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  1. what are signs of an unstable pit bull?

    i'm interested in adopting a beautiful, all-white APBT terrier from the humane society. she is around 6 months old and sociable with other dogs, cats, and people. however, i'm a little weary due to her pedigree being unknown.

    i don't want her to be one of those dogs that "turns" on its owner and others due to really poor breeding or inbreeding and regardless of training (any breed can do this but pit bulls are famous for being inbred).

    any tips?

  2. #2
    the humane societies usually have already conducted their own temperment testing. They can't take the liability of adopting out dogs that haven't proven to be stable. This is why they say they euth 'unadoptable' dogs. That means there was something wrong with them.

    But..to make you feel better, you can do your own test! Check out these links:

    http://www.americanhumane.org/site/P...dogtemperament

    http://www.pbrc.net/temperament.html

  3. #3
    The other thing you have to keep in mind is dogs in the shelter don't show their true personalities sometimes because of the stress of being kenneled, I've seen the most calm and sedate dog turn into a hyper zoomie after a couple weeks in the home...and the most kennel crazed dog in the shelter turn into a perfect angel, I would definitely ask the shelter if they have space away from the kennels like a training room to spend some time with the dog before you do your tests and keep in mind that it may take up to three months after adoption for the dogs personality to shine through

  4. i don't want her to be one of those dogs that "turns" on its owner and others due to really poor breeding or inbreeding and regardless of training (any breed can do this but pit bulls are famous for being inbred).
    You do know that DA is normal, right?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by supertouchme View Post
    i'm interested in adopting a beautiful, all-white APBT terrier from the humane society. she is around 6 months old and sociable with other dogs, cats, and people. however, i'm a little weary due to her pedigree being unknown.
    Pedigrees are not a tell all, I've seen dogs with great peds being PTS for bad temperaments, and I've seen mutts with unknown peds turn out to be the most stable dogs around. If she's in a shelter, chances are she's a mix of some kind, or a result of an accidental or poorly done breeding. I'm not saying she will be a ill tempered dog, some shelter dogs turn out fine. I personally feel humane society workers are not qualified to evaluate "pit bulls", they generally have a push them out so they don't have to put them to sleep attitude and they really aren't knowledgeable about the breed. I would feel more comfortable adopting a dog from a qualified "pit bull" rescue organization who really know the breed and can properly evaluate their temperaments, as well as evaluate and educate the prospective new owner.

    Quote Originally Posted by supertouchme View Post
    i don't want her to be one of those dogs that "turns" on its owner and others due to really poor breeding or inbreeding and regardless of training (any breed can do this but pit bulls are famous for being inbred).
    that is a myth, no dog just "turns" on their owners or others, there are always warning signs, most people just don't know what to look for or ignore them and when something happens they make the dog the scapegoat so they don't look foolish. Pit Bulls are famous for being inbred? hmmm, ever look at an AKC dogs pedigree.

    Quote Originally Posted by supertouchme View Post
    any tips?
    Now, don't take this as an insult, but based on your comments above, it appears the only thing you know about the breed is the HSU and media propaganda, which is completely untrue lies. My tip would be to study the breed and become familiar with APBT before you jump in and get one, stick around here and learn, there are many books on the breed too. Go check out the History Section of the forum for some insight on these dogs.

    These are the greatest dogs out there, BUT, they are not for everyone. They require A LOT of exercise and mental and physical stimulation. They will most likely become aggressive towards other dogs to a varying degree. You must always have them on a strong leash in public, buy only heavy duty leashes and collars. You must make sure they can't escape from your yard and never leave them alone outside( they can jump a 6 ft fence with ease or dig under it very quickly. You should own a breaking stick and know how to use it. These dogs require a lot of time and attention, they are not leave them in the house all day while at work and walk them twice a week type dogs.

