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I am sorry to hear about this situation, but it sounds like you are not backing off of getting your pet out and about in the community, especially if only you and your husband can walk them at this point. That is the first step, to getting the dog out more for people to actually SEE that the dog is not “vicious,” as more often than not people think of pits. If you are able to help at least one person see how kind and loving your dog is, that is one more person on the “pits” side. 🙂 If you find it within yourself, I’d approach these neighbors and others who speak like this against your pet–I don’t know that I’d bring my pit along at the first meeting. But I know when I first just TOLD people that we were adopting a pit, esp. some at school (my co-workers) were like WHAT? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? I said, “Okay, first thing, not adopting BECAUSE he’s a pit, but because he was the MOST BEHAVED out of all the dogs we walked at the shelter.” And there will be some people whose minds you will NEVER change, which is unfortunate. They will never know the love a pit can give. That is their loss, not yours.
You’ll have to read the first comment of this thread, along with others that follow. It’s not that we like our pits “ferocious,” but exactly the opposite…how the typical view of a pit is “WATCH OUT THEY’RE GONNA EAT YOUR FACE OFF!” When, in reality, our pits are just big ol’ babies who need to inspect EVERYTHING in their path–sticks, twigs, toads, leaves, and other things as well, to make sure their owners and family are safe. 🙂
I enjoy so much reading about instances where other pits have been “afraid” or “leary” of inanimate objects. Our pit, about 2 1/2-3 years old (we figure closer to 2 1/2), one day while out in the backyard with my husband and I, began to grown and have hair stand on end. We couldn’t for the life of us figure out what was wrong. We then had noticed how the wind has knocked down the upright laundry basket we had outside (just had clothes hung up, left the basket standing there). He knows what the basket looks like standing up, but if it’s on its side, he’s not sure how to feel about that. SO…to make the story short, if something is out of place (the garbage can, a pillow or two, a fan is knocked over, the laundry basket isn’t standing up, etc.), O’Shea notices and will sound an alarm for us. THANK GOD FOR PITBULLS! 🙂 🙂
I am really sick and tired of how anybody, kids or adults, find it funny to antagonize a dog…and then walk away. You know, I will switch into “defend” mode if something startles me, but not to the degree of a dog. A dog’s only real defense mechanism is their teeth, sadly enough to say. Sure, could stand up and uses their paws to “push” whatever or whomever is startling them away. I’ll be thinking of all of you who have experienced incidences involving your pet either being taken away or is in the midst of possibly being taken away…due to other’s actions against them. I fully believe, if it can be deemed, to put some sort of punishment against those who antagonize dogs…
I am so sorry to hear about this situation. I do have to ask, in lieu of the first incident, what was done following that to counteract the behavior? And when the animal control officer came to the door (she was at the door, correct?), and your daughter went out of the door…had your daughter been taught to know how to best handle the dogs? Especially when “strangers” are at the door, keeping the dogs sitting/staying until they were signaled all was well? I know our pit is extremely protective, since being in our newer house. He doesn’t like the door bell or people knocking much, but I immediately make him sit/stay until I answer the door and/or the person is invited inside.
I have heard, sometimes, where, as you described, your dog had shown no aggression whatsoever before these incidences. But then, when reaching a certain age, usually around 2 or 3 years old, the adult mentality begins to shine, sometimes being overly protective. I am not an expert by any means, but seeing as how there had been two incidences, and although you describe them as “nips” and not “bites,” do what you can with the animal behaviorist, but be prepared to receive other judgment. I will be thinking of you!
And not that long ago this morning, someone else commented on this story, first stating they were glad they kids involved were okay (as am I–I would hate to hear of anyone getting injured by an animal). But they went on to describe an incident where they were attacked by a pitbull, and that particular animal was also shot and killed. They, due to this, fully believe this breed should be banned from the city. I’m just not sure how I feel about it…maybe I’m a bit biased because I, too, own a pitbull. But we take precautions when playing, walking, etc., knowing he has a stronger build than other dogs around him, and that he can tend to be more dog-aggressive. I’m just interested in how many attacks happen by other breeds that don’t make the news?
