Pit Bull Apology

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I know on the scale of difficult child problems this may be small to most, but I recently realized I had a real mistake in something I thought.

    When I was growing up we had friends with the SWEETEST dogs. All I ever heard them called was bulldogs. I don't even know that I knew that there were other types of bull dogs. When these dogs (named Petulia and Lilac, lol) got older they developed a serious problem. Some type of dementia where one day one of them cornered the Dad and really scared him. One of the kids came by and called the dog and it was like a switch flipped and the dog was happy and tail wagging and just glad Dad was home. They took him to the vet and this is a dangerous thing in this type of dog and he had to be put down. I cried myself to sleep that night and I am sure the entire family did too.

    Two years later the Dad was leaving the house and the other dog wouldn't let him. He was leaving to go to work and the dog had gone outside and he opened the door and the dog charged him like he was a stranger. He had to shoot the dog and I know it hurt him very badly.

    Until recently I thought this was something that could happen to ANY pit bull. Because I didn't realize that it was a disorder in FRENCH BULLDOGS and that pit bulls are a different breed alltogether. This has made me wary of pitbulls far more than any dog fighting problem, because I consider that to be an owner problem and I think the owner should be put down or at least be stuck in a ring with his ready to fight hungry pitbull with nothing but his own 2 hands and his own teeth and the owners should have to work it out that way.

    I don't have a clue why I didn't know this, but we don't have a dog and I don't have any close friends wth pit bulls. Hunting dogs are more the thing around here.

    Anyway, at least i know now, and to all the pit bulls - I am sorry I maligned you. Go bite the idiot who wants you to fight another dog.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    French bull dogs are totally different than pit bull dogs. Way different. They are little dogs. Actually not a whole lot bigger than a boston. Well...maybe about 20 pounds if that depending on each dog. Nina is a full grown pit and she only weighs about 50.
  3. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    And that's the reason we need "vicious dog laws" and not breed specific laws. Susie - not to single you out, but many people don't know what a "pit bull" is (usually they are referring to a Strattfershire terrier) and have no idea that a mutt is just as likely to attack as a specific breed of dog. Ask any mail deliverer what their most feared types of dogs are, and they'll usually say small vs. large.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Amen I would rather see a pit bull than a bunch of Chihuahuas attempting to come at me.
  5. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Sorry, I still don't like pit bulls and want nothing to do with them. You can all disagree with me all you want. TOO many maulings around here from "family" pit bull pets. If my little dog wrapped his mouth on me, I could kick him like a football - not scared. If a pit gets their mouth on me, nope, done for. I won't take that chance. Call it what you want, I don't even find them "cute"...
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Pits get a bad rep because of bad breeders and bad owners. We have owned several. One was just bad. Not to humans, she was fine with humans but she couldnt be anywhere near any other dogs because we rescued her from people who had fought her. We had hoped we could save her but we simply couldnt. We kept her on a chain so she couldnt get to any other dogs but one day one of our puppies got too close and she got it. That was the day that pit had to go. I couldnt keep a dog that would kill one of my pups. We tried to give her a chance but it didnt pan out. She had 2 more years than she would have if she had been a fighting dog but that was it. Bless her soul. I still think of her and I hate the people who made her that way. She could have been a good dog if some ugly folks hadnt ruined her.

    Cory has a beautiful blue pit who sits on his front steps and is the biggest baby around. Wouldnt hurt a fly but dont tell anyone that. She is trained to never go out of his little yard and its cute as all get out. She climbs up into his lap like she is a lapdog. My dog is just autistic. She has no clue she is a pit. She is ruled by a 5 pound havanese dog. The little dog growls at her and even draws blood when he starts getting feisty with her and she wont fight back. She just sits there and takes it. She runs to me and jumps in my bed and hides.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I still believe that every dog (and cat and horse and person) is a combination of nature and nurture. Every dog is born with certain instincts - stronger in some areas, weaker in others. Their experiences in life either highlight these natural tendencies, or mute them.

    A terrier is born with independence and digging as part of its nature. You don't have to teach those to a terrier. You do have to teach NOT digging, or ONLY digging in a certain place - not in its nature. A lab doesn't have that - lab has fetch instinct. Really hard to teach a lab to dig, but you can (for search-and-rescue, for example)... real easy to teach a lab to fetch - but the terrier takes way more training to even get the concept.

