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American Pitbull Terrier - What's your experience?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Nenime, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. Nenime

    Nenime Guest

    I love my cute and dear Gina so much, she is the most sensitive and loyal dog I ever had or met. But we have gone through quite some grief experience. In many countries here in Europe Pitbulls are forbidden to breed and the keeping itself is pestered by a mass of regulations. I know, there were some insane criminals who abused the dogs, tortured them and forced them to do things against their will (they called that "training"). As a result, these psychotic dogs attacked innocent people bady, some even died. Horrible! Although my Gina - and myself - never ever bit anyone, be it dog or human or mosquito, people branded us as scum or the earth. Fortunately, this hysteria is gone. But still people keep asking me, why on earth I choose this kind of dog. It makes me so sad that this breed, which is so full of positive characteristics, is so missunderstood.

    Everything I heard from friends oversea makes me believe that Pitbulls have a complete different reputation here in Europe than elsewhere. I know that in the U.S. Pitbulls are appointed as social dogs to help the mentally desordered in hospitals. No wonder, they are so humane, so human-friendly. They really like to work physically and their ability to absorm pain is astonishing. That's why Gina is so well-liked among children, she is never miffed. Actually, I think Pitbulls are among the best choices for a family dog.

    So, do you have an American Pitbull by yourself? How is the reputation in your country? What do you love most on them?

    As an attunement, here's a great video on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJueekvhRDI
     
  2. Lady Aalia

    Lady Aalia Atlantic's Finest
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    I live in Germany and here those dogs fall under what we call "fighting dogs"

    you pay higher taxes for owning one and have to be able to pass a behaivior test with your dog. Plus liablility insirance coverage is much higher for those races.

    To tell you the truth i have no problem with that, just again this year we had several dog attacks on little children by pitbulls.
    I do agree with you that it is not the dogs fault, but just like hunting dogs or herding dogs , those kind of dogs where specially bread for the reasons of beeing fighting dogs. If you know a bit of breading dogs you know how breeders go by selecting the atributes they want in their dogs through many generations and plant them inside the dogs instinct.

    And yes your puppy may be the sweetest thing, but just like a beagle will tent to leap into his hunting instinct when he sees a rabit run by, those fighting dogs can laps into the killing mode (i say can not will) and it happens every year here. Usually the people affected old folks and small children.

    For our family , we spend weeks looking through books before we finally decided on a breed, but i would have never even thought of taking my chances with a "fighting dog".
    I feel like those breeds should be slowly be extinct (not killing them but no longer breeding them) since there shouldnt be any reason to have "fighting dogs"
     
  3. Nenime

    Nenime Guest

    Avenhar, I really thank you for your honest reply. Your statement is completly understandable and I feel deeply sad at heart about those occurences. :(

    But actually my intention wasn't to misuse this forum to start a discussion about a special dog breed. While playing UO, we vibe with certain things like... you know, community sense or some such things. Starting from this common basis or mutual trust, I was just interested in sharing another 'ouside-uo' experience. Because this forum has a worldwide audience, I thought, well, maybe somewhere out there are players with a dog of the same breed. It's no biggie. Sorry if it sounded a bit too emotional. This was addressed to fellow dog holders who probably know where this is coming from. :)
     
  4. RenaLynne

    RenaLynne Guest

    Actually in America there are more and more places where Pit Bulls are not allowed to be kept. Some cities require a personality test. Some nothing special at all is required. My sister has a Pit and it a very friendly, peaceful dog. I have a toy Poodle and they play together often. Actually, my lil poodle is usually the aggressive one when they play, believe it or not. I really think its how a dog is trained and treated, yes certain breeds and certain tendencies, but that can be fixed with good training and lots of love.
     
  5. Aston

    Aston Guest

    In the UK, pitbulls were banned back in the early 90s.
    In theory there shouldn't be any more in existence here.

    I am in full agreement with the British government's decision to ban them on account of being a danger to the public.
     
