The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Dog Breeds The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Dog Breeds
Showing posts with label Dog Breeds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dog Breeds. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The 10 Most Common Mistakes That Dog Owners Make

1. Not Reading Up on Different Dog Breeds 

The most common mistake future dog owners make, according to Gina Spadafori, pet columnist and executive editor of, is not doing enough research before heading to the breeder or shelter. "People end up with a pet that is inappropriate for their home, their living situation and their lifestyle," says Spadafori.

"Dogs come in such a huge range of sizes, temperaments and exercise needs." Before you buy or adopt, consider your space, children, other pets and any allergies. If you have a particular breed in mind, pay attention to genetic traits. "Know what genetic diseases are possible in the breed or the mix of breeds you're getting," Spadafori says. "And do not get a dog from a breeder who did not do the genetic testing." To find out what tests each breed needs, visit

2. Assuming a Puppy Is Always Better Than a Dog

Puppies are extremely needy, requiring ample amounts of time, attention, training and more. "When people think about puppies, they don't think about how much time and money is involved in that first year," Spadafori says. "If your real goal is to get a good dog, then pick one that is 1 or 2 years old." A number of breeders train dogs for shows, and if those dogs don't make the cut for whatever reason, the breeder will be looking to place that dog, who is already trained and socialized in a good home.

Great dogs are also available at animal shelters. "It’s a mistake to think the older dog won't bond with you," Spadafori says. "The best dog I ever had I got at 2 years old. Rescue dogs know when they've found their forever home."

3. Not Making Exercise a Priority

Dogs are physical animals, and need daily exercise for optimal health, which means their owners need to make time for that as well. "Dogs had a working role in the past. They herded cattle, they guarded stuff, they retrieved stuff…now they're born retired," says Marty Becker, DVM, author of Your Dog: The Owner's Manual. He recommends brisk walks, playing fetch with tennis balls and, for larger breeds such as golden retrievers, a Chuckit Ball Launcher. "A basic rule of thumb is that all dogs should receive at least 45 to 60 total minutes per day of physical exercise and 15 minutes of behavioral training to be happy, well-adjusted canines," says Michael Landa, CEO of Natural Pet Food brand Nulo. "And this is really just a starting point. The actual amount can vary greatly depending on the dog's age, breed and health status."

4. Not Reading Pet Food Labels

While many people pick their dog food based on price, there are several other important factors to consider, particularly nutrition. "Pet food can have a huge effect on how your pet feels, which can translate into how your pet behaves," Landa says. The key is understanding the ingredient list. "The first two ingredients should be meat and meat meals.

Dogs are carnivores. They really need high-meat diets, and that's the only way to guarantee you'll have a high amount of protein," Landa says, recommending brands such as Nulo, Wellness and Castor & Pollux.

5. Doling Out Too Many Treats

Obesity is a huge problem with dogs, especially in the United States. In fact, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 55 percent of dogs are overweight or obese. "Everybody gives treats; veterinary nutritionists give their pets treats," Dr. Becker says. However, he cautions that treats have their place, and should be used sparingly. Instead of special snacks, Dr. Becker recommends taking their regular food and giving it to them away from the bowl, which turns it into a treat. Or just give your pet more words of encouragement or "emotional Milk-Bones," as Dr. Becker calls them, such as: "You're a good boy," "That's a good girl!" “They go crazy, their tails wag and there are no empty calories." Whatever approach you take, Dr. Becker advises that treats should never account for more than 10 percent of your dog's daily caloric intake.

6. Babying Your Dog Too Much

Dressing them up, talking baby talk and sleeping with your dog may sound like good ways to show love, but that’s not always the case. "It may be good for us, but it is not the best thing for your dog," Landa says. "People think it's really cute to have their dog sleep with them in bed, but dogs are pack animals, so if you're letting your dog into the bed without permission, your dog begins to think of itself as on par with the pack master." This makes it harder to enforce rules and control bad behavior. "You're telling him on the one hand that he's equal to you, and on the other that he's not, so it can create anxiety," he says.