    So... when it comes to whether a dog is mean/vicious? Any dog can be turned into that based on how they are treated. But - per our trainer - there are some breeds where it takes more concerted effort to downplay those tendencies. Handled correctly from birth, even a pit bull will not be a problem. But I would never adopt a pit bull (or several other breeds) from a shelter... because there is no way to know the history.

    I do agree that banning certain breeds does not make the vicious-dog problem go away.
  8. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    :nonono: Oooooh, you got me started now!

    First, on the French Bulldogs ... they are small dogs, about the size of Bostons, but much chunkier, stockier, and usually with shorter legs. Well-bred Frenchies look like adorable fat little sausages with big ears and very expressive faces. Like any other breed, their personalities can vary but in all my years of being an over-the-top dog lover, I have never ever heard of one being aggressive! The worst you ever hear about them is that they can be stubborn and determined, just like their English Bulldog cousins, but "aggressive" - NO! Like any other breed, there may be some who don't get along with other dogs because of things they have experienced, but that's true of any breed. And I have also never ever heard of any kind of hereditary condition that would cause them to become aggressive when they get older! Dogs can become senile in their old age, just like people. They are subject to the same old age symptoms as humans, all the aches and pains, vision problems, even strokes that can cause unusual behavior,but no more than any other dog breed.
    French bulldog - Google Search

    Now about the Pit Bulls - The ONLY thing wrong with Pit Bulls is irresponsible owners! Sadly, they have become a symbol of the hoodlum thug culture. And sadly too, the truth is that Pit Bulls are much more likely to be abused by humans than the other way around. Go to Facebook and search for the pages on "Patrick the Miracle Dog" and you'll see exactly what I mean. It's heartbreaking! Or watch the TV show "Pit Boss" about a group that runs a Pit Bull rescue in California. By nature Pit Bulls are loyal, loving, trustworthy family pets and past generations used them as companions to their small children. Check this out ...


    The ONLY thing wrong with Pit Bulls is what we, as human beings, have done to them. I think it's very telling that almost every last one of the Michael Vick dogs that were so horribly abused and used for fighting have now been adopted in to loving family homes. And Breed Specific Legislation is the worst idea yet. In truth, most people cannot even tell a Pit Bull from other similar breeds. I can't find the link now but there is a page that shows a picture of a Pit Bull along with pictures of other similar breeds and almost no one can pick out the Pit Bull from the others!

    And for the record, I've had vets and vet techs tell me that the breed they have been bitten by the most is the Poodle. And the nastiest, most vile tempered, most aggressive dog I have ever met was a CHIHUAHUA!

    OK, I'm off my soapbox now!
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This is what I mean. I didn't mean to upset people, but I was looking at pictures and realized that what I was TOLD was a "bull dog" was NOT a pit bull. I have ALWAYS said it is the individual dog you should judge the dog on, NOT a breed BUT there are some who at a certain age are susceptible to a disease that makes them go after the owner. I was WRONG and thought it was pit bulls, and it is NOT. From what I learned back when they had to poor dogs autopsied, they saw signs of seizure disorder and when the dogs went after the Dad it was because they were having a seizure. I know FOR A FACT that this man did NOT hurt or abuse them. They were his babies and he loved them and he cried and cried over their deaths.

    I HATE breed specific laws. THEY ARE STUPID. Vets here have only one breed they refuse to treat and it isn't the pit bull. They won't treat cocker spaniels. I have known the vets in our area for a long time. One neighbor when I was a teen is a vet and she used to have gatherings of all the vets in town (lots because we have a vet school) and I used to help her with the food, etc... at them. Around here they dont' mind chihuahuas, but cocker spaniels are not welcome. Cocker spaniels seem to be badly inbred around here and are biters. Some of the vets won't treat them at all, others insist they have a muzzle on before they enter the building. I think it is a local thing because for a while we had a couple of awful of backyard breeders who started with very inbred siblings and used them for parents until they got shut down.

    Anyway, I didn't mean for this to be a big deal about breed laws. I thought maybe it might interest some of you to learn of my mistake. I grew up with a dog, we had one for a short while until she ran away (she was a rescue that I found out in a field in bad shape, at least she was spayed and clean when she ran from us) and I have been around dogs of many kinds a fair amount. I probably am fairly average on my knowledge of dogs. If I can make this big a mistake, then anyone can. I am sorry if I perpetuated any ideas of pit bulls being nuts or being able to get sick and then attack. in my opinion they are great dogs like any other - IF they have owners who love them, care for them and train them properly.