  6. Kinda funny since the Pit Bull came from the UK
    Dog fighting, which could be carried out under clandestine measures, blossomed. Since Bulldogs proved too ponderous and uninterested in dog fighting, the Bulldogs were crossed with English White and Black and Tan Terriers. They were also bred to be intelligent and level-headed during fights and remain non-aggressive toward their handlers. Part of the standard for organized dog-fighting required that the match referee who is unacquainted with the dog be able to enter the ring, pick up a dog while it was engaged in a fight, and get the respective owner to carry it out of the ring without being bitten. Dogs that bit the referee were culled.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pit_bull
     
  7. Stucky

    Stucky Guest

    I have 2 beautiful Pitbulls, one is a mix. I don't know how I lived without their love and affection. I have a few problems, like I'd have to be an olympian of some sort to give them all the excersize they need and every few months or so they get sick of each other and have to go into 'timeout'. The smaller one I carry around my home like it was a baby. I'm still looking for one of those dog bags rated for 50 lbs so I can carry her in a pocketbook.:coco: I'm pretty certain she'd hate it because well... I've never seen her actually walk someplace, she always runs.

    Heres a video... its not about pitbulls but I still thought of it when everyone was saying how vicious they are. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjWtRYaxmWM


    Oh one more thing I have a funny story about its not only people that they scare. I had my little one waiting on the curb outside of the petsmart. For anyone who does not know what that is, its a pet store where you bring your dogs or whatever they also have training etc. We were leaving training waiting for my husband to bring the car around and theres tons of dogs going in and out. This couple brings their little teeny puppy unleashed up to the front and pass us... no big deal. Well apparently behind my back the puppy makes a run at my baby who gives out a couple warning barks. The poor little puppy stopped in its tracks and pee'd right there shaking. Thank goodness his parents thought it as funny as I did.
     
  8. Nenime

    Nenime Guest

    Absolutely amazing video, Stucky. Everyone who has a heart would go like this :sad2:. Very touching. Thank you very much for sharing :)
     
  9. Erekose

    Erekose Seasoned Veteran
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    I've known some really good pit bulls, but the fact remains that they were bred to be fighting dogs, and cases abound where one was all nice for years then suddenly becomes aggressive and attacks someone.

    The name pit bull stems from the old practice of putting the dogs into a pit to fight.
     
  10. Lady_Mina

    Lady_Mina Guest

    Pitbulls are banned in Belgium aswell.

    Staffords are still allowed...but we all know those are being bred for the 'looks' and color.

    Staffords seem to be very popular pets amongst the drugdealers.

    The drug dealer that lives above me has one too...
    (yes i live in the ghetto)
     
  11. Nenime

    Nenime Guest

    You named the problem right there :(

    I remember back in 1997 when I was looking for a new dog, I asked a friend who has great knowledge of dogs what he would recommend as a dog for me. I was looking for a quiet, friendly dog but with good anatomy so I can romp around with. As he suggested an American Pitbull Terrier I felt insulted. "Moron", I thought "I'm not of that kind*!" (*see above) He recognized this and said: "Well, if you only know about them what's in the media, you really don't know much." I felt even more insulted now - since I lived with dogs for almost all my life. He suggested to visit a Pitbull breeder just to get an impression by myself.
    In front of the kennel compound I began to feel reeeeally uneasy :sad3: and as the gate went open and a bunch of this pumpinheads ran towards me... I was like "Well, there you go. This was you life then." As I re-opened my eyes four friendly tail-shakers were licking every inch of my skin. They welcomed me as if I were a family member.

    The breeder took me to a dog house where a she-dog lived together with her cubs of 8 weeks. I didn't dare to touch any of them because I expected the mother to be shielding them. But she wasn't. She was as friendly as the puppies were curious. One of these cuties sat down on my feet and began to follow me wherever I went. It was some kind of this love-at-first-sight thing. What's need to be said more... I took Gina home and never ever regret one single moment that I choosed her. Every now and then I meet again with my old friend and the breeder and they always chuckle when they see me and Gina romping around.
     
