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  • in reply to: Red & Blue Nose Pits-Some Clarification :) #16480

    Yes, all pits are perfect. Even the ones that make the news…it isn’t their fault. It is their owners.

    It is awesome what you do on the reservation. A pit bull group that I am has days throughout the warmer months where we go to low income areas and microchip and vaccinate all breeds of dogs and cats. These areas that we go into are known pit bull areas.

    I didn’t think that you were being racist at all. There seem to be many socioeconomic classes, which has nothing to do with race, that take care of their animals is vastly different ways. Research shows that many of the lower income areas have higher incidences of dog fighting, lack of spayed/neutered dogs, lack of proper vet care, etc. etc. The list goes on, and by you and your group going to one area to help out, that is a group of dogs that may not otherwise get any type of medical care. That is why the group I am in I am so proud of.

    Keep up the good work.

    in reply to: Biting, puppy nips and teething. #16479

    I think you are definitely on the right track. Good job! Keep it up!

    in reply to: How big is your dog? #16473

    @go ask alice:

    I just love that name for a dog–Alice. Too cute. She sounds like she will be a good size, as were her parents. 🙂

    in reply to: my lil girl #16470

    Hi NiLLa!

    Before I see if I can help out, one thing to keep in mind is that a red nose and a blue nose is just that…the color of the nose. It has nothing to do with a special breed or that it is rare. Bad breeders use the “rare blue nose” or “rare red nose” as a selling feature, when in reality it is just a pigment thing. They are no different than a brindle pit, a white pit, a black pit, or a tan pit. It is just a color of the nose and fur. So, the color has nothing to do with the way a dog behaves.

    I just wanted to clear that up, as it seems like you are saying that the color has something to do with the behavior. They just have different colored hair like humans do.

    Please explain in a little more detail what you mean by “rocking of the head”. Is it side to side? Is it up and down like she is saying yes or no?

    As for the paws, yes they will get bigger. Everything grows. At 6 weeks old, the dog is barely ready to leave its mother. Between 4-6 weeks, that is when the puppy is learning to leave the litter group on its own. Most puppies should not go to new homes until they are at least 8 weeks old, as they are still developing prior to that. What you may be experiencing is a puppy who isn’t fully developed yet.

    I see young puppies come into my clinic all the time that just weren’t ready to leave mom yet. Some tend to just have ear issues, and others are not neurologically sound. Some just do not have strong neck muscles yet. Have you take them to the vet for the vaccinations and to have them checked out? That would be of utmost importance if you haven’t yet.

    in reply to: How big is your dog? #16469

    I have a pit mix and depending on the time of year, her weight ranges from 46 to 51 pounds. She is a taller dog than many APBT’s, but she is also a mix.

    True ABPTs are realatively small dogs, as comapred to many other breeds. Height and weight should be in proportion, as should head size to the body. Yes, a APBT or Am Satff tendds to sometimes have a brick/block like head, but they are still rather proportionate to the body.

    A height of about 18 to 19 inches at shoulders for the male and 17 to 18 inches for the female is to be considered preferable and standard for APBTs. Desirable weight for a mature male in good condition is between 35 and 60 pounds. Desirable weight for a mature female in good condition is between 30 and 50 pounds. Yes, there are dogs smaller and bigger due to breeding, but the weights should not be near 100 lbs or over! Those are dogs that have English bulldog and mastiff in them.

    The American Bully, which it sounds like some of you have, resemble pits and Am Staffs with their features. There are many groups that are trying to promote the Am Bully into becoming its own separate breed, but the factor of so many backyard breeders creating this breed, it may take a long time, if ever. There are some reputable breeders out there attempting to make this a recognized breed, but it isn’t recognized with most canine organizations just yet.

    ABs typically are 14 to 20 inches in height. They tend to be stockier and shorter than APBTs. There are pocket ABs, standard, and XL ABs. There aren’t any weight standards that have really been established at this time, but both sexes generally range between 70-120 lbs. The body is longer than it is taller.

    Regardless, they are all bully breeds and we gotta love ’em all!

    in reply to: How big is your dog? #16468


    If your pit is 9 months old, short and stocky, and already weighs 63 pounds, I hate to break it to you but you do not have a pit bull.

