Post # 1
My husband and I are thinking of adopting a dog. He is very impulsive and I am more slow to make decisions so he would like to just go to the shelter and pick one out and take it home, whereas I would like to do a lot of research first.
Most of the dogs in the shelter here in Philly are pit bull mixes. I know there are things in the news from time to time about pit bulls biting people and being aggressive but I think it is somewhat sensationalized and possibly overreported because it’s a hot topic. Of course both of our parents have warned us against getting a pit bull, but a good friend of mine is a vet tech and doesn’t feel there is anything especially aggressive about them as a breed, and it more has to do with how they are trained. Some of the ones up for adoption were abused and I was thinking that maybe that could play a bigger part towards aggression than their actual breed?
Anyway, I would love some feedback about this type of dog and adopting a dog in general! Thank you!
Post # 3
If you do your research ahead of time, there is nothing wrong with then going to a shelter, falling in love, and bringing one home. So long as you’ve researched and planned ahead of time. That’s what we did with our lab mix! Best of both worlds!
I take no issue with pitbulls and agree that they’ve been unfairly sensationalized. They make wonderful pets and wonderful members of your family! That said, because of their “reputation”, many cities and/or apartment complexes and such forbid people from owning them. You’ll definitely want to look in to any similar restrictions for your area if you are considering a pit mix.
Post # 4
i have an adopted/rescued pit bull mix (uncertain of with what – likely boxer or ridgeback). granted, she was fairly young when we adopted her (about 6-7 months old), but we have never had any issues with aggression or anything to be fearful of (she is almost 3 now).
i’m a strong believer in judging each dog independently, not breed based – i have met plenty of friendy pit bulls, and there have been others that i have been terrified of, and don’t even get me started on the scary chihuaua that lives next to my office that i full on run from haha
my advice would be to go into the shelter and get to know the dogs, and go with one that you feel comfortable with and that you “click” with.
on a semi-related note – make sure you check your homeowners or renters insurance for restrictions of coverage on certain breeds – because ours is a mix, we haven’t run into any issues, but it is something to be aware of
oh! and if you’re interested in rescuing a “needy” pit bull (meaning one towards the end of his shelter time) – check out “pin ups for pit bulls” on facebook – they have a running list of shelters in need of adopters and may help you if you need more information on the adoption of a bully breed
also, feel free to PM me with any questions – after 3 years, im not an expert my any means, but i may be able to help with some of the bully breed issues/stigma
Post # 5
@phillygirl629: I adopted my corgi mix through forever homes rescue, out of Philly. She is a big sweetie. Thank you for considering a rescue dog!!
Post # 6
My advice is go to http://www.petfinder.com or to the shelter’s website & look at the dogs they have online. You could do some research before even going to see them. that may help you out. of course, not all dogs fit into the breed “stereotype”. such as my dalmatian should be hyper & crazy, but she’s sweet & calm & kinda lazy.
Post # 7
I’m subscribing to this- DH and I seriously considering adopting a sheltie or corgi (possible mix) after Christmas break (there’s a number of rescues in the area whose policies I really agree with).
If you don’t mind me also asking a question, how are you handling/ have handled vet refrences?
Post # 8
What sort of lifestyle do you have? You should think about that most of all. A pitbull can be the best, they are naturally people-oriented and loving, but they need training and can chew the heck out of and destroy things like furniture. I have a pitbull mix and we love her to pieces but she ate half of our porch furniture. You need to exercise them a lot and provide them with appropriate chew toys. You must also have a very secure yard, once when a sudden temp drop shorted out our electric fence we found our girl a mile away playing with someones cows, but in a populated area a wandering bully dog will scare the pants off your neighbors.
Take a survey to figure out what types of dogs will fit into your lifestyle, some require little exercise and do well home alone and other dogs need a lot of involvment and patience. If you get a pitbull, try one from the SPCA there, they do comprehensive temperatment tests on their dogs before adopting them out, a good pitbull, in my opinion, is hard to beat as a companion, except maybe by a german shepherd.
