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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a horrible, horrible sucker.

My son and I went into a local pet store to pick up catfood. While we were there we saw what must be the worlds cutest puppy. A 8 week old American Pit Bull boy with white and black spots. We sat and played with the puppy and chatted with the owner for a while.

The puppy came from friends of his that have a mated pair and breed them once or twice a year (eee! Backyard breeders?).

The pup was awesome, not to submissive not too dominate, very people focused, crawled up in DS lap and started licking him.

After talking with the shop owner for a while about the bad rap APBs get, he offered me a discount on the pup because he's worried that someone will buy him for a fighting or guard dog.

I was planning on getting a pup in the next month or so, but a Pit Bull had never made my list, and I had planned on getting a shelter dog...

Thing is I totally feel in love with this pup, I can't stop thinking about it and worrying about who might buy it (I live in an area with LOTS of dog fighting)

Would I be insane to buy this dog? My sister thinks I'm crazy for even thinking about having a pit around a child.
I know the breed can be the sweetest things in the world, but probably has some very specific issues and considerations in their training. I am NOT a experianced dog owner. I'm not totally unexperianced either though. I've had one dog, a hyper rescue husky with serious emotional issues that had to be worked through.

I'm just torn.
: On one hand I'm ready to run down there and get this pup right this second, on the other hand this isn't how I planned on bringing a dog into our family and I'm nervous about making a lifetime commitment on a whim, KWIM?
Give me some thoughts here. Please?
 

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I'm no expert, but all the pits Ive ever been around (4, all w/ the same owner) have been awesome. One was a rescue from a WT guy that thought she'd be a good "guard" dog. She was missing an eye and he never took care of it or anything-but she is an absolute doll. Loves kids-they ride her and pull her ears and she's a great kid dog. I'd rather have her than a cocker. (but I'm not a spaniel fan, so thats not saying much...)

I'd go buy him but I'm a sucker too, so that's probably not much help. At least you'd know what kind of upbringing he had. Sometimes the best decisions are the ones your gut makes, not your head.
 

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Do you know of a trainer in your area? If you could find someone willing to help you train the puppy, I'd go for it. They can be very sweet dogs.
 

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Well, a puppy is a LOT of work, regardless of breed. Do you have the time and energy to crate train him? For multiple daily walks when hes a bit older? Puppy proofing? You say you arent an experienced dog owner... If so, Id think more abuot getting an adult, trained dog from a shelter. I feel for your compassion and totally empathise, but a spur of the moment decison involving animals is rarely a good idea...
The fact that this dog is being sold through a pet store also bugs me, I dont think highly of most pet stores' conditions and lack of followups.Not to mention the INSANE prices most of them ask. And, like you said, if this pup is the product of an irresponsible breeder situation, you will be rewarding them and pretty much guaranteeing they will breed their dogs again.
As far as APBs go, they are by and large WONDERFUL dogs but I wouldnt call them "easy" for someone who isnt experienced with dogs.
If you DO decide to get the pup (Im sure hes adorable!!), make sure hes healthy, take him to a vet ASAP for a check up, and get started on training. There are lots of folks here in the pets forum that can help you along the way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone.

Aridel, I just got off the phone with local trainer.


EdlysMom, I'd planned on getting puppy soon either way. I've crate trained a dog and puppy proofed before (well he wasn't quiet a puppy but was totally untrained and sufered from seperation anxiety when I got him). Like I said I'm not totally unexperianced either.

Yeah...I'm bothered by the ethics of it. I don't like the idea of buying from a petstore or mystery breeders. I guess I'm trying to figure out how to balance that against the high likelihood of the pup going to a dangerous nasty owner.

Can anyone give me some info on what the training struggles are for this breed? I've tried googling but I'm getting conflicting inormation...the one thing that is agreed upon is APBs are dog agressive. I guess that makes sense. Any trustworth links for this breed?
 

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His story does not pan out, and it sounds like a big load of kaka.
People who fight dogs do not pay pet store prices for them--they've got plenty of idiot buddies with pups on the way.
How much is he talking as far as giving you a discount?? If he wants more than about $80.00 for the dog then he's full of it.

Just a thought too....responsible pet food stores DO NOT sell animals. I personally refuse to provide business to or support in any way any store that sells animals.
 

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I'm worried about the pet store owner's assertion--every single pet store says that they get their puppies from responsible local breeders, and so far I've not seen a single one that DOES. If you dig deep enough, Hunte corp is the source of all the puppies. It's like the used car salesman's "oh yeah, this was my sister's car" line.

If you buy this puppy, you are supporting that local BYB (if that's even where the dog came from). You'll also encourage the pet store owner to keep selling puppies in the store. Is that what you want? Until the market disappears, dogs will be bred and sold carelessly. You may save this one puppy, but next season that bitch will be bred again. Are you going to buy all of those too? Until every BYB has an entire litter of unsaleable puppies sit in their living room for a year, they're going to keep doing it.

