Pit bulls

Discussion in 'Dog Breeds' started by shastakiradog, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. shastakiradog New Member

    I have recently found a new love for the pit bull breed. I first started looking into them when i found out that my dog Dixie is shar-pei pit bull mix. I feel that they are often misunderstood. People always are saying that they are vicious and not good dogs and some people think that all pitbulls should be put to sleep and should from then on be illeagal to have as dogs. In my local pound (where i get all my dogs from) I found out that 87% of the dogs there are either pure pit bull or mixed with one. This is a sad statistic because many of them are actually REALLY friendly dogs and WOULD NEVER bite a person.....I know this because I have volunteered there. I think it is SO unfair to them that people keep sterotyping them.....I understand that pit bulls HAVE bit before but so have other breeds of dogs.....Does anybody agree with me? It is hard to find people now a days who do. If you do or don't please post because i would like to talk to people about it.
    Thanks a bunch

  2. daisy Well-Known Member

    I agree with you! I love pit bulls although I do not have one now, I have known and worked with a few. As in everything, it is the humans who screw things up! I used to work for a veterinarian (more years ago than I like to think about) and we cared for several pit bulls that I'm sure were used to fight. Disgusting! The owner would bring them in pulling and slobbering on the end of a logging chain, hooked to a spiked collar, looking soooo proud that their dog was so mean looking. One of us girls would put our 25 cent leash on the dog and once we were around the corner give a sharp correction and maybe a "Hey!" and thereafter the dog was a pussycat. Even in the kennel with a bunch of other dogs. Sometimes people can be so stupid.
  3. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    I completely agree. =) I have known both good and bad pits, and am the owner of a Rottie/Pit/? mix. The biggest problem(aside from being known and bred for dog fighting) is that they are a sensitive breed that can easily develop problems if not raised properly. I have battled dog aggression with my mix for years, and I am more than willing to say that it is entirely my fault. When I got him, I didn't know much about the importance of socialization, especially in his breeds. Because of this, he did not get as much socialization as he should have, but he has improved through lots of careful work with some willing friends with non-aggressive dogs. =) As a fellow shelter volunteer, I too see lots of pit mixes, but I also see a lot of Border Collie mixes in my area. Both of these breeds are not for the average everyday dog owner, and people just don't see that. When they don't care to learn about the breed and how to deal with them, they create a stereotype about the breed itself and abandon the dog at the shelter. It's incredibly frustrating. I have worked with several behavior problem dogs at my local shelters who were not at all bad dogs, and easily overcame their issues with some careful training, exercise, and socialization. In the right hands, ANY dog can be a wonderful dog.
  4. leema New Member

    I believe it's more about solicalisation and training than anything inherit in the dog. In all breeds.
  5. makakoa New Member

    I have owned a pit bull (many years ago); she was a sweet and gentle small dog that was very easy going. I also worked in animal control for 3 years and saw many pits that would happily kill another animal or even a human. We have unfortunately had several human fatalities in this state over the years, and working in a vet office, I have had to try to help numerous dogs that have been on the receiving end of an attack by an unrestrained or stray pit.

    I think that there are numerous reasons for dog aggression, and of course, lack of socialization and training play a huge part. But don't you think that it is also possible for individuals of any breed to be temperamentally unsound, or for dogs to be actually selected for aggressive tendencies and used in a breeding program that produces more aggressive dogs?

    I have friends who are very knowledgeable and have always had beautifully socialized and trained dogs; they purchased a registered GSD puppy import from Germany, and regardless of their socializing and training, that individual (a female) was unpredictable and scary. I cannot help but think that there was an inherited component here.

    Also, when people have a difficult and aggressive dog of any breed, it is tough to tell them that they alone are responsible for the dog's bad attitude. I really do think that there are lots of factors in play here.

    I think a problem with breeds that are experiencing "bad press" is that there do seem to be a disproportionate number of bites attributable to them (see CDC dog bite statistics), and also, because of their size and tenacity, the injuries are much worse. (You don't often hear about death from a chihuahua attack!)

    It's great that your pets are such nice dogs...perhaps they can be ambassadors to help dispel some of the fears and bad feelings on the part of the public.
  6. jeepdog New Member

    We fostered a pit mix a few years ago and found her to be very affectinate dog. When she first came to our home she was labeled as possibly dangerous. We worked with her in obediance classes, socialization and generally just ran her wheels off. We worked with her food aggression problem also. After having her 3 months she was adopted by a family with 3 children (6,8,15) and it worked out GREAT!

    She has become a excellent frisbee dog and is CGC registered so she can visit the childrens grand parents in an assisted living home.

