apprehensive new owner

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apprehensive new owner

Postby bikerjoe » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:14 pm

Hello Bully Lovers,

My name is Joe and I live in southeast Georgia near the coast. My daughter recently brought home a mixed breed pitbull that she claimed was going to be thrown into the river by the owner. The dog is a female, all black possibly part lab. She is six to eight weeks old, fully weaned has a square jaw, short bowed legs, large paws and a muscular physique. My daughter brought her to the vet and she got the once over.

I fully understand that responsible owners vehemently protect this breed's reputation as caring and gentle yet I can't help but be apprehensive since we recently had a terrible tragedy here involving pit bulls attacking a small child.

Couple of things...

- Would you accept me into the forum since my dog is not pure?

- I am guessing that early and often socialization is vital. There are alot of dog owners in my neighborhood would it be a good idea to socialize this dog with other dogs? It is my understanding they do not play well with others.

- I am going to insist that my daughter take the dog to obedience training, when is a good age to start this process?
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Re: apprehensive new owner

Postby Nichole » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:31 pm

Mixes, purebreds, and even just pitbull admirers are welcome to this forum. Welcome!

Your daughter sounds like a sweetheart, good for all of you for saving this pups life and for trying to be responsible owners.

Your pup absolutely should be socialized with other dogs. My recommendation would be to take her to the vet and get her health checked, wormed, and her first round of vaccines going. You can get started in obedience as early as 8 weeks and that's what I'd do. I got my pup at 8 weeks and by week 9 she was enrolled in "puppy kindergarten" with other pups of similar age where they learn the basics: name attention, sit, polite biting (soft mouth), coming when called, how to walk on a leash, that sort of thing. Those classes are also where I socialized my pup. We'd work obedience for 5-10 minutes, then let them play for 5 minutes. This went back and forth for the 45-60 minute class session.

Early socialization with other dogs is super important. They learn proper, polite doggy signals, and they learn that doggies are nice and not something to be afraid of. The first 4 months of socialization to dogs, other animals, people, weird hats, strange smells, strange noises, etc are the BEST time - they are like little sponges and absorb it all in - good and bad (so we of course try our best to make it all GOOD! we dont want them afraid of anything). After 4 months those windows of learned experiences begins to close off and anything new can make them nervous or can be scary. For example, my Violet never met someone in a wheelchair as a youngster. When she was a year old she saw a wheelchair and they spook her. She doesn't really know what they are so she's not comfortable around them. Make sense?

Often obedience places hold "puppy socials" besides their regular classes. If they do, check them out. It's all play but it's supervised. Keeps the play safe and fun, and a good trainer can catch unwanted behavior and try to iron it out to help them grow into polite doggies around other doggies.

I'd avoid socialization at places like dog parks or other adult dogs. Not everyone keeps up on their dogs vaccines and until your pup is FULLY vaccinated, she will be at risk for catching a lot of bugs. That's a good reason to stick with supervised puppy plays with pups who have the same immunity issues. It reduces the chances of your pup getting sick.

there are lots of different kinds of trainers out there. My preference is to use trainers who believe in positive reinforcement, not dominance or punishment based.

Once you are accepted into this forum you'll have access to lots of very helpful information.
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Re: apprehensive new owner

Postby jamielvsaustin » Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:38 pm

bikerjoe wrote:- Would you accept me into the forum since my dog is not pure?

Yes! Absolutely! There are plenty of people here who not only have "not pure" dogs, but also people who don't even own Pit Bulls.


bikerjoe wrote:- I am guessing that early and often socialization is vital. There are alot of dog owners in my neighborhood would it be a good idea to socialize this dog with other dogs? It is my understanding they do not play well with others.


The most important thing before socializing the dog with other dogs is to know that all dogs involved are healthy. Has this pup had all of its shots yet? Are there families that you trust have their dogs up-to-date on vaccines? Typically I think it is suggested to have the dog around other dogs its age...and then if that's not a possibility an older, stable tempered (and about to put up with puppy nonsense) is a great alternative.

Your understanding of them not playing well with others is mostly correct. Based on their lineage, they were not expected to get along with other dogs...in fact (as I'm sure you know) just the opposite was expected. As it turns out, we're so far from that idea that sometimes you'll find Pit Bull type dogs that absolutely LOVE other dogs. From my experience I find the younger the dog, the more it wants to interact with other dogs. Then I found, as the dog matures, that want is less likely. I find (with my dogs, and the dogs I've encountered) they seem to become surer of themselves. They don't always start a fight, but have no problem letting other dogs know when they're uncomfortable and backing it up. I think you should find some information on dog body language and go from there. If you decide to allow this pup to interact with other dogs (which I encourage at this point), be on the lookout for appropriate behavior and any time you become uncomfortable with what's happening-simply stop it. No one gets yelled at...owners aren't mad, the "play"/situation just ends.

bikerjoe wrote:- I am going to insist that my daughter take the dog to obedience training, when is a good age to start this process?

