Tag Archives: american staffordshire terrier

Guest Blogger- King: The Story of a Deaf Dog

11 May

 Briana Wedel is a friend of mine from my hometown in Minnesota.  She has since moved to Texas but we keep in touch mainly through our posts about Pitbulls. Being in Texas Brianna sees and is involved in a very different world of animal rescue.  The shelters are often bursting at the seams, spay/neuter programs are nothing like they are here in MN, and Pitbulls often don’t make it out of shelters. I asked her if she’d ever like to write for my blog and she took me up on it!  She recently rescued a deaf dog and I’m so happy that she is sharing her story.  Deaf dogs are so wonderful and need all the promotion they can get!

Briana

My name is Briana Wedel and I’m here to share about deaf dogs. To start it all off I grew up in Minnesota around my aunt’s pit bull mixes and American Staffordshire Terriers. As kids my three older siblings and I loved going to my aunt’s home for visits because she always had anywhere from three to six dogs at any given point. It was so much fun, and that was when my love for this group and breed of dogs began.

Although I always wanted a dog throughout my college years, I waited until the time was right. I moved to Texas after college and started fostering cats for Animal Allies of Texas. Eventually, I found and adopted my first rescue dog through Animal Allies, when a pregnant AmStaff came into our rescue and later birthed twelve puppies, one of those being my Griffey.

Griffey

Griffey

My fiancé and I had Griffey for about a year when we were on vacation out of the country and a friend had shared a photo on Facebook of a deaf dog named King. He was at a shelter outside of Dallas. King’s scenario made me sensitive to his situation because he had a striking resemblance in markings and color to our Griffey. Not only that, King was labeled as “code red”.  This means once the shelter fills to capacity, he can and will be euthanized at any point. His code red status was due to how long he’d been at the shelter, which was most likely influenced by his being deaf and being a pit bull. Luckily for me, it didn’t take too much arm-twisting to get my fiancé on board with a second dog in our apartment.

King

Multiple people helped me extract King that very day from the shelter even though we were out of country!  Then another friend provided a temporarily foster home until we got back into the US (about five days later). We picked him and Griffey up the same day upon our arrival, we did their introductions, etc. I decided I needed to equip myself with some knowledge on how to be a deaf-dog owner. I got some helpful links and learning tools from another deaf dog owner, and became a fan of Deaf Dogs Rock (Facebook). We added King to our family in September of 2014 and the last eight months have been marvelous.

King and Griffey

King and Griffey

King and Griffey bonded immediately. I never knew I could find such a perfect pair of adult dogs. King is mellow, gentle and attached, Griffey is the complete opposite, but they balance each other out superbly. Training King has been “normal” considering his being deaf. We use treats and positive reinforcement when working on fun tricks and we completed his training on how to sit and lay down, which he already partially knew. Now he knows shake, good boy, and no-no, also!

The most common question that people ask me is ‘How do you get his attention?’ It’s not often that King is not nearby one of us, maybe this is why they often call deaf dogs “Velcro dogs”, because they like to be attached, but when it’s needed he does respond to floor vibrations and physical taps. We do not allow King to be off leash outside of fenced in areas, but I have read that vibration collars are very helpful, although shock-collars are not condoned. All in all, deaf dogs are not all that different. So, if you are looking for one of the best cuddle companions then adopt a deaf dog, you will not be disappointed.

King 2

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Pitbulls

1 Mar

Pitbull_2

I could write an entire novel on Pitbulls: How they got such a bad repuation, What BSL is and why it’s not effective, how mistreated they are, how backyard breeding of pits is creating an overpopulation, and how incredibly cute, handsome, loyal, and loving they are. I could go on forever but it would be really hard for me to organize my thoughts and most of it has been written before. Also, no one will read that much informatino in one sitting so I want to see if I can briefly summarize some of my main arguments.

Number 1: Pitbull is NOT a breed.

I know people have heard me say this before but I’m not sure they listen. The term Pitbull is used to describe a GROUP of dogs with certain physical characteristics. If you have a “Purebred Pitbull” it is either an American Pitbull Terrier, a Staffordshire Terrier, or an American Bull Terrier. It is NOT a purebred Pitbull. I repeat, YOU DO NOT OWN A PUREBRED PITBULL. There is no such thing.

American Pitbull Terrier

American Pitbull Terrier


Staffordshire Terrier

Staffordshire Terrier


Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier

What difference does this make?

