Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Posted September 17, 2015
Sara is a one-year old Am Staff/Pit Bull mix. She is about 55lbs and is just beautiful. She looks a bit like a boy dog which is kind of annoying but we don't want to put ribbons on her so I guess that is just how it is going to be.
Crate Potty Training
Sara was fine as a puppy in the crate - she didn't whine or cry. She had some trouble potty training but seemed to get it after about a month.
She is far less amenable to training than we would have liked. Am Staffs and Pits are stubborn and strict obedience training worked for some things and not for others. Treat training didn't work at all. We ended up getting an electronic collar for her so we can buzz her from far away to get her attention. We have only needed to use the shock part of the collar for really dangerous behavior like trying to chase cars. Otherwise, the noise making works just fine for her. As she has grown up a bit, her obedience has been coming more online. By the time she is two, with continued training, we are certain she will be settled.
She has a ton of energy and loves to run. If you want a running partner, Am Staffs or Pits can be great for that. She is up to five miles a day and that really helps with better behavior.
Sara is food obsessed and will eat her own and any other pet food that is available to her. That has been extremely aggravating with two other dogs and a cat. Policing food is not what we consider a good time. Nor is buying expensive food over and over.
We have four kids under 10 and Sara is great with all of them. Though we have taught our kids how to act around dogs, they will still hug her and get in her space and she is gentle and tolerant. She also loves chasing after them on their bikes or running. She doesn't try to knock them down or bite at them and never has.
Good lord is she ever mouthy. No toy has been made that can stand up to her jaws, nor any rawhide. In the teething years we had to spend more on rawhide than we wanted to but it was necessary as she would try to gnaw on anything she could get her mouth around. She also chew stick to bit every time she can get one and has also chewed on rocks and fruit pits. She has to be watched very closely to see if she has something in her mouth that she shouldn't.
Small dogs and cats
Sara and our small breed puppy fight and Sara is normally gentle. She can get a little rough but with correction they have seemed to form a strong bond. We just watched them closely in the first month and jumped in when necessary. We never scooped up the small one - we just gently separated them so they could calm down.
On the other hand, Sara will chase cats that run. She is not reliable with cats because of this.
Sara is a good adolescent dog. Her puppy time was challenging at times with the chewing and teething and food stealing. We are not out of the woods yet with some of that but she is getting better. It took her awhile to get into the "pack" mentality. She was/can be very independent. Consistent training and exercise helps. We love her and recommend the breed to anyone who wants to have a dog that will take a bit of work.