I think this is a great idea. If you're going to own one of the breeds that fall under the Pit Bull umbrella, you should be an ambassador to the breed. I believe you'll find that the trainers in your area will have a few requirements for dogs to attend obedience training. They'll need certain vaccines, and I believe those vaccines coincide with the age requirement. I would expect you could find a place that would allow a puppy as early as 16 weeks into a class.


Thank you for looking into this and caring enough to do research.
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Re: apprehensive new owner

Postby Ilovethepits » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:10 pm

Welcome to you! I'm so glad you found this forum now and are looking to have the best possible outcome for your daughter's pup!!

I got a pup under similar circumstances 11 years ago and believed all the terrible things about pit bulls. I was convinced this little mixed guy would eventually turn on me because he had "pit bull blood". lol

I wish I would have been a member of this forum then because 1) I did not know about socializing my pup with other dogs (he turned out to sorta like other dogs). As he has matured he tolerates much less of other dogs, 2) I would have trained him using only positive methods because I used all corrections and it ruined much of a chance of my dog trusting me to look out for him. I think that is important.

All the advice you are getting from Nicole and Jamie is great advice!! I wish you the very best of luck with your new pup.

Oh yeah, We Love Photos of Puppies!!! :peace:
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Re: apprehensive new owner

Postby Curly_07 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 4:16 pm

Ok, first thing :welcome:

To answer some of your questions...

1)Yes you are welcome here! We are mostly a rescue forum, with a few (as in a small handfull) of breeders of a couple of the Pit Bull breeds. Many people that don't have pit bulls, but want to educate themselves or just love the breed are also members here.

2) Socialization is very important with pit bull type dogs, as it is with all animals and humans. You should be socializing now with the pup to as things as possible, and many types/builds/races of people (about 100) over the next few weeks. Please do not let the pup on the ground in areas where other dogs frequent until all basic shots/boosters have been given and had time to start working.

3) Obedience classes are awesome, and highly reccomended for all dogs :) Pet Smart has a pretty good puppy class that you could start with around 12 weeks of age I believe. Their basic obedience class is pretty good too. They both help with socialization and training for yourself and the new pup.

As for your fear due to a recent unfortunate event... Please look at the living conditions the dog came from, were signs of stress from the dog ignored, were the dog and child left unattended together, etc. At the end of the day, the dog's owners failed it AND the child. Dog owners should always be responsible, and watch for signs their dog is uncomfortable, and parents need to start taking responsibility for their actions (or lack there of).

You should take a look around the training section and health section for some things to get you started with your new pup. Oh, and please, tell your daughter thank you for stepping up and saving a dogs life!
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Re: apprehensive new owner

Postby bikerjoe » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:04 pm

Thank you all... I feel much better now. I discussed the obedience training with my daughter, (she actually brought it up), and we will begin immediately. "Delta" has round worm and will be off her meds in a day or 2. I am looking forward to raising a well rounded, well behaved and healthy pet.

Yes... I am proud of my daughter for saving the pups life and she will hear it over and over... she is a good kid.

I will post photo's of Delta soon.

By way of further introduction I enjoy motorcycling, sailing and fishing. I have four rescue cats, ( they multiply even though they are fixed), and I always wanted a dog. I think our family will enjoy Delta for a long time.

Thank you

Joe
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Re: apprehensive new owner

Postby jamielvsaustin » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:20 pm

Curly_07 wrote: You should be socializing now with the pup to as things as possible, and many types/builds/races of people (about 100) over the next few weeks.

I think I've heard this be called 100 people in 100 days...or something similar.

Right now you and your daughter will likely have no problem wanting to meet your pup-everyone loves puppies. :))
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Re: apprehensive new owner

Postby Madeleinemom » Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:47 pm

Just a warm Welcome from me, and Thank You to you and your daughter for helping Delta! :welcome:
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Re: apprehensive new owner

Postby bikerjoe » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:06 pm

Madeleinemom wrote:Just a warm Welcome from me, and Thank You to you and your daughter for helping Delta! :welcome:
Thank you for the welcome
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Re: apprehensive new owner

Postby AllisonPitbullLvr » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:12 pm

Joe,

I like you. The world needs more open minded, kind people who are willing to make up their own minds rather than relying solely on sensationalized media reports.

So from myself and on behalf of all if us who fight to restore the reputation of our dogs, thank you!
:thumbsup:
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Re: apprehensive new owner

Postby starrlamia » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:24 pm

AllisonPibbleLvr wrote:Joe,

I like you. The world needs more open minded, kind people who are willing to make up their own minds rather than relying solely on sensationalized media reports.

So from myself and on behalf of all if us who fight to restore the reputation of our dogs, thank you!
:thumbsup:

:goodpost:

Welcome to the forum! There is a ton of information here on training and just about everything else, people own all sorts of dogs (i dont have a pit myself because of BSL) and there are all sorts of opinions here. Thank you for taking the time to give this pup a chance and for looking for information!

Do you own a bike? My dad is a HUGE motorcycle enthusiast, unfortunately he just sold is 85 Kawisaki ninja :( But I grew up with motorcycles and motorcycle racing, I hear all the updates from MotoGP!
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Re: apprehensive new owner

Postby spammie » Fri Jan 13, 2012 6:02 am

:modwelcomeonly2:
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