By and large, the pit breeds are fantastic with people. But they are very, very prone to dog aggression, small-animal aggression (against cats, etc.), and they're incredibly strong and driven. For the right families there are no better dogs--but they are not an easy breed to raise correctly.

If you decide you really want a pit, I'd look at rescue, where there are likely to be multiple litters of pits and pit mixes, and then hie thee directly to a trainer with the idea of having a relationship with this trainer for the next year if not longer. If you don't want a pit, DON'T GET ONE. Every puppy is adorable, and many, many will be just that right combination of submissive and dominant and will crawl up in everyone's lap. Support and encourage rescue or responsible breeders; don't give irresponsible people the profit they need to succeed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I live in a really small town, so the only places to buy cat food is walmart or this pet store, and I don't think walmart carries the low mag food my cat needs.

The puppy is being sold for $200 (about what they go for at flea markets around here) he offered it to me for $100.

Thank thekimballs for the clue in...I'd never even heard of Hunte corp
argg....

See I told You I was a horrible sucker
 

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Its really true about supporting the BYBs by buying their pups. My advice is to be strong, say a prayer for that puppy and get ready to go to a shelter where you can have more of a say as to what animal you get and get a spay/neuter in with the deal. If only it was easier to follow our hearts!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I guess the bright side to this is the research I've done because of this pup has really convinced me that I DO want an APB.
 

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Just be careful. There's a disease called puppy fever--it isn't the puppy that catches it, it's you. Puppy fever is when you fall so deeply in infatuation with one particular puppy, or the idea of a particular puppy, that you convince yourself that this is a MUST dog. You make sure to read the positive sections of breed reviews and not the negative ones, or you tell yourself that you can overcome the negatives no problem. You hunt around for gorgeous pictures of the breed of your choice, and you read everyone's positive stories. It's very, VERY dangerous.

You have done, what, a week or two of research on this breed? You need to take a big step back. There's a reason it wasn't on your list to begin with--what was it? Stop thinking about that puppy in the store--in fact, don't think about ANY puppy. Think about the adult dog. People who walk pit bulls down the street are avoided--can you handle that? Many home insurances will drop you or send your premiums through the roof--can you afford to be without home insurance? Can you provide adequate exercise? Can you socialize your dog for months and months and even then protect him or her from situations where the dog may come in contact with other dogs (your fence may need to be beefed up or even totally changed, wire sunk, etc.)? Can you handle friends refusing to come over?

Honestly, pit breeds are too much dog for the majority of households. They are a dog bred for a specific purpose, and you have to understand them and sympathise with that purpose (without ever participating in it, of course). You need to be able to look at this dog and say, "this dog may kill other dogs." If you then say "oh, but not this one" or "never my sweet baboo," you're not ready for this dog. If you're not ready to put things into place to make sure that the dog never has the opportunity to have unsupervised contact with other dogs, you're not ready for this breed.

If you can look this challenge square in the face and make a real plan to solve all the problems, and if you can set up a support system (family, trainer) to help you with a strong, determined, very rowdy dog, then start contacting breeders. Run away from anyone who encourages you to take a puppy without visiting first. If you get the appropriate reluctance to sell you a puppy over the phone, ask for more. Ask them "Why should I NOT buy a pit bull--tell me the negatives." Be ready to admit that this is not the dog for you. And then visit the breeder's home--be ready to stay a few hours. If you are not ready to set up your household the way the breeder has his or hers set up, to sustain the damage I can guarantee you you'll see around the breeder's house, to commit to the training the breeder recommends, then walk away.

I think you should visit breeders even if you take a shelter dog--breeders are the best place to see a dog or group of dogs and to get an honest review of the breed. Shelter workers are often inexperienced or just want to get the dogs out the door, and the dogs themselves are stressed and not themselves.

I know I'm being very discouraging--I get very, very worried when inexperienced people fall in love with breeds that are challenging. I'd argue just about as hard against someone wanting to buy my breed, and I think they're awesome and they're generally very easygoing and easy to train. You're talking about a breed that is not easy. So please, just be careful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by thekimballs
I know I'm being very discouraging--I get very, very worried when inexperienced people fall in love with breeds that are challenging. I'd argue just about as hard against someone wanting to buy my breed, and I think they're awesome and they're generally very easygoing and easy to train. You're talking about a breed that is not easy. So please, just be careful.
No, appreciate your candor on this. My only real exposure to the breed was a a polite and well train adult owned by a roommate of mine many years ago. I wasn't around for her puppyhood or training, so it is likely that I'm giving too much attention to the positive aspects of the breed.