Post # 9
My husband and I adopted a pit american bulldog mix 7 years ago, and she has been our baby ever since. We love her more than anything, and she is just the best dog ever. She is wonderful with our niece and nephews, and our 13 lb maine coon mix can do whatever he wants to her, because he knows that she will neve hurt him, even if he bites her leg pretending its a chicken leg (she will bark or snort right in his face, but that’s it). Oh, and she’s 65lb of pure muscle next to his 13 lb chub. If I put a plate of stuff down on the floor and he walks over, she patiently waits for him to be done before she takes any of it.
Just make sure that if you plan on having a pit around another animal or kids, that they have proven to be social around them. Our dog was 3 when we got her, and she had never been around other dogs (we adopted her from someone, not a shelter) before, so we had to socialize her around my parents dog and MIL’s dog. She’s fine now, but it took some getting used to being around another dog.
PM me anytime, I absolutely love bullys, and plan to have at least one in my house at all times for the rest of my life. Oh, and here are some pics of our Sasha girl 🙂
buckled up and ready to go for a car ride with daddy (she is so good in the car)
snoozing on the couch in the old house (excuse the mess)
before she started getting gray, she was about 4 or 5 in this pic. I miss that black muzzle
not happy at all that daddy woke her up and made her share her couch with him (I believe I caught her mid yawn)
Post # 10
Hi!When my husband and I were ready for a dog our first thought was adopt. We did look into breeds and we knew which breeds/size we did not want. we wanted something mid size, we’re not fan of “toy” breeds but being a petite 5’5″ I wouldn’t be able to handle a HUGE dog either. The first thing my husband told me was you will NOT walk into a shelter and not come home with a dog. He was right. :DWe walked into the SPCA and saw a cute little 10 week old puppy. Her eyes were what drew me in. She was in a small crate by herself and there were tons of people around the crate trying to pet her. But she came to ME. When we sat with the volunteer they told us that they believe she is a Pitbull/Beagle(not convinced of this one) mix. They assured us that Pit Bulls are actually a VERY sweet breed. They will require lots of attention and lots of exercise. But they will love you forever and be loyal. When we brought her home she was definitely a bundle of energy! she loved to play tug of war and she loved to nip like all puppies. But we quickly rid her of that. My husband tends to play rough with her a lot and then puts his hands right in her mouth to test her. He’s been doing this since she was a 10week puppy and she his NEVER bit, she’s 5 now. Our pup has actually never chewed up any furniture. Only once in her 5 years did she chew up the heel of ONE of my heels. That’s it. No other destruction to speak of. So again, don’t think it’s a breed thing. It’s just a dog to dog thing. My friend’s Lab is almost 3 and still to this day chews furniture and pillows up! To be quite honest although I do believe breeds are predisposed to a certain temperaments it’s all in how they are raised. My ILs one Sheltie (who’s suppose to be the sweetest good natured dogs) had a rough time growing up and she actually nipped me in the butt once when we were leaving. She has SERIOUS separation anxiety. She actually left two tiny teeth marks in my butt.
So who’s to say?
I would be a little more apprehensive about adopting a older pit bull that has been rescued from a dog fighting ring unless you are 1000% sure you will spend the time to try and retrain them properly.
Many ladies on here are through and through pit bull lovers and will tell you they are the sweetest things EVER.
And yes, because of the stigma associated with Pit Bulls many apartments probably won’t allow them. But then many apts don’t allow dogs period. I personally would not let that stop me from adopting a pit bull. With trying to get insurance on our new house we found many insurance won’t insure you if you have a pit bull (even a mix). But then German Shepherds are on that same list that they won’t insure! So go figure.
Best of luck adding to your family! 🙂
Post # 11
@Knubbsy-Wubbsy: “If you don’t mind me also asking a question, how are you handling/ have handled vet refrences?”
We just indicated that we had never owned a pet of our own yet. All previous pets had been our family pets while growing up and the vets were out of state.
Because we didn’t have previous pets, there was no way to give them a vet reference and they didn’t worry about it.
