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Would you adopt a pit bull from the shelter? - Page 3

post #41 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
It is very true that any dog who is not being well handled and train may snap. Dogs will offten give a small child a snap if they feel that it is there place in the pack to disapline a subordinant member.

The thing is that when my great aunts poorly trained toy poodle did this to my sister, my sister learned not to approach dogs that are growling and got a bandaid. If my great aunt had owned a pit bull that she had not carefully trained my sister would have ended up in the hospital and the dog would be put down.

An individual PB may or may not be well train/aggressive, but all pit bulls are very large, very strong and have extremely powerful jaws.
Point taken about strength and damage, absolutely. But 'careful training' is not necessary for the vast majority of pit bulls (just like other people friendly breeds) to avoid aggression towards children. You don't need to 'carefully train' out something that does not exist as a drive in the animal's psyche, and I would say that any dog that requires careful training to not harm a child is not a dog I would want to own.

If you have a dog thinking it can 'discipline' 'subordinate' humans, you have a serious dominance issue.
post #42 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Point taken about strength and damage, absolutely. But 'careful training' is not necessary for the vast majority of pit bulls (just like other people friendly breeds) to avoid aggression towards children. You don't need to 'carefully train' out something that does not exist as a drive in the animal's psyche, and I would say that any dog that requires careful training to not harm a child is not a dog I would want to own.

If you have a dog thinking it can 'discipline' 'subordinate' humans, you have a serious dominance issue.
This is why so many of us have said that people with little experience with dogs shouldn't get a dog that may require someone who can be a good alpha.

SOME people have good instincts in that regard. I would say most do not. If someone is clueless about how to maintain leadership over a dog, will they even be able to tell the signs of a dominant animal in the first place? I don't think so.

Add in the distraction of young children, I don't think that inexperienced dog owners should pick a breed that is going to cause them trouble right off the bat on paper, is going to require that they be able to be strong advocates for their pet, ect for the first run. It's just irresponsible towards the poor animal who is going to be the one most likely to suffer the consequences for clueless human owner behavior.

ANY dog can have dominance issues. (truth be told, I've seen it more often in smaller dogs. Maybe it's like short-person feistiness syndrome or something.) However, when that dog also comes in a strong, powerful package and one that can and will put you at great financial risk should something happen, I don't see how it's responsible behavior to just blow that all off because awwww, he's so CUTE!

Hey, if someone's never had experience with dogs but loves pits, good for them! If they love pits so much, given the lawsuit-happy and automatic death penalty that most "high risk" breeds face if their owner makes a dumb mistake or can't handle it, then they should be willing to invest the time in volunteering with a shelter or rescue group and get hands on experience and mentoring. *espeically* if they've got a young kid. That will save more pits in the long run.

If someone isn't willing to lay out time upfront to learn about the breed and make sure that they have the stamina and finances and ability to handle it, then IMO they don't deserve that dog. Probably a bit harsh, and there are always folks that do remarkably well on the fly (and/or luck out and don't have a dominance issue with their dog of any breed).

I just think that saying that there's no pragmatic difference between a pug and a pit bull as far as risk to the dog and risk to people and other animals in the event of an uncontrolled dog is a little much. That's just as emotionally skewed as people who say that all pit bulls are death machines. Reality is somewhere inbetween, related to the individual animal.
post #43 of 131
thismama, I agree with all of your posts in this thread. I can see you know and love the breed too.

