Tag Archives: Loyal Breed

10 Ways to Be a Powerful Pitbull Ambassador

Every pit bull on the street who’s greeted with a smile instead of a flinch marks progress. When pits are adopted into new homes, or legislation is passed in their favor, lives are saved. Here are tips on helping your community say no to stereotypes and yes to action.

1. Say It Ain’t So

You know all the myths – pit bulls are vicious, trained to fight, dangerous around children… Need help setting the record straight? Bad Rap, an organization devoted to improving the breed’s reputation, provides excellent in-depth responses to these major myths and more on their website: http://www.badrap.org/monster-myths.

2. Tell, and Show

Since pits are often misunderstood as unsafe to have in the home, use visuals to promote pits as the wonderful family companions they are. Start by sharing Bad Rap’s slideshow of vintage photos — one powerful image after another displaying a history of families with their beloved pit bull pets.

 

FB_IMG_1471974952012

3. On Their Best Behavior

Well-trained, well-socialized dogs make the best pit bull ambassadors, as they show even the most skeptical adopters how well-behaved the breed can be! Learn valuable training skills from this Canine Communications webinar series presented by ASPCA behavior experts Trish McMillan Loehr and Heather Mohan-Gibbons.

FB_IMG_1472037466625

4. Network, Network, Network! Want to give your pits an extra push? Take a page from one agency’s book — they created a Facebook page just for their bully breeds: Pit Bull Ambassadors of Hillsborough County Animal Services. The photo and caption below are an example of successful storytelling that educates. The image is oh so sweet, the story is engaging, and HCAS emphasizes the positive relationship that pits can have with other dogs.

13876353_614335085407024_8643112127959380_n

 

“This pair is something else… they didn’t come in together, and are in no way related, but to watch the two of them together is like watching Forrest and Jenny, Peas and Carrots, Lucy and Desi, and all those other famous couples or things that go together like one.” -HCAS.

5. Seize the Day— National Pit Bull Awareness Day that is, coming up on October 27. A few ideas on building a bully buzz:

FB_IMG_1472062586761

Whatever you plan, don’t forget to alert the media!

6. Put On Your Creative Marketing Hat Nothing is too out-of-the-box when trying to capture the public’s attention. For inspiration, take a look at the pit bull promotions we gathered here on Shelters’ Edge. Pick-a-PITunia campaign from Seattle Humane Society — Never underestimate the power of a pun.”

FB_IMG_1471891386710

7. Get Them in Therapy What better way to promote the breed’s lovebug potential than certifying them as therapy dogs? Staff or volunteers can show off your pits’ TLC skills in places like schools, hospitals and nursing homes.

FB_IMG_1471835425297

8. Enlist Your Lobbyists Have you rallied supporters who want to end breed-specific legislation in all forms? Awesome – next step is to give them specific action to take. CheckStopBSL.org to find out  if legislation is pending in your state.  The good news – a number of states have already prohibited BSL!

9. Hold an Event in Their Honor Invite your community to say “we love bullies” loud and proud by putting on an awareness event. It can be an adoption event, a fundraiser – anything goes, as long as your pits are the stars of the show!

 

10. Grab Your Virtual Megaphone 2-4-6-8, get online and educate! Here are some great resources devoted to improving the pit’s rep and spreading the word:

FB_IMG_1472130865949

P.S. #11 – Want to get the ball rolling on promoting your pits? Share this blog post! Do you have pit bull ambassadors at your agency? Let us know what they’re up to in the comment box.

10 Surprising And Secret Ways Your Dog Says ‘I Love You’

I have always fantasized about having the same powers as Doctor Dolittle — mostly because knowing exactly what animals are thinking and feeling would be some really valuable information to have.

For instance, why does my dog bark at the vacuum cleaner or hide in a corner whenever the lightest bit of rain starts to fall?

I don’t think I’ll ever know the answers to those questions, but thanks to new developments in the science of dog communication, I now know whether or not my dog loves me.