    Good luck and hopefully you stick around and learn more about these dogs before taking the plunge on getting one ;)

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    Take care of them like you would a gun in a house with children...meaning don't just $#@!ume they will be "ok" on thier own. Don't just let anyone play with them...keep them in a secure environment...and treat them like they are loaded at all times.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDawg View Post
    Take care of them like you would a gun in a house with children...meaning don't just $#@!ume they will be "ok" on thier own. Don't just let anyone play with them...keep them in a secure environment...and treat them like they are loaded at all times.
    Say what? :confused:

    You sound like a media sensationalist pushing for the extermination of all vicious blood-thirsty pit bulls.

    Responsibility is a MUST with ALL dogs, regardless of breed and regardless of pedigree/history. Just b/c a dog is a rescue do with no known history doesn't make it a ticking time bomb. I've seen some dogs with peds you would die for that have awful temperaments and I wouldn't touch them except to shovel the dirt over their bodies. On the other hand, I've seen, dealt with, and owned rescued dogs that I would literally trust my child's life with.

    So maybe we all didn't take your comment exactly how you meant it to mean, but in truth it doesn't come across very well.

    And for the record, dogs don't just "turn" on their owners. There are always warnings whether they be vocal or given through body posture. Those that say their dog just "turned" on them are lying b/c they don't want the blame on themselves for what happen....it's always easier to blame the dog.

    And to the o.p., I think adoption is a great idea. But first you must educate yourself about basic canine issues such as body language and what it means and obedience training and the like. Second you must educate yourself about these breeds. Then adopt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDawg View Post
    Take care of them like you would a gun in a house with children...meaning don't just $#@!ume they will be "ok" on thier own. Don't just let anyone play with them...keep them in a secure environment...and treat them like they are loaded at all times.
    :eek: WOW...just WOW

  9. woah woah. let me clarify. i "owned" an APBT terrier until i was 18. my parents and i trained her quite well and were never worried about any kind of behavior problems because my mother had obtained her from a reputable breeder.

    many pit bull experts agree that a dog (not just pit bull types) can "turn" on its owners at the drop of a hat due to bipolar disorder or other psychological/neurological problems as the result of very poor breeding or inbreeding.

    the media likes to claim that pit bulls are inherently mentally unstable and are likely to turn. i merely mentioned INBRED pit bulls.

    are you guys denying that it's impossible for a dog to be gentle and loving one second and murderous the next due to a mental illness?

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    Quote Originally Posted by supertouchme View Post
    woah woah. let me clarify. i "owned" an APBT terrier until i was 18. my parents and i trained her quite well and were never worried about any kind of behavior problems because my mother had obtained her from a reputable breeder.

    many pit bull experts agree that a dog (not just pit bull types) can "turn" on its owners at the drop of a hat due to bipolar disorder or other psychological/neurological problems as the result of very poor breeding or inbreeding.

    the media likes to claim that pit bulls are inherently mentally unstable and are likely to turn. i merely mentioned INBRED pit bulls.

    are you guys denying that it's impossible for a dog to be gentle and loving one second and murderous the next due to a mental illness?
    Sorry...no dog will just "turn", there are ALWAYS signs before. Ask any "qualified" dog trainer/behaviorist, don't go by internet self proclaimed pit bull experts. Dogs with "psychological/neurological problems" are very easy to pick out if you know what you are looking at.

    You again refer to DA issues as a behavior problem, it is not a behavior problem, it is a normal trait.

  11. Quote Originally Posted by tat2stuff View Post
    Sorry...no dog will just "turn", there are ALWAYS signs before. Ask any "qualified" dog trainer/behaviorist, don't go by internet self proclaimed pit bull experts. Dogs with "psychological/neurological problems" are very easy to pick out if you know what you are looking at.

    You again refer to DA issues as a behavior problem, it is not a behavior problem, it is a normal trait.
    when did i ever mention dog aggressiveness?

    are you theorizing that all dog behaviorists know everything there is to know about mental illness in dogs?