If your dog is a big chewer like ours is, the one thing that has stood up to his habits is a beef bone–no other kind (not a ham bone), but a beef bone that may have marrow on the inside. We did away with rawhides, as he would chew and chew and chew until they were soft, then eat them! With the beef bones, he does not break them (unless it’s a “fake” beef bone–he has broken them in half, and we then take away and throw away). Otherwise, toys with layers (and maybe squeakers) on the inside? We found a toy (forget the name) that had like four layers of stitching, and squeakers in the middle. Wanted to purchase but it was $20, just for this one toy! Oh well..I guess we have a small price to pay for a toy that may last awhile longer, instead of getting cheaper ones that last about 10 minutes! Good luck to you!June 1, 2011 at 3:06 am in reply to: Dog attacks–why do they continue to undermine the breed? #17285
@Mama loves Maximus We seem to experience the same “excitedness” of which you speak with our pitbull. However, if I notice that kids are too excited, I remove O’Shea from the situation, as I know that often the people who are super excited are way young and couldn’t handle his excited nature. But I always try to educate people when they greet him, “You first should put out your hand, so he can sniff you…and I’ll bring him to you. Be sure to pet him -here or there-, as sometimes he doesn’t like being pet around his nose…” those sort of things. I know people will sometimes say “I know how to approach a dog,” but I think pits are a little different, in that they ARE high energy dogs, and if someone doesn’t know how to approach them, they could get hurt. And it’s NOT because it’s in the pit nature to hurt someone–because that’s BOLOGNA!
Has you done different training exercises with your pup? I know ours still attempts on jumping up on people, but we use commands such as “down” and “sit…” keep it simple, with a real stern voice, and if he doesn’t comply, we place him in the other room….or, if you’re outside with the dog, is he on a chain of some kind? I am sure you’re taking all the steps necessary to be a responsible owner–I’m just trying to think of all the things I’d try to do to keep the people I love, and my dog, safe 🙂
I do hope you’re able to find lots of help on this site. I’m a new owner (have had O’Shea for a year now), and am learning new things every day. Do consult people here–many have such good information to share, it’s wonderful!May 18, 2011 at 1:54 am in reply to: Gentle leaders,prong collars,harnesses what do you use? #17224
When we first got our pit a year ago, he had on a simple flat, nylon collar. Seemed to work, but I think the material in the collar created a skin reaction–that or a combination of the material in the collar and the food he had been eating regularly at the shelter…so we moved to a different collar. From there we began leading with a regular leash, that had a traffic handle also–seemed to be okay, until he saw other dogs or squirrels/rabbits. He was just too excited!
We were recommended to try the Gentle Leader, which we did…but at first had a heck of a time figuring out how it best fit our pup. There are some with snaps and others without–we had the one without–made fitting take more time. After a few times with it, O’Shea realized he couldn’t tug like he used to…and yes would throw fits, but walked decently well–always used treats as reinforcers.
After some time, we got a hold of a harness, that has seemed to work real well for him. Yes, he still gets excited when meeting other dogs, but we always try to make him sit/wait, and if he does well, we give lots of praise (but should probably carry more treats from time to time with us, to keep things consistent). I’d like to get him back to using the Gentle Leader, as it has worked…but as it has been stated before, each dog is different
All of these comments, whether from those who own a pit or not…all are said with some form of emotion behind it. And to a comment by Reason awhile back–“do you see why smart people don’t generally own pit bulls?” WOW–you can have your opinion, and will respect you for that, but when you begin to degrade people, simply because perhaps of their choice to own a dog that is “vicious,” I’m sure you know people who own Rottweilers, or Weimeraners, or even Collies for that matter. Have you heard of something called temprament? Although it is true that labs generally receive some of the highest ratings on a temprament test, Pits score higher than breeds such as Collies and Chihuahuas.
SO, I guess what I’m saying is this…thanks, first off, for allowing me to accept your opinion, but in turn strengthen my own (for I know no matter what I say or do, it will never change your mind–I have many people just like you who I meet every single day)…and it is not my job to change your mind, but perhaps a day with a pit who has been cared for, loved for, and given all the luxuries a well-mannered dog should receive…perhaps your opinion would change (but I know that won’t happen)…
Initially, after reading the initial comment on this thread, my emotions took over. I am, by nature, a woman–we are born to be emotional beings, and I am true to that, right down to the ‘t.’
However, when it came to adopting our pit, it was all about how we connected with him on ALL levels. We took the time to research the breed, to decide if it was indeed the best for us. We knew it’d be a challenge in the beginning, simply because pitbulls are known for their stubborn nature and strength. HOWEVER, this was not going to stop us from weighing the pros and cons of owning a pit. Our community has no ban on pits, but rather “vicious” animals. We took walks with him weekly for two months straight before we decided he was right for us–my husband’s in construction and I am a music teacher. We took him out into our community immediately, to get him acquainted with any and all who may meet him someday.
