29 thoughts on “Open Thread

    1. Well, I don’t blame them, not so much because of the “bite” statistics, but because of the “shelter statistics” where more pitbulls are killed every year than any other kind of dog.

      As much as I think a dog is a dog is a dog, pit-bulls have a “breed” specific problem; namely “pit-bull people”. In face of studies that prove pit-bull owners are more likely to be young, irresponsible, and/or unstable – all factors that contribute to aggressive dogs, unplanned breeding, and unwanted dogs – it seems like the responsible pit-bull owners have banded together to protest “stereotyping the breed”.

      And agreed, any large dog, poorly managed, can become a danger and a threat to people. I know enough Labs and Retrievers who are terrors.

      But maybe a better campaign than “pitties are misunderstood, gentle, baby-loving, pumpkin-pie sweeties” would be “pit bulls are large dogs who, like any dog, can be remarkably destructive without appropriate exercise, stimulation, and discipline”. How about even, “Not a Great Dog for the First-time Dog Owner”.

      Statistics show that in all counties where pit-bull ownership has been disincentivized, pit-bull deaths have plummeted. Apparently a breed-ban, or even mandatory spay/neuter laws for pit-bulls provide enough hassle to keep irresponsible people from acquiring pit-bulls in haste and repenting later.

      And the responsible pit-bull people are the first to claim the legislation is pointless, if irresponsible dog owners find getting pit-bulls a hassle, then they can just go out and get a german shepherd, rottweiler, mastiff, etc. And the numbers seem to support it, because despite /often steep/ drops in the number of pit-bulls killed, the yearly intake seems to remain the same. Or to put it another way, around the same amount of dogs killed, just less were pit-bulls.

      So at the end of the day, perhaps breed specific legislation doesn’t save lives. It saves pit-bulls.

  1. All kinds of people own Pit Bulls. They are medium sized, not large, and they make excellent first dogs because they are so eager to please and, therefore, easy to train. They are very sensitive, so you have to be gentle with them, which reinforces good behavior among the dogs’ human companions. And they are super affectionate. Some of them can develop negative behaviors if they are treated badly, because they are so sensitive, and they can be trained to do bad things because they are so eager to please, but most of them are owned by good people who love their gentle, affectionate, goofy, playful dogs.

    1. Yes, all kinds of people own pit-bulls. But the overwhelming portion of them who end up in kill shelters speaks for itself – how much they appeal to people who can’t provide safe, long term homes. . . The pit-bull isn’t the only breed that suffers from this problem. There are thousands of Chihuahuas that are killed every year for the same reason.
      Every time there is a movie released, 101 Dalmations, Beethoven, etc, lovers of the breed explode everywhere with messages about how a Dalmation or St Bernard just might not be the dog for you. They talk about how much work their dog is, health issues, training difficulties, etc.
      In response to thousands and thousands of pit-bull deaths every year, pit-bull lovers get on soap boxes and talk about how loving, gentle, trainable and sweet pitbulls are.
      Maybe pit-bull legislation, although an unfair hassle to most pit-bull owners, just helps pit-bulls find homes with good people who love their gentle, affectionate, goofy, playful dogs.

      1. I reject these types of arguments. They are akin to: If we make it a requirement (or a law) that all [fill in the blank with any specific group that some have irrational fear of] people have to go to brain surgery school then everyone will start treating them with respect bc they are brain surgeons.
        Discrimination as a means to end discrimination has been tried. Always a failure.

  2. Kinda hard to have them in a home when the laws you support requires them to be rounded up and killed. Those same laws ban animal controls from adopting them out and in many cases, even sending them to rescues.

    There is no such thing as a pit bull. That is your first mistake and proves you know nothing. Pit bull is every medium to large dog with slick fur. The head doesn’t even have to be “boxy” anymore thanks to the media fueled hysterics. American Bulldogs and Am Staffs are both thrown in this label. But they are very different breeds with very different temperaments. Yet, ignorant people like you want to paint them all with the same brush.

