The Truth About Pit Bulls

14657496_1120001271368879_3073381426150296279_nHistory of the Pit bull breed

Originally, as America was still developing, pit bulls, were trusted with many different responsibilities around family and homestead. Responsibilities such as helping on hunts for food, as well as being a companion and protector of the children in the household, were part of the daily life of a pit bull. Due to its reliability as a working dog and companionship with owners, pit bulls were one of America’s most popular breeds. Many well known people owned pit bulls, including President Roosevelt, Helen Keller and in the movie “Little Rascals”, further exemplifying the trustworthiness and kind nature of a pit bull.  

Dispelling the Misconceptions16938931_1122141547908583_5799672068125892291_n

Modern misconceptions have tarnished and misrepresented the real personalities and demeanor of the pit bull breed. Stereotypes of the breed, such as being violent, were caused by humans and the ways in which they treated these dogs. The way any dog pit bull behaves depends on how it, as an individual, is raised and the environment from which it comes. If a dog is exposed to an environment, which nurtures and loves them, the dog will behave that way. If the dog is neglected and exposed to a hostile environment, they will act accordingly. The responsibility of ensuring a dog will be loving and kind falls on the individual who cares for them. 

In an annual test by the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS), over 240 different dog breeds were tested on different aspects of their temperament, such as shyness, aggressiveness and friendliness. The American Pit Bull Terrier breed passed at a rate of 87.4 percent, higher than the overall average of 83.4 percent .

To say that all American Pit Bull Terriers and other similar breeds are all the same would be a mistruth; just as much as it would be to say that all German Shepherds make great police dogs, or Rat Terriers are good hunters. The truth is that the breed doesn’t determine the dog. Looking forward it’s important to remember to encourage all dog owners to raise their four-legged friends in a friendly and positive environment and to recognize their own dog’s behaviors. 

Volunteer Spotlight: Tena C.

Many volunteers ease their way into volunteering. Not Tena! In the short amount of time that she’s been volunteering, she’s already racked up 40 hours and shows no sign of slowing down.

She adopted Jack, a former BHS resident, in September of 2015 and is head over heels for him. She keeps us updated on him as well as all the current guest dogs of BHS. Her consummate updates on the dogs she works with keeps all the other volunteers informed which helps with consistency when training, which in turn fosters a situation that helps our dogs be more prepared for their forever home.

BHS staff always appreciate a volunteer who understands the animals and their needs like Tena does. “Tena has an incredible dedication to the dogs and she always thinks about the staff too. She is willing to take on some of our more challenging level 1’s and I am excited to see what she will do as a level 2 volunteer. She has been a tremendous help since becoming a volunteer,” says BHS behaviorist, Brittany D.

She has already achieved Mentor status, which means that she qualifies to train new volunteers. This usually takes months. Tena is quickly climbing up the volunteer ladder and will be running this place in no time. BHS needs more volunteers like her.

Thank you, Tena, for your time, your effort, and your compassion!

Volunteer Spotlight: Sue Anderson

sue-and-kittenwolverinedog-wash-dayEvery person and every animal loves Sue! Whether they have met her or not, Sue has influenced their lives in some way. Congratulations on seven years and 2,000 lifetime volunteer hours!! You’re absolutely amazing!

“She is always so happy and caring for all the cats. She stays in tune with who is who and their stories. When I worked in cat adoptions, she would always ask how specific cats were doing and see if they finally found a home. She can make even the most timid cats look adorable and happy in their photos! She goes above and beyond to buy seasonal props too which are always adorable!” – Taylor Foster (She said it, but we all thought it!)

Holiday Idea: Doggie Christmas Cookies!

Make sure your dog isn’t left out when it comes to holiday festivities! Here’s a pet recipe for christmas cookies that will be perfect for celebrating this holiday season with your dogs.

Makes 25 medium sized cookiespuppy-xmas

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 2 tbs peanut butter
  • 2 tbs olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix flour, molasses, peanut butter, water and olive oil in a large bowl until smooth.
  3. Knead flour and roll out to 1/4 thickness.
  4. Cut with festive holiday cookie cutters and place on non-stick baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Cool on wire rack.
  7. Seal treats in a container and refrigerate or freeze.

BHS wishes you a very happy holiday season with your loved ones and furry friends!

Firework Fright: How to Keep Pets Calm

RosieThis 4th of July, make sure to keep your canine companion comfortable during the firework presentation in your community. Fireworks can cause animals to become scared, nervous and can cause the animals to run away if they have access to the outdoors. Animal Control Services across the country typically see an average increase of 30% in lost pets during the firework season.

There are a few ways to tell if your animal is stressed or scared during fireworks. Some of these signs include: panting, pinned ears, avoidance, carrying their tail low, lots of barking, pacing, refusing food and scratching or over-grooming.

To help keep your dog calm during fireworks, try taking them on a long walk that day so that they want to rest during the evening or set up a hangout area for them with familiar toys and bedding. If you can watch the fireworks from your home, it will help your furry friend stay calm if you are with them. Being left alone can increase the nervousness when the loud, unfamiliar noises of the fireworks are happening within earshot.

Along with fireworks, be sure to make sure your furry friend is comfortable, hydrated and out of harm’s way during all Independence Day festivities. It’s a busy day, and we want to make sure our pets are enjoying the holiday as much as we are!