|Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 3:39pm PST |
|I'm the "Teddy" Tiller mentioned. I would love to tell you about my experience owning a pitbull--the good, the bad, and the stubborn!
The good: Seriously, they don't make a much more "people-soft" dog than the pittie. Every one I have met, including my own, turns to mush when people are around. They are giant lap-dogs and super affectionate. He loves me with MUCH enthusiasm, which often means getting head-butted, but it's worth it to have such a love. They can border on velcro, so if you don't want a dog who might try to sit on your lap while on the toilet, this may not be the dog for you lol. My own pittie mix is also crazy smart and easy to train. He picks up on things very quickly and is very in tune with what I want. Pitties are also the consummate clown, and not a day goes by that Teddy doesn't make me laugh hysterically. He is constantly entertaining friends and neighbors, and everyone who meets him thinks he is a riot. THis is pretty standard--they truly are goofy creatures with a natural tendency to act a clown in front of people. They are also incredibly resilient. Between volunteering at the shelter and owning my own rescued pittie, I've seen just how forgiving these dogs are and how much they bounce back from what would likely cripple many other dogs. For example, Teddy was viciously attacked this summer by another dog and spent a few weeks on bed-rest. I was terrified that he would become reactive after going through such an ordeal, but lo and behold, just a few weeks after his attack, he was back to his usual happy-go-lucky self. He still doesn't like the breed of dog who attacked him, but has shown no issues with other dogs and is still a model citizen.
The bad: I was honestly not prepared for the comments of others when I first got a pitbull. Whether it came from family, friends, or strangers, I quickly had to grow a thick skin. I do not come by this naturally, and still have to actively try not to take personal offense to dumb things people say. I'm less of the "kill stupid people" mindset and more of the "Now I want to cry" mentality when someone says something rude, which is quite often. Mind you, I *know* Teddy is a good dog, but it still hurts. That is honestly the part that took me the most by surprise.
The stubborn: Ophelia's description of her dog being stubborn...well yep, that is exactly Teddy. He has gotten better, but we spent the first three years of his life (some of you probably remember my posts) fighting against his mule-like behavior. We were literally known as "the girl with the dog who won't walk". If he wanted to go left, and I wanted to go right, he would flop down emphatically and refuse to move. I tried EVERYTHING and nothing was as reinforcing as getting his way. I brought out several trainers who thought high value food could be reward enough, or toys, or other dogs, etc. Nothing worked much to their dismay. Then, a brilliant trainer in Seattle finally realized that the only reward bigger than "winning" was me. What this means is, if he pulls his stubborn mule act, I simply drop the leash (or hand off to a friend) and walk away. That has literally been the only thing that gets him moving again. So yeah...stubborn
Good luck in deciding on whether pitties are for you--I'm always available to PM if you more have questions
eta: Teddy does sleep a lot. When he crashes, he is out cold and out for a while. That being said, we got 1-2 hours of exercise every afternoon until he was about 3. The last year or so, 45-60 minutes has been enough to really wear him out, and on days when he gets less, he is still tolerable in the house. That would not have been true a few years ago.
Edited by author Tue Jan 29, '13 3:45pm PST
|my posts | my page | msg me | gift me | become pals|| [notify]|