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Discussion Starter #1
I just have a hard time trusting the Internet pages I've seen. So many of them appear too desperate to save the pit bull's reputation...they want everyone to love pit bulls.

It seems that they love people, but some of them can be dog aggressive. And they're intelligent and loyal and ready to defend their people.

But the same general descriptions can be said for 75% of the breeds out there (except the DA). Would a pit bull go for a run with you? Go for a long hike? Run beside your bike when you mountainbike down a trail? And lay quietly on the couch when you just don't feel like exercising that day?
 

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Pitties are great, loving, athletic, biddable dogs. In my experience, they will do whatever they can to please their person. They're ridiculously missunderstood and it's a shame.
 

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Totally depends on the pit bull. There's simply too much diversity to make generalizations. Pit bulls can be Am Staffs, Staffy Bulls, APBTs, Bull Terriers, Mixes...

I own two. Mine will hike, run, compete, chill on the couch, love on everyone. Great dogs. They must be monitored with other dogs, but they also love to play with others most times.

Mine are committed to being active and love training.

It all comes down to the specific dog. I adore them, but they aren't perfect.
 

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What a particular dog likes is dog to dog, really. APBTs are athletic and generally high drive, so most APBTs would love hiking and other activities.

As to temperament, APBTs should be in love with all humans. Think Golden Retriever levels of human love. Loyalty . . . Not like a German Shepherd. More like a lab. APBTs should be happy, loving, playful clowns.

Dog aggression: any dog of any breed can be DA. However, APBTs were bred for over a century to fight other APBTs. They're also terriers, and terriers are drivy and don't give up. APBTs are more likely to be DA than most other breeds and when they do fight, it's ugly. They don't give up. Puppies generally love other dogs and "turn on" between 18 months and 3 years.

All in all, APBTs are fantastic family dogs and great companions, but you need to be aware of and prepared for DA.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone for the replies!

Totally depends on the pit bull. There's simply too much diversity to make generalizations. Pit bulls can be Am Staffs, Staffy Bulls, APBTs, Bull Terriers, Mixes...
I wonder if that's part of the problem I'm having in finding an accurate temperament description.

One more question: I read that an airline is outlawing Bully breeds, not because of aggression issues, but because of their brachycephallic shape. It said that they're including pit bulls in the ban for the same reason.

When I think brachy dogs, I think pugs, bull dogs, etc. Didn't think pit bulls fit that description, but maybe I was thinking only of extreme examples? Do pit bulls have any breathing issues, especially during long stamina activities?
 

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It depends in how they are bred and what you put into them as well.

I don't see what is wrong with trying to saves a misunderstood breeds reputation.

Pit Bulls are APBTs not a bunch of breeds or mixes, mixes are just that mutts.

But the same general descriptions can be said for 75% of the breeds out there (except the DA). Would a pit bull go for a run with you? Go for a long hike? Run beside your bike when you mountainbike down a trail? And lay quietly on the couch when you just don't feel like exercising that day?
This sums it up. What I love about them. They can work like crazy but settle into a calm house pet.

Amaryllis post on DA is great. When they turn on can vary, I've had plenty which were under 18 months old. It can vary individually but also depends on their breeding.
 

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Thanks everyone for the replies!

I wonder if that's part of the problem I'm having in finding an accurate temperament description.

One more question: I read that an airline is outlawing Bully breeds, not because of aggression issues, but because of their brachycephallic shape. It said that they're including pit bulls in the ban for the same reason.

When I think brachy dogs, I think pugs, bull dogs, etc. Didn't think pit bulls fit that description, but maybe I was thinking only of extreme examples? Do pit bulls have any breathing issues, especially during long stamina activities?
It is part of the problem. Ignorant general public, BSL, people who witness an attack lump a a bunch of breeds together as pit bulls. Bully breeds and medium to large breeds with similar features. Due this inaccuracy the Pit Bull gets blamed for more bites and people have to sometimes fight to keep their non Pit Bull when bsl comes.
You will also find varied and even inaccurate breed info on the net for any breed though.
If you research APBT that will help.
I'm not sure what is up with that. You are right in your thinking of brachycephalic breeds.