There are definitely precautions to take and traits to be aware of. But gosh, there are a lot of myths out there... and as a Pit Bull owner for 16 years now, it never stops being disheartening for me. If a Pit Bull does not fit into (general) your life or your family, by all means get a different dog, but don't believe or spread all the untruths you've heard about Pits, either. Especially implying that they can seem sweet and wonderful on the surface, but suddenly turn into monsters that maul random people in the neighborhood. Geeze. I can guarantee you that any Pit Bull that attacks a human does not do so out of the blue, with no prior warning signs. The red flags of that dog's behavior were ignored, accepted, or even encouraged- probably for a long time- by the idiots who owned it.
post #44 of 131
No, but I wouldn't adopt ANY dog from a shelter unless all kids were at least 10 years old and knew how to handle the particular dog. I would only get a puppy or an adult dog that we already knew very well.
post #45 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
I just think that saying that there's no pragmatic difference between a pug and a pit bull as far as risk to the dog and risk to people and other animals in the event of an uncontrolled dog is a little much.
I don't think she said that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Point taken about strength and damage, absolutely.
Tigerchild, I totally agree, I think it takes a certain kind of owner to be willing and able to own a Pit Bull properly. The dogs themselves have been the easiest part- they're eager to please, easy to train, and so, so loving to people. But the dog aggression can be a pain, and the insurance hassles, and the random people who are terrified after they find out that the nice dog they've been letting their kids pet for 20 minutes is a Pit Bull. I once made a friend and I thought we were going to be really close. We did lots of stuff together, and our daughters got along great. But then I had her over for dinner, and she couldn't get over her phobia of Pit Bulls, even though I put them in the bedroom while she was here. She never called me again.
post #46 of 131
I've had three dogs. My Shayna was adopted by my Husband and his Exwife when she was a year and a hal old. She was in the shelter because and older puppy had her and couldn't handle her leash pulling. She became me and my Hubby's when she was 6 years old. She was a Shepherd/Husky/Carolina Dog mix, not the brightest dog in the world, but definately one of the sweetest and one of the friendliest. She needed a strong Alpha male in her household, which she got in my Husband and she was fine.

My Princess was bought from the pet store I worked in at the time when she was 8 weeks old (she was there for 2 weeks before she was bought) and she was on the way to the shelter at 4 1/2 months when I adopted her. The wife in the family called and let us know she was on her way to the shelter with the puppy, because the puppy was not housetrained. I told them I'd take her. They had locked her in a pen in their kitchen with newspaper and no one ever walked her and rarely changed her newspaper. We had the harded time housetraining her because of ths. The man of the house regularly physically and verbally abused this then 7 pound puppy because she pottied on the floor and to this day, she is only really comfortable with my Hubby and my Father-in-Law. All other men, especially strangers, she will literally try to disappear behind me or if I'm not right there, she will go belly up and try to disappear into the ground if they come near her. She's never bit anyone, but if approached and threatened, she's the most likely of my dogs to bite. She's an American Eskimo and she just turned three years old. Of all my dogs, she is probably the most "dangerous" because of her past, but given her personality before her first home and given my previous relationship with her before her first home, there was no way I was not gonna take her home. I love my other dogs very much, but Princess is the most wonderful dog in the world. Because of her early history, we have more of a bond. She would have been very hard to place if she had been in a shelter, because of her fear issues and because most people looking for an dog in a shelter are not really experienced dog owners.

Then there's Tara. We adopted her from the local shelter (I've fostered dogs from this shelter before, also) at 6 months old and she's now 9 months old and she is doing wonderfully. She's a Shephard/Beagle mix. We really don't have much of a history on her because she was found as a stray or abandoned dog running around with a leash on. No one ever came looking for her at the shelter. The shelter worked with her and evaluated her intensely before adopting her out. She would have been fine in almost any adoptin afmily, I believe.

I think it depends on shelter, the new owners and the individual dog. I would adopt a Pit Bull from a shelter, if it was the right dog that came along, but I would need to know it's history (same with any dog I took into my home, by the way), to trust the shelter (I work with a certain shelter and two other dog rescue organisations) and it would also depend on the owner's experience and abilities and family situation. Some dogs (notice, I said DOGS, not BREEDS) I would never trust near a child or I would be hesitant to take into my home. Some I would take in a heartbeat. All I would weigh in any factor in the dog's current or past life and my own experiences and abilities according to the dog's individual needs.
post #47 of 131
I wouldn't get one because it wouldn't fit into my family. I don't feel like I have the energy or time to devote to a pitbull or many highly energetic breeds for that matter. Our Westie is fairly energetic and of course we devote a lot of time, exercise, and training to her, but from what I understand of pit bulls(and I'll admit I haven't done a ton of research on them), they need a lot more in terms of exercise. I know they're in the terrier group, but I've also heard them described as working dogs who do best when given some kind of job. I saw this story about a pitbull named Wallace who had a very tough time in the shelter and was showing aggression, but a man named Roo adopted him and started doing competitions with him. Disc competitions and power stuff. Once Wallace had this 'job' of training for competitions and performing he was a great dog. He just needed an outlet to release all that energy. I don't feel like I'd be able to provide that kind of stimulation. I know not all pitbulls need that much stimulation though.

