Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Training: Previous owner
Posted January 29, 2015
When we adopted our Pit Bull/Lab mix, she was a tiny little thing. We brought her home from the shelter and she was at the same time nervous and curious, as most dogs would be. While she displays minimal traces of Black Lab physical characteristics, she is clearly a Pit Bull. Her brindle coat, wide head, and muscular stance indicate the true nature of her ancestry.
Despite her appearance, our dog is sweet. She wouldn't even think to growl at any person we bring into our home, and she is quite friendly. Furthermore, she knows when to keep her distance, and is not overly bothersome in asking for attention. She absolutely loves to snuggle, and will keep you warm all night through the winter months (assuming you allow dogs on the bed).
However, make no mistake - Pit Bulls have earned their reputation for aggression because they are indeed aggressive. I noted earlier that we have no problem bringing guests over, but have mercy on any stranger that approaches the house. Our dog will growl, bark, and intimidate the mail man, delivery services, door-to-door salesmen, and more. She will also bark at anybody who tries to pass the house. On more than one occasion we have had to stop her from attacking a passing animal if she managed to bolt out the door.
Additionally, with our dog we note a problem that appears to be common among Pit Bulls - she is quite an annoyance to walk. She pulls and pulls, seemingly in no direction, taking the owner with her. She is smaller, but is solid muscle and so being dragged around the block is not exactly pleasant. Everybody seems to think they have a solution for this, but they have all been to no avail. If you're planning on getting a Pit Bull, be ready to potentially encounter this issue.
Despite these characteristics, our dog is amazing. She is incredibly smart, and displays a clear understanding of "right" and "wrong." Although she is tough, her feelings are easily hurt, and it is hard to make her happy again. Sure, she can be difficult at times, but if you are able to put in the effort, she is quite rewarding to have around. She is staunchly loyal, and will protect you no matter what. I wouldn't necessarily recommend her as a family-oriented dog, but she's not dangerous. Pit Bulls make excellent watch dogs and individual companions, so if this is what you are looking for, this may be the dog for you.