    Why is it that the biggest problem ANY animal on the planet has is always the same - humans? We are not always responsible in our handling of animals and in my opinion that is sad.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Susie... humans are that way with their own offspring. Can we expect any different with animals?

    Yes, humans mess things up. Majorly.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Donna I agree with you. keyana was bit by one of those and Billy was bit by a poodle though I had a poodle growing up who wasnt aggressive he was just too damned smart for his own good. I swear my buddy that I have now is my poodle reincarnated. He acts just like him. LOL. If we took our poodle with us to the grocery store and we were gone longer than he liked, he would start honking the horn! I cant tell you how many times we got paged in stores saying "if you own a blue station wagon, your dog is honking for you." LOL
  12. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    We had Poodles when I was a kid but I don't remember any of them ever becoming aggressive. My own theory, from what I saw with my own dogs, is that they tend to get cataracts earlier than other breeds do and any "aggressiveness" might just be from fear and poor eyesight.

    And I know that all are not like that, but I don't have much use for Chihuahuas. They can be very snippy and bad breeders continue to breed some that shouldn't be bred, passing on these traits. They tend to be fine with their owners but can be quite aggressive with other people. The worst one I ever saw was a little guy owned by a former boss of mine who lived in a State-owned house on the prison grounds ... and she was quite a whack job herself! She insisted on feeding him "people food" instead of dog food and the poor thing weighed 20 pounds when he should have weighed half that! I'm sure he was in pain and had bad joints which contributed to his crabbiness, and he almost died from pancreatitus. If people came in to her house the dog would go right for their legs and ankles and drew blood many times. He was such a mean little sh*t that the inmate maintenance work crews refused to go in to her house to work until the dog was crated!

    And as far as "Bull Dogs", there are all kinds of Bull Dogs. Besides Pit Bulls, there are American Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs (who are only mean and aggressive in the cartoons). And a lot of older people still refer to Bostons as "Boston Bulls" although the correct AKC recognized term is "Boston Terrier". I've even had people who thought my biggest Boston, Katy, was a Bulldog! She's the friendliest, most loving dog on the planet and loves people so much that she will approach total strangers to introduce herself in hopes that they will pet her and maybe play with her. To Katy, a stranger is just a friend she hasn't met yet. But she weighs over 30 pounds, very big for a Boston, and she's very strong and muscular with massive wide shoulders, and she snorts and grunts a lot because she is very smooshy faced. I was taking her to the vet one day just as an elderly lady was coming out of the door. This lady flattened herself out against the brick wall and started screaming, "KEEP THAT BULLDOG AWAY FROM ME!! DON'T LET HIM HURT ME!!!" And Katy was still ten feet away and smiling at her! The lady screamed so loud that they heard her inside and they all came running out to see what was going on. And when they saw that it was my Katy that she was so terrified of, they all busted out giggling ...they didn't mean to be rude but they just couldn't help it! Katy was given to me by one of the vet techs there, she's very well known there and a big favorite of everyone in the office. But then, some people are just idiots when it comes to dogs!
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Truth be told most any dog that is older can suffer dementia, and it often shoes in an aggressive way. At the end I could tell that when I first came home Bubba didn't know who I was. He was fairly blind and fairly deaf, and his natural reaction was territorial. I'm glad that we didn't let it get so far that he actually turned on me. I wouldn't have wanted to remember him that way.
  14. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    The only breed I don't trust besides chihuahua's (and they really can't do much damage), are Chows. Maybe it was the area I lived in, but when I worked for a vet in high school, the only problem we had were with chows - and more than one. What bothered me the most, is that they are twitchy. They'd be fine with you one minute, then turn on you the next. If I know what to expect from a dog, I can deal with it, but when you don't know what it's going to do from one minute to the next....

    In temperament testing, Pit Bulls score better than labs and cocker spaniels. Breed specific legislation needs to go. In the '70s it was the Dobermans, in the '80s it was the German Shepherds, in the '90s it was the Rotties, and now it's the Pit Bulls. It's not the dogs, it's the humans that are the problem.

    Oh - and in working at the vet and handling every kind of dog out there, I was only bitten once - by a Maltese.
  15. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Our next dog will be a Pibbles (Pit Bull) from a rescue. difficult child wants a puppy, but I've decided that I'm only going to adopt senior dogs. They're the ones that can't find a home.
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Just make sure you find one where they actually know the history. NOT one brought in as a stray. NOT from a shelter where they won't tell you anything.