  12. #12
    alot of dog breeds are inbred by breeders for certain traits, and can also be linebred,scatterbred, inbred, out bred etc...

    you are thinking of the Rage Syndrome that $#@!er spaniels and other breeds are known for getting which is due to heavy over breeding...

    any dog of any breed can turn on its owner, but like others stated there are warning signs that the owner might not see or know how to read, except however for the Rage Syndrome dogs , they do not give any warning...

    the pit bull was bred for bite inhibition for humans due to its original job 200 years ago... now a days some breeders just breed for color and size and forget about temperment, or health ...

    as far as dog aggression to other dogs, some dogs turn on late, some early, some never.... it depends on the genetics of the dog itself.. some DA dogs will give no warning and a scuffle over a toy/treat is all it takes for the sleeping giant to waken... some dogs will get stiff, or have other body language that shows they are up for a fight.. some have nothing....

  13. #13
    also, be careful of all white dogs of any breed, they normally go deaf or are born deaf...

  14. ok i believe that a "mentally ill" dog will not turn on someone immediately, but do they make the transition from affectionate to aggressive fairly quickly and show signs before they actually attack? if so, what should i look for.

    also, how common is inbreeding? especially in pit bulls.

  15. also, here's a picture of the dog i want to adopt in case anyone is curious


  16. #16
    ok i believe that a "mentally ill" dog will not turn on someone immediately, but do they make the transition from affectionate to aggressive fairly quickly and show signs before they actually attack? if so, what should i look for.

    also, how common is inbreeding? especially in pit bulls.

    ok Supertouchme, i really really feel that you should skip getting a dog from a shelter and go to a reputable rescue that has dogs in foster homes and that can $#@!ess their temperments... inbreeding does NOT necessarily mean the dog is unstable temperment wise... you are stuck in the inbreeding part, its very common, alot of breeders of ALL breeds do it...

    every dog shows different signs, there are no definite signs you can look for as one dog might not give off any signs but a slight movement, while others can do more prominant signs like growling, hackles raised etc....

    if you dont understand dog body language please start learning it before yo go out and get a dog..

  17. Good post, ME. I would say 99% of the times when someone says "I don't know what happened, they just snapped!", they are lying. Well, they are telling the truth that they didn't know what happened (they weren't aware of the signs that the dogs was trying to tell them) but dogs don't just snap. "Rage Syndrome" is the one circumstance I've heard of where it appears out of nowhere, but there is very very little chance of that occurring (I don't know if it occurs in only certain breeds). I also think that most of the times when people say that, they are trying to cover themselves up as innocent, and put all the blame on the dog. No one wants to publicly admit they treated their dog like crap. I agree that it is important to learn what body language to look for when getting a new dog. Perhaps going through a responsible rescue who knows their dogs well, or by spending some time working with someone who can get you some more evaluation experience, you can be more sure of what to look for when adopting. :)

  18. Learning your dog's body language is very important. It's very very rare that things "just happen". There are always signs. And before anyone even considers getting this breed, or any other breed for that matter, they need to educate themselves and learn about their breed of choice.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by supertouchme View Post
    when did i ever mention dog aggressiveness?

    are you theorizing that all dog behaviorists know everything there is to know about mental illness in dogs?
    sorry, I was thinking of someone else with the DA comment, anyway...

    I said "qualified" and never said they know "everything". They know enough, if they paid any attention in cl$#@!, to know dogs don't just "turn". Most people with any type of dog knowledge/experience also know this.

    Like Maryellen said, you should really p$#@! on this dog, and this breed frankly, until you do some more research and know the needs and characteristics of these dogs a little, well a lot, better.

  20. Good stuff above...but please delete the word murderous....murder requires intent and dogs don't do intent - dogs of any breed don't do intent. I know what you meant when you said that...it's just a pet peeve of mine when people $#@!ign values to dogs that are strictly human.

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