APBT are in no way a brachycephalic breed. Any breed of dog which can fight for 3 hours has no problems with stamina or breathing. An APBT shouldn't have breathing problems period. If they do its due to structure fault or health issue.
 

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I'll just speak for the ones I know.

The majority of them are....
medium to high energy, total cuddle bugs (like velcro dogs!), short haired and easy to groom, sturdy, muscled, a bit noisy (tend to talk or vocalize a lot), tenacious, love to play, love fetch or other interactive games (tug, flirt pole), dog tolerant, people oriented

Dog aggression is an issue, but I'd say more are dog selective than completely aggressive. As in, they can get along with the dogs in their home or they can behave on walks in public but they shouldn't be left alone with other dogs and introductions of new dogs should be done carefully. Some are very dog friendly their whole lives, some want to kill every dog they see from early on. Most fall somewhere in between

Better with heat than cold since they have thin coats and bare bellies often. Often not good with cats or small animals due to terrier prey drive but I've also met a number that live happily with cats.

Absolutely a ton of fun....

New Lab/Pit foster arrives this week :)
 

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A guy I knew some time ago had a house way up in the woods in NJ. He'd let his pit bulls run free out there and they always stayed close. If they sensed something, they'd go running after it, but they always came back. They were definitely people dogs, they'll rub up against you and act like a 100lb puppy. They let kids pull on their tails and tackle them and do all sorts of stuff. I think because of their high pain tolerance, they're immune to young children's antics. At the same time, his male pit bull had killed many dogs in its time. Flat out killed right on the spot. He also played particularly rough with another male pit. Then you see the pits on the Dog Whisperer like Daddy and Junior and you have to think that with hardcore socialization like CM does at his center, pits can be just as friendly to other dogs as with humans.
 

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If you think of it this way, the terrier group is the only group of dogs that were bred specifically to kill. APBT is no different, I say that any of the terriers need to have a strong owner not someone who will just give into their behaviour. I am 100% against BSL because it just doesn't work, also I would say that the little dogs like Chihuahua and other's can be way more vicious, but now you are seeing more and more breeds like the Lab and Golden Retrievers that are becoming more vicious mainly because of all of the inbreeding that goes on.
 

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I have an adopted pit, and I have to second everyone who has said that personalities vary! And also that pits are not fans of extreme weather, and, IME, tend to enjoy the finer things in life (like a comfy armchair and a piece of banana now and then).

While Toby can jump like a kangaroo during playtime and will never turn down a walk, he spends most of his day curled up in various (soft) locations throughout the house, as close to a person as possible. I would say he's a medium-low active dog, honestly. Unlike most terriers, he has no real prey drive. He lived with chickens without really paying them any attention, and has been the same with kittens, cats, and small dogs.

He's very bright, and responds well to training (he learned to shake without treats in about two 5 minute sessions!).

Like many pits, he loves kids, and loves being the center of attention when we go to the park. He has a high tolerance for little kid antics -- like accidentally poking him in the eye or sticking an errant finger in his ear.
At 2ish to 3ish years old, I am fairly sure he's settled in his personality, and shows absolutely no signs of dog aggression. He frequently gets bossed about my my parents' Cairn terrier and takes it in stride. I also have a very assertive, selectively DA Pyr mix who he gets along with very well.

He will only bark at someone coming to the door if my other dog starts barking, or if the person attempts to open the door without being welcomed. I had a friend try to come in once without waiting for me to come to the door (didn't hear the knock, but knew she was coming over) and Toby barked, maybe 3 times, but didn't charge the door or anything. Just waited for me to sort it out. Yesterday he was on a potty break in the yard while I made breakfast, and my father came into the yard without letting me know he was there. Not something I think was smart, personally, but it turned out okay. Toby waited for him to open the gate without barking and greeted him calmly (per my dad's report). Of course, he knows my father and sees him all the time.

On the other hand, I had some friends who rescued an adult pitbull off the street (he was a Nashville flood dog so this was some time ago) and got him treated for a horrendous case of heartworms and got him back into shape. He showed signs of either real physical trauma from the flood, or some pretty serious neglect/abuse. At first it seemed to work out, but as he got less sick he became more and more unpredictable, until finally he bit one of their children. Maybe there were things the family didn't do right (not out of a lack of having anything but the best intentions, but just a lack of the necessary experience to deal with a dog that strong and from that kind of a history), but they were heartbroken. After the bite they made the decision to euthanize. That was sad story. :( Sorry.

