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Our American Pit Bull Terrier
The purpose of this page is not only to show off Maddy, but to help educate people on Pit Bulls. There are too many untrue second-hand stories and theories that people hear and think they know about them. The American Pit Bull Terrier FAQ is a good place to start.
|Maddy at 5 months, showing off her polar fleece vest|
Maddy came into our family Friday June 7th. A person I work with had a litter of American Pit Bull Terriers a few months ago, and was going to keep two of the puppies but decided that they only wanted to keep one. So they had this one puppy left, a brindle and white female that was almost 12 weeks old. They knew that we were moving into our house and had been talking about getting a dog at some point, and asked if we were interested in coming to see the puppy. That was all it took, we couldn't resist how cute she was and took her home for a "trial" with the cats on that Friday.
This was our first experience with any dog or puppy, so it was quite an eye-opener to how much care they require and how dependant they are. We had been cat owners for so long and didn't realize the huge difference, so it was a long weekend with little sleep for us. The cats did better than we expected with her, and although we were exhausted, there was no way we could give her back and decided to keep her!
We've had quite the adventure so far with her, and it was a fairly steep learning curve on how to care for and properly train a dog. But we've had lots of help from Zabrina Husk of Zspot on learning about crate training, puppy training, food selection (we now buy only human grade for our cats and dog), and now full obedience training. We want Maddy to be a well trained dog to show that Pit Bulls are not the dogs that the rumors and untrue stories make them out to be. We are sure that after we finish the training in Zabrina's class that everyone will be impressed by her as a Pit Bull, and a dog period.
About Pit Bulls in general:
One of the more humorous parts of owning a Pit Bull is telling people that we got a Pit Bull or when they ask what kind of dog she is (since she is a puppy it's not obvious yet). Their (bad) reputation proceeds them, of which the most common we hear are Pit Bulls suddenly turning on their owners for no reason, their "lockjaw" that can't be opened, and other interesting things. When we ask where they heard or saw this, we get the usual mothers-cousins-friends-daughter told me. While it's humorous as to how outrageous most of it is, it's also bad as it makes people scared of the dogs when they shouldn't be, which can lead to Breed Specific Legislation against them when enough people get on the bandwagon. As I stated above, the APBT FAQ is a good place to start to find out the truth about Pit Bulls, along with hundreds of other sites, webrings, and message groups devoted to Pit Bulls.
Before you say that your mothers-cousins-friends-daughter was bit/attacked by a Pit Bull and that we are wrong, read the above information or come see Maddy in person and you'll see how sweet and loving Pit Bulls can be. The worst she will do is lick you to death. We know that that there are mean/vicious/bad Pit Bulls out there, but it's not an inherent trait in their blood line, it's from lack of training or incorrect training (to attack, fight, whatever), lack or proper human and animal socialization, and breeding of dogs that have a bad disposition for the purpose of breeding mean dogs for fighting, etc. As with anything, the few bad people outweigh the rest of the good people who breed good Pit Bulls for pets instead of fighting, and the thousands of happy Pit Bull owners are brushed aside for the few stories of Pit Bull attacks.
From the ADBA's myth page:
MYTH: American Pit Bull Terriers are born mean.
FACT: In a letter to James Huffman of Columbus, Ohio, Alfons Estelt of the American Temperament Test Society, Inc., an international dog temperament test organization, wrote the following: "The American Pit Bull Terriers participating in our temperament evaluation have thus far shown a passing rate of 95%. The other 121 breeds of dogs in our tests showed the average passing rate of 77%. While the heredity factor is of measurable importance, these results show that a dog, even if used for dogfighting, is not pre-disposed as such, but is brought by his environment."
Image courtesy of Karen, Lilac Hills APBTs, background courtesy of MAC, the APBT FAQ