Hello PitbullForum! I joined because I'd like to connect to the PROPER Pitbull community, and I have high hopes this is the right place for me. I've been having a lot of trouble lately on the way people view and treat Pitbulls. Not only the worst case scenarios where people abuse their dogs or use them in fighting(this 'trend' is all-to-obviously horrid), but also people who cannot control their dogs and leave them chained outside, people who over-breed and consider 'blue-nose' and 'red-nose' (which yes, I've heard of the Old Family Red Nose. Which to my knowledge no longer exists) to be registered breeds. I know people who paid hundreds of dollars for a 'blue-nose' and got 'papers' with the dog. Are the papers just written in handwriting and say "This dog is registered in the kennel club that doesn't exist" I do not know. But I do know, that there are specific breeds seen as 'Pitbulls' that are actual registered breeds; American Pit Bull Terrier, Cane Corso, Preso Canario, Dogo Argentino, Staffordshire Terrier, American Bulldog, and more.
Which leads me to my next issue. I had people on a different forum (it was a general dog forum) that consistently corrected me if I addressed a dog as just a Pitbull and didn't say "APBT" (which I would have if the dog I was talking about was actually an American Pit Bull Terrier). These people, I think, have had only online education about Pitbulls and don't know much about the real world of Pits. The majority are combination dogs, which in literal terms they would be a mutt. But you look at the dog and say "that's a Pitbull". Usually the dogs have a long lineage of, let's say, their mother was somewhere down the line an APBT but also had some type of bulldog in her, while the father had some pointer in him that was also mixed with boxer or who knows... This trend happens over and over again between 'mutts' and other 'mutts' but they are all considered by the majority of people to be Pitbulls. Which can vary from big round heads and short 100 pound bodies to long faced, long legged 50 pound Pits. They come in every shape and every color that a dog can possibly be. But you still know a 'Pit mix' when you see one. And most everyone (besides maybe a dog show judge) will address the dog as a Pitbull and recognize it as one. With all the problems that surround the Pit as a whole, I think it's impossible to just try to say "Well... It's just a mutt of a mutt of a mutt of a mutt". Normal people in the street will not see your dog and think it's a mutt(which the majority of 'Pitbulls' are).
With THAT being said, I would like to move on to say I am a strong advocate for the happy 'it's christmas every day' Pits that we all know and love. Honestly, Pitbulls are my thing, but I love all Molosser dogs (they generally all are born with the same temperament, or at least very similar temperaments-more are calm than others, others are more hyper, but they're all very close in my opinion). And I'm sick of people taking Rottweilers, or their 'blue nosed Pit' (as they would call them) and chain them up outside all day everyday as if the dog is a lawn ornament. When all the dog wants to do, is be with people(unless it turned aggressive from being chained up for years on end) and please them. I had a personal experience that exact point I am trying to make...
One of my good friends (all though I do disagree with the way they handle this particular dog) has a Pitbull chained up outside all day everyday. I was over there recently for a bonfire, and I asked politely if I could go say hi to the chained up dog. His voice was hoarse from barking so much to get people's attention, but his tail was wagging and I could see my own dog's personality in him. When I asked, I made sure to also ask if he was aggressive (which I doubted before I even got an answer, but it's always important to ask when you're able). They told me "Oh no, he's not aggressive. He's just a big boy and gets excited and doesn't know he's so big." Which didn't bother me at all, because my own dog can be the same way. But when they said it, they hinted that they didn't really feel comfortable with me going up to him, so I obliged. I asked why he was chained up, and they told me he was a runner. But later on, they let him off his chain, and to my surprise... I found that the dog was actually listening to me better than his owners! I treated him as if he was my own dog, and firmly would call his name and tell him to come, and he would come-despite the fact his entire body was wagging in excitement. I told him firmly to sit, and he sat. His owner tried to get him to do the same things, and he completely blew her off. I was actually shocked. And to be honest, I think it all has to do with the way you present yourself to the dog. All dogs train differently, but I've noticed a HUGE trend with the 'it's christmas every day of my life' Pitbulls that can't control themselves because they're just too dang happy! Some people resort to severely beating the