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Thread: 1 y/o Pit/Shepherd mix with kids

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  1. #1

    1 y/o Pit/Shepherd mix with kids

    I am concerned/worried ...my daughter just got a Pit/German Shepherd mix from the local shelter, he is 1 y/o and looks like a straight Pit to me, and appears to have 'zero' training. They have a 15 m/o baby and I have heard horror stories about these dogs mauling kids. I don't know anything about the breed other than both breeds are biters. Also, I am afraid to let our dogs (Aussie, Golden Retriever, Yellow Lab) be around this dog. We don't know the history or the temperament of the parents since he came into the shelter as a stray. Please help me to feel better about this dog...I am having difficulties believing that the shelter would let a Pit with unknown issues go to a home with such a you child. Thanks for your input

  2. #2
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    Hi, and welcome to Pet Talk. Okay, now take a deep breath and relax. Yes, there have been stories in the news about "pit bulls" attacking kids, but if you look closer, in every single case, the fault was with the parents. They will not, by nature attack a child, and in fact in earlier years were considered good "nanny dogs." Your daughter should of course put some effort into training the dog, they can be very strong, so getting enrolled in an obedience class is a must for her.

    Niether Pit nulls or Shepherd are known to be "biters" except in the media. Actually Golden Retreivers have more recorded bites in many areas. I would absolutely allow him to be around your dogs, that will help socialize him, and he can learn from them what a good dog behaves like. And I am guessing if he gets out of line, one of the others will "correct" him!

    Don't worry about his breed, okay? As he is a year old, the time is now to get him some training, but most pitties I know are sweet dogs. They are energetic, and the Shepherd in him may mean he will try to "herd" things, but with good training, this can be a fabulous dog. I keep emphasizing training - for the sake of your daughter's shoulder muscles, as they are strong, so getting him leash training - as in to NOT pull - is vital!
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
    thanks Karen,
    That's the first thing we told them is to get the dog trained and socialized...I'm still worried about leaving my dogs alone with this dog, I've heard that if they get in a fight they will finish it...my daughter watches our dogs when we go out of town and they both work all day, so the dogs would all be left alone in the back yard for hours....ALONE...is this a good idea? I think that if she had gotten him as a new puppy then I wouldn't be so nervous. We don't know if the dog has been beaten or mistreated in some way. I also read that Pits are good until they mature at about 2-3 years of age and then they don't get along with other dogs. We used to have an Akita so I know the responsibility that comes along with having a 'dog aggressive' dog. Even though our Akita was the best with people, he didn't like other dogs and so we had to control him and not allow him to be around other dogs other than our own.

  4. #4
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    I would wait and see how he is for a few weeks before worrying about leaving him alone with the other dogs. Watch them interact, see how they do or do not get along, who "tests" who ... hopefully you have a bit of time before you go away and need her to watch the dogs ... it could be this is a perfectly good dog who just didn't get enough training and ended up too much for the person to handle - being they are such energetic dogs, that's a s likely a scenario as any as to why he became a stray! And if he is neutered - which I am guessing he is, you run less chance of him developing aggression issues later.
    I've Been Frosted

  5. #5
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    Welcome to PT!

    Sorry to read you are so nervous with your daughter's new dog.

    If she is working, and caring for a child that young, it will be tough, but she MUST go to obedience training classes with this dog. And her husband / spouse / partner needs to attend, as well. Group classes are a great way to learn to read your dog's body language, help the dog recognize the owners as pack leaders, and let the dog realize he WANTS to please them. Both of them will need to find time to do all the practice sessions and home work exercises.

    You have dogs, so you likely know this, but those practice routines and exercises are for life -- with any dog. Just like us, if you stop doing something, you lose it. So they need to find a way to work in some practice all the time -- just part of dog ownership. Not that it always has to be an intensive as it will be during classes, but it does need repeating on a regular basis.

    I am not a fan of leaving dogs outdoors alone, unattended. Any chance of doggie day care for any of them?

  6. #6
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    Might I suggest that she makes sure that the children grow up knowing what not to do around the dog. Like no encouraging of poking the face or fingers in the mouth. All the pits I've met have been wonderful with kids, when the owners are responsible and train the dog, like any other new dog in the family!

    Might I sooth your worries with a story? My best friend's mother has a 3 year old child that has grown up with 1 pit bull and 1 pit lab mix. The dogs are ecstatic and friendly around us, but I have never seen a dog be more gentle around kids than they are. I would worry about my boxer mix toppling the young girl over, but they are so gentle with her, and put up with things like a kid-friendly dog does. I would not trust one of my cats around her (he nibbles a bit), but I fully trust them with her. Biggest loves I've seen, they coat me in kisses when I come in.
    The pups

    The Kitty Krew

    "Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer." - Dean Koontz, False Memory

  7. #7
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    I am really sorry to disagree with the majority view on this one but I think that any shelter that has placed a pit bull/cross with no history in a family situation with small kids and inexperienced owners is doing a dis-service to the dog, the breed, the kids and re-homing in general.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by carrie View Post
    I am really sorry to disagree with the majority view on this one but I think that any shelter that has placed a pit bull/cross with no history in a family situation with small kids and inexperienced owners is doing a dis-service to the dog, the breed, the kids and re-homing in general.
    You're not disagreeing with anyone, we just didn't mention the shelter's lax attitude. Sadly, not every one is as responsible as some are. But we are hoping everything will, with training and careful attention work out for this family.
    I've Been Frosted

  9. #9
    I think Karen hit the nail on the head for me....it is the 'lax attitude' of the SPCA in placing this type of dog (1 1/2 yrs old with no history), as a family pet with small children. My daughter is very good with dogs as we always had 2 or 3 at a time during her childhood...she also saw us training the dogs and being responsible, and when we had an Akita which is also dog aggressive, we made sure that he knew his boundaries and listened...we had to train with him constantly, great dog with people, not so much with dogs. After he passed we decided that we didn't want any more high maintenance dogs so we switched to more family oriented dogs.

    The shelter did offer 1 hr of free training (whoopie), but we are going to pay for our friend who is a highly skilled trainer to take the whole family and the dog thru as many sessions as they need to get this dog under control and socialized. It bothers me that they don't control the dog around the baby and as you know, babies can pull and poke in ways that will evoke a reaction from the dog.

    We will probably at some point introduce our dogs to theirs but we just don't trust it....with any other dog a bite is a bite and it is over, with Pitts the bite can be deadly and that scares the crap out of me. If they had gotten him when he was a brand new puppy and raised him and seen the parent's temperament I would be a lot more comfortable. They are a busy family and I just don't see them giving the dog as much attention as it needs and deserves which can be a disaster.

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