pit bull mixes

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Briar is a 2 month old American pit bull/boxer mix. A Good Samaritan found her abandoned next to a dumpster in late December and brought her into the shelter. She only weighed 2 pounds and was so weak that she could barely hold herself up long enough to eat. After fostering her for less than a month I officially adopted this angel who is now living the life that she deserves.

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Destined for euthanasia, 10-month-old Picasso, a pit bull corgi mix, was recently rescued from death row by Luvable Dog Rescue in California. Picasso has a misaligned snout. He was brought in to be euthanised with his brother, Pablo. The breeder explained that he couldn’t sell the pair. Thankfully, the nonprofit rescue centre saw the unique duo and knew they had to save them. Now, people across the globe are desperate to adopt the adorable brothers.

*Takes Deep Breath*

my dog is NOT a pitbull, pit bull is not a blanket term for all bully breeds, there is one breed called a pit bull and that’s the American Pit Bull Terrier, They ARE majority dog aggressive, most bully mixes do have it in their genetics to be dog aggressive, you can not ‘train’ out aggression, you can only manage and train to reduce it, it really doesn’t matter if you ‘raise them right’ its in their genetics, you can’t train herding out of a herding dog, If you have what you think is a 'pit bull’ mix say bully mix instead, it covers all the bully breeds and doesnt add to breed confusion and screw up bite statistics.

*falls to the floor*
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Louie, Pit Bull/Mastiff mix (5 y/o), 61st & Madison Ave., New York, NY • “He’s a very well mannered rescue who goes from one soft surface to another. The bed or the couch.”

Things I wish people who come in to the animal shelter understood

This is a Husky:

Pointy ears, thick but medium fur, tail often curls upward but not in a spiral/tight curl. Often has mask-like pattern on face, saddle-like pattern on back. Round but long muzzle. Might top out at 60 lbs. Coat is soft and fluffy, but not too long. Often has blue eyes.

This is a Malamute:

Enormous hulking beast with long fur, squinty dark eyes, tiny ears in comparison to its head and body, and a tightly curled tail. Pointy snoot. Weighs closer to 100 lbs. Coat is coarse.

This is a Shiba Inu:

Doge dog. May have this color variation similar to a Husky, but is very small- maybe 20lbs at best. Dainty little body, pointy nose, round but standing-up ears. Tightly curled tail that almost always shows you the underside. Looks like an oddly-colored fox.

Bonus– This is a White German Shepherd:

Square muzzle, short but thick fur, giant bat ears, and shaped like a normal German Shepherd. 50-75ish lbs. No tail curl. Hind legs slope back, butt may slope downward. Not a Winter Breed, not closely related to Huskies. Is not a Husky. Just because it’s white doesn’t mean it’s a sled dog.


You wouldn’t believe how many people come in looking for their lost Malamute only to have it be a Husky. (So of course we informed you over the phone that we don’t have a Malamute in Stray, this dog is NOT a Malamute.) Or people who think they have a Husky who actually have a White Shepherd, and vice versa. Or we had people surrendered their “Husky”, but it’s actually a Shiba Inu (probably pure bred Shiba, tbh).

It makes it a lot easier for us to help get your pup home to you if you know what kind of dog you actually have. If in doubt, ask a groomer, because they will definitely know.

The guilt trip: It’s all in how they’re raised.

For almost two years, I felt like I had failed as a dog owner because my Bully mix (Pitterstaff/AmBully, at best guess) turned out to be dog aggressive.

“It’s all in how they’re raised!” is a sentence that makes me cringe.  Anyone that owns a DA APBT or Bully breed probably knows what I’m talking about.  While it is a great sentiment on the ability of dogs to overcome horrible situations, it ignores essential facts about canine behavior while simultaneously putting the blame on dog owners.  

One of the first pictures I have of Zuni and I, on a camping trip in early 2012.

Zuni, my craigslist rescue, wasn’t even a year old when I got her.  Her history before being picked up off the streets by a friendly married couple is unknown.  But she was a fantastic dog and I took her absolutely everywhere with me - she even came to my high school once and assisted me with a theater presentation.  We went to the dog park weekly, ran agility, practiced obedience, and played disc anywhere there was enough space for her to run.  When I started working at the kennel, she would go to daycare during my shifts.  Zuni was so good with other dogs that she was used as a neutral dog to test newcomers for the daycare program.

I did everything right with her.  Knowing her breed, I felt an additional sense of responsibility.  I couldn’t raise a dog that would contribute to the “dangerous pitbull” idea.  But I can’t control genetics and breed tendencies.  My breed isn’t dangerous, but ignoring what my breed was meant for is absolutely dangerous.

Around two years of age, the dog aggression began.  We consulted with several trainers and tried so many methods that it makes my head spin thinking about it.  The best answer we could get from anyone was that she was fear aggressive.  I worked with that for nearly a year, but couldn’t ever agree with it.  I know fear aggressive dogs, I work with them frequently.  Zuni’s behavior and body language certainly wasn’t fearful - she would strain at the end of her leash, every muscle standing out, eyes locked onto another dog with an intensity that terrified most people.  It was the same way she looked at squirrels.  I’ve broken up two fights, and both times I knew she’d never quit until she couldn’t get to the other dog.

I didn’t make any progress with Zuni until I accepted the fact that dog aggression was a part of her temperament.  I stopped blaming myself for her behavior and I stopped seeing her dog aggression as the sign of a  “bad dog.”  I stopped trying to make her like every dog she met and instead taught her to ignore other dogs in public and focus on me.  I don’t allow people to bring their dogs near her and we certainly don’t go to the dog park anymore.  I took months introducing her to Maya and making sure that they had the space that they both needed.  She’s able to run agility without losing focus and has done narcotics detection drills off leash in a room with 30 other dogs.

Zuni’s happier now, I’m happier now. Life goes on.

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Brady, Labrador Retriever/Pit Bull/Akita mix (4 y/o), Crissy Field Beach, San Francisco, CA • “He has a hard time understanding when people are on things – skateboards, segways, police on horseback. He thinks there’s something wrong going on.”

Milo, Pit Bull/Corgi mix (1 y/o), MV ferry, Vineyard Sound, MA • “He knows he’s cute. His biggest hobby is chewing underwear, but we don’t want to publicize that.”

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This is Keilana Kula-Leia. She is about 45 lbs. She is extremely intelligent and super people oriented. She has a great sense of humor and loves to play and also snuggle. She likes to howl when excited but doesn’t bark very often. The shetler said she is a Pit Bull/Pharaoh Hound mix!