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Would you adopt a pit bull from the shelter? - Page 6

post #101 of 131
A pit bull is one of several dogs I would never adopt from a shelter. Is it stereotypical? Possibly. I also would never adopt a border collie...because I know I'm not the owner that can handle their exuberance/intelligence. Is that stereotypical? Possibly.

I think it's more likely that I am aware of certian breeds that I am not a good fit with. Pits, Rotts, Pinschers, border collie, german shephards, westies, chows, terriers...are several.

I own a gigantic labrador....which I did get from a shelter.
post #102 of 131
I wouldn't have a pit either--I hate it when dogs want to lick me all the time!

Two months ago I did adopt a 3yo, second hand german shepherd from an unknown background. She's perfect for us
post #103 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by APBTLuv View Post
Lets see some references to back up your so called "statistics".
Since you asked:
"During the twenty-year study period between 1979 and 1998, pit bulls and pit bull mixed breeds were responsible for 76 out of 238, or 32% of all reported dog bite fatalities"

Cited here:
http://enhs.umn.edu/6120/bites/dogbiterefs.html

From this study:
Sacks JJ, Sinclair L, Gilchrist J, Golab G, Lockwood R. Breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1998. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 2000; 217: 836-840

Since Pit Bulls do not make up 32% of all dogs in the US, they therefore have a larger than expected percentage of fatal dog bites during those years - if we assume that there is no "breed" prediliction to biting, the amount of fatal bites should be proportionately equal to the proportion of that breed within the US.

Don't get me wrong here (although I am sure as an APBT owner you are wont to dislike me because of my interpretation of the above) there are plenty of nice APBTs out there. The problem is, they're not for the inexperienced owner. They're big, powerful, and have decades of breeding for the purpose of dogfighting in their lines behind them. That is not the kind of DNA that I want around my child, or that I would recommend a family adopt unless they have lots of dog experience.

It's like, if I know someone is a beginner rider, could they survive on a 3 yo just broke QH? Sure, they probably could - they might get along really well, they might also have some problems. I would probably hedge my bets and start the person out with my reliable old school horse. Is there still a chance of injury? Of course, anytime you ride there's a chance - but with the schoolmaster there's less of a chance of injury. Once the person is more experienced, then sure go wild with young horses and have a good time. Am I making sense? I'm pretty tired!

If you want the full text of the JAVMA article let me know and I can send you the pdf (I think it's online for subscribers)

Edit: here's the article (i think) http://www.dogexpert.com/FatalDogAttacks/dogbreeds.pdf
post #104 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekimballs View Post
Holy cow, no they don't. Dogs bite with between 150-300 *pounds of force* (NOT psi), with large breeds higher on that scale, but there's zero evidence that a Rott or Pit is magnitudes larger than the other breeds or anything even close to that. As any protection trainer can tell you, in general the larger dogs bite harder, so a 100-lb Shepherd is going to bite a lot harder than a 40-lb pit bull. A bite expert will also tell you that the pound-force of the bite is not as important as the depth of the bite, whether the bite is quiet or chaotic, whether there's one bite or several re-bites. That's why you CANNOT make breed assumptions and why you MUST ignore the crazy mythology (Pits have locking jaws, Pits can scissor their teeth, Pits bite at 1800 psi, etc.). A Springer Spaniel who bites seventeen times in an attack is going to do a lot more damage than a pit who bites once.
Ok, I asked my trainer today. I gave him the background of this thread and asked 'what do you think about adopting a pit/pit mix as a family dog?' He said "ADOPT? No way." (I guess getting them as tiny puppies are ok? Didn't have time to ask) He's had a 30 yr career training various breeds for security firms, police, and family dogs. When I asked about strength of bite/type of dog he didn't answer but had several stories about using all his might to pry pits off other dogs with crow bars. Now, I saw those gruesome photos of the pomeranian attack (ohmygosh, it's awful), and I don't like small dogs, but the idea of needing a bar to separate a dog from a person freaks me out. Everyone has a bias- he displays his family photos of hulking GSDs and Dobermans with his grandkids, and I wouldn't adopt these 'gently used' around kids either. That being said my friend's adopted shit zu nearly ripped her hand off and they had to put the dog down...
I hear the best things about boxers, but purebreds have so many inherited health problems I'm nervous about adopting one.
post #105 of 131
I have no idea of the background of your trainer, but OF COURSE he'd have to work to get pits off other dogs. I can tell you identical stories about Bull Terriers, Danes, Ridgebacks, etc. I'm a little worried that a professional trainer would have stories about crowbar--anybody experienced with dog fights would have a breaking bar, which is a safe and effective tool.

