Pit Bull Chat Forum

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Is Pitbull the right dog for me?

PHL

Puppy
Hi everyone,

I am very new here, and before I can get any advice on my question, I'd like to talk briefly about myself.

I live in Connecticut with my wife and 1 yr old son. We have just bought our first house and will finally have the chance to have a pet. I work from home and could really benefit from having a dog with me during the day, for companion sake.
The house I bought has a huge yard (around 1 acre), and the other houses in the neighborhood are far away from eachother.

Although it seems like a perfect situation, after deep research into the breed, I am now concern this may not be the right one for me.

Concern 1) My son being 1yr old, I fear the dog, even if I get a puppy, will outgrow him and might hurt him by jumping to play, etc. (This is valid for all Medium and Large size breeds)

Concern 2) Knowing the history of the breed, and the natural instincs against other dogs, even with my plans to properly train and watch him, I fear the possibility of a accident with a dog's neighbor.

Concern 3) If I ever need to travel, I am afraid I will never have peace of mind, leaving the dog with my wife and son. I have read some cases of the dogs turning on their owner (not just pits, for that matter), and I know the % is really low, and there are several other factors involved where rarely is the dog's fault. This is probably the downside of researching so much, because you come accross these sad stories that just won't leave your mind.

I might have answered my own question here, but would like to hear from the experienced owners.

The reason I considered the Pitbull in the first place is because I think there is an unfair judgement towards this breed, and it is a beautiful and loyal dog. Also, the majority of dogs to adopt out there are pits, and I would feel good knowing I saved one and gave him/her the home and care needed.

Thanks!

PL
 

LovePup

Good Dog
A dog, regardless of breed should be a mutual contribution from you and your wife. Feeding, walks, play, training. If you feel as though you leave and cannot trust your wife to handle a dog; you don't need to get one.

Another thing, getting the dog as a pup will get it use to having a baby around.
 

JShumate

Little Dog
No don't get this breed it's defiantly not for you
Get a yorkie, jmo

---------- Post added at 01:32 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:30 AM ----------

Jst because they have a bad rap does not mean you need one take your own advice you answered your own question it's not for you
 

JoeBingo

Banned
One idea might be to look for a young dog that is in foster care, has been in foster care for some time and has proven itself to be stable in a family environment, good with children and tolerant of other animals. Other advantages of adopting a fostered dog is that it will likely already be vetted, up to date on shots and perhaps housebroken along with other basic training.

Dogs in foster care are not usually "warehoused" like they often are in shelters and often receive much more individual attention, care and socialization.

Regardless, keep in mind that pit bulls can be high energy athletic dogs that require good exercise, may become destructive if not walked/exercised and are bored and they like to be involved in all family activities.

You can locate a pit bull rescue in your area and through them find available fostered dogs that may meet your needs and requirements as well as do more research by following this link ~ Pit Bull Rescue Central

Welcome and Good Luck !!! :cool:
 

PHL

Puppy
I do trust my wife to handle the dog, and I want the dog to be part of the family and be loyal to all of us. My fear is directly related to some of the stories that got stuck in my head after reading some sad cases.

But I am not convinced it is not for me. I think most of this stories can't be taken as rule, as I see a lot of happy owners in this forum that have the type of relationship with their dogs that I strive to have with mine.

---------- Post added at 01:06 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:03 AM ----------

Thanks Joe! Although I work in my home office most of the day, I intend to have long walks and exercises with him, on my breaks and at the end of the afternoon when I normally exercise myself.. :)
 

ReneeMcDougal

Good Dog
I think when asking yourself what dog to get you have to take a lot of factors into the decision. It seems you have some very solid pros and cons. I feel after reading your question that perhaps you should be looking for a small dog. It seems like large dogs make you a bit uncomfortable due to the stories you have been reading.
Pit bulls being a terrier breed require a very firm hand..not someone who may shy away from them if they act out (and they will) as a pup (1-2 years). These dogs are remarkable with children as a general rule, had to toss that out there for your peace of mind. However like you read, they are prone to issues with other dogs. If your property is fenced at least 6-7 feet and you are willing to learn the ins and outs of ownership and stay here on PBC to learn then I say get one if your heart is in it.
I still stand by my initial statement however that i see you as more of a small dog person.
 

PHL

Puppy
I hear you Slayer, and I am leaning towards small breed dogs for the exact reasons you described. When I was younger at my parents house, we had several dogs of different breeds... one of my favorites was a Mastiff... he was just a big baby (not with strangers.. lol), but with us, he would just lay down and ask for attention.
After that I only had small dogs, until I got married and had no more dogs. The last one I had was a cocker spaniel, that died two years ago in my mom's house. She was 16 yr old when she passed. :(

Having said, I really need a companion. Working from home has its pros and cons, and one of the cons is that you feel really lonely sometimes. I only talk on the meetings, discussing work related stuff, and when I have some free time, I just close my eyes and rest my mind. Having a dog with me would take some of this lonelyness away and at the same time help me calm down on my breaks.
 