We also have a small backyard and while it's fine for a little dog, it'd be three leaps and it's over for a bigger one. There aren't any dog parks right near us, so we'd have to drive pretty far to get those daily games of fetch in, so we felt that pretty much ruled out all larger breeds for us while we're here. We also have a law here that pitbulls must be muzzled when in public, and I'm not sure you can take the muzzle off even in a dog park. So that would be completely unfair to the dog. It feels like I'm making excuses! But I guess we have to consider all these things before finding a dog that's right for us. Besides all of this, the shelters around here wont let you adopt a pitbull unless you have experience with the breed.
post #48 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by DogMomforNow View Post
When you look at dog bite statistics in the US for the number of pit bulls there are a disproportionately high number of bites (ie. if there are 2 bites per hundred basset hounds or westies, there are 10 bites per hundred pit bulls). So people that say that pits or ASTs are no more likely to bite are misled.

Lets see some references to back up your so called "statistics".
post #49 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
This is why so many of us have said that people with little experience with dogs shouldn't get a dog that may require someone who can be a good alpha.
What I am saying though is that you are no more likely to run into the problem of a pit bull who bites people than you are with any other breed, so yes in terms of dog aggression you need to be a good alpha (if your dog has that trait which many do). But pit bulls IME do not require heavy control to refrain from biting children... that is just not how they roll. If they did I would recommend against them because it is true they are very strong.

Quote:
SOME people have good instincts in that regard. I would say most do not. If someone is clueless about how to maintain leadership over a dog, will they even be able to tell the signs of a dominant animal in the first place? I don't think so.
I agree, I see a lot of people who have not clue one about dogs and dominance and it is disturbing. But, so? That is no more a case against people owning pit bulls than it is for any other large breed.

Pit bulls are no more prone to dominance issues than other breeds. They are, after all, just a dog, with the psychological make up of a dog. They were not bred for human directed aggression, or territorial aggression, or really any other type of aggression but dog aggression. They are strong yes, but they are not more likely to try to rule your roost than the average dog.

I would fear the likelihood of a bite from a small high strung snappy breed such as a poodle, or a one-human-bonded dog such as a chow or a dalmation, much more than from a pit bull. I would allow my child to approach a strange pit bull any day before one of those breeds, and I regularly interact with strange pit bulls myself because I have a soft spot in my heart for these guys. I have not had a negative or scary experience. Of course, I do read doggie body language very well, but I can only think of maybe one pit bull I would not approach, while there have been many strange dogs of other breeds who demonstrated aggression toward me on the street.

Quote:
Add in the distraction of young children, I don't think that inexperienced dog owners should pick a breed that is going to cause them trouble right off the bat on paper, is going to require that they be able to be strong advocates for their pet, ect for the first run. It's just irresponsible towards the poor animal who is going to be the one most likely to suffer the consequences for clueless human owner behavior.
Sure, this is a good point and pit bulls are not for everyone... someone inexperienced and unwilling to get help with training and understanding dogs is definitely not a great candidate. But you could also take this argument and say nobody should ever adopt a shelter dog as there is the risk you won't be able to deal with it if you are not 'perfect' on paper (like if you have children, which some seem to be saying means you should not adopt a pit bull).

Meanwhile dogs rot in the shelters, and pit bulls are numerous among their ranks. And there are some damn fine pit bulls who need homes. The dogs are physically amazing (an incredible combination of strong and agile thanks to the bull/terrier mix), extremely intelligent, have a high pain threshold which makes them very tolerant about pulled or stepped on tails from small children, and are very loving dogs. They also have comparatively few health issues relative to other breeds, are not territorial or human aggressive by nature, are not high strung or overly sensitive, and are not among the breeds who only bond to one person.