Again, this is nothing that we haven't been saying throughout the thread: Pits are other-dog aggressive. THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS HUMAN AGGRESSION. If your trainer implied that it was the same, he's totally wrong. You DO need to protect other dogs from your dog if you own a Pit, a Malamute, a Dane, a Ridgeback, any of the livestock guardian dogs, and about fifty other breeds. But nowhere in the realm of reality does that mean that those dogs or those breeds are dangerous with humans.
post #106 of 131
Nope. Years ago I had a roommate who had a pit bull that she found as a stray puppy. The dog was sweet and smart. But, you can't always count on that. We have a golden retriever that we adopted from a pound - she was part of a litter that had been found out in an alleyway and she wound up having pneumonia and was an expensive pound puppy.
We also have a mutt that was found as a stray.
I believe in adopting and caring for stray animals.
But, pits can be unpredictable and unsafe dogs unfortunately.
post #107 of 131
Oh my gosh. Do you ever feel like you're just whacking your head against a wall? How many times do we have to say "They don't "snap," they're not unpredictable, they're good dogs, they're not unsafe, they don't have freakish jaws, they don't...they don't... they don't..."? I feel like I've said the same thing six times so far in this thread, and all anyone responds with is the same old crappy myths and LIES.

There are many homes that are inappropriate to the Pit temperament. If you have other dogs, if you have free-ranging rabbits, if you don't like exercising a dog, don't get a Pit--OR any of the large sporting breeds OR any of the northern breeds OR any of the livestock guard breeds, etc. But don't buy into the crap and the lies--that's how breed-specific legislation ruins lives and unfairly discriminates against perfectly normal and sound dogs.
post #108 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekimballs View Post
Oh my gosh. Do you ever feel like you're just whacking your head against a wall? How many times do we have to say "They don't "snap," they're not unpredictable, they're good dogs, they're not unsafe, they don't have freakish jaws, they don't...they don't... they don't..."? I feel like I've said the same thing six times so far in this thread, and all anyone responds with is the same old crappy myths and LIES.

There are many homes that are inappropriate to the Pit temperament. If you have other dogs, if you have free-ranging rabbits, if you don't like exercising a dog, don't get a Pit--OR any of the large sporting breeds OR any of the northern breeds OR any of the livestock guard breeds, etc. But don't buy into the crap and the lies--that's how breed-specific legislation ruins lives and unfairly discriminates against perfectly normal and sound dogs.
FWIW, I've heard everything the pro-pibblers have been saying. And while I'm still not quite sure if a pitter would be ok with us, I get it.

They don't snap. Their "issues" are usually apparent, and there are no "hidden triggers".

Dog on dog aggression is totally different from dog/human aggression. I've read an article linked somewhere in here how well bred pit bulls of the past must be relied upon not to bite a handler in the throws of a fight, and animals who were not reliable in this situation would have never been allowed to breed more pits...therefore it's this trustworthiness with humans that has been bred into the well-bred ones that have made the breed so tolerable with humans, and many times children.

I've even seen this, on Animal Cops Detroit, where they have confiscated fighting pits from illegal dog rings, and while they would tear each other apart, the animal control officers would have such difficult time with mandatory law to put them to sleep, because the same pit that just finished killing another dog is so gentle and easygoing with the humans.

FWIW, I've saw two pits at the animals shelter, both were very calm. Then there was a yellow lab. He was staring me down (very challenging in my experience) not wagging his tail (although not bristling either) and barking at my little one. A lab. The pits, on the other hand, where trying to get into the corner closest to him, hoping he would scratch them. (I would not let him put fingers in pens, though...)

I'm not sure if they would be right for our family, but I have learned a lot from this thread. A WHOLE lot. And since I was the one who started this thread as a curious pupil looking for answers, that's the most important thing, right?

Also, a lot of people come in and see a 5 (6? more?) page long thread and don't always bother to read all the points brought up a long time ago. They read the first post and answer the question. I find it a common occurrence in most forums (not even just MDC), that when a hot-button issue is brought up and hashed out and pretty much resolved, if it becomes pages long, often times people will come in much later and just answer the OP and not bother read the rest of the thread to see that their points have already been discussed...several times even, in the thread.

Don't worry, you have already convinced me of the bad rap of the pitts, and a few people coming in later voicing their opinions won't change my mind about them.

(If my mind was changed that easily, I would have circ'ed, formula fed, and would not even be on mdc today! --we have already established that I am NOT a mainstream follower, easily swayed by common myths.)
post #109 of 131
The nicest, betsest dogs I've ever met have been pits or a pit/border collie mix. Not science, just my personal experience.

