Finding a Pitbull kennel to board your pet while you travel can be a tricky business. Get some tips on how to find one, as well as a few options in case you can't.
Pitbull Kennel Boarding
If you think owning a Pitbull is tough in this day and age, imagine trying to find a boarding kennel to leave your pet in when you want to take a vacation. Be forewarned, you're going to hear a lot of "No's" before someone finally says, "Yes, we accept Pitbulls."
It's nearly impossible to be unaware of the publicity surrounding this breed, even if you don't own one. The media bombards the public with stories of dog fighting rings and other incidents of aggression involving Pitbulls, but has little to say about the thousands of Pits who are members of loving, stable family homes.
This bad press has contributed to the aura of fear that surrounds the breed. Pits have been deemed anywhere from "merely undependable" to "downright vicious", but the truth of the matter is environment and training have a strong influence on any canine's temperament.
Let's take a moment to discuss the average Pitbull personality.
First, Pitbulls are strong characters who can be stubborn unless they are raised correctly. That's why many owners affectionately refer to them as "little muscle heads." Allow your dog to become the boss, and you will surely have problems controlling him, just as you might have with any breed. It's important to establish loving dominance from puppyhood.
Second, it's a Pitbull's basic nature to be aggressive toward other dogs, a trait proponents of dog fighting have seriously exploited. The aggression generally begins around eighteen months old, and must be dealt with firmly but fairly from the start if you hope to maintain any measure of control. For this reason, Pitbulls do best in single pet households.
Third, as a breed, Pits are very people oriented. They are extremely loyal to the members of their household, and will naturally treat strangers with suspicion.
It's not hard to see how the negative publicity and the Pit's own wariness of strangers have served to forward the notion that these dogs can be dangerous, and here lies the heart of the matter. Many people would rather not risk contact with the breed on the chance it lives up to its reputation. Unfortunately, this includes a large number of boarding kennels.
Locating a Pitbull Kennel
Try the following tips to assist your search for a Pitbull kennel.
Begin locally by calling the dog boarding kennels in your area, and ask if they accept Pitbulls. If they don't, ask if they know of any establishments that do. If they do, pay a visit and check them out. Although finding a Pitbull kennel will not be a snap, you still want to make sure the facility is safe and clean, just as you would for any dog.
Many vets also have a boarding facility on the premises. Check with your own vet first, because someone who is familiar with your pet's personality is also more likely to feel comfortable caring for him in your absence.
Professional pet sitters are another resource to try, but keep in mind that most Pits do not relish the company of strangers. Instead, you might ask family or friends who know your dog well if they'd be willing to care for him while you're gone.
If you strike out locally, widen your search. An Internet search may reveal Pit-friendly kennels in neighboring cities and counties. It will be well worth driving out of your way to have a safe place to leave your dog while you travel.An Internet search may also help you connect with a legitimate breeder who understands the challenge you face. Some breeders are willing to offer temporary boarding, providing your dog's temperament is stable and his vaccinations are up to date. Just be sure to draw up a written agreement stating that your dog is only a guest, that you will return for your pet on the agreed upon date, and have both parties sign.
Boarding Kennel Requirements
Some boarding kennels willing to accept Pitbulls may have additional admittance requirements beyond the standard health certificate and proof of vaccinations.
These may include:
- Proof of temperament testing
- Liability insurance
- Paying a slightly higher rate
Traveling with Your Dog
If your search for a boarding kennel is fruitless, you might consider bringing your dog on vacation with you, but you'll need to do a lot of homework in advance.
Things to think about:
- Laws governing Pitbulls/aggressive breeds in any municipality you'll pass through
- Airline policies governing dog travel
- Pet friendly hotels (Pits are not always accepted.)
- Suitable kennel/travel carrier
Planning a vacation takes a lot of work, and the job is certainly compounded when you also need to find a safe, reliable person or place to take care of your pet. Begin scouting kennels and other options far in advance of vacation time, and be prepared to plan your itinerary around your dog's needs.