Anyway, I'm just saying, every dog has a story and a personality all its own. If I had judged Toby by my personal experience with pitbulls, I would have immediately thought he was "too much" dog for me, no matter how well-adjusted he seemed. Turns out, he's perfect.
 

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I think because of their high pain tolerance, they're immune to young children's antics.
Um, NO! They aren't "immune" to young children antics. They just have higher threshold for such abuse. No dog is "immune" to such things.

At the same time, his male pit bull had killed many dogs in its time. Flat out killed right on the spot. He also played particularly rough with another male pit.
Your "friend" is a highly irresponsible owner if he allowed his dog to "kill" other dogs. Yes Pits have a higher tendency toward dog aggression, most can be managed. My male Pit isn't too dog friendly when first greeting a new dog. He comes around quickly but at first he'll snark but then he's fine and I've found that true to most of the breed. There's even a Youtube video of a 5x Ch APBT (who won 5 fights back when it was legal) walking around with other dogs.

UOTE=Sarayu14;1184129]If you think of it this way, the terrier group is the only group of dogs that were bred specifically to kill. APBT is no different, I say that any of the terriers need to have a strong owner not someone who will just give into their behaviour. I am 100% against BSL because it just doesn't work, also I would say that the little dogs like Chihuahua and other's can be way more vicious, but now you are seeing more and more breeds like the Lab and Golden Retrievers that are becoming more vicious mainly because of all of the inbreeding that goes on.[/QUOTE]
:doh: Not even sure where to start on this post. :doh:
A lot of different breeds were bred to "kill". Terriers were bred as prey driven dogs, and not ever terrier likes to even go after prey. Yes the APBT is a prey driven dog, but they aren't "killers" as you are stating. My two have pretty strong Prey drive, but once they catch their prey they don't know what to do. The neighbor's cat has lucked out a few times because these two don't kill their prey, but boy was that cat shocked and scared. Obviously not enough to stay out of my yard.

As for Inbreeding... :doh::doh::doh: Inbreeding has NOTHING to do with the issue at hand. Poor breeding habits along with greed and bad owners have more to do with the issue then anything else. Inbreeding is necessary to bring out characteristics that people like in a dog.

As for the question at hand, I've met hundreds of Pits of many different breeds and they are all people loving, high driven, smart dogs, who LOVE to please their owner, and are velcro dogs.
 

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100lbs puppy....that's a figure of speech right? We are talking about APBTs not American Bulldogs whoch are sometimes confused.

CM dogs have attacked other dogs. When you watch a TV show it is edited you dont see everything that goes on. The dogs are also not filmed 100% of the time. Hardcore socialization won't make a dog like other dogs, training and socialization are important but it is about the dogs individual personality. You could socialize a Pit very little and they like other dogs a lot.
Most importantly Daddy seemed much for bully or something. So doesn't represent the APBT breed. Wouldn't you agree? Any mix type dog isn't a reliable individual to judge breed traits.

............

I know very little about sporting breeds but have to believe tht they would be similar to other breeds. Therefore if inbreeding doesn't cause bad temperament in APBT I don't believe Labs would be much different in general. I'm sure its related to poor breeding of which you find in out bred dogs, even cross breeds with improper temperament.
 

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Ive met several over the last few years. These have all been young dogs with an energy level similar to a Lab or Boxer...very playful, just wanting to have a good time, sweet and just total love bugs. The only exception was one little guy that just acted terrified when he saw me & my girls. He kept his distance (I instructed my girls to ignore him and continue walking) and did a lot of barking, nothing even remotely aggressive or threatening.
 

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You know I get seriously tired of people saying Pitties are this, this, this, this and that breed. That is misinformation at it's core, and one of the biggest reason this breed is so misunderstood. A pit bull is not a staffordshire bull terrier, it's not an Am bully, it's not a bull terrier, it's not a mixed breed, they are not a mastiff (I have seen mastiffs put into the "pit bull category"), and plenty of people will argue that an Amstaff is not a pit bull. There is only one breed that has pit bull specifically in it's name, and that is the American Pit Bull Terrier, the one and only Pit Bull. Just because a dog/breed is of bull and terrier origin does not make them all the same breed. And for that matter just because the media chooses to use pit bull incorrectly as an umbrella term does not make it so.


