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Recently, I've been hanging around a few pit bulls or pit mixes and I must say I'm really starting to love them. I'm sort of wondering if my next dog or the one after could possibly be a bully breed of some sort. If I were to get a bully breed, it'll most definitely be a shelter dog because there are just SO MANY out there.

The ones I've met are actually relatively calm but can fetch for a long time. The owners said their dogs are pretty lazy in the house and that might be good if I have to work 40 + hours a week.

So I have a couple of questions, mind you I know virtually nothing about the different types of bully breeds like APBT, Am staffy, etc. I don't think I have much of a preference anyways since it will be a rescue. I'll take whichever comes up and suits me the most temperamentally.

1. How often are there smaller ones around 30-35 lbs (probably up to 45 is alright)? That's probably the size I'm looking for as my next dog.
Staffy bulls stay small. Many true APBTs stay near 45lbs as well. If you get a rescue puppy though, you will have no clue. Often those are American Bullies or mixes thereof and can get much bigger.

2. How biddable is your particular dog?
The dogs I've worked with and owned in the past would do anything for a person. So... very. This is all relative, but generally the bully breeds are people-pleasers.

3. I keep hearing they can be DR/DA and it's quite common, is that an exaggeration or is DR that common? I kind of want a dog that would be alright going to the dog park, it's really not necessary but I hope I can find a dog like that.
I assume by DR you mean dog redirection? Very common. Dog aggression is too, even if it's selective. All of my pit bulls growing up were dog aggressive and had to be seperated, and many shelter dogs have no tolerance threshold for excitement and redirect easily. We had a beagle nearly killed last year as a result of a pit bull in his play group getting overly stimulated by a dog outside the fenced in area and redirecting onto him. Dog parks are a NO NO when it comes to bully breeds of any sort, because if anything happens, THEY are blamed, and THEY will pay the price. Being a responsible bully owner means that you don't set your dog up to fail no matter how well he gets along with other dogs by taking him to an uncontrolled environment. It's been said before and I'll say it again, a pit bull might not start a fight, but he will sure as heck finish it.

4. Reliability off leash?
They aren't in the hound category, they are much easier to train a recall to and want to be by people so that helps. BUT, going back to the pit bull thing, you've got to KNOW they're not going to run after a bicyclist, squirrel, dog, or cat. If they do, they're the vicious dog that's attacking everything in your neighborhood and they/the breed will suffer.

5. Exercise requirements? The least I would do is about 2 hours a day, 1 hr walking, 1 hour dog park, fetch, games, w/e. That's what I have to do with Nia anyways.
Most pit bull types are pretty high energy, but have a good on/off switch from my experience. That MAY be enough for some, but I would take out the dog park and add in a solid hour of fetch, frisbee, something like that, and a bit of training to keep their minds going.

6. General health? Are they a healthy breed? I realize there are a few different bully breeds but are they all pretty healthy?
For the most part, yes. There are few genetic issues in each breed, but nothing that is absolutely common or prevalent like HD in GSDs. Most of them are health tested for heart, eyes, hips/elbows, and ataxia.

7. Are they prone to SA?
In theory I would say so since they are so glued to people, but IME, the ones I've had and known have not had issues with it.

8. Are they more confrontational dogs or like to avoid conflict? I really love dogs that try to avoid conflict as much as possible, Paps are really like that.
This COMPLETELY depends on the dog and breed.

9. Would you ever leave your bully breed unsupervised with another dog at home, provided they are about the same size. I'm not going to leave Nia and a 35-40 lb dog unsupervised in the house of course.
Not for extended periods of time. If I had two dogs that were opposite genders and had no guarding history/behavior or ANY types of spats with each other ever, I would leave them together to do stuff around the house and yard, etc. without eagle-eyeing them, but I wouldn't ever leave ANY dogs together while I was gone from the house. A pit bull could easily kill another dog in a few seconds if you aren't there to stop it, and it doesn't take a lot for some poorly bred pit bulls to become overly stimulated or redirect.

10. Anything else you think I should know?
I would hesitate to bring a pit bull into a home if you're going to be gone 40hrs a week with no one else there to spend time with them. They're people dogs and I think having a dog walker or sitter come by frequently would be a better idea if you're going to do it. They can get extremely depressed and anxious if they don't get enough attention.


I realize a lot of it is up to the individual dog but I just want to know in general.
I don't own any type of pit bull right now, but I am planning on getting another in the near future, and I was raised with them. SO, I wanted to answer anyway. Answers in bold. :)
 

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I for sure don't want a pitty puppy. I'm leaning towards Staffys if anything just because they're smaller. But honestly I just want to rescue so I'm not that picky at all.

An older one is really a good idea I just feel so bad because I see sooo many of them in the shelter but all the ones I've met are amazing dogs :(

The bothersome thing to me is DA and breed prejudice, that's probably the biggest reason preventing me from getting a pit in the future. I love the breed for the most part but I don't know if I can deal with flat out negotiable dog aggression @[email protected]
If you adopt an older, mature dog, you can do numerous meet and greets and talk to rescue officials about guarding behaviors or their history with other dogs. If you adopt a 5yo that gets along great with other dogs and has no issues with guarding/etc. I do not expect that dog to turn into a DA dog. It's puppies that you have to worry about the most, because you have NO CLUE what they will turn into as an adult. Most adult personalities/traits are set in stone. Could a rough incounter change that? Yes, a little. I still wouldn't expect your dog being attacked turn him into a completely DA dog. Maybe reactive, maybe a little tense and hostile in new situations, but I wouldn't worry about it with it's pack dogs.
 

