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Old November 13th, 2003, 11:59 PM
jefflong3323 jefflong3323 is offline
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Exclamation Question about Pitbulls, need advice

I am looking into getting a dog for myself. I am 20, live with 2 other guys and go to college. I am trying to decide between a pitbull and a golden retriever. My family has had a golden for 10 years now and I love him, but he lives away from me now. Most of all I am looking for loyalty. Anyway, my question is about pitbulls. As I mentioned before I am a college student so I am a bit strapped for cash, meaning I can't afford a $500-1000 dog. A friend of mine knows somebody who just had a litter of pits born. I don't know much about him yet but from what my friend has told me, the guy and his girlfriend both had pits and they mated unintentionally and produced a litter that he is now going to sell. He is looking for only 150$ per dog. Granted there would be no lifelines, shots, or anything else you get with an experienced breeder. For me, my needs (which are a loyal companion I can love) would it make THAT much of a difference to buy my dog from this guy (I will of course visit and check out the conditions, personality, breeder, and health of the dogs before I ultimately decide) OR should I wait, save my money and buy my dog from a qualified, professional breeder? Will the dogs from the guy have bad temperment, illness, or ultimately be mixed in breed (since I would have no lifelines)? Supposedly, both dogs that accidently mated were pure breds. I need some input from those who know these dogs and can tell me what I should do.

Also I wanted to know about what I should expect to pay to get the dog fully taken care of (shots, worms, spayed/neutered, the whole works) plus I plan on putting it through obedience school. My thought process is that in the end, the better route would be to just buy one from an accredited breeder but again, I'm new to this
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Old November 14th, 2003, 07:20 AM
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Carina Carina is offline
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Well you will get some good info from one of the real Pit people here, I know.

First - your friends' dogs did not "mate unintentionally." It was quite intentional on the part of the dogs, and quite silly of these people to allow it. I don't think they deserve any money for making a silly mistake and pumping yet more pitbulls into an already overburdened population. If I somehow wound up with a litter of "unintentional" puppies I would not seek to make one dime off them. I think I'd require a hefty little donation to a rescue group or something instead, just to keep an ethical balanced karma thing going.
(There. Got that off my chest!)

Anyhow, you will often find pitbulls, including puppies, through rescue. I'm pretty sure LuckyRescue will be able to fill you in there. Rescue dogs are usually UTD on vacs, and always spay/neutered.
The total cost of s/n, shots & vet care shouldn't be terribly high in any case - a few hundred $$ depending on your vet, over the first year. 8 week ob classes typically run $80-$100US; again it depends on your location.

There's quite a difference between a Golden and a Pit!
Some downsides to Pitbulls:
They are often dog/animal aggressive, though typically sweet with humans. Many municipalities have breed bans or restrictions. Many (if not most) homeowners insurance companies will not insure certain breeds - Pitbulls, Rotties, Chows, Mastiffs, etc. This will make it *extremely* difficult to find rental housing, trust me on this one! I've had Rottweilers for...almost as long as you've been alive, yikes. Back when I was renting, I figured that I was restricted to less than 1% of the rental market. This may account for ads for throw-away dogs that say "moving must sell."
Plus the public perception of the breed is such that you will be critisized often for having a "killer" breed. Plus they are pretty high energy dogs, I think.
Not trying to put you off, just trying to provide a reality check! I adore Pitbulls; I've had a few fosters. Great dogs, extremely smart and I really like their appearance.
Also - puppies are an enormous amount of work to do right. And some breeds are going to be a bit more challenging - I'm guessing a terrier-type dog will be among the "more challenging" category.

