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Pitbull moved into apartment building

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 

So our neighbors upstairs brought home a pitbull a month or so ago. They told DH it was temporary (neighbor volunteers at a shelter) but it's still here & it's starting to make us feel uncomfortable. 

 

Sorry if this post offends anyone... I'm not a pet person & I'm definitely not a fan of so-called "vicious" breeds. I'm not heartless (been a vegetarian for 17 years) but I'm also frankly not concerned about the dog.

 

Another thing I have to admit -- The dog is also annoying us since the neighbors often leave him to whine for long stretches of time (usually right around DS's bed time) right above DS's bed. He has woken DS up from his naps & has made putting DS to bed at night an hour+ long ordeal (beyond the normal ordeal).

 

I actually was not too worried about the safety aspect of having the dog close by until we decided we'd need to hire a babysitter two days a week. For some reason, the worry just kicked in. We don't have much contact with the dog. We have an shared enclosed yard but they never take the dog there. They don't strike me as irresponsible (except for leaving the poor thing alone for long-ish stretches).

 

I should also say that I think our building is supposed to be pet free & I have my suspicions that they didn't check with the landlords first.

 

So my questions are: How uncomfortable would you feel with a pitbull in your building? How would you approach the neighbors about it? Or would you go directly to the landlords?

 

 

post #2 of 86

Mixed.  I've been around great pitbulls and terrible ones.  The biggest factor in a great pitbull is socialization.  Sounds like there is little socialization and if you feel uncomfortable you need to talk to the neighbors and tell them you are uncomfortable.  Be honest with them.  If you share a yard they should have let you know they planned on getting this dog.  Or taking it in until it found a home.  Pitbull or not.  Not all dogs are good with kids.  What do they know about the dog?  Do they know if it's good with kids.  If they dog got out while your kids were out how would it handle the situation?  

post #3 of 86

The idea of 'dangerous breeds' is more of populist/media one than one based in any actual reality.  Rather, there are dangerous owners.  Pittbulls, by nature of their reputation, tend to attract dangerous, bad owners, unfortunately, but they are not any more 'vicious' than any other large breed dog.  Labrador Retrievers, the quintessential family dog, do more damage every year in the US.  

The pittbulls I have known personally (um, doggilly?) have been sweet, sweet, affectionate babies who think they are lap dogs, and have been uniformly incredibly patient with children.   But they were all owned and controlled by loving owners.  

 

So, the short version is, no, the dog would not worry me.  It's not going to magic itself out of its apartment and appear in your kitchen, and if that somehow happened, well, your chances are pretty much as good with a pitt bull as they are with any other dog.

 

As with any 'strange dog' any contact between dog and child should happen while the dog is on leash, and 100% controlled by his master.   

 

I don't like the sound of a dog being left alone for long hours with no contact, not because I think it puts you in danger, but because dogs are social creatures and crave the comfort of their packs.  With few exceptions, people who are going to be gone all day every day should either hire someone to come around once or twice a day and play with the animal and walk it and generally love on it, or better yet, enroll it in a 'doggy daycare' program.  

 

If you are quite sure that the lease forbids pets, by, all means, talk to your landlord, because people who disregard the rules that make all of us comfortable annoy the heck out of me orngtongue.gif     But, in absence of an actual sign of a problem, no, I don't think you're in danger just because a pitt bull is in the building.  

(factors that might change that:  you've seen the pitt bull show clear and inappropriate signs of aggression.  You become aware that the owners are either physically maltreating it or neglecting its needs for food, water and exercise.   The dog is not properly contained and gets out more than once.      But all of these are true for ANY dog, not just pitts.)

post #4 of 86
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your perspectives, ladies. Still not sure what we'll do. I think we'll at least try to get from the neighbors if it's a long-term thing & go from there. 

 

I haven't detected any aggressive behavior & really haven't even heard the dog bark or growl, which I'm assuming we would since we hear him whining. Since it doesn't seem aggressive I think that's part of the reason it hadn't really worried me until now. Maybe we should try to ask about the dog's background if we ever encounter it when DS is around to get an idea if they know how it is with kids. 

 

Thanks again!

post #5 of 86

Also keep in mind that *any* dog, no matter how agreeable, how well trained, what history it has, has a potential to bite, and any dog can do some serious damage if it bites hard enough, particularly a big one.  