It would seem I'm drawn to difficult breeds.
I had Harley the Hyper Husky as my first (and as yet only) dog. And now that I'm looking again the breeds that interest me the most are pit bulls and great pyrenees.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Medusa

It would seem I'm drawn to difficult breeds.
I had Harley the Hyper Husky as my first (and as yet only) dog. And now that I'm looking again the breeds that interest me the most are pit bulls and great pyrenees.
Urgh, yeah, both very difficult. We owned a Pyr for a year before we admitted defeat and rehomed her, and I'm not exactly inexperienced. It's a breed that requires incredible dedication (and eight-foot solid fences because they'll climb or break anything, and locked doors because they can open doorknobs), and again can be other-dog aggressive. Pyrs also just simply don't listen to you. That's their purpose; they were bred to be solitary flock guardians, not under the control of a shepherd. They needed to be able to ignore the advice of a shepherd arriving on the scene (because the person may not know that there is in fact a coyote lurking around the hill, so instead of coming the dog should run off and investigate). So Pyrs can NEVER be off-leash, they'll never learn commands with real consistency, and they're incredibly intelligent problem-solvers (hence the fences and doorknobs). They will also not hesitate to fight or drive off any dog they perceive as threatening, and that perception may not meet yours. Their territory is naturally about ten thousand acres, so they hate being confined and will try to get out and patrol.

OK, so what appeals to you about these two very, very different breeds? What do they have in common? Maybe I can recommend something that contains the same appeals but is a little easier to handle and train.
 

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Like Joanna said--do not think about puppies. period. We don't even let people SEE our puppies until their second visit, why?? Because EVERY puppy is adorable--that doesn't mean you're going to fall in love with the adult ball driven maniac that adorable pup is going to turn into.

Pyrs are a difficult breed as well. One of the primary problems I see with ANY breed as a trainer is an owner's lack of respect for the animals ability. Pits were bred to fight, on top of that a whole crap load of unscrupulous dorks have filtered human aggresion into certain lines. There is absolutely NOTHING that scares the crap out of me more than a pit, or rott, or shepherd or mastiff owner telling me that if you love the dog enough he won't be aggresive. This is pure BULLSHIT and it's not the way it works. You can't love your husky into not pulling, you can't love your beagle into not sniffing and you can't love your border collie into not herding everything from houseflies to sheep. Nor can you love your protective and/or dog aggresive dog into not having the inate behaviors he's been bred for centuries to possess.
 

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Quote:
You need to be able to look at this dog and say, "this dog may kill other dogs." If you then say "oh, but not this one" or "never my sweet baboo," you're not ready for this dog.
This couldn't be any more correct.

As an owner of an AST/APBT I have to say I would not recommend getting a APBT from a pet store or back yard breeder. Your potential for heartbreak and disaster is great. I would even go as far to say you should not get one from a rescue either. The are some real reasons for this before I get flamed. This breed is in big trouble right now, people think breed specific legislation is the answer to the "pit bull problem" and the slightest mistake one person makes has the very real potential to effect every one with the breed.

IME the vast majority of rescues that adopt out APBT/AST do not do so properly and do not give the breed the respect they need. They do not properly screen dogs or homes and adopt out dogs with inappropriate temperaments or adopt them to people that are unprepared for them. Any bit of shyness or human aggression and the dog should be euthanized. Harsh I know, but its also harsh when one fear biter or human aggro dog nips (or worse) little Johnny on the hand, then all responsible owners are punished when the town says get rid of your monsters or we will do it for you...

APBT/AST also have a pretty high rate of hip dysplasia, ACL problems, and heart problems. If you buy from BYB or adopt from a rescue you do not know the parents and you do not know what problems may be awaiting you. I may be over paranoid because I have had 2 dogs with hip dysplasia, one so severe he was crippled by the time he was 1 year old. Its not fun and its not cheap to fix and cannot be fixed in all cases. I also don't want my dog dropping dead at 4 or 5 from a heart attack or forking out $3000 when they tear their ACL's...

APBT puppies generally are a huge PIA, my dog is 1 and I consider myself lucky I have made it this long with out throttling him. They are terriers and act like terriers, they are always busy and always into something. They are an even bigger PIA to train. They are stubborn dogs that would just as soon give you the one finger salute as do what you ask them. They are not stupid dogs, they just don't see a purpose in doing commands over and over or listening to you. "I already sat once for you, why should I do it again? I am just going to ignore you now, have a nice day". Some are more compliant than others but don't expect a Golden or Lab type compliance. As far as dog aggression goes, expect any dog to have it, but the level will differ. Some dogs are hot (very dog aggro) some are cold (not dog aggro) but most lie somewhere in-between. This is not a breed you take to a dog park and not a breed you let "say hi" to every dog you see passing by. You just don't do it period end of story.