It makes a HUGE difference. Pitbulls are judged and discriminated against ALL THE TIME and yet there’s no such thing as a pitbull? Therefore people are judging an entire group of dogs: all three of the purebred dogs, many purebred dogs with similar physical qualities such as the American Bulldog or the Cane Corso Mastiff, and then also including in this group NUMEROUS mix-breed dogs that resemble either the American Pitbull Terrier, the Staffordshire Terrier or the American Bull Terrier.

Cane Corso Mastiff

Cane Corso Mastiff


American Bulldog

American Bulldog

This is also important to remember when you look at “Pitbull” statistics. How accurate can these statistics be when they are collecting date from a GROUP of similar-looking dogs and comparing this data to that of ONE purebred dog?

Another difference it makes?

Sheer NUMBERS. If we take any dog with a large square head, stocky chest, semi-straight tail, docked OR floppy ears and/or other “Pitbull” characteristics that is a LOT of dogs!! There is simply a LOT of dogs out there that can be called “Pitbulls”.

Number Two: The media HAS effected how you think about Pitbulls, and they ARE doing it on purpose.
The media has helped create a bad reputation for Pitbulls in MANY different ways.

Pitbull Attack Headline

Pitbull Attack Headline

Firstly, the media creates a belief that Pitbulls attack more than any other breed of dog by only reporting Pitbull attacks. Pitbull attacks are nationwide news making it in to hundreds of newspapers and on nationwide broadcasts. If a lab or a golden retriever attacks it may make it in to one or two newspapers.
This clearly leads the public to BELIEVE that Pitbulls are attacking all the time while no other dogs are.

The media then adds to this by always putting the words “Pitbull” and “Attack” together in the headline if the attack was done by an alleged Pitbull while hardly ever including the breed of any other dog attack simply stating “Child attacked by dog” or “Dog attacks woman”.
When people see “Pitbull Attacks” in the headlines they don’t even have to read the rest of the story. They already have an opinion in their head. See it enough times and you start to think that all pitbulls attack all the time.

“August 18, 2007 — A Labrador mix attacked a 70-year-old man, sending him to the hospital in critical condition. Police officers arrived at the scene and the dog was shot after charging the officers. This incident was reported in one article in the local paper.

August 19, 2007 — A 16-month-old child received fatal head and neck injuries after being attacked by a mixed-breed dog. This attack was reported on twice by the local paper.

August 20, 2007 — A six-year-old boy was hospitalized after having his ear torn off and receiving a severe bite to the head by a medium-sized, mixed-breed dog. This incident was reported in one article in the local paper.

August 21, 2007 — A 59-year-old woman was attacked in her home by two pit bulls and was hospitalized with severe, but not fatal, injuries. This attack was reported in over 230 articles in national and international newspapers, as well as major television news networks including CNN, MSNBC and Fox.”
Credit: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

http://blog.timesunion.com/dogs/pit-bulls-and-the-media/3597/

Secondly, the media is a huge perpetrator of using the term “Pitbull”. They have ensured that Pitbull has a negative connotation with the previous steps and now they can use the looseness of the term to their advantage. They already know that a “Pitbull” attack story is going to be a huge story, and since Pitbull encompasses all sorts of different dogs the media can call pretty much any dog they want a “Pitbull” just to make a story more newsworthy.

Number three: Breed Specific Legislation is whack.

Yes, I know I’m losing some of my professionalism here, but it simply. is. crap.

Breed Specific Legislation is legislation and rules about specific breeds of dogs thought to be “Dangerous Breeds”. This is often directed at Pitbulls and when BSL is in force there can be complete BANS on Pitbulls in entire cities or even states.

So, what was Number One again?

There is no actual Pitbull breed. The word Pitbull describes many dogs with different genetic backrounds that have similar physical characteristics.

Oh yes, that’s right.

So, we have a blanket ban on Pitbulls, to make people feel safer in their communities, that doesn’t look at how a dog acts, how a dog is treated, or how responsible their owners are but instead bans an entire GROUP of dogs that may or may not have similar behavioral characteristics, but do have similar looks.

Now.. If Pitbull is a term describing dogs based on their looks who’s to decide if my dog is a Pitbull or not?

This is a HUGE problem. It gives policemen and city legislators free reign to decide whether your dog is a Pitbull or not.