    More than likely, you have an American Bully. This is a newer “breed” of dog that has come onto the circuit that backyard breeders are trying to pass off as “big, blocky, and heavy pit bulls.” They aren’t. They are crosses of pits, American Bulldogs, and the English bulldog (to give it the stocky look). They can grow to weigh over 100lbs, males especially. I saw one come through the other day that was 130 pounds. Sweet as can be, but massive as all get out. That is not the way pit bulls are.

    The weight of an average male APBT is between 35 to 60 pounds, and a female is 30-50 pounds. Those are the standards according to the UKC and reputable breeders. Of course, there are “pocket pitties” out there (tinier pit bulls that just have stunted growth) and larger pitties, but not like what you have!

    Regardless, you will have a great dog (not to mention big)!

    in reply to: Biting, puppy nips and teething. #16467

    I have never had a puppy (not a big fan of that stage in a dog’s life), but I research dog behavior in all stages.

    Puppies chew and nip everything, as it is how they learn about their world. It is completely normal. But it is important to direct the puppy to chewing appropriate items, and that doesn’t include any human body parts! At 15 weeks old, she should have already learned some bite inhibition from her siblings and mother, unless she was pulled away from them too soon. That is a chronic issue with many dogs these days.

    You need to teach the puppy appropriate play behavior. It sounds like you are on the right track with what you are doing. To teach the puppy appropriate play behavior, hard biting should elicit a painful shriek or a loud noise from the human, like a rapt “eh eh”. Just like it does with the pup’s siblings or mom, this sends the message to the pup that this behavior is unacceptable. Stop interacting with the puppy. Get up, cross your arms, and walk away, ignoring the puppy for a few. Puppies and older dogs hate to be ignored. Sometimes the worse thing that you can do to a dog (in his mind) is to ignore him when he is just trying to get your attention or play. By walking away or even just crossing your arms and turning your back to him, you have removed the “rewards” (you and the playing), and you are teaching bite inhibition. Gradually decrease the pressure of the bite you permit and add a cue before yelping to teach a signal to the dog. Ignoring the dog is kind of like a time out for humans.

    Another way is once there is biting, keep your hands very quiet and still and then redirect the puppy to other appropriate objects. Sometimes shrieking, then ignoring, and then handing the dog something appropriate to chew on is the way to go. Always have something available to transfer to her mouth. It may seem like you are rewarding, but if you do it correctly and with good timing, you are not rewarding.

    Other biting, such as on pants leg or a shoelace, can be handled by distractions such as throwing a toy or a simple clap. Remember to NOT engage the dog verbally. Just talking to the dog by saying “no” reinforces the negative behavior. You just paid attention to the dog by opening your mouth to yell at it, so you are reinforcing the behavior. Reinforce only the positive behavior.

    I know, it all seems to complicated, but it will work. I have seen it happen and I have trained it. Just take your time and be patient. Dogs are experts at reading our emotions and body language. Reinforcing unwanted behaviors is one of many mistakes we as humans make when raising dogs.

    in reply to: getting pit bull aquainted to cats #16466

    I agree with most everything, other than the physical contact given to “reprimand” the dog. By doing that, you may be causing your dog to think along the lines of “Hmmm…when I do something not right around that cat, I get tapped. I don’t want to be tapped I need to extinguish the cat, as the cat causes me to get tapped on the butt, which I don’t like”. What you are doing may trigger your dogs brain to realize that cat=punishment. In time, the dog will retaliate on the cat, and that isn’t what you are after. You are looking for a peaceful cohabitation between two enemies.

    You want to do this in the most positive manner as possible. Any type of aversive punishment (water bottle, hitting, tapping roughly, etc.) can have the wrong effect on what you are trying to accomplish. You are setting your dog up for failure, and that is the last thing that you want. Your dog will associate the item that you are trying to make him/her like with a negative response. Let’s say that if every time you took a bite of yummy chocolate, I slapped you. You would take it for awhile, but in time you would retaliate, yell, or do something. That is what will happen to the dog.

