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If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

  
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Lenny

Lenny -The- Wrecking Ball
 
 
Barked: Sat Jan 26, '13 8:34am PST 
I'm not adding a new dog for awhile, and while I'm sure I'll just end up adopting a hound mix of some kind I'm always seeing sooo many pit bull terriers in the shelters where I live (mixes mostly).

Can anyone tell me more about the breed? As much as they're in the media (not exactly facts that the media is giving the public of course)I realized I know next to nothing about them. I know they're a higher energy breed, and all the ones I've met are total sweethearts and love their people but I don't know if that's just luck or if most of the breed is like that. I don't think they're a breed for me since most breeds I adore are either herding breeds or hounds and I don't think terriers really fit in either category, but I'd still love to learn more about them.

Anyone want to tell me more about this breed?
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Sat Jan 26, '13 11:13am PST 
A Pit Bull would be great to think about as there are so many nice dogs needing answers, but there are differences from hounds, who also could use your help.

I am sure others will chime in. You need to be a little careful in that there is almost an overkill nowadays of positive Pit press. I was in that group twenty years ago....very into positive Pit promotion....but now I am less thrilled with it as it has gotten a little bizarre. They are great dogs. GREAT dogs, and one of my most recommended as pets, irrespective of the fact that they really need help, more adoptions, etc. Just on their own, really great pets. Still, they are not everyone.

The big trick with a Pit Bull is to get an adult. There are some problems they can have, particularly dog aggression, that are compromising and you don't want something you don't want. A lot of Pit Bulls, though, are tremendously dog social.

They are, as you have noticed, terrifically sweet. Very velcro-ish, too. Love being lap dogs, no matter their size. They have more intense vigor than hounds and do things in a "louder" way generally, so if you like a really happy, really friendly, really affectionate dog, they will totally satisfy you on that front. But you need to like REALLY, as they tend to be over the top in a lot they do. They are total cuddle bunnies and happy all the time. They also are a lot more trainable than hounds can generally be and extremely willing pupils....happily work for praise alone. Although treats never hurt wink, but they are very willing pupils in any case and can be trained to an extremely high level. So very trainable, very sociable, very sweet, very cuddly, and very funny, too!

Like hounds, they can be clods in the house, but unlike most hounds they also can be extremely energetic in the house as well. Some can be very mellow, but the average Pit Bull is pretty high energy, so if you like that, they are ok. I know Dogster Teddy has a PB mix who loves to slumber, but that's not average, and IMO if you decide on a breed it is best not wanting something they aren't typically. Hounds are also REALLY gentle. They have lots of vigor, but are very gentle also. Pit Bulls are very strong and tend to have a lot more vigor. A proverbial bull in the china shop wink

I remember fostering a PB and he was on my lap, as PBs love to be, and while stroking him he lifted his head back to look in my eyes...ok, so that's really sweet....but with such force that his hard skull slammed into my front teeth with velocity. I sat there, in a deal of pain, for two minutes scared to check my teeth as I was pretty sure he wobbled one loose wink It was ok, but just an example of life with a PB.

A good Pit Bull is one of the most resilient dogs you are going to find, anywhere, ever. That, and their trainability and generally extremely affectionate and willing to please natures are some of my favorite things about them. They can shrug off bad experiences with barely a burp. When you get heavily into shelter environments, staff and those who do temperament testing, you will find they are often unnerved by a shy Pit Bull. That's not genetically sound for this breed because it is not true to their character. So many are the flip opposite. You get dogs in who have been shot, who have been beaten, who have had all this sick abuse, and the dog you see before you....you wouldn't think he has had a bad day in his life. That really sits with you. They really are remarkable in that context and it is a boon for a pet owner, to have a dog THAT resilient.

My advice is to look for THAT dog. He should be very friendly, unaffected, great with other dogs. You also want to test for prey drive as some have it way too high. Best aim to leave that out of your equation and consider a low prey drive PB. In my experience, the most level, mellow, low drive PBs are the whites. Not that all whites have those qualities, but the MOST who do seem to be the whites.

Hounds are less trainable, always competing with their nose, have single tracked minds, can be very noisy, and have far more sensitive natures. How does that affect you or how much do you wish that wasn't there? On the other hand, they are very gentle, socially incredibly reliable and are pretty easygoing. How much do you treasure that? Those would be the dynamic differences. That and the fact that the general opinion of people on the street are that hounds are adorable, while the average opinion of people on the street towards PBs can be quite unkind. That is a social stress that isn't for everyone, and alas is an important factor to consider when adopting one of these guys.
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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
 
 
Barked: Sat Jan 26, '13 12:14pm PST 
Tiller, once again, has hit the nail on the head.

I couldn't agree more with everything she has said about the pittie. One of my favorite breeds, and I would absolutely own one again in the future. I adore them and they really arre one of the most loyal, forgiving breeds I've ever known.
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Lenny

Lenny -The- Wrecking Ball
 
 
Barked: Sat Jan 26, '13 2:23pm PST 
My next dog, regardless of breed, will definitely be an adult. Mainly because I think the young adults are such a perfect age to adopt a dog (I really think the puppy thing is overrated...). And especially in breeds where DA may be a factor an adult was definitely a must.

I must say, I'm actually considering a pit bull now. Their temperament is a lot closer to what I really want in a dog after all. While I love my hounds and their gentle and socially reliable natures... the difficulty of training kind of drives me bonkers. Not to say it can't be done (Charlie I'm sure you of all of us can attest to that! I know you've done wonders with your guy!) I was actually very upset when we went to the shelter to adopt our second dog and a woman and her daughter were there looking for a dog and she turned from any of the hound mixes because she said she "heard hounds were too stupid to be trained." I was like...seriously?