For the right homes, they can make really stellar, high quality pets.
post #50 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lula's Mom View Post
thismama, I agree with all of your posts in this thread. I can see you know and love the breed too.

There are definitely precautions to take and traits to be aware of. But gosh, there are a lot of myths out there... and as a Pit Bull owner for 16 years now, it never stops being disheartening for me. If a Pit Bull does not fit into (general) your life or your family, by all means get a different dog, but don't believe or spread all the untruths you've heard about Pits, either. Especially implying that they can seem sweet and wonderful on the surface, but suddenly turn into monsters that maul random people in the neighborhood. Geeze. I can guarantee you that any Pit Bull that attacks a human does not do so out of the blue, with no prior warning signs. The red flags of that dog's behavior were ignored, accepted, or even encouraged- probably for a long time- by the idiots who owned it.
ITA. Barring something like a brain tumour that radically changes a dog's behaviour, they do not just 'snap' out of the blue. There is danger in owning any dog, especially for people who are clueless about dominance and dog psychology. But this mythology of the sweet pittie who 'turns' on its humans is simply mythology.
post #51 of 131
Oh, I am so sad to see all these negative responses based on half-truths and propaganda

With children in the house I would be hesitant to add any dog to the mix without a good history. An out and out shelter wont have that but the OP mentioned foster homes. Usually the type of places that do foster homes also do personality evalutations, tets for aggression, etc. If all of that was done, I'd do it.

I agree that pitbulls arent for everyone. Then again goldens arent for everyone either. Also, a lot of pit mixes arent. The shelter I adopted my dogs from had to tell you if they thought there was any chance of pit blood, which meant any bully traits to them. Also, so many people mistake all sorts of breeds for pits that you never really know.
post #52 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
If you have a dog thinking it can 'discipline' 'subordinate' humans, you have a serious dominance issue.
This is why I think anyone who wants to own any dog that wieghts more than about 40 lbs. should have to pass a test or take a class or something. IMO most "dog problems" are really owner problems. My great aunt always spoiled her dogs and allowed them to view themselves as alphas (or a least betas,) but she also never had a dog that was more than 15 lbs. She also was careful to warn parents of small children who wanted to pet her dogs that they might bite.
post #53 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by gabysmom617 View Post
I plan to adopt a dog/ferret tomorrow or sunday. I am going to the shelter tomorrow.
Putting the pitbull discussion aside, this sounds like a problem to me. The OP isn't sure if she wants a dog or a ferret, but she's getting one or the other tomorrow. If she gets a dog, it might be a second hand pitbull.

Gabysmom, please take a little more time to think about it. This is a pretty big decision, and you're talking about two entirely different species.
post #54 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
But you could also take this argument and say nobody should ever adopt a shelter dog as there is the risk you won't be able to deal with it if you are not 'perfect' on paper (like if you have children, which some seem to be saying means you should not adopt a pit bull).
I suppose I'm in a minority here, because I believe that regardless of breed, unless you truly are willing to devote a lot of time and are willing to get educated as necessary you shouldn't get a dog. From the shelter or anywhere else. I also think that people shouldn't get a first dog of any kind when they also have young children, because most people don't have a lot of spare energy AND if they're also extremely inexperienced that means the dog may get blamed for, well, being a dog and the owner may stupidly but unintentionally put their child and their dog in danger. I've noticed that a lot of experienced dog folks tend to not get a new puppy at the same time they have a toddler or a new baby, because they know how much work a puppy can be and they don't feel like dealing with multiple babies at the same time. The groups that want you to wait until the youngest kid is 10, eh, I think that might be extreme.

I see a lot of rescue groups of large dogs DO make people prove that they've got permission from their apt. or HOA to have large dogs. I've even seen some groups require proof that they're insured! And I'm pretty sure that those groups do a great job as far as educating owners as to their rights in the community, probably make a home visit to make sure that the environment is secure, ect. I also think that's why a lot of people go to the shelter, where as long as you sign a piece of paper promising to take the dog back to the shelter and swearing that you're not lying about your home environment and cough up the fee they don't screen people at all. Same thing with backyard breeders.

