The Pit-Bull Predicament

7/26/2010 Update:

Pit Bull owners encounter problems in Hoboken…

Updating this general Pit Bull story from last fall – it seems that if you own one, your choice of living arrangements in Hoboken is slim. Many buildings now have rules against Pit Bulls. Other than finding a brownstone or non-managed dwelling – what advice do you have for Hoboken411 reader Beth who sent this letter in?

Are you an unfit renter if you own a Pit Bull?

“My husband and I have been volunteering our free time for the past 10 months at a local shelter in Jersey City. We spent time walking, training and socializing dogs so that they become more ‘adoptable’. After months of helping out, we fell in love with a sweet, timid pit bull terrier named ‘Honey’ whom we eventually rescued and brought into our own home. She had the initial ‘rescue’ anxiety, shadowing us for a couple of weeks, but soon relished her independence and was happy and content to be home in her new environment.

I’ll cut to the chase: our lease is ending soon, and my husband and I are looking for apartments. Little did I know, that my sweet, 40lb lap dog of a pit bull, whom I call ‘mouse’ because she’s as quiet as one, is unwanted and discriminated against by almost every major leasing/management company in the city of Hoboken.

“Breed Legislation,” they call it. I call it Breed Discrimination.

After a few Web searches, turns out that Curling Club, Grand Adams, Shipyard, all Applied buildings, Archstone, Observer Park just to name a few will not have our monthly rent check, because of our rescue dog.

I cringe when I hear people playing into the whole media thing about how pits with negligent owners ‘maul’ or ‘attack’ someone. I agree that there are horrible people out there that do not properly keep after their pits. Any kind of animal, I don’t care what breed, will act out improperly if not given the proper care, attention and discipline by a caring owner. Pits are very powerful and need to be trained and socialized by responsible, loving people. Unfortunately there are many pit owners out there who acquire these dogs for the wrong reasons, further feeding into the bad rap that people who don’t know the breed well, like to share and use as grounds for breed discrimination legislation. As one of the many Pit lovers out there, I say with a heavy (and exhausted) heart, that I do not believe there is any legitimate reason that my own dog (and in turn my husband and I), are discriminated against when it comes to looking for a new home. ‘Mouse’ loves children, the elderly, doesn’t chew, jump, bite, even avoids the couch where she knows she isn’t allowed. I heard her bark once and it was at a fly on the wall.

I can’t help but think about my last residence, last year at 333 River Street, before we had our dog. Our neighbor had a fluffy yappy purse-sized dog whom loved to chew the interiors of the apartment into saw-dust, unwravel the bedroom carpet, and wake up neighbors in the wee hours of the morning with its high pitched bark. Another neighbor had a toddler who complained of being followed and bitten by the fluffy furball in question. But friends, that’s ok, because the dog isn’t a pit bull, right? I just found out that 333 River Street is one of the most recent management companies in Hoboken to enact a breed restriction within their contracts. Funny, because at least my dog would never chew the inside of their apartments. Good luck with that, Applied.

I find it very ironic that my husband and I, as outstanding citizens of Hoboken, are devoting our time and love to this once abandoned animal, and now are seen as unfit rentors within the city. Which, is completely full of bully dog breed owners. Where are they all living?”

Any advice?

See original story about Pit Bulls getting a “bad rap,” after the jump!

Pit Bulls get bad rap!

11/5/2009:

Pit Bulls (and Pit Bull Mixes) have long had a “bad rap,” from glamorized stories of vicious attacks, to being trained in improper ways. While many responsible Pit owners raise their dogs in a healthy, positive environment – there is still some debate about a specific genetic component of the breed that cannot be undone.

A conversation has come to surface recently, suggesting that once the “door has been unlocked” in a particular Pit Bull – regardless of how normal the dog’s temperament is – that perhaps the dog in question avoid the relatively small dog runs when other dogs are present. Upon hearing of a surprising & unfortunate incident with a friendly and well-liked rescued Pit-mix, Hoboken411 reader Leslie reached out to a friend, Maire, who is a very well informed and responsible rescue pit owner (With a lot of open space in CA vs. the limited parks in Hoboken) asking, “Should we welcome into small Elysian off-leash dog run an otherwise friendly little pittie girl who snapped, attacking another dog?”

pit-bulls-get-bad-rap-marie_monte_badrapshirt

How to handle the Pit-Bull problem?

