A very interesting situation came up at work the other day. I won't get too specific but someone brought in an extremely fearful pit bull type dog. The dog's breed is actually unknown because the dog was a rescue, but the dog looks to be some type of a "pit thing". Anyway, this dog was fearful but all fight - no flight whatsoever. The dog had no qualms about lunging and barking at the vet who was simply standing nearby.
What made this situation more painful is that this dog's owner just sat there coddling the dog. She did not give the dog any tools to deal with this situation. It was very obvious that she was completely clueless that the dog's behavior was not okay, that it was abnormal. The dog has to be sedated to be worked with. This owner has done this dog a huge disservice because she has not sought out a trainer or a behaviorist. While this problem cannot be fixed, it could be managed much better. You cannot change this dog's personality, but you can help give them tools to better deal with "scary" situations.
When the gal was paying her bill I brought Seppel out to give him some treats. I won't lie, I really wanted to show what a stable [semi-stable? :p] pit bull type dog looks like. She said hi to Seppel and he went right up to her happily for some attention.
I don't think she really understands just how much of a liability her dog is. I don't think she understands that her dog's behavior is completely abnormal for ANY dog, but is very atypical for a pit bull type dog.
It made me feel really great that I could bring my own dog out to meet a new person and feel confident that he would be polite and friendly. It makes me feel proud that we can go out in public and represent the breed in a positive way.
To quote Tom Garner:
"Ever wonder why so many of us are drawn to and build our lives around
the pit bull? There are a number of reasons why people gravitate to
these animals. My list would certainly include; A) an appreciation of
their physical/ athletic excellence, B) their unrivaled capacity for
unconditional love of humans, and C) the pit bull’s unparalleled
gameness, i.e., "the willingness to self-sacrifice in order to achieve
I absolutely agree with and believe that the above best describes why I love this breed. I know I am extremely lucky that Seppel was raised in a decent home before I got him. I feel very fortunate that he has turned out to be a wonderful dog and I thoroughly appreciate having a stable pit bull type dog in my life.