Boundaries and rules make dogs happier because they know exactly where they fit in. If you do want to sleep with your dog, Landa recommends only letting him on the bed when you invite him, so that there is a clear division of authority.

7. Washing Your Dog Only When Dirty

Bathing your dog can be cumbersome, but it’s essential for his or her health. Veterinary dermatologists recommend bathing your dog once a week to get rid of spores, dust, dust mites and even MRSA, the highly resistant staph virus. "Most of the time humans give MRSA to pets, and pets act as a reservoir and ping-pong it back and forth.

A new study showed that bathing was more effective for getting rid of it than using antibiotic treatments," Dr. Becker says. Plus, a clean coat makes for an even more huggable dog.

8. Not Brushing Their Teeth

Sometimes you don't even want to brush your own teeth, let alone your dog's. But according to Dr. Becker, this is one of the biggest problems in canine health. "The number-one thing we diagnose is periodontal disease,” he says. “So if you do daily oral care, or even a few times weekly, you'll be saving yourself money in the end." Brushing every day is the gold standard. But if you can't, there are alternatives, such as a dental vaccine against periodontal disease, as well as oral health products, like the C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Kit and C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews. "Dog's teeth are not only used for chewing, they are their front hands, that's how they pick up something and carry it," says Dr. Becker.

More important, they need their teeth to regulate their body temperature. "If those teeth aren't in place, they can't pant, and if they can't pant, they can't regulate heat

9. Passing on Parasite Control

Parasite control isn’t a pleasant topic, but it’s a necessary one. Year-round coverage is essential; to prevent parasites, get a veterinary checkup every six to 12 months, according to the Companion Animal Parasite Council's guidelines.

Ask your veterinarian what parasites your dog is at risk for, it will depend on your pet's lifestyle, location and anything that's going around the neighborhood. In addition, have a heartworm test performed annually, and a fecal examination at least twice a year to make sure your pet’s system is clear.

10. Being Unprepared for Serious Illness

Understanding your dog’s breed and its healthcare needs is important, but it’s especially important when it comes to recognizing the symptoms of serious illness. "Have a basic list of symptoms handy," recommends Spadafori. "Knowing what is and isn't an emergency will save your dog's life and save you a lot of money." And if your pet is sick, don’t waste time trying to help him yourself. "If you are worried your dog is critically ill, you need to get hold of a vet. You cannot go online and get a diagnosis or a cure," she says. "People think they're saving money by not going to the vet, but then you're going to end up with a very sick dog and spend a lot more money." Before an emergency arises, inform yourself by researching your dog at or at


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Pit Bulls – Do They Make Good Pets?

Pit bull is a term commonly used to describe several breeds of dog in the molosser breed group. Most jurisdictions that restrict pit bulls, use the term "pit bull" to refer to the modern American Pit Bull Terrier, American  Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or any other dog that has the substantial physical characteristics and appearance of those breeds.

Media hysteria and bad owners have greatly damaged this breed, and every incident involving a pit bull makes it worse for the entire breed and their owners, often prompting breed specific legislation or breed bans.

The pit bull is typically a people loving, intelligent and fun breed. Due to their affinity with people, this breed is a good candidate for rescue and adoption, but potential homes need to be carefully screened to insure that the new owners understand and accept the responsibility of owning a pit bull.  This is not a breed for everyone! The only way to repair the pit bull's bad reputation is to keep them in the hands of responsible owners.

Animal shelters in the United States euthanized approximately 1.7 million dogs in 2008; approximately 980,000, or 58 percent of these were assessed to have been pit bull-type dogs.


Friday, July 14, 2017

In Maryland, it is Illegal for a Bystander to Smash a Car Window to Save a Pet Trapped in a Hot Car

During the dog days of summer, the last place your dog should be is in a car alone.

In Maryland, it is illegal to leave a cat or dog in a standing or parked car in a manner that endangers the health or safety of that animal.

It is also illegal for a bystander to smash a car window to save a pet trapped in a hot car.

