Just some thoughts about life experiences
A "What??!!"
Published on May 20, 2006 By MythicalMino In Dogs
My wife has wanted a certain breed of dog for several years (actually, longer than I have personally known her). Myself, I have wanted a Collie…you know…Lassie and all of that jazz. But the breed of dog my wife has wanted? When people ask me, "What type of dog is that?" I answer them with this: "Just think, ‘Domesticated Bear’". Oh, yeah…what type of dog is that? Bullmastiff.

Well, anyways…to the story at hand. One night, my wife tells me that she found something that she wants to get. I am thinking, "shoes…shirt….car…." But, no, it couldn’t be as easy as a new car. She has found, not one, but TWO Bullmastiff puppies. TWO "DOMESTICATED BEARS"!!??!! Yep…two of them.

You see, they are brothers, and they have never been apart. The lady that owns them, are wanting to give them away. Give them away? I ask, "Why?" These things sell for several hundred dollars. Well, my wife tells me that they are mixed. They are ½ Bullmastiff…and….she trails off. I ask what the other half is. A look of hesitation spreads across her face…then she lays it out. The dad was a full Bullmastiff. The mom? Pit-Bull. I groan….and groan a little bit more. I see that look, and I know she has wanted a dog (DOGS!!??) like this for a long time.

She had already went to the lady’s house to see the puppies. She tells me that the woman has told her that the mom (pit bull) is a great dog. And, she has a boy that mauls on the dogs and the dogs are just fine about it. Which, is good, because we have 2 boys, ages 3 and 5, that will maul also.

So, I go along with it…groaning the whole way. Se go to meet and get the puppies. "Puppies"…heh, such a funny little word. These two "puppies" are only a year old, and already are just as tall as my two boys…and they each weigh about 100 lbs. "Domesticated Bear".

One is black with some brown…and the other is brown, with some black. The black one is all licky-licky all over the place, tail wagging, and just excitement all over. The brown one…well, he is very reserved. Not mean…just very reserved. He wants to sit back, and check everything out first. The black one? He jumps right in with all 4 legs, wagging, licking, and drooling all over the place.

I decide to sit in the back of the van with the dogs, to maybe try to help keep them calmed down…and to try to keep them in the back of the van. We no sooner got going, when both dogs literally lay down on top of me and…get this…go to sleep. 200 lbs laying on top of me. Anyways, we get home.

The black one jumps out the van and goes right inside the house with no problem…it took some coaxing for the brown one to follow suit. But finally, they are both inside. Now, these two puppies have never been inside, other than the garage…I was originally going to have them stay outside, keep them as outside pets. But, I got to thinking. These dogs make GREAT guard dogs. And what good is a guard dog if he is locked up outside? So, we decide to keep them inside. I know…it is going to take some training, but I think we can handle it.

The thing is, before I saw the dogs, I was not sure about getting another pet. Especially TWO of them…and two of them the size (and the potential size) of these two. But you know what? When I saw them, I fell for them totally. They practically stick to me like glue when I am home. They are very well-behaved, at least, so far. They want to please, they want our attention (and really, how can we not give them attention when they lay their big heads with their long droopy jowls across our leg or arm?). They are very good with the kids. When they were first in the house, they knocked into my 3 year old (Jacob), and pushed him into a piece of furniture, bumping his head. Jake cried, and I put him on the couch. Both dogs walked over to the couch, and laid their heads on the couch, looking at him. Today (we just got them home last night), Jake was mad about something, and fell to the floor (in his dramatic fashion), and cried. The brown one walked over, and stood OVER him, and just stood there, looking down at Jake every few moments.

I have really started to like these two guys….a WHOLE LOT, to be honest. They even have the same temperaments as my two boys. The black one is more like Jake…in your face, happy (or whatever emotion he is choosing to show at the moment). And the brown one is more like Christian…reserved, always thinking….

We are trying to work on getting them house-broken…not sure how much "fun" this will be. But really…I really want to succeed with these two guys. They both are so laid back…and you can look into the eyes of the brown one, and just see "depth". So far, I am really enjoying my time with them….

Oh, and their names? I have renamed them. Albie and Reno just wasn’t two names I really cared for. What are their new names? Brute & Massacre. Brute is the black one. Massacre is the brown one.

If anyone has ANY tips or suggestions one how to train these two guys, PLEASE send it my way….I could use it!!

my wife and I have started some of the training. We took them outside in the back yard (we have a pretty decent sized backyard), and walked them around on their leash. They seem to be pre-disposed (is that the right word?) to walk right along with us. Although, Brute (the black one) gets kinda excited and wants to "switch" sides. But, we are working with them to have them sit automatically everytime we stop while we are walking. They did pretty good...I think they know that their reward will be us petting them and loving on them if they do sit. Sure, they needed reminding...but that is ok.

I really am loving these dogs. I love having them around in the house. And it is very cute to have them laying down practically on top of each other on the floor when they are sleeping.

(NOTE: For some reason, the first time I posted this, it was not showing up as an article of mine in my blog. So, I resubmitted it. I also cannot delete the first thread in the forums, so, if any oof you want to delete, speaking to the mods, go ahead, but please leave this one. Thanks!!)