  12. Stucky

    Stucky Guest

  13. Leaf

    Leaf Sage
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    I have been involved in dog rescue for years. I have socialized and placed quite a few Pits and Pit mixes into loving homes. In the US there have been more dog bites with Retrievers and Cocker Spaniels in recent years then with Pitbulls. The only draw back with Pitbulls are because they were breed to be fighting dogs, I never place them in homes where there will be another dog. That to me is setting them up to fail. Between the ages of 2-5 years is when they have the tendency to become "Hot" or agressive with other dogs because of their nature. Some do and some don't. The only difference with Pits is if they become agressive, the damage they do is much worse. My last bite was from a 6 lb Chihuahua. Go figure...
     
  14. monnie101

    monnie101 Guest

    Here in the US some cities have ordinances that make it illegal to own a pit bull. They are legal in the city I live in but not the next one over. The reason they have become illegal in some places is because their owners abuse/beat them when they are pups so that they are mean. It's so stupid because these dogs like most dogs, are highly devoted to their masters and protect them. Their is no need to beat them. But people are ignorant.

    I remember being younger and seeing how most people that got pit bulls would beat them so they would be mean. It's so common that some people think this is a normal thing to do! I have friends that have pit bulls and have not beat them, and they are so lovable and loyal. They would never hurt anyone unless someone attacked their master and the dog was trying to help him/her.
     
  15. miss_samara

    miss_samara Guest

    I have known some very sweet pitbulls. And there is a ton of misconceptions out there about them people still hang on to. That they don't feel pain at all, that their eyes sink in when attacking to avoid eye injury, that their jaws lock, etc etc. Honestly, if you told some people that they breathe fire and sprout spikes out of their backs, they would believe it. It's sad.

    The people that own them and still fight them don't help the stereotype. Nor do the people who keep them chained in dirty yards for years and never socialize them. They are a very strong muscular breed, though. So if you screw up, it's more likely to come back to haunt you than, say, a Bichon Frise.

    Here (Edmonton, AB, Canada) you can own them, along with Staffies. However the yearly license fee is pretty expensive, and they have to be muzzled when they are out in public.
     
  16. In my region (Northern California) there have been many deaths and maimings caused by pitbulls over the past few years. Generally children, although adults who were trying to protect children have been attacked as well.

    They have a terrible reputation here, and are slowly being legislated away, town by town.

    As the mother of vulnerable prey myself, I am not sorry to see them go. I've never understood the need for canine weapons in public.
     
  17. Nenime

    Nenime Guest

    There are none. Neither there are needs for canine ego-boosters or fancy canine purse-warmers. But some people do treat them like this - and that's a bad thing indeed.

    I understand what your point is. I could probably write anecdotes one after another how nice my dog is and all that but this won't reduce your deep distrust against Pitpull Terriers, am I right? In fact, you're right. We live in a human-ruled world and the protection of the human society has absolute priority. The keeping of an animal is a privilege and strictly bound to the promise to take care that no harm or threat comes from it. This is a conditio sine qua non, without this the privilege expires immediately. This is even more valid the more potential harm an animal could do. So if big dogs do harm, the society has to eliminate this threat in order to protect itself. In the politcal sense it is the right thing to do although the extinction of a dog breed won't solve the subjacent problem about aggression in human society in which the dogs were mere like pawns in chess. But at least it's one threat less would anybody think - who's dog is not involved.

    But as much this is true, it is also true that a dog cannot be maglignant. This is a moral categorization, reserved to human judgement. A dog has no ethics, it has insticts. Therefore under normal circumstances, a dog cannot be aggressive per se. Aggression is just an expedient to satisfy elemental needs. While socialized, a dog learns the use of aggression. That's where the responsibilty of the keeper is in charge: whether you reward or punish a certain behavior, the behavior will in- or decrease. The keeper is the dog's link to human society, it's interpreter. If the keeper fails, the dog will too.

