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Old 06-19-2007, 07:56 PM
icklemiss icklemiss is offline
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Default Is a Bully Breed right for us?

Hi all,

I am starting the long task of researching what rescue dog (preferably) would work for us and our small family.

We moved last year from a province with a pitbull ban in place to a city that is over-run by these friendly, seemingly sweet dogs So, I have placed them on the list for potential future family member.

It is myself and my partner and my 14 year old daughter (half of the week).

I am a former dog owner and forever dog lover and have worked with challenging breeds such as dobes as well as dobe/shepherd mixes but haven't owned a bully breed before. ANd I see that rescues are over-run with them.

As of now, we are wide open to all breed suggestions. My partner would love a GSD as he had one as a child (I know, I know..not a very good reason). I am terrified of thinking about brushing out a coat like that (I think they even have a double coat and that blowing out also scares my vacuum cleaner!)

The only parameters we are working with however are as follows:

--we have two adult rescue cats. They have met dogs before and just scurry off somewhere else when our dog friends come over.

--we live in an apartment. Spacious enough but it is an apartment.
(I am quite up for serious dog exercise duty twice a day)

--I do like a dog that is dog-friendly as I like to attend dog parks and/or have dog friends over or even perhaps get a second dog later on down the road.
(one of my friends has a Pitty mix who is a sweet thing and I would prefer if our dog and her dog could hang out together for play dates).
Also, our apartment has other dogs (well-behaved and leashed but I would worry if I couldn't trust my dog walking next to another just down the hall if that were to happen).

These are the main concerns I have overall with the bully breeds.

I would sincerely appreciate any opinions and I welcome anyone to tell me if there are personality differences between Amstaffs, Pitbulls etc..and if one would suit us better over the other..

Thanks and please let me know if you have suggestions.

I am still in love with dobermans as well

ETA: I should also state that I love short-haired dogs/good response to training/sociable with other humans (not people aloof)/can also be a great snuggler and couch potato
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:37 PM
savethebulliedbreeds
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I would have to say that you sound just fine for a bully. They do great in apartment settings with regular excercise.

I know a lot of people will say that bullies can't/don't get along with other dogs most of the time. I have two and both of mine are great with each other and with other dogs. I also have 2 chihuahuas and 4 pomeranians and again they are both very good with them.

About the cat thing....well there again, both of mine get along with cats. They also get along just fine with my birds....I have 6 of them. Of course the bullies aren't together or with other dogs, birds or cats without supervision.

I am not sure, though, if a rescue will place a dog in a family that lives in an apartment. I would check out the local rescues and tell them that you would like to get one that is suitable for a home with other pets.

Good luck, let us know how it goes.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:06 PM
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We absolutely adore our APBT. We're learning about them everday, and these truly are an amazing, intelligent and misunderstood breed.

Here is an informative blog about APBT:
http://www.pitbullblog.com/

If you scroll down the page, the author writes about APBT and dog parks.

She is pretty good with dogs her size, but she seems to dislike little dogs, especially white fluffy ones. We had a yorkie in the house for a while and she was fine with her also. Just played a little rough sometimes.

I think this breed needs a good amount of exercise. If I do not run our girl for 2 days, she literally will do jumping 360's when I come home.

Our girl is great with people. She will bark @ people she does not know, but she's a bit shy. We've had an unknown toddler rush her & she did not lunge @ him. In regard to cats, she has been face to face and it seemed she wanted to play more than harm it. I think it may depend on the personalties of the 2 animals. She also loves the pet rat. It's her little buddy and quite a cute relationship.

If your apartment is on the second story, I would highly advise you put some sort of child bars on the window. Our APBT saw a squirrel in the yard and went through the screen without a pause (we have a ranch).

Good luck in your search and it is a great deed you are doing adopting a recue or shelter pooch.
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Last edited by Jam; 06-19-2007 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:50 PM
icklemiss icklemiss is offline
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Thanks to both of you for your thoughtful responses...!

Admittedly, my only experience with the actual breed is with my friend's pit mix. She looks more APBT than the probable lab she was crossed with and she also has the bull body type (which is one of the things I love about her) but mostly what attracted me was her wiggly butt (seriously I had never seen a dog's butt wag her whole body before and of course, her sweet character.

When I hadn't met one of these dogs before, I shocked myself by actually being wary of them the first couple of times I came face to face on the street! I couldn't believe myself and then realized that this was all due to the ban in my previous city! I had never even seen one up close because of this...I now live in an area that is WELL populated with this breed and now knowing my friend's sweet girl Ella, I am converted!

I have been looking on Petfinder and I see, like all dogs, much depends on socialization...The benefit of working with a rescue is that the dogs have been temperament tested and I can weed out the unsociables with cats and so on much easier...But now I see that I may have a problem with insurance? and clearing it with my caretaker and such...I will need to check this out..
Though this makes me madder than ever and potentially more devoted to a cause!

Regarding exercise, I am fine with the requirement I should think...Having a dog keeps ME fit!

And previously owning a dobe, I was used to the glares or the people crossing the street..I would assume with a pit,it would be ten times worse..But to tell you the truth, that doesn't really bother me...At least there wouldn't be kids running up (hopefully not like the toddler scenario, Jam!) and jumping on the dog (which I hate)...

