Many people own pit bulls as pets. At the same time, many people are afraid of pitbulls. They are commonly seen as bully dogs and have the tendency to be labeled as intimidating and violent. But what a lot of people don’t know about these dogs is that can actually become affectionate and loyal with proper training. And so now, you may ask, can pitbulls be good service dogs? Let’s discuss this in detail below.

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Can a Pitbull be a good Service Dog?

Pitbulls As Service Dogs

Pitbulls make good candidates for service dogs. With proper training and socialization, they can become well behaved. One advantage they have over other dog breeds is their strong bodies. They can push things, such as wheelchairs, with ease. People with mobility issues can also rely on them for navigation.

Pitbulls are also loyal and protective. Once they have identified their owners, they become very protective of them. But proper training on this is a must if you don’t want this good behavior to turn into unwanted aggressiveness.

Pitbulls are also intelligent and versatile dogs. They can become medical alert service dogs with thorough training. They can perform tasks such as detection of low blood sugar, low levels of oxygen, and even the attack of seizures. They can also be trained to retrieve necessary medicines when needed.

There are also service dogs supporting people with PTSD. Pitbulls can be affectionate and provide emotional support to other people. They can detect emotional distress in a person and accompany them for relief.

Because of these reasons, pitbulls can actually become great service dogs. One warning though – they need to be properly trained. Doing that, however, can be intense and challenging. 


The Consensus about Pitbull as a Service Dog

To state the fact, a pitbull is not the first choice for a service dog. Other breeds such as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers, excel in being one. Furthermore, Pitbulls have gene-related aggression – which means that by nature, they do tend to behave aggressively.

Because of this, pitbulls are not popular choices for service dogs. Some animal experts may not even recommend turning them into service dogs, especially if your pitbull came from aggressive dog parents.

The Fair Housing Act

Though it is generally not recommended to turn your pitbull into a service dog, there is no one preventing your from doing that. If you are renting a home, you can still own a pitbull that you want to become your service dog. Your right on this is protected by the Fair Housing Act. With this, your landlord cannot prevent you from having a pitbull service dog as long as it is licensed to be so. However, if it causes damage to other properties or harm to other people, your landlord can force you to vacate the place.

And so, if you want to have a pitbull service dog, make sure to get it licensed or be certified for it.

How to Train a Pit Bull to Become a Service Dog?

If you want your pitbull to become a service dog, you can either train it yourself or have a professional dog trainer do it.

Training Your Pitbull by Yourself

You can actually train your pitbull yourself for it to become a good service dog. However, it must pass the public access test for it to become officially considered as a service dog. This is the certification I am talking about earlier. According to animal experts though, training a pitbull all by yourself can be just as costly as it being trained by a professional.

Training by a Professional

Alternatively, you can seek the help of a professional dog trainer to help you turn your pitbull into an actual excellent service dog. A prestigious organization can provide you with the best dog trainers. However, it can cost as much as $25,000.

Basic Pitbull Training

If you decide to train your pitbull yourself, the following key points may help you:

  • Leash control: make sure your pitbull is still controllable even after you release it from its leash.
  • Sitting: your pitbull should be trained to sit in various kinds of environment including crowded places, noisy places, and in areas with other animals.
  • Restaurant control: your pitbull should be trained to be calm and collected even while inside restaurants where there are lots of tasty foods, noisy people, and clattering utensils.
  • Following Your Pace: your pitbull must also be able to follow you in your pace. It should walk when you walk and stop when you stop.

Why It’s Great to Have a Pitbull

The following are the main reasons why it is great to have your own pitbull:

They Are Strong and Fit

Pitbulls are strong and fit. You can actually see their strong muscles from their body build. It is because of these characteristics that pitbulls can be a perfect fit for support service dogs.

Not a Hassle to Groom

Unlike other dogs, pitbulls do not require much grooming. Bathing them is all you need to do to keep them clean. There is no more brushing or frequent haircut. They have short fur that do not smell. But of course, in case of flea problems, you should use the best flea medicine for dog.

Unrelenting Loyalty

Pitbulls are also known for their extreme loyalty. Once they recognize their owners, they will do their best to protect them.


Because of their strong build, pitbulls are the sporty type. They are actually eager to exercise every day. They have great strength and endurance that allow them to exercise for prolonged periods of time. Because of this, you might want to buy the best dog agility tunnel where your pitbull can play and spend its energy.


One less known fact about pitbulls is that they are actually compassionate, especially with children. They want to be a part of the family and grow up with the kids.

Funny and Happy

Pitbulls are delightful and jolly in general. They want to stay happy and make people feel the same. They also love to grin, which you may sometimes find hilarious.

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Overall, pitbulls can really become good service dogs. Though it may not be their nature to be so, they can be nurtured to become one. Proper training is a must if you want to turn your pitbull into a service dog. They have certain qualities that not only allow them to be good pets but also good service dogs.

Contrary to popular belief, pitbulls can be trained to become good service dogs. They may have qualities not perfectly fitting the description of a service dog but they can be turned into an excellent one with proper training. You can train your pitbull or hire a professional dog trainer to do the job.


Dr. Annie Spencer

Annie Spencer is a certified Dog Health Expert Veterinarian and holds a masters degree in Dog Emotion & Cognition from the Duke University, USA. She owns a private clinic and shares knowledge of her 30+ year experience at - helping worldwide people with their queries and recommending them with best dog health care products to purchase.