If you are dead set on getting one I would highly recommend getting one from a very good breeder that not only shows in conformation, but competes in some kind of dog sport, has some sort of temperament titles on their dogs, and at the very bear minimum tests their dogs for hip dysplasia, cardio, and thyroid. This narrows down the field considerably but there a breeders like that out there. If you would like some links to some breeders PM and I will send you some
 

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your heart is totally in the right place mama. follow through with your plans for a shelter dog...

Quote:

Originally Posted by EdlynsMom
Its really true about supporting the BYBs by buying their pups. My advice is to be strong, say a prayer for that puppy and get ready to go to a shelter where you can have more of a say as to what animal you get and get a spay/neuter in with the deal. If only it was easier to follow our hearts!
ITA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by thekimballs
OK, so what appeals to you about these two very, very different breeds? What do they have in common? Maybe I can recommend something that contains the same appeals but is a little easier to handle and train.

I want to preface this by saying that obviously I'm far from an expert on the subject so a lot of this maybe incorrect impressions I've formed.
Better to find that out now rather than later.

I'll start with what I think they have in common.. I like they are known as confidant and affectionate. From my reading both are known for bonding deeply with their families (probably not so rare for dogs in general though). Both breeds seem to have a certain "presence", that I think has more to do with personality than physical stature. I like intelligent dogs (which might be part of the problem).
I also think big ol' chunky heads are super cute.

Things they don't have in common that I like.
I'm just entranced by the nobility that pyres exude, and WOW are they beautiful. I like that they're known as booth gentle and protective. I have a really soft spot for big dogs. What turns me off about this breed is that while I totally respect their independent nature I don't think I've got the experience needed to handle it.

Things I like about apbs, I like that they are surprisingly friendly. I know it's probably considered bad manners, but I love the way they lean into people they like. I love that most of the pits I've met have seemed to really adore children. I really like how focused these dogs are, they seem very Zen-like to me in the sense that their entire being is completely absorbed in what their doing at the moment. Not Zen like in the calm and peaceful sense I understand, as they are enthusiastic and exuberant. Which is no doubt one of the qualities that makes them potentially dangerous and hard to handle. I love the way pits grin, and seem to have a certain sense of humor. What turns me off to this breed, well obviously the dog aggression isn't exactly a bright spot. I'm nervous about finding a sound and responsibly bred dog. I know if I take on a pit bull I have to constantly vigilante for the sake of the dog and the breed as a whole and I am afraid of falling short…and ugh homeowners insurance and the possibilities of breed specific legislation.

I just really seem to like dogs with an intelligent and confident nature and I like dogs who have a strong sense of self…I'm not sure how else to explain it. I'm begining to fear that the very traits I like in dogs are the same ones that make a dog hard to train or handle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by shannon0218
There is absolutely NOTHING that scares the crap out of me more than a pit, or rott, or shepherd or mastiff owner telling me that if you love the dog enough he won't be aggresive. This is pure BULLSHIT and it's not the way it works. You can't love your husky into not pulling, you can't love your beagle into not sniffing and you can't love your border collie into not herding everything from houseflies to sheep. Nor can you love your protective and/or dog aggresive dog into not having the inate behaviors he's been bred for centuries to possess.
Thanks for wording it like that. I certainly learned the Husky part the hard way...Leash training was a nightmare.
 

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Well....Pyrs are actually NOT known for bonding deeply. They've been bred since the beginning to work and be independant. Loyalty to their herd, yes, but that does not translate to affection or bonding with humans, actually, it generally results in the opposite. Pyrs are so self sufficient that they really don't give a darn about anything except their job (and no, you can't make that job sitting by the fire) A pyr that "needs" his humans will not be bred. A pyr that would rather be with the farmer than the sheep, will not be bred.

Like Joanna said, you need to look at what this animal will be as an adult, I can't tell you how many people used to meet Havoc and all of a sudden want a German Shepherd...problem being, he didn't come that way. The day I brought him home he walked in, jumped on the couch, walked across the back of it, jumped up onto the kitchen table and nailed my roommate in the ass in an attempt to get his chicken. You need to be ready to put in an incredible amount of time to make this a good ambassador of the breed, cause like APBTluv said, this breed is in TROUBLE, big, nasty, too many idiots involved trouble. It should be the responsibility of every future pit owner to change way others see APBT's. You do this with big time obedience and socialization but also with a tremendous amount of respect and committment to the breed.

I'm not trying to talk you out of either breed perse, but I do want you to know the bad parts as well as the good. From what you describe you like, i think a pyr is actually not an appropriate breed for you....but by the same circumstances, I'm really worried when I hear someone who didn't even have a pit on their radar a week ago who decides after meeting a pup and doing a bit of reading that maybe they are for you...they may well be for you, but it's not a choice to be taken even remotely lightly (not that I think you're doing that...otherwise you wouldn't be here asking)
 
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