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On Pit Bulls

theplainsjane
June 24th, 2004, 12:26 PM
I have a sort of general question for all the pit bulls aficionados who post here.

A friend of mind in a very bad living situation got her daughter a puppy. He's a pit bull/lab? mix. I guess he's about 6 months old or so now. Anyway, they're probably not going to be able to keep him and as I've considered getting a second dog when I move at the end of the summer, I'm thinking about taking him in at that time.

I have no reservations about the fact that he's part pit bull. A friend of mine adopted a pit bull mix about 8 months ago. Started off quite aggressive and dominant. They have done *such* a good job with her. She's a real sweetie. Was gentle with my Ellie even when Ellie was a tiny thing. Not that she was ever really a *tiny* thing. Unfortunately, she's become a bit estranged from other dog park owners who are less vigilant as to their dogs' behavior while at the park and has had a few rows, though nothing I thought was serious. Anyway, Ellie and I count her among our best dog park friends. She's a lovely girl with an unfortunate past, which she is working hard to overcome. We're more and more proud of her everyday.

What I would like to know about pit bulls is what their general temperament is, how easily trainable they are and especially with this dog (Cocoa, I think they've named him), what problems I might expect with an older pit. I don't know how well they've even been able to housetrain him. It's really unfortunate. My friend is a nice caring lady, but clueless as to what's involved with rearing a dog and not even the resources to do it. But there he is, nonetheless, and she's talked of taking him to a shelter, which I think would be the worst possible thing for him.

So, any information on pit bulls is appreciated. I haven't even laid eyes on him, but he's not aggressive at all from what I hear and is actually a big baby. The situation's not ideal, but he's been spoiled by a 12 year old girl at least.

I'll stop rambling now. Thanks. :)

LavenderRott
June 24th, 2004, 12:46 PM
IMHO, and this is coming from a rottweiler owner, not a pit bull owner mind you, a dog is a dog is a dog. You may well have some dog aggression if this dog has not been socialized. Most everything else should be workable. Be prepared, you are probably going to have to spend LOTS of time training and this dog may never be able to go to the dog park, either. Yes, it is more work training a big dog. It is because they are big and you have to put effort into it. You can't just pick it up and tuck it under your arm when it won't stay. Since this dog is getting no training what so ever, you might want to start learning about NILIF (nothing in life is free) and you may want to start saving for a crate. I strongly recommend crate training.

Lucky Rescue
June 24th, 2004, 01:15 PM
When you say "aggressive and dominant", do you mean towards people, or other dogs/animals??

Pit mixes can be "iffy". A purebred pit bull of correct temperament should LOVE people and be submissive to them. They are very soft in temperament, and should never be trained with any harsh methods. When you mix another breed in, you cannot be sure of this.

Pit bulls are very smart and easy to train, but the terrier part of them can make them a little stubborn. They are eager to please, have very clownish personalities, and are extremely affectionate. Most of them ARE "big babies".:)

The dog aggression they have (of varying degrees) is genetic and cannot be trained or socialized out of them. You must err on the side of caution and keep your dog and other dogs safe.

If you take this dog, you should take him to obedience school. This is a very good way to bond with a new dog, and learn how to train and handle him.

NO dog parks for pit bulls or pit mixes, unless they are puppies.. Ever.

Everything I've said applies to purebred pit bulls only! Can you post a pic of this dog?

rebel24
June 24th, 2004, 02:35 PM
hey i have a pit bull mix and as for training they can be a little difficult but not to bad. mine loves to chew on anything that can fit into his mouth. got my shoulder once(ouch!!) there is some dog agression mine has been exposed since he was young but its still there so be careful. some pits have a strong sense of territory so besure to have a fenced yard so some type type of restraint if outside. but they are very loving and caring and ready to please their owner. so just give him plenty of love if you do decide to get him. and check on line and get as much info on the breed as possibe. best of luck. hope it works out.

theplainsjane
June 24th, 2004, 02:57 PM
I doubt they have a picture of him, but I'll ask.

Thanks for all the input, by the way. I know that training will be a challenge. All I know is that she says he likes to play with other dogs and he doesn't bother cats. If that's the case, we can work through whatever training needs to be done. I'll keep everyone posted.

sammiec
June 24th, 2004, 03:10 PM
I hope everything works out for you! Just make sure that you really investigate in a good trainer. Go to a few classes (if you can be a visitor) and watch a lesson or two, if you feel uncomfortable with the trainging techniques used then look for another trainer. Pay attention to just how large the classes are, if there are too many dogs, it's difficult for your dog to concentrate. It's not too tricky, fairly straight forward, it's the practicing that you HAVE to stick with. :)

Pit bulls are a special breed, I'm not too sure if you're familar with them or not, but I would read up on them before you agree to taking the dog. You might find that it's not the responsibility you expected and don't want it. That's more stress on the little puppy.
Good Lcuk - keep us posted :)

theplainsjane
June 24th, 2004, 03:18 PM
Yes, right now I'm hesitant about taking on another dog at all. I'm not too familiar with pit bulls as a breed, although I'm firmly of the belief that they get a bad rap and I've know a few sugar bears who are pits. I'm also trying to rescue a feral cat in my neighborhood, along with her litter of kittens, about which I posted a week or so ago.

I have a general idea of where they are, but no way to get to them. It's frustrating. I may have to wait until they're weaned, trap them and find barn homes. But it's better than nothing, I suppose. Just not exactly what I'd like to see happen. Will keep you guys posted on both fronts.

Thanks for the advice and the support.

AM04
June 25th, 2004, 01:11 AM
I own 2 pitbulls. A male and female. I found that when I was training them (still are really - they're always learning something) that it helps better to not train them with food, to use praise. I started off training my male with food, and everytime he came to me after I assumed he was all trained and ready to go, he would expect something, and when I didn't have anything, he'd ignore further instructions. Getting out of that habit was the hardest part. Once they realize that they're doing it for you, and to please you, rather than doing it for some grub, then they're happy and easier to train as the breed does love to please their companion.
As for agression, I have never personally experianced any form of agression in any of the dogs I own now, and have owned in the past. And I've only known two pitbulls to be people and animal agressive, but they were trained that way to protect a junk yard.. I use to take my dogs to a dog park, but ppl here have opened up my eyes and taught me that I could lose my dogs if anything were to happen. Especially because there's a bully dog at the park :(

the terrier can be stubborn, but staying firm helps with this.