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My Blog

Bully Breeds

I know this is probably be a hot topic, and everyone has their own opinion either from experience or myth.  I would like to share mine from ownership point of view. 
I have been grooming dogs and cats for 9 years now.  I have seen my share of Bully Breeds (pitt bulls, staffordshire, american bulldogs, bull terriers and cane corsos).  Every time that I have been bitten it was by a chihauhau, shih tzu, or yorkie!

Bully breeds in my opinion are sexy!  Without a single peep the sheer stature of the dog commands respect.   A well trained, well behaved bully is an awesome sight to behold.  Terriers, and bully breeds are not for everyone.  They maybe sweet as pie in public and a terror at home.  They are high strung and require a lot of attention.....and I do mean A LOT!!!  A obedience trainer once told me it was like having a child with  ADD.  They are smart, strong, defiant, full of spontaneous energy, and if they are not handled properly they can be dangerous. 

Dogs are pack animals by nature, when we take a dog into our family we become their pack.  They will respect the heirachy of the pack, and if they see an opportunity to challenge a weakness in the leadership, they will.     It is the same with all dogs, but more so with bully breeds, they will continue to try you until you give in.  That is what they do.  This is NOT a breed of dog that you can stick in the back yard, and leave them unto themselves, it can heighten all kinds of problems with all breeds of dogs.   They develop fears, and phobia that can get out of control without the leadership of the pack. Maintaining the dominant position does not require abuse, but more so posturing.  They have to know that YOU are the top dog.  Children are usually seen as siblings in the pack.  They can and will love and protect them, however, if unsupervised a brawl can break out over a favorite toy or treat.  Jealousy issues can surface, bullies always want to be first or on top, with a weaker sibling, like a child or smaller weaker animal a bully breed will jockey for the top spot,and a brawl can break out where the bully being the stronger of the two can inflict considerable damage to make the other animal (child) yield.

Owning a bully breed is a huge responsibility given the negative reputation they have because of bad owners!  Socializing, professional training, love and understanding are the key to responsible bully breed ownership.  Another factor is knowing where your bully breed came from, meaning how and who they were breed with.  There are some people( I have actually heard people say this) that are trying to "manufacture"  the BIGGEST pitt, they will mate a pup and parent or brother and sister from the same litter.  That is a formula for disaster!  Dogs that are in-bred of any breed type can have extended health and neurological disorders mix that with a bully breed personality and you have a modern day Frankenstein on your hands.  If one of the parents have been fought, more than likely but not always you will have some aggression issues on your hands. 

When I got my Bully Breed I did the research, I read books and magazines.  I talked to professional trainers that not only trained bully breeds, but owned a bully breed.  I learned that even a highly decorated obedience trained bully breed still has tantrums....that's right......tantrums!  My concern was that I was bringing a bully breed in my home with an unknown background and I had another stubborn dog a Rottweiler and cats.

Let me tell you, it is hard not to fall in love with a bully breed!  When they are puppies, or younger dogs they are the the cutest things, so full of energy, and the biggest clowns you have ever seen, and eager to please.  When they are 50-60 lbs of thunder and lightning running through your house or tearing up things because the are "unhappy" with your position as the alpha.....the cuteness can wear off fast!  I really believe that is why so many bully breeds end up in the shelter, because people don't realize what they have gotten themselves into.  It takes A LOT of patience, and I do mean A LOT!!!  I can recall many of days when  my bully breed and I would have stand-offs, and the conversation would end like this....."little girl, I have been stubborn longer than you have been alive!"  That discussion would usually end with her giving a heavy sigh and sulking while chewed up her rawhide knot watching me the whole time.  I am sure she was rumbling under her breath about  Mom the Oppressor, but that mean she wouldn't try it again later that day or the next day.

We continued out training, and she earned the "good citizenship award".  I was lucky with her, she has no signs of aggression and she gets along great with my cats!  As a matter of fact her best friend is a black cat that she happily shares her bed with....go figure!  I am constantly reminded that she is a bully breed and I supervises all activities concerning chews.  She will devour hers and try to steal The Big Dog's chew, which is quickly squashed before any grumbling gets underway.   I have to buy separate balls, separate chews, and no tug toys.   When we had the "Big Snow", while digging out she decided she was going to go for a stroll.  I  gave her recall command, she looked at me, turned around and trotted away.  When she figured she couldn't get far, she came back with her head hung down, because she knew she would spend the day in the cage.  These are some of things that I go through with owning a bully breed.  Does she drive me crazy? YES!  Would I change it? NO!  When she is in a good zone, which can last for weeks at a time, but bullies are bullies.....enough said!


2 Comments to Bully Breeds:

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