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Hopefully much more experienced owners will chime in, but in my two years of living with Aija I could offer you just about what DJ did, so the one thing I did want to add is you mentioned dog parks. Personally, I don't think pit bulls and such belong in dog parks, I would prefer to have them exercised by ball, flirt pole, spring pole, other games like that. Also, I wouldn't ever leave them unsupervised with any dogs ever. Aija has shown absolutely NO signs of being reactive or DA, but She is still kenneled when I leave or cannot keep my eye on them.
I knew Aija was perfect. <3

I will pay shipping costs. $$$
 

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She IS perfect! So you can't have her right now! But the second she starts acting like a butthead, shes headed your way.
I'm holding you to it! And you better watch your back, I'll be stalking your facebook and such to find the most opportune moment to 'nab her for being bad! She better start acting up!
 

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I don't think it's fair to say that the breed isn't right for her. While they may not fit perfectly to what she wants, she never said they HAD to fit certain criteria. I think it's up to HER to decide whether or not she wants to change her lifestyle because she likes the breed enough or not. She never said these were the only options, just that she'd LIKE to go to the park, etc. It's entirely possible that she'll learn about them and in a year or two will be set to own one and prepared with all the right information, she may just not have been expecting quite this much right off the bat.
 

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I still don't see the OP pointing out anywhere criteria that makes them unsuitable to own a bully breed. The dog park is no necessecity to them, they were just hoping that they could get a very dog-friendly dog, but are OK with that not happening, and plan on getting other non dog-friendly dogs anyway.

One thing I will point out is I find paps really really dislike bully type play style. Boxers, pit bulls, etc annoy the crap out of my two. We have a pit bull in the extended family and he's a real gem. SUPER friendly and goofy but when we're all together we rotate between George and papillons. George is just a clumsy dog and so rough sometimes (not meaning to be). We kept all 6 in one house a few days and it was a bit tough to do. Maybe it's just George but he really wasn't a small dog or cat safe dog.

Pits are a lot more physical kinds of dogs than BCs and papillons in my experience. They like really rough play, which does not often go over well with paps (and most BCs are not fond of non BC type play).
This is a VERY good point to bring up. Pit bulls play completely differently than any other breed, and they can be very wild. Of course, if you're going to be rescuing an adult, you can do meet and greets and assess play style before committing, as all dogs are different.

Also want to say AGAIN, that if you adopt an older dog (3+) that gets along well with other dogs, you should not expect that dog to snap and be suddenly dog aggressive one day. Usually that trait comes out during adolescences at the sight of maturity and then personalities/traits are set. If they aren't DA at 3, they won't be. That's not to say that they couldn't hurt another dog accidentally or get into/finish a fight that breaks out, but they will not be genetically Dog Aggressive and forever dangerous to all other dogs.

Excuse me, but I do consider myself a "true Pit owner". I have one of my own and I foster. This is not my "unofficial motto" and I don't think its fair. How about all the wonderful Pits who are TD or do SAR work? They should never be trusted to not fight? Really?

And seeing as I do own the breed, and I am a good owner, I do manage. Do I leave Tyler unsupervised with an unknown dog? Nope, absolutely not. But I wouldn't do that with ANY dog, regardless of size or breed. BUT, seeing as I DO TRUST MY DOG, there are plenty of his 'friends' that he does get left alone with. Some are rather small (under 30#) and some are bigger than he is. He also is unsupervised with a cat as well. Do I ever worry? Nope. If I did, then I would change the situation.

I try to imagine what my life would be like if I had to separate my animals every time I left the house or room. I've had to do it before with foster dogs and it was extremely stressful and sad. I imagine that it would be doubly as sad to have to do with my own dogs.

I think it is misleading and perpetuating the stereotype to say that most Pit Bulls are unsafe to leave with other animals. IME, most of the Pit Bulls that I have worked with have been safe with other animals. It was the vast minority who weren't.
No, they shouldn't. I don't care what task they're trained for, those are with people. A pit bull ALWAYS has the propensity to start or end a dog fight, no matter how kind they are to their owners. I know TOOOONS of pit bulls that are therapy dogs that are single-family dogs or are in multi-dog households that are crated and rotated because they will kill another dog given the chance. You wouldn't know that snuggling on them in their cute bandanas though. You just can't trust these dogs not to fight after so many decades have been dedicated to making them and breeding them to fight.
 

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Then, IMHO, they should not be therapy dogs. TD, SAR and SD dogs should not be DA at all. They should be able to work side by side with other dogs and not be reactive. They should not 'kill another dog if given the chance'. With that being said, should they be trusted to get along with all dogs? Nope. But they should show enough self control and trust in their handler that they do not need to act out aggressively.

(this went really off topic, I see)
Uhm, I'll kind of repeat DM.

Just because they're DA does NOT mean they're reactive. I agree that dogs barking, snapping, and lunging at other dogs should not be doing so in a therapy or SD setting. BUT, MANY DA dogs are NOT reactive at all and can work JUST fine near other dogs without barking, lunging, or snapping. There's no reason why Dog Aggressive dogs cannot or should not be therapy, SAR, or SD dogs though. They aren't working with other dogs. They're working for people.
 

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I don't see how we disagree? It actually sounds to me like we are saying the same thing.
But you are saying that NO dog that is DA should be able to be a therapy, SD, or SAR dog. WRONG. MANY can because reactivity and aggression do NOT go hand in hand.
 
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