We’ve owned other dogs in our families–labs, husky mixes, retrievers…none have been so obedient, intelligent, and lovable as our pitbull. I sympathize with the loss of your pet–BELIEVE me, if something (dog or not) had killed a pet of mine, I’d be devastated, and would want justice. But we’re taking steps in our family to ensure the safety of all around us, including that of our pitbull, O’Shea. We’d be doing him a HUGE dis-service if we didn’t train him, and continue this training throughout his life.
Our lil’ guy (about 2 years old) seems to get aggressive when he wants to play, but only in that “I have to play like a dog” aggressive. He barks a lot then, but after about a few minutes, we wear him out with running around. I give piano lessons, and sometimes ours just gets a certain “look” from a couple of kids (I think the kids think it’s funny they can make him feel that way), and he may growl, but in a playful way. Irregardless, I try to let the kids know that they may not know they’re looking at him funny, but I teach them to just leave him alone until we’re finished with the lesson, then we can play if we have some time.
Otherwise, O’Shea doesn’t really seem to like when other people smell of male dogs–at least we’re pretty sure he doesn’t like other male dogs. He gets along just fine with the ladies, lol!March 19, 2011 at 9:42 pm in reply to: Dog attacks–why do they continue to undermine the breed? #16911
AMEN!! I’m pretty sure my husband and I will love no other dog like we do the APBT! 🙂 Everywhere we went today, people commented on how well-behaved he was, and how fit he is…and then they ask what breed he is, and we tell ’em he’s a APBT…all of them had the same reaction–it’s all in how you treat them!
Takes all of us out there, in whatever communities we may be, to spread the good word about the breed!! 🙂 Bless you and your pits!!!
Do you know if these others who she barks at have pets of their own, specifically dogs? Or if they have come into contact with other animals? Not as if that’s an excuse for barking, but I know ours sometimes will get overly excited if he smells a certain type of dog he really doesn’t like. And sometimes he just gets excited and barks if the people around him give him a certain look (a COME AND PLAY WITH ME or I’M SCARED look)…I’ve noticed he’s picked up A LOT on signals given by people.
Do you ever have her sit/stay, and have people approach with the backside of their hand? Sometimes that’s less intrusive…ours is still learning this sit/stay technique…hope all is getting better with your situation! 🙂March 19, 2011 at 1:32 am in reply to: Dog attacks–why do they continue to undermine the breed? #16907
Haven’t been on here for awhile…but in the news in IA there have been LOTS of stories on, get this, PIT BULL ATTACKS?! What? Dare they report anything about a LAB or POODLE attack? Guess not…but that’s not going to sway my husband and I one way or the other. Our dog is a PIT BULL, and pretty darn proud of it! Has been through training, is NEVER without some sort of supervision, and is the most lovable dog we have ever known or owned. Here’s a story that’s posted on FB, for anyone wanting to read:
A few weeks ago, her owner let her outside to go to the bathroom, but Kibbles (female pit) kept going out behind the barn and barking like crazy! Kibble’s owner didn’t want to make the trek through the mud and cold to see what was going on and just called Kibbles back into the house.
Later that night, Kibbles went outside for another bathroom break and again went back to the barn and was barking like crazy. This time, when her owner called her back to the house, Kibbles was not alone! Gently clutched in her mouth was…a PUPPY!!!!! (a VERY large puppy!)
Kibbles was carefully carrying Bianca, a beautiful white husky mix puppy, who was only about 6 weeks old but weighed almost 15 pounds!!! That’s quite a mouthful!!!
Assuming that this puppy had been dumped on her farm, Kibble’s owner took the pup in, bathed, fed and cared for her. A few weeks later, she and Kibbles brought Bianca to the shelter so that we could find the loving permanent home she deserves.
Lo and behold, it has happened!! Bianca will go home with a loving family later this week. But I wanted to retell the story of this gentle, loving pitbull and how she saved the life of a pup who had been recklessly abandoned on someone’s farm.
The journey shared between these two loving creatures shows us how compassionate, nurturing and instinctive our canine friends can truly be! Thank you Kibbles for being Bianca’s guardian angel and best of luck to Bianca in her new home! 🙂