Do you really have to give up your Pit Bull? Search your heart for the real reason why your dog can’t live with you anymore; be honest with yourself. Your answer will probably fall into one of two categories: People Problems or Dog Problems.
The Most Common People Problems:
“We’re moving – we can’t find a place that will let us keep our dog.” Affordable rental homes and apartments that allow pets (including Pit Bulls) are out there if you work to find them. The following are a couple of tips to help you in your search for Pit Bull friendly housing:
- Give Yourself Time! Understand that it may take you longer then an average (non-pet owning renter) to find an appropriate apartment or home for you and your dog. Plan ahead if you know when you’ll have to move and be persistent.
- Widen your search. Don’t just look online for apartments or rental homes, drive around the area you are hoping to move and look for rental signs. Take advantage of rental services that help tenants find apartments such as apartment locators and realtors. Ask friends, relatives and coworkers to keep an eye open for you. Many apartments are rented via word of mouth before they’re ever advertised in the papers.
- Put Together a Pet Resume. “No Pets” doesn’t always mean “no pets, period.” Offer to have a meet and greet so the landlord or apartment complex can meet your dog in person and see his/her awesome qualities. Put together a resume that highlights your dogs positives, including training, award certificates and health (spay/neuter). Also, highlight your best qualities as pet owners.
- Renter’s Insurance. Offer to buy a policy that will cover your dog. This helps protect the landlord’s biggest asset, his property and means of income.
- Pet Deposit. If you can, offer to pay a higher pet deposit in order to cover for any future damages that the landlord may believe could happen.
- Keep in mind that YOU may have to make some adjustments. A home that allows Pit Bulls might be in a different neighborhood than you’d prefer. It might be a few more miles from work. It might not be as luxurious as you’d like. It might cost a few dollars more, but your compromise means being able to keep your dog.
- For Pit Bull friendly resources, including housing, insurance, apartment locators, realtors and more, make sure to visit the resources tab of our website.
Check out the following video from our friends at BadRap for some more guidance
Having a Baby
Introduction of a new little one can be stressful on the entire household, including the dog, BUT if introduced correctly, there shouldn’t be any problems that can’t be overcome with some guidance, training and early preparation. Having children grow up with dogs can create an incredibly special bond that nurtures compassion and kindness. In any situation, please remember to always supervise your child when they are around pets. It is your job to advocate for both your child and your pets.
The following links go over in depth details for how to prepare for your new family addition:
The Most Common Dog Problem:
Behavioral issues can wreak havoc on the relationship between you and your canine companion. The stress of that unwanted behavior can become quite a load to bear. The truth…the best place for your dog is in it’s home with you, being rehabilitated. Here’s the good news: most behavioral issues can be resolved or managed with dedication, consistency and a better understanding of what makes your dog do the things they do!
Depending on the behavior, this may require a lot of time, dedication and consistency on your part, BUT at the end you’ll have a wonderful new relationship with your canine best friend! We’ve all had undesirable behavior from our pets at one point or another but helping them learn what to do is the first step before you call it quits. If your dog simply needs manners, try searching for local area obedience classes. Many times these types of classes help create structure and beginning expectations for behavior.
If your dog needs help with more complex behavior issues like resource guarding, reactivity, dog aggression, hyperactivity, fearful behavior, or anxiety, consider private training combined with research. There are countless books and resources out there to help you help your dog change. And they CAN change!
Local area trainers:
- Our Trainers often offer private lessons in the home or on location as well as assist with our classes. They are not free, but they are fair and compassionate with a deep adoration of pitties. Check them out here
- Taurus Academy www.taurusacademy.com
- Bark & Zoom www.barkandzoom.com
- ARF (A Real Friend) https://www.arfdogtraining.com/
- Training by Tara http://www.trainingbytara.com/
- The Center for Canine Training and Behavior http://morefunthandirt.com/
- DogWorx Academy http://www.dogworxacademy.com/
- Dogs Day Away http://dogsdayawaytx.com/
- Sit Means Sit Dog Training http://sitmeanssit.com/dog-training-mu/austin-dog-training/
- ATX K9 Dog Training http://atxk9.com/
If you are not in the central Texas area, the following two links will help you search for a trainer in your area:
Some other things to consider:
- Crate your dog when they are unsupervised, especially they are not house trained (i.e. soils in the house or chews on items it shouldn’t).
