Wednesday, October 3, 2012

For the Love of Big, Bad Dogs.

I have a funny reaction whenever I see a big dog, particularly something with a Reputation. Pitt Bulls, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Dobermans and other "Dangerous" dogs never fail to elicit a coo of "PUP-PEEE..." and a stupid grin. There is something about a big happy doggy with a head the size of a basket ball and muscles on his muscles that makes me go all gooey and soft.

I have yet to meet a "Bad" dog. I have met broken dogs, dogs whose owners have maltreated them, and who, for a while, were too frightened of people to be Happy Puppies. I have met dogs whose owners wouldn't, or couldn't, give them the care, training, and discipline they needed, and so didn't know that their behavior was unacceptable. I have met dogs whose owners have trained them to attack whatever moves.

But I have never met a dog who was genuinely cared for, truly loved and properly trained, who could be classed as "Bad".

Well, except for T-Bone, but my interaction with him was limited to whenever he came speeding out of his driveway to hit our car or attack my bike...

Let me repeat myself: I have only ever met one dog who made me feel unsafe. He is the only dog who has ever bit me (and a good swift kick got me disentangled from that with only a single minor puncture wound, and speeding away on my bike), and has on several occasions hit our car as we drove past.

He was (Maybe is -- I'm not sure if he's dead yet or not) an Australian Shepherd mix, and a phonecall from my father lead to a closed gate and a "Beware of Dog" sign. In the case of this dog, I have no way of knowing what his homelife was like. I cannot tell you what lead to his "Bad" behavior. I know the interaction I had with him, and nothing more.

I have plans, eventually, when I'm out of a tiny apartment and into a house I can have a puppy in, to spend several months combing through animal shelters and rescues for just the right puppy. Most likely, at this junction, I see myself with an American Pitbull Terrier.

Because how can you avoid falling in love with a face like this?

I have two reasons to put forth here for wanting an APBT:

First, partially due to public and media bias, partially due to a naturally protective nature, the pittie makes a good deterrent to people attacks. Which, frankly, frighten me way more than dog attacks ever could. I have been attacked by people. They're a lot harder to stop than dogs, and a lot more likely to attack me.

Second, and this might not seem like a plus to most people, but it takes a strong will to train and care for a strong-willed dog. There are few things better for building up the character of a person than training and maintaining a healthy bond with a naturally dominant dog. If anything can help me learn to stand my ground, it would be a dog who wants to boss me around.

Also, I want a running partner, and a puppy is always willing to run with you.

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