Spencer the Blue-Nose Brindle Pit Bull
A day in the life with Spencer the American Pit Bull Terrier. 3 years old, 79 pounds, 22 1/2 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders (the withers).
3 years old
Spencer with Bruno the Boxer
Spencer and the Baby—3 Years Old
Hi, Spencer! What are you doing sitting here?
Sneaking in a kiss.
Hey kid, did you just kiss me?
Here's a kiss back at ya, kid!
Ewww, Spencer, your tongue went in my ear!
Silly Spencer! He got my face all wet and now he is licking his butt!
This is the same baby as in the popular video "Pit Bull Meets a Baby." In the video, Spencer and the baby were both 14 months old and it was the very first time they had met one another. You can see that video below.
This is Spencer being walked by the same child at 3 years old. Not only is he heeling for the little boy, but he does not even think about trying to eat his Popsicle. Notice in the first part of the video Spencer flicks his tongue a couple of times as he heads up the driveway. He starts to look at me and look back behind him. This is a sign of him feeling anxious, and I realized later that he was being walked toward the driveway gate, which he knows he is not allowed past. Spencer was wondering what to do if he was led to a place that was off limits. He was asking for my guidance. We had turned him around before he reached the off-limits area and on the way back he was much more comfortable. Also notice how he knows what the word "back" means. “Back” is our word for back up or slow down. The yawn after we gave the “back” command was a calming signal that meant he wanted to avoid conflict. A dog also yawns when it is trying to solve an issue in its head, what to do, what to do. Spencer was letting us know he didn't mean to pull ahead, and actually it was the little boy who had slowed down to look at the goats. Spencer had not picked up his pace. The tail wag at the end was him being happy to have successfully completed a job. He tries to be such a good boy. Giving him tasks such as this one is a very good mental challenge for him.
Playing with a 3-Year-Old Child
Whenever people come over to the house, in the morning when I first get up or when we come home after being away, Spencer always brings a toy to whoever is new. The three-year-old little boy was over visiting. His dad came to pick him up and Spencer brought his dad a toy. The dad played with him for a minute and then the three-year-old walked over and took the other end of the toy. Spencer immediately toned down his play to a three-year-old’s level. He kept the toy so there was no slack, and he didn't actually pull it, but rather walked with it. It was like a pretend tug-of-war. At one point he even stepped forward toward the little boy to keep him from falling. Not once did he shake his head or pull hard. Spencer walked at the little boy’s pace, playing at the little boy’s level. I knew Spencer had always toned down his play when he played with Sara compared to some stronger adults. He was always careful not to knock anyone over and careful not to actually win, but I was amazed to see how much he toned down his play with a small child. I knew he was good, but I didn't know he was THAT good. I wished I had my camera with me, but it was in the other room and as good as Spencer is with little kids, I still do not leave any my dogs alone with small children. Spencer made me a very proud Pit Bull momma!
Dogs have a migration instinct and to keep a balanced dog, it must be walked. Every day we pick a new place to walk the dogs, trying not to revisit the same place twice in a row. Bruno and Spencer travel all over, enjoying walks in new places. They are always well behaved, heeling on a leash and super friendly to anyone we pass. We always clean up our poop and respect any signs we see. During one of our walks, we were passing through the Windsor Apartment complex and were stopped by management on a golf cart. I had not seen any “private” signs, but when we were stopped I had started wondering if I had missed something. I suddenly had a feeling we were somewhere we were not supposed to be. Oops... There were two people on the cart, a man and a lady. The lady asked which apartment we lived in. I explained we did not live there and were passing through. I had expected them to tell us it was private and to please leave, but what they said instead was they had a Pit Bull ban and that Spencer was not allowed to pass through. The lady got off the cart and petted the dogs, explaining that she herself owned a Pit Bull, but the Windsor Communities, while being a dog-friendly complex, did not allow Pit Bulls on the property. I apologized and we headed out. Spencer had no idea that some people consider him any different than his brother Bruno. It does not matter how well balanced and behaved he is. Poor Spencer is labeled.
Pit Bull Discrimination
While out traveling with the dogs we stopped at a shopping center so we could pick up some dog supplies. The center has a pet-friendly store that allows you to bring your dog inside with you while you shop. I parked the van and opened the sliding door.