The law allows for police, local and state public safety employees, animal control officers, and fire rescue volunteers to use reasonable force to remove a cat or dog left in a car without being held liable for any damages.

“Even if you have the windows down, even if it's in a shady place, I recommend just trying to avoid [leaving a pet in a car] at all costs” said Dr. Amelia Kaeding with Falls Road Animal Hospital.

Different breeds can feel the effects of heat faster, particularly older dogs and puppies.

“Swollen tongue, so if their tongue is looking really big. And then once heatstroke gets much more serious, I worry about vomiting and diarrhea, especially if there's blood in it; muscle weakness, shaking, tremors, they can even get seizures,” said Dr. Kaeding.

Dogs with a lot of hair or smooshed faces are also very susceptible to heat stroke, and it doesn't take long for a car to get hot.

“Even on a 70 degree day and it feels nice and cool out, if you leave a dog in a car, it can get to 90 degrees in about 10 minutes,” said Stephen Wells the executive director with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF).

The ALDF tracks various “hot car” and “Good Samaritan” laws in different states. Twenty-nine states have some form of a hot car law that prohibits leaving a companion animal in an unattended vehicle. However, the laws differ place to place.

“In Maryland, there is a law that allows emergency responders to be able to break into a car but not members of the public, at this time,” Wells said.

Wells added it’s not likely for someone to face charges if they saved the animal, but there’s always a chance. He said it helps to do a few things to make sure you’re covered.

“It's good to have a witness, have somebody there. Make sure you're prepared to take care of that dog once you get them out. Do the least amount of damage possible and just make sure you don't risk the dog's or anyone else's safety while you're doing that,” Wells said.

Eleven states currently have Good Samaritan laws that grant immunity to anyone freeing a trapped animal.

Dr. Kaeding also warns pet owners to watch that their pets don't overheat while playing outside. If they do, it's recommended you take them to the veterinarian. You should also blow a cold fan on them, and dip them in cool water. Do not use ice or ice cold water. It can constrict the blood vessels and cause the dog to actually retain heat.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

7 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Adopted A Dog

Picture of puppy
Twice in my life I've owned a dog. Both times, I was so enamored with the dog, all cooped up at the shelter and ready to escape to a loving home, that I pushed aside any serious concerns about the responsibility I was taking on. I figured I'd deal with problems when they happened. For the most part, that worked. After all, you can't worry too much about what hasn't happened. But you can be prepared.

Both of my dogs have given me very different opportunities to learn what truly goes into owning a living, breathing, eating, pooping, thinking, chewing, high-energy, accident-prone, vaccination-needing, attention-seeking being. And while nothing could make me regret bringing home either of my wonderful dogs — no matter how high the vet bills or how frustrating the training — I do wish that I'd have gone into the adoptions with eyes wide open. (And maybe a little more padding in my savings account.)

While I only have hindsight, it is 20-20. I hope that it can help someone else prepare a little more for what they're getting into when they sign up for a dog. Here are the seven things I wish someone would have said to me before I signed the adoption papers, just so I knew exactly what I was getting into.

1. You're going to spend a lot of money. A. Lot. Of. Money.
Whatever you think you're going to spend on a dog, triple it. Better yet, quadruple it. And depending on your dog, double whatever the sum of your quadrupling.

Americans spent $55.7 billion on pets in 2013. We spent an estimated $58.5 billion in 2014. In fact, every year, we spend billions more than the previous year on our non-human family members. Why? Because we care.

The bulk of what we spend goes toward better food. These days it's tough to trust just any old can of ground-up goodness-knows-what. Is it nutritious? Is it safe? Is it ethical? More and more pet stores are offering better options like dehydrated or frozen raw food made with organic ingredients. Honest Kitchen, Grandma Lucy's, Small Batch, Orijen, Stella & Chewy's, Primal, Natural Balance and other brands have come onto the market to offer dog owners only the best for their pups. And they aren't cheap.

