Boomer with his Halloween costume on. Happy Halloween from Phyllis Diller!
I hear repeatedly, "It's all in how they are raised." They, referring to pit bulls and their tempraments. I used to buy into that line until I began dealing with pit bulls that have had a less than desirable upbringing.
Now, I don't claim to be an expert at dog behavior, and all of the dogs that I have fostered have unknown pasts, but there are some pretty obvious signs that the dog was not a beloved family pet that curled up by his owner on the couch.
Boomer, for example, is still apprehensive in unfamiliar situations. There are still times that he won't come in the house, that he's afraid of jumping up onto the bed, and when an unfamiliar noise sends him hiding in fear.
Salsa was found as a stray and was severely emaciated. She, too, had to be coaxed to come into the house and be a part of the family. But no matter how they were ''raised'', they are becoming happy, confident dogs. They don't look back, they are forgiving, and live in the moment.
I've seen, heard, and even read about some dogs that had a pretty awful upbringing and have turned out to be wonderful, loving family pets.
Take for example the dogs that were confiscated from Michael Vick's dog fighting operation. We know for certain that these dogs were not ''raised'' well. They all lived outside, tied up to truck axles, fought, bred, used as bait, beaten, and injected with steroids. Of the 51 pit bulls that were taken off of his property in Virginia, 4 were euthanized. Only one of those four was euthanized due to aggression. She had endured years of breeding and had enough. Some of these dogs have gone on to become therapy dogs, breed ambassadors, and loving members of families.
I think that this example truly shows that it is not ''how they were raised'', but rather how they are being cared for now.