Friday, October 22, 2010

...will she turn out like all the others?
This is the little female Pit Bull that lives next door to me. She's been a sweet girl; when I walk out to my mailbox, she runs along the fence and greets me. We even play a little bit; I'll run my foot along the chainlink fence and she'll chase it back and forth. I've scratched her ears and petted her, and she's a good dog. At the same time, I realize she's a Pit Bull. The young guys who live next door evidently have a couple of jobs each, and a lot of the time, no one's there. And when they're gone, the Pit Bull is kept inside their mobile home. I've heard her barking in there. I remarked to one of the guys who live there, that she'd go absolutely crazy on the Ocean Beaches, and was told they'd never taken her to the beach, or much of anywhere else. She's cooped up practically all day long, from what I see. And she's changing.
Sometimes now, when I get out of my car, she'll stand in one spot and just glare at me. Kinda makes me shudder, y'know? There have been times when she's barked directly at me. But wait...she knows who I am, right? Sometimes I'm not so sure anymore. It's as if she's tried to be a good girl, but she's growing up into a Mature Pit Bull, and is becoming more and more a prisoner of her instincts. I don't know. Sometimes when I've played with her, and reached over the fence to pet her, she's accidentally "mouthed" my hand, and she obviously doesn't know her own strength. And those Pit Bull jaws are quite ominous indeed. I think she needs for someone to spend more time with her, take her to the beach and let her run (whether running free or on a leash). Her personality is changing, and it could be that as each day passes, she's "that much" closer to becoming one of those Pit Bulls we've all heard about, that attack humans, other dogs and everything else that's in their path.
So nowadays, I'm more wary of her than I used to be. And that's sad. I find myself having to guess at what kind of mind frame she's in each time I see her. Some days I'm glad a fence separates my yard from the relatively-small space in which she's allowed to roam. And then again, I could be totally wrong about her. But I think she's being neglected, and it's starting to show. I still play with her when I'm at the mailbox. But there are also times, nowadays, when she'll just stand in one spot and watch my every move, and that feels really creepy. Perhaps, because of neglect, Pit Bulls just go nuts and tee off on everything. Perhaps the line between the dog's "reason" and their instinctual behavior changes as they mature. And if they're neglected, maybe they act out in a most dangerous manner. So if you have a Pit Bull, or 2 or 3, it's probably wise to spend quality time with them or they'll Act Out. Animals have mentalities, after all...
Again, I'm no authority. I could be wrong about all this. I hope so. I'd hate to see this good little Pit Bull girl leap a fence and hunt down the kids who playing nearby.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trust your instincts....what is happening is very typical. The dog's true temperament is developing. Pit bulls are a breed that is typically late to mature...usually you won't know the "real" dog until the age of two or three. The lack of socialization is exacerbating the dogs genetic traits. I know personally of several pit bulls, raised in homes as well-loved family pets,(and thoroughly socialized)that "changed" as they matured. In each case, the dogs ended up attacking either people or other dogs.

I would stop putting your hand through the fence; you could end up losing it.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you know today is national pitbull awareness day? While I love this breed, having one of my own, I do know the kind of neglect or inattention for pitbulls, and many other breeds that you speak of. I also know the plight of a neglected dog can turn it, in any breed. You need to report signs of animal cruelty and keep doing it. The pitbulls that I know that are actively part of their families are well rounded and can keep their temperment in control, and I have lived through one that just passed away last year at 15. She was around dogs of all sizes, cats, birds, ferrets and grandkids of all ages without incident. The dangerous pitbulls are the ones allowed to live solitary lives, desocialized and poorly excersized, the potential to snap is always there. Guard yourself, but know that the real problem is the owner not the dog.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Regina said...

My daughter has had two pit bulls, and they were wonderful dogs. I think if they are treated kindly, they will be like any other dog.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

Please do not judge a dog because she is a Pit Bull. I was once terrified of them and bought into the hype. My first rescued PB changed all that. Pit Bulls are dogs. They were once nanny dogs, trained to watch over kids. They were trained to chase rats off of farms, and really heartless people then trained them to fight because of their loyalty to people. Sgt. Stubby was a Pit Bull in WWI! Adsk yourselves, what changed about Pit Bulls from then, to today? Ask! PEOPLE CHANGED - they used them for wrong doing. Number one dog dying in shelters. Number one dog on the streets...If you have time, why not go over and ask to walk her? She is gorgeous. She is barking at you, communicating. She's probably watching you walk over saying, Hey! You like me, right? I like you! Don't leave! I'm lonely and bored! I want to play! Hey lady! I'm just a dog!
You know better. Please don't buy into this crap about losing your hand. OMG. She's a dog! Treat her like a dog, and not a monster!

9:46 AM  

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