Boogieman

Good Dog
Premium Member
I would not get one if I were you. They are a high maintenance breed that require a lot of attention and time.
 

PHL

Puppy
I liked the positives attributes of the breed, and although it has several haters, that don't even bother to learn more about them, out there, it also has an enormous number of supporters.

Thanks boogieman, I am aware of the dedication/time that it needs for training, exercise and constant supervision. I am definetely taking this in consideration for my decision.
 
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#1 stunner

Good Dog
I commend you for asking and educating yourself BEFORE ever getting this breed, there is a lot to consider.

As someone who took over ownership of our sons' dog a year ago, I can definitely tell you, this is a wonderful human friendly breed, but they can have a high prey drive, high energy drive, and definitely dog aggressive, with that said, we have pretty much accomodated everything necessary to keep from failing this dog, and we know what to expect from this dog, and we try to anticipate everything that could and will happen on walks and bike rides, anywhere we go-we have to be in control. It is not only that he is DA, but he is also a terrier and will not back down to a challenge.

We DO not skip on excercising at least 45 minutes a day, because we have done it on occassion when there was no way we could and they do become restless, hyper and destructive. We have built a spring pole for him, which he loves, a flirt pole and we ride bikes where he walks with us. Our house is full of his toys, his crate, his bed, and he has access to our couch, as he has gotten access to our hearts. We have as much stuff for him as anyone has for a baby, he is a big baby! LOL

I never ever let him outside unsupervised in the back yard by himself, even though our yard is fenced, and of course never ever let him outside in the front by himself without beeing leashed. We have a nice thick working dog collar that clips to one leash and another leash that clips to his harness when we got out. he has proved to be pretty darn good on walks and doesn't really bother with other dogs, unless they come near him and bark and present themselves in a challenging way, we have total control over him, but not the unleashed dogs that irresponsible owners let loose.

I love this dog, he is my best friend, and I'm certainly going to miss him,but he is going home soon and if we ever get another dog, it will be a different breed.

I hope you educate yourself and read all the stickies, if you haven't, it will also help you to make a wiser decision.
 
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A pit owner is always taking a chance suggesting another person, particularly on without alot of experience with dogs, purchase a pit. Ordinarily, I'd say no, but you seem to have a few things going for you.

You seem to be taking this decision very seriously. That alone shows that you probably have the wherewithal to manage a pit. The mere fact you know you don't know what you're getting into and are concerned tells me you can be trusted to learn and trusted to put in the time.

The other thing you have going for you is the fact that you work from home. You have time to commit. Time is the one resource you can not afford NOT to spend with a pit. It's going to sound like I'm exaggerating, but honestly, you have to be paying attention to a pit ALL the time.

If I were going to tell you what is going to surprise you about the breed, the following list would be a few of the things.

1) you will be shocked at how good pits are with people, especially children. The relationship pits have with people will make you fall in love with the breed 10 times over.
2) you will be shocked at how aggressive they are with other dogs. Of course there are exceptions, but generally, it will blow your mind how quickly a seemingly innocuous situation explodes into chaos.
3) It will shock you how much energy they have and how destructible they can be if you don't burn that energy up. Pit bulls are part goat. They'll chew up and eat anything.
4) It will shock you how quickly they learn. If you can figure out what motivates your dog, you can teach it anything.
5) It will shock you how disproportionately strong they are. Even a 35 to 40 pound pit will pull you down the street if you let it.

PHL, I'm not telling you to get a pit. If you do things right, you'll never own another breed. You'll be hooked. If you foul up, the consequences can be disastrous.
 

PHL

Puppy
Thanks Stunner - after having this experience, why have you decided in the future to opt for a different breed?

---------- Post added at 09:07 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:01 AM ----------

Thanks BlackForest, all these inputs are really helpful for me.
 

#1 stunner

Good Dog
Thanks Stunner - after having this experience, why have you decided in the future to opt for a different breed?

Here is why, though I love this breed, he is going home to my son, and we are in the position to retire soon and we have grandchildren and I want to focus my attention on them now. We cannot take him everywhere we go as he will have issues with my childrens' dogs, and I will not leave him at home or babysitter, that would not be fair to him.

If he needs to come back, we will always have a place for him, as we will not be getting another dog anytime soon, until we see how he adjusts to home with my son and his soon-to-be wife. He is lucky to have another chance to have this wonderful dog, but he failed him in the beginning and has now seen the error of his way. He has a house, an acre and fenced yard, and a good job and loves to excercise and he can do that with Trigger.
 

