|Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M|
I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
|Barked: Sat Jan 26, '13 11:13am PST |
|A Pit Bull would be great to think about as there are so many nice dogs needing answers, but there are differences from hounds, who also could use your help.
I am sure others will chime in. You need to be a little careful in that there is almost an overkill nowadays of positive Pit press. I was in that group twenty years ago....very into positive Pit promotion....but now I am less thrilled with it as it has gotten a little bizarre. They are great dogs. GREAT dogs, and one of my most recommended as pets, irrespective of the fact that they really need help, more adoptions, etc. Just on their own, really great pets. Still, they are not everyone.
The big trick with a Pit Bull is to get an adult. There are some problems they can have, particularly dog aggression, that are compromising and you don't want something you don't want. A lot of Pit Bulls, though, are tremendously dog social.
They are, as you have noticed, terrifically sweet. Very velcro-ish, too. Love being lap dogs, no matter their size. They have more intense vigor than hounds and do things in a "louder" way generally, so if you like a really happy, really friendly, really affectionate dog, they will totally satisfy you on that front. But you need to like REALLY, as they tend to be over the top in a lot they do. They are total cuddle bunnies and happy all the time. They also are a lot more trainable than hounds can generally be and extremely willing pupils....happily work for praise alone. Although treats never hurt , but they are very willing pupils in any case and can be trained to an extremely high level. So very trainable, very sociable, very sweet, very cuddly, and very funny, too!
Like hounds, they can be clods in the house, but unlike most hounds they also can be extremely energetic in the house as well. Some can be very mellow, but the average Pit Bull is pretty high energy, so if you like that, they are ok. I know Dogster Teddy has a PB mix who loves to slumber, but that's not average, and IMO if you decide on a breed it is best not wanting something they aren't typically. Hounds are also REALLY gentle. They have lots of vigor, but are very gentle also. Pit Bulls are very strong and tend to have a lot more vigor. A proverbial bull in the china shop
I remember fostering a PB and he was on my lap, as PBs love to be, and while stroking him he lifted his head back to look in my eyes...ok, so that's really sweet....but with such force that his hard skull slammed into my front teeth with velocity. I sat there, in a deal of pain, for two minutes scared to check my teeth as I was pretty sure he wobbled one loose It was ok, but just an example of life with a PB.
A good Pit Bull is one of the most resilient dogs you are going to find, anywhere, ever. That, and their trainability and generally extremely affectionate and willing to please natures are some of my favorite things about them. They can shrug off bad experiences with barely a burp. When you get heavily into shelter environments, staff and those who do temperament testing, you will find they are often unnerved by a shy Pit Bull. That's not genetically sound for this breed because it is not true to their character. So many are the flip opposite. You get dogs in who have been shot, who have been beaten, who have had all this sick abuse, and the dog you see before you....you wouldn't think he has had a bad day in his life. That really sits with you. They really are remarkable in that context and it is a boon for a pet owner, to have a dog THAT resilient.
My advice is to look for THAT dog. He should be very friendly, unaffected, great with other dogs. You also want to test for prey drive as some have it way too high. Best aim to leave that out of your equation and consider a low prey drive PB. In my experience, the most level, mellow, low drive PBs are the whites. Not that all whites have those qualities, but the MOST who do seem to be the whites.
Hounds are less trainable, always competing with their nose, have single tracked minds, can be very noisy, and have far more sensitive natures. How does that affect you or how much do you wish that wasn't there? On the other hand, they are very gentle, socially incredibly reliable and are pretty easygoing. How much do you treasure that? Those would be the dynamic differences. That and the fact that the general opinion of people on the street are that hounds are adorable, while the average opinion of people on the street towards PBs can be quite unkind. That is a social stress that isn't for everyone, and alas is an important factor to consider when adopting one of these guys.
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