As pit bull owners, we feel that the best way to combat negative perceptions of the breed is to have a well-trained, well-socialized and well-behaved pet. We abide by a number of principles we feel all dog owners should follow to ensure that dogs are polite and valued members of our community.

  • Do not support irresponsible breeding. We are advocates of rescue and adoption, but we do support responsible breeders who put the health and well-being of their dogs before profit. Sadly, puppy mills and backyard breeders are rampant and it takes careful research to ensure you are purchasing a healthy puppy – and supporting a humane and legitimate breeder. Visit No Puppy Mills to learn more.
  • Train your dog. Stanley Coren, a professor at the University of British Columbia, states that a dog who has completed a basic obedience class is 89% less likely to be involved in a bite incident. A dog that is taught to channel his energy, intelligence and focus in a positive direction, and given a job to do (even if that job is to focus and listen to a handler), will be a pleasure to be around. When any temperament or behavioural issues arise, a responsible owner will seek training advice immediately.
  • Be a good citizen. Obey animal control bylaws: clean up after your pet, respect private and city leash laws, and know your dog’s limits. Even in off-leash zones, don’t let your dog loose unless his recall is solid and you can be confident that a distraction won’t cause him to leave you behind. Until you reach that point (and it can take months or years), there are plenty of ways to exercise your dog on-leash or in contained areas like tennis courts.
  • Spay or neuter your pet. Shelters see too many pregnant momma dogs and abandoned puppies. Sometimes pregnancies are accidental, but more often it is a “backyard breeder” who thought it would be fun, educational, or profitable to breed their dog. In reality, it is none of those things – raising puppies properly will always be more work and expense than an unregistered litter of puppies will ever yield.
  • Provide for your dog’s physical, mental and emotional needs. A dog requires daily exercise and interaction, as well as appropriate food, water, and shelter – a commitment that needs to be honoured over the course of its 10-15 year lifetime.

We recommend that you consider the Canine Good Neighbour (CGN) test as a goal for your training program. The test is a Canadian Kennel Club designation, awarded after a dog successfully navigates 12 challenges she may face in an urban environment – being approached by strangers, passed by other dogs, faced with distractions, and many more. It is a great way to show that you are serious about responsible dog ownership and training your pet be the best community member he can be. HugABull hosts CGN evaluation sessions throughout the year – contact us at to find out when the next session is being held.

Citizen Canine in Victoria has some wonderful resources on responsible ownership and the CGN. Read their description of responsible dog ownership to share with others.