    After working with her the only dangerous thing about her was standing behind her when she was happy. Their tails can be used as whips. I can't tell you how many times I came away with red marks on my legs.

    There are no bad dogs just bad dog owners.
  7. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    You make some excellent points. A dog with an unsound mind is a dog with an unsound mind, regardless of socialization or breed. I do agree. However, it just tends to be that the bully breeds are the only ones that get the bad press for it. Why? Because the ratio of responsible bully breeders to fighter or backyard breeders is so unbelievably unbalanced that there are very few well-bred, mentally and physically sound dogs of the bully breeds. This is not because of the breed itself, but because of the breeder. Soooo many people breed their bully dogs for fighting, or just because "they want pups", or completely by accident, etc. More often than not, there is absolutely no thought process put into choosing the sire or dam. So the sire's a nutcase with a clearly unsound mind? He's gorgeous, and they want gorgeous pups. (Or, he's incredibly aggressive and they're looking to sell fighters.) Who cares that the dam is extremely unpredictable? She's a blue brindle or some other rare desirable color, and those pups sell for much more! This is the thinking of your typical backyard breeder or fighter breeder. The result is nutty puppies sold to people with the same mindset, who then have more nutty puppies, and so on.
    On the other end of the spectrum, you have the select few breeders who love and understand bully breeds, and breed them carefully and selectively for loving family pets, agility competitors, and so on. These people take a loooot of time carefully evaluating their sires and dams, and ensure that they do everything possible to have mentally and physically healthy puppies. Because there are so few of these bully breeders, there are few "good" examples of the bully breeds. So many people buy these breeds and other similar ones for guard dogs that they tend to throw common sense out the window and look for aggressive dogs.
    As for your shepherd friend, you do tend to have the blue moon occurrence of a not so sound-minded pup from a reputable breeder. Plus, anything could have happened to her at an extremely young age that didn't have any immediately noticeable effects. Something traumatic could have happened to her that effected her temperament before she was taken to her new owners that perhaps the breeder didn't know about(perhaps a freak accident while he/she wasn't home that didn't physically injure the pup). A cross-country trip, no matter how carefully planned, can be extremely stressful on any dog, especially a young puppy away from her home, mother, and littermates. She may have been a timid dog to begin with, and the frightening trip certainly wouldn't help. Her owners could've simply tried everything they knew to do but never were able to find the methods that worked for that particular dog, who knows. Or, it could be as simple as an unexpectedly "nutty" dog from completely sound parents. It happens.
    The thing is, there are quite a few reputable breeders in most breeds---except bully breeds. It is quite possible that perhaps there is less money in breeding pits and the like, because of their bad rep. This probably holds back a lot of potential bully breeders. So, now we're back full circle to the overwhelming difference between responsible bully breeders, and the others, who perhaps have their hearts in the right place but just aren't knowledgeable. American-bred Shepherds(on average) tend to be considerably less sound of mind than German-bred Shepherds. Texas-bred Australian Cattle Dogs are ridiculously far away from the breed standard, and quite difficult to raise and train. Rotties can vary. Many people prefer the German-bred Rotties, and there are some really great Rottie breeders in the US as well. It's the irresponsible breeders of any breed that give certain dogs a bad name. The thing with pits is that the people who want to fight them or breed them irresponsibly largely outnumber the people who raise and breed them carefully. Pits are extremely popular in the US--but rarely understood. They really seem to be the only breed that has this much trouble and controversy. Other breeds would have the exact same problem if they were as popular.
  8. bellapup Well-Known Member

    Bella and I have been to the dog park and have seen plenty of pit bulls. Half of them are sweet and gentle with Bella, maybe wrestling with her at times, or slobbering all over her....but the other half are over aggressive.

    One thing I've noticed with the aggressive pit bulls are that the owners laugh it off when their dog goes for Bella's neck, and push the behavior off as being too excited, or that Bella shouldn't be in the park because she is too small still.

    I don't care how big or small a dog is, if your dog is going for the neck, it doesn't matter the size, it's a behavior problem.

    Granted pit bulls are strong dogs with strong personalities, but if an owner can't deal with a strong breed, they shouldn't get one.

    I agree with Tx, that the breeder does play a part in it and it's not always the fault of the owner, and if you adopt a dog from a breeder, I'd assume you'd research him/her including seeing the mom and dad, and watching as the puppy grows up before bringing it home.

