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Hello all!

I could use a little advice. I'm 22 years old and about to move to Texas from Georgia for grad school. I'll be living in a one bedroom apartment that is very dog friendly - they even have a fenced in dog park on property. They don't have any breed restrictions either. I want a dog and have thought for a while that I would get a greyhound. Recently, however, a girl that sometimes trains in sessions with my dad and his Aussie has decided to give up her pitbull. I've met the dog and she is the biggest cupcake! I would love to have her, but I wanted to ask others who might have more experience with this kind of dog or other dogs labeled "aggressive". I'm concerned it might be hard to travel with her on the occasional trips home, if hotels or airlines won't allow her because of her breed. I know renting might be a challenge as well.

I am willing to go the extra mile for her, including keeping up with training, but I would like to know what you all think. How difficult are the barriers to travelling/living with a pitbull? I want her very much, but I don't want to be unfair to her if I can't measure up to the challenge.

Thanks!
 

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It is going to be a unique challenge. Get used to people crossing the street to avoid your killer dog- or running up to you, screaming about your dog. Apartments that rent to dogs often don't rent to pit bulls, and they are banned in entire cities. It won't be like owning my fluffy golden looking dog.

If you can deal with all that, and are willing to do anything to keep her and keep her safe, go for it. But be a breed ambassador. Have a well trained dog under control at all times. No off leash time, no dog parks. The bully is ALWAYS to blame. Always. If your dog is attacked and does nothing to defend herself, you'll be the one getting the call from AC.

The rewards are vast, though. Bullies are loving and filled with such joy. They are fantastic athletes and wonderful playmates. Sometimes, you have to take the bad to get the greatest good.
 

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Welcome to Texas! A&M or UT ? We have lots of Pits in Texas. Get her fixed before you come, if possible.

As Amaryllis said, Pits are very loving and great with people. The problem comes when folks don't account for their power, toughness, and excitability.
1. Socialize her with plenty of dogs, people, and other animals as much as possible. As socialized Pit is a *****cat, an unsocialized one has a strong prey drive for smaller, fast moving animals, as well as the speed and agility to catch them, with unreversible results :-( ... So, expose the dog to cats, and pet rabbits, and other small animals, if you get the chance. (BTW, we do have armadillos in Texas!)
2. Train her to Sit and Come, as reliably as you can.
3. Get her to play with as many dogs as possible, so that she learns to play appropriately. For the moment, interrupt play when things get too excited, then let her go back to play. Most common problems with a Pit come when they get over-excited. They may not get aggressive, but they can still do damage, b/c they are fast and strong.
4. Teach her Bite Inhibition. You should be able to wrestle with her (if you like), and play tug, and her teeth should never touch your skin, and she should not mouth you. Some retrievers will mouth with no consequence, but an excited Pit that mouths, may also bite... again, not aggressive, but it hurts nonetheless.
5. If you like to jog, start getting her conditioned now. Georgia weather is more humid, but less harsh than some parts of Texas. We can easily exceed 100 degrees for weeks at a time... but if you're careful, people jog with their dogs all through summer (I do too... but after sundown).
6. A Pit doesn't learn as easily as a Lab, but I don't think that you can tell, unless the Lab is in the same class, breaking the curve. So, teach her as much as you can... the more you teach, the sweeter they become.

Pits are large lap dogs and they love attention and interaction. Expect to walk the dog 30 min. a day, twice a day. Fetch for 30 min. is good, also. I think a Pit is a good dog for someone starting grad school - good age and good energy level. And, there are lots of dog parks, as well as activities such as agility, depending on where you will be.
 

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Hello all!

I could use a little advice. I'm 22 years old and about to move to Texas from Georgia for grad school. I'll be living in a one bedroom apartment that is very dog friendly - they even have a fenced in dog park on property. They don't have any breed restrictions either. I want a dog and have thought for a while that I would get a greyhound. Recently, however, a girl that sometimes trains in sessions with my dad and his Aussie has decided to give up her pitbull. I've met the dog and she is the biggest cupcake! I would love to have her, but I wanted to ask others who might have more experience with this kind of dog or other dogs labeled "aggressive". I'm concerned it might be hard to travel with her on the occasional trips home, if hotels or airlines won't allow her because of her breed. I know renting might be a challenge as well.

I am willing to go the extra mile for her, including keeping up with training, but I would like to know what you all think. How difficult are the barriers to travelling/living with a pitbull? I want her very much, but I don't want to be unfair to her if I can't measure up to the challenge.

Thanks!
First, travelling with ANY large dog can be difficult. Regularly flying with a dog is expensive and can be risky during the very warm or very cold months as they fly in the luggage hold (which is pressured and sorta climate controlled but not like the cabin). I would not expect to be able to fly home with my dog (unless it was a small dog that can fly under the seat...which of course even the smallest pit bull is not). Hotels vary, but generally they either allow large dogs or don't, I don't usually see breed restrictions but very often there is either weight (under 50 lbs or under 30 lbs) restrictions or an extra fee. I think all Motel 6s and La Quinta Inns allow all dogs and many of the cheaper roadside motels do also.

Many pits, even dog-friendly ones, are not good dog park dogs. They play roughly and tend to be very vocal which can scare other dogs and their owners. But if you go at quiet times when there are only a few other big dogs like Labs there, you might be able to use the dog park.
Consider future living situations, renting with Pits (and other large breeds even) can be tough. If you plan to stay at that apartment complex for awhile and maybe either rent or buy a house after that, you are probably fine. Places with no breed restrictions tend to be either slightly more expensive than other places OR in bad parts of town; if your finances are not too tight, you'll have a lot more flexibility. Some cities have breed restrictions so you will have to do your research in the future when looking for jobs.
Insurance- make sure your renters (or homeowners ins in the future) covers Pits. State Farm does in nearly all states (no breed restrictions at all) and make sure to have plenty of liability insurance as ANY dog owner should regardless of breed. The cost is minimal to have the higher/highest level of personal liability coverage.

