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Hello all. My kids and myself are first time dog owners. Puppy is 5 weeks old and named Harley. She is a pit mix. My vet says that pits unfortunately get a bad rap and that she would be a great first dog for my family. I guess my question is for anyone else that has a pit mix. Are these truly ok doggies to have? I think I have been reading too much online and opinions and experiences seemed very mixed. It would be my thought that as long as she is raised in a loving home, which she will be, things would be fine. Advice?? Words of wisdom?? And maybe any help on crate training would be appreciated. Thanks so much.
 

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Hello all. My kids and myself are first time dog owners. Puppy is 5 weeks old and named Harley. She is a pit mix. My vet says that pits unfortunately get a bad rap and that she would be a great first dog for my family. I guess my question is for anyone else that has a pit mix. Are these truly ok doggies to have? I think I have been reading too much online and opinions and experiences seemed very mixed. It would be my thought that as long as she is raised in a loving home, which she will be, things would be fine. Advice?? Words of wisdom?? And maybe any help on crate training would be appreciated. Thanks so much.
I would suggest checking out the Stickies forum. There are lots of good tips in there about crate training, house training etc.

I have two main concerns for you. First and foremost, your puppy is incredibly young. Way too young to be away from her mother and siblings. Any reputable breeder/owner would never let puppies leave before 8 weeks old, and 10 weeks is preferred. With that in mind, you may find she has problems with biting too hard/playing too rough (with dogs and people) because she has missed out on information about what's appropriate from her litter-mates. You are going to want to get her into a puppy obedience/puppy play group as soon as she's old enough.
Secondly, pits are very high energy dogs. They require a lot of exercise, both physical and mental. I hope you're prepared for that with two children. Neglecting that will result in a rather unpleasant dog to live with.

Pits do sometimes get a bad rep, but I have to be honest, they tend to be more dog selective than the majority of breeds I know. That doesn't mean they're all crazy dog-aggressive machines, but you also need to know what they're capable of. I'm especially worried because your puppy is so young.
 
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It's a dog - forget that it's a pit cross. Every animal on this earth has aggression - the lowly mouse will get aggressive in defense of self, the wolf will get aggressive when making a kill. Stick your finger in a territorial clown fishes tank, it'll take a chunk out of your flesh. People? Well... Why would a dog need to be aggressive is the question.

One of the big questions not asked in these forums - what do you want from your dog? Do you want a very obedient dog? Dog that can do tricks? Do trials? Or are you like me - wanting confident dog that you can take anywhere and it won't terrorize everything around it?

He's my advice - when the pup is ready and of a little better age, socialize it with everything and anything you can find - do it with a confident hand. Cat's, kids, dogs, mice and anything your dog can possibly experience and you can end up with a dog that you can take anywhere - put into any situation and they don't freak out - no surprises. It's the surprises that'll get you in the end.

A fearful dog isn't powerful, an aggressive dog isn't powerful. A confident dog is powerful IMO, matters not how big or small they are.
 

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I have friends that have the nicest pitbulls ever...like a lab. But we've all walked by the house with the crazy pit out front barking his head off like he's going to bite u. I'd say it's in how you train the dog and what the dog thinks is acceptable.

Side note: Pits are know to be food and animal aggressive, both which I experienced....also learned about the dangers of having two alpha females in the same pack...vicious is an understatement. I tried to adopt my sisters female spayed pit lab, out of nowhere she would snap and try and take out my other dog. She grabbed my German Shepherd on her face and began to thrash like she was planning to rip off her face....twice. this wasn't an argument... she was trying to end her life. I literally had to pry her mouth open.

Research into what pitbulls were bred for. I'd love to own one but I don't think the breed will fit into my pack, tho I do hope it works out for you... too many pits need homes.... I wish I could take them all
 

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People aggression is very, very rare for pits. They're really bred to be a "man's best friend" (as far as I know they were even used as "baby sitters").
That said, being dog selective or aggressive is, unfortunately, also a thing they were (and in some places still are) bred for. That doesn't mean it makes them a bad breed or bad dog, it was a wanted trait, so it's more like a feature than a fault. You should be aware of that though and while it might not come up with your puppy, it can. Also, be aware that this normally starts to show during their transitioning between adolescence and adulthood. Just because the puppy loves other dogs, does not mean she will when she gets older.
No training, socializing or anything in that direction can help to nullify these genes if prominent, but it can help to manage it.

As others have already said, she is very, very young, puppy class is highly advised. My pup is now 13 months old and as of yet she is fine with other dogs and loves to play (rough, but hey, she is a bully). As soon as I got her with 6 months, I took training lessons with a private trainer (since she is my first dog, a bully and I just wanted to get the security to be on the right track to show off my awesome behaved "dangerous" breed dog), who also does a lot of supervised play dates.
I hope she will not turn into a dog aggressive dog, I feel that I did a lot in socializing her, getting her familiar with a lot of different places and situations, she is very good with kids, but for dog aggression we have to let the genes play themselves out and see what happens.

I wish you all the best!
 
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