MJJean

GRCH Dog
I am a stay at home mom and without my dogs I would probably be in a loony bin by now. They provide great company, a lot of amusement, emotional support when I am sad or ill, and watching them play is cheap entertainment. I watch them for amusement more that I watch tv, lol.

I have kids (18, 13, 10 years old) and I honestly think there is no better dog around them than a Pit Bull. However, a lot depends on getting a genetically sound dog (temperament and physical), training the dog to behave and making sure the dog has adequate exercise. This, as you said, applies to all medium and large dogs. Finding a good breeder is paramount. You want someone who only breeds temperamentally stable dogs and who either health tests for genetic defect or who actively works their dogs in sport.

I could list various friends and family that own Pit Bulls and have young children, but I think you get the point :)

If you are confident you can train your pup and keep the pup contained on your property using a chain spot, a kennel set up or a fenced area then I see no reason why you shouldn't have a Pit Bull if your wife is on board with the breed choice.

There are a lot of pro's to owning a Pit. Of all the purebred dogs, they tend to be on the healthier side as far as genetic defects go. They are smart, energetic, very people oriented, easily trainable, have Teflon fur that makes grooming a breeze, not too large or too small (remember, a small child could easily hurt a small breed dog accidentally).

The cons are possible DA (but this is manageable), they need a lot of mental and physical stimulation (training for the mind, exercise for the body), can be escape artists so containment needs to be quality constructed and well thought out, and they tend to be so people focused that you may never get a minutes peace (I haven't gone to the bathroom or any other room alone since I got my Pits) because Pit Bulls tend to think they will die if they aren't touching some part of a person at all times, they tend to have high prey drive, so other small furry animals as pets aren't a good idea unless you keep them separated, and they destroy toys so you are going to spend more $$ buying quality toys for this breed than most others.

Now, that said, I wanted to add that all 3 of my kids have been bitten over the years. None by a purebred Pit Bull.

My oldest, DJ, was bitten by a neighbors large and furry Heinz 57 mutt. I wasn't there when it happened, but the owners said the dog had never been aggressive before, DJ went over to play with their kids daily so the dog knew her well, and they said she did nothing to provoke him. She was in the yard chatting with their daughter when the mother let the dog out to potty and he just charged her and bit. If she wouldn't have reacted by putting her arm to cover her face, he would have gotten her there. Instead, he got her arm resulting in 13 stitches and a permanent scar.

My middle, Shana, got bitten twice! Once by her Great Aunt's Pomeranian when she was 4, resulting in a scar between her nose and lip that is permanent and should have been stitched. She was with her Grandmother in NC on vacation to visit her paternal family when it happened and I wasn't informed til she came home and I saw the wound. Grrrr! And the 2nd bite was about 2 years ago when she was around 10 or 11 from a neighbors Jack Russel/Pug/Beagle mix. That bite was some broken skin and serious bruising on her calf.

My son was bitten by a Pit x Chocolate Lab that we got from the Humane Society and that started showing signs of aggression issues before the bite, but I was too new to dog ownership to understand what was going on until the bite happened. He had 13 stitches on his face, a smallish scar that has healed well.

The way I see it, any dog can bite. The favorite phrase is "If it has teeth, it can bite!" As a parent bringing a dog into the home you really need to make sure, whatever breed you choose, the dog comes from a reputable breeder who only breeds temperamentally sound dogs that are much less likely to become human aggressive and that you train the dog in basic manners such as not taking things from humans unless they are offered, not to jump up on anyone, and that doggie teeth never touch human skin (which is part of teaching bite inhibition in a pup anyways).

Formal obedience classes highly recommended to help with training and with bonding. I am pretty sure my American Bulldog would have been quietly murdered as a pup if I hadn't taken classes and my newest Pit Bull pup would be a beautiful rug if I didn't know what I learned in class and then applied to her.

Good luck with your decision and let us know what you decide. If you get a pup and don't come back to post pics (even if it's not a Pit Bull), we'll hunt you down, rofl. Buncha puppy addicts around here.
 

PHL

Puppy
Thanks MJ, I read the past experiences you had in the Japa's post also, one of the sad stories I came accross in my readings throughout the forum.

You brought up a point that so far I was not even considering, which is selecting a reputable breeder. To be honest, one of the things that I really wanted to do is adopting, and in that case I wouldn't have the luxury of even knowing where that dog came from. If I went down that road, then it seems I would assume a greater risk.

In paralel I am also researching about other options of breed. I won't move to the new house until Mid March, so I have a lot of time to research and make the right call.

Thanks for all the input, this is really helpfull.
 

