Originally Posted by djblisk
I was just talking in generalities. Lets see a pic of the Pit!
What were the effects of her first 4 months of life?
Shyness - She'll be very excited to see new people (will drag you toward them if you give her the chance) up until she gets about 6 feet away, and then all of a sudden she has second thoughts and backs away (barks occasionally). More so with men, she's generally pretty good with women and no issues with children. She doesn't seem to like canes/bats/etc., and is pretty easily startled in general. She does not at all get along with dogs who try to be submissive to her. All manageable, just unfortunate as she has a wonderful personality otherwise.
Originally Posted by gomestar
our pup had a rough 3-5 years, and she bounced back pretty easily. We only had her since Sept. 2014. I don't doubt that she's a different dog than she would be had she been properly raised from a puppy, but she's still learning. My wife just started doing visits to local youth shelters and hospitals with her in conjunction with the Good Dog Foundation.
I'm not aware of any difficulty issues with the Northeast rescues, we worked with one. The dog we found happened to be at the shelter still (they were going to pull it anyways), and the rescue took care of first round of shots, spaying, and then a foster kept her for 2 weeks to help get rid of the kennel cough. Total fees were about $200 or so. Would work with the same rescue again. The South seems to have an immense glut of unwanted dogs, so I'm not surprised that overall it's "easier". A home is a home.
Agree 100% with your last sentence. Have heard some horror stories about overly restrictive rescues, but will keep an open mind. Certainly willing to work with a rescue (in fact, spoke with the fiancee last night and it's her strong preference to adopt/rescue). That said, she's never owned a dog, and came along after a lot of progress had been made with the current one...so I don't think she's got a real feel for the potential downside of rescue vs. breeder. Potentially a 15 year commitment and I want to make sure we set ourselves up for the best chance of success. Which brings up to....
Originally Posted by JLibourel
As to the matter of shelter dogs, I know it is very popular and PC these days to go that route, and I would be the first to admit that many wonderful dogs have been rescues. However, I always tell people that anytime you get a puppy, it is a crapshoot. When you get an adult dog from a shelter, it is more of a crapshoot.
I was just informed by a correspondent of a guy who adopted a five-year-old Rott from a shelter. He had been there a few days, and the shelter workers stated there had been no aggression issues. The Rott killed the man who had adopted him the same day he arrived in his new home. I don't know whether it was a case of Sudden Onset Rage Syndrome or a dominance aggression issue. The victim looked pretty "alpha," and it may have triggered a dominance challenge. I can recall a previous incident where a woman firefighter adopted a Dogue de Bordeaux from a shelter or rescue organization. It killed her within the week.
I will say that my penultimate Tosa, Tessa, was a "rescue" of sorts. She had killed and eaten the neighbor's 100-pound Akita and was returned to her breeder. She proved to be a very sweet and gentle dog during the short time (15 months) we had her. Lymphoma got her.
I am told that the canine population of our Long Beach shelter consists overwhelmingly of two kinds of dogs, pit bulls and pit bull mixes and Chihuahuas, which may give some hint of the demographics of the people who abandon their dogs. Some rescue organizations are actually importing dogs from overseas to keep people from going to breeders. I encountered one such dog at a party I attended. I was an eight-year-old Lab-mix from Taiwan. Most of the time it was docile, but it tried to bite a beloved neighbor of ours. It seemed unpredictable. As my wife put it, "I'd rather have NO DOG than an old dog from Taiwan."
As to dog overpopulation in the South, I have a very dear friend who runs a rescue operation in Missouri. Although I know Missouri is s "Border State," the problem seems very bad there
Jan, re: the bolded - is it your opinion that an adult shelter dog is more of a crapshoot than a shelter pup? I've been thinking the opposite, so would be interested in hearing more if that's the case. If you're saying that an adult shelter dog is more of a crapshoot and a purebred from a reputable breeder (and the biggest question of all is a shelter pup), that makes sense to me.
Originally Posted by lefty
dcg, you did a great job with the dog, but her shyness is bred in, which is why it's nearly impossible for you to eradicate. It has nothing to do with the way she was treated for a few months.
Working vs show/pet.
What you get with a dog from working lines is potentially the temperament and drive to do the job it was designed for. In many cases, you also get a different structure - typically smaller and lighter. I would argue that a proper working temperament is exactly what you should be looking for in a companion/pet dog as long as you understand the drives particular to your breed and provide it the appropriate outlet. Yes, it isn't going to be 30 minutes of frisbee once a day, but I doubt that a hunting Vizsla will present too many challenges a young experienced couple couldn't easily and happily handle.
You also have to understand that there is a hell of a lot of grey area here. Not all working bred dogs work or all show bred dogs can't. If you're set on a Viszla I would visit both types of breeders and start talking to them. Probably somewhere in the middle is the dog you want.
Thanks lefty. So much conflicting information out there when it comes to dogs, particularly related to nature vs. nurture. But I believe you're right, a dog without shyness bred in would have come around over the past almost 7 years.
Interesting point regarding working temperament, and makes sense. Just so happens that some of the dogs that are of interest happen to be designed for jobs that require a lot of energy. Haven't seen anything that would really dissuade me from a Vizsla. Really like the wire haired variety, though there seem to be very few breeders in the US. If we do end up going with a breeder, will definitely reach out to them.
Originally Posted by itsstillmatt
Dcg- our cattle dog is standoffish with people he doesn't know. He wouldn't approach them and generally wants nothing to do with them. There are occasional outliers where he just trusts somebody, but generally not. He is good with other dogs in that he is socially correct but not really into playing with them. He doesn't stand for obnoxious behavior, but he will drive a dog off, not fight.
Re vizslas, one nice thin foster the breeders are almost always breeding for dual purpose dogs and are really responsible. We are currently on a breeders list and it will be our next dog. They are really good inside, and if you read their history, you find out why. They have always been inside dogs.
I agree with lefty about show vs working dogs, but the understanding their drives is a big one. I'd argue that the show ones are the messed up cousins. I I'm also not a rescue guy.
Thanks Matt, that's helpful. One of the things I really like about the pit is her generally goofy nature. In fact, I'd be happy to grab a second, but we're moving into a nice new (generally older) neighborhood, and I don't want the whispers going around to be "The Smiths sold their house to a couple with a bunch of pit bulls!"
That said, I hope to always have a pit bull in the family. Love 'em.