Yes, a lot of big dogs rot in shelters because people are scared of them. But those people wouldn't be able to handle them anyway, and they'd likely end up being euthanized or dumped back at the shelter anyway. And many of those dogs rotting in shelters of any breed tend to be there because the humans involved bought on impulse, cuteness, whim, or thought that it wouldn't take that much out of their day to care for a dog. What good is an impulse adoption, if it means that yet again the dog is abandoned or cared for inadequately?

I have nothing against pits. And truth be told, I'd rather see people have to jump through hoops to get any animal. Realistic, no, not very, and I realize I'm just an awful mean horrible person for thinking that way. I guess I've just seen a lot of sad outcomes for the animal when people don't think before they take a puppy or young dog home (or parrot, rabbit, rat, hamster, cat, ferret, ect for that matter).

Just about any domesticated animal *can* make a good pet. If the person's willing to be the right person, or to not get the animal if they're not so they don't screw up its life and make it more difficult to place them later.
post #55 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmagick View Post
Oh, I am so sad to see all these negative responses based on half-truths and propaganda

<snip>

Also, so many people mistake all sorts of breeds for pits that you never really know.
And to the PP who said that she knows so much about dogs, then goes on to say that dogs are inherently unpredictable- that is a huge contradiction. Dogs are not unpredictable IF you know much about them.
post #56 of 131
i know many many APBTs that are lovely gentle dogs that are fabulous with children. (my MIL's included)

i know statistically speaking that APBTs are not more likely to bite than a golden retriever

but i still suffer from breedism myself and I foolishly allow others to affect my choices. I dont want a breed that other people will consistantly "blame" or point fingers at. I dont want a breed that people instinctively fear. I alos notice that when there is a problem at the dog park, there is often a bully breed in the middle (and an irresponsible owner holding the leash)

APBTs have a bad rap for many reasons, many of which are not valid. But I guess I feel that pet ownership is supposed to be rewarding albeit challenging experience. By taking on an APBT you are instantly taking on the predjudices that people have with the breed.

so to sum it up, while I do not believe that PBs are a "bad" or more dangerous breed,I am sorry to say I would not want to deal with the additional responsibilities and stigmas associated with the breed by uninformed humans
post #57 of 131
That is fair enough, and I have personally experienced a LOT of fear/hate about the breed. Years ago in Toronto after a young girl was killed by a bullmastiff people would routinely cross the street when they saw us coming.

OTOH there is also the comradeship of pittie lovers... for everyone who hates my dog there is someone smiling at me and sharing a kinship... often people I would not have connection to otherwise so it is kind of cool that way. When you love them, you love them, and there are many kindred spirits around who come out of the woodwork.

As for bully breeds in the middle of drama at the dog park... well, that is what they do. They are dog aggressive, IME more often than not. That is a huge PITA honestly and the biggest drawback about them by far IMO. Dog aggression plus a huge need for exercise is a difficult balance to negotiate.
post #58 of 131
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamallama View Post
Putting the pitbull discussion aside, this sounds like a problem to me. The OP isn't sure if she wants a dog or a ferret, but she's getting one or the other tomorrow. If she gets a dog, it might be a second hand pitbull.

Gabysmom, please take a little more time to think about it. This is a pretty big decision, and you're talking about two entirely different species.

I've thought about it for about 5 years now. How much longer must I wait to think on it? I want a ferret or either a dog, (maybe eventually both) and I realize how drastically different they are. I've always wanted a ferret, done tons of research on them, but never had one.

As for dogs, I grew up from babyhood up with dogs. I'd like to think I know a good deal about dogs, and about the whole "dominance submissiveness" things. After spending a little bit of time with a dog, I can pick up whether or not it is a submissive dog or dominant dog. When you grow up lonely, and spend all day outside with the dogs, you get to know dogs pretty well.