    It's just like if I had adopted Bella and live in an apartment and never go out. Bella's mix makes her very intelligent and VERY active. I would never expect her to just sit at home all day and behave, and I started training her at an early age so that she could learn her manners and play at the same time. We have walks and go to the park EVERY day. If she even shows the first sign of aggression toward a person, or animal, she is corrected very quickly. Fortunately she's never shown aggression to anything.

    I didn't have the luxury of meeting Bella's mom or dad, but for several days when I first brought her home, I tested for food, toy, animal, and rough human aggression. The poor girl has had her bones and food taken away, cats hissing at her, and her ears and tail pulled (not painfully, just a little roughly) and has always tolerated everything with a wagging tail.

    People are irresponsible if they get a certain breed but don't research it to see if it's a breed they can handle. It's not fair to blame or label any breed of dog.
  9. good_doggie New Member

    I believe that in every dog, There is a very big possibility that there is teachable training in any sort of breed.
  10. shastakiradog New Member

    these are ALL wonderful replys and I REALLY appreciate them! the only thing is that I REALLY want to get across is this.......

    Just because a man has a gun doesn't mean he will hurt or kill you.......OR just because a pitbull is "a pitbull" doesnt mean they will bite you!!! I really think all pitbulls should have a chance and I REALLY just wish more people would give them the chance that they deserve......the way people sterotype not just dogs but people to really hurts.:dogangry:
  11. makakoa New Member

    Well, if a stranger walked up to me carrying a gun, I would be a little nervous, to say the least. And if a strange pit bull approached my dog, I would take steps to avoid a confrontation. Maybe both man and dog are delightful new friends, but I would be foolish to make dangerous assumptions.

    I know lots of nice pit crosses and some nice pits, but have also known lots of un-nice pits and pit crosses. (Can't say that I know any men with guns, so unable to address that situation!)
  12. felicity New Member

    I totally agree!! loads of breeds of dogs have bitten people some more than others but you dont read about these in the papers or hear about it on the news because they arent stereotyped as "dangerous dogs"

    I totally agree with the sayin: its not a bad dig, its a bad owner!
  13. shastakiradog New Member

    ha ha yeah! I just dont think ANY dog should be sterotyped.....even if its a pitbull....even if you know some mean pits dont sterotype one just because you know some mean ones....I know a pretty mean lab but I dont go around saying oh dont touch that lab its mean or uh oh better go the other way cause there is a lab over there. You wouldnt judge a person with brown hair just because you dont like someone else with brown hair....its just not a smart thing to do because your asumption can be and MOST LIKELY will be 100% completly W-R-O-N-G!!!
  14. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    I'm cautious when ANY dog approaches mine, but sadly enough the ones I worry about most are the ones on-leash with their owners....because most people on my area let their dogs drag them everywhere, and they tend to rush other dogs. Two of my dogs are a bit nippy when they feel crowded, but will back off immediately when I give them a sharp, "Ah-ah!" But that doesn't shoo off the other dog whose owner is saying, "Oh look, she wants to be friends." Sorry sweetheart, but your dog is acting aggressive and territorial...not friendly. So GO AWAY! Lol. Unfortunately it's not that easy, and I just casually leave with my dog. I don't care if I seem rude. I'd rather seem rude and have a safe, unharmed dog, that be friendly and have two dogs fighting. Most of the dogs I've had problems with aren't pits. But regardless of breed, I simply try to avoid any dog who is either unleashed or not being controlled by its owner. This way, everyone goes home happy and unharmed.
  15. storm22 Experienced Member

    i agree with that comment, not all pittys are agressive, and i hate how they have a bad rep

    we rescued our pit bull when she was 18months old(i was around 5-6years), her history as we were told, she was a trained fighter (not a good one thats how we got her) she'd been put in the ring with her own mother who sadly chomped our girl badly, when my dad picked her up her ears were stapled on by a office stapler and she had big gashes to her front legs, and wounds under her neck and on her back, dad bought her inside by the chain that was still around her neck, they managed to break it off the kennel she was tied to so they came home to get the bolt cutters to free her, she'd never been inside a house before, didnt know what steps were and she only weighed about 10kgs she was litterly skin and bones, but after a couple of visits to the vet and some good feed she got up to a good 30kg (our vet soon told us she was obese and needed to diet)

    but the first day i saw her it was so sad she didnt trust alot of things, she stayed at the back of her kennel for the fist week, dad had to drag her out to medicate her, she wouldnt go near the food if you were still in eyesite or hearing, and she just looked dead, but everyday me and my sister would sit out by her kennel and wait to see a glimpse of her, after about two weeks of doing this we were eating our lunch out front of her box when she decided to come out, she sat about a metre off us and just watched, we threw our food towards her, which she decided to eat YAY BREAKTHROUGH!!! the next day we went out to feed her and she came up to the house steps, and followed me and my sis round just sitting by and watching us, she'd still go and hide if adults came out the back but would come back out when they went inside, she soon learnt to trust everybody, she did still have to be watched around other female dogs but boys were fine, we already had two boys

    its been 14years now (shes still alive at 16years old) and shes is one of the greatest dogs ive known, she shows you the strength these dogs have and that no matter what,they can still trust humans after what they have to suffer from the hands of them

    people say pit bulls are the worst animal alive but look at what humans do to them and other animals
  16. jazzycat New Member

    I love pits! I think it's ALWAYS the human, and not the dog.

