Fell in love with a dog at the shelter today.. but it might be *mixed* with Pit Bull. Yea or neigh?

Don’t know if you remember me but I started this thread after our beloved dog died:


We looked for pure bred dogs but then decided we’d try to adopt one from a shelter. There are SO MANY dogs that need homes… it’s enough to break this dog lover’s heart. Anyhow, we’ve been visiting every couple of weeks and today we fell in LOVE with the sweetest 9 month old female who looked boxer with a small lab build… she was mostly white though with a patch on her eye. We spent about an hour with her in the observation room and I can’t even begin to tell you how gentle & just “sweet” she was. They told me when she arrived at their shelter two months ago she was starving and had no hair… they said it probably fell out from stress. :frowning: Anyhow, I loved this dog and we all thought, well this is it… hard to describe but after looking at so many different dogs, it just seemed like she was meant to be ours. Until the guy checked her vet records and said, “She’s mixed with Pit - just so you know.” Uggg. I have this prejudice against pit bulls… it seems like they are always in the news after mauling somebody. It probably doesn’t help that I get the daily Chicago paper & Pits are a gang banger’s signature dog.

So my fellow dog lovers… what say you? Honestly, she seemed SO SWEET and the shelter said she gets along great with other dogs … and spent time in a foster home with kids and did just fine. "Loves everyone"is what’s written in her chart.

Still… a pit bull? I’m almost afraid to ask but here goes… what are your thoughts?

Many different breeds are called “Pit Bulls” by the public, but I think only one breed shares the actualy name.

This topic in the dog world raises a great argument. Some love pits, some hate them. Some think they are “Lassielike” others want them put down. You will not get a clear majority on this one!

My take? Many “Pit Bull” like dogs are monsters and guard dogs for meth labs for a reason. Get the kids a yellow lab pure bred and then you may not worry about permanent scars.

I think it would depend, quite frankly on you. Certain dog breeds require certain kind of owners – by that I mean, that a strong dog needs a strong owner as the master. My nephew has a pit that is the sweetest dog, but I personally know that I am not the right type of owner for that kind of dog – that and several other breeds.

I think if you are the right kind of owner to give the discipline and structure they need, they can be great dogs. I know others might not agree, but this is just my opinion. I would certainly advise that you get her into a puppy training program immediately. And as always, I wouldn’t allow her (or any dog, for that matter) around children until you know how she would handle them – I have a poodle/schnauzer mix, and I even watch her carefully around children until I know how she’s going to react.

Ultimately only you can make the decision for you and your family but personally the fact that she’s a pit mix would not curtail me (especially since she’s so young) if all the other factors that I mentioned are satisfied.

It sounds like this dog is well socialized and probably doesn’t represent an elevated threat. Many “pit bulls” get a bad rap because they are abused, chained up 24/7, etc, and finally lash out and hurt someone. It doesn’t sound like this dog has had this problem. Just my uneducated opinion.

Read this article: pitbulls.org/article/are-pit-bulls-dangerous

The temperament of any mutt is completely unpredictable. Completely calm breeds may end up with a wild mutt and vice-versa. However at 9 months most of the natural personality should already be developed, excluding it being a bit more energetic than normal and possibly lacking some aspects that come from sexual development if it is a larger breed. The most you can do besides looking at its current personality is checking how proportionate its paws are to its body size, if the paws still look big it will probably still grow quite a bit and if you don’t think you can control such a dog then it is best not to get it.

You sort of answered the question I’m wondering about most. They have no way of knowing for sure what sort of dog it is… or the % of pit bull if at all… … the body looks like a “smallish” lab - it doesn’t have the broad chest of a pit bull. It also had a smallish head… it’s a flat head though - and the ears look like pit bull ears. Plus that patch over the eye. Isn’t that typical pit bull? I have no idea… ? But here’s what I wonder… if it’s a “mutt” isn’t it more likely to have the traits of any one breed watered down?

So if she’s sweet now - I wonder if she’ll stay that way? She shared a run with 2 other dogs and they said she showed no agressive tendencies at all. I’ve since read that those can come later after they mature sexually.

Maybe the other poster is right though… why take even the smallest of chances? If I lived alone without kids I would adopt that sweet dog in a second.

