilly was a female Pit Bull that was adopted from a shelter and served as a loyal companion to her owner, Christine Spain.

One afternoon Christine and Lilly were walking close to the train tracks on their way home when Christine fell down and passed out on the tracks.

Sensing the oncoming danger of a freight train, Lilly pulled on Christine with all her might, managing to get her out of harm's way.

Unfortunately, Lilly was hit by the train and lost her front leg due to her injuries. People around the world see Lilly as a hero, and rightly so.

Lilly’s example shows how loyal Pit Bulls can be, even if it comes at a cost to themselves.

Diamond, the Firefighting Pitty

One October night in 2010, Diamonds owner Darryl was woken up by loud and persistent barking. It seemed as though Diamond was trying to alert him to something...

Darryl and his two daughters were fast asleep in their two-story apartment in Hayward, California. They didn’t notice that their apartment had caught on fire, but fortunately, their loyal Pit Bull did.

Diamond woke Darryl up, who immediately grabbed hold of his 9-year-old daughter and fled to safety from the second-story window. 

Unfortunately, Darryl couldn’t find his 16-year-old daughter. As it turns out, she was hiding under a mattress in her dad's room, too afraid to move.

Diamond, however, did find her. And she stuck with Sierra until firefighters could locate them. Diamond shielded the girl from the flames as much as she could and, in doing so, saved her life.

After the ordeal, Diamond and her human family were all treated for severe burns and smoke inhalation.

His bravery was later recognized by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Los Angeles and he was awarded the National Hero Dog Award.

But Aren’t Pit Bulls Dangerous?

Like other breeds, Pit Bulls can become very frustrated if they aren’t cared for. 

And a frustrated dog is a dangerous dog. They have a strong stature and a formidable bite force. In fact, they have a cruel reputation for being good fighting dogs.

Some dog owners encourage aggressive behavior in Pit Bulls by training them to fight any other dog they encounter.

And considering their breed history, it’s easy to understand why they’re good at fighting. Pit Bulls were bred for bull baiting.

It involved matching a Pit Bull up against a bull tied to a stake. The result was usually a bloody battle that caused great harm to both animals. 

Fortunately, this cruel sport is outlawed. But the breed's reputation is hard to shake off, and many people judge Pit Bulls without knowing their personalities.

The truth is that they’re extremely loving and caring pets. They do whatever they can to make their owners happy and are more likely to smother you with hugs and dog kisses than anything else.

It all comes down to the training and affection they’re shown from a young age.

Training your Adult Pit Bull to Become More Loyal

a lady kissing a happy pit bull


Positive reinforcement is a powerful training tool that can help build a strong bond between a Pit Bull and its owner. 

By rewarding good behavior with treats, praise, or other rewards, the dog learns to associate good behavior with positive outcomes. 

This not only strengthens the dog's obedience but also increases its motivation to please its owner. 

Additionally, positive reinforcement can help build trust and confidence in the Pit Bull, leading to a more loyal and affectionate relationship.

Do Pit Bulls Stay Loyal to Just One Person?

Pit Bulls are generally known for their friendly and affectionate nature towards their owners. However, like any other breed, their level of loyalty can vary depending on various factors such as training, socialization, and the individual dog's personality. 

Some develop a strong bond with one person, while others may be more social and friendly with everyone they meet. 

It's important to remember that Pit Bulls, like all dogs, are individuals and their behavior cannot be generalized based solely on their breed. With proper training, socialization, and care, Pit Bulls can make great pets and loyal companions to one person or a whole family.

Are Pit Bulls The Best Guard Dogs?

a serious pit bull


If you own a Pit Bull, you’re likely considering it as a guard dog to look after your property.

And there’s a good reason for this. Many Pit Bulls display a natural protective instinct for their territory. They can turn from loving dogs to aggressive attack dogs in an instant.

But the truth is - Pit Bulls aren’t the best guard dogs. They are extremely affectionate dogs and tend to greet most strangers with a wagging tail.

Some pet parents have even jokingly said that their dogs have no chance of helping out during a home invasion. 

A Final Thought

Pit bulls have gained a reputation for being aggressive and dangerous due to their history of being used in dog fighting. 

However, as we’ve seen, they can be loving and affectionate family pets that form strong bonds with their owners and will protect them with their lives. 

With proper training, socialization, and care, Pit Bulls can make wonderful pets and loyal companions. It is important to remember that breed-specific stereotypes and generalizations are not accurate and that each dog is an individual with its own unique personality and behavior. 

By educating ourselves and treating all dogs with kindness and respect, we can help to change the negative perception of this breed and give them the recognition they deserve as loyal and loving pets.

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