Post # 12
@Mrs.KMM: That’s good to know, thanks! We’re in mostly the same situation (ILs still have a dog but I’m afraid their vet will mention how much of a basketcase MIL has made their dog about travelling)
Post # 13
I agree with the others that suggest going to petfinder and adoptapet.com. A lot of the dogs on there are in foster homes, and there is a good description of the personality of the dog based on the foster parents experience. We did this with our chihuahua, and picked one with a personality that met our needs. The foster agency will also ask you about what you’re looking for, your home situation, etc and determine if the dog you’re interested in adopting is a good fit. With our dog, the foster mom had received numerous applications for her and had even done a few in home visits, but hadn’t found a good fit yet. In the foster mom’s care, she had noticed that she was very shy and bonded with people through other dogs, especially her larger dogs. She wouldn’t let Callie go to anyone who didn’t have a large dog to help her ease into a new environment (we have a husky-lab mix too). It might seem silly to screen people so thoroughly when pets are in desperate need of new homes, but I’m glad they did. We ended up with the perfect dog for us.
As for the pitbull issue, I believe they can be great pets if they’re trained properly. I don’t particularly like them because there was one at the end of our street that attacked my in-laws dog when she was visiting and a few other dogs in the neighborhood. We had to file a report, and I think after 3 complaints they had to get rid of the dog. The family still has another pitbull that they let run around without a leash and i always go to the other side of the street with our dogs and get ready to pick up our chihuahua just in case. We also have several that come in to where I work, and I don’t particularly like them. One was a puppy that bit CONSTANTLY and the other was an adult dog that was very aggressive towards other dogs that were there. (I work at a bar that allows dogs on our patio). So based on that experience, I’m a little wary of them. These dogs probably haven’t been trained very well though. So it’s really up to you to figure out whether you’re willing to spend the time to make sure they are trained properly.
Post # 14
I would suggest writing up a list of qualities that are important to you when it comes to owning a dog. Can you walk a 50 pound dog? Personally, I have enough trouble with my 19-pound dachshund mix at times. If the dog gets sick, could you lift it? Do you have time to walk a very active dog twice a day? Are you an active hiker that expects their dog to go everywhere with them? Do you plan to have kids? Are there other dogs in your life that you’d like the dog to get along with? Do you want the dog to act as a protector?
Once you have an idea of what you want, make sure to ask tons of questions about each potential dog. Breed can tell you some things might be true about the dog, but by asking the person who deals with them most (this works great if they’re being fostered) then you know how they really are.
I adopted my dog 1.5 years ago, and it was really important that I have one that was on the small side without being tiny, have medium energy level, and be good with kids and other dogs. After lots of searches on petfinder, I found the perfect dog for me. If you’re the kind of person who can walk into a shelter and be happy with any dog that’s there, that is fantastic. But for me, I needed to find a dog that would fit into my life. And I would suggest really thinking about this, because all those dogs have been through a lot. You don’t want to get into a situation where the dog’s unhappy and you’re unhappy and you feel like you need to rehome it.
Post # 15
There are quizzes online that are great indicators of what breeds fit in with your lifestyle – try this link from dogbreedinfo – http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/search.htm . And of course, every dog’s personality is different. Just see which ones you’re drawn to and which ones you aren’t! We adopted the sweetest baby, but he wasn’t anything we initially went in looking for! FI wanted a big sporty dog… and we left with a half puggle half lab 🙂
And crate train, crate train, crate train! Your shoe collection will thank you 🙂
Post # 16
Wow thank you everyone for all the suggestions and tips! And photos, haha!
For vet references, we’ve never owned a pet so I don’t have a reference and plan to just tell them that, however my vet tech friend works at a prominent animal hospital here in town so I would take the dog there.
It seems to be that most people are saying, have an idea of how the dog is going to fit into your life and then find an appropriate breed. We are going to the shelter on Sunday and I plan to ask a LOT of questions! I just hope we can resist taking one home. We are going away next weekend so this weekend is NOT the time to bring home a dog – that should stop us!