Sophie is a loving, well-socialized pitbull from Northeast PA. She is constantly working on her training with her owner Angela. She loves people, cats, dogs, car trips, long walks, the outdoors, hiking, swimming, playing, and training.
I’ve been working to train Sophie pretty much every day so far, and she has learned quite a bit. She knows how to sit, come, stay, lay down, and “drop it.” We are also working on the leash, and have made really great progress there. I would really like to make more progress with that, however, because she does pull sometimes, especially if she sees small animals or people. Today, we walked past a person with not much of a reaction with her, which is great.
She seems to be a fast learner. She learned to stay in just a couple of tries. I rehearse things with her a lot while we are playing in the yard with her toys. It seems to help a lot, and it has really helped her with the “drop it” command.
I’d really like to teach her not to jump up on people, especially kids. I’m the only person that she doesn’t really jump on, maybe because she respects me enough.
I’m very firm with her. I also make her obey commands before she gets food, gets to go outside or come in, and before she gets out of the car. She is really starting to catch onto these things.
Today, Sophie and I went to a newer park in our area with really nice trails and a lot of space to walk in. We started with some leash practice, because she isn’t quite perfect on the leash. My dream for her is to walk effortlessly on the leash, and I hope she’ll eventually learn to do so. Then, we just walked around on the paths for a while, until I realized that I locked my keys in my car. I called someone to get the extra pair of keys, but it took them a while to get there. However, it also meant that Sophie would get a lot more exercise, and it was honestly a very enjoyable day for us there. We could’ve honestly kept going, but I was getting a bit of a headache (I’ve been getting headaches this week for some reason, and I’m not sure why.) We were there for at least an hour and forty-five minutes.
At about 10, I walked both dogs together for the first time for about half an hour. They did much better together than I though they would.
Despite having so much exercise, however, Sophie still seemed to get a little hyper. It could be due to not getting enough exercise yesterday, since I really didn’t feel well. Now she is sleeping, at least. She was worn out for a while, though.
Tomorrow, I think I’m going to bring both of my dogs (the other dog is a pug/chi mix from the shelter) to the park to get some exercise, and then I’ll take them both for walks at night, too.
Sophie’s day started out with playing with her best friend Dunkin. They had a ton of fun, although they weren’t as rough as usual.
Then, Sophie and I decided to go outside to play, as well as to work on a bit of obedience.
She had a ton of fun outside, and we rehearsed several commands that we always do when we play. When she got inside, she was actually worn out for a few hours. Maybe it’s because she’s been getting lots of exercise lately.
This is Sophie’s favorite toy to play with outside, although I don’t let her chew on it too much, since she destroys them. When we first bought one of these, it felt like it could last, but we were definitely wrong. I also like to hide it for her and make her find it.
A few hours after playing in the yard, we went to this new park that we found the other day. We didn’t have a chance to really check it out that day, though, because it was about to close. It is HUGE. There is a ton of space for her to walk around, including walking trails and huge open fields. We will definitely be spending a lot of time there, especially since the park we were going to before recently developed an E. coli problem with its lake (which Sophie loves to swim in).
This was Sophie by the end of the night, all worn out. She was laying on the blanket, so I put it over her.
These are some of the dogs scheduled to be destroyed on Thursday, July 18, in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Adoption information is here at the Animal Care and Control of NYC website.
You might notice that almost all of these guys/girls are pit bulls and mixes. I didn’t select them that way. That’s just a fact of the dogs that are surrended or picked up by AC&C. You know that I am the pit bull’s biggest fan and it drives me crazy that so many people get pit bulls only to turn them over to Animal Control as soon as they’re old enough to have a personality and will of their own.
Pit bulls are not for everyone no matter what some dude in Williamsburg might tell you. Having a pit bull because it is a pit bull does not make you cool and surrendering one that is eight months old because you never taught it how to walk on a leash is worse than despicable. If you’ve never owned a highly intelligent and willful dog or breed, you should never consider getting a pit bull. Never.
I love my pit bull more than anything else in the world, but I can tell you from knowing him and other pit bulls that they are a challenge to housebreak and they will chew on anything they can get their mouths around when they are puppies. Crate training is a must. (I strongly recommend crate training for every dog. Once they get the hang of it, dogs really do like their little houses.)
Pit bulls are not golden retrievers. You can’t just stick them out in the backyard three times a day. They aren’t tea cup dogs you can lock up in the bathroom with a wee-wee pad.
Pit bulls are strong and rambunctious and they need a lot of exercise and instruction. They will test you until they learn their place in the pack. They will steal and eat the toilet paper every chance they get. They need their nails clipped constantly and are very susceptible to skin allergies and ailments. They will pee on the rug while barking their heads off if you leave them alone for too long. Pit bulls can smell bad and they need regular baths. They get cold very easily due to the extremely short fur and hairless bellies.
They will not stay off the furniture. Don’t even try.
They can be—I stress the “can”—aggressive towards other dogs if not well socialized starting the day you bring him or her home; they can be very protective of their owners. Many people you meet will be afraid of them, if not outright hostile, solely because they are pit bulls. (The upshot of that is that sketchy characters will cross to the other side of the street when they see you coming.)
You will meet prejudice with frequency and you have to be ready for it.
On the other side, there is not a more loving and devoted dog. They are extremely affectionate and sweet natured. They love children and will lick them to death. They insist on sleeping next to you on the bed and climbing in your lap when you are trying to watch TV. When you are sick or sad, they will not leave your side. They will gladly say hello to every person on the sidewalk. They will try to stick their tongue into any mouth than gets within 18 inches of their face. They will wag every time you say their name. They will tell you when they’re hungry and when they need to go outside.
They live to be your constant companion. And, lest I forget, they are so freakin’ handsome.
Let me say it again - If you’ve never owned a strong, willful dog or breed, you should never consider getting a pit bull. But, if you are experienced, able, and willing to do the work, the rewards are endless. There are tens of thousands of homeless pit bulls out there of which the vast majority will be put down to make room for the next round of discarded pit bulls. Like all these guys I posted above who will be euthanized tomorrow, they need homes and loving families.
If you’re the right kind of dog owner who has educated yourself on what it means to have a pit bull, I suggest you go to the pound or animal control center or animal rescue facility and meet a few. I am not overstating when I say it could change your life.
Sophie is a pit bull terrier mix from Northeast PA. She loves people and other animals. She is intelligent and learns fast if you know what you’re doing with her; she needs a leader. She is a little stubborn and dominant with certain people, but she obeys those she respects. Including our adopted chihuahua/pug mix Dunkin.
She loves the outdoors and really loves going hiking with me. We recently found a new park today that we probably will be checking out later this week. We couldn’t check it out today, however, because it was already almost 9 PM by then.
She absolutely loves people. People seem to be her favorite thing, actually. She is super friendly and loves when random people come up to her and pet her. She loves to be the center of attention, like she was today with a group of five or more people at Petsmart.
So, this is going to be a blog about my wonderful dog Sophie, a pit bull terrier.