 

I've taught my own children doggy manners: never, ever, ever approach a strange dog without expression permission from the owner, and only then if it is on leash.   Never run at a strange dog or raise your arms above its face.   If you want to be introduced and the owner gives permission, stand perfectly still and hold out your hand palm up, below the level of the dog's nose.   And NEVER get between a dog and his food.  

post #6 of 86


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedze View Post

The idea of 'dangerous breeds' is more of populist/media one than one based in any actual reality.  Rather, there are dangerous owners.  Pittbulls, by nature of their reputation, tend to attract dangerous, bad owners, unfortunately, but they are not any more 'vicious' than any other large breed dog.  Labrador Retrievers, the quintessential family dog, do more damage every year in the US.  

The pittbulls I have known personally (um, doggilly?) have been sweet, sweet, affectionate babies who think they are lap dogs, and have been uniformly incredibly patient with children.   But they were all owned and controlled by loving owners.  

 

So, the short version is, no, the dog would not worry me.  It's not going to magic itself out of its apartment and appear in your kitchen, and if that somehow happened, well, your chances are pretty much as good with a pitt bull as they are with any other dog.

 

As with any 'strange dog' any contact between dog and child should happen while the dog is on leash, and 100% controlled by his master.   

 

I don't like the sound of a dog being left alone for long hours with no contact, not because I think it puts you in danger, but because dogs are social creatures and crave the comfort of their packs.  With few exceptions, people who are going to be gone all day every day should either hire someone to come around once or twice a day and play with the animal and walk it and generally love on it, or better yet, enroll it in a 'doggy daycare' program.  

 

If you are quite sure that the lease forbids pets, by, all means, talk to your landlord, because people who disregard the rules that make all of us comfortable annoy the heck out of me orngtongue.gif     But, in absence of an actual sign of a problem, no, I don't think you're in danger just because a pitt bull is in the building.  

(factors that might change that:  you've seen the pitt bull show clear and inappropriate signs of aggression.  You become aware that the owners are either physically maltreating it or neglecting its needs for food, water and exercise.   The dog is not properly contained and gets out more than once.      But all of these are true for ANY dog, not just pitts.)


 

Excellent post! 

 

Before you talk to them, get over the notion that all pit bulls always equal increased danger.  They can be awesome dogs.  Things that would annoy me are the noise from a neglected dog and bringing a dog into a pet free building.  That is what you should concentrate on, not the breed.

 

post #7 of 86

I agree that it's about the owner, BUT, there are breed differences.  I got a lab mix after having a border collie/gsd mix, and the difference is HUGE.  It's not just those two dogs, either.  I've met quite a few, and breed tendencies absolutly exist.  A golden retriever needs loving and compainionship, but other than drool and jumping, you can mostly ignore all training/walking/etc, and get away with it just fine.  A german shepherd (or any other fighting or working dog) needs constant training, mental stimulation, and exercise.  Slipping on its behavior instruction for even a short time can have disasterous consequences.  Those are very hands on dogs.  They are bred to be.  I mean, that is the reason for different kinds of dogs...they are used for different things.  Having a bull fighting dog cooped up in an apartment is a very bad idea.  Did you know that pit bulls were often called "nanny dogs", and protected the children?  They are very loyal.  But...they still need a lot of attention and training.

 

Yes, labs, etc, can and do bite, and, I believe they are, actually, statistically the worst.  I suspect that is because they are generally docile, however, and people let their kids all over them.  Or, perhaps, the statistics are skewed because a lot more people own them?   I don't know...I honestly haven't looked into it enough.

 

My point is that, yes, all dogs are a concern, and it really is how they are handled, but there is a significant aspect to breeding and training.  As such, I would not be happy with a pitbull, gsd, or any other high energy breed.  Even if you have several good meetings with this dog, I would not trust it alone, period.  The daily situation changes so frequently with that type of dog, that they can be "keyed up" from being crated, or whatever, moreso than a calmer breed.  The fact of it living there would be okay.  The shared yard.  Not at all. 