dog every time s/he gets excited(not my friend, just incase you were wondering) and eventually the dog is just too depressed and fearful to be excited anymore. Others seem to not have the 'balls' to control their rambunctious Pittie, and they let their dog walk all over them. Or they resort to the easy solutions like staying in a kennel constantly or being chained. I disagree with all of these forms of dealing with the dog. You HAVE to let that excited dog know YOU are his chief, his superior, his alpha. Not only so you don't have a dog walking all over you, but so when other people come into contact with your dog, your dog doesn't get put down because the excited pup jumped on them, and they took it as an assault. And from personal experience, what works best for me with these particular Pits, is you have to give tremendous amounts of praise when the dog does ANYTHING you want him to do; come to you, sit, stay, whatever. But when he does something wrong like jumping, you have to give a harsh yell and sometimes with the more bull-headed ones, a quick smack(not a PUNCH, not BEAT DOWN, not a harsh slap across the muzzle, but a quick 'hey, listen to me!' smack on his behind. But you obviously CANNOT do this with every dog, especially if they have an abusive history because it could seriously scare them and make them instantly fear you). And even then, I think the smacking can usually be avoided by just having a prong collar. For example, you're around someone the dog hasn't met and the dog is excited and wants to jump or pull you to get to the person; a quick correction with the prong collar (sometimes they'll ignore you at first and keep going, so you have to keep correcting with each 'pull' or 'jump' they give) and the dog will learn. He might stop that one specific time and stop doing it then, but I can almost guarantee you, that you'll have to reteach him that particular form of correction over and over again until he finally gets it. Just like teaching him a command. What works well for me, with the jumping, is correcting with the prong collar when they pull or try to jump on someone, and then as soon as they stop for that split second from the correction, command them to sit and then highly praise them.
I hope I haven't offended anyone, I just strongly strongly love Pitbulls, and I think it's SO important to fight this reputation and BSL they have, so that a dog isn't put down because his owner was either too abusive OR too lenient and let their dog do whatever he wants. Even if the dog isn't having aggressive behavior, like I said, 'outsiders' are idiots and you MUST assume that any stranger will find any excuse to have your dog put down(which is not always the case, but it's better to be safe than sorry) and will not differentiate aggression from excitement. People NEED to start taking proper care and control of their Pitbulls so that a precious soul isn't put down because others viewed the dogs actions differently than what you know to be true.
Also, I want to make sure that it is clear that when I was talking about correcting the dog, I was specifically talking about the 'christmas morning' 'excited' Pits. Particularly with the behind-smack. I don't want anyone to perceive that as me being abusive, and I also don't want anyone thinking "well my dog doesn't need that he's calm, submissive, or came from a terrible past-so who are you to say how to handle my dog." I'm also sure there are ways others have come up with to control these 'excited' dogs, and I don't deny that. I just feel that SOMETIMES it's necessary (and it usually works for me) because I think it's worse to have a dog put down because he's not under your control, just because you didn't want to enforce that you're the boss because you love your dog so much and don't want to 'hurt' him(and what I'm talking about, I really couldn't call that 'hurting' the dog, just getting his attention). I hope that anyone who reads this agrees at least to some degree, or knows where I'm coming from. I mean, sometimes you have to smack your child on the butt to get them to stop bad behavior. You don't slap them in the face or beat the crap out of them. That's abuse. It's not abuse if you just smack them on the butt to let them know you're not joking, and I think dogs respond to that a whole lot better than human children do.
Anyways, I hope you read all of this, and respond! Please do not attack me for my beliefs(I'm open to debate, just not heated aggressive-online debate), because I love Pits probably just as much as you do. My dog is my best friend in the world, and I couldn't live without him and I know he feels the same about me. We're inseparable and there's a bond there that's one-of-a-kind. A true man's best friend dynamic. And I want everyone to feel this way, and I REALLY want people to be more educated about how to handle their Pits, so we can collectively stop this terrible reputation that's destroying hundreds of Pitbulls (if not, thousands) each and every day.