Comments (Page 1)
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on May 20, 2006
This morning, I got them both to "do their thing" outside in the designated area (out by the shed). Massacre went with no problem...but Brute? Well, he is somewhat stubborn, I guess.

Massacre went right to it, without wasting any time. But Brute, I had to stay out there with for quite a while, and even then, he wouldn't. So, back inside we went after about 30 minutes. I fed them, and then Brute started sniffing around where they have gone in the house before, so I quickly got them both outside. After about 10 minutes, Brute FINALLY did it. I praised him for it, and hopefully, we are now on the right road to doing that kinda of stuff outside.

Keeping them in the downstairs bathroom REALLY helped last night, cause neither of them poo'd or pee'd at all. So, there that little chapter has begun.

on May 20, 2006
I dunno.  I don't know if I'd get any large dog that had pitbull in it.  Most pit bulls i've seen have been very nice (though not terribly bright) dogs.  But with small children, there's just no way I'd take any chances.  But good luck! Sounds like they'll be a handful either way!
on May 20, 2006
So far, I am very pleased with them. My youngest boy climbs on them, rolls all over them, sits on them...and all they do is just lay there, wagging their tails. In fact, there has been a few times when Jake has been laying on the ground crying (for whatever reason), and the brown one (Massacre) would stand over him, watching down on him. Why? I don't know...but I could imagine that maybe because he was "protecting" him. I don't know.

But I do know that I never thought I would get attached to a dog, even less so TWO dogs...but these two guys really hold a special place in my mind.

on May 20, 2006
This evening, I decided to sit out on the front porch with my two pals.

It was interesting, because there is such a difference in their personalities. For instance, Massacre (brown)has to stand over anyone of us that happens to be laying on the floor. He doesn't do much other than stand over the person (or, dog) that is on the floor, looking down every so often. Brute (black) is happy to just "be there". It is almost like Massacre looks at himself as though he is the pack (family) protector, always there to "keep & protect".

Anways, we were sitting out on the front porch. Brute was so busy looking at everything, everyone. Very watchful...Massacre, on the other hand, was just wanting to be with me. He sat there looking at my face, resting his (big) head on my lap. Just...."being" with me.

Well, anyways. As we were sitting there, Massacre finally laid down, with Brute laying down also. When these three guys come walking up the sidewalk. I had seen them...and I think Brute & Massacre had seen them...but when they really came into view, and they were on "our" side of the street, both dogs moved to their feet FAST, and barked. Now, this was the first time I have ever heard them bark, personally. But, the funny thing was, the look on their faces. They were 3 Arab guys...and once the dogs started up (I had a strong hold on their leashes, so they wouldn't get away from me and go after them), a look of utter fear swept across their faces, and they started talking very fast in their language. They didn't run past, but they did pick up their pace a bit.

The thing was, the bark wasn't the typical bark I have heard from dogs...that "I am barking because I can". It seemed more along the lines of them saying: "You are too close, and we are going to let you know".

I quickly forced them to sit down, and told them that they were good dogs, and all that (one of the purposes of ME getting them was guard dogs for the house, and my wife and kids). And that was what they were doing....protecting our territory from what they considered intruders.

I brought them back inside after a while, and took Brute back out to try to get him to potty. I left Massacre inside, but put him in the bathroom (where they go when we are not able to supervise them). Outside, Brute, I guess, wasn't ready. So, after a few minutes (and hearing Massacre starting to wimper and whine loudly), we came back in. Talk about your "reconnection". Man, these two acted like they had been apart for 20 yrs. Jumping all over each other, smelling each other, play fighting all over.

Right now, they are both sleeping (and snoring...or was that a truck driving down the road?), laying on top of each other at my feet....so cute.
on May 21, 2006
all the dog-lovers here on JU, and no one is interested in these experiences? hmmm....oh well...
on May 21, 2006
I don't know much about dogs except that they can bite. And they will bite even a member of their beloved family if the circumstances are right. Like LW's article about Bubby.

I personally wouldn't have a dog with pit bull in it anywhere around my kids. I realize I only hear the horror stories and for every one of those, there are a thousand stories of "perfect" obedience. But it is also my experience that when I tempt fate or play the odds...I lose. ha.

I love your stories about them though. I can see these dogs in my mind, and your growing love for them is obvious.

Good luck, I hope they bring your family many years of joy and protection.
on May 21, 2006
oh, i know that dogs can bite...and I was also very hesitant when I was told about the Pit Bull in them. But, I have read quite a bit about this breed, though. This is actually a very common mix...Pit Buill & Bullmastiff.

The two of them, though, are very lovable....VERY good with both my kids. Jake climbs all over them both (especially the black one), and it doesn't even seem to phase the dogs...

I understand your point of view....and Pit Bulls have been given a bad name, due to them being the "fad dog"....but Doberman's, Shephards....they all went through thier "trial of fire" when they were the "in-dog" to have. I remember growing up, Doberman's were the vicious dogs that nobody should ever have....Even Saint Bernards, Collies, and Great Dane's I have heard horror stories about...all due to crazy breeding, and being trained to kill....
on May 21, 2006
and Pit Bulls have been given a bad name, due to them being the "fad dog"....

that's a good point. Our subdivision doesn't allow pit bulls whole or half breeds, doberman's, chows, rots, and a few others.