    Crate the cat and allow the dog to sniff around the crate. As you are doing this, each time the dog reacts positively (by not growling, lunging, etc.), reward the dog with a really high-value treat (chicken, steak, liver, tripe, etc.). After some time of doing this day after day for a few weels, move the cat to a room where there is more free movement and allow the dog to watch and sniff, keeping the dog on a short, tight leash. Having a baby gate up in a room and monitoring the cat on one side and the dog on the other is a great way to do it also.

    Introducing a cat to a breed of dog that already has a high prey drive (it is a terrier after all) takes time, treats, a lot of praise, and a lot of patience. This is NOT something that you can RUSH. Many APBTs and other breeds never take to cats, or take to them at first, and then treat them as prey later on. Please research it more before you allow them to meet nose to nose. Always supervise them when they are together, and never leave them alone together. Many people have dogs and cats that coexist and many have grown up together, but problems still can occur. Many don’t ever get along. Just be prepared. 🙂 Cats do things that entice dogs to chase and go into hunter –> prey mode. You have to be watching them all the time!

    in reply to: Strangers and your pit. #16465

    Kids are the worst! Sad thing is, we cannot blame the kids…it is the parents! They need to teach their children what is appropriate around dogs. Don’t tell them AFTER they already have swarmed and manhandled the dog. Tell them ahead of time.

    I am usually very strightforward with people when they come up to my dog. I tell them that yes she is friendly, but to let her come to you first. She needs to learn about you first before you pet her. Same thing with kids. I usually politely call out the parents when the kids come running over to her. People need to understand that not every dog is comfortable being petted by strangers without “getting to know them” first.

    When I see a dog that I would like to meet, I always ask first, and then I squat down and turn my side to the dog a little bit away from the dog. If the dog is interested, the dog will come over to me. After some sniffing and not looking at the dog, I slowly reach out. I don’t go over the head, but the lower neck and chin area. If I see the dog is giving me comforting signs, that I will become much more friendlier with the dog. But until then, I let the dog do what a dog is supposed to do.

    Most people (especially those who don’t own dogs) do not know the first thing about dog communication. Once you understand dogs, then you know what to do with them.

    People just need to realize that though the dog may look all cute and fluffy, rushing over to it is not the smartest thing to do. Parents need to teach kids how to behave around dogs, and I believe that many dog bites would be prevented if parents watched their children and taught them right from wrong. Don’t hug a dog (dogs do not like to be hugged), do not kiss a strange dog and do not climb on a dog. Dog may look like he likes it, but watch the eyes, the ears, the mouth, and the body. Those will truly tell you how the dog feels.

    in reply to: pit in heat #16464

    If she is a year and a half old, this is definietly not her first heat. She has had several before now.

    I understand that funds are tight, but you must get her spayed as soon as you can. Most cities have low cost spay/neuter clinics that offer incredibly affordable spays/neuters. Also, research to see if there is a pit bill rescues or organizations in your area. Many pit organizations offer low cost or free spay/neuter certificates to certain vets/clinics due to the mass overbreeding of pits. As pit owners who care about the future of our dogs, many of our organizations will help you with spaying your dog to keep the population from increasing. Spaying just one dog may not sound like much, but keep in mind that her one litter can spiral into hundreds, if not thousands of dogs when they all breed. The numbers are staggering.

    There are also many benefits to spaying your dog. Of course, one is that you will no longer need to clean up after her and make her wear diapers!! That should make the both of you very happy!

    Another benefit is that if she happens to be around other dogs while she is in heat, her phermones can cause MAJOR issues with other dogs nearby, especially males (whether intact or not), which can turn into fighting and possibly get your dog involved. Then you would be talking about some MAJOR vet bills.

    A major benefit to spaying your girl (other than preventing MORE pit bulls) are medical benefits. Females sometimes tend to be better pets if they do not go into heat every six-to-nine months. Heat cycles bring hormonal changes that can lead to personality changes. Repeated heat cycles may subject their reproductive system to uterine and mammary cancers as they age. Some feamles experience false pregnancies that can be a bother to deal with and uterine infections that can be fatal.

    Keeping all that in mind, spaying your girl would be the best thing that you could do for her right now. Please consider borrowing some cash or asking for someone to help you with her. It is your responsibility as a dog owner to take care of her, prevent medical issues the best that you can, and to prevent anymore pit babies.