Beyond the absolute basics of food, there are the basics of annual vaccinations and licensing your dog with your city. There's also microchipping your dog and getting him registered in search databases, which is a huge step in ensuring a lost dog can be returned to his or her owner.

Then there are the vet visits — not predictable in when they'll happen or why, but predictable in that they will indeed happen. Some dogs are prone to skin infections or allergies or ear infections. Young dogs run the risk of injuring themselves in overly rambunctious play. Old dogs run the risk of developing arthritis, or the scary c-word, cancer. And there's always the expense of monthly flea, tick and heartworm medications. Some pet owners opt to get pet insurance with monthly payments in case of an emergency or as a way to handle expensive prescriptions if the dog has special health needs, so there's another monthly cost to consider.

Then there is the money you don't spend on your dog but you spend because of your dog. Replacing furniture or carpets, for instance. I've had to get a toilet repaired (ball got stuck in it) and a window replaced (ball went through it) and a new fence installed (ball went under it so dog went through it).

There are the necessities like baths and grooming and nail trimming. And there's the fun stuff like collars, tags, treats, beds, crates, harnesses, leashes, sweaters or boots if you live in cold climates, cooling blankets if you live in hot climates, bully sticks and marrow bones, chew toys and stuffed toys, replacement toys, replacement toys for the replacement toys, Chuck-Its and tennis balls, training treat pouches, poop bags ... I could keep going, but I think you get the idea.

And there's the cost of classes. An obedience class or two is a must. But there's also private trainers to get one-on-one help. Special classes for dogs with particular issues like reactivity or shyness. There are canine good citizen classes or agility classes or rally classes or scent work classes.

What if you travel a lot and need to board your dog with someone while you're away? Or what if you work all day and need to hire a dog walker or enroll your pooch in doggy daycare so they get enough exercise and don't tear up everything in the house?

So when I say double what you quadrupled, I'm not exaggerating. You're not paying for an adoption fee, a collar, leash and some food — oh, not by a long shot. Still, all this doesn't add up to not getting a dog. It just means you'll need to do some serious thinking about budgeting for and making decisions about what you're going to spend money on and preparing for that fact.

More >>>


Monday, November 17, 2014

These Mutts Show Us That Amazing Dogs Come In All Shapes And Sizes

Picture of 3 dogs in suitcase
There are many dog breeds out there, and then there are the mutts. We're talking about those that are part retriever, part poodle, part German shepherd and part mystery pup. Though mutts can sometimes get a bad rap, these mixed breeds are just as smart, playful and lovable as pure bred dogs. In fact, there are tons of reasons to adopt a mutt instead of buying a pure bred puppy.

To read more on this story, click here: These Mutts Show Us That Amazing Dogs Come In All Shapes And Sizes FOLLOW US!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Dog Breeds That Bite The Most Along The Front Range

Picture of three dogs
Denver - A six-month long investigation into numerous animal control, police and shelter databases by 9Wants to Know and I-News at Rocky Mountain PBS uncovers a never-before understanding of dog bites along the Front Range, revealing which dogs bite the most, where they bite and how severely.

The unprecedented data of dog-bite cases collected by 9Wants to Know and I-News revealed the top five dog breeds that bite the most along the Front Range.

To read more on this story, click here: Dog Breeds That Bite The Most Along The Front Range FOLLOW US!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Today’s Pit Bull is a Descendant of the Original English Bull-Baiting Dog: The Truth About Pit Bulls

Dog breeds are characterized by certain physical and behavioral traits. Each breed was developed to perform a specific job, whether that job is hunting rabbits, retrieving downed birds, herding livestock or sitting on people’s laps. When developing a breed, breeders selected only those dogs that performed their job best to produce the next generation.