 

If you are not a dog person, I would suggest that you get a few books on dog mannerisms, and get a feel for what a dog is trying to communicate, and how to appropriately respond.  The Other End of the Leash (Patricia McConnel) and On Talking Terms With Dogs (Turid Rugass) might be good places to start.  For example, when a dog is displaying aggression, looking away and yawning, licking your lips, and relaxing your body posture tells the dog you are not a threat.  Trying to bend down and talk soothingly to it, and reaching out your hand, however, can seem very threatening to a dog.  Facing a dog and telling it to come often will not work, but turning and walking while saying come will.  The reason for this is that the dog firstly understands more clearly what you mean, the second is that if you go quickly at all, the chase instinct is aroused in the dog.  That chase instinct, especially combined with a scared, screaming child, can illicit a prey response. 

 

Anyway, just a few examples.

 

Again, I'm not a pit hater, or any other high energy or working dog breed.  I do, however, feel very strongly about the needs of dogs who were bred to work.  I'm not a trainer, but I have done a good deal of reading, and have owned 10 dogs, and been involved with several litters of puppies. 

 

post #8 of 86
Quote:

Originally Posted by Just1More View Post 

 

A german shepherd (or any other fighting or working dog) needs constant training, mental stimulation, and exercise.  Slipping on its behavior instruction for even a short time can have disasterous consequences.  Those are very hands on dogs.  They are bred to be.

 

German Shepherds? Really? My aunt and uncle have always had german shepherds, and they are wonderful with children. They do need some training when they are young, but then they are just sweet lovable things. The one that my aunt and uncle have now has never been around children my DS's age, and once she figured out what he was and got used to his size has been absolutely wonderful to him. She would never turn around and bite him (I'm serious, it just wouldn't happen), she is seriously patient with him (he is supervised when he is with her, I don't let him mistreat her but I don't worry if I'm int he kitchen cooking and it will take me 30seconds to get to him, and I can go pee without worrying about them being together), and LOVES going outside int he yard with him because it gives her a "job" - herding the kid and watching him. She will let me know if he falls, she slobbers on him which he doesn't like, and is just generally super sweet. The Shepherd they had before her was the exact same way, she loved kids and never would have harmed them. My aunt and uncle do a basic training class with them as pups, and then just make sure to walk them enough, and they also have a huge backyard that the dogs can run in - the one they have now loves me because I throw a ball for her - but they don't need constant exercise they adjust very well to their owners activity level.

 

I will say though, that pitt bulls scare the crap out of me. Yes, they can be very sweet, but it seems they sometimes do a 180 in no time at all, and their huge powerful jaws lock, which means that you can't get them off once they bite down. So if they attack, the damage is severe always, and they can be very unpredictable just like all other dogs. There were pitt bulls in my old apartment building, and I really didn't like being around them. They especially made me nervous around my son, who I have taught to never approach a dog he doesn't know.

post #9 of 86

It is actually a myth that pit bulls (there are several breeds that get called "pit bulls") have locking jaws.  The anatomy of their jaw is the same as any other dog.  All dogs can bite.  The only dogs I have ever been bitten by were a border collie mix and a lab mix.  I have a colleague who was attacked by miniature poodles during a home visit.  I would actually be more annoyed about the dog waking up my kid.  Maedze has written a great response and I totally agree!!  

post #10 of 86

Where I live in the last few years there have been numerous tradgedies where children have been mauled by pit bulls. one child was actualy killed by his family pets after he climbed out a window.  One was attacked in a park near the home of the parents and one was pulled down off her bike and attacked.

I am not for being politically correct here...  I also had a adult friend get attacked in his back yard while going to a neighbors to fetch his 5 yo son.  Scary to think what would have  happened if the boy had run home thru the yard alone.

I would tell the landlords. Period.  It is not safe to have pit bulls near children- it's like leaving a loaded gun on the bed. not safe.

post #11 of 86

The boy from Johnston City- I know his grandmother...the town is a few miles from me.....I am not doing this to cause an argument- this is just the truth of the matter.

 

http://www.hillattorneys.com/dangerous-dogs/pit-bull-fatalities-2009.shtml

 

 

http://www.2keller.com/news/southern-illinois-boy-killed-in-johnston-city-dog-attack-20090708.cfm

 

http://www.kfvs12.com/story/12939845/young-boy-in-critical-condition-after-pit-bull-attack

 

Also a town near me...

 

These are just some examples that I know of personally... Google pit bull attacks on children- it's sickening.

You are right to be alarmed.

