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"


Member
hobposer
6 years 3 months ago

Now we are profiling dogs? OMG! I’ve seen Dachsunds and Poodles shred other dogs in dog parks. If an owner knows the behavior of their dog to be bad, with respect to any dog then they know not to bring it to the park. In other news, let’s focus on some of the dog owners and handlers that let their dogs poop in the park and not clean it up. Strand tramp you care to chime in?

Member
demarfe
6 years 3 months ago

Do we really have to listen to this political correct libs spew stupidity even about dogs??? Our children are indoctrinated by this crap in our schools everyday… Profiling? Let’s leave that to terrorists going through airports… Oh, maybe that’s too harsh! Anyway, here, we are discussing the reality that pit bulls are an aggressive and extremely strong breed. The level of stupidity to compare a pit bull to a Dachsund or a Poodle is beyond even the least-informed dog owner (do you even own one?). A poodle grabs my dog and I peel it off with minor damage done, a… Read more »

Member
hobposer
6 years 3 months ago

Not a dose of reality, just your opinion, we differ in thoughts In response to demarfe who said: Do we really have to listen to this political correct libs spew stupidity even about dogs??? Our children are indoctrinated by this crap in our schools everyday… Profiling? Let’s leave that to terrorists going through airports… Oh, maybe that’s too harsh! Anyway, here, we are discussing the reality that pit bulls are an aggressive and extremely strong breed. The level of stupidity to compare a pit bull to a Dachsund or a Poodle is beyond even the least-informed dog owner (do you… Read more »

Member
bradykp
6 years 3 months ago

any dog can do damage, but pits are a very strong breed. i have another longer post that apparently is held up in the filter, dunno why. but i love pits for the most part, you just need to be cautious.

In response to midtownauthentic who said:
Not a dose of reality, just your opinion, we differ in thoughts

Member
funnygal
6 years 3 months ago

A dose of reality huh? Interesting choice of words. “A poodle grabs my dog and I peel it off with minor damage done, a pit bull grabs onto my dog and will need an axe and a handgun to pry his grip form my dog’s throat, and still, by then, my dog will have most likely choked to death.” Your dramatics are quite interesting. All in all sounds pretty realistic though. All dogs can show aggression. It just depends on the situation at hand. I do not believe Pit Bulls should bear the brunt of the stereotype created for them… Read more »

Member
6 years 3 months ago

The problem is that most people are responsible and it is the 10% irresponsible owners that you hear horror stories about. How about the guy who was attacked in Hoboken by the boxer? I never heard a conclusion to that story. Pit bulls do have a bad rap. Most of them are great dogs, with great owners. But with that said when it came time for me to choose a dog, I did a lot of research into what I wanted as a companion. Off that list immediately was any pit bull or pit mix. I’m sure that there are… Read more »

Member
mooshu
6 years 3 months ago

Thank you. Owners can even invest in a muzzle if the behavior is out of hand, and if training is difficult for a while. Well, if they’re responsible. Duh. In response to funnygal who said: A dose of reality huh? Interesting choice of words. “A poodle grabs my dog and I peel it off with minor damage done, a pit bull grabs onto my dog and will need an axe and a handgun to pry his grip form my dog’s throat, and still, by then, my dog will have most likely choked to death.” Your dramatics are quite interesting. All… Read more »

Member
mooshu
6 years 3 months ago

It’s funny you bring that up, even funnier that this post came about :). Today, I brought a small dog to the Shipyard. There must have been three Pit Bulls there, one mixed, and a couple of other medium-dogs. My pal was the smallest of the bunch, and I was a little hesitant to bring him into the park because of that. So I asked the walkers/owners if they were friendly, and they said “yes”. I brought my pal in, cautiously. The dogs LOVED him. They ran with him, back and forth, when hardly any other dogs play with him.… Read more »

Member
bradykp
6 years 3 months ago

I hate to say this, because I love all dogs, but from what I’ve read on almost every pit rescue site and club is that no matter how much you train one, there is always the potential for the dog aggressive behavior, and that an owner should never fully trust the pit around other dogs. My dog plays with a few pits on our block, and I can’t imagine the pits ever doing something harmful. I didn’t know that about age though, so maybe as these guys get older it will change? I do know though, if these dogs ever… Read more »

Member
jazzeru
6 years 3 months ago

from my experience marie is right on. i had a little red nose girl for 5 years. for the first year she was super submissive to other dogs, however one day she changed completely and got aggressive. i never went to a regular dog park again after that day, instead i went to places with other pits where they could play rough together. the fact is pits play rough and the snarling and snapping looks nasty but its usually harmless but.. it scares the heck out of other owners so it is best to just let them play with other… Read more »

Member
matt1122
6 years 3 months ago

Do you know why the dog snapped? This is kind of important in deciding whether or not to bring it to the park again.

Member
drdrool
6 years 3 months ago

There should be a place for people to take their toy dogs that can’t handle playing with a real dog. Maybe the owners of these toys should know where they are taking their toy. If there are real dogs playing rough then maybe the little toy should keep walking.

Member
6 years 3 months ago

As a pit-mix owner, this debate always makes my head spin. There is absolutely no evidence that pit bulls or pit mixes are MORE aggressive than other breeds. In fact: “In tests conducted by the American Temperament Test Society, which evaluates stability, aggression, friendliness, and other traits in several hundred dog breeds, the American pit-bull terrier scored 85.3 percent, higher than a golden retriever.” The reason why pits have a bad reputation (as Demarfe pointed out above) is the damage they can do. If a golden retriever attacks, you can probably pry it off. A pit bull does that –… Read more »

Member
Friedupright
6 years 3 months ago

Well said. You obviously have a very well rounded, and grounded, understanding of pits and dogs in general. IMO, people are the culprits. They refuse to understand their dogs the same way they will fight at a PTA meeting because “their kid” would never do such a thing. In response to Stabone130 who said: As a pit-mix owner, this debate always makes my head spin. There is absolutely no evidence that pit bulls or pit mixes are MORE aggressive than other breeds. In fact: “In tests conducted by the American Temperament Test Society, which evaluates stability, aggression, friendliness, and other… Read more »

Member
mooshu
6 years 3 months ago

Bingo! You got it. “My child/dog can do no wrong”. Just perfect.

In response to Friedupright who said:
Well said. You obviously have a very well rounded, and grounded, understanding of pits and dogs in general. IMO, people are the culprits. They refuse to understand their dogs the same way they will fight at a PTA meeting because “their kid” would never do such a thing.

Member
6 years 3 months ago

And there is a place for toy dogs at Church Square Park — only small yappie dogs are allowed in there.

In response to drdrool who said:
There should be a place for people to take their toy dogs that can’t handle playing with a real dog. Maybe the owners of these toys should know where they are taking their toy. If there are real dogs playing rough then maybe the little toy should keep walking.

Member
matt1122
6 years 3 months ago

Some medium-sized friendly dogs spend some time in there as well, it’s just for the more gentle ones who don’t pick up the little dogs and throw em around. That said, I don’t see how this whole small dog thing came up. The author said the runs are relatively small, not that they’re for relatively small dogs. For all you know the pit attacked a husky. And Brady, I know how you feel. All my posts are held up in the moderation queue for some reason. I must be dangerous. B) In response to Stabone130 who said: And there is… Read more »

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