Physical abilities and behavior are both important facets of any breed. A well-bred dog should have both the physical attributes necessary to perform its job and the behavioral tendencies needed to learn it. It’s not surprising that individuals of a specific breed tend to look and behave somewhat similarly. Pointers are more likely than Poodles to point, and sheepdogs are more likely than lapdogs to herd. However, while a dog’s genetics may predispose it to perform certain behaviors, tremendous behavioral variation exists among individuals of the same breed or breed type. It’s also important to note that some dog breeds are now bred for entirely different jobs than those for which they were originally developed. For example, certain strains of Golden Retrievers are now being bred as service dogs, a far cry from their original job of retrieving downed birds.

Today’s pit bull is a descendant of the original English bull-baiting dog—a dog that was bred to bite and hold bulls, bears and other large animals around the face and head. When baiting large animals was outlawed in the 1800s, people turned instead to fighting their dogs against each other. These larger, slower bull-baiting dogs were crossed with smaller, quicker terriers to produce a more agile and athletic dog for fighting other dogs.

Tips for Adopting a Pit Bull

Thinking about adopting a pit bull? Congratulations! Pit bulls can make very sweet and loyal family dogs. Adopting a pit bull should be fun and joyful, so we’ve created a list of handy tips to help you make good choices. 

Socialization is the key to a happy and confident dog. All puppies should be enrolled in a puppy class where part of the time is devoted to off-leash play with other dogs. 

Pit bulls are enthusiastic learners. They enjoy trick training and many graduate at the head of their obedience classes. There are many pit bull rescue groups that can recommend training classes. 

It’s play time! Pits are moderately active indoors and extremely active outdoors—be prepared to spend a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes twice a day engaged in aerobic-level activities with your dog. 

You may experience breed discrimination. Legislation may prohibit you from living in certain communities, and homeowners insurance may be harder to find. Before you adopt, call your local city hall or animal shelter to find out about your local laws. 

Do your research. Are your neighbors the kind who might get concerned about a pit bull in the community? Bringing home a pit bull may be tough because many people wrongly associate them as being aggressive. Be prepared with breed facts and history to let people know that it’s bad ownership—not bad dogs—that causes pit bulls to be aggressive. 

Adoption is the best option. By rescuing a pit bull, you are saving a dog that needs a home and family. Adopting a pit from a shelter means that the dog will have had an initial health evaluation and should also have already been vaccinated and spayed or neutered for you. More and more shelters use a standardized evaluation to assess the behavior of their dogs. If the dog you’re interested in has been evaluated, ask to see the results so you can get a more complete picture of the dog’s typical reactions to things. 

Consider adopting an older pit bull. With an adult dog, what you see is what you get. Their personality is already developed, and you'll be able to spot the characteristics you're looking for much more easily than with a puppy. 

Establish house rules for your new dog that everyone will stick to. Consistency is the key to training. Decide on the behaviors you find acceptable and those that you wish to discourage, such as: 
  • Is she allowed on the furniture? 
  • Is it okay for her to bark in the backyard? 
  • Can she play with toys in the house? 
  • How do you want her to behave when guests come into the home?
Set a good example for others. Become a proud parent—be sure to show your pit bull the love and care she deserves. And always let others know what great companions they make!  FOLLOW US!

The History Behind the American Pit Bull

October is Pit Bull Awareness month.

Although good Pit Bull owners practice awareness and education about the Pit Bull Breed all year long, it is our hope that during this month, all non Pit Bull owners will pay closer attention to the truths about one of the most misunderstood dog breeds in American history.

Listen, learn, and grow your knowledge, so that you will be better informed and spread the truth instead of rumors that are so detrimental to the Pit Bull breed in society today.

Are Pit Bulls a true breed of their own?

Many dog fanciers argue the question of Pit Bulls being a breed all their own or whether the term Pit Bull encompasses several breeds that have characteristics of a square head and bulky body.

According to Wikipedia, “The term Pit Bull is often used as a generic term used to describe dogs with similar physical characteristics.” And they go on to name a dozen or so breeds that can be considered a Pit Bull including and mix thereof.

But is this true, or does the Pit Bull have a history and breed status of its very own?

Where do Pit Bulls come from?

Historical information indicates that the Pit Bull began its original development in Roman times.

