One of several color variations appearing in the American pit bull terrier and other breeds is called "blue." It's not quite an actual blue color, but a kind of steel gray that has a blue-gray appearance. This coloring is caused by a dilution gene, which is recessive; a dog has to have two dilution genes in order to have the blue appearance, but a dog that does not look blue can pass the gene to its offspring. There is some association with the blue coat color and skin problems, as well as loss of hair (alopecia). The connections are not well understood, and the health problems are not documented in every breed. Some breeders of blue pit bulls do claim skin and health problems exist in poorly bred blues.
Take your blue pit bull pup to the veterinarian within the first 24 to 72 hours after you adopt it. Pit bulls are particularly susceptible to parvo and demodex. Parvo is a highly contagious disease of young puppies. A high percentage of puppies that contract parvo die, but it can usually be prevented with properly timed vaccinations and by minimizing potential exposure. Demodex is a type of mange caused by an overgrowth of mites that are typically found on the skin of all dogs. Demodex is not contagious, but, left untreated, it can cause severe systemic problems and, in extreme cases, death. According to the Shelter Medicine Program at University of California Davis, shelter puppies should be vaccinated every two weeks up to the age of 18 weeks because of the higher exposure and stress involved in shelter living. It's a good idea to follow the shelter protocol for pit bull puppies because of their higher risk.2
Spay or neuter your puppy as early as your veterinarian allows. Neutering or spaying protects your pup's health and behavior by eliminating or lessening the chances of many hormonally-triggered cancers and behaviors as the pup matures. The longer you wait to alter your pit bull puppy, the less it helps the pup's health and behavior.3
Socialize your blue pit bull puppy well. Positive exposure to as many different situations, noises, people, animals and places is necessary for the puppy to be stable and calm. Sometimes people think that isolating their pit bull puppy will make it more protective of the family. This is completely untrue. For any puppy, the more experiences it has with people and places of all types, the better it will be as a companion and home protector because it will have strong bonds to the family, no fear of friendly people and a clear idea of acceptable human behavior. A bad experience between the ages of 3 and 12 weeks can cause the pup to be scared of situations, people or animals that are similar.4
Enroll your blue pit bull pup in puppy kindergarten and obedience classes. Pit bulls are very strong and active dogs that, as terriers, can be a bit headstrong, so your dog must be well-behaved and under control at all times. Puppy kindergarten and obedience classes also provide safe and supervised socialization with other dogs, which may help curb the dog-aggressive tendencies pit bulls can have when mature.5
Crate train your pit bull puppy for the best results in teaching house training and good manners. Don't let the crate become a prison; it is intended to be a comfortable den where the puppy feels secure and cannot get hurt or make mischief while you are otherwise occupied. Wire crates are better, providing good visibility for the dog and good ventilation.6
Exercise your pit bull daily. There is no getting around this task. Your dog must be exercised daily even in rain, snow or hail. This includes both leash-walking and off-leash running and playing. Use your fenced yard to play off leash with your dog, or find a park or tennis court that is empty and enclosed. Avoid large dog parks and doggy day care if your puppy shows signs of dominance to other dogs. Some pit bulls that are socialized with other animals at an early age can play in small groups for their whole lives, but not all can. Some can do well one-on-one but not in a group. The breed is wonderful and loving, but the dog aggression in its history cannot be completely ignored.7
Devise interesting games for your pit bull terrier. Teach the dog to play hide and seek with toys, treats and people. Teach it the names of all its toys and every person in the house. This will keep its mind sharp and alleviate boredom.8
Start weight pulling or other vigorous sports only when your veterinarian has given approval. Puppies have soft, flexible joints even after their bodies look full grown. Jogging, weight pulling, weight bearing and other strenuous sports are fun for dogs and owners alike, but you can seriously injure your puppy if you begin such sports too soon.