“My friend Marie, who lives on Treasure Island in SF Bay with her gorgeous and smart Pit buddy, Monte, advises …

“Ummm… dog parks… sigh.
Small dog park… bigger sigh.

Unfortunately due to the politics involving Pits, I wouldn’t recommend a dog park for political reasons, above and beyond the behavioral issues.

The ‘problem’ is other breeds often start things, but a Pit will finish it. You can’t ignore the breed’s genetic make up, which many Pit owners do. It is for this reason, I don’t recommend dog parks, let alone a *small one,” to Pit owners. (Arrggghhh… too many clueless owners who think it is the place to give their dogs a taste of freedom, before they have a decent recall/basic obedience.)

If you see [the aggressive Pit] there again, I’d mention the issues with the breed, politically, and that it might not be good idea to take his/her dog to a dog park.

I’d also question the age of the dog as being a possible reason for a ‘change’ in behavior. As Pits mature, they can become Dog Aggressive (DA) which does not correlate to Human Aggressive (HA). If the dog is about 3 years old, its owner may notice a change from Dog Social to DA.

I’d be concerned that the dog now knows what an adrenaline rush feels like… It can take only one good fight/hit to create an addict.

Here’s some info:
pbrc.net/socializing.html
badrap.org/rescue/dogpark.cfm

And if the owner says he/she plans to keep coming to the dog park, show him/her this: pbrc.net/breaksticks.html and ask him/her to have one in their physical possession if they plan to have their dog at the park. It might save a life.}

Marie”

In summary, though I’ve never felt threatened by our local rescue Pit friends, thought Marie’s advice was sage nonetheless, especially since Marie is such a fan of and good trainer of Pit rescues.

What are your thoughts about Pit Bulls these days?

Leave a Reply

57 Comments on "The Pit-Bull Predicament"


pawzclawz
Member
pawzclawz
5 years 9 months ago
I was petting and playing with a pit bull at the downtown farmers market last evening. I can’t say for certain if it was the same dog as in the picture. It certainly looked like it was. In any case,I can’t state enough how sweet that dog was. I know the reputation that pits have. I’m aware of the damage they can cause. I used to stop and pet and play with Giant as well,whenever I saw him. He never showed any signs of aggression towards me. Giant snapped because his owner was abusing him. Whomever Giant’s owner is deserves… Read more »
whineanddineinhob
Member
whineanddineinhob
5 years 9 months ago
The only thing to say is that you “lucked out”. These pit bulls don’t always their aggression 24/7; there are times they just “freak out”. I wouldn’t push my luck. Your next response my have a different outcome.[quote comment=”195142″]I was petting and playing with a pit bull at the downtown farmers market last evening. I can’t say for certain if it was the same dog as in the picture. It certainly looked like it was. In any case,I can’t state enough how sweet that dog was. I know the reputation that pits have. I’m aware of the damage they can… Read more »
pawzclawz
Member
pawzclawz
5 years 9 months ago
To quote you, I have “lucked out” quite a bit. I was playing with another pit on Washington St.last week, again a very sweet dog. I got off work one night. I was by The PATH station. A man was with his children,he was wating for someone. He had a pitbull puppy next to him. The puppy was leashed. The owner wasn’t holding the leash. He should have been. The puppy walked over to me and sat down by my side. I’ve had worse experiences with the smaller dogs than with pits. A few years ago,I was walking a Golden… Read more »
whineanddineinhob
Member
whineanddineinhob
5 years 9 months ago
Not sure if it was a pit bull, but Dave (the owner of Madison Bar) bent down to what seemed like a friendly dog and it took a chunk out of his lip that required plastic surgery. Sometimes the dog doesn’t have to be bred to attack, sometime it’s just a defense mode that kicks in. I’d be careful. I’m a dog lover too, but kind of wary.[quote comment=”195144″]To quote you, I have “lucked out” quite a bit. I was playing with another pit on Washington St.last week, again a very sweet dog. I got off work one night. I… Read more »
pawzclawz
Member
pawzclawz
5 years 9 months ago
I remember hearing about that.I’m not sure if it was a pit myself.It really stinks that happened to Dave. I’m not trying to blame him but there are ways to approach an unfamiliar dog and bending down is not one of them.If the tail is wagging and the dog appears friendly,offer the back of your hand. [quote comment=”195147″]Not sure if it was a pit bull, but Dave (the owner of Madison Bar) bent down to what seemed like a friendly dog and it took a chunk out of his lip that required plastic surgery. Sometimes the dog doesn’t have to… Read more »
emarche
Member
5 years 9 months ago
Excellent point re: approaching an unfamiliar dog. Given the notion that ‘any dog can bite’, it’s surprising to see just how many people saunter up to unfamiliar animals and expect a warm reception. A couple of weeks ago I got on to our elevator with a mother and her child. Two floors up, a guy got on with his golden retriever and the child immediately rushed the dog, arms wide open. Two things happened, one worthy of praise and the other worthy of a shiny new “World’s Worst Parent” medal: 1. Man w/ dog immediately immediately put himself between the… Read more »
getz76
Member
getz76
5 years 9 months ago
Good on the dog owner. God, the mother is the reason I hate people.[quote comment=”195153″]Excellent point re: approaching an unfamiliar dog. Given the notion that ‘any dog can bite’, it’s surprising to see just how many people saunter up to unfamiliar animals and expect a warm reception. A couple of weeks ago I got on to our elevator with a mother and her child. Two floors up, a guy got on with his golden retriever and the child immediately rushed the dog, arms wide open. Two things happened, one worthy of praise and the other worthy of a shiny new… Read more »
wiskeytango1
Member
wiskeytango1
5 years 9 months ago