Erm… any breed can attack and leave scars, or even be lethal. Pure bred has nothing to do with it, and labs are no more benign, especially if they are allowed to become dominant. And your statement about ‘pit bull’ like dogs being monsters? PEOPLE make them that way. They have failed to understand the massive strength of this breed and let it rule the roost, or have beaten and isolated it into being said ‘monster’. I believe people are the worse monster than the dogs in these cases. Just want you to check your biases a bit, no harm intended.
I received a nasty bite from a golden retriever as a child, and when I worked as a vet tech I received my most painful bite from a darn Maltese (she was whelping, and was very protective of her babies).

That being said, pit bulls are very strong and require experienced dog owners. We rescued a Boxer-bullmastiff mix, and many people assume both of those to be very aggressive dogs. He is 86 pounds of muscle, and looks like a small horse walking down the street. But he is the sweetest, most gentle dog ever. We are very careful with him, and we never leave children alone with any dog, no matter how big or small. That is just common sense, as children often don’t know empathy or that when they sit on a big dog it hurts them. In the wrong hands, our Beowulf (that’s his name) could probably be a nightmare. He is powerful, headstrong, and has a GIANT HEAD. He could easily fit my border collie’s head in his mouth.

bottom line is that breed has a lot less to do with it than the owner’s abilities and good common sense.

Sorry to be a little long winded :wink: I am a dog lover here.

I wouldn’t worry about the dog, since you have examined her temperament and plan on caring for her in a reasonable manner. My experience with dogs who are mistaken for or are actually pit bulls is that they are sweet, loving dogs as pets, very eager to please, and are very fond of humans, and may not be fond of other dogs. Know your dog, train your dog, put your dog in the right situation for your dog. This goes for all dogs.

My only caution specific to a pit bullish in appearance dog is to be aware of how your neighbors might react to the dog.

I think they are wonderful pets, very obedient and attentive. Also playful. Give many play opportunities.

I am too.I have a boxer and a bichon.Of course any dog can be gentle, and any dog can dominate the house. However, many breeds of “pit bull” are truly dangerous dogs.


However, many breeds of “pit bull” are truly dangerous dogs.

Lets just agree to disagree on this one :smiley:
Boxers have a pretty bad rap sometimes, they tend to be very energetic and protective and people aren’t always good about exercising them. Personally, I have never met a large dog that I didn’t like! Eventually we want an Old English Mastiff, preferably a rescue. Our 2 busy pups keep us pretty busy for now.
Thankfully our big bully mutt is pretty lethargic, he gets pooped after a 1 mile walk while the border collie mix is still good to go after a 3 mile jog.

Heck your border collie is just getting limbered up after 3 miles:D got love their energy.

As to the OP next time you are in the observation room with this dog be agressive with the one she/he is more attached to .You will find out what kind of dog you have on your hands.
My wife’s pit bull cross was all sweet and lovey till i would play slap my wife, if i didn’t watch i could have lost my hand.

I wouldn’t risk it. I once knew a guy who raised pits for fighting. If one ever lost a fight, he took it out back and shot it, to eliminate any chance that the submissive genes would be passed on to another generation of pits. Only the meanest, most aggressive dogs survived to spread their genes.

A shelter dog who came in totally bald and starving probably did not have the greatest owners around. Even if this particular dog wasn’t bred for this, there is no way of knowing anything about his genetics without a pedigree. All it takes is for a child to pull on the jowls or for something to flash in his peripheral vision for some latent instinct to kick in and then it’s all over.

Personally, if this dog is ever going to be around children, I wouldn’t chance it.

Pit bulls have a reputation that is largely undeserved. Out of an estimated 5 million Pit Bull and Rottweilers in the U.S., there are fewer than 100 that attack unprovoked each year.

A good friend of mine breeds APTs, and my cousin purchased one several years ago. They sometimes don’t know their own strength, but they are some of the most gentle and affectionate dogs I have ever known.

Dogs need good owners, and good owners tend to make good dogs. I say go for it. :slight_smile:

How old are your childern? I would think that as long as the know how to behave around ANY dog then you would be okay.

I don’t buy into the breed makes a dog inherently bad. Bad people turn dogs into monsters. After watching the show Pit Bills and Parolees and SPCA rescue shows on the animal planet i am reaffirmed to that. Some of these dogs have been through the worst and are still good gentle dogs who just want love and to give love. If this dog is gentle and submisive around other dogs there isn’t anything to suggest it won’t continue. I would hate to see you pass up a dog just because it “might” have some part pit.

Go check out this website which talks about the temperment of certain breeds. atts.org/statistics.html

My sister rescued a dog in DC. The pound couldn’t list the dog as having part pit in it because they would have had to put it down. This is one of the most gentle dogs ever. He is a huge cuddle bug and even gets along with 4 other dogs in its pack including a huskie and are the dogs are all over 40lbs. The possiblity of having pit in him doesn’t make him a bad dog.

