Tuesday, November 5, 2013

How to Tame a Pitbull

It's a miracle! We have finally found a solution to my crazy dog's craziness. So I posted here about my dog, Blitz's, enthusiastic personality. Against many people's beliefs about pitbulls (he's a pit-lab mix) he is the sweetest dog ever. He has never shown any viciousness and he has never been a fighter. In fact, if there is one bone and him and my other dog Talie (who's a 12 year old husky) in a room together, Talie always gets the bone if she wants it. He always gives in to her. Anyway, besides the typical pitbull stereotype, people are afraid of him because of how he acts when he gets excited. People see it as being aggressive (if they could see past his barking they would notice his tail excitedly wagging away). So I have been trying to find a solution to his barking while going on walks. He will be perfectly behaved some times, and other times he just won't stop barking and jumping around when he sees other dogs. But I found a solution!

It was hard getting him to hold still for this picture because he thought I was trying to take it away from him!

Blitz is like a baby, or a little kid. When he finds a toy he loves, its his entire world. He has a body pillow he's been in love with for 2 years now but that's a story for another time. We found a squeaky Angry Bird dog toy and he absolutely loves it! One day, after he had carried this toy around for hours on end, I thought if he carried his favorite toy with him while we're walking, he won't be able to bark because his mouth will be full! So I tried it a couple times. The first couple walks with the Angry Bird (AKA Abie) we didn't run into any other dogs so it wasn't really put to the test. However, I did notice that people approached him more. It seems a pitbull is terrifying to people, but put a squeaky toy in his mouth and he's all of the sudden adorable! Older couples approached him, moms and their little kids came up to him, and they all had comments like "What a beautiful dog" and "He's so cute!" Once they got past the cuteness they were all very curious as to what was in his mouth. All I said was it was his favorite toy and he's bringing it with for his walk. Every response to this was "Aww how cute," except for a little boy who of course asked "Why is it his favorite toy?" Everyone's reaction just blew my mind because not once did the word "pitbull" come up in conversation as everyone got up in his face and pet him while he squeaked away, tail wagging. 

This is Abie. Can you tell I just took it out of his mouth?

Today Abie was truly put to the test when we pasted multiple dogs while walking. All of whom were barking at him while he just kept squeaking away! And again, people's reactions were completely different. I'll never forget when we first got him, I was walking him around the neighborhood when neighbors would literally gasp and ask if he was a pitbull! It got to be normal to have people cross the street while I was walking him, even if they didn't have a dog with them and he was not barking, just minding his own business. So this is a complete turn around from when he doesn't have a toy in his mouth. The other dog walkers today also asked what was in his mouth, and I explained I let him bring his favorite toy on walks so he doesn't bark. One lady asked where I got the toy and said she needed to try it! I'm just so amazed at the difference in peoples behavior and at the same time complete thrilled we found a solution to his barking! 

Here he is trying to get to Abie, since I put it in the middle of the table. He never wants to let her go!

So for those of you out there with "vicious" dogs, find a toy they like and let them carry it around in public, and let me know how their reactions change!


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