Much like studies that have found that dogs have certain “powers” or enhanced physical senses, scientists have also uncovered that because dogs and humans have been so deeply intertwined through history, dogs have developed unique ways to expressing their love for humans.

The signs are very subtle and they’re not always obvious, but as we break down in this exclusive, all you need to know are the tiny signs that prove your dog’s love for you…
1. Staring directly into your eyes.

FB_IMG_1471373858804

On a 60 Minutes segment, Anderson Cooper met with Brian Hare, a well-known dog expert, to discuss how dogs express love. According to Hare, when your dog looks you in the eye, he is “hugging you with his eyes.”

When a dog looks at you while the two of you are playing with one another or just cuddling, oxytocin is released. It’s the same hormone that helps new mothers bond with their babies. If you want to test this out with your dog, don’t go home and a have a staring contest with your pooch. He will sense something is off, and look away because he feels awkward.

Instead, try to naturally maintain eye contact with him during your normal routines and see how he responds.
2. Yawning when you yawn.

5317_499548510136329_1391647341_n

Yawning is contagious. But did you know this impulse isn’t limited to just humans?

Dogs, because they’ve been bred to read humans, also yawn when someone they love yawns.

A study found that when humans echo another’s yawn, it’s because they’re empathetic, like sympathy pains. It’s impossible to measure if dogs are empathetic, but it’s possible that a dog yawning the same time as a human happens because the dog has bonded with that person.

The study also found that dogs were more likely to yawn when their owners yawned, as opposed to a stranger.
3. Leaning on you.

FB_IMG_1471373825274

The song “Lean on Me” is all about offering support and dogs crave that same kind of security.

Sometimes a dog will lean on a human because he is anxious, wants you to do something, or take him somewhere. But leaning is also a symbol of affection.

Even if your dog is leaning on you out of pure nervousness, he is still doing it because he thinks of you as someone who can protect him and keep him safe.
4. Cuddling with you after a meal.

FB_IMG_1471373777428

In his book, How Dogs Love Us, Gregory Berns, if your dog cuddles with your after eating, it’s a strong sign that they do indeed love you.

Most dogs lovers (or even people who don’t like dogs) know that pups are motivated by food. But according to Berns, once a dog eats all its food, his next action can signify what’s most important to him besides eating.

Sometimes your dog may have to do his “business” right after a meal, but watch how he reacts in the morning and at night. If he’s snuggling up with you after one of these meals, then there’s some definite puppy love on his end.
5. Lifting and wiggling eyebrows.

FB_IMG_1471373835349

We think we can read a dog by its tail, but its facial expressions are a way more powerful indicator.
In a recent study in Japan, dogs were introduced to their parent, a stranger, a dog toy, and an item they didn’t like.

When seeing their parent, the dogs immediately lifted their eyebrows (especially their left), and when they saw a stranger there was a lot less facial movement, except for movement of the right brow.

Yet, when they saw an item they knew and had bonded with, the dogs shifted their left ear back. But if it was an item they didn’t like, their right ear shifted. According to the study, this suggests the dog is more reserved when they are engaging someone they don’t know or something they disapprove of.
6. Watching you leave calmly.

FB_IMG_1471373755126

Some people think that if a dog panics when they leave that it’s a sign that they love them.

That’s not necessarily true, according to Gregory Berns.

If your dog panics when you leave, it’s more of a sign that they have separation anxiety than that they love you.

If a dog goes into his crate or is accepting of you leaving, i.e. they’re calm when you leave, it means your dog loves and trusts you and is confident that you will return.
7. Freaking out when you return.

FB_IMG_1471373946589

We all feel special when we come home and we’re greeted by our dog with his tail wagging, a favorite toy in tow, and he’s jumping all over the place like a crazy kangaroo.

And it’s a good thing we like it, because it’s a very distinctive way a dog shows you his love for you — and it’s love in its truest form.
8. Sleeping in your room.

FB_IMG_1471373882439
Another way to figure out whether your dog loves you is observing where he likes to sleep.

It’s part of a big controversy, but if your dog wants to sleep in your bed — even if you don’t allow it — he definitely loves you.

