While all dogs are faithful, Pitbull Terriers are especially known for constantly walking in their owner’s shadow. They are a true people-dog who adore any and all attention. They have been bred as companion dogs so their clingy nature it something all Pitbull owners can identify with.
But how much attention will a Pitbull need, and why exactly are Pitbulls so clingy? Let’s take a closer look…
Why is my Pitbull so clingy? Pitbulls are renowned as having a clingy nature due to how they have been bred; as dogs designed for human companionship in more modern times. Because of this, Pitbull Terriers will follow their owners everywhere and are prone to suffering with separation anxiety.
If you don’t think you can handle this neediness, a Pitbull Terrier really isn’t the dog for you. They will constantly need you to be in close attention, so won’t suit someone with a busy lifestyle you cannot give the Pitbull the attention it needs.
They are also high in energy and need to be active a lot of the time… it can take some time until they calm down from being puppies.
If this is going to annoy you, look at different smaller dog breeds that are known to be more independent such as Beagles, Cairn Terriers, Jack Russells, Miniature Pinschers, and Scottish Terriers.
Do Pitbulls require a lot of attention?
Because of their clingy nature, Pitbulls are rather manic dogs and are also rather susceptible to separation anxiety, meaning that they dislike being left at home for even short periods of time. Here’s a list of things you might not be able to do due to how much attention Pitbulls need:
- You might not be able to leave the house.
- You might not be able to shut them in a room when the doorbell goes.
- You might not be able to cuddle your partner or kids.
- You might not be able to go to the toilet without them barking and scratching at the door.
- You might not be able to go to work from 9 to 5 without doggy daycare help.
- You might not be able to leave them in the car for a few minutes when you run in a store.
However, because of their medium size they are also easy to take with you. Leaving your Pitbull at home on its own for a long period of time can lead to destructive behaviour, either from anxiety or boredom.
If you have things like work commitments, or a life so busy that you can’t give the Pitbull the attention it needs then don’t get one. The other alternative is to possibly think about getting more than one Pitbull… many owners say Pitbulls are better in pairs.
The bottom line is this; Pitbulls require a lot of attention and if you can’t give them that it could not only impact on their mental health, but also cause you untold problems around your home.
Do Pitbulls get attached to one person?
In many cases, Pitbulls do become attached to just the one person. Their chief care giver will become the focus on their world and can result in clingy behavior, and sometimes even aggression towards others.
However, this isn’t a blanket rule by any stretch, but compared to other dog breeds, Pitbulls do tend to be very clingy towards just one person.
My Pitbull has just started getting more clingy than usual
Whilst the majority of Pitbulls have a large degree of clinginess, sometimes the clingy behaviour can accelerate and become more intense than usual.
There are some common reasons for this including:
- A change in your behavior: for example, if you have started a new job or have changed the times you come in and out of the house.
- A new person in the house: Pitbulls have known to become clingier when a new arrival comes into the house. That could be a baby, a visitor, or a new partner who takes the attention away from them.
- A change to their environment: if you move to a new house, or even move their bed into a new room, this could trigger your Pitbull’s anxiety, making them even more needy than before.
- A change in their health: other aspects that make your Pitbull more clingy than usual can be their own health. For example, if their eyesight or hearing has started to reduce, and they get scared.
- A sudden noise or act of aggression: classic Pitbull neediness can be triggered by the stress of fireworks or an aggressive interaction they have had with another dog.
- A lack of mental stimulation: all dogs like to play, and if your Pitbull doesn’t have enough toys, he could become more needy and clingy around you.
- A case of separation anxiety: Pitbulls cannot be left alone for longer than an hour or two. Any more than that and they could develop separation anxiety, but more about that in a moment.
What does Pitbull separation anxiety look like?
These factors above all come into play with separation anxiety. Pitbulls should not be left alone for hours, as they simply won’t be able to cope with the stress.
The signs below are classic signals to look out for if your Pitbull is suffering separation anxiety:
- Urinating and defecating in a new place (here’s how to retrain them).
- Pacing, heavy panting, and drooling.
- Barking and howling more than usual.
- Digging your garden, chewing your stuff, and being destructive.
- Trying to escape the yard or house – like under or over fences.
You can reduce your Pitbull’s separation anxiety when you leave your home by adopting the following routines:
- Always stay calm and put them at ease.
- Don’t make a big thing of it when you leave the house.
- Build them a safe and comfortable place to sleep in.
- Only leave the house for short absences at first.
- Use positive reinforcement.
- Keep your Pitbull happy and entertained with toys.
- Keep your Pitbull well exercised to burn off excess energy.
- Employ a dog walker or doggy day care if you are away for a few hours.
- Speak with your vet for professional advice and possible medication.
Check if your Pitbull is happy (and smiling)
If you still not sure whether your Pitbull is happy or not, then you might want to check out other signs to look out for.
If you want a dog that doesn’t require constant attention, a Pitbull really isn’t for you. They are renowned as being clingy and needy and cannot be left alone at home.
However, if it’s a side by side companion you want who will be your life partner until the end, a Pitbull is a great choice.
But before you do jump in and buy one, please do your research first. Pitbulls are renowned for suffering with a range of health issues, some of which I’ve detailed in the blog posts below.