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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got sam a couple of weeks ago from a resuce that listed her at a sheppard mix - sent me a picture and that's what she looked like. We went to pick her up and it was obvious she was a pitbull mix. Ok fine - it's just that hubby and I weren't prepared for this at all. I was raised with far more mild mannered dogs - mostly bird dogs like GSP's - and we've found ourselves bathed in so much conflicting information it's overwhelming! Don't play tug of war - do play tug of war - only play if you can win! Dog agression is normal with this breed - human aggression is not acceptable (obviously) she's a good dog just needing training, she's a blood thirsty killer you can't trust. OMG soo much info out there and I just want to do what's right for everyone including my dog. At this point I want to turn the clock back and just forget the whole dog thing to begin with!

Ok so thanks for listening to my vent it feels good to just get that out - my quandry is this - I am technically a foster home until she can find another home but that's really hard to do in my state (Is it like that everywhere?) as pits are so hard to place and most shelters will just kill her because she's a pit. (plus we're already kinda of attatched to her) So DH and I have decided to educate ourselves as best we can, get her spayed and get her enrolled in some OB classes. In the meantime, can I please ask for some basic info about how to watch for human aggression? I know this sounds like a stupid question but she's not like any other dog I've ever been around, no clear signals for what she's thinking. I just want to make sure all the people around her are OK and not in danger, especially my 3 girls. Thank you so much!
 

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hello there,

Let me first say CONGRATS on taking this baby into your home. I'm sure she will do nothing to dissapoint.

I know it can be stressful seeing as how you never had a pitbull before and there is so much bad press and negativity around this breed, it's sickening!! When I first got my rescue (who is with a family member right now) he was labelled as "lab mix" but he was definity a pitbull mix! I was nervous at first because I had no experience with this breed, all I knew was that they were hated and even soon to be banned in many places (including where I live!) I did my research, and soon I became the biggest pitbull lover out there. My hubby and I will never have another breed. We have a purebred 13 month old pitbull AND a boxer/sheperd mix (both rescues) and I'll be the first to say, I love my mutt, she's amazing...but doesn't even compare to my pitbull!
About tug-of-war, lol, it's FINE to play it and most pitties love it, just make sure you WIN the majority of the time. It's not a big deal though, don't get too stressed out about this.
PLEASE don't be worried about human aggression. I always tell people pitbulls are the LEAST likely to be human aggressive. When they are in the fighting ring, their handlers would be able to go into the fighting pit to seperate the dogs who were abused and in a crazy state of mind and they would KNOW never to touch their handlers. If they were to act aggressively toward their handlers, they would be euthanized right away.
The only pitbulls that ever acted aggressively towards humans were bred very poorly by a bunch of idiots...i'm very sure you don't have one of these as they would have been euthanized at the shelter.
Pitbulls ARE prone to dog aggression, please read up about that. It is hardwired into their genetics but this doesn't make them aggressive towards humans. Both are ENTIRELY different forms of aggression. Some pitbulls don't act on their genetics and can live fine with other dogs (my pitbull included) but they can never be left alone unsupervised.

I hope this helps a bit, if you have any more questions PLEASE don't hesitate to ask!!
 

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I would say

I would respond but uh Kathy pretty much summed it up...good reading babes...although I don't know about the supervision thing....I mean lots of owners out there don't crate all their dogs all day just cause they have a pit. Sometimes you got to take chances.
 

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I mean lots of owners out there don't crate all their dogs all day just cause they have a pit. Sometimes you got to take chances.
There are wayyy too many horror stories out there about people coming home to dead dogs because they got in a spat when the owner was at work which could have been prevented if one dog or both were crated.
Crating keeps your dogs safe from each other, and safe from your home. I only will ever crate my dogs. Why risk it when crating is a sure thing??
 

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Some can't e helped

Are you kidding me..there is not a crate our pittie wasn't able to break. Also I hate crating them when it isn't needed. Crating to me if for extreme agression dogs..which I still don't believe pitts can't be broken of...they were trained to fight other dogs and in my opinion is not part of their genetics (not like a hound who likes to pick up irds). Other reasons for crating..chewing..housetraining...obediance. I have never seen Brooklyn act semi-aggressive with any dog and if she ever growled at one that was it...only a growl. I can't stand having her cooped up in the house all day let alone a crate. Something I would just never do to any big dog unless there was no choice in the matter. (Such as chewing and etc). But everyone has their opinions. To each their own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you so much and hubby and I are finding ourselves more affectionate towards the pit breed ourselves and we've already learned first hand about the dog aggression - :shock: - so I'm ok w/ learning on how to handle that, it's the people thing that worries me. She's just a puppy so I'm having a hard time knowing what is 'puppy' behavior and what may be signs of 'trouble'. My main concern is that because I don't know her breeding she may turn out to be one of 'those' dogs. She's behaved like a pro at the vet - w/ people of course - but last night while I was walking her I stopped to talk to some neighbors and she tucked her tail between her legs and scooched as far away from them as she could acting all afraid. She never barked or growled, just wanted away. Its these little nuance's that are so unreadable to me. So please keep the advice coming, I've been doing a LOT of reading and I really want this to work. One day I'm really upbeat and positive the next anxious and worried, oh and it's only been about 3 weeks that she's been here so there's still some newness to it all. Thank you all soo much, it helps me sort through things to have some personal opinions about all of this.
 

