My son sleeps next to a pitbull-lab mix.
He also drives his toy cars on her, hugs her, feeds her, takes toys out of her mouth, occasionally pulls on her tail and has been known to sit on her. My dog’s reaction? Nothing. This is Ruca, she is seven years old. Her mother was a brindle pitbull and her father was a yellow lab.
I hear stories all the time about children being attacked by dogs and a lot of the time it isn’t by a big brute like Ruca. More so I have heard a lot of stories lately about “scared” police officers killing dogs who posed absolutely no threat to them. My beautiful little girl has never so much as growled at a stranger and would certainly never bite a child, but people hear pitbull and instantly demonize her.
We walked her along the boardwalk one night and got some ice cream and a lot of people in line, because of her calm and happy demeanor, wanted to pet her. Then when these same people who said again and again how well behaved she was found out she is half pitbull their faces lit up with shock.
Then come the questions, “is she good with the baby?”, “is she friendly with other dogs?”, “how does she behave around your toddler?”. I always tell people that she is friendly, protective and playful. That’s when they start in with the reasoning, “well, it must be because she grew up around little kids,” or “it must be the lab in her.”
No. My dog was teased by the little kids that lived on my parents neighborhood and she was four when my oldest boy was born. My dog was raised well, trained well, is loved and loving. It’s all in how a dog is treated and trained. There is no doubt in my mind that if someone broke into my house, my dog would put her life on the line to protect us. I trust her alone with my four year old and my five month old baby. She has never done anything to not deserve that trust.
Ruca once bit my hand. We were rough housing in the backyard, playing who can get the ball first and the two of us got the ball at the same time. I grabbed it right before she put her mouth around it. Immediately after it happened she let go, sat down, put her ears back and looked as if I’d hollered at her. My hand was fine, wasn’t even bleeding, and I hadn’t even said a word to her yet when I realized how sad she looked. I sat down next to her and consoled her, telling her she’s a good girl because that poor dog thought she did something unforgivable.
Raise you dogs appropriately and you will never have to worry about them and your children, in fact, little kids should have dogs. My son relies on her to scare away bad dreams and he loves to be the one responsible for feeding her.
Think twice before you judge a dog by it’s breed.