Anyhow - I think your thought processes are leading you down the correct path! If you don't go through rescue (best option) then someone who has put some care into breeding healthy, stable dogs would be the next best thing. Same goes for Goldens, too, BTW. Goldens can have quite a few health issues - epilepsy is one I know for sure - that can be very expensive and difficult to deal with in the long run. I have neighbors with two poorly bred Goldens, 3 yo littermates. One has epliepsy and both are in generally poor health - allergies, frequent infections, like that. I've been trying to persuade my neighbors to change diets, but they're not going for it!
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Old November 14th, 2003, 11:54 AM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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Re: Question about Pitbulls, need advice

[Agree with everything Carina said. Because of media hysteria and breed bans, not to mention uneducated people, owning a pit bull these days is quite a challenge!

That being said, pit bulls are wonderful, loving, sweet dogs. I'll try and comment on your post point by point:

Quote:
Originally posted by jefflong3323
I am looking into getting a dog for myself. I am 20, live with 2 other guys and go to college. I am trying to decide between a pitbull and a golden retriever. My family has had a golden for 10 years now and I love him, but he lives away from me now. Most of all I am looking for loyalty.

Are you prepared to make sure you will keep a dog for the next possibly 15-16 years? Do you have time for a dog? Some pit bulls can be very high energy (although mine is a couch potato). It sounds like you have a pretty busy schedule already. Where will the dog be when you are at classes? Out with friends? Away for the weekend?


Pit bulls are NOTHING like Goldens, but if you want loyalty, a pit bull is that! They are very intelligent and easy to train, but in a different way than Goldens are.


Anyway, my question is about pitbulls. As I mentioned before I am a college student so I am a bit strapped for cash, meaning I can't afford a $500-1000 dog.

If you are strapped for cash,(as most students are.<G>) what will you do if your dog needs surgery or other vet care? If it needs to be boarded? Taken to obedience school?

A friend of mine knows somebody who just had a litter of pits born. I don't know much about him yet but from what my friend has told me, the guy and his girlfriend both had pits and they mated unintentionally and produced a litter that he is now going to sell. He is looking for only 150$ per dog. Granted there would be no lifelines, shots, or anything else you get with an experienced breeder.

As Carina said, please don't reward these people for their irresponsibilty! This will only encourage them to maybe do it again. And there are many breeders out there, but most of them are disreputable!

For me, my needs (which are a loyal companion I can love) would it make THAT much of a difference to buy my dog from this guy (I will of course visit and check out the conditions, personality, breeder, and health of the dogs before I ultimately decide) OR should I wait, save my money and buy my dog from a qualified, professional breeder?

There is a third option - get a dog from a pit bull rescue. These dogs are usually in foster homes, and you will know for sure exactly how they are with other animals and people. They are housebroken, healthy and usually have some training. My pit bull came from a rescue, and she is simply the best dog I've ever had!

Will the dogs from the guy have bad temperment, illness, or ultimately be mixed in breed (since I would have no lifelines)? Supposedly, both dogs that accidently mated were pure breds. I need some input from those who know these dogs and can tell me what I should do.

There is no way of knowing how the puppies will turn out, although if both parents have correct temperament (soft, submissive and loving with all people) chances are the puppies will too. I must caution you against getting a puppy in your situation. Puppies are an incredible amount of work, and I doubt you will have the time to spend 6 months housetraining, socializing, etc. If you aren't home during the day, a puppy is a very bad idea! And leaving puppies in crates all day is not an option - I feel it's inhumane in the extreme.

Also I wanted to know about what I should expect to pay to get the dog fully taken care of (shots, worms, spayed/neutered, the whole works) plus I plan on putting it through obedience school. My thought process is that in the end, the better route would be to just buy one from an accredited breeder but again, I'm new to this
As I said, a rescue dog will have all shots, be spayed or neutered, etc. and the usual adoption fee is around 150- 200$.

Where do you live? I can probably suggest a good rescue for you to contact. You will be asked to fill out an adoption application so it can be decided if you are a suitable home or not.

Please note: The dog aggression - seen to some degree in most pit bulls - is mostly genetic and CANNOT be trained out, so be prepared for this. If you buy a puppy, you COULD end up with a dog so aggressive it will be difficult to take out in public. With rescue dogs, you at least will have an indication of dog aggression.

