Pit bull information...PLEASE, be informed

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Please read...as much as i adore this breed, I really enjoy having multiple dogs so, as I stated in my last blog, I gave up my two rescue pit puppies to a home that understood this breed better than I did and could handle them.  I heard this morning that they are happy and are settling in to a foster home to be temperament tested while they interview potential homes that don't have other dogs.

Is this breed good with other dogs in general?
The short answer is no. Developed for the purpose of fighting other dogs, most pit bulls are dog aggressive, at least to some degree. Some pit bulls will simply not tolerate any other dogs, regardless of sex. A few pit bulls will remain dog friendly their entire lives, but they are a minority.Pit Bull with ownerThe majority of pit bulls are at least same sex aggressive and as adults will not do well with other dogs of the same sex or those that are "pushy" with them, although as pups they may get along fine (this can be very misleading to a novice pit bull owner). Pit bulls will commonly start developing signs of dog aggression between the ages of 8 months and 2 years, although it can develop at any age and can come on either gradually or quite suddenly. It is important to note that many pit bulls do not display the "typical" signs of dog aggression before a fight. They may not growl, bark, or posture at all, but simply alert and raise up on their toes. Owners of dog aggressive pit bulls learn to "read" their dogs and recognize the subtle signs indicating impending dog aggression. Training will not eliminate dog aggression in the pit bull but, when combined with responsibility and vigilance, training can bring these natural tendencies under control in on-leash situations. Where housemates are concerned, if one is a pit bull, extra care should be taken to prevent tension over food, desirable treats (like bones), and favored toys. These items are often "triggers" for spats or fights between dogs sharing the same house and owners should be very aware of them. This is also the reason that an adult pit bull should NOT be left alone with housemates or other dogs. Due to their fighting heritage, many pit bulls do not recognize signs of submission given by a dog they are fighting and, if they are unsupervised, the results can be disastrous. It should be noted that many breeds have dog aggressive tendencies, and leaving any such breed unsupervised with another dog, especially a dog of the same sex, can lead to a tragedy

Comments (19)

Terry Haugen STAGE it RIGHT! 321-956-2495
Stage it Right! - Melbourne, FL

Patrice, I'm not sure I can agree with most of that.  I used to work at our local dog park, and now take my dog there twice a week.  At any given time there will be between 10 and 30 large dogs in the park, several of them pits.  Haven't had a problem yet, probably never will.  The American Pit Bull Terrier was not bred for fighting per se, however the dogs it descended from were.  As you can see from the excerpt below, the APBT was bred primarily as a working dog.

During the mid-1800s, immigration to the United States from Ireland and England brought an influx of these dogs to America, mainly to Boston, where they were bred to be larger and stockier, working as farm dogs in the West as much as fighting dogs in the cities. The resulting breed, also called the American Pit Bull Terrier, became known as an "all-American" dog. Pit Bull-type dogs became popular as family pets for citizens who were not involved in dog-fighting or farming. In the early 1900s they began to appear in films, one of the more famous examples being Pete the Pup from the Our Gang shorts (later known as The Little Rascals).

During World War I the breed's widespread popularity led to its being featured on pro-American propaganda posters. (see poster, left)

The Pit Bull is the only dog to have ever appeared on the cover of Life Magazine three times. [2]

Jun 27, 2008 02:08 PM
Chris Horton
Horton's Lawn Care L.L.C. - Burton, MI

Patrice- 1st and formost I am sorry to hear you decided not to keep those little blue beauties. I wish I could of taken them :-( 

I have to disagree with those articles on the proper training and socialization will not break this breed of dog aggression. This breed is extremely intelligent and quickly learns right from wrong. My Pitbull Hercules that I have wrote about wouldn't hurt a fly (no honestly he wouldn't). Him and my fathers husky/ shepard mix would play fight all the time. My dad's dog would put Hercules' entire head in her mouth, and he would just wiggle out, and head butt her, NEVER EVER EVER, did he once even open his mouth or growl at her. He would even let squirrells eat from his outside food bowl while he laid next to it and watched. My friend's pitbulls stay home together all the time and play the same way, just chasing eachother around the yard, barking and taking turns in the lead. Same with both of my cousins pitbulls (one of them breeds pitbulls), and my fiancee's parents pitbull (who is left home alone without any incident with their black lab mix). Also when we take Chloey (my boxer/pit mix) to any of those homes they all play, lick, eat, chase the sticks we throw, and even sleep together. It is all about how you train and socialize them, just with any other breed of dog.

Also when pitbulls are fought in the "pits" they do it on command, not just because they decide thats what sounds like fun today. They are often beaten, yelled at, and provocked into the fights. Look at Michael Vick's pitbulls, many got along, and didn't perform well or wouldn't perform at all so they were killed. Also the ones that are still alive and being resocialized and adopted out, got along with the others just fine.