The muscular dogs of the Greek Molossi tribes were used in warfare, guarding villages, and subduing large prey. These Molossian dogs, called Molossus, were fierce and known for their ability to intimidate enemies in neighboring tribes. This breed is believed to be the ancestors of modern day Mastiffs and is now extinct.

During war times the Romans discovered the Molossus noting their strong build and extreme drive. They began exporting the breed back to the Roman Empire to use as war dogs, guard dogs, and to satisfy their countryman’s appetite for entertainment in the Roman colosseum.

While in Rome the prized Molossus was bred with indigenous dogs and over time a distinctive breed began to form. As the Romans traveled and fought wars the breed was spread throughout Europe.

By the 1700’s two breeds had emerged and those became known as the Blue Poll from Scotland and the Alunt from Ireland. Both breeds were commonly referred to as Bulldogs. These dogs were used for a variety of purposes, including bull baiting, as they had been used by the Romans in earlier times.

Later, Bulldogs were bred with New England Terriers to develop attributes in the breed most desired by their owners. Two Terrier types most common for this breeding were the Black and Tan Terrier and the White Terrier of England. The White Terrier is now extinct.

The common belief that this sort of breeding between Bulldogs and Terriers began in Staffordshire England and the origins of the Bulldog gives way to the name Staffordshire Bull Terrier. These dogs were bred for herding and working, with the intelligence of a terrier, the tenacity of a Bulldog, and the strength of the Molossus.

By the early 1800’s a breed had been developed that resembles the American Pit Bull of modern times. It was during this time that the bull baiting began to die down and in 1835 the sport was officially banned. Pit Bulls were put to their original and more useful purpose as herding and working dogs.

The Pit Bull made its entrance into the US as their European immigrant owners crossed the oceans and onto US soil. Once in the country the Pit Bull was bred to become larger and was known as the American Pit Bull Terrier and was the all around farm dog. Not only was it intelligent and strong it was genital and loving and a favorite companion for children. Additionally, the size of the new American bred Pit Bull made it useful for keeping predators off the farm.

In 1898, Chauncy Bennett founded the UKC with the American Pit Bull Terrier as an official breed.

By the early 1900’s the American Pit Bull was the symbol of strength, loyalty, and dependability.

Big businesses like RCA Records and Buster Brown Shoes used logos containing the images of a Pit Bull.

In 1903, Bud the Pit Bull was the canine companion for the the first car ride across America. Bud travelled from San Francisco to New York City, in the company of Horatio Nelson Jackson, and Bud’s owner, Sewall K. Crocker, Jackson’s assistant. Bud became famous for his journey and his riding goggles were later donated to the Smithsonian Institute.

Sgt. Stubby, a Pit Bull that fought alongside American soldiers in the WWI war trenches of France, saved the lives of many soldiers and even captured a German spy during his tour of duty. He was the most decorated dog of WWI serving as the mascot for the 102nd Infantry, Yankee Division.

One of the biggest animal stars of all times was Petey, the ever faithful and fun loving Pit Bull which starred alongside the Little Rascals in the hit series “Our Gang”, in the 1920’s.

During the early 1900’s the Pit Bull was favored as America’s choice dog breed and considered a devoted and loyal companion.

It wasn’t until 1936 that the American Kennel Club finally recognized the Pit Bull as a true breed and even then called it a Staffordshire Terrier, setting it apart from the American Pit Bull Terrier.

So if Pit Bulls were once America’s favorite Dog, why now are they so feared?

Despite the fact that dog fighting was made illegal in all fifty states, the sport made a heavy comeback in the early 1980’s. And during that time the American Pit Bull became the favorite breed used not only for dog fighting but to guard drugs and other illegal contraband for criminals and thugs across the country.

Pit Bull appearance, intelligence, strength, and tenacity, made the breed the perfect watch dogs of the time and the favorite status symbol for the criminal element. Stereo typing turned the once revered family dog into the devil dog of the modern age.

