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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: Tue Jan 29, '13 2:00pm PST 
Okay an hour isn't that bad, that's almost where my boys are at (I give them usually 30-45 minutes of exercise a day, and an hour on good days).

And the stubbornness I think I can handle. As long as in general that they're an eager willing to work partner, than I'm good. I just want a change from the hound personality of "You're nice, and I love the chicken you have... but OMG there is a squirrel smell over here that I NEED to smell. Right now." Even using the environment itself as a reward (which is hugely helpful) doesn't always guarantee I have a willing partner. Even inside he can get on that one track mind of just searching for crumbs. laugh out loud
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Theodore aka- Teddy - **CGC**

Big Head. Big- Heart.
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 3:39pm PST 
I'm the "Teddy" Tiller mentioned. I would love to tell you about my experience owning a pitbull--the good, the bad, and the stubborn!

The good: Seriously, they don't make a much more "people-soft" dog than the pittie. Every one I have met, including my own, turns to mush when people are around. They are giant lap-dogs and super affectionate. He loves me with MUCH enthusiasm, which often means getting head-butted, but it's worth it to have such a love. They can border on velcro, so if you don't want a dog who might try to sit on your lap while on the toilet, this may not be the dog for you lol. My own pittie mix is also crazy smart and easy to train. He picks up on things very quickly and is very in tune with what I want. Pitties are also the consummate clown, and not a day goes by that Teddy doesn't make me laugh hysterically. He is constantly entertaining friends and neighbors, and everyone who meets him thinks he is a riot. THis is pretty standard--they truly are goofy creatures with a natural tendency to act a clown in front of people. They are also incredibly resilient. Between volunteering at the shelter and owning my own rescued pittie, I've seen just how forgiving these dogs are and how much they bounce back from what would likely cripple many other dogs. For example, Teddy was viciously attacked this summer by another dog and spent a few weeks on bed-rest. I was terrified that he would become reactive after going through such an ordeal, but lo and behold, just a few weeks after his attack, he was back to his usual happy-go-lucky self. He still doesn't like the breed of dog who attacked him, but has shown no issues with other dogs and is still a model citizen.

The bad: I was honestly not prepared for the comments of others when I first got a pitbull. Whether it came from family, friends, or strangers, I quickly had to grow a thick skin. I do not come by this naturally, and still have to actively try not to take personal offense to dumb things people say. I'm less of the "kill stupid people" mindset and more of the "Now I want to cry" mentality when someone says something rude, which is quite often. Mind you, I *know* Teddy is a good dog, but it still hurts. That is honestly the part that took me the most by surprise.

The stubborn: Ophelia's description of her dog being stubborn...well yep, that is exactly Teddy. He has gotten better, but we spent the first three years of his life (some of you probably remember my posts) fighting against his mule-like behavior. We were literally known as "the girl with the dog who won't walk". If he wanted to go left, and I wanted to go right, he would flop down emphatically and refuse to move. I tried EVERYTHING and nothing was as reinforcing as getting his way. I brought out several trainers who thought high value food could be reward enough, or toys, or other dogs, etc. Nothing worked much to their dismay. Then, a brilliant trainer in Seattle finally realized that the only reward bigger than "winning" was me. What this means is, if he pulls his stubborn mule act, I simply drop the leash (or hand off to a friend) and walk away. That has literally been the only thing that gets him moving again. So yeah...stubborn smile

Good luck in deciding on whether pitties are for you--I'm always available to PM if you more have questions smile

eta: Teddy does sleep a lot. When he crashes, he is out cold and out for a while. That being said, we got 1-2 hours of exercise every afternoon until he was about 3. The last year or so, 45-60 minutes has been enough to really wear him out, and on days when he gets less, he is still tolerable in the house. That would not have been true a few years ago.

