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I am looking at adopting a pit bull on the advice of many members of this forum as well as people I have talked to out and about....

I only have one question about the process, and that is how malleable is doggie behavior in an adult? I only ask because I will be a dog newb.

Primarily, I find the prospect of an adult dog with a adult sized bladder very attractive!! :) I will likely be working 8 hour shifts and I think an adult would be better suited to my lifestyle right off the bat. But what if the adult has potty training issues? The adults are pretty fast learners, correct? And any issues in that respect would be brought to my attention by the rescuer anyway, right?

What about other issues like, perhaps dog aggression? Is it possible to socialize an adult out of any DA? Again, this is likely an issue the rescue would have brought to my attention and possibly dealt with before my adopting the dog, right?

But generally, take the worst case scenario behavior........ Would it be correctable with time, patience and training?

I've watched lots of DogTown on National Geographic Channel, and it seems that they are rather successful with the most troubled of dogs, given enough time..... So is this the case with most?

I'm not saying the dog will have issues, who know, my adopted dog might be the most perfect in the world!!! I'm just looking at what ifs, just to be prepared...

Prepare for the worst, hope for the best! That's the best mindset I guess!!

Thanks guys!
 

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Depends on the rescue. Some are better than others. Some know the life history of the dog (or it seems that way) and others don't know more than that it is indeed a dog. Some, sadly, don't even know that. It also depends on the dog as well. A dog that was surrendered to them will likely have more information than a dog that was picked up as a stray.

In any case, adults are easier to housetrain than pups simply because they have an adult sized bladder and adult control over it. Pups have about a 30 second warning, but adults have much, much more than that.

Dog aggression is something that any rescue should know about as it's something easily determined. If there's any doubt in your mind whether a dog has this or not, I'd pass. I don't think dogs that suffer from DA are right for a first time owner, but that's just my 2 cents on the subject. It can be corrected, but IMO doing so is best left to experts.

To answer your main question, a dogs behavior is always malleable simply because they live in the moment. Plus, they have no history with you. A dog that behaves horribly in one environment may have no problems in another one simply because you give the dog strict rules and boundaries that are enforced while the first home did not. It's never too late to teach a dog.
 

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I am looking at adopting a pit bull on the advice of many members of this forum as well as people I have talked to out and about....
First Things first. Thank you. As a pit owner and rescuer...thank you.

Now to business..

I only have one question about the process, and that is how malleable is doggie behavior in an adult? I only ask because I will be a dog newb.
Depends on the dog. There are a whole bunch of different factors that make up a dog's temperment.

Genetics, early life, state of the dog's health to name three of the big ones..

Primarily, I find the prospect of an adult dog with a adult sized bladder very attractive!! :) I will likely be working 8 hour shifts and I think an adult would be better suited to my lifestyle right off the bat. But what if the adult has potty training issues? The adults are pretty fast learners, correct? And any issues in that respect would be brought to my attention by the rescuer anyway, right?
Yes, a quality rescue should be able to give you an in depth run down of the particulars of the dog you are checking out.

One suggestion I have would be to enquire with whichever agency you hope to go through if you can do a series of meet'n'greets with the dog in more than one location.

What about other issues like, perhaps dog aggression? Is it possible to socialize an adult out of any DA? Again, this is likely an issue the rescue would have brought to my attention and possibly dealt with before my adopting the dog, right?
Ok so here is the thing about DA pit Bulls..

If they have it, they have it.
If they dont , they don't.
But you won't know it
Until they show it.

DA can happen at any age and for any number of reasons.

But generally, take the worst case scenario behavior........ Would it be correctable with time, patience and training?
Mmmm.....maybe...with most of them...yes...a select few...no...but WAIT...don't flip out..

The best treatment for DA is prevention.

Don't put your dog into a situation where YOU don't have complete control....like off leash dog parks for example...