This past summer, our neighbour's pit got into it with another pit. My ex walked up to the bloody mess, pulled their jaws apart (I nearly fainted), and they stopped fighting. Strangest thing I've seen.
post #110 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekimballs View Post
Oh my gosh. Do you ever feel like you're just whacking your head against a wall? How many times do we have to say "They don't "snap," they're not unpredictable, they're good dogs, they're not unsafe, they don't have freakish jaws, they don't...they don't... they don't..."? I feel like I've said the same thing six times so far in this thread, and all anyone responds with is the same old crappy myths and LIES.
Is this in response to me? Nothing posted was a myth or a lie - it's statistics. Pits are responsible for a larger amount of dog bite related deaths than expected given their population in the US. That's a fact. If the same were true for dachshunds I would post that as well.

Does that make them a bad pet for everyone? Nope, and I didn't say so either. Don't know why you feel the need to bang your head against the wall
post #111 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DogMomforNow View Post
Is this in response to me? Nothing posted was a myth or a lie - it's statistics. Pits are responsible for a larger amount of dog bite related deaths than expected given their population in the US. That's a fact. If the same were true for dachshunds I would post that as well.

Does that make them a bad pet for everyone? Nope, and I didn't say so either. Don't know why you feel the need to bang your head against the wall
I don't think the kimballs was responding to your statistics.

I think she was more or less responding to the following 2 points by 2 different posters:

Quote:
When I asked about strength of bite/type of dog he didn't answer but had several stories about using all his might to pry pits off other dogs with crow bars.
and

Quote:
But, pits can be unpredictable and unsafe dogs unfortunately.
Because it has already been strongly discussed in this thread that a)pits can and often are dog aggressive and b) dog on dog aggression is different from dog/human aggression. It's already been established that a dog aggressive dog does not always= a human aggressive dog. People who know anything about pits know that well bred ones are by definition, not human aggressive.

And c) if you are an experienced enough dog owner, who knows what you're looking at and what you're dealing with, there are no "hidden triggers" with pitbulls. No dog has to be unpredictable. You have to know the subtle signs, and if you are not experienced enough to recognize the subtle signs a dog gives before it bites (there are ALWAYS signs before a bite) then maybe a cat/ferret/rabbit would be a better choice.
post #112 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekimballs View Post
Oh my gosh. Do you ever feel like you're just whacking your head against a wall?
yes

my shelter pit/mix:

-is not dog aggressive at all, so it may not be the case for all pit/mixes
-she is very very patient with the baby and will let me know when she needs a break from him
-she has never growled or bore her teeth once in the years we've had her
-rarely barks
-she's not food or toy aggressive at all and will move to let the cat (or, gag, baby) into her bowl while she's eating or playing
-she will let the cat sleep in her bed and just lay outside of it pouting
-pouting, she is definitely a pouter. she knows how to mope better than any teen I've ever met
-she'll pee if she thinks she might be getting in trouble
-she hates weather and needs to wear a coat outside
-she will not do a thing wrong unless we fail to walk her every day. then she'll find stuff to chew or steal our food or be generally antsy
-she needed to be un-crate trained because she would just spend all of her time in the back of the crate in a little ball
-she is afraid of yelling and crinkling newspaper and fireworks and car washes--she will tremble and need cuddles

From what I can tell, she's just a normal dog. She is also my first dog as an adult and only the second pitty dog I've known. The other one was also a family dog with very similar traits and was taken in as a stray.
post #113 of 131
I owned a pit/mix from a shelter and though ours was a pleasant experience I just stated , many pages ago, that I wouldn't do it again because you just never know. That being said *I* was bitten by a pit whose owner had her on a leash (but ahd NO clue how to handle her) I, as a rule, never make eye contact with dogs when I am out running or walking. This case was no different. I passed calmly by this dog, giving her plenty of space and when I was just about past her she turned and bit my arm. No warning, no nothing. SHe had to turn and lunge at least 3 feet at me and like I said, she was on a leash. The owner was being responsible in that respect, but was aghast that her dog bit me. I reported it, but we never could find her/the dog.

BUT, I have also been bitten by a little fee-fee dog (think chiuaua-sp?- with fur) and a crazy mutt as well so its not *just* pits that can be unpredictable. My arguement was they are strong and powerful dogs and should not be owned by someone not a)familiar with the breed or b) not willing to do some training including training of the owner!
post #114 of 131
One of the worst bites I've seen was from an adult rescue bunny that I adopted (boyfriend deserved it!). I did not do research first but saw that little nose and was hooked. When we stopped trying to make a pet out of a bunny that was never handled as a baby he lived out his days happily with my cats, who taught him to use the cat box...