According to Gregory Berns, if a dog wants to sleep on your bed, it’s a good test of his loyalty because he doesn’t want to be separated from the pack.
9. Bringing you his favorite toy.

995774_469757453056500_470822773_n

If your pup brings you his favorite, most coveted toy, it doesn’t just mean your dog wants to play.

Although wanting to play with you is a sign of affection in itself, when your dog brings you his favorite ball, it may also mean he thinks of you as his pack leader.

Because of this, he wants to please you by offering you his finest possession, be it a squeaky toy or well-worn Frisbee. He thinks you’ll like it as much as he does, and as they say: “sharing is caring!”

10. Enjoying your love.

pittielove_wj

Do you love your dog? According to Gregory Berns, dogs can actually innately sense whether or not you love them.

So if you don’t love them, you’re not getting it back in return!

How does your beloved pup most often show you their love? Let us know in the comments below!

Please SHARE if you believe dogs truly are man’s best friend!

American Staffordshire Terriers Origins Part 2

American Stafford Shire Puppy

FB_IMG_1459988072174

The American Stafford-shire Terrier also known as Am-staff (in USA) or simply Stafford is a medium-sized, short-coated American dog breed. In the early part of the twentieth century the breed gained social stature and was accepted by the American Kennel Club as the American Stafford-shire Terrier in 1936. The name was changed to reflect a difference between the breed and the Stafford-shire Bull Terrier of England.

History & Origins:

Colby’s Pincher

origins of pitbulls part 2one

One of the earliest AKC Champion American Staffordshire Terriers

origins of pitbulls part 2two

American Staffordshire Terrier

FB_IMG_1459988297209

American Staffordshire Terrier with cropped ears

FB_IMG_1459988360063

 

American Staffordshire Terrier bitch:

FB_IMG_1459988452213

Despite its name, the Staffordshire Terrier was first bred in the nineteenth century in Birmingham, West Midlands, rather than in the English county of Staffordshire where it was then later bred. The early ancestors of this breed came from England, where until the first part of the 19th century, the Bulldog was bred in England. Bulldogs pictured as late as 1870 resemble contemporary American Staffordshire Terriers to a greater degree than present-day Bulldogs. Some writers contend it was the White English Terrier, Fox Terrier, or the Black and Tan Terrier that was crossed with the Bulldog to develop the Staffordshire Terrier; all three breeds shared many traits, the greatest differences being in color, and spirit. The cross of Bulldog and Terrier was called by several names, including Bull-and-Terrier Dog, Pit Bull, or Half and Half. Later, it assumed the name of Staffordshire Bull Terrier in England. These dogs began to find their way into America as early as 1870.

Popularity

In 1936 Amstaffs were accepted for registration in the American Kennel Club (AKC) Stud Book as Staffordshire Terriers, belonging to the terrier and molosser groups. The name of the breed was revised January 1, 1969 to American Staffordshire Terrier; breeders in the United States had developed a variety which was heavier in weight than the Staffordshire Bull Terrier of England. The name change was to distinguish them as separate breeds.

The breed’s popularity began to decline in the United States following World War II. In 2013 the American Kennel Club ranked the American Staffordshire Terrier as the 76th most popular purebreed in the United States.

Temperament
According to the American Kennel Club “The Am Staff is a people-oriented dog that thrives when he is made part of the family and given a job to do. Although friendly, this breed is loyal to his own family.”

Health
The American Staffordshire Terrier should give the impression of great strength for his size, a well put-together dog, muscular, but agile and graceful, keenly alive to his surroundings. He should be stocky, not long-legged or racy in outline. Height and weight should be in proportion. A height of about 18 to 19 inches (46 to 48 cm) at shoulders for the male and 17 to 18 inches (43 to 46 cm) for the female is to be considered preferable.

American Staffordshire Terrier pups should not be bought weaned before they are 8–10 weeks old. Their life expectancy is generally 12 years with good care. The breed may be vulnerable to skin allergies, urinary tract infections (UTI), and autoimmune diseases. Spondylosis and osteoarthritis are common in older dogs.