    We tried that ONCE. Had to give the dog back. Supposed to be a lab/shepherd cross - might have been, could have had other stuff in there too. Definitely not one of the breeds usually considered (by popular opinion, not by fact) to be a problem. And... he was psychotic. Literally. No way to work with him at all - smart as a whip, but no way to form attachment.

    SO... find a really good shelter, first.
  17. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I don't know if I would recommend getting a Pit Bull from a shelter either, not knowing it's history. There are breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, including Pit Bulls but you must be very careful to go through a good, reputable rescue. A reputable rescue organization places the dogs in foster homes before they are adopted. A good organization will thoroughly evaluate the dog before it is adopted, including any temperament issues, how they get along with adults, children, and other pets. The dog will get any needed medical care in addition to being spayed or neutered before adoption. A lot of them will do a home study first and some offer training help with the dogs if needed.

    And with any kind of a mixed breed, especially if the dog was dropped off at a shelter or picked up as a stray, you have to remember that the people at the shelter are only making a best guess at what combination of breeds the dog comes from. Unless there is a very strong resemblence to a certain breed, they're just guessing! They have a way of making all dogs sound like they are a mix of two pure-bred dogs and most aren't. It's more likely that it's a mixed breed from mixed parents who were also from mixed parents. Nothing at all against mixed breeds, my sweet Ms. Freebie is a beautiful mixed breed, just don't necessarily take the shelter employee's word for what breeds the dog is a mix of.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  18. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Any dog can turn, regardless of breed, for a wide variety of reasons, not all human related either.

    We had Baby, a once sweet tri color basset. We adored her, trained her, spoiled her, got her a companion, another basset, blonde and white, Holly. Baby got along fine with everyone. She was a bit onary but I could handle it. As a pup she cried all the time, to the point where I had the vet check her mult times, he found nothing wrong. Not outright crying, just a low pathetic whimper. She also had an issue with eating, as in she'd go days without touching her food or anything else we attempted to "tempt" her with. She was always an angel with the kids and the other dog, neighbors kids ect. Then the whinging shifted to a low growl. So back to the vet. Again he found nothing wrong. Then one day she was lying in husband's recliner. husband tried to get her to get down so he could sit. She ignored him. He went to take her by the collar and she literally went for his throat. (I never knew basset's could get so high in the air!) Again a trip to the vet. Nothing wrong. I suspected strongly it had to do with her digestive tract and the not eating thing. Two vets couldn't find anything. We re-homed her with people who knew the issue and swore they could handle it and would find out what the issue was, they also believed it to be physical.

    Lil Bit was a pup we adopted from our local no kill shelter. Half starved, scarred up face, we brought her home to save her. Again she was sweet to us. But the dog aggression was over the top.......she'd been used as a target dog for pit fights, vet told us that is what all the scars were from. Tried to find a trainer to see if that would help.........wound up having to put her down. :(

    Precious was a basset I got from a reputable breeder. Her name suited her until her personality changed at around 9 months of age. Every time we turned around she was going after Molly and the bloody battles began. (so much for them just "working it out") She was re-homed to a family with no other dogs. Never did figure out what her issue was........BUT we have Betsy, her daughter, and suddenly last fall, Betsy turned on Molly (only when people are around) and does the same. Now I keep them separated at all cost. Which both makes me feel bad and makes me mad. Makes spending time with them difficult. So I'm guessing the aggression is probably genetic based, thinking husband keeping them out in the yard all the time......made Betsy want to hog all people attention so she gets aggressive with Molly if people (especially me) are around.

    I absolutely loathe Chihuahuas and Pekinese dogs. My aunt has had Chihuahuas as long as I can remember and she's constantly disciplining them, snippy dreadful lil things they are. My grandpa had the Pekinese from hades, mean dog that one, always had been. Both those made me dislike small dogs. Large breeds tend to be more mellow and patient.
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    But... again, it is dog dependent. The one we had to give up.. was 100 lbs of what looked like lab/shepherd cross... "should" have been mellow... NOT.
  20. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Ohio has breed specific legislation and I've yet to see a Pit in a shelter. I would have to go through a rescue, and would only adopt one that way anyway.

    Alas, it seems as if I may have broken my two new rules in a matter of hours. I'm going to be meeting a 1 year old Rottie tomorrow. Just meeting. Nothing set in stone. I didn't think I would be ready for another dog for a really long time, but the house just ain't a home without a dog.