My friend has adopted 5-6 ferrets over the years and loves them, but she doesn't have kids. They are great enterainment and require similar care as rabbits. Hers are very sneaky about getting out of the cage and get along great with her cats and dogs. I prefer the smell of wet dog, myself.
post #115 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekimballs View Post
Oh my gosh. Do you ever feel like you're just whacking your head against a wall?
Yes.



A crowbar? Geez. Get a breaking stick.

And unpredictable? No, no dog is unpredictable, if you have a close and attentive relationship (and usually even if you don't). Unlike humans, they don't lie. Their bodies will always tell the truth.

Alas, due to the "pit bull hysteria," even bite statistics are arguably flawed. I have seen reports on TV where someone was "attacked" by a pit bull, but "thankfully, no skin was broken." Riiiiight. Because this was a "pit bull," apparently, they felt the need to report this as a bite. Whereas I've been "attacked" by many dogs (no pit bulls, however, despite the hundreds I've known), and it would NEVER have occurred to me (or others) to report such a bite.

Additionally, you have to keep in mind the misidentification of unknown dogs. I have seen firsthand that anything even mildly resembling a pit is called one. My friends have a lab/mastiff mix, and I guarantee you if it bit anyone it would be a "pit bull" story... he looks a lot like one! But he isn't. Check out this test... can you find the APBT??

AND (in regards to bites/attacks), we must also admit that APBTs are wildly popular among unsavory types. Most dogs treated in the manner that they are commonly treated by drug dealers, gangsters, etc, would lash out eventually (although many rescues go on to be loving pets, because of their human-loving heritage). I have read news reports where APBTs attacked, a big deal was made of it, and then it later came out (quietly) that the dogs were on drugs.
post #116 of 131
I loved the pit my ex had (we lived together). He left her in a hot car in the summer and she died. She was beautiful, smart, not exactly cuddly but great temperment. She wasn't fond of children or anyone in uniform or elderly people, though.

No, I probably wouldn't want one now, because they need a ton of exercise- heck, most breeds do. I don't want a dog in general right now for that reason, but I also wouldn't want to deal with the attitude of people not wanting to come over my house or let their kids over just because of my dog.

A funny story is that we went to my mom's friend's party last summer. She had just bought two pups from someone who had a lab, and claimed the sire was- I forget what type of terrier. I REALLY think they're part pit- could a pro look at these pics and tell me what they think? keeping in mind they were well under a year old at this point

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6.../bethsdogs.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...bethsdogs2.jpg


They are SO cute and have great friendly personalities- but my mom's friend was upset when I said I think these dogs are half pit, because of the stigma. Of course, they absolutely rip her house apart b/c they're left alone in it all day, they have a very small outdoor area, they are really regretting buying these dogs, especially two at once! I keep trying to tell her they need TONS of room to run and exercise and to be really assertive with them, but
post #117 of 131
On the dog/dog aggression, my Zeus used to be quite wonderful with other dogs, there was only one incident when he went after a puppy, and it was because there was food involved. Some person who isn't so bright decided to give my dog a piece of sandwich and said "here you go Zeus" so he knew the food was for him, but the puppy went for it, and Zeus ended up fracturing the other dogs skull. Luckily he was taught "Release" even before he was taught "sit" and the puppy survived. He didn't start really being aggressive with other dogs until he was neutered. Before that, he would run off (usually because there was a bitch in heat), and often times I would find him frolicking and playing with other neighbourhood dogs. Now that he is neutered though, he gets a mohawk down his back and goes nuts barking watching his former play mates walk down the street.

I wish I had a video camera to post this, our cat Mickey is the boss and will not allow Zeus to eat until she says it's ok to do so. The food routine is hilarious, as the cat has to pass under his belly, then under his chin then have a few bites of her food and a drink of water (they share a water dish) by then there is a puddle of drool under the dog and finally he is allowed to eat.
post #118 of 131
JFTR, I reported ALL dog bites I rec'd. Even the fee-fee dog bite.
post #119 of 131
I just wanted to say I've learned a lot here. I was forwarned by many people about how viscious pits are and how they are breed for violence. I was told under no circumstances was I to adopt one (we have 2 indoor cats and 2 young children). Nobody ever explained the difference between human/dog or dog/dog interaction. It makes sense. That said I still don't feel comfortable adopting from the pound. From a rescue yes... Will I adopt a pit? I still don't know...
post #120 of 131
Definately would not adopt one
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