Edited by author Tue Jan 29, '13 3:45pm PST

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Lenny

Lenny -The- Wrecking Ball
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 4:51pm PST 
Teddy thank you so much for your reply! Your boy is very very handsome smile

I guess I'm just trying to figure out stubborn I want or don't want my future companion to be. I love so much about their temperament from what I've learned so far, and I don't want to be so particular over one trait that I miss out on everything else. I guess I'm just having a hard time seeing how a pup who can be such a willing pupil but yet stubborn at other times. I'll definitely shoot you a PM if I can think of anymore specific questions.
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Theodore aka- Teddy - **CGC**

Big Head. Big- Heart.
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 6:14pm PST 
The stubbornness is interesting. Teddy is all about everything "me" and would risk life and limb for me, but if something requires going off his routine, he gets stubborn. It's gotten much better, and peaked at his adolescence. We really haven't had an issue in over a year. It's not that he is single-minded or easily distracted, but rather that he wants want he wants. The key is convincing him that what I want is what he wants. I recommend the book "When Pigs Fly" by Jane Killion. It really puts training bully breeds into perspective and offers some great tips!

eta: Thanks for the compliment! I certainly think my boy is gorgeous. I forgot to mention in the "good" category that pitties absolutely have the best grins!!! cloud 9

Edited by author Tue Jan 29, '13 6:16pm PST

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Lenny

Lenny -The- Wrecking Ball
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 6:56pm PST 
I do think they are incredibly handsome dogs, so athletic and they do have a 'tough' look to them cause of their head and their build... but they also have such a genuine or honest look to them. Not too fancy or regal looking like some breeds can be (not that I don't appreciate their good looks). I think it's something hounds kinda share with them, at least in my opinion. I guess I could be wrong or on my own in that opinion lol

And thank you for the book recommendation! I'll definitely get it and read up on what it's like to work with a bully.
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Ghost - Adoptable!!!- !

1278989
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 8:31pm PST 
It's Tiller, but I will post as Ghost, my foster boy!

Pit Bull stubborn and hound stubborn is VERY different. Hounds have what I term as "single-tracked" minds, which is quite by design. This is a dog meant to get on a trail and keep there, so they need to be beyond distraction....nothing sways that course. Not changes in terrain, rough patches, weird noises, other smells, etc. So that is pretty hardwired. There is some lore that a lot of people believe that Bloodhound brains literally lock and they are unable to receive other stimuli....minimally, you'd think this to be true. It's a slight pain in the bottom, but with all other breeds getting them to stick on a task is a huge issue. Not so with a hound. If they lose a scent, they will stay in brain lock and keep on looking for it. Indistractible by nature, redirecting them can be major chore. It's just a part of hound life.

Pit Bulls are more "game" than single-tracked. A very when "the going gets tough, the tough get going" sort of attitude. It's very different. They are more willing than hounds generally, who belong to the scent. Pits are more of a masters dog.

Conversely, for Pit Bulls if stubborn was a big issue for you, you can find a less stubborn Pit Bull. My current foster doesn't have a stubborn bone in his entire body. He can be determined, which is a difference. In a compare and contrast, Teddy could easily have some hound in him big laugh, and he's also pretty mellow. Ghost is purebred, has a lot of PB energy, some drive, and he's just good to go all the time. Hardheaded as Pit Bulls can be sometimes, but he's very easy to frame into "pay attention to me" zone....even more praise than food receptive. I think if you go for more energy and less stubborn, then you are setting yourself up for success.

Pits are an ULTIMATE shelter adoption dog, in my rather extensive shelter experience, in that they are extremely honest dogs and will assess true in shelters. I'll pull a Pit faster than anything else....an adult....because what you see is what you get. If at the shelter you can get him to focus on something stimulating and then try to regain his attention and he does so readily, odds are he'll be the less version of stubborn. Ghost is one of those Pits who is very handler obsessed, praise responsive, moves from A to B with some degree of alacrity. He's a super easy dog to work with....as willing as can be. Something very clear about him from the moment he got here. He's not mellow, though....has that typical "up" vibe. Teddy is very mellow. With Pits the good part is you are spoiled for choice, and could definitely find your ideal version.
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Theodore aka- Teddy - **CGC**

Big Head. Big- Heart.
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 8:41pm PST 
Ha! Teddy's DNA test did come back with significant amounts of basset hound and Australian Cattle Dog....