Jun 27, 2008 04:18 PM
Patrice Estess
PB APPRAISALS - Kerhonkson, NY

Terry and Chris, I am not trying to bash this wonderful, intelligent breed.  There are thousands of exceptions but these articles were written by people who are trying to show all sides of the breed.  If you go to the websites, there is plenty of good said as well as this part about aggression.  I guess the bottom line is that the behaviour that my darlings were exhibiting was probably going to be too much for us to handle since we are marshmallows.  I was just not the right person to handle this.  An extremely hard lesson was learned.

Jun 28, 2008 12:42 AM
Lizette Fitzpatrick
Lizette Realty - Richmond KY - Lexington, KY
Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes

Hi Patrice, I think you did the right thing by letting them go. The one in the picture looks like one I had back in the 80's. He was a 90 lb sweetie. The father to him wasn't and he was raised with the best of care and training from a puppy. I loved and experienced them  (bred them and had puppies)for about 7 years. I'm glad now I have my small dog now. (never thought I would pick a small one)Nice to have home insurance! Nice that people don't have to be afraid to come visit you! 

Jun 28, 2008 01:27 AM
Patrice Estess
PB APPRAISALS - Kerhonkson, NY

Thank you Lizette, I agree, my love wasn't gonna do it for these wonderful guys...I did not have it in me to do right by them...I will work with easier breeds although I will always support the wonderful pit bull..

Jun 28, 2008 01:33 AM
Chris Horton
Horton's Lawn Care L.L.C. - Burton, MI

Patrice- The aggression is with any breed (especially in the alpha males and females), not just pitbulls. While yes, some pitbulls are more adapt to being naturally aggressive to other dogs because of long lines of fighters in their genes it is easily controllable through proper training and socialization, that is all that I was trying to say. I hope you didn't take my previous comment the wrong way as I am sure it would of been easy to do. In my honest opinion they are (intentionally or not) bashing the breed to an extent because they are singleing this breed out when other dog/animal aggression is not only a problem of this breed but of all breeds that are not properly trained and socialized.

Jun 28, 2008 12:51 PM

Hmmm always 2 sides to a situation:)).... I'm very much in aggreance in what Patrick has suggested. BRavo Patrick!!

I have a field lab as well as a Dobie/lab cross. Having been a breeder of field labs, a dog groomer and having a "Pet& Breakfast" where I have many breeds congregate together. From Dobies to teacup breeds..etc. I"ll have up to 12 dogs in my home, there stimulated with constructive play...

Not all dogs will swim and retrieve as my lab does which IS obsessive. My Dobie clients are very protective yet love to wrestle with younger dogs. Pitbulls were breed to fight, so therefore I will not have one around. Chances are greater with that breed of an aggressive situation arising. I also have a responsibility to my other dog clients to ensure there safety.

My point is this....pit bulls WERE breed for "fighting" other animals/dogs hence the term "Pitting against each other"..... They ARE unpredictable and I had watched in horror 3 pit bulls corner and kill a familys pet cat while everyone just stood by and watched. Anyone who did try to intervene was growled at. 

Patrick is also correct on providing a home that will be "firm" with his pooches. I personally feel that there should be a band on this breed. Parts of Canada do have restrictions, and often I've seen in my own off leash dog park, inexperienced pitbull owners who can't handle the breed, and leave them un-neautered. Which too is setting the stage for a fight. 



Jun 28, 2008 12:57 PM
Andy Laughlin
ConnectRealty.com - Bellingham, WA

I love pits my dog is 1/2 pit! Great Post!!

Also thanks for the comment on my blog "putting a twist on grilling" (banana split kabobs) Please post any recipes you may have I would love to hear them!!!


Andy Laughlin

Connect Realty


Jun 28, 2008 06:17 PM
Patrice Estess
PB APPRAISALS - Kerhonkson, NY

Chris, I agree that all dogs can be good and bad but you can't deny that some breeds are more predisposed to be a certain way.  I applaud anyone who can handle this breed but it is a fact that they can be difficult, that is why they are banned so often.  I don't agree always but I am respectful more now than ever, I'm afraid...continue fighting to rescue and to make people aware of spay/neuter as there are too many unwanted dogs of many breed types

