When you look for a dog to buy, what do you look for? Length of hair, temperament, size? I am disturbed by the large amount of pit bull mixed breeds that are in our local shelters, why are so many up for adoption?
I have a pit bull mixed breed dog, and I’m going to share with you my experience, and why people should always consider what they are getting into with the breed they choose.
First of all, I totally understand that each dog is different and has their own unique identity and personality, especially when they are mixed breeds. But I do think there are general, overall qualities that do stick with certain breeds.
These are my dogs, the white dog is Sarge who we took from a family member because they didn’t have the room for him in their house. The other dog is Rocky, we rescued him from a shelter and he has, by far, been the best dog we’ve ever owned, thanks to the techniques from the Dog Whisperer.
I want to focus on Sarge since he is the pit bull mix. I want to dispel the negative ideas that people have about pit bulls, they are not vicious unless the owner trains them that way, hence it is the persons fault, not the dog. These are good watch dogs, they will notice when things are out-of-place on your property, and they are good guard dogs since their massive, strong bodies, and loud barks, make them sound worse than they are.
But here are some little known facts about pit bulls people should consider before owning or rescuing one.
- Some are big. Our pit is medium size, and I think with his massive muscles he weighs around 100 pounds. Not the best lap dogs, even though they will try to be.
- They eat a lot. For the longest time I thought he was eating all the dogs food and leaving none for my other dog Rocky.
- They have very little hair. This is a constant problem from fall to spring in our house in the Midwest United States, he whines all the time when he’s cold, and he will become a nuisance trying to get under the covers with you. Sarge has to be in a cage because he sleeps so close I can’t turn over in the bed.
- They need constant supervision. Sarge will kill our outdoor cats if we don’t keep an eye on him, I’ve even tried chaining him up and all he does is start digging in my yard and he makes these horrible noises that I’ve never heard a dog make.
- He is also very needy and he requires lots of attention, although this could coincide with number 3 and be because they are cold.
- They are vocal. Sarge loves to “talk” and I find it very cute and funny until he barks. We live in the country so it doesn’t bother anyone but his barks are so loud and deep that you can literally feel the sound wave go through you, so we discourage him from barking a lot.
- They are stubborn, very, very stubborn. If you are considering getting one, I would also sign them up for obedience classes or get educated on how to train the dog yourself, because this type of dog untrained, is a car accident waiting to happen.
- Last but not least, they have LOTS of energy and need to run this off every day. Rocky helps in this situation since they can easily burn off energy together, but it can become a problem in the fall and winter months when I don’t want to stand in the cold so they can run, and I can’t leave them unattended or they kill the cats.
All I ask is that people take a minute to really think about whether they want these types of dogs, do some research before you buy or rescue. It doesn’t help the dog to buy or rescue them and not be able to handle them yourself. If people stop getting these types of dogs then maybe people will stop breeding so many of them, because buying them just for the pit bull label is not fair to the dog or you, educate yourself.
I can honestly tell you that I didn’t know what I was getting myself into by helping out and taking this dog, but I will keep him until he dies, because I can be stubborn too, and I want to finish what I start. But I now know, that I will never own another dog like this again, he is a lot of work that I don’t have the energy for anymore.
With the right training and the right type of energetic family, these dogs are a great breed to own.