Exercise- individual dogs vary and since you have met this dog, you can probably see her level of energy but on the whole, Pits are medium-to-high energy dogs. But they are also eager to please and LOVE their people so they respond well to training and enjoy spending quality time in the house with you also. 1 hour of brisk walking daily is probably enough for the average pit with some days doing more like hiking, weight pull, playing with a flirt pole, fetch etc.

Be very very cautious about off-leash time. Personally, no matter how good a Pit Bull's recall is, I say never off-leash outside of a fenced area (and I don't use dog parks so that means private yard or training facility). That's because if anything happens, your dog will be the one at fault. Small aggressive dog runs up to your Pit, barking and snarling and bites her and she nips back? "Vicious Pit Bull attacks small dog!" says the headlines....

Sometimes you'll get stares or people will cross the street to avoid you, but sometimes you'll get the people that know and love Pits who want to love on her and give her lots of attention. Depending on the neighborhood, you might have a lot of offers to bred her... if she isn't spayed, tell everyone she is spayed.

Try to find other pit bull owners for play time and socializing. Here we have monthly pit bull pack walks which are great fun for the dogs and also showcase the breed in a positive light. Nothing like 20 pit bulls and a few other dog breeds walking the main shopping streets to get people to turn their heads :) Chester (my dog) is an "honorary pit bull" and I will probably have another pittie foster dog in a few weeks.

Personally, I think it is worth the extra effort for a fun, smart and loving dog. In this case, you'd also be saving this dog as pits given up to shelters have very little chance of leaving and pits given away on craigslist etc often have an even worse fate.
 

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Thanks so much for the awesome advice everyone!

Hanksimon, I'm actually going to Texas Tech! I've been here this week checking it out, and I think so far I am a fan of Texas! :)

The pit I'm considering is trained for rally and is good with commands. I actually met her at a show a few weeks ago, and she seems very laid back around other dogs and people. The dog park at the apartment complex where I'll be living is the only place I would consider letting her off leash, and even then only after I was familiar and comfortable with the other dogs there.

I really fell in love with her and would hate for her to end up in a shelter, or worse. Thanks again for all the help! I'll hopefully see her at another rally show this weekend, so I'll post pictures if I can snag any. :)
 

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She sounds like a great dog and obviously has enough training to make it easier to transition and give you a good start with her. Seems like she'd be a good choice for you.

And if you like dog sports, you could continue with rally or get into agility or tracking etc. She might already have her CGC (Canine Good Citizen) but if not, it would be fairly simple to get and having that and any obedience/rally titles will make it easier to rent. That can help sway a landlord who is on the fence about dogs and/or pit bulls and makes her a good breed ambassador.
 

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Thanks so much for the awesome advice everyone!

Hanksimon, I'm actually going to Texas Tech! I've been here this week checking it out, and I think so far I am a fan of Texas! :)

The pit I'm considering is trained for rally and is good with commands. I actually met her at a show a few weeks ago, and she seems very laid back around other dogs and people. The dog park at the apartment complex where I'll be living is the only place I would consider letting her off leash, and even then only after I was familiar and comfortable with the other dogs there.

I really fell in love with her and would hate for her to end up in a shelter, or worse. Thanks again for all the help! I'll hopefully see her at another rally show this weekend, so I'll post pictures if I can snag any. :)
She sounds awesome! I'd love to see her in class with those Labs Hanksimon was talking about. ;)

Once you move down here, I encourage you to look up Love-A-Bull (http://love-a-bull.org/), there are all sorts of fun get-togethers and breed advocacy/awareness activities. Pints for Pits, social dog walks, we even have the largest pittie pride march in the world in Austin; we hold the world record! It also sounds like your girl would be a great fit for the Pit Crew, a group of therapy pitties that go to schools and help kids learn to read, etc. There are tons of breed-inclusive options available here, especially when you have such a well-trained pup.

I'm excited for you and the new pup, I think she sounds like a great match. Of course you understand that we will all need lots of pictures! :)
 

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If you're on the main campus in Lubbuck, you'll have a good time. Although everything is a lot more spread out in West Texas, you can take weekend trips to visit this section of the country, with just a 2 - 4 hour trip in any direction. Lubbuck is dog friendly... and you will see wildlife that you can't find in Georgia. Except for the few extremes, the weather is usually mild. The climate is drier, with dust storms, but not as hot as Dallas... and be prepared, because it can get cold in the winter, with blowing snow.
 

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Also bless you for rescuing this dog :). I also love PB's to dreary but I will never be able to have one due to dog aggression that is inherited. You are seeing it less as breeders try to make it go away.

I would talk with the apt manager you are moving to to make sure.
 

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Great advice so far! All i can add is AWESOME breed! and as Moxie sad get involved in the breed if you adopt the pit....and EDUCATE people on the breed in your daily life with your pit.....It really helps the breed.....Good luck! Sounds like you have a good temperment assessment on the dog GO FOR IT !
 

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Thanks again everyone! I am not sure if I will be able to adopt the pit baby yet, as her owner is still on the fence about letting her go. I understand, as she's quite sweet and even won 1st place in both of her UKC rally trials today! Our aussie got second, but only because the pit was faster. :)

I'll keep updated on whether or not I can take her to Texas with me!
 
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