February will make six months that I have owned my dog, Biscuit. The shelter labeled him as a “pitbull mix” although I’m not sure of his exact DNA makeup.
A chapter in a recent book that I read simply titled Pitbull, by Bronwen Dickey talked about the frequency of breed mislabeling. Examples of experimental dog breeding proved that it is nearly impossible to tell the breed of a dog solely on its looks. Examples were given of various dogs that look like a particular breed but weren’t, and other dogs that were only one or two generations away from its purebred ancestry that didn’t look the part at all.
I bring this up because I have been wondering how much of a pitbull Biscuit really is. I travel with my dogs quite a bit on my errands and whenever I go through a drive-thru Biscuit, sitting on the front seat, draws quite a bit of attention. I get lots of compliments about him and hardly any on my Husky-Lab Jordi. But that’s not the point.
The point is, many people offer their opinions on what he is. One gentleman at the McDonald’s drive-thru told me he liked my Bully-pit(Pitbull and Bulldog). I looked up that particular breed later and I concluded that Biscuit was definitely a Bully-pit.
A pet store worker remarked on how cute my Bully-Staff was. She pulled out her phone and showed me web-searched photos of Staffordshire crossed Bulldogs and sure enough, Biscuit looks like he could be one.
I asked fellow members of a Facebook Pitbull group what they thought my dog might be mixed with. “Typical APBT”, American Pitbull Terrier is what one member opined.
Even still, photos of Biscuit at work drew opinions of him having some Boston Terrier in his blood. So many labels. But who’s right? I am only slightly interested in his background but plan to do a DNA test when I can afford. The most accurate ones can be quite expensive.
Part of the reason I want to test his DNA is to prove a point. I’ve gotten so much negative feedback about his breed status, that I would like to show some people they don’t know what they think they do. On second thought, I suppose I could do that by just continuing to raise him with love, care, and discipline and allowing him to naturally become an ambassador for himself.
I don’t want to be like some of the gung-ho Pitbull lovers that sing the praises of pitbulls being nothing but lovey-dovey softies that wouldn’t hurt a fly. If given a reason, Biscuit would hurt someone(or some dog). But not without cause. And not because he’s a monster.
Biscuit is a strong dog with a strong personality. And it takes strong guidance to keep him on track. I feel like I’m up for the task. In the past several months I’ve learned a lot about him. What he likes and doesn’t like. What scares him and what aggravates him.
Biscuit, like other dogs, is a result of nature and nurture. He is a culmination of the unique personality he was born with as well as whatever history he had from puppy up to the time I adopted him.
Biscuit ain’t no perfect pup! He’s got issues. But then, again so do I. Biscuit doesn’t care to be around most other dogs.(I don’t like to be around most other people.) He barks like crazy at the fence when the smaller dogs on either side of my fence come out to their yard. But then again they bark back too! One of them even escaped from his yard and came at us while we were walking in the street and tried to jump on Biscuit. Let’s just say it’s a good thing I had a good hold on the leash because that little bugger was determined to pick a fight. He got away safely enough.
I guess the differences between us is whereas he is a creature possessing a powerful physique with a more simplified thought process, that reacts to his environment; I am a creature of higher intellect with the ability to use logic and rationality instead of lashing out at every injustice (surely there aren’t people like that?).
If given the opportunity a human could both probably cause the same amount of damage, but because most humans exert more control over emotions/impulse, we don’t.
As time goes on I’m feeling more comfortable with him. That’s not to say I’m getting comfortable, and letting my guard down. I realize ultimately he and Jordi are animals of instinct and drive. But I’m comfortable enough to enjoy his company and respect his place in the family.
Biscuit is a loving dog. And he does have his goofy moments. He has proven to be both protective and possessive of my daughter and me. He is spunky, but shows a willingness to learn. He’s good on a leash and despite constant warnings that he will maul my cats one day, so far all is well. I think he even has found a friend in one of my younger cats, Clover.
At present, what he is and what he isn’t has yet to be determined and I’m okay with that. Because the same goes for me.
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Until next time,
“Keep the harmony!”
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