As usual, the dogs patiently stood inside the van and waited to be leashed up. They know they are never to just jump out until they get a command from me. I picked up the ends of their leashes and made a click noise with my mouth, which was the signal that they were allowed to jump out. As I was locking the van, a car pulled up in front of us. A lady was in the car with her window rolled down. She asked me what kind of dogs they were. I told them a Boxer, pointing at Bruno, and a Pit Bull, pointing at Spencer. She said oh and drove away.
Before going into the pet store, I walked the dogs around the large shopping center complex, taking advantage of the new area to get in a nice pack walk. After the walk we went into the store. I got a cart and pushed it around the store, filling it up with the supplies we needed. I had the leashes around my arm and both Bruno and Spencer followed behind me with loose leads. They do not pull and are very good followers. As we passed people they would wag their tails but keep following me. They have been taught that the bones and other toys on the shelf are not for them and they do a good job ignoring even the tastiest bones and treats.
We headed for the checkout line and paid for our items. The dogs were petted by many people and Bruno's big tongue did a lot of licking. I pushed the cart out of the store as the dogs followed behind me. When we got to the van, I unlocked it and began transferring the items from the car to the van with the leashes still looped on my arm. The dogs calmly stood waiting. We still needed to return the cart. We took the cart back and headed back to the van when we were stopped by the same lady who previously had asked what kind of dogs I had; she was now on foot.
The lady asked me, "What possessed you to get a Pit Bull?!" I stood there for a second, not sure how to answer. I looked down at Spencer who was quietly and calmly standing beside me. My mind flashed to all of the dogs in the store that were not well behaved, pulling on the leash and one even barking and growling at any human it passed. I responded, "Because they are good dogs." The lady responded back, "Really!?" I said, "Yes they are. A dog is all about the owner. It’s not the breed. Look at him. He's very well mannered." The lady said "Yes, your dog is; I don't mean him. It's all the others." I told her the Pit Bull bad rap was media hype. Most are well behaved. It all depends on who owns the dog. The lady told me she has a Chihuahua that barks, growls and tries to bite people. She explained that her dog was just a little dog, so when it bites a person it is a small bite. If my dog were to bite a person it would be a big bite. I said, “Yes, but your dog DOES bite. Mine does not.” She responded with, "Oh, but my dog does not bite ME, just other people." I said to her, “So you are standing here asking me why I own him,” looking down at Spencer as he calmly stood next to me, “and you yourself own a dog that bites?? Really??” She asked me if Spencer ever bit people when he was younger. I said no, never. She seemed surprised and asked me why not. I said, "Because I am a pack leader and apparently you are not." She asked me what that meant, what do you have to do to be a pack leader. I tried to briefly explain. I gave her my card for the website but she said she didn't own a computer. She didn't seem interested in learning what it meant. To her, I owned a dangerous dog and her biting Chihuahua is not an issue. After all, it does not bite her, just other people.
Spencer loves going for car rides. Somehow he knows when I am about to leave to get in the car vs. just walking outside for another reason. He walks calmly over to the door and waits a few steps back, leaving plenty of room for me to get out the door. He stands there patiently looking and waiting to be invited along. I usually take him as he and Bruno go just about everywhere with me. Come on boy, let’s go. He jumps right into the van, ready for whatever adventure lies ahead, be it a five-minute drive or a five-hour drive, he's game.
Weather permitting, I try and open the windows while driving so Spencer can take in the new smells. He does not need to stick his head out the window in order to read the stories that linger outside. They blow into the van and swirl around him like magic. The boy has a good nose on him and he is constantly using it.
A New Friend
Spencer was very happy to meet Hector the 8-week-old Pug puppy.
My first thought was, awe Spencer hates being cold yet he is hanging out with the kids while they make a snowman. He's been out there for a long time. He's got to be cold by now. What loyalty. He must love them, right? But then I saw it. It explained everything. The nose of the snowman... it's a sausage roll! Spencer wants to eat the nose! Seems that meat trumps warmth!
It's been a bit crazy in the weather department. It snowed while the temperatures were in the teens for a few days. It's been hard to get our pack walks in. We settled for visiting a few pet and feed stores that allowed dogs to come inside during some of the windy, frigid weather. It had warmed up enough to turn to rain creating a lot of slush and mud and then dropped at night once again. Today the high was 55 degrees in the early morning with temperatures expected to quickly drop back down to 9 degrees by night. It was 46 degrees outside. It had been raining all morning and it was getting colder as another cold front blew back in. There was a break in the clouds. The rain had stopped. I quickly coated and leashed up the dogs. We were going to go for a hike in the back woods before it all started back up again. The temperature was going to drop to 9 degrees by night. From the looks of the radar it appeared we had at least an hour. Off we went. In about 15 minutes into the walk it started to rain again and the wind kicked up. Darn! I didn't even bring an umbrella. Time to head back boys. Lets get going. The dogs were in full agreement as we turned onto the path that led back to the house. They knew where we were going.
