This is the biggie with pit bulls, and here's some comments on it --
- Background. Pit bulls were and are bred for dog aggression. This aggression varies per dog, and some pit bulls don't show ANY signs of dog aggression -- HOWEVER...
- adults - if an adult shows signs of dog aggression, this has to be managed. This is not something you can "train out" of a dog -- they just have it. What you CAN do is go to obedience class to learn traits like deference, etc., so the dog focuses on you, the owner, in such situations -- however, from my experience, this is a breed trait that must be managed and cannot be "trained out" of a dog.
- Responsible ownership. If your pup is dog aggressive, here's the part where you respect your dog, when having to put them in foreign situations:
- If you have to leave your pup:
- Do NOT have a "friend" take care of them who is not 100% on board with responsible ownership. Neither your friend nor your pup deserves such chaos.
- Kennel your dog in a pit bull savvy kennel. This includes:
- runs where the dogs can't cage-fight (tongues are lost this way)
- responsible handlers
- covered runs (severely aggressive dogs will climb runs to get at other dogs)
- puppies - pit bull puppies have a blessed curse, in a way -- they're by far one of the cutsiest puppies out there; however, they're pit bulls inside. Being pit bulls inside, they're wonderful creatures, but they may eventully show signs of dog aggression, their breed trait. This may come at any age, but is more commonly seen at 10-12 months.
- What puppy parents can do:
- take your love to obedience class to raise her with plenty of socialization, which is a BIG plus in helping their domestic development.
- never allow children to walk or care for the dog -- by this, I mean children under 16 years of age. These dogs require adult judgment, and with a child, a situation could force a situation that you would never want.
- For example, if a child is walking her 1 year old pit bull on a leash, and the pit bull sees a sweet little Golden Retriever on the road, the pit may (a) want to play (a good sign) or (b) may want to aggress. If you're in plan (b) (or in plan (a), which may lead to plan (b)) and the dog pulls toward the Golden, and the child either drops the leash, or the Golden approaches the pit bull and a fight ensues, what will happen? You, the pit bull owner, will be blamed, regardless, in many situations, who started the fight. This is how society unfortunately treats pit bulls today. But wait, beyond the blame, you have:
- a pit bull, biting another dog, likely dominating
- your child, helpless --
- another owner, ready to hit your dog, increasing their risk of getting bit
- no real experience on how to peacably split up this fight
- your HUGE liability of vet bills, dangerous dog fines, and oversealous attornies who sniff out "pit bull attacks"
- What a responsible adult would do in this situation:
- Say to to themselves, "I know my dog, and he has his own personality. This is not a situation I am willing to risk his life, the Golden's life, or my future for" -- and instead, you divert your pup, and walk in the other direction. Simple, huh? Such a situation doesn't deserve you losing your pup, and you made the right decision in walking away from it.
- Children often cannot make such decisions, and instead want the dogs to "have fun" in such situations, leading to mistakes which may be magnified by your pup's physical strength and personality.