For the next decade and a half it was an all out war on the American Pit Bull with legislators, media, and even some large canine organizations citing the breed as killers on four legs. Dog bite reports, by “Pit Bull type” dogs, became common in almost every media outlet. Myths and rumors concerning the breed cropped up out of fear and lack of knowledge about the breed itself. Even today, when most people hear of a major dog bite incident or mauling, they almost always assume the dog must be a Pit Bull.

While it is true that The American Pit Bull is certainly an intelligent, determined, and powerful breed, the demonization has come strictly from criminals using the breed as a status symbol, media looking for powerful headlines, and law makers fearful of what they fail to understand. Any dog can bite, but after all is said and done; the attack of a Yorkshire Terrier rarely results in serious damage and simply does not make sensational news.

Pit Bulls are on the receiving end of what has become known as the biggest breed discrimination in canine history.

Their ever present popularity, despite the bad press they receive, makes Pit Bulls one of the most over produced breeds in America, and one of the highest euthanized breeds in shelters today. Documented statistics, from shelter euthanasia reports alone, indicate that almost 3,000 Pit Bulls are put to sleep every day in the US. These numbers are not inclusive of the ones that die each day due to illness, starvation, and at the hands of abusive and neglectful owners.

And yet there are still hundreds of thousands of Pit Bulls thriving in family settings across the US, with no incident. They are family dogs that get along wonderfully with other animals and humans alike. Healthy, well cared for, and properly supervised Pit Bulls do make great canine companions. Like any other companion animal they are only as good or bad as they are allowed or trained to be.

In recent years fanciers of the breed have fought back against breed bans (BSL or Breed Specific Legislation) and the demonization of this fabulous breed. It’s a slow but grueling process but there does appear to be improvement in the general perception of the breed, today.

As sad as the circumstances were, cases of dog fighting and animal abuse like that of the Michael Vick dogs, brought more positive attention to the breed than ever before. It showed that even though the Vick dogs had been trained to fight and become extremely aggressive with other dogs, rehabilitation is possible in this resilient breed. The vast majority of the Vick dogs were rehabbed and later placed in home environment and many became service and therapy dogs, thriving in their new lives.

For Pit Bull lovers everywhere there seems to be hope, now more than ever, that someday in the future the discrimination of an entire breed will end, and that each dog will be judged not by its appearance or breed, but by its behavior as an individual. FOLLOW US!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Maryland Pit Bull Bill Compromise Falls Apart - What Went Wrong

I am sharing this story from the SPCA/Humane Society of Prince George's County.

This was written before the "pit bull bill" failed, but it's a good explanation of what went wrong. It's a shame Marylanders and their dogs are going to have to live with the misguided court ruling for another year. It's already been too long.

Please read: Maryland Pit Bull Bill Compromise Falls Apart In General Assembly.

Please Share!


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pit Bull Legislation Failed to Pass

Annapolis, MD - Lawmakers on the final day of the Maryland General Assembly failed to pass a measure that would change a court ruling that designated pit bulls as an "inherently dangerous" breed.

The bill, which received unanimous approval from the Senate on Monday, stalled in the House of Delegates. House Speaker Michael Busch said the House did not have enough votes to pass the measure.

"From a comprehensive standpoint, there were a lot very good bills passed," said Busch, underscoring the passage of several measures this session, including a death penalty repeal bill and gun control legislation. "There were so many pieces of legislation that had a great impact on the citizens of Maryland. The only one we did not come to resolve, unfortunately, was the dog legislation."

The legislation would have required all dog owners to prove by clear and convincing evidence they had no prior knowledge that their dog was prone to biting for incidents involving victims 12 years old and younger. For older victims, owners would have to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that they had no knowledge their dog was prone to biting, a lesser standard.

The requirement would not apply if the victim was trespassing or was bitten while committing a crime.

Lawmakers sought to address a court ruling last year that made pit bull owners and landlords strictly liable for bites without previous evidence of a dog being dangerous. The court's decision brought an outcry from pet owners and animal rights activists who said it focused on a single breed and made it harder for homeless pit bulls to be adopted.