 

post #12 of 86
[quote name="Super~Single~Mama" url=
I will say though, that pitt bulls scare the crap out of me. Yes, they can be very sweet, but it seems they sometimes do a 180 in no time at all, and their huge powerful jaws lock, which means that you can't get them off once they bite down. So if they attack, the damage is severe always, and they can be very unpredictable just like all other dogs. There were pitt bulls in my old apartment building, and I really didn't like being around them. They especially made me nervous around my son, who I have taught to never approach a dog he doesn't know.
[/quote]

yeahthat.gif
post #13 of 86

http://www.dontbullymybreed.org/pitbullLetter.php  The link I've attached gives some interesting statistics and reasoning behind why pit bulls (sic) are noted to be aggressors in so many attacks.  If you don't want to click through, it has little to do with the dog and MUCH to do with the owners.  I stand with Maedze on this one...and I also note that if the phrase "pit bull" was not in the thread title or mentioned otherwise, there would be very little response to this thread--or if the dog in question was listed as a "golden retriever" (the breed of dog which attacked my dog at a dog park a few weeks ago).  

 

Golden Retriever Moved Into Apartment Building

 

 

"So our neighbors upstairs brought home a golden retriever a month or so ago. They told DH it was temporary (neighbor volunteers at a shelter) but it's still here & it's starting to make us feel uncomfortable. 

 

Sorry if this post offends anyone... I'm not a pet person & I'm definitely not a fan of so-called "vicious" breeds. I'm not heartless (been a vegetarian for 17 years) but I'm also frankly not concerned about the dog.

 

Another thing I have to admit -- The dog is also annoying us since the neighbors often leave him to whine for long stretches of time (usually right around DS's bed time) right above DS's bed. He has woken DS up from his naps & has made putting DS to bed at night an hour+ long ordeal (beyond the normal ordeal).

 

I actually was not too worried about the safety aspect of having the dog close by until we decided we'd need to hire a babysitter two days a week. For some reason, the worry just kicked in. We don't have much contact with the dog. We have an shared enclosed yard but they never take the dog there. They don't strike me as irresponsible (except for leaving the poor thing alone for long-ish stretches).

 

I should also say that I think our building is supposed to be pet free & I have my suspicions that they didn't check with the landlords first.

 

So my questions are: How uncomfortable would you feel with a golden retriever in your building? How would you approach the neighbors about it? Or would you go directly to the landlords?"

post #14 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by wishin'&hopin' View Post

http://www.dontbullymybreed.org/pitbullLetter.php  The link I've attached gives some interesting statistics and reasoning behind why pit bulls (sic) are noted to be aggressors in so many attacks.  If you don't want to click through, it has little to do with the dog and MUCH to do with the owners.  I stand with Maedze on this one...and I also note that if the phrase "pit bull" was not in the thread title or mentioned otherwise, there would be very little response to this thread--or if the dog in question was listed as a "golden retriever" (the breed of dog which attacked my dog at a dog park a few weeks ago).  

 

 

I understand that it has much to do with the owners, but really pitt bulls are dogs that need constant socialization and constant training. I don't think one can responsibly own one and work 40 hours per week leaving the dog home alone. Those dogs can be very very dangerous. And I don't care if their jaws actually lock, or the dog just doesn't let go after biting down - a pit bulls jaws can do TONS more damage than a Golden Retriever can. They never let go, and there have been many reports that a pitt bull had to be KILLED to get its jaws off its victim. That is terrifying. I'm very careful around dogs (although my aunt and uncles dog is a love and just wants to give kisses and be petted - I would never take someone she didn't know into the house without her owners being home, but she knows me well enough that I can go in whenever I want and she gets super excited and happy, my son too), and some breeds are generally OK, but I don't take that for granted and I'm teaching my son not to as well.

 

It of course goes without saying that ANY dog of ANY breed should be put down if it bites anyone. I don't own dogs because I don't have the time - I prefer cats who are socialized from birth and love people - I don't have the time to train and dedicate to teaching a dog how to act around people. So I don't own one.