Cities with BSL in force spend incredible amounts of money collecting and putting down Pitbull type dogs and then can’t fathom why they aren’t having any results.

Well, for starters, criminals and bad dog owners are NOT being targeted. Anyone and everyone with a Pitbull type dog is being targeted. That seems like a huge waste of resources to me! Criminals and bad dog owners continue what they are doing while good, responsible dog owners are faced with either moving, finding a home for their dog outside of the BSL jurisdiction, or hiding their dog knowing that they’re risking the dog being confiscated (like a piece of property) and put down.. which is a nice word for murdered.

BSL is a blanket ban on Pitbulls that doesn’t really look at what the problems are. Irresponsible backyard breeders with un-altered males and females living together are a problem. Owners that keep their dogs chained and tethered their entire lives are a problem. Dog fighters are a problem. Drug dealers and criminals who have no idea what it really means to own a dog are a problem. BSL makes people “feel safer” but are they?

BSL is ridiculously expensive, is incredibly hard to enforce, hurts innocent people and kills innocent dogs. Period.

Piles of Pitbull type dogs confiscated and euthanised from BSL

Piles of Pitbull type dogs confiscated and euthanised from BSL

Number four: Backyard breeders have created a Pitbull overpopulation.

There are SO many Pitbull type dogs right now that 1 in SIX-HUNDRED Pitbulls is adopted from shelters. The other 599 die. This includes puppies. This is partly because of breed specific legislation and partly because every irresponsible Pitbull owner on earth seems to think that they need to have Pitbull puppies to make a couple bucks.

Pitbull puppies in a high kill shelter that will never make it out because people would rather buy from a backyard breeder.

Pitbull puppies in a high kill shelter that will never make it out because people would rather buy from a backyard breeder.

Some shelters euthanize Pitbulls the second after they walk through the door. They are not allowed to adopt out Pitbulls therefore they immediately put them down.

Pitbull Shelter2

At some shelters Pitbulls account for 50% of the shelters dogs. Because there are already so many Pits in these shelters they only get a few days or even a few hours to live. Their chances of being adopted are slim to none.

139469_oakland_RED_

All of the backyard breeding increases this overpopulation problem and continues the mix-breeding of Pitbulls, since remember, there are no purebred Pitbulls, and this mix-breeding increases the looseness of the term. Because of their size and typical good health Pitbull type dogs tend to have a lot of puppies, often as many as TEN puppies in one litter!

Because Pitbulls are often bred by inexperienced people and irresponsible owners females may be bred too young and too often, and the puppies likely won’t get dewormed or be given any vaccines. Then they are sold to people who will conitinue the process.

If people would adopt Pitbull type dogs from the shelters, instead of buying them from backyard breeders, we could decrease the numbers of Pitbulls euthanized every day (2800 Pitbulls are euthanized a day) and maybe this would give backyard breeders less of an incentive to keep breeding.

Another plus about Pitbulls being adopted instead of bought?
Pitbulls adopted from shelters are most often already spayed or neutered, or they are adopted with a contract dictating that the dog be spayed or neutered. This means that even if an owner is irresponsible and lets their dog roam or the owner thinks that having puppies would be fun the adopted dog CAN’T reproduce.

Read more about Pitbull overpopulation and Pitbull Euthanasia here: http://www.examiner.com/article/pit-bulls-and-euthanasia-rates

Number five: American Pitbull Terriers and Staffordshire Terriers (the most common of the purebreds referred to as Pitbulls) are NOT natural fighters.

Yes, these dogs have been used for years in fighting rings, but what you probably DON’T know is how hard it is to get these dogs to be fighters. SO many dogs fail. When dog fighting rings are busted the grounds are usually littered with the dog bones of the failures. The dogs that WONT fight. Dog fighters make their dogs live in a manner where violence is their only option and they find ways to escalate it. I won’t go into the long gorey details, but it’s important to know that dog fighters treat dog fighting like a science, and not very many dogs will even do it.

A not so well known fact about Pitbulls and dog fighting: Pitbulls were originally chosen not only because of their size and strength but because Pitbulls were the only dogs that would specifically NOT bite their humans when they got in the ring to stop a fight. They were chosen because of their LOYALTY to humans.

The rest of my main points about Pitbulls are based on how sweet they are, how forgiving they are, how much they can overcome, and how loyal they are. Maybe a Pitbull Part Two is neccesary? Stay tuned for why I LOVE Pitbulls.

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