People who have had negative experiences with Pit Bulls stigmatize these dogs as all being aggressive or dangerous due to one experience. Due to the fact that Pit Bulls are large, active, strong dogs that have a negative stereotype in society, they are often considered to be more dangerous than other breeds. Other breeds of dogs that have a similar look to Pit Bulls are labeled as Pit Bulls and when these dogs act out – the Pit Bull name is the one that suffers. Basement and backyard Pit Bull breeders do not breed for the conformity of the look of the dog – therefore are gradually muting out the original bloodlines of the Pit Bull. Also, due to the fact that dog fighting is synonymous with Pit Bulls there are a large number of breeders specifically breeding dogs to abuse, neglect and teach them how to fight. After this kind of treatment, many of them retain residual behavioral issues that now have also become synonymous with Pit Bulls – such as dog aggression. Rescue Pit Bulls are already suffering when they are saved.Not everyone is equipped to handle the challenges that a rescued Pit Bull brings. Rescued Pit Bulls that have been successfully rehabilitated are examples of the resilience of the spirit of dogs, their ability to release past trauma and a human’s ability to provide the kind of effective rehabilitation that they require. With proper professional guidance and education, people can learn what is required to provide this kind of rehabilitation. However, not all dogs get this opportunity for full rehabilitation and so, many of these dogs will continue to have unacceptable behaviors. This is not fair, but we cannot make it up to them by ignoring what they were, what they should be and what we know they can be. Furthermore, irresponsible rescues who put their own emotional or egotistical needs before the present and future of the Pit Bull breed – acquire, handle and place dogs irresponsibly. To clear their conscience – these rescues will put dogs that are not rehabilitated into homes that are not ready and set everyone up for failure. Situations like these all too often mean disaster for the dog, the adoptive family, the act of rescue and pet adoption in general and the Pit Bull breed. Too many people want to lead with their heart and not their head and make themselves feel better by making all the wrong decisions for the futures of their dogs.If people want to rescue a Pit Bull – they need to educate themselves about the potential issues that they will have and how to effectively rehabilitate them from the beginning and in every moment that they own them. If people are totally inexperienced with the breed and want to rescue one, they need to educate themselves about the breed, elicit professional training help and rescue a dog younger than six months or one over the age of three years that has received a good evaluation from a trusted professional outside of the shelter environment for over two weeks of time. If there are existing social issues in the adopting pack that wants to add another dog – a young puppy is always an easier fit than older dogs. Without demeaning the rights and potentials of ANY older rescue dog – I do believe that all puppies should be saved. I know that some people and rescues place a stigma on rescues that focus on rescuing puppies but it doesn’t take a genius to understand that young puppies that have not experienced a lifetime of abuse and neglect and have not reached maturity knowing only the evil side of human nature have a higher potential at full rehabilitation. This is fact. This is not preference or opinion. Rescued Pit Bulls (or any dogs) between the ages of nine months to eighteen months who have exhibited social issues will need twenty-four seven experienced and fully immersive rehabilitation to attempt to change their nature. They are in a crucial period of their development at that time and will need every opportunity that they can get to realize that the world is a different place and they no longer need to fear or dominate humans or other animals. If they go without this and reach two years of age with their issues in tact – they will maintain limitations to their privileges for life. Although containment and control is possible in these situations to manage issues – you are not going to create a new temperament altogether at this age. Likewise, Pit Bulls (or dogs) over three years of age that do not exhibit social issues will be consistent with their behaviors if placed in a stable environment. Don’t get me wrong – there are adult Pit Bulls who have lived a life of Hell who can come into balance and thrive from day one. It is possible. Some dogs can go through trauma and come out on the other side without serious behaviorial issues. However – if we are going to understand how to judge each case as an individual – we must be realistic about what we are dealing with based on patterns of behavior and stages of development. It is better for us not to be surprised by what each dog has the potential for by being able to understand what happens to these dogs, and specifically with Pit Bulls, and what kinds of hurdles we will have to maneuver on the other side.After so many years of rescue and rehabilitation – I am in love with every elderly rescue dog I meet – as their stoic and noble calm after so much disorder in life is inspiring and fills my heart with the beauty of what nature can be. I am always ready to throw myself out there for a litter of puppies AND the mama – as having to bring in future generations of dogs into a shelter or other bad situation is one of the saddest things I could imagine. I see the innocence that puppies possess and feel so guilty to be human when these precious beings have to start life without the best chance at a full life. After so many years of rescue I have learned everything about handling behavioral issues from adolescent dogs (and mostly adolescent Pit Bulls). I have gotten good at never expecting anything. I live in the moment and feel with my gut who I am dealing with. I read every tiny nuance of body language with the strict analysis of a scientist. I know each dog by what they give me in every pure moment that I have with them and accumulate my understanding of them only after I have offered them my home, my time and my future. When I am giving all of this to them – they cannot help but be honest with me about what they have to offer – whether good or bad. Only when dogs know that you are being 100% honest with them – will they let their guard down enough to be the same with you.I am honest when I say that rescuing a Pit Bull is not always the easiest thing to do. I know that it is people that have made this true. Humans continue to malign this breed with their human choices. Nature would never blame the dog. It takes a very cruel being to hurt a Pit Bull. It takes an incredibly strong person to save a Pit Bull. Of course we have to make up for what our genetic counterparts have done to these dogs. Everything in nature has balance. For every sick, weak and perverted individual who has enough malice in their heart to hurt a dog – there has to be another determined, strong and educated individual who has enough generosity in their heart to save a dog. I am one of the latter.My Pit Bulls are my pride!
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