    Coming back to the actual topic, Pitbull Terriers, I agree with Nyte and Samara that there are a lot of misconseptions underway - some seems to be intentionally spread but untrue nevertheless. I noticed that the press sometimes uses the word 'Pitbull' as a synonym for an aggressive dog no matter what breed. The word itself spices up every story about anyone who was bitten by any dog anywhere for any (in the article mostly not specified) reason. I consider this irresponsible because it increases the fear some people already have up to an irrational degree.
    When you look at the strong physique of a Pitbull Terrier you expect that these dogs must have a strong character as well. Actually, they have not. They are very sensitive. What is indeed strong is the devotion and the emotional bond to their master. I remember one time while I was cleaning dishes, I cut myself unintentionally in my finger. Ok, I got a bit angry and swore like a trooper. A few minutes later I recognized that Gina wasn't lying in her basket and I began searching. I found her lying in the bathroom under the sink trembling. I had to laugh out loud because it was too pathetic but she was deeply suffering. She needed a lot of hugs to relax. From this time on, everytime I'm seething I first check if she's around. If yes, I rather bite my tongue.
    This doesn't mean that she is mentally labile. Another occasion, on a walk through the park, a dachshund became aggressive and bit Gina in her butt (not too forceful). She didn't even turn around, she just looked at me as if to say: "Please, take this from me." What I did. The owner of the dachshund was amazed and we made friends with each other.

    Jeez! This went long. Sorry :blushing:
     
  18. Do not apologize!

    Reading your well-writ response was a distinct pleasure. :)
     
  19. Locker

    Locker Guest

    In the United States there is a stigma about Pit Bull Terriers which casts them in a very negative light. They are a popular "guard dog" in certain cultures and are also used for profit based fighting. In the majority of cases which you read about pit bull attacks on people, invariably the dogs were abused, trained for fighting and/or trained to be very aggressive.

    Just like most things on this planet, it isn't the dog's fault, it's the human's fault.

    Many dog breeds could be trained for, and are trained for the exact same purpose. Doberman Pinchers, Rottweilers, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, etc are all very easy to make into a killing machine. Banning a specific breed never seemed to make much sense to me.

    I believe time, money and energy are much more intelligently spent on education, animal cruelty legislation and rescue.

    Peace,

    Locker
     
  20. Emil Ispep

    Emil Ispep Sage
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    I see no problem with owning any pet, as long as its non-violent towards others.. even a tiger if you want one..

    But what irks me, people who breed dogs for dog-fighting. They should be covered in marinaide, and thrown into the pit with 10 dogs.. See how much fun it is!

    And those little toy poodle rat things.. where MTV divas like to carry them around and spoil them all day.. all they really do is *yip yip yip* and are only friendly towards one person. In no way am i cruel towards animals, but if i come home from work, and try to kiss my wife, and the poodle takes a nip at me.. yea, time to kick a 55 yard-er.
     
  21. Lady_Mina

    Lady_Mina Guest

  22. Nenime

    Nenime Guest

    :blushing: Thank you very much, Dor. This means a lot to me as I'm supposed to be your 'opponent' in this matter :)

    If I'm allowed, I would add a comment about what was bred in these dogs and what not. Emphasizing what Nyte said, they were not bred to be aggressive, they were bred to fight or even more exact: they were bred to win a fight. Alike in (human) boxing, a raging fighter would most surely loose because he cannot concentrate on techniques nor tactics and he would be soon out of puff anyway. Such a dog was useless to it's owner - remember, in these times pit-fights were not only an entertainment but also a way to make a lot of money.