Under the failed legislation, all breeds would be treated equally and landlords would not be held to the strict liability test.

"The big issue on the ground is the notices that people are getting from landlords, saying that they have to get rid of their dogs," said Tami Santelli, Maryland state director for The Humane Society of the United States. "I don't think that there is any question that this issue will be back next year."

The Humane Society estimates that about 70,000 Marylanders have pit bull-type dogs.

Last year's ruling was made in the case of Dominic Solesky, who was badly injured in a pit bull attack in Baltimore County in 2007 when he was 10.

Opponents of the measure said the legislation would make it difficult for dog owners to get homeowner's insurance at affordable rates.

"If the people who own pit bulls can't get insurance now, what do you think is going to happen when if you take the other 98 percent of dog owners and put strict liability on them?" asked Delegate Luiz Simmons, a Montgomery County Democrat.

Supporters of the legislation argued that the bill was needed to protect children.

"The number of fatal dog bites and serious injury-causing dog bites has gone up dramatically over the last two decades," said Sen. Jamie Raskin, also a Montgomery County Democrat. "We are saying that if you've got a dog that is violent and dangerous, you are strictly responsible if it goes after a kid."

The legislation emerged out of a conference committee after the House and Senate reached a stalemate earlier in the session over the burden of proof an owner would need to meet in court about whether there was reason to believe the dog was likely to bite someone. House members wanted owners to prove by a preponderance of the evidence they had no prior knowledge their dog was prone to biting. The Senate wanted dog owners to prove it by clear and convincing evidence, a higher standard.

Senate President Mike Miller said lawmakers had reached a compromise that was acceptable to all.

Many disappointed measure failed, say issue will be back next year


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pit Bull Legislation- Bill in Danger - House and Senate Committees Close to Deadlock!

If your legislator sits on THE COMMITTEES hearing the bill that addresses the Court of Appeals ruling declaring pit bulls "inherently dangerous" then please ACT NOW!  Very different bills (HB 78/SB 160) that would BOTH remedy the ruling have passed the House and Senate but the differences in these bills must be resolved for it to move forward. The House Judiciary committee hearing to consider the Senate version of the bill is Wednesday, March 27th.

The bill is in danger and we are running out of time – The Senate and House versions of the bill are quite different. This could lead to a deadlock that would mean the legislative session could end without a solution. Many people would be forced to choose between their beloved dog and their home.

Why should I care if I don't have a pit bull? –People who care about Maryland's dogs (whether you have a pit bull or not) MUST make your voices heard or many dogs will be turned into our already overcrowded shelters and euthanized. This Court of Appeals ruling must be resolved or this dangerous precedent could eventually affect additional breeds of dogs, both large and small.

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Friday, March 1, 2013

The German Shepherd Dog - Known for Their Intelligence, Protectiveness, and Loyalty

The German Shepherd, also known as an Alsatian, is a breed of large-sized dog that originated in Germany. German Shepherds are a relatively new breed of dog, with their origin dating to 1899

German Shepherds are one of the most registered dogs, which proves how popular they are as a breed. These large and powerful creatures are just as loyal and compassionate. They make great pets for families because they are good with children and can be trained to protect the house.

They are very popular dogs because of their personalities; among their positive qualities are intelligence, protectiveness, and loyalty.

German Shepherds are large-breed dogs that are generally between 22 and 26 inches long, with an ideal height of 25 inches. They weigh between 49 and 88 pounds. The coats of German shepherds come in different colors, with typical mixes being tan/black and red/black. Full white and full black varieties are also found.

German Shepherds show a high degree of loyalty toward the people they are most familiar with, including young children. If not socialized well, however, they can become too attached and wary or aggressive to outsiders.

The average lifespan of a German shepherd is 7 to 10 years.

German Shepherds are known to be one of the best breeds of working dogs. They are often employed by the police, military, and search and rescue operations.

German Shepherds are one of the breeds that have remained steadily popular over the last three decades, currently ranking second in popularity behind Labrador Retrievers.