BarbaraClark

NuckingFuts
You brought up a point that so far I was not even considering, which is selecting a reputable breeder. To be honest, one of the things that I really wanted to do is adopting, and in that case I wouldn't have the luxury of even knowing where that dog came from. If I went down that road, then it seems I would assume a greater risk.

Not necessarily. As pointed out by Joe, adopting instead of getting a puppy may be the best decision for you. you could get a dog that has been fostered for some time, that way you are aware of all of his personality traits, faults, and so on. Its sometimes a gamble with a puppy because you are not sure what they will turn out like, but with an adolescent dog that has been in foster care, you would know.
 

#1 stunner

Good Dog
Very good point about getting a pup from a breeder who breeds only genetically/temperament sound dogs.

I am not sure if this was even mentioned, even if the dog matures and seems to have minumum dog aggression, if a very aggressive dog comes along and makes an negative impression, if they end up fighting or not, it can change him for the rest of his life, the DA may become much worse.
 

MJJean

GRCH Dog
Have you read about my nutty rescue people experience? If not, I will try to make it short, lol.

After my aggressive dog was put down, I got lonely. The house was just too quiet. So, I started looking at rescues and going to adoption events to find a new dog.

One was a Coonhound I thought was handsome. He was listed as very friendly, housetrained, healthy. I drove 1 hour each way to meet him. Turns out, he was almost feral, had a huge abscess on his neck from a spat with another dog, peed and pooped right there int he livingroom while we talked and I was still willing! I thought we could work with him, train him, and we'd be ok. We took him for a walk and noticed his gait was off. I mentioned it to the foster and was told he had been seen at the MSU vet school and needed $2500 surgery on each shoulder!! That was the deal breaker as we simply couldn't afford it. I got a rather nasty email from the rescue when I told them my decision.

The 2nd was a different rescue at an adoption event. We saw a dog online we liked and went out to meet him. He was already adopted, but we looked around to see if any other dog there caught our eye. We found a mixed breed male (allegedly a Bernese Mtn. Dog mix) and I applied for him. While I was applying, a rescue worker came over and asked my not to tell anyone she talked to me because she feared the rescue would fire her, but she said she saw I had kids with me and wanted to let me know that the dog I was applying for had been returned 3 times for biting adopters, which the rescue was not willing to tell anyone.

At the same event I looked at yet another dog through a rescue that had already approved me and was told my chances of getting him were slim to none. Apparently, the rescue lets fosters make the final decision and that particular foster had 14 dogs from the rescue she was fostering and had not approved an adopter in over 2 years. Can you say hoarder??

I have nothing against rescues. Shelter or fostered. But I do say exercise caution! Not all rescues are good rescues and if you are going to take a rescue dog please make sure the rescue is reputable, willing to PTS a dog that is HA, and follow your instincts! If your instincts say something is wrong, RUN!

For me, I won't take in a rescue dog unless I know it well and know it is safe. Rita was perfect because I knew her temperament due to her having been owned by my brother and the fact that I spent a lot of time with her at family gatherings and when they visited my home. So, when she needed someone to take her or she was going to the pound, I was more than willing and I have never regretted that decision. She is a marvel of love and patience. But I don't think I would take in a rescue that I do not know while my kids are young. However, that's just me. A lot of people have rescue dogs of various breeds that are amazing with their kids and very good dogs. When I was 4 my mom took a dog of indeterminate breed/mix from the local pound and he was my best friend for years until his death.
 

SBTlove

Good Dog
One idea might be to look for a young dog that is in foster care, has been in foster care for some time and has proven itself to be stable in a family environment, good with children and tolerant of other animals. Other advantages of adopting a fostered dog is that it will likely already be vetted, up to date on shots and perhaps housebroken along with other basic training.

Dogs in foster care are not usually "warehoused" like they often are in shelters and often receive much more individual attention, care and socialization.

Regardless, keep in mind that pit bulls can be high energy athletic dogs that require good exercise, may become destructive if not walked/exercised and are bored and they like to be involved in all family activities.

You can locate a pit bull rescue in your area and through them find available fostered dogs that may meet your needs and requirements as well as do more research by following this link ~ Pit Bull Rescue Central

Welcome and Good Luck !!! :cool:

Great post! I agree with this. My dog came out of a foster situation and even as young as she was you could tell a difference between her and a dog her age that had been in a shelter situation. She has been a great dog.

Honestly with a small child, I would advise on waiting to get any dog (of any breed) until your child is at least 4 or 5. Most (not all) rescues and reputable breeders won't adopt or sell to someone with a young child.

I don't know whether or not this is the right breed for you. But don't just run out and get this fantastic breed of dog just because you feel sorry for them.