To continue the series on Pit-bull ownership, I offer another account of a dog owner and his bully breed. The Interview with a pit-bull owner series (IWAPBO) is my attempt at offering a more balanced story of a new world I’ve become a part of: the Pit-bull world.
My guest in this Interview is Gary C. from Kansas City, MO.
Catsdogsharmony: What makes Pitbulls (PB), so special?
Gary C: They’re unique. They’re smart. Historically they were bred to watch over children. That’s why they are good with them.
I did some brief research on this after the interview to verify this information. According to two different websites that I will quote below, this seems to have some merit. The first is from Alternet.com. Link here.
“For most of the 114 years since the American pitbull terrier was first recognized by the United Kennel Club, the breed was rightly seen as the perfect “nanny dog” for children because of its friendly nature, loyalty and stability. As the ASPCA notes, the pitbulls were “once considered especially non-aggressive to people.””January 30, 2013, 4:00 PM GMT
Unfortunately, the wrong kind of people are still finding the first strain of the pit bull dog attractive as guard dogs for illegal activities. They are stout built dogs with square heads and firms jaw lines and a very ominous appearance. In the wrong hands, the pit bulls are trained to protect their owners during illegal activities such as drug deals. They are trained not to let ANYONE come near their owners or their property. Many of them are not being trained to warn their owner or to keep the stranger at bay, they are being trained to attack and kill whoever or whatever comes near. They are being trained to be aggressive.
Now, back to the Q&A:
CDH: Have you always liked PBs?
GC: Yes, I’ve always liked them. I like Pitbulls, and German Shepards.
CDH: So what made you decide to get one?
GC: I always knew I wanted one.
CDH: How many PBs do you have? Names? Male or female? Purebred or mixed?
GC: I have one. Its a male, his name is Apollo. He’s a purebred, blue-nose.
CDH: Did you adopt or buy? How long have you had him?
GC: He was bred. I picked him out of a litter of 7 when he was a puppy.
CDH: How old is he now?
GC: He’ll be 2 years old in December.
CDH: Is he an inside or outside dog?
GC: Inside, only goes out to go to the bathroom.
CDH: What personality does your PB have?
GC: Crazy! He just likes to look at me funny and smile at me. He loves to ride with me. He doesn’t tear anything up when he’s in the car, he just jumps in the car and looks around, ready to go.
He doesn’t like to be inside the house. When I let him out he really doesn’t like to come back in. I’ll call him, and he hears me but he looks around everywhere but at me, then when I call his name louder he eventually comes in. (Gary demonstrates by lowering his head and looking left to right as if he’s trying to avoid looking at me).
Sometimes when me and my wife will be relaxing on the bed. If he’s up on the bed too he’ll try to wiggle between us if we getting too close, like he don’t like seeing us hugged up. (I laughed at this).
He can break out of his cage somehow too. I don’t know how he’s opening the door but he can.
CDH: What brand of dog food do you feed him, and how much does he eat?
GC: He eats 3 times a day. About 1 1/2 cup in the morning, then 1/2 cup for lunch and dinner. I feed him Purina One, Adult. I feed him dry food, but he gets wet food mixed in on the for breakfast and on the weekends. And sometimes I put in a raw egg too, to keep his fur looking shiny. There’s a special shampoo I use for him too to keep his white coat from looking dingy. (He couldn’t remember the brand, but I did a quick search online and found that Walmart carries a brand called Healthy Breeds Pit Bull Bright Whitening Shampoo. This may be it.)
CDH: Do you feed him scraps?
GC: No, not really, only rib bones.
CDH: Is he allowed on the furniture?
GC: He’s not allowed on the couch, but we let him on the bed. My wife doesn’t mind, she treats him like a big baby. He likes to try to sit on my feet though! I’m like “get off my feet, your’e too big”, then he gives me a look when he walks away.
CDH: What kind of toys does he like to play with?
GC: He likes to chew on the rope and he likes (empty) water bottles. I’m looking for some other kinds he might like.
CDH: Have you had any bad experiences with any PBs?
CDH: How about other peoples negative opinions of PBs? Has anybody ever given you flak for having one?
GC: Nobody personally said anything, its just some places that don’t allow you to have them. Some apartment complexes won’t accept them, saying that they’re aggressive. My thing is, you’ve never met my dog. How do you know he’s aggressive? I can always put him up in another room if someone comes over or if maintenance needs to come in my apartment.
CDH: What about stories where a PB supposedly attacked someone?
GC: They might have been abused, used as fighting pits. The way they were raised makes a difference. With shelter pets you never know what their past was. And some dogs just don’t play well with others.
(I can attest to this. When my daughter and I were looking through the shelters there were some dogs we looked at that were NOT Pitbulls or any Bully breed that the shelter people turned us away from saying they were were aggressive or not suitable for households with other pets.)
CDH: What about attacks on kids/babies?
GC: Maybe the kid was grabbing on it in a way it didn’t like. Sometimes kids play rough. A dog can’t talk and say “stop”, it has teeth so it might bite if it feels threatened or in danger. Its only trying to protect itself. Also, I think the media puts too much attention on this breed. There are other dogs that bite and attack people, but you never hear about that. I’m sure somewhere a miniature schnauzer has hurt somebody, but you won’t hear about that in the news.
As for babies, there’s the noise. Dogs don’t like certain noises, it gets them nervous. And certain (sporadic) movements.
CDH: Any advice for anyone thinking of adopting a PB?
GC: Go for it. Don’t believe the hype. I’m planning on getting another one myself. A girlfriend for Apollo. I want the same coloring. When they have a litter I’m hoping for a solid white puppy.
One thing you can try when they are misbehaving is to put some pennies in a empty water bottle or can and rattle it when they are doing something wrong while you’re saying ‘no’. They don’t like that sound, and they’ll stop whatever they’re doing.
End of Interview
So here is another point of view from a PB owner. I am continuing to educate myself about this breed and my dog’s particular quirks and needs. I always learn something new from hearing how other PB owners live with and take care of their dogs.
Until next time, Keep the Harmony!