Jun 29, 2008 04:23 AM
Chris Horton
Horton's Lawn Care L.L.C. - Burton, MI

C- Ok.... Based on what you just said there should be a ban on Labs and Golden Retrievers too then as they are #1 & #2 for human dog bite cases... Pitbulls are #86 out of the top 100 most popular breeds in America for dog bite cases, and most "pitbulls" that are in the media for their aggression are NOT EVEN PITBULLS. Again I say look at Michael Vicks Pitbulls, him and his group killed many of them because even with being trained to fight and kill they wouldn't! Also many of his pitbulls have been rehabilitated and placed in good homes. My great aunt had a chiuhauha little ankle bitter that would come and bite your ankles everytime you walked in the door and would kill animals in the yard, and stray cats so they should also be banned right C? I know a guy who had a 195 lb Rott (at 9 months old) that picked the neighboors apso lapso up by the scruff of the neck flipped it into the air and swallowed it whole didn't even chew a little so Rotts sould be banned as well correct? I had an ex whos dobbie who ate her entire litter of pups, so should they be banned as well? Just last summer a 3 yr old was strangled by her golden retriever when the goldens leash got wrapped around the little girls neck and it took off running so should we ban leashes to? I could go on for every but I am hoping you get the point.

Also, my pit Hercules' father was one of the biggest and baddest fighters around here (stood 28" tall at the shoulders, 27" head, chest wider then a mini horse, and nearly 140 lbs, and according to the owner never lost a fight), and the mother was also a fighter.... Hercules wouldn't hurt a fly, because I trained him to be kind, loving, and friendly, as well as socialized him with other animals as well as humans of all sizes and race. Oh yeah one last thing, the author of this blog is Patrice and she is a female not Patrick a male.

Andy- Pits are great :-D

 Patrice- As I said in my previous post, I don't deny that they are more adapt to being dog aggressive, as they have such long lines of fighting in their genes. However I feel any breed can be just as difficult if the owner doesn't have the proper knowledge, and isn't willing, or doesn't have the time to properly train and socialize the dog. I find it humorus how people think this breed should be banned, but as of last week there are no bans on owning a pistol just regulations and rules... The primary use for guns is to kill weither it is animals or humans. I would love to see legislation make laws similar to those for owning a gun for owning a dog (of any breed). There is no need for a ban on any breed, but there should be laws and regulations that require education and permits to own any breed.

Patrice, keep up the good work on getting the word out for rescues and educating people of all the unwanted dogs of all breeds that need great homes. I applaud (with a standing ovation and request for an encore) your work hopefully many more will see the light, and many more great dogs will find amazing, loving homes :-D

Also for a little knowledge drop here... true pitbulls did not weigh over 35 lbs until they were brought over here and breed for fighting, and other breeds including but not limited to Mastiff, Rott, and Dob, were introduced into the breed to add size, strength, and attitude. Hence the American Pitbull Terrier. The original pitbulls were trained for working, especially in rounding up bulls in the rodeo pits (which is where they actually originally got their name from). Today's "fighting pitbulls" are actually breed to be human friendly as the owner has to be able to get into the fighting pits to break up a fight, pull the winner off of the dead dog, and train them to be fighters, just like the original pitbulls were trained to be human friendly so they wouldn't go after the rodeo handlers.

Jun 29, 2008 06:14 AM
Terry Haugen STAGE it RIGHT! 321-956-2495
Stage it Right! - Melbourne, FL

Chris, thanks for setting the record straight on where the name "pit bull" came from.  I LMAO when I saw the reference to "pitting one against the other".  People will listen to and fall for any line of bull that comes their way.  I once had 7 "fighters" in my van, all seized in a humane society raid on a suspected fighter.  The dogs neither fought amongst themselves while I was driving them to the shelter, nor tried to attack and kill me.  However, I was licked to death, and one did try to drive.  Also, thanks for the statistics on dog bites.  As we ignorant Americans breed our dogs for looks rather than temperment, or breed because there is a new movie out and we wish to cash in on whatever breed is the star, we are breeding in bad qualities and breeding out the good.  I always say, if you want a good quality purebred you have to go to Europe to find one.

As an aside, in a news article about a local woman here who was killed by her golden mix and australian shepherd, the TV station posted a picture of a vicious looking snarling Rottie in the headline.  So if people weren't paying attentiion to the "words" in that news article, they came away with the impression the dogs were Rotties.  All dogs have the ability to attack and sometimes kill.  Banning certain breeds, just because, is stupid.  But then we're the same people who fall for the lies our government tells us, and allow ourselves to be captive by the "be afraid, be very afraid" rhetoric spewed by those who would like to keep us under control.  No wonder we're the world's laughing stock.


Jun 30, 2008 03:10 AM
Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Your Realtor Down the Shore!

I'm sorry you had to give up your pups.  I agree with many of the comments here, that without proper training a Pit Terrier can be nasty.  They should be placed with experienced dog owners.    They are very smart dogs, and loving.  I'm glad you found a home for yours while they're still little and cute.  I don't think you could have fully enjoyed them without trust.    