Their sensitive nature also at times I wish wasn't there. Definitely not as big of a deal as the lack of trainability/handler focus but it would be nice to have a dog who could shrug off a little more a little easier. Lenny is a very sensitive dog, and for a family like mine where everyone is like the proverbial bull in a china shop and quite loud... it was a big adjustment for us both.

I don't mind energy in the house, and like a dog that leans towards the velcro side. And a cuddle buddy is also a bonus, though I don't mind if a dog isn't into that. As far as a dog that is REALLY happy and friendly and social... I'm fairly new to this. Lenny is a dog that's very happy all the time, but not super social (more so than my shepherd was growing up, she was like most and was much more aloof). But even though I'm not used to that, I think that temperament would be perfect for things I want to do/try with my future dog.

I haven't found my therapy dog prospect (Lenny is too shy/sensitive and Crash comes across as apathetic with strangers which I don't think would give the right vibe). I'm also eager to try agility (I tried a class with Lenny and maybe it's just that his off leash skills aren't where they need to be... but I couldn't compete with his nose and I just don't think thats a sport for us!). I will probably continue with nose work with my new dog as well and I'd love a dog to do rally with. Sounds like a pittie might do well on all those fronts... A lot more versatile than I realized. Though I don't know how the public would respond to a pit bull as a therapy dog... Any thoughts on that front? I don't care so much of other people's opinions. Most people were afraid of my shepherd and I had a couple comments made that were meant to be hurtful (but honestly... their loss...)

And I'll keep the prey drive in mind, I don't have any small animals nor do I plan on having any, but I agree it's probably better to keep that out of the equation if possible. Odd to see the white dogs having a lower/more mellow thing going for them... but I'll definitely keep that in the back of my mind. A lot of the pit bulls around here are blue or red though.
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Opheila

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
 
 
Barked: Sat Jan 26, '13 3:22pm PST 
I can't add much more to what Tiller had to sayapplauseapplauseapplauseapplauseapplauseapplause

Bullies can be the ultimate velcro lapdog, goofy, devoted, easy to train and did I mention utterly devoted to it's family? Wash and wear fur so easy grooming...but yes they are certainly not for everyone by any means.

They do need daily exercise, a tired bully is a happy bully, an hour brisk walk daily at minimum, plus playtime in a safely fenced yard. Even with daily exercise terriers in general get what is jokingly called the "zoomies". If the thought of an elated muscular tank charging through your house is frightening...perhaps terriers aren't for you

Like Tiller said it also takes a certain mindset to love a bully. You need to be flexible and fit emotionally and physically. A bully needs firm unconditional love and training, especially with a sketchy past. But these are also uber strong dogs who can have bouts of stubborness. Even the best trained bully is still built like a linebacker. A sense of humor and good research in training techniques is essential to remembering "Yes I love you dearly, but I AM in charge and you are listening to me right NOW"

You also have to be prepared for family, friends and neighbors to be less than enthusiastic about your doggie. There is alot of ingrained fear over bullies and some people will really give the hate stare to you and your pooch. Want to be popular? Adopt a golden... Owning a bully means educating and enlightening people, almost daily sometimes.
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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Sat Jan 26, '13 3:40pm PST 
Love them to bits!!!! Those wonderful square heads, that goofy grincloud 9

Personally I would never own another, please don't hate me. But as a breed they attract the most irresponsible, simple minded people I have ever seen. I'm not talking about the owners like the ones on this site, I'm talking about the ones that have the 'My dog could kick your dogs butt' mentality. Or better yet the random people who walk up to you and ask if he's won any fights shock
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Lenny

Lenny -The- Wrecking Ball
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 1:53am PST 
Lenny gets the zoomies all the time. Granted he doesn't have the muscle or vigor a pit bull would have lol

And Sabi, my boyfriend warned me of the people the breed tend to attract and has heard/seen similar things. I just want a good dog to try sports with who is a dog willing to work and forgive my mistakes (as I'm still very green in training/handling) and who is a very lovable and friendly dog. If a pit bull fits the bill than I just want to keep an open mind to them. If they're a good fit, why wouldn't I?

And Ophelia, I don't mind having to be a strong leader and put my foot down. Even though dogs are our friends and companions... we're still in charge (if only for their safety and well being). I am confident I can do that.
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Angel

Tuff Enuff!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 3:59am PST 
There's so much to say about Pit bulls but most of it's been said. My own experience with Angel is that Pits are happy-go-lucky, stubborn, loyal, and very energetic. They do want to be lapdogs, and that's something I am working on getting Angel not to do (I don't believe that 50lbs + dogs do not need to be in my lap, lol)
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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 9:24am PST 
As everyone else has pointed out they are an intelligent, loving pet. Easily trainable and able to compete in a wide range of dog sports. You would be hard pressed to find a breed more forgiving of human failings.
Many years ago I fell in love with them,(actually owned several) I was simply meaning to caution about the patience that is required to deal with the morons. Sadly I'm more the type to rip their heads off then explain all the reasons why they are idiots laugh out loud
Apparently my socialization was lacking laugh out loud
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Lenny

Lenny -The- Wrecking Ball
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 10:01am PST 
I'm not the type to go off on people for being stupid... my dad's always told me that if they're really that stupid then it's not their fault and if they're just ignorant than that's usually by choice and they probably don't want to change. I'll certainly be open to talk to people if they want to know more, but any other kind of conversation will not be happening. But that would be my approach regardless of breed (even though like you said the number of morons with pit bulls is higher).

I've seen the word stubborn mentioned a few times... Just how stubborn are we talking here and where does it come into play?
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