This is Spencer trying to avoid the mud as he got rained on and the wind kicked up and blew in his face. "Mommy I don't like this, not one bit."
When we got back to the house he ran to his bed and did the doggie-roll trying to rub off all of the water. Spencer buddy, let me at least get your coat off before you get your bed all wet.
...as Bruno stares out the window, "It's nasty out there!"
Raising a Puppy: Spencer the Pit Bull
- American Pit Bull Terrier Information
- American Pit Bull Terrier Pictures 1
- American Pit Bull Terrier Pictures 2
- American Pit Bull Terrier Pictures 3
- American Pit Bull Terrier Pictures 4
- American Pit Bull Terrier Pictures 5
- American Pit Bull Terrier Pictures 6
- American Pit Bull Terrier Pictures 7
- American Pit Bull Terrier Pictures 8
- Natural Dogmanship
- It's a Way of Life
- A Group Effort
- Why Dogs Must be Followers
- What Does it Mean to be Dominant?
- Dogs Only Need Love
- Different Dog Temperaments
- Dog Body Language
- Stopping Fights Among your Pack
- Dog Training vs. Dog Behavior
- Punishment vs. Correction in Dogs
- Are you setting your dog up for failure?
- Lack of Natural Dog Behavior Knowledge
- The Grouchy Dog
- Working with a Fearful Dog
- Old Dog, New Tricks
- Understanding a Dog's Senses
- Listen to the Dogs
- The Human Dog
- Projecting Authority
- My Dog was Abused
- Successfully Adopting a Rescue Dog
- Positive Reinforcement: Is it enough?
- Adult Dog and the New Puppy
- Why Did My Dog Do That?
- Proper Way to Walk a Dog
- The Walk: Passing Other Dogs
- Introducing Dogs
- Dogs and Human Emotions
- Do Dogs Discriminate?
- The Intuition of a Dog
- Speaking Dog
- Dogs: Fear of Storms and Fireworks
- Providing a Job Helps Dog with Issues
- Teaching Dogs to Respect the Kids
- Proper Human to Dog Communication
- Rude Dog Owners
- Canine Feeding Instincts
- Human to Dog No-No's: Your Dog
- Human to Dog No-No's: Other Dogs
- FAQ About Dogs
- Small Dogs vs. Medium and Large Dogs
- Separation Anxiety in Dogs
- Dominant Behaviors in Dogs
- The Submissive Dog
- Bringing Home the New Human Baby
- Approaching a Dog
- Top Dog
- Establishing and Keeping Alpha Position
- Alpha Boot Camp for Dogs
- Guarding Furniture
- Stopping a Jumping Dog
- Using Human Psychology on Jumping Dogs
- Dogs Chasing Cars
- Training Collars. Should they be used?
- Spaying and Neutering your Dog
- Submissive Peeing
- An Alpha Dog
- Who's More Prone to Fight, Male or Female Dogs?
- Whelping: Puppy Nipple Guarding
- The Truth behind the Pit Bull Terrier
- Protecting Your Puppy from Dog Attacks
- Chaining Dogs
- SPCA High-Kill Shelter
- A Senseless Death, a Misunderstood Dog
- Amazing What a Little Leadership Can Do
- Transforming a Rescue Dog
- DNA Canine Breed Identification
- Raising a Puppy
- Raising an Alpha Puppy
- Raising a Middle of the Road Puppy
- Raising a Back of the Line Puppy
- Stages of Puppy Development
- Introducing a New Crate to a Puppy or Dog
- Puppy Temperament Test
- Puppy Temperaments
- A Dog Fight - Understanding your Pack
- Understanding your puppy or dog
- Runaway Dog!
- Socializing your Dog
- Should I Get a Second Dog
- Is your Dog Out of Control?
- Illusion Dog Training Collar
- Top Dog Photos
- Training your Puppy or Dog
- Puppy Biting
- Deaf Dogs
- Are You Ready for a Dog?
- Breeders vs. Rescues
- Find the Perfect Dog
- Caught in the Act
- The Pack of Dogs is Here!
- Recommended Dog Books and DVDs
- Need to find your dog a home?