In the meantime, here is one of the best sites on the net for pit bulls. I suggest you read it thoroughly!

Don't hesitate to ask any further questions you may have
!
The Real Pit Bull
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Old November 14th, 2003, 01:24 PM
jefflong3323 jefflong3323 is offline
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Thanks for all the great info! I really do appreciate it. The more I think about it, the more I realize a puppy may not be the route I should take. I am interested in adoption definetly. As for being strapped for cash, It's one thing to pay a lump sum of $500-1000 and it is completely different to pay $100 or $200 for vet care. The latter is definetly possible in my situation. If you could suggest a good rescue where I could fine a Golden Retreiver or Pit bull I would REALLY appreciate it. I live in East Lansing, MI.
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Old November 14th, 2003, 02:06 PM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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Just for starters, here's a ton of GORGEOUS pit bulls in MI. I strongly advise you to get a purebred... pit mixes can be iffy.
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Old November 14th, 2003, 03:30 PM
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Carina Carina is offline
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East Lansing, huh? We are practically neighbors; I'm near Flint.

Ingham county animal shelter is a horrible place and there's probably lots of pitbulls there. I got one of my Rottweilers there - it is a high kill shelter which also sells to class B dealers (who sells live animals for research.) But you would have to have someone along who can help you evaluate a dog. Many of the dogs there do NOT come from good situations.

I know someone who is involved in rescue (not specifically pitbulls) in Lansing. She is probably familiar with the dogs in the shelter too....if you want more info you can email me & I will try to help. mortheda@yahoo.com

And yes - puppies are a TON of work! An adult rescue will become every bit as bonded and faithful - most dogs in my life have been acquired as adults.
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Old November 14th, 2003, 05:56 PM
jefflong3323 jefflong3323 is offline
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It seems like all the dogs I find have requirements I just don't fill. Some require I be 21 yrs old, others require I have a fenced in yard. Granted I can see the reasons for these requirements but they shouldn't be deciding factors in whether they let me take the dog or not. It is quite frustrating. Discrimination based on these circumstances is not good and just because I don't have a fenced in yard or pit bull experience or am not 21 DOES NOT mean I won't love my dog and give it a great home/life.
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Old November 14th, 2003, 09:03 PM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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All the policies of rescues are based on protection of the animal. Some rescues may be willing to ease up on some things if they feel you would be an excellent home.

For example, I have no fence but based on my references and past history, most of the rescues I contacted were willing to overlook that one point.

Many rescues of dogs AND cats are unwilling to adopt to students. You may be the best pet owner in the world, but students lives are so busy and in such transition that it's often felt that you may not be able to make a committment for the life of that animal. Since all these animals have already been abandoned once, rescues have to make sure (to the best of their ability) that it will never happen again.

I understand your frustration, but the animals' welfare must come first.
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Old November 15th, 2003, 06:53 AM
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Carina Carina is offline
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Jeff, I understand how frustrating it can be! I emailed you; hopefully I can be of help.

When I was fostering dogs, I turned down an applicant for a Rottweiler because she was in her early 20's and renting. I thought she was probably a very good potential owner - but I also knew from experience how difficult it would be to find future rentals with a Rottie. That, plus her fiance never showed up to see the dog, so I didn't feel he would be as comitted, which might compound future complications. I also turned down a very nice man who wanted a dog I had because she had health issues and he was on a fixed income; I worried that he wouldn't be able to afford care.

From a foster home perspective, one often takes in a dog and has to do some rehabilitation (health, training, behavioural issues) and I got quite invested emotionally in a couple of the dogs I took in! So I found myself being extremely picky. I figured if they weren't going to get as good as, or better care than, I was providing, I might as well keep the dog until I found such a home. For the record though, I felt really badly about turning these people down! But I figured they would get another dog somewhere...
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