    I’ve seen full blooded, papered labs become pits when they bite. Because, there is no way a lab would bite! Pit bulls have saved lives time and again. But you will never find that trend on Google. Because the media won’t name the breed when it is a “pit bull” then. It would go against their “evil killer” storyline.

    BSL only punishes the honest pet owners and innocent dogs. Because the criminals don’t give a damn about breaking one more law.

    1. Absolutely! You are preventing good owners from adopting/keeping a bully breed and allowing the criminals and dog fighters to continue the awfulness they do. Ultimately, too many dogs pay with their lives.

  3. The local newspaper I subscribe to, the Herald-Mail (published in Hagerstown, MD) often has positive stories about dogs that include Pit Bulls. There was one that ran a few days ago about an exercise program for dogs and their owners that had four pictures of the teacher’s Pit Bull, Nina, doing athletic things. The Journal (published in Martinsburg, WV), another local paper that usually isn’t as animal friendly, had a front page story last year about how misunderstood Pit Bulls are. (For the record, my dog, Redd, is an American Pit Bull Terrier.)

  4. I was 52 years old before getting my first dog. Jake was a pittie. Before I went to the kill shelter to adopt him, thank God no one told me I wasn’t supposed to rescue a big black bully breed. Since then, we’ve been guardians to seven other pitties and pittie mixes – as well as several smaller breeds. I love pitties and AmStaffs and wish I has started this “affair of the heart” much sooner. I miss you Jake, Darla, Rowdy and Mosby. Mabel, Gracie, Rosie and Beau, you make me smile every day.

    1. I use Safeguard goat dewormer for all my animals (cats and dogs; no goats). Always works well, no adverse reactions.

      1. Thanks Susan. I ordered the dog version. While researching, I came across some horse owners talking about dewormers in terms of dosing for 1500 pounds and such. Reminds me I have it easy by comparison.

  5. I have been reading some websites regarding kidney disease management for dogs. If anyone has any particular site (or book) they recommend on the topic, please share. I am also interested in anecdotal experiences.

    1. Nothing personally, however when I was dealing with combined kidney & thyroid problems with my old cat I found a couple yahoo groups specifically designed for the support of folks who are dealing with animals with those problems. They were a HUGE help to me, not only for moral support, but for ideas in how to deal with meds, questions to ask my vet, and so on.

    2. I second the support group idea. They often have so much combined experience, you end up teaching your vet a thing or two.

      Sub Q fluids at home. Reducing phosphorus in the diet, upping the quality of protein and increasing moisture in the diet. Anti nausea meds, oh lord, how I wish I had the choices ten years ago that I have now! And antacids. Slippery elm for the constipation. B12. B complex. And a willingness to some days say, “Screw it” and do whatever makes them happy right then and there, even if it’s bad for them. You get back on the wagon the next day. Life it too short to do otherwise.

      1. The groups are so useful.

        It was to the point where my vet was giving me everything in powder form so I could make up my own combined pills for the cat cause she’d let us pill her ONCE, but if we had to get a 2nd pill down her at any point in the next few hours she’d fight and hide…..but the groups suggested buying empty gel-caps and combining meds, got me links to tiny measuring spoons for measuring the tiny amounts for a 7lb cat, gave me the info to convince my vet that I COULD do it. I swear it gave us several more months of reasonable health and happiness that we’d have not had if we’d not been able to get the meds into her.

    3. My experience is with cats … another link is: http://felinecrf.com/ This is basically the same as Tanya’s Comprehensive Guide, but the old one has more dead links. I’m not aware of any that are completely up to date, which is a damn shame. The guide was pretty much my crutch.

      They’ve got some links on canine CRF: http://felinecrf.com/links0.htm#29

  6. Thanks for the quick responses. Dead links are a huge problem I keep running into so I’ve been relying more on search engines. I will definitely look into any online forums.

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