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Yeah I hear you

I understand it can be hard to know what to expect. every breed is so different. I suggest hands down get a breed book. Pick one up from a library and read it throughly. Honestly sometimes my dog just senses something weird in someone and she shy's away too. She's just a pup so people agression (unless she has been beat) shouldn't really shine through yet. Just socialize her with as many people are you can...short, tall, black, white, children and adults and you should be fine.But from the sounds of the home she is in sounds like she will have enough exposure that she should turn out just fine. Start training her early as well in regards to playing and possession. Test her by taking things she is chewing on that belongs to her away. Approach her regularly and rub her belly or back when she is eating. Get her used to this so that if that ever does happen she doesn't freak out. Our you can do anything with eating or not and she could care less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Question, say I do that IE take a bone or touch her while eating - what do I do if she reacts aggressivly? I guess that's question #1 - what do you do when a dog reacts aggressivly? That is where we are stuck I think, afraid maybe to push the envelope cause we dont' know how to handle it if she should react aggressivly. I will grab a book on dog breeds as well...
 

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I understand it can be hard to know what to expect. every breed is so different. I suggest hands down get a breed book. Pick one up from a library and read it throughly. Honestly sometimes my dog just senses something weird in someone and she shy's away too. She's just a pup so people agression (unless she has been beat) shouldn't really shine through yet. Just socialize her with as many people are you can...short, tall, black, white, children and adults and you should be fine.But from the sounds of the home she is in sounds like she will have enough exposure that she should turn out just fine. Start training her early as well in regards to playing and possession. Test her by taking things she is chewing on that belongs to her away. Approach her regularly and rub her belly or back when she is eating. Get her used to this so that if that ever does happen she doesn't freak out. Our you can do anything with eating or not and she could care less.
exactly!! The food is a big one. I can stick my face in Chapps' bowl and he would not touch me. Food aggression can be a deciding factor about whether a dog is adoptable or not so it's best to start young. Stick your hands in her food, take her food bowl away, occasionally slip a yummy treat in there so she sees that hands are a good thing.
Pull her ears, tail, skin (in a semi-gentil way obviously) as to prepare her for a home with children who will test her. Also, you probably might have noticed that she play bites (if she is still a pup)...it's perfectly normal but don't let it get out of hand. When we got Chapps at 7 months, his previous dumb owner played very rough with him and he STILL bit because he didn't know any better and was never taught not to. As she gets older, make sure you yelp every time she bites hard and stop playing with her. Pitbull puppies are adorable when they bite, but a pitbull adult is downright scary if they bite.
Good luck!!! Having a pitbull is a wonderful experience. When people give me looks and say things on the street, it is my chance to educate them, so please, don't be shy to educate people about this wonderful breed.
If it makes you feel any better, my hubby and I are expecting our first child in March. We are worried about our boxer/sheperd mix, but honestly don't have an ounce of worry about our pitbull. :D
 

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When she growls

If she growls and shows agression a firm NO even if you have to yell it out. I try not to yell as some perceive this as mean and some dogs become fearful. If she actually bites BAD GIRL-NO!! and crate her for maybe 5 minutes. The worst punishment to your dog is to be kept away from YOU!! After five minutes let her out and the next time she eats try it again. If she growls it's cause she thinks you will take what belongs to her. Keep repeating this routine and eventually she will realize when you touch her as she eats you aren't taking her food or that when you take her things that you will not keep them or steal them from her. A good way is to PLAY with her with bones and stuff. I sometimes hide them on the dogs and make them find it. So when I take a bone from them they think its a game and they don't get upset. When you take something and she doesn't get upset OVER REACT..go nuts praising her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you so much! I really apprecaite it. If I may continue to ask questions as I think of them... How can you know when or if you can trust the dog w/ your kids? For example at the moment I always crate Sam when I'm going to be taking a shower - is this right? I also worry because she seems to get rather excited when the kids are crying and throwing a fit and I'm not sure what to make of this...