No matter what breed you get you need to be a good owner and train your dog and train the people who come into contact with the dog. Teach it that you are the alpha and where its position in the pack is and crate train it and train everyone else to stay out of the crate (as this is the dogs own room, its place).Treat the dog with respect and you will have a great pet who will give you nothing but love!

<FYI: I have been a pet owner all my life. I have gotten more injuries from my cats then the dogs that i have been in contact with (growing up or at my parents or family members houses.) >

I agree with this opinion. Because pit bulls are being bred for aggressiveness and for fighting, sometimes to the death, any dog that has a mix including pit bull will be uncertain for aggressiveness. You just don’t know if any aggressiveness will ever come out, or when it might. I would almost rather have a true pit bull because at least you would be extra-cautious, knowing that the breed characteristics are likely there in a large percentage. With a mix, you have no idea and when the dog is sweet, you might forget to be cautious.

If you take a decent sized dog breed you are taking a small (but not at all significant) chance no matter what. If you looks at the numbers for pit bull mixes (dogbitelaw.com/Dog%20Attacks%201982%20to%202006%20Clifton.pdf) they aren’t really higher than any other dog. Pitbulls themselves are one of the few on that list that really stand out.

Well if animals are pure instinct and that makes a breed then no one with childern should ever own a dachshund. See when you see the cute little winner dog destroying a toy and laugh you don’t think…i wonder why they do that…well its because they are breed that way. They were breed to kill badgers and they have the instinct to go for the throat for the kill shot. Yet we don’t say ban dachshunds!! Why because there is much more to a dog then pure instinct. Its natural temperment and the way it is trained have a lot to do with it. I say learn about the breed you are thinking of getting and get one that fits within your needs and then look at the dogs. Not all dogs within the same breed have the same personalities!

-I’ve never forgotten the young couple in the neighborhood who naively bought a male and female pit bull . . . they went out one morning and one dog had killed the other . . . ghastly . . . and there was an awful national news story about the little toddler who was killed in a hall by a pit bull around that time . . . *Lord have mercy . . . *

Not a marveloous breed to have even the tiniest part of in a pet’s gene pool . . .
[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+[/RIGHT]

Do you have a veterinarian? They are really the best source for advice concerning dog breeds. You can also google the veterinary college at Cornell University and check out their behavior link on their page.

For a couple of years, we had a labrador-pit mix (spayed female) who we obtained when she was six years old. She had been abandoned in a house when the owners were evicted, and eventually came to the attention of a private rescue group. Chablis (or “Shabby,” as she came to be called because my four year old neighbor couldn’t pronounce her real name,) looked positively ferocious, as she was jet black, but she was the sweetest girl. She and our resident dog, Rusty, got to be good friends. We only had her for two years, and lost her to cancer. I am thankful we made her last couple of years happy in a stable, responsible and loving home, and she never acted aggressive, even when she played with Rusty, who was a big, confident labrador-shepherd-border collie mix. They would rough-house, but it never got serious, and neither of them ever got hurt, and the biggest struggle they had was to see who got to sit on our laps in the evening!

You do, however, have to provide kind, strong, and consistent leadership with any dog. In a leadership vacuum, any dog will feel insecure, and any dog with the least bit of self respect will attempt to assume the “leader of the pack” role, and even attempt to lord it over you! And this means any dog, from the most miniscule chihuahua to the biggest cane corso. If you’re not an experienced dog owner, it’s a wise idea to commit to obedience classes with your dog, and be prepared to do some training sessions with him or her at home.

Both Shabby and Rusty are gone now. And now I have a silly little beagle named Monty in my home. I simply can’t imagine a dogless existence, and thank God daily that He saw fit to create these loyal and loving creatures to grace our lives.

I don’t know anything about pitties. I’ve met some nice ones and I’ve met some I wouldn’t go near,
If you decide to pass on the pittie, check out some retired racing greyhounds! They make wonderful pets. I’ve been around a lot of them, nice dogs, and I know that there are groups in/near Chicago. :slight_smile: I currently have 2, had 6 of them, but over the years, 4 have left me. I’ve had over 45 fosters in my home and helped move greyhounds to new homes many times by giving them rides in my suv. In over 12 years, I’ve only met one that I was nervous of even a little bit. Anyhow, thought I’d put in a plug for retired racing greyhounds! :slight_smile:

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