Pit Bulls and Apartments

I’m looking at apartments. A lot allow pets. A good portion of those have breed and size restrictions. The size thing, I can kind of, sort of understand. But, I feel like maybe they should have kid restrictions too, because my 108 pound 9 year old jumps and clomps around far more than my 57 pound dog.

I live in a nice neighborhood. Lots of families, lots of dogs. The people directly behind us have 3 Chihuahuas. Those damn dogs have bitten my kids more times than I care to count. If we walk into our back yard, they growl.They used to run over and try to bite us, luckily the owners now have a fence. And, every time, Cassie runs over, picks up the dog, pets it, smothers is in kisses, laughs about how they “think they are vicious big dog” and takes them in the house. When is is nice out, and the windows are open, like now, you hear those dogs bark, ALL.DAY.LONG.

Two houses down is crazy lady. She has 3 dogs. I don’t know what they are. They are white, and really fuzzy and probably 30 pounds. She lets them out in the fenced yard all day. And they bark. Non-stop. Morning till night. She’s had animal care and control called on her more than once.

At the end of the culdesac is 4 dogs, in 4 houses. The two itty bitty dogs growl and bark nonstop. There is a pit bull. She barks when I walk by with Trixie. Not usually when I’m by myself though. I’ve never heard her any other time. The 4th house has a beagle. That is tied out, and runs, full speed, at who ever passes by. He pulled his tether out of the ground once, while Brad and I walked by. And he was growling like crazy. Then, he attacked Brad. Tore his hand up. I can carry on…the puggle that tried to bite Trixie when it broke free, and it’s neighbor, the little bitty terrier that, was never mean (even when it broke free), but both those dogs bark all the time. There is a gigantic…Akita? Maybe? Who barks when we pass. That’s it. He lives in a house with a fenced yard. This fence is the most laughable fence ever. But, he stays. The man with the labrodoodle, I see him out walking when I am. His dog is quiet the whole time. There is a family with a boxer, that is so well trained, they tell her to sit as we walk by and she does. Doesn’t move a muscle or make a sound.

I see a woman out quite often when I walk Trixie. She has 2 pit bulls. The dogs never make noise. The walk nicely on a leash. But, when we see each other, she waves me ahead, while she takes a few steps back, or a different route all together, with the explanation her dogs don’t do well with other dogs.

So, what is the score here? 11 loud, annoying (and often mean) dogs that would be allowed. A labrodoodle, who might make it on breed but not size. And, 6 large, quiet,well behaved dogs who wouldn’t be allowed.

I always hear that pit bulls are bad because if they bite they will cause so much damage. By that logic, we should ban SUVs as well, because if they hit another car they will cause so much damage. and, you are far more likely to die, or be severely harmed by an SUV than by a pit bull.

I was nervous about Trixie, you hear so much bad about them. When was she going to flip and kill us in our sleep? I started doing research. My ex has a blood hound. This dog makes Trixie look like a baby. He is SO big, and SO lazy and laid back. I’ve watched a lab play tug of war with his ears and him sleep through it. Blood Hounds were the original “dangerous killing machines”.

I looked at the deaths that have been caused by pit bulls. As far as I’ve found, not ONE has been by a lone, female, spayed, family pet. I don’t have the research in front of me, but I don’t think any of them have been caused by a lone, neutered, male, family pet either. A VAST majority have been intact males. Often in groups of two or more. The “pets” involved are usually owned by a family. And, kept on chains in the back yard.

Trixie loves tug of war and gets aggressive while trying to win. But, never mean. Once, she got something off the floor…a grape? an M&M? something she wasn’t supposed to have. I said “Trixie! No!” and I rushed over, pulled her jaw open and took the food away. I still have all my fingers. I’ve been trying to get her to hold a piece of food on her nose. Sometimes, she gets over eager and takes it too soon. I haven’t let her have it. Again, still have all my fingers. We’ve taken her on 11 hour car rides and she doesn’t make a sound. She’s stayed in hotels…again, she is silent. When walking down the halls etc. she is perfectly behaved. We got in the elevator once with a man taking breakfast up to his room. Bacon, sausage, eggs. She sat and waited for our floor. I don’t remember what happened, but,she jumped up on Brad, and she got Brad’s wrist in her mouth. You should have seen this dog try to figure out how to get down, without falling, or closing her mouth. Her worst habit is she jumps on people to kiss them when they walk through the door. Adults that visit are used to it. She knocks over a lot of 3 year olds. I have strange kids come up to me CONSTANTLY when we have her out. Always asking to pet her. I always say they can. And, she just licks.

There are a lot of bad owners. And, unfortunately, the bad owners have bad dogs. Often, aggressive dogs. But, I think a lot of the good owners, who have aggressive breeds, or even just big breeds, are anal about how they behave. We know our dogs won’t get too many chances. We KNOW the damage they can cause, and we don’t actually want other people to get hurt. When the dog nips, we don’t laugh and say “awww, she thinks she is protecting me!” If we know the dog has tendency to be mean to other dogs, we don’t let them around other dogs. We take steps back off the trail to let the other dogs pass. We use a muzzle. We make the dog sit, before we let the random 4 yr old come up to pet.

Unfortunately, we are stuck until people pick a new breed to hate. Maybe we don’t get an apartment, we end up renting a house. I just wish people judged the dog on how they act, not what they are. Trixie has all her shots. She’s never shown aggression towards people. She is fixed. She is quiet. We take her out with us all the time. When places have outdoor seating, we take that, and she comes along. She sits by the table, and waits for scraps. That’s it. If we could bring her to meet the owner/manager/whatever, I don’t think we’d have any problems getting a place. But, instead, there is a blanket ban. And, that sucks.


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