Sarah - I really appreciate your time guys...
 

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Normal

She probably gets excited cause they are excited. I would say that is normal. Right now..no I don't think that is wrong. It takes pups literally like kids 2 seconds to get into something. Until you are around the dog and can see he doesn't really react or jump on the kids it's safer to make sure the dog is crated when you aren't there to supervise. Mine is completely housebroken but when she gets pushy with my daughter I always put her back in place. Generally young kids should not be left alone with any dog as most incidents occur when the child provoked the dog. Which is normal too not like the kids understand the do's and don'ts. every dog is different so it'll take time for the dog to adjust to the kids and kids to adjust to the dogs needs if there are any.
 

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this is where Pitbullmaster's and my opinion may differ but in my opinion, dogs should never be left alone unsupervised and young children should not be left alone unsupervised! If you're worried that when you shower, something could happen, by all means, give Sam a little bone to chew on or a treat, put her in her crate...just to be on the safe side.
 

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Yes we differ

Yes our opinions differ..but I only don't believe in crating a pitbull just because they are around other dogs. I don't believe pitties are truly genetically inclined to be agressive towards other dogs. Here's a question for you Kat...if it was Holly and lets say a german shepard would you still crate them both when you aren't home? Or would you trust them cause they are not a PITT?
 

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haha, you're going off topic

But honestly, Every dog I ever have, pitty or not, sheprerd or not, friggin pomeranian or not, in their crates when we are not home!! It's a sanity thing, I know my dogs and my house is safe.
I stuff their kongs, and they are happy as can be. They LOVE their crates!!
 

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ChappsnHolly said:
haha, you're going off topic

But honestly, Every dog I ever have, pitty or not, sheprerd or not, friggin pomeranian or not, in their crates when we are not home!! It's a sanity thing, I know my dogs and my house is safe.
I stuff their kongs, and they are happy as can be. They LOVE their crates!!
My dog HATES her kennel - but she is in it every day all day while I am at work - and 95% of the people here will tell you to crate crate crate - its the safest thing for your dog and your home.
 

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Well opinions differ I guess

Mine had never gotten in trouble when I am not home. Exception to the garbage. so we keep the kitch off limits during the day other than that I don't believe in a dog spending their life in a crate cause we choose to work. I beleive in crate training truly do. My dog was in here's up to 18 months...but come on..there comes a time like the kids you gotta give them some freedom and slack. She doesn't get into anything that can hurt her ever. Crates in my opinion is a training tool not a residence/bed. But like stated before to each their own. Just I foster and am with many agencies and none of the agencies I am with believe in crating a dog at all times. Dogs can live without supervision should they have been properly trained.
 

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My dog an American Bulldog is a very close to a Pitbull is wonderful with kids and I go through great pains to make sure she can handle childrens abuse. I will walk up behind her and suddenly stroke her tail, etc. just for precautions...Your dog will probably be great with childs but I never leave them alone together.........Just the other day a little boy was challendging Tora, he did not know what he was doing but I did. The boy was standing back and stairing her in the eyes, I just walk off with her.........Kids will harrasse your dog sometimes unknowingly, it just it not worth a risk. Plus these dogs can play rough and they are not trying to hurt a child but it can.Tora jumps like a mad-man and it would hurt if she landed on a kid..You will be fine just keep it away from other dogs...Other than that enjoy your dog, establish the alpha position and you will be fine...........Do a search for the Nothing in life is free program and use it consistantly...
 

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I also hope someone will come and explain NILF to you. Nothing in life is free. Make sure she knows that EVERYTHING comes from you and you are viewed as Alpha in the house and you should have no problems.
 

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Totally

I agree with all the suggestion made. Kids will always push their limits...I still catch my 7 year old who picks up poop, bathes the dog and walks him..sometimes when Brook won't move or something she'll wack her. That is why i never leave my dog alone with my child. My dog can be trusted....the child can't LOL...go figure. And like they said bully breeds do play tough and innocent playing could not intetionally hurt the kids. Also regarding NILF...always make them work for rewards. that's right it isn't free. If you discipline your dog like sit and they lay down...don't let that pass. You wanted them to sit. this is of utmost importance with the pittie breed. They think they lie down..she shuts up...but then like kids...you just let them WIN!! Be on them all the time until she is older and like mine...you won't ever have to worry about her. It's seldom brookly n challenges us or doesn't do exactly what we said and as soon as I use the word " I SAID SIT" the second time there is no if's about it...she listens...
 
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