Jun 30, 2008 03:42 AM
Chris Horton
Horton's Lawn Care L.L.C. - Burton, MI

Terry- What can I say, I know my pitbulls :-D. I had to do basically the equivelant of a book report/ college thesis on these wonderful gentle giants before my mother would let me get my Hercules back in H.S. Yeah, as far as the "fighters" goes look at many of Michael Vicks dogs, many of the ones he (and his posse) didn't kill because they wouldn't fight have been placed in homes and are becoming great members of the wonderful dog community. Banning a group of dogs because of their breed is no different than racisim, and sexism in my opinion. Yeah in america dogs are pretty much no longer purebreed because we "doctor" them by mixing in other breeds to get the look, size, temperment we desire.

Also yeah no new news there, they have been doing that kind of thing for years, I don't know how many "vicious pitbull" pictures that I have seen or read of that showed other dog breeds as the vicious dog eventhough they were labeled by media as a pitbull.... Rotts, Dobs, a chow shaved like a lion (lol) many mastiffs (which are also great dogs that are used in the wrong way because of their huge size and power), I think one was even a JACK RUSSELL which is definitly nothing like a pit lol.

The neighbor next door to my fiancees parents has a golden and she was deathly afraid of their pit when they got her, called the cops several times because the dog was sniffing near her side of the fence and her dog was out (LMAO)... so a few months later I read an article in the news about a golden that strangled a 3 yr old with its leash I decided I would cut the article out and mail it to her from her own address labeled "For your knowledge", she never said anything after that lol

Jun 30, 2008 11:17 AM
Elaine Manes Gage
Home Staging Online Services - Denver, CO
Staging done ONLINE!

Patrice- I know giving those puppies up was not a decision you made lightly. But you, and only you, know whether these puppies were a good fit with your family, no matter what breed they are. I hear the passion in these comments, and they are all coming from the love of the owners who have this breed, and I respect that.

Jun 30, 2008 01:32 PM
Patrice Estess
PB APPRAISALS - Kerhonkson, NY

Thanx Elaine, reading these posts has been exhausting.  It is hard to not feel like a failure by making this difficult decision.  I know it was right for us at this time tho

Jul 01, 2008 02:11 AM
Chris Horton
Horton's Lawn Care L.L.C. - Burton, MI

Patrice- You are no failure for making your decision that is for sure. You did the right thing for yourself, those beautiful pups, and the breed in general. Had you kept them, allowed them to continue their behavior and something happened you would of given the media something else to blast and try to ban these wonderful creatures with, and the dogs would of been destroyed more than likely. You quite possible saved many lifes, which was why you took these pups in in the 1st place. I never meant to make you feel bad or feel like you were a failure for making the decision you did. You are a great person, great animal lover and friend and you did good. Your heart was in the right place when you decided to bring them in, and it was in the right place when you decided to get them homes more fit for their needs :-D

They recently passed an ordinance in a nearby township banning vicious dogs, I wrote a post about it if you would like to check it out.

Jul 02, 2008 03:54 PM
Patrice Estess
PB APPRAISALS - Kerhonkson, NY

Chris, Thanx for the kind words.  I just find myself second guessing my decision when I keep hearing how wonderful they are and I didn't try hard enough of something.  It is just hard.  I will certainly read your post.  Interesting.  Visious dogs are a problem, no matter the breed...

Jul 03, 2008 01:19 AM
Chris Horton
Horton's Lawn Care L.L.C. - Burton, MI

Patrice- You did what was best for yourself and the pups. They are wonderful, but if you didn't know their needs and how they need to be trained properly socialized with the other dogs no matter how hard you (or anyone else) tried it may not of been good enough really to keep them from being a bad statistic. You did good... has that cute little boy found a new home yet?

Jul 06, 2008 11:15 AM
Garrett Zwart

I know this is an old post but "C's" comment put me on edge. Im 24 now and have pitbulls as long as i can remember. My first at about the age of 3. Never once have I had any problems with them biting people. How ever, I have seen one or two snap at people for teasing them. The way I see it Id snap too if some one poked me in the face with a stick. And if you do some reading you will note that APBT are scored rather high on temperment tests. And are at the bottom of the list for biting. I had a lady at the park a while back that grabbed her goldy and literally ran out of the park because my APBT was playing with her dog. Later on she went on Facebook stating I was a jack ass owner and that my mangy mut of a dog should be put down. She how ever forgot to mention that her dog had open stitches and cancer. I sent her information on temperment tests and several other little factoids that pretty much stated I should have been the one running scared with my dog. Ignorance is not bliss. And I will not tolerate unknowing people bashing my breed. I have a current pit that was breed from very "game" lines. How ever because of the way I raised him he wouldnt hurt a fly. He lets the chickens and ducks eat his food with him. Plays with kids and runs around like crazy with our other dogs. In fact I have been bit more times by my rat terrier then i care to count. Read a book people and stop watching the news.

Jul 15, 2009 08:16 AM