On to Labradors/Goldens/Chi's/etc. Those breeds are so over bred, there are too many bad breeders (much like pitties). The temperament issues have nothing to do with inbreeding (although too much inbreeding can cause problems), and have everything to do with poor breeding practices, and improper socialization on both the breeder and owners part. Inbreeding or rather line breeding when used properly and sparingly is a great way to set good traits into a line, sure you may get some bad traits, but you can get those from out crossing too. A dog can be completely out crossed and still have temperament and health issues. Breeding is all about the pairings, not just throwing two dogs together and hoping they produce nice puppies, it doesn't work like that. And, you can not assume that if a dog has a temperament issue it is mainly caused by inbreeding, that is just plain ignorance, there could very well be other factors at play.



OP: what you have been reading about the APBT, depending on the source of course, is very much likely true of the breed. Of course fanciers are trying to save this breed's rep, wouldn't you if this breed was one you loved? This breed was always bred to be human friendly, or at least should have been. DA is in the breed, DA is in many breeds (and certain lines of breeds not known for it), and many individual dogs. Just because the breed can have DA, does not mean all examples will be DA or even DR. DA for that matter is very manageable if the owner is on top of things.

Pitties are a very athletic breed, so yeah I would say they could handle hiking, biking, etc. They are certainly not a breed for everybody, you (general you) should do a ton of research (just like with any other breed) before considering them.
 

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Every bully-type dog (no clue if any were actual APBT) I've ever met were my basic idea of a DOG. Ya know--likes to play, goofy doof, couch-holder-downer, just a dog. I don't know why, because I grew up with Shiba Inu as "just plain dogs" but that's how they seem to me.
 

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Would a pit bull go for a run with you? Go for a long hike? Run beside your bike when you mountain bike down a trail? And lay quietly on the couch when you just don't feel like exercising that day?
Just a few months after we adopted our rescued 18 month old Pit Bull I began training for a half marathon. Corky never missed a run with me. One week prior to my race we ran 20K together. When it was over I was DONE. He wanted to go for another 5K. Those long runs triggered a return of fibromyalgia that had been in a remission for me. I haven't ran more than 5K in two years and Corky is still by my side, whether on the sofa or walking to the store for a jug of milk.

I wish I could recommend Pit Bulls to everyone. The ones I've met and fostered through the local rescue group have been awesome, EXCEPT dog aggression is a very real possibility with these types of dogs and only an experienced dog owner should be managing that.
 

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Inbreeding is necessary to bring out characteristics that people like in a dog.
??? Why on earth would you "need" to inbreed to make a nice family dog? Or a dog for any other purpose? If inbreeding is "necessary to bring out characteristics that people like in a dog," by implication, all dogs that aren't inbred don't have the "characteristics that people like in a dog."

Inbreeding is not necessary for any purpose. The only benefit is extremely consistent dogs, because they share more genetic information -- like if you started inbreeding your own family, the kids would look more alike than the offspring of unrelated couples. Which is why some breeders cheat and use inbreeding as a short cut to get what they want. The downsides are seriously myriad, for the offspring and for the breed.
 

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Temperament really varies between individual dogs. Both genetics and upbringing play into it. Good positive training from the start can help avoid the worse genetic tendencies while bad or intentional fight training can bring out unwanted traits.

The pit bull mix I owned back in the 80's was a big lovable doofus. He was very sweet toward people, probably too sweet since I lived on a farm at the time and I wanted him to perform some guarding functions. I laugh at the Allstate mayhem commercial because it reminds me of how he would act around strangers. They were usually his new best friends.

He was tolerant toward other dogs unless they provoked him into reacting. This usually meant them getting near his stuff like his house or food/water bowls. He didn't resource guard people.

Training him was tough. I had a border collie before him and he just couldn't catch onto things anywhere near as easily. I was only able to teach him about 4 commands that he would perform consistently. At least his recall was good.

Sadly, most pitbull type dogs I've seen since him have been poorly trained or trained/allowed to be aggressive, toward people, dogs or both. I think you can work with almost any dog but one that's already been messed up in some way will be more difficult to manage.
 
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