Worldwide, the American Staffordshire Terrier has been subject to breed bans that target the Bull and Terrier family in response to well-publicized incidents involving pit bulls or similar dog breeds. This legislation ranges from outright bans on possession to restrictions and conditions of ownership. The appropriateness and effectiveness of breed-specific legislation in preventing dog-related fatalities and injuries is disputed.

 

Millionaire-Funnel-Banners_1000X200-3 (1)

How Media Hype Fuels Inaccurate BSL Laws

How Media Hype Fuels Inaccurate Laws from Animal Farm Foundation on Vimeo.

 

If you wish to help with eliminating BSL. We do accept donations. Click on Donate below. Anything will help in furthering our cause and saving pitbulls lives. Thank you for your support.




 

Millionaire-Funnel-Banners_1000X200-2

Are Pitbulls Dangerous?

In a word: no. Many people THINK they are, and if you ask them for proof, they send you lists of bite statistics and news reports of Pit Bull attacks.

But that doesn’t prove anything.

FB_IMG_1459988242564

Rarely do the writers perform actual research. One obvious question they could investigate: Was the dog actually a Pit Bull? It’s impossible to determine breed by appearance alone. And given that the CDC non-fatal bite statistics come from counting newspaper reports of attacks claiming it was a “pit-bull type” dog, there are bound to be gross inaccuracies.

No DNA tests were ever done, which are required to determine breed.

This is highly related to the reason why breed specific legislation doesn’t work. And it never will. Even the CDC agrees:

“Breed-specific legislation does not address the fact that a dog of any breed can become dangerous when bred or trained to be aggressive. From a scientific point of view, we are unaware of any formal evaluation of the effectiveness of breed-specific legislation in preventing fatal or nonfatal dog bites. An alternative to breed-specific legislation is to regulate individual dogs and owners on the basis of their behavior” (JAVMA, Vol 217, No. 6, September 15, 2000 Vet Med Today: Special Report 839-840).

For these reasons, and many others, both the CDC and the American Veterinary Medical Association do not recommend discriminating based on breed.

The frenzy against Pit Bulls is nothing but blind fear fueled by the human need to find a scapegoat. There is not a single shred of proof that the American Pit Bull Terrier is a vicious, dangerous breed.

What are the facts?

The American Temperament Test Society (http://www.atts.org) perform their temperament tests regularly on popular breeds. You can visit their web site to view upcoming testing dates and location and actually get your own dog tested. The most recent aggregation of all test results was in 2008. Description of the test:

The test simulates a casual walk through a park or neighborhood where everyday life situations are encountered. During this walk, the dog experiences visual, auditory and tactile stimuli. Neutral, friendly and threatening situations are encountered, calling into play the dog’s ability to distinguish between non-threatening situations and those calling for watchful and protective reactions.

The dog fails the test if it shows:

-Unprovoked aggression

-Panic without recovery

-Strong avoidance

-American Pit Bull Terriers passed the test at a rate of 85.3%.

This is higher than Collies, Golden Retrievers, and other dogs generally considered “family friendly”. The average dog population is around 77%.

FB_IMG_1459992501794

As most dog behaviorists and trainers will tell you, a dog is almost 100% a product of it’s owner and the training it receives.

And if the APBT is so inherently dangerous, how come they are so successful as therapy dogs? As search and rescue animals?

Honestly, more people die drowning in their backyard swimming pool every year than die from dog attacks. That doesn’t make it any less tragic, but to call it an “epidemic” is a little far fetched.

Pit Bulls are not the first breed to be unfairly labeled dangerous, and they won’t be the last. Politicians love to act important and pretend like they’re doing something, and media outlets love to sensationalize. Don’t let them get away with nonsense. Learn the history of the breed and educate yourself.

The only thing that can be said about them is that sometimes, they tend to be dog aggressive. But almost every breed of dog is aggressive toward some other animal. Where did foxhounds and wolfhounds get their names from?

Millionaire-Funnel-Banners_1500X500-1