OF course this is an older division so I'm not sure they enforce it because we aren't supposed to have clothes lines either and I see one here and there.

You sound like a smart dog owner...so I am sure you know what is best for you and your family.

I'm glad you got to make your wife so happy and the kids, and that you are loving them already.

Blog about their antics! I really do enjoy reading them...especially how much they are starting to mean to you.
on May 21, 2006
I love puppies. How fun! I have a Sheltie and he is part of our family.

I agree that I would be concerned about the part pit bull but maybe that's because I've seen too much on the local news and heard of towns banning them. I do think how you raise them has a lot to do with their demeanor but I think the big problem is that in their psysiology, if they bite they just don't let go. I don't know how much of a difference being a mixed breed has.

Hey check out the Dog Whisperer for training ideas. I think he has a new book out that might be worth checking out.

So how is training going? My dog was easy to train butI've never had another dog as an adult so I don't really have much experience as far as that goes. At some point, I would like to get my husband an Irish Setter. I think it will have to wait for a few years though.
on May 21, 2006
Tova: Oh, believe me....I was concerned when I was told that the mother was Pit Bull. But, I have also found out that it is a common mix. The point I was trying to make, though....sure, many pit bulls are "bad" animals. But, my in-laws have a mutt (black lab mixed with God knows what), and a Saint Bernard. Both of those dogs are pretty mean, and the mutt has actually nipped at one of my boys. They also at one time had a dalmation...and that dog was one of the meanest dogs I have ever seen. Any dog can really be mean, even Golden Retrievers (who are universally known to be the "ideal" family dog)

Locomama: My wife watches that show nearly every night.

The only real problem I a am having with training them is Brute is a little "wild". Having a hard time teaching him how I want him to walk (next to me, not in front of me, pulling me). It makes it pretty difficult to walk him at the moment. Massacre, on the other hand, walks right next to us with no problem. Also, Brute doesn't seem to want to poo where he should. Perhaps he is just stubborn.

My wife took the dogs over to her mom and dad's house, for a get-together. I was at work, so I was not able to be there until late. But anyways, she said that both dogs had no problem with any of the people there. They would walk up, and try to touch as many ppl as they could. The couple of kids that were there, ran the dogs all over the yard, and they seemed to love it.

Once we got home, I took them out back, and we let them run around the back yard. They were "wrestling" around, running all over the place. I let them play like that, until they started to get kinda (what I thought) out of control. All I had to do was say "Down!", and they both stopped immediately. We also don't have a fence on the one side of our yard. And as they were running, as long as I or my wife was standing on that side of the yard, up by the drive way, they never really went behind me. It was kind of like I was their "barrier".

Anyways...yeah, I am really enjoying these two big guys.

Here is a website that describes what type of dog I have (Temperment, build, ect, ect). This is only one of the websites that I have read through learning about the dogs that we have. The dog on the main page (Surleyman the Magnificent) looks similar to my dogs, but that one is still too short, I think. My two doesn't look hardly at all like a Pit Bull, but much more like a Bullmastiff. Perhaps that is because the father was the bullmastiff? Most of the pics I see online of a pit bull - bullmastiff mixed, is where the mother was the bullmastiff, and the father was the pit bull. And in those pics, the dogs look much more like a pit bull.

One thing that is interesting. As they were outside playing, running and romping around...They would be running in your direction (well, actually, more like running right towards you), but somehow, they would just...jump around you, and miss you completely. These are very big dogs, but very agile and quick.
on May 21, 2006
duh....the link: http://dogbreedinfo.com/americanbandoggemastiff.htm
on May 22, 2006
saw the link...I am not a dog person probably because I think that dog is mean looking! hahahaha.

I'd get a fence up though, just in case its raining and you don't want to be out being the fence!
on May 22, 2006
that dog at the link looks more Pit Bull than ours do. In fact, ours doesn't have really much Pit Bull look at all...only brief shades if they turn their head a certain way to look at you.
on May 22, 2006
only brief shades if they turn their head a certain way to look at you.

Like when they are about to rip out my throat?

Sorry that was just the PERFECT set up.
on May 22, 2006
sounds like Massacre is a dominator. It will be best for you and you family for him to realize that YOu are in charge of the pack. Standing over you (or other family members) while they are laying on the floor is a dominating move. It would be best to, while validating his "leadership qualities" at the same time to let him know that you're boss and not let him dominate you.

I just watched the Dog Whisperer for the first time the other night and found it very interesting and informative. We have raised German Shepherds since I was little so I am well aware of what it's like to have "scary" dominating dogs around. My mom however goes through obedience training with them so they are trained to act appropriately around people of all ages including my 7 month old son. Perhaps you could call your local Kennel Club for dog training tips, like we train all our shepherds basic obedience in german. They respond to commands instantly.

That's my $.02. Good luck
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