    Out next door neighbor has three pits (I didn't know they had ANY dogs, because they never walk them and they are never outside). Last week the puppy got loose and attacked a small dog that he knew. There was blood everywhere, but my vet told me the blood was all from the woman walking the dog (that was attacked); when she was trying to separate them she was bitten several times. This is clearly a case of dogs not being taken care of in the way they need. Dogs NEED to be walked, especially breeds that are high energy or have the possibility of aggression. They also need socialization, which they clearly have not had. No one I know in the neighborhood was aware there were pit bulls living here. Had I known, I would have gone over and made friends with them. The people are nice. I don't believe they are using them for any nefarious means. But I don't believe they are taking the necessary steps to ensure the dogs are balanced. Luckily, the lady who was attacked told the police she did not want to file charges or have the dog taken away and put down. Hopefully this will be a wake up call for the owners, and they will do whatever is necessary to make sure the dogs are socialized. Otherwise there might be another attack. There are a lot of dog owners in this neighborhood. Some of the people are elderly and have older dogs. I would hate to think what would happen if the dog attacked one of them. :(

    I want to end on more positive note though. I have known several pits/ pit mixes that were very well adjusted, and as SWEET as could be! I used to know a couple who had a pit that would flip and do tricks. It was QUITE endearing.
  17. akisha New Member

    i hear you!, i personally love pitbulls, when i was little (0-5yrs) i had a pet pittym and she was the gentlest dog ever! i would often sleep in her kennel with her and my parents would wake up wondering where i was! i guess the only thing with her was that she was OVER protective of me, only my parents could get nere me when i was with her. i really miss her. R.I.P Gypsy

    I really dislike the people who hate dogs just because of thier breed. I take Akisha on walks everyday and generally 2-3times each walk, people look at her then go onto the otherside of the road. because she is a german shepherd. little do they know that she is a pussy cat, she doesn't bark, she sooks, she plays with the cats, all of her doggy friends are maltese / puggy type dogs.
    People who live by the 'dangerous' stereo types of dogs are obviously very shallow.

    i understand that pitty's were bred to kill / attack. But then again so were many other breeds of dogs that people love. in my opinion the parents, the owner, the socialisation and the environment that the dog grows up in is what will affect the dog most as to what it turns out to be.

  18. snooks Experienced Member

    Pits were/are nicknamed Nanny dogs b/c they are so good with people and have a very STRONG desire to please. The dog on little rascals was a pittie. This is why fighters can so easily exploit these dogs. Only one of the Vick dogs was human aggressive enough to be put down. Most others were rehabbed and adopted. Three are therapy dogs. Many live in forever shelter homes like Dogtown because they are dog aggressive but NOT people aggressive. Once trained to fight it's too large of a liability to adopt them out. At least they are loved and played with and have human bonds. If they weren't monumentally wonderful dogs this one story wouldn't have shown America they are not only capable of redemption but worth it.
  19. delene New Member

    Pits are my favorite breed of all the dogs. They are amazing, I have one right now it's sad that they are banned were I live. (Netherlands Antilles) But I'm soon moving. People are afraid of her, but she is very friendly. Pit bulls are the most human friendly dog, because no dog while they are fighting you can get up close without them biting you. Pits were bred for killing rabbits and moles for the farmers, they were also nanny dogs and entertainers, bull baiting.

    They are extremely smart and are the best, because they excel in all the dog sports. They make great service dogs, lawdogsUSA use them as narcotic dogs. I find them beautiful, slender slightly muscular not the ones that got overdose of steroid. They have proven that eventough they had a bad past, they can be the best pets, Vick's dogs one of them is therapy dog. I just think that someone has to step up and send the truth into the media.

    Every dog breed is capable of killing. I have seen a daschund kill a baby on the net. Also they have scored higher in ATTS then other breeds. I just love them, you get them in almost every color. They make great family dogs, easy to train but not good in the bad hands.

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