 

The letter you linked to? The author clearly spends a TON of time training her pit, and socializing him or her, and is obviously a very responsible dog owner. The problem is, I don't know by looking at a dog which type of owner they are: the responsible kind, or the highly irresponsible kind who leave their dog at home alone for 40+ hours/week and then don't spend the rest of time teaching it or working with it. And as far as the statistics? Well, there weren't that many and they certainly didn't tell us that much about the breed. It's mostly an opinion piece by a responsible pit owner who probably thinks that ill trained pits can be re-trained which isn't always true. Its not true of most breeds that a dog who has been ill socialized can be retrained - its just not. There are many dogs up for adoption that the shelters say need to go a home with no children where they will be the only dog. That doesn't sound like a dog who is going to be very friendly, and I don't want to be around dogs who aren't friendly.

post #15 of 86

the problem with pit bulls is many times once it bites the first time it is too late.

post #16 of 86

I would think nothing of a pitt bull moving into the building. If he showed signs of aggression or if I had reason to believe the neighbors were mistreating him I would be concerned, but no more than I would be with any other large breed in similar circumstances. If they are fostering until they find him a permanent home, it could take some time as pitt bulls are very difficult to place due to their unfortunate reputation. I'd likely just have a chat with the neighbors about his history and quirks and give my little ones a refresher on doggy manners (basically everything Maedze said above).

post #17 of 86

I agree, and want to say again that I am not against pit bulls.

 

And, I also want to say again that, yes, gsd, border collie, or any other large working dog, bred to be energetic and mentally stimulated, MUST be.  You have had good luck with the gsd breed because it has been well treated.  You can't take a dog like that and put it in an apartment and expect everything to go well if you are not going to put the time into that it needs. 

 

And, yes, other dogs can be aggressive.  In fact, ALL dogs can be aggressive, which is why understanding the breed, and the limitations of training, etc, are important.  But, it is true that a golden is happy to hang out under my deck, and thinks its stuck when it gets its leash around its dog bowl.  My gsd/border collie, not so much.  That dog would break or chew through the line before it gave up.  My golden/lab sees a squirrel and says good morning.  The other dog sits down and drools...but only because I carefully taught him over and over and over that the response to stimuli is to sit.  A golden can go bad, but the breed itself is gentler and easier going.

 

So, again, it comes back down to ownership.  And a pit bull whining alone in an apartment all day is not good ownership.

 

OP, you should be concerned, and at the very least, keep your child away from this dog, no matter how friendly it seems.

post #18 of 86

If they're not supposed to have pets, then they're not supposed to have pets.  No matter what kind of pet it is.  Pet policies are not JUST about them having a pet but about you being allowed to live in a pet free building, which is what you signed on for.  If that's the case, you're well within your rights to call the owner or property manager and let them know there's a pet, it may be a nice pet but it's a NOISY pet and it's disturbing your family, and your lease should be protecting you from that. 

 

I would go directly to the owner or property manager.  That's the beauty of renting, it's not your job to enforce the rules.  I would stress that while the owner may be allowed to bend the lease, YOUR LEASE guarantees YOU a pet free building and this is one of the reasons you chose to live there.

 

I am a pet person.  I love dogs.  Love.  I have one, he's part of our family.  I have very little tolerance for pet people who break and bend the rules, they make it much harder on the rest of us.

post #19 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post

If they're not supposed to have pets, then they're not supposed to have pets.  No matter what kind of pet it is.  Pet policies are not JUST about them having a pet but about you being allowed to live in a pet free building, which is what you signed on for.  If that's the case, you're well within your rights to call the owner or property manager and let them know there's a pet, it may be a nice pet but it's a NOISY pet and it's disturbing your family, and your lease should be protecting you from that. 

 

I would go directly to the owner or property manager.  That's the beauty of renting, it's not your job to enforce the rules.  I would stress that while the owner may be allowed to bend the lease, YOUR LEASE guarantees YOU a pet free building and this is one of the reasons you chose to live there.

 

I am a pet person.  I love dogs.  Love.  I have one, he's part of our family.  I have very little tolerance for pet people who break and bend the rules, they make it much harder on the rest of us.

 

nod.gif
 

 

post #20 of 86

Pitt bull bites do not lock.  That is an old wive's tale.   And a pitt bull bite is no more dangerous than any other large breed dog bite.  



As for German Shepherds, they are high energy dogs that crave structure, a well-organized pack, authority from a clearly delineated alpha, and lots, and lots of exercise.   They are also incredibly affectionate, loyal, fun and good with kids.....and all of those things are true of pitts as well.  AND LABS!  orngbiggrin.gif

 

 

 

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