I've watched lots of DogTown on National Geographic Channel, and it seems that they are rather successful with the most troubled of dogs, given enough time..... So is this the case with most?
See bolded.


I'm not saying the dog will have issues, who know, my adopted dog might be the most perfect in the world!!! I'm just looking at what ifs, just to be prepared...
This is the part where I give you homework lol.

www.workingpitbull.com Go to the bookstore on this site and copy down those titles. Track as many of those books down as you can.

Also I think I saw a post about you reading books by R+ trainers. Keep up with that reading.

[/QUOTE]
Prepare for the worst, hope for the best! That's the best mindset I guess!!

Thanks guys![/QUOTE]

That is the mindset of the MOST responsible of Pit Bull Owners.

Which means you will do smashingly.
 

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There are many possibilities in modifying behavior, however they are bounded by you. Being a dog newb does not exclude you from realizing those possibilities, but if we're taking the time to be prudent, it would be worth your while to hire the services of a certified trainer familiar to the breed. There are some great rescues out there who will ensure for themselves that any dog placed in your home is right for you, but what better insurance can you have than a relationship with a trainer to start you off on the right foot. That would be my recommendation, especially considering the many possibilities in rescue.
 

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In any case, adults are easier to housetrain than pups simply because they have an adult sized bladder and adult control over it. Pups have about a 30 second warning, but adults have much, much more than that.
That can cut both ways. An adult dog who's been conditioned to eliminating indoors can be a bear to housebreak. Take a puppy outside and they'll have to go in a short time. Especially if you get them running around. An adult dog who's determined to hold it 'til she gets back on the carpet can keep you outside for hours. BTDT.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for the replies! I've sent a priliminary email off to "www.bulliesinneed.ca" They were very positive in their reply. I was worried about difficulty in getting my future doggie because I live all the way over here in St. John's Newfoundland (google-maps it!!), but the person who replied to me said they have contacts here who could conduct the necessary interviews and home "inspection" and what not. Then they could ship the dog to me, which I am weary of, somewhat, but I'll just try to get as much of a feel about the dog as possible by conversation.

This rescue seems to have the dog's best interests in mind, so I doubt they would falsely advertise a dog's behavioral issues, since they want to find the dog a great match as opposed to simply pawning them off on someone they might not be suited for. Are these safe assumptions?

Would any of you advise against adopting a dog without having met him/her a few times first? If so, are there any conditions in which you might adopt a dog without a meet first? What would they be?

Adopting the dog is still upwards of 6 months away for me. But as I'm sure you guys who've raised puppies know first hand, 6 months flies by in the blink of an eye. So I definitely want to start digging into books and getting this stuff figured out.... Still keeping an open mind about the whole process, so thanks for all the replies and advice in my litany of threads!! I need it! :) Haha...
 

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Please do lots and lots of reading about DA in pit bulls. We just recently adopted a dog that may (or may not) have APBT in her so I've done lots of research lately. From what I've read, DA in APBTs can be managed but not "fixed." It generally shows up by the age of two, but like someone else said, it can show up at any time.

We adopted our first dog "sight unseen" and like you, we were worried about never having met him before he flew out to us but it has worked out GREAT. Just make sure you have lots of email or phone conversations with the foster parent. Ask lots of questions. And be forthright about your lifestyle. By doing this, you'll both be able to decide if it's a right match. Because you're right...they do have the best interest of the dog at heart and they do not want to uproot a dog only to have him come back to rescue because it wasn't a fit.

Good luck! And thank you for putting time, effort and thought into the right dog for you!
 

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Would any of you advise against adopting a dog without having met him/her a few times first? If so, are there any conditions in which you might adopt a dog without a meet first? What would they be?
Personally, I would be reluctant to adopt a dog I've never met before, but I have done it in the past. All dogs have their own personalities and some of them conflict with our own. To me adopting a dog you've never met is kind of like an arranged marriage. You end up stuck with each other for life and you've never met before. But some of those arranged marriages work out perfectly.
 
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