The other thing is: How do the people that have dog aggressive Bullies handle it when other dogs are off-leash and run up to them?
I do know that Ella has been bad about this but she appears selective of course...SHe gets her back up if the dog invades her space out of nowhere and is walking along the street..At the dog park, she goes nuts for all dogs and plays well...
This would be my only worry...As the blog stated...It would be the Bully dog that got the bad rap unfortunately...

Anyway, thanks for your ideas and thoughts!

P.S Jaclyn, your gang is adorable! All of them...
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Old 06-20-2007, 06:49 AM
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SisMorphine SisMorphine is offline
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There is a tremendous amount of responsibility that comes with owning any bully breed because whenever you are out in public you have to remember that you are ALWAYS representing the entire breed. For some people that is too much work (one of my co-workers, a trainer, told me that she loves the Bullies but doesn't want the responsibility).

Dog parks are definitely NOT recommended for the bullies because a fight CAN occur at any time and the bully will always be faulted simply due to breed. We often have playdates with my friend's pit bulls in a backyard and that's fine because we are always prepared for a fight to break out and we all understand that with the breed it's a definite possibility.

I know some pit bulls that are great with cats. I know some that are great with dogs. A rescue is definitely the way to go as they can point you in the right direction. What area do you live in? I know some pit bull rescues from around the US and can give you some names if you're in the area. I would get an adult, at least 2 years old, as their temperment is more likely to stay as it is. But just be aware that a pit bull CAN turn "hot" at anytime, though most have done so by the age of 2 if they're going to be dog aggressive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss View Post
The other thing is: How do the people that have dog aggressive Bullies handle it when other dogs are off-leash and run up to them?
My last dog was dog aggressive. I put some intense obedience on him and when an off leash dog would run up to us I would put him in a downstay and make him give me unbreaking eye contact while I put myself in between him and the dog and yelled to the owner to come get their dog, mine is not good with others. I never had a fight occur because of an offleash dog. You can also carry "Direct Stop" which is a citronella spray. It doesn't hurt the dog, but if an offleash dog is pestering you a shot of that up the nose will usually make them back off. Also do some research on how to properly break up a dog fight, in case one was to ever occur.

So yeah, it's A LOT of responsibility but personally I think it's well worth it!
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:28 AM
icklemiss icklemiss is offline
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Thanks again! And that is good to know about the maturity age....There are many pups on Petfinder (through rescues) that are at least 2...

My boyfriend has his heart set on a young dog (I have done much work talking him out of tiny puppydom...yes, I would love one too but I emphasized that with an adult, all the baby work is already done for you!!)..

My only real problem still exists with having to always be prepared for a dogfight... I will have to think on this thoroughly....

Thanks again!
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Old 06-20-2007, 11:04 AM
savethebulliedbreeds
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Yes, Sis is right. When you own a dog like this you are being responsible for a whole breed, not just your dog. One mistake can give these dogs an even worse rap. She is also right in saying that it is well well worth it to put the time and effort into these dogs.

The dog fighting issue though is the same with ANY dog. Yes, there may be a slightly higher chance with a bully, but, as said, it can happen with any dog. I have to break up fights with my little ones all the time. I have never had to do it with my bullies.

To keep away from fights breaking out is simple. Keep your dog on a leash at all times and stay away completely from dog parks. What I did before I got my little ones is just found other people with bully dogs and invited them over or went out to their house to have play dates. It is a lot of fun for the dogs and the owners get to chat while the dogs play. Like I said before though, I would never let them play unattended. I mean, don't put them in the back yard and go in for coffee.

Another thing is the training. I have trained quite a few dogs before, but with those two I had to completely change the way I trained to fit them. They can be very stubborn and it seems that at certain times, even though they know what is right and wrong, that they will still test you hard.

It is good to think long and hard about getting one of these dogs and I commend you for doing the research before instead of after.

The looks, the comments, the snickers, the whispers that you may get while walking your dog are hard. But when you get home and lay down on the couch and he jumps on top of you to snuggle.....it is soooo worth it.

Oh and thanks about my gang. I love 'em lol.
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Old 06-20-2007, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss View Post

The other thing is: How do the people that have dog aggressive Bullies handle it when other dogs are off-leash and run up to them?
I do know that Ella has been bad about this but she appears selective of course...SHe gets her back up if the dog invades her space out of nowhere and is walking along the street..At the dog park, she goes nuts for all dogs and plays well...
I have a dog aggressive APBT and it can be a chore when you are out exercising...you have to keep a constant eye out for dogs and try to deter them before they get within leash distance.
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Old 06-20-2007, 03:22 PM
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SisMorphine that was an a wesome response. Some people use a breaking stick when they are out in case a fight occurs.
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Old 06-20-2007, 03:57 PM
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I carry a breaking stick in my tote bag when I go to the training club where we work agility and obedience. There really isn't that much to keeping your dog out of a dog fight. Early socialization and sensible training really works wonders on these dogs. Yes, you have to use common sense -- I wouldn't touch an off-lead dog park -- but its not as restrictive as it seems.

If you really get involved with your dog, they will respond. Loki has shown me that she can be hot at times, but she also knows that she's not allowed to just go up and start wailing on somebody's dog. When I've got her out, she's on my time, and under my expectations of behavior. If another dog ran out and took a swipe at her, it would be on like Donkey Kong. But the general rule is, play nice or don't play at all. But I also don't push her boundaries and don't force her to make nice with a dog that she's already expressed a dislike of.

As far as keeping other dogs away, I generally stomp and yell while keeping between the dogs. Some people choose to carry pepper spray or stun batons. Sometimes a big stick can be enough.
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