I agree with Tiller in that the nice thing about most pitties is that what you see in the shelter is what you get. I've also found that they generally fare better in a shelter environment with other breeds (back to that resilient nature) and are less likely to deteriorate. The ones we get in our shelter (about 60% of all our dogs are pitties or pittie mixes) tend to be as cheerful and goofy in the shelter as they are outside. I'm always amazed that so many of them can be so carefree and happy in such a stressful environment.
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 8:58pm PST 
That's why the assess so true. So much less shut down than other breeds. They just are always what they are and seem almost obtuse about stressful situations. Great for the pet owner, though! It's one of my favored things about Pit Bulls.

When you go to a shelter, look for the happy guy. There are all sorts of genetics out there. Pit Bulls should always be happy. A Pit Bull in a shelter with a pollyanna complex is always a total winner way to go And almost every shelter has one wink
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Dylan aka- Dilly

frisbee- s rule
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 4:56am PST 
I am not any kind of expert like teddy(who I have met in rl) or tiller, but I will throw my thoughts out there.

I have met some of the sweetest pitties on this earth, teddy being 1. a little staffie I did a rescue transport for. my hubby would have very easily brought her home.she had a front leg amputated because of abuse.and was still a cuddely lap dog. and another staffie several years ago that was a total sweetie to

my nephew has a pittie, he is very well behaved, loves almost every person he meets. but... if he didnt meet a dog when he was a puppy, he doesnt like them now, he is 4 and has gotten into a few minor fights. I will say minor because my nephew was able to stop him before it got bad.if he didnt listen to him as well as he does they would have gotten ugly fast.my nephew took cash everywhere, dog parks, family gatherings, even out here,so I am thinking he didnt come from the best of breeders.

I have also seen the worse side of the breed. a co worker had a pair, they busted thru a door to go after a meter reader.and I have seen a fighter, altho at the time I was young and didnt realize thats what he was.

as teddy`s mom said, when you own a pittie, you have to deal with all the ignorant,mean things people will say. my uncle is one that would love to see the breed distroyed. one of his best friends was an undercover drug cop in baltimore,so all he ever saw was what the gang bangers have done to the breed.

to own a pittie, you have to be ready to be 2 steps above owning other types of dogs. you have to make sure you are going to be an embassator of the breed, well trained, well socialized, or you end up feeding the hype.

I love the breed, stand up for them any chance I get, but prolly would never own one. because I know myself to well, I would not put the time and effort needed into raising one right.
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Lenny

Lenny -The- Wrecking Ball
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 10:15am PST 
Tiller, thank you so much for clearing up the difference! It makes a lot of sense to me now, and I think the pit bull stubborn doesn't sound that bad at all. Good to know they assess true for the most part in the shelter since I was really hoping to get my next pup from a shelter (had a really good experience getting our second boy from our local shelter), and I'm looking to get an adult 2-3 years old so hopefully what I see is what I'll get. More energy and less stubborn sounds good to me!

And I was definitely thinking that since there are so many I'd have a lot of choices and I was certain one of them was bound to be a good fit. It shouldn't be too hard to find a happy guy, when we went to get our second boy there were SO many 'happy' guys in there. Wiggly as can be with that goofy grin just eager to love on you as you passed by. It's one of the things that's always kind of brought me back to them and still amazes me. How could they be so happy in a place that even has me feeling a little off center. But they aren't phased and just want to be happy and share it with you.

And Dylan, if I wasn't sure I could give a dog a place where they'd be successful and reach their potential I wouldn't take one home. That's one of the reasons I'm trying to learn so much now so I can be even better prepared (if I feel they're a good fit, I'm not jumping to any 'answer') In the past two years I've learned so much about dogs and their training and socialization and how much exercise they really need and how mental stimulation plays into that. I wouldn't want to end up in a situation where I couldn't make it the best situation. I'm a big believer in knowing your limits and staying within them for the dog's sake.

As far as thick skin... my family is pretty tough as a whole and my parents have always taught me to have tough skin. I also think of it as a short cut to whether I want to meet people or not. Plenty of people have said "Oh how cute!" and tried to maul my poor beagle boy and I have to immediately put myself in the middle and say it makes him uncomfortable and to please leave us alone. And even those people who seem 'dog friendly' with good intention have proven to be some of the most judgmental and ignorant when I've made the mistake of entering a conversation with them. If people don't want to meet my dog or don't have anything nice to say, then that's their loss and I'll just continue on my way. No harm, no foul.
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