    But how comes then that they attack so fiercely and doesn't seem to stop for anything, would you ask. It's all about motivation. As I mentioned above, they are most obedient to their keeper. They will do anything to make their master proud. If their keeper teached them that attacking is a good thing and will be rewarded, they will do. The willingness to obey is so strong that they even ignore pain. Another misconception by the way. Everytime I cut Gina's nails you can see one sissy dog, I tell you. They do feel pain but they just shrug it off when they are motivated.
    Avenhar used the term 'killing mode' which is not completely wrong but a little inaccurate. Confronted with a critical problem, every dog will apply the action or behaviour that seems to be the most successful one. Some dogs bark, some bite, some just run away. It depends on the dog's former experience mostly influenced by the education provided by the keeper. So a mis-educated dog will possibly return to 'fighting mode' if that's what it had learned. I agree with Leaf, that's what makes re-educating risky because the consequences of a failure were fatal. It hurts me to admit this. It is also true that they have an appetence to measure their strength but this can be easily canalized. Actually, what seems to be a bad heritage at first glance is in fact what I love so much about them: we can romp and play for hours together and we both can't have greater joy.

    I hope I could bring in some light why they can be abused so easily to make them 'canine weapons'. It's a combination of great strength and absolute devotion to their keeper. But they remain what they always were: dogs. And for this being said, in my case a pal, a family member and a part of my life.

    So far, so good, you could say. But it cannot be that whenever we come across a Pitbull Terrier we better start praying that this particular one was educated and treated duly. No, of course not. Nobody wants to get bitten or live in fear that this could happen out of the blue. And we cannot expect that everyone, especially not children, have the knowledge how to interact properly with dogs. The sole responsibility is on the the dog-owner's hand, whether the dog is a Terrier or a Chihuahua. I grumbled about all this restrictions but it's true, they were necessary to protect us all. Some shady fellow citizens recklessly squandered their privilege to keep a dog and all true-hearted Pitbull owners suffer from this. On the other hand, it helped a lot to separate the wheat from the chaff. A Pitbull Terriers is neither a dog for the chinless nor a villain's tool. After what happend, it's right to survey who is keeping one and how it is treated.

    Dang! Again that much. I have to stop this. :eek:
     
  23. Nenime

    Nenime Guest

    I completely agree. It is not only anachronistic, it's deeply immoral.
     
  24. Lady Aalia

    Lady Aalia Atlantic's Finest
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    We all know its not the dogs fault but ours ...thats what it boils down to.

    Problem is just that yes you may have more Retriver or spaniel bites, mainly because they are more popular.
    The problem is those dogs will snap and let go. usually because someone scared them or hurt them , intentional or unintentional...

    With the fighting dogs once they get to the point of biting , they will lock and they are strong enough to tear of limbs or open up bodies ...witch a Chihuahua wont be able to do.
     
  25. Nenime

    Nenime Guest

    Ok, give me just one more try then I shut up ;)

    To strive for happiness lies deep in the human's nature. It's even an elemental human right. But you cannot be happy when you live in fear of something. Like in any phobia we tend to believe that the object that we're afraid of has some kind of supernatural abilities which makes it extra-vicious. Like... spiders crawl inside our head when we sleep or that there is a 'bitelock-gene' in the Pitbull's genotype.

    Yes, they are strong and some bad accidents happened. Nobody will argue that point. But to judge a whole breed, tribe, race, whatever by the failure of some means prejudice and we should not believe in this.

    My intention within this thread was to reduce fear. According to your post I did not achive this and I feel very sorry for this. As the top link of the food chain we sure have the power to extinguish every other creature on earth. But for being the only ones with intellect, I think we do owe them that we first check other, perhaps better solutions before applying the most radical one.
     
  26. Lady_Mina

    Lady_Mina Guest

    I think society is way too mild on animal-abusers/murderers.

    Most animals don't snap...unless people do stuff that scares them and hurts them.
    I think dogs are the most patient animals on the world.
    All the double whopper with cheese that some dogs have to bare, is insane.


    I'm not a fan of leaving little kids alone with any pets.
    Cause kids love to pester pets and pull their ears and tails and limbs.


    I love animals...
    And i truly hate to see them unhappy or in pain.
     
  27. SAVATAGE

    SAVATAGE Seasoned Veteran
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    While some people like them and have no problems with them. Im sorry I dont like them. I have been attacked by 2 on different occasions. Just walking out to my truck. Not provoking them. Never knew they were even there till i was being attacked....