So, while I'm not exactly a newbie at dogs, (my most recent experience being a couple of years ago, prebaby, when I had to bottle raise some less than week old puppies for several weeks because their mother died Sigh, all of the nights of whining and bottles of puppy formula mixing and wiping little butts to stimulate them to "go", paid off, because all four of them survived and are big and yappy today... )I have to say that we've never had a pit bull. My dad had a boxer/pitt mix once, but I did not spend much time with it. I have a lot of love for spaniels, hounds, pointers, labs and english bullies, though, because I spent a lot of time with them growing up.
I was just wondering, what, if I speak with a foster, and a wiggle-butt obviously submissive minded pit mix seems to be right for us, should I turn it down just because it's a pitt? Doesn't seem right to me. But I dunno.

But just because I've spent 5+ years thinking and researching on the type of pets I would like and I come out with two drastically different species that I would eventually like to settle on doesn't mean I haven't thoroughly thought the decision through.

And also, Adding here, I haven't decided on a pitbull. I want to go in looking for a dog that is right for the family, regardless of breed. I was only wondering about rethinking my decision to automatically and indiscriminately omit pit and pitmixes from the lists of otherwise suitable pets for us that we come up with.
post #59 of 131
No, I dont think you should turn it down because its a pit, for sure. As long as you know pitties are strong, very agile (mine could clear a 7 foot fence, no joke), have high exercise needs, are usually dog aggressive (which you might not see for a few weeks with a new dog on 'good' behaviour - that is what happened to me with mine), and that they have a hard time obeying in situations where they want to follow their urges... those are the drawbacks IMO but there are also many, many positives about the breed.

And getting a ferret probably cancels out getting a pit, and vice versa, because with few exceptions, IME pitties can't stop themselves from trying to eat cats, ferrets, etc. My little girl is fine with our cats but she is 11 years old and an extreme tempermental rarity in the pittie world.

Good luck with your decision mama!
post #60 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by wedgered2 View Post
but i still suffer from breedism myself and I foolishly allow others to affect my choices. I dont want a breed that other people will consistantly "blame" or point fingers at. I dont want a breed that people instinctively fear. I alos notice that when there is a problem at the dog park, there is often a bully breed in the middle (and an irresponsible owner holding the leash)
Pit breeds shouldn't be at the dog park, period. I don't care how experienced you are. I am honestly not a big fan of dog parks for the vast majority of dogs; they're chaotic and the dogs come into them full of energy and behave totally inappropriately, forcing other dogs to punish them for behaving badly. I discouraged puppy buyers from bringing Danes to dog parks, for example, because Danes don't suffer fools gladly and the bigger dog is ALWAYS blamed for the issue.

But Pit-type dogs, no matter how well-behaved, should NOT go to dog parks. Pits are instinctively dog-aggressive, and while a truly savvy and experienced owner can keep things somewhat controlled at home if they have multiple dogs, in a dog park situation things can and will get seriously out of hand. It's just insanity to think that your Pit is going to be different, no matter how much you love him or how well you raised her. They are dog-aggressive dogs, and you've got to respect that.

In terms of whether I'd adopt one, the answer is no right now, because I have multiple dogs. If I ever were to be in a situation where I wanted one dog for the lifetime of that dog, I'd adopt a bully-type dog in a flat second. They're fabulous with people, easy care, relatively healthy, very trainable, great jogging companions, etc. But you cannot disrespect their difficulties with other dogs.

In every instance where I have dug deeper into dog attack stories involving pits, there have been some major stupid actions on the part of the people. It's often the result of people trying to break up a fight, getting in the middle of two dogs with food on the ground, two males with a female in heat, trying to rescue a smaller dog being attacked, bitch with new puppies, etc. The nightmare scenario of a relaxed, friendly dog getting up from his bed by the fireplace and biting someone's face is simply not happening.

And I agree with all who have said that you are far, far more likely to be bitten by a small dog. In my own personal life the tally of small dog vs big dog is about 70 to 1 (and the one from a big dog was totally my fault, and even though I was an idiot and deserved it she didn't even break the skin).
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