    Best of luck!

    in reply to: what kind of pup #16463

    She doesn’t appear to be a true APBT, but most aren’t anymore unless you have purchased from REPUTABLE breeder. It is very hard for even true APBT people to tell the real from the “not so real” due to all the mixed breeding going on out there. I would venture to say that most “pit bulls” in society are not purebred pits and are just mutts, which there is NOTHING wrong with that!

    Regardless, she is a cutie. 🙂

    in reply to: This is crazy #16455

    It sounds like she has an aversion to men and the crate. That can be worked out, but it will take both of you, and you may have to really take over for awhile. It is all about being positive! Since you have pit experience, you know how smart and stubborn they can be. You just have to win their hearts and trust. That can take time. If this is the only “issue” that you have with her, thank your lucky stars. It can work and will work. Just take your time. 🙂

    in reply to: Any advice??? #16452

    Ooof. That is rough. So, they won’t write an exclusion on the dog? Each state is different, so since you are not in my state, I cannot really help. I can only offer suggestion. I am so sorry.

    in reply to: This is crazy #16451

    Crating can work, but you have to have patience and re-train her brain as to what crating is to be about. You need to make the crate a positive experience. It can take time, but that is what happens when you own a dog. A dog is going to take up your time.

    Give treats when she goes into the crate. DO NOT force her into the crate. A crate is a dog owners greatest tool when used properly and trained to use properly. Don’t give up.

    Start by feeding her meals just inside the crate door. Do that for awhile. Toss a really high-value treat (chicken, steak, liver) into the crate every now and then and pair it up with the word “crate”. Do that for awhile, and then shut the door. Let her out right away, but not if she starts to whine. Ignore that. Put high value toys in her crate to go and get. Everything needs to be positive. You need to teach her that the crate is a good thing. She needs to understand that the crate brings happiness.

    There should be no forcing of her into the crate. If you do that, she will nip because she associates it with her past and with you forcing her to do something that she doesn’t want to do. No dog wants to be forced into something. You need to train them. You can train her completely hands-free, except when working to shut the crate door.

    Research crate training on the internet. It is all over the place and you will be able to switch her mind into making it something positive and without any nips!

    If nothing else works, attach her to you after she pees. Keep moving and she will stop moving with you when she has to go. That is your signal to say “outside” or whatever key word you use for potty and take her outside right away. You just need to have patience. Dogs aren’t born knowing what we want them to do. You have to teach them.

    Having a dog is hard work, especially for those of us who own pits. We need to do so much more to keep our dogs in line to protect their image. If you dog started off in a negative way with her previous owner, then you have some work ahead of you to turn her life around. They don’t forget. You need to be better and make her so much better than the previous owner! 🙂

    in reply to: snow #16449

    Keep socializing your PIT as much as you can! Most dogs are great at 11 weeks of age, as they are young and incredibly impressionable. But…if the pup is not properly socialized in all kinds of environments, obedience trained, and so much more, then it is those pits that will make the news as they grow up. But, this can happen to any dog. It is the pit bull that is in the news now and we need to be diligent at how we raise our dogs.

    Most pits that you get are not full. More than likely it is a mix of some sort. Most pits seem to be mixed with labs, but no one really knows for sure unless you saw the breeding between the parents occur. You cannot just look at a dog and know what breeds are in it. DNA testing is the only way, and even that isn’t reliable.

    Regardless, you have a dog that resemebles a pit, and to many people due to the media, it is still a dangerous dog. Even if the dog has “papers”, it probably isn’t a full pit bull. You will know a full pit bull if you got it from a reputable breeder who is looking to further the breed standards, has done the proper health testing on both the parents and all the pups (CERF, OFA testing, etc), and so much more. Most pit breeders are just backyard breeders looking to make a quick buck or a mating that occured because someone wasn’t smart enough to spay or neuter their dog.

    You need to create a breed ambassador to help all of us fight off the breed myths surrounding pit bulls and their bully cousins. Socialize, train, socialize, and train. Those are so important for a well-behaved dog as an adult (and for ANY breed). Socilization and training shoudl occur throughout the dogs entire life. You need to do so much more than just walk the dog, feed it and water it. Because of the bias against pits, we as pit owners need to be on top of EVREYTHING that our dog does as to not add to the statistics!

    Keep up the good work and fight the bias!

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