considering...

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PitCurious
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considering...

Postby PitCurious » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:04 am

there is a very sweet pitbull that has been visiting our dog for playtime daily. we live in the suburbs and stray dogs are not the norm. So, today we have decided to take her into our care and try to find her owners (if any). She is underfed, so I'm not sure we will find any. We are trying to decide what we will do with her if her owners cannot be found.
My background re: pit bulls. I have always been against bully breed legislation. We adopted a "boxer mix" about four years back. As he matured, it was clear he would fall under "bully breed" laws, as he looked like a pit more than boxer. That dog had problems from the beginning, which we attributed to street living... however, as he matured, we realized those erratic behaviors were not improving, they were getting worse. He was becoming randomly aggressive. One day he'd be totally submissive to me and the next, he'd be lunging, growling at me. We took him to our vet and were sent to a no-kill shelter for temperament testing. He failed miserably, trying to inflict harm on the testers, they couldn't even finish the eval. This shelter routinely adopts out pits and their mixes, so I'm sure it wasn't that. The trainers and vet recommended putting him down. It was one of the saddest days of my life. I held him in my arms as he drifted away, and I will NEVER forget nor "get over" that. We loved him, and really wished he was correctable, and I still catch myself calling for him.

I know that he was sick in the head, that it really wasn't because he was a pit mix... but that's, of course, not what family and friends say. They always bring it back to that being the reason. So.. after that I swore not to get mixed up in the pit world ever again.
LOL. Life has a way of changing things!
This little girl is the sweetest pit bull I've ever met, and our other dog (also female), is head over heals for her. We are willing to get her training if need (though we are pretty good at obedience training for other breeds).
My biggest hesitation is that I'm so afraid of the stigma attached. I'm afraid that the laws here will change, and they will collect her and put her down, after we have become so in love. In our city, we have to register all pits, they have to be "fixed", and can be randomly "inspected".
What kind of limitations/challenges regarding people and policies have you run into?
We usually travel with our dogs... we love the dog park, etc... Are dog parks okay for pit bulls (assuming that the park itself hasn't banned them)?

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PitCurious
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Re: considering...

Postby PitCurious » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:38 am

sorry- I accidently hit post before I edited out the question part... I started out writing a question, then remembered it was just an intro. So, sorry!

Hi, my name is Melissa my husband and I have two young children and one sweet dog, B.G. We are currently sheltering a pit bull who my 3.5 yr old has nick-named "socks". Dh's cousins and aunt all have very family-friendly pit bulls, so am familiar with those. Then, we had that pit bull mix, Nemo, as detailed above.
After having such a difficult dog in Nemo, and having our hearts broken at his loss, followed by our other dog getting loose and getting hit by a car (she was an escape artist/jumper), we are very timid and cautious about adding another member to our family. We want to be a forever family, and we want a dog to stay with us for the duration of his/her life. It's not something we take lightly.

We enjoy camping, biking, and playing with all our kids- human and otherwise.

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afrikaPB
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Re: considering...

Postby afrikaPB » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:31 pm

Sounds like this dog was lucky to find a caring family to help her out. I'm sure you'll get many responses to your post, but I can give you a little advice based on my experience with the breed.
Regarding public perception... Owning a Pit Bull carries a level of responsibility that, due to negative media attention, over-population and mismanaged/misunderstood innate breed characteristics, can be overwhelming to many pet owners (including, at some point, me and most other ppl on this forum :tongue: ). I live in San Francisco, where Pits are a popular breed for all kinds of owners, and on the street we get mixed responses, anything from people wanting to buy my dogs (no chance), breed enthusiasts coming up to say hi, fearful people making rude remarks/crossing street to avoid us etc. No matter the response, I always strive to present my dogs In the best light possible. By doing a lot of obedience, socialization and by me knowing and respecting their limits, we manage to avoid conflict and at the very least not perpetuate a bad stereotype.
The reason I bust my heiny being so watchful and careful with my dogs is because they exhibit totally normal Pit Bull characteristics, like not being particularly dog friendly, or being VERY enthusiastic about everything. Even at his most polite, my foster boy Nugget can easily whack the heck out of a child with his tail (he's just rly happy) and make a parent nervous, so we always meet people on leash for maximum control. We avoid dog parks because even though my other boy Gordo is uber dog friendly, if Anything were to happen at the park, I don't want my Pit involved whatsoever, because Pits often take the blame in aggression incidents. In general, I would venture that Pit Bulld are not good candidates for dog parks.
Finally, you sound like a great family and a dog lover, but one hitch about owning a bully breed is that while your forever dog and the new girl might get along now, that's not a given that they will always be friends. Many ppl on this forum have multiple dogs that they have to keep separated in the home (with use of crates, baby gates etc) to avoid potential fights. I personally never leave my dogs together when I'm not around, which most of my friends with other breeds don't understand. I just won't risk playtime or guarding a toy escalating into aggression when I'm not present to calm things down.
While you make your decision about keeping her, looking into potential rescues might help lighten the load if you decide not to adopt her forever. You can foster her for a rescue until the right home is found, that way you get the pleasure of spending time with her and the reassurance of knowing she's being adopted into a pre-screened home and hopefully not just some weirdo. Whenever a dog comes into my life unexpectedly I find it difficult to not just keep them, but knowing there are options for rehoming (especially into homes that are more equipped than mine-and that's not to say you aren't, just something to consider) helps me let them go.
Hope this helps.
P.S. If you do keep her, do know that while owning a pit bull is a big responsibility, the breed has many wonderful qualities and this forum will always be available with advice. Exploring the site a little bit will give you an idea of what some common issues are and how people manage them, as well as the good times to be had with them (see the gallery especially). Best of luck! :thumbsup:
:welcome:

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PitCurious
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Re: considering...

Postby PitCurious » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:12 pm

Thank you! I had no idea that could be a long- term problem. We may be able to handle that, though (separation). We will hash that out this week. They had played outside together daily... But our introduction has gone leas than steller.. our 1st dog is acting a but overly dominant. The dynamics completely changed when we brought her into the house.

The vet today said she was wonderful and all her screens came back neg. Said she was perfect aside from dirty, bit dehydrated, and tad skinny. Super sweet. With vets help, checked microchip and all the lost pet listings we could find within 50 miles- nothing remotely matching her. Dh is in love.... So out journey continues...,
If for any reason we can't be her home, we did agree on fostering her...

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Re: considering...

Postby Kahlie » Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:50 am

:goodpost: afrikaPB


:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Just to comment specifically about dog parks though: I'd personally be hesitant to go to them, anymore, with any breed of dog. I used to, pre-BSL here, when Jasper was a pup, and before PBF :) Even without the knowledge I learned on here, I did see the dangers of dog parks: too many dogs loose with too many owners going there to socialize and "letting the dogs work it out for themselves". Jasper was attacked, as a pup, by a boxer (a known trouble maker dog at the park).
I stopped going.

The added piece in that, is that, as mentioned by afrikaPB, pit bull owners really do carry an extra load of responsibility (or ought to) with ownership, because of the stigma socially.

Sorry for your experience with Nemo, but no, that's by no means attributed to the breed.

Welcome to PBF! You'll definitely find a world of info (and then some) here :)

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PitCurious
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Re: considering...

Postby PitCurious » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:24 am

Kahlie wrote::goodpost: afrikaPB


:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Just to comment specifically about dog parks though: I'd personally be hesitant to go to them, anymore, with any breed of dog. I used to, pre-BSL here, when Jasper was a pup, and before PBF :) Even without the knowledge I learned on here, I did see the dangers of dog parks: too many dogs loose with too many owners going there to socialize and "letting the dogs work it out for themselves". Jasper was attacked, as a pup, by a boxer (a known trouble maker dog at the park).
I stopped going.


Yes, I see your point, and have been waivering on this as well... though, I have to say that our owners tend to be very into their dogs and never sitting around/chatting/reading, whatnot... Actually, the park I've been thinking about "joining" is more of a gym membership, run by one of the local rescues. It's many acres, sheltered and well secured, has kennels for crating other dogs while you work with one, and is just 20 yards away from behaviorists (though they are not covered, they are available). They are very strict about who can stay/go, and everyone must follow rules. THAT was why it was even a thought! Still, I understand that Blue likely never have that chance! Shame! (Why can't *I* have acres for them to run on? Dang my modest means!)

So.. her name is Blue (unless she is claimed at some point, but that is seeming unlikely now). She's been a sweetie, although very, very tired. I'm waiting to see what she looks like after she's well nourished, hydrated, and feels safe. Dh thinks we've won the lottery as she's so docile... I think I see a little spunk in her eyes... I'm betting she's going to "wake up" later on.
Only tonight did I read the thread on 2 week shut down. I'd never heard of it before. Dh isn't going to understand, and doesn't think it's necessary (after all, they've been friends outside for two weeks already).... but I'm going to push for it. I'll have to get a crate set up for her tomorrow...although we have no unused room that she can have for privacy.... would putting a towel over the door, or putting that towards a wall help keep stimuli down without making her feel badly? I hope we haven't screwed things up! We've just walked into this blindly and are trying to catch up.
I'd asked dh to never leave them alone, and to keep interactions between them to minimum. I was gone all day today, and came home to find the dogs in the back yard together, unsupervised. :wow :po: I was pissed. We simply don't know Blue well enough to do that, nor do we know how BG is going to handle things. He says they are getting along great, and that we should just let things happen naturally. :eek: Um... no. We don't' even have a break stick yet. So tonight, they are both leashed, one to each of us, each sleeping. It's been an exhausting day for everyone.

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PitCurious
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Re: considering...

Postby PitCurious » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:30 am

Image

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spammie
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Re: considering...

Postby spammie » Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:31 pm

Welcome to PBF
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