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Hello all,

So I am 20 going on 21, and trying to decide what type of dog I should get. I love bully breeds/terrier breeds, specifically any bulldog, pits, bull terriers, mastiffs, etc. I am looking for a super affectionate dog, that isn't very hyper. This will be my first dog that I am the primary caretaker, my family has owned a yellow lab in the past. So I guess what I am asking is what would people suggest for someone who is in college, but very responsible? Money isn't an issue (I know everyone is thinking "psh, ya because Mom and Dad foot the bill, but it is really Uncle Sam), but I would still like a dog that is low maintenance with regards to health. I have a year left of college, then it is on to the 9-5. I guess that's the short of my situation, what are your suggestions? Thanks!
 

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Hello! Where are you located? personally if you love pits i'd for sure suggest one ( and if your near New orleans, villalobos! with 200+pits looking for homes)
As long as you are able to walk him for an hour or more when you get home, if your yard fenced? :)
 

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Most pits are very affectionate and tend to be medium to high energy but not necessarily hyper. My current foster is considered on the higher energy side of a typical Pit and she needs about 1 hour of brisk walking daily or a 35-40 minute jog/run or 30 minutes walk and 20-30 minutes of fetch/play. There are many in rescue foster care that will have some basic training like housetraining and crate training and the rescue can evaluate their personality and energy level well for you.

The biggest issue with Pit Bulls for many people is renting and landlords. Many apartments have pit bull bans and many individual landlords do not allow pit bulls or pit type dogs. Even some cities have bans. So as a young person, you have to look very carefully years into the future: what is your housing now, what will it be in 2 years? in 5 years? Are you likely to move to a new area for a career? Do you expect to have the finances to be selective about your rental housing? There might be only a few apartment complexes in your area that allow pits so you can't shop around as much to get the best deal.

The other main concern is dog aggression. While there are plenty of pits that are fine with other dogs, there is a higher tendency towards dog aggression so you need to consider that dog parks are probably not an option for exercise (even dog friendly pits can be poor dog park candidates due to play style and other owners) and if you often visit other people with dogs, you might have to do some extra management and crate-and-rotate. Just something to think about.
 

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Shell, that was an excellent response. Balanced and informative. You obviously know your breed.

One thing I would like to add for the OP.

Training and socialization are ESSENTIAL and have to be reinforced on a continuing basis. Although as Shell said dog parks aren't a good idea, that doesn't apply to ALL group situations. Most pits can participate in group training classes if acclimated and if the classes are properly run. You WILL need a trainer with a good training background, who maintains a continuing education, and, very importantly, has experience with bully breeds. You usually won't find them in big-box or franchise operations.
 

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I've done a similar thing--I'm out of college and in my first 9-5 job, and last year I adopted a wonderful Rhodesian Ridgeback. I'm so glad I did, but I live out in the middle of nowhere. I wonder whether if I lived in the city I would have time to spend with the dog. She is alone all day while I am at work. I have to make it a point to walk her daily and take her on a hike or run or to play with other dogs on a daily basis.

One thing I would recommend is fostering. This will let you pick out a good-looking pit bull, mastiff, whatever, and then see how it goes. If your personalities are a match, you find you have time for him, and his behavior is okay, keep him. Otherwise move on to the next one. This also gives the shelter dog a chance to become better adjusted in a home and gives him a better chance in a more permanent situation. I am doing this for companionship for my Ridgeback and it's working out great (also gives both dogs good socialization and exercise playing).
 

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Shell, that was an excellent response. Balanced and informative. You obviously know your breed.

One thing I would like to add for the OP.

Training and socialization are ESSENTIAL and have to be reinforced on a continuing basis. Although as Shell said dog parks aren't a good idea, that doesn't apply to ALL group situations. Most pits can participate in group training classes if acclimated and if the classes are properly run. You WILL need a trainer with a good training background, who maintains a continuing education, and, very importantly, has experience with bully breeds. You usually won't find them in big-box or franchise operations.
Good point on the ORGANIZED group settings. For example, this morning we just attended our monthly "Pit Bull Pack Walk" and today there were about 12 pit bulls or pit bull types and another 5-6 non-bully breed friends, including a few toy breeds. If a dog needs a little more space from other dogs, he wears orange. Orange doesn't mean dog aggressive always, but can include fearful dogs or under-socialized dogs that are in training and working on their manners. Families and kids come along, we walk on one of the busy shopping and dining streets in the city and pass many people and other dogs out and about.