- Commit to taking your dog on a 30-45 minute walk at least once a day. This will help in working off pent up energy and structured walks can help with building a bond between you and your dog. If you don’t feel confident or safe walking your dog, try games like hide & seek inside or research “find it” scent work games. They are great at tiring out a dog indoors.
- Create a consistent routine for your dog so that you can build expectations. Create a schedule that allows your dog to eat, take potty breaks and walk around the same time each day.
- If your dog is exhibiting dangerous behaviors either towards people, dogs or itself, please seek out professional assistance immediately. (See below)
If Your Dog Has Bitten A Person
If your dog is aggressive with people or has ever bitten anyone, we truly empathize with you as we understand that this is an incredibly tough situation for you and/or your family. While we cannot make the decision for you, we can tell you that re-homing a dog with a bite history can be a huge liability. Re-homing will not solve the issue just move the location of the issue. There are options:
- First, manage your dog safely. A dog with human-aggression should not be allowed out in public at all or left unsupervised in a yard. If you must take your dog out, condition them first to wear a muzzle (if possible). This can really help your vet out and spare you the trouble of quarantine, lawsuit, and possible euthanasia if your dog bites someone.
- Listen to your dog. Most dogs give a lot of warning signs before they bite someone. These signs are intended to WARN the approaching human to stay back, or else. Dogs that bite the worst are usually dogs that have had their warning signs ignored repeatedly and they feel forced into the aggression. Remember, just because you don’t see anything scary about <<your dog’s aggression trigger>> doesn’t mean your dog feels the same way. Honor their warnings best to your ability, keep children and invasive adults AWAY, and earn a little trust with your dog who is probably trying to tell you something.
- Next, visit your vet. Your dog could be unwell and pain isn’t good for the temperament (for anyone). Something as simple as thyroid testing and blood work could hold clues as to why your dog’s behavior has changed, so please eliminate all possible health issues prior to hiring a trainer. To that effect, any trainer worth their salt will require a clean bill of health prior to working with your dog.
- Next, seek out the advice of a trainer that is an expert with credible references and reviews specifically regarding dog-to-human aggression. It’s important that your trainer know the difference between various types of aggression and that they understand what can drive those behaviors. Not all aggressive behavior patterns are treated the same. Do your research, talk to potential trainers over the phone, ask lots of questions, and remember, cheaper or more expensive is not always better when it comes to expertise.
- If you choose to re-home your dog, you MUST be honest to future adopters about the behaviors your dog is currently exhibiting. If you are untruthful, you could be inviting a large array of lawsuits into your life. You would also be risking the safety of that adopter, his/her family and the community the dog will be moving to. Offloading a potentially dangerous dog onto an uninformed individual is not only unethical, but it’s also dangerous to you and them.
- If you choose to relinquish your dog to a local animal shelter, even a “no kill” shelter, know that dogs with aggressive behavior patterns, especially human-aggressive, will likely be euthanized. Rehabilitation programs for aggressive dogs are few and far between, expensive to run, and can only take on a small number of dogs. Aggressive dogs rarely make it out of the shelters because of the liability their behavior causes to the community and the limited resources available to help them in the first place. With that said, if you do relinquish to a shelter, you also MUST be honest with the shelter about your dog’s behavior history. If they do have a behavior program to help dogs like yours, they may be able to help YOU keep your dog as well! If not, they’ll at least be able to offer your dog the best chance at getting help through their programs.
- If you feel that you have exhausted all other measures and your dog still poses a threat to others, humane euthanasia may be the most responsible choice.