I am a very proud owner of two new pups. One is "Willow" she is a 4 month old purebred pitbull who came from a local shelter. The second is a pit/rott/lab mix who came from a shelter in NC with his littermates, all ten of them up to NY to save them from being euthanized due to overpopulation. The littermates all found homes as well. My family of 5 children ranging from 7 yrs old through 15 yrs old my husband and I love these dogs very much. After reading alot on the breed we chose to help two. I enrolled the pups into obedience training which they start next week. Im very excited as my children can also be used as the handlers in the training classes which I think will teach them alot as well. Ive been doing alot of research on them also becoming a therapy dog. I do see however there are only a limited amount of pits that are therapy certified. Im not sure if it is due to peoples lack in understanding the breed or if it is due to owners not going into the program. I'd love to teach people that this breed is as great as a family pet as a lab can be. Any suggestions on what anyone thinks? Do you think people will be open to a pit being a therapy dog?
"Hopes to change peoples minds on the pitbull breed"
Here's what I think. These can be the most wonderful loving dog, great with children etc. ABSOLUTELY. However, please promise that should something go wrong and the dog even a little, looks like it has a temperament issue, NO MATTER HOW SAMLL HOW MINOR please euthanise it. The problem isn't the breed, but the rescue thing bears watching, you don't know this dog's history and some...not all.... shelter people, desperate to rehome the dog, will not give an entirely accurate history of the dog, or omit a small detail, like it's food agressive or something like that. Bless you for rescuing a pit, but please be mindful....
A pit bull-chow mix named Dixie saved my life.....I am always in her debt, and will never forget her as long as I live. I had her her entire life of 15 years. Thank you again Dixie.Rest in peace
I absolutely think people will be open to a pit as a therapy dog Click on the link I post below, one of our own members recently had one of her pits become certified. You could send her a private message, she's very knowledgeable with the breed http://www.terrificpets.com/forum/57257.asp
"You know, I've given the matter some thought, and I think I'd be willing to be a house pet to a race of super intelligent aliens."
I will gladly answer questions you may have about therapy training and working with APBTs.
After a show that aired on Animal Planet Called Pit Bulls and Parolees, which I enjoy watching I sent them a e-mail because it only talked about one particular therapy org. and the dog's certified through them. This I felt was very misleading to the general public.There are many therapy different organizations Delta Society is just one of them. Others that are very well known and accepted for example are TDI and Bright and Beautiful. Then there are a lot of smaller orgs out there as well.
There are many of us working not only APBTs, but also APBT mixes, Amstaffs, and other bully breeds which often get lumped into the "pit bull" category by the general public and media. Just at one of the places I work mine there are 10 soon to be 11 APBTs.
Check out Pit Bull Network University. I wrote up a TON of info on therapy dog training which should get you started.
Not every dog is suited for the work. You are off to a great start getting them into obedience. Everything will revolve around a rock solid temperament first and foremost and then a great foundation in obedience and owner handler communication.
Patch O' Luck with the training!
Patch O' Pits , Home to Greatly Loved Ch GRCH, Therapy, & Agility APBTs "When it Rains Play in the mud"
As a breeder and longtime owner of another bully breed, I urge you to talk to as many APBT trainers and breeders as possible. I love the bully breeds, but would excercise extreme caution having two so close in age, especially since you don't know the genetic temperaments of the animals.
I don't mean to scare you, as they can have a happy, healthy life together, but you should take some precations to help them (and your family)succeed!
By crating or keeping the dogs seperate when you aren't home and not leaving them together unattended at any time, you can help prevent any scuffles that they may get into, and ensure their safety when you aren't around. Dogs that are so close in age will eventually have a power struggle, no matter how docile and wonderful they are. Keep them excercised and mentally fit, and you could have some great additions to your family.
Good on you for adopting two pits. They really are great dogs. We now have two. One we recently adopted. Our female had such a sweet temperment that when she was a puppy we considered getting her certified, but she has a few areas where she doesn't meet the criteria. lol, one, being able to sit still when people come around. She gets so excited and suffers from happy tail, not that it is a bad thing, just not suited for therapy. I wish you the best of luck with your new additions.
Just an update. The pups are now going through socialization puppy playdates once a week and thriving great! They are breezing through the obedience also. Very well mannered pups. The vet and everyone they meet cant believe how well behaved these 2 are being that theyre so young. They are very gentle to everyone. We only had one issue that is still a work in progress which is they tend to jump on anyone who comes into the house. I walk them daily in a park which in buffalo ny its cold n snowy but theres still alot of people that walk there also daily. The one loves to romp in the snow the other kinda just goes along for the ride haha. I couldnt be happier with the 2 we have chosen. They fit right into our family. Thank you all for the kind words.
"Hopes to change peoples minds on the pitbull breed"