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Hi, please pardon me if I am asking a question that's been asked a million times, I did search but couldn't find an answer.

We just adopted a Lab mix from the local Humane Society. We discovered the possibility of the pit mix after the process and the dog has been with my daughter for a week.

My wife and I are GREATLY concerned about the pit part of the mix. We have always had shepherds and huskies so those are the breeds we know as well as the "stigma" around a pit.

Is this a family and friend safe dog? We would LOVE to hear your collective experiences with this breed?

Thanks in advance,

Jason
 

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First, I have no experience of Pits because in the UK we have legislation that bans them. But. The legislation is considered to be severely flawed as it is based purely on looks, not on behaviour. And from fairly extensive reading, Pits are often described as being very people oriented. If you think about the reason for their reputation, it was because they were used as fighting dogs. For a dog to enter a fighting ring, it would generally have to be quite handler focussed or it just wouldn't do it. Anyone I have known to have them (I have a few acquaintances in the US) has described them as loyal and undeserving of their reputation. And Labs of course are generally very people friendly.

It is early days so his true personality won't be coming through, and of course your family's safety has to come first. If you have any concerns why not muzzle train him? A muzzle would give you some peace of mind and properly trained, dogs accept them very well. This short video will help.

 

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These breeds have their reputation for a reason. They were previously bred for fighting and might have a short temper. You should always take in account of what your dogs origin is to be able to fully understand it and to be able to make the right decisions. Even if the dogs are individuals, different breeds are more likely to have different behaviors and instincts. Therefore it’s important to always know what kind of dog you’re dealing with. For instance it would be more dangerous to put a bunch of unknown pitbulls together than Labradors. So you should always be aware of the dogs heritage and take that in account and not trying to make them into something they aren’t like claiming they are “nannydogs” etc.

However, many people have “pitbull” dogs that works great in families. Where I live the American pitbull terrier isn’t a recognized breed but I’ve been dog sitting two dogs that were supposed to be “pitbulls” (unlikely imo), but some kind of amtaff/bullybreed mixes, and they were two of the sweetest dogs i’ve met. A bit intense but so sweet. Wouldn’t trust them around other dogs as much as I do with any dog but very nice dogs.

Then it’s important to remember (applies to all breeds) to respect a dog, don’t “trust” your dog that much that you think it’s okay for you or your child to disrespect the dogs space or feelings, that’s when accidents happen.
 
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