Luna has completed a group CGC class and in Chester's current CGC class there are 2 Pit Bull-types. Our trainer is very bully-breed knowledgeable and comfortable working with dog aggressive dogs if needed (also human aggressive dogs, but the only recent HA dog was an Australian Shepherd) and trains service and working dogs- some of whom are bully breeds :) Another CGC class that is finishing up soon had 10 or 11 pit bulls or mixes in it.

And of course, many bullies enjoy playing with their friends in one-on-one or small group situations; even some that are mildly reactive or are dog-selective have good dog buddies. Luna is a bit reactive, it is more excitement based than aggression and her social skills are improving, but she LOVES her big buddy Chester.

OP- if you want to share your general area (metro area or state), we might be able to suggest a breed specific rescue to contact.

Jaguarundi- my Ridgeback lives in the city and does just fine. We have good city parks and hike and jog and walk regularly in them and he loves the urban area too since there are so many sights and sounds and things to check out. Fostering is a GREAT suggestion :)
 

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Hey all thanks for the awesome responses! I currently live in an apartment and will be living in an apartment for the foreseeable future. I will be living in Boston and I know they have breed restrictions. Not that you can't have a pit, but you do have to register it as pit and I believe they technically have to muzzled when they're outside. I am an active guy so taking a dog for a 30 minute run everyday is not something crazy for me. Would having a pit be a bad idea for the city? I hear English and French bulldogs are great apartment dogs but are very prone to health issues. Do any of you have experience with bull terriers? Thanks!
 

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Hey all thanks for the awesome responses! I currently live in an apartment and will be living in an apartment for the foreseeable future. I will be living in Boston and I know they have breed restrictions. Not that you can't have a pit, but you do have to register it as pit and I believe they technically have to muzzled when they're outside. I am an active guy so taking a dog for a 30 minute run everyday is not something crazy for me. Would having a pit be a bad idea for the city? I hear English and French bulldogs are great apartment dogs but are very prone to health issues. Do any of you have experience with bull terriers? Thanks!
Wow, did not know that about Boston. Unfortunately, I will have to amend my suggestions to say that you should probably avoid pit bulls and pit bull TYPE dogs.
One reason being this:
Who determines if the dog is a pit bull or a pit bull mix?
The Animal Control Officer's judgment will be the sole decision in determining if the dog is a pit bull or a pit bull mix.
City of Boston Pit Bull Ordinance
This kind of rule has caught up owners of all kinds of mixes and vaguely bully-breed type dogs. Bull Terriers would likely be judged as pit bull mixes under laws like this (since it reads like even AKC papers showing purebred non-APBT would be useless if the AC officer judges the dog a pit/mix)

Personally, I wouldn't want to have to muzzle my dog whenever I am outside the house. Some dogs actually act more aggressive against other dogs when muzzled because it make them feel defenseless. But mostly because it promotes fear of a dog-- people see a muzzled dog and assume the dog is vicious and HUMAN aggressive and other bullcrap. if a dog needs to be muzzled, fine, but a blanket ordinance like this simply encumbers a lot of harmless dogs and promotes fear of the breed among the public. I also think that being muzzled for long periods of time has got to be uncomfortable for the dog.

English Bulldogs are known for health problems and to minimize that, you'd want to go with a good breeder and that wouldn't be cheap at all AND you could still end up with fairly expensive vet bills.

That said, visiting a shelter or talking to a rescue and simply meeting some dogs is likely to find you a good companion. While some breeds aren't necessarily known as super-affectionate, individual dogs vary a lot.
Like say, New England Brittany Rescue as an example
 

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I know you said money isn't an issue but as a recent university graduate who knows how hard it can be to start out on your own financially, no matter what kind of dog you get make sure you have an emergency money plan. If your dog needs surgery or gets a major disease like parvo you could be looking at $5,000 in vet bills so make sure you have some savings or access to credit that could cover these types of expenses.
 
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