pits dont get a bad rap ..take a walk to the west side most of you reformers fear to thread and see how many to protect the drug dealers..bad rap? knock on any door in one of these suspected bldgs … :mrgreen:

wiskeytango1
Member
wiskeytango1
5 years 9 months ago
pit bulls dobermans ratwallerdogs were cross bread for a reason…Satan cross bread. kiddies during ww2 these dogs tore apart us pows trying to escape as well as jewish people in the death camps..before they made it to the electrified fences.. intelligent people should not keep these dogs in a confined apt duplex condo or other wise…I forgot a dog named german shepphard..same chit.The weight limit in the shipyard and constitution bldgs is around 40lbs?? I see water buffalos dropping turds that a front end loader can only pick up..kids play in the grass..thats up to the health dept dog off… Read more »
Stabone130
Member
5 years 9 months ago

I have a pit and the neighbors in our building love him — he doesn’t bark, cause trouble, chew on anything…..we had renters move in last year with two yappie Yorkies. It got to a point where the landlord had to kick them out — every unit had complained about their non-stop barking. Yes, pit bulls are terrible.

getz76
Member
getz76
5 years 9 months ago
Pit bulls are dangerous from an underwriting standpoint. That is different than being terrible. Yorkies are annoying, which is different than being dangerous. The statistics (which are used for underwriting and pricing) show pit bulls cause more maiming and deaths than any other breed. Skydiving is inherently dangerous, which is why you will notice that your life insurance policy likely excludes death or disability claims for injuries which occur during skydiving (and sometimes base-jumping). A landlord that is allowing pitbulls knowingly likely has no idea how much exposure he is open to if there is an event. There are a… Read more »
HOB424
Member
HOB424
5 years 9 months ago
landlords have a right to state they don’t want pets on their property. Safety is an issue, but also noise. When you leave the dog home, noone wants to listen to it bark. You have another option, buy a place and you can make your own rules.[quote comment=”195083″]Pit bulls are dangerous from an underwriting standpoint. That is different than being terrible. Yorkies are annoying, which is different than being dangerous. The statistics (which are used for underwriting and pricing) show pit bulls cause more maiming and deaths than any other breed. Skydiving is inherently dangerous, which is why you will… Read more »
HansBrix
Member
HansBrix
5 years 9 months ago

Property damage too. Dogs can wreck a place.

I knew a golden retriever once that reenacted Shawshank Redemption on the front door and adjacent wall. [quote comment=”195097″]landlords have a right to state they don’t want pets on their property. Safety is an issue, but also noise. When you leave the dog home, noone wants to listen to it bark. You have another option, buy a place and you can make your own rules.

[/quote]

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