Miss Jenny has a voice like a linebacker.
June 20, 2008 12:37 PM   Subscribe

What is she? I am the soon-to-be momma of a lovely mutt. Here are some pictures of Miss Jenny.

She is very obedient due to extensive training from my fiancé, although she is incredibly alpha around most other dogs. She tends to treat smaller dogs like non-threats (like my Mr. Playdeaux). Bigger dogs she'll bark at loudly and might do a demonstrative snap or two without actually biting. Her favorite game is to play "defense" against another dog chasing a ball. She never actually wants the ball; she just runs alongside barking her head off, then trots back happily to do it all over again.

Also, we have recently learned she's not so great around small kids. I am hoping if we better understand what kind of dog she is, we can tailor our training to be most effective in teaching her that kids are people, not small animals to chase. What is she?
posted by whimsicalnymph to Pets & Animals (22 answers total)
The looks like part Staffie to me.
posted by Solomon at 12:45 PM on June 20, 2008

Mostly staffie in there. I have no doubt.
posted by sunshinesky at 12:53 PM on June 20, 2008

Wonderful pictures. Are those pictures all taken around Portland? I'm jealous ... all your snapshots seem to have a breathtakingly dramatic vista behind them.
posted by jayder at 12:57 PM on June 20, 2008

Looks like a North American Wonderdog to me.
posted by buggzzee23 at 12:57 PM on June 20, 2008

I'd say pit bull-black lab mix. Certainly pit bull-something.

Pits are usually quite good with children. They were once called Nanny Dogs.
posted by OmieWise at 12:58 PM on June 20, 2008

Yes, jayder, the pics are around Portland (the coast, the Gorge, the city). ;)

She is definitely a wonderdog. ;)

As for the kids thing -- yeah, we're stumped! My fiancé found her in a parking lot in South Georgia when she was a mid-sized puppy. She might have come from a not-very-good home originally as it has taken many years for her to be less timid about certain things (like going through doorways? this is something that used to scare her). We are wondering if something in her puppy past set her disposition outta whack about kids. If she is a bull-mix, then we can definitely start carefully training her with more supervised socialization and what not.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 1:04 PM on June 20, 2008

yes, i'd say pit/lab as well.

have fun! what a wonderful combination. she looks like a real sweetie.
posted by CitizenD at 2:19 PM on June 20, 2008

The face screams pit bull or something similar, which might explain the dog aggression, which is normal for that breed.
posted by sondrialiac at 2:32 PM on June 20, 2008

Oh, and obviously lab. She's gorgeous. Is she actually being aggressive towards the small children, or just really energetic? Sometimes it's easy to confuse the two, especially in bigger, more powerful dogs.
posted by sondrialiac at 2:35 PM on June 20, 2008

Aggression is not normal for pits or am-staffs, they are gentle and patient dogs by nature, in fact the things that make them good fighters are what makes them so patient, for instance their resistance to pain. Unfortunately they are also very powerful dogs that represent masculinity and violence to shitheads, who beat and abuse them until they are constantly nervous and anxious which causes them to overreact to impulsive movements and unintentionally inflicted pain that sometimes small children can cause, so if you have a rescue dog you have to be very careful, a dog that has had a shitty childhood is just like a person that has had a shitty childhood. A properly treated am-staff or pit (especially a mix) is a very gentle, loyal and affectionate dog. Good on you for adopting one but look into some further professional obedience training for her if you can, keep her environment peaceful and remember that she is 60 pounds of muscle. The kid chasing might have more to do with whatever she is mixed with, that looks like Lab, get her to a pro and you'll have a gorgeous and loyal friend. At the very least get some advice on training and books specific to her breeds.
posted by Divine_Wino at 2:47 PM on June 20, 2008

Aggression is not normal for pits or am-staffs, they are gentle and patient dogs by nature, in fact the things that make them good fighters are what makes them so patient, for instance their resistance to pain.

This is true of aggression towards humans, which is not normal. Aggression towards other dogs is normal. Not the same thing.

That doesn't mean they can't be great pets, but there is no point in turning a blind eye. Precautions should be taken with their breed history in mind.
posted by sondrialiac at 2:57 PM on June 20, 2008

She can definitely be very energetic, but I have also seen her run up to a kid that was running and grab onto his pants leg. We called her away (she is very, very obedient), but had to keep her away from the kids the rest of the day because it scared them. Aggression? It wasn't like she was trying to eat them, but she was being too rough for most kids.

So, is the consensus that the chasing might be a lab thing? Or attributable to some past trauma to her stafford-pit mind that we don't know about? Either way, do you absolutely think that this is something she can be trained out of (with a professional)? I hope so!
posted by whimsicalnymph at 3:58 PM on June 20, 2008

The grabbing the pants leg trick is a herding dog thing, especially cattle dog but sheep dogs will do it too. I've had tons of them. It sounds like you're on a good track with her being so obedient to adults but she might not consider kids worthy of that same respect. If you can get a kid to work her through her regular obedience stuff that should help a lot.

My catahoula mix was a terrible pants-grabber but we've mostly stopped it by just telling her no a lot. If she's super excited she will still go for your pants tho. She does the same thing to vacuum cleaners (which she regards as things that need to be herded away from me).
posted by fshgrl at 4:49 PM on June 20, 2008

btw, your dog looks part cattle dog to me.
posted by fshgrl at 4:52 PM on June 20, 2008

She looks fairly similar to my bundle of love, and she's a Staffy-cross.
posted by idiomatika at 5:16 PM on June 20, 2008

Nthing pit/lab (definitely pit), but there seems to be maybe a bit of border collie or black german shepherd or something in there.

So basically I'm going with pit/mutt.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:36 PM on June 20, 2008

She looks like a Pit Bull or Staffie mix to me! My pittie mix girl is terrified of little kids, from toddler age up to around 10 years old, inexplicably - she came home with me at 8 weeks, so she was never in an abusive situation, but she runs like heck in the other direction when she sees a kid of that age, so it may just be a thing with her. Is she around kids a lot in her normal day to day life? Maybe some extra socialization would be good.
posted by mewithoutyou at 8:42 PM on June 20, 2008

She looks a bit Loooooonger than the usual lab/staffy mix to me -- What's everyone else think about some hound?
posted by SpecialK at 4:26 AM on June 21, 2008

nth pit/lab, but I'm willing to bet there's something else in there. Could well be a healthy mix of staffie on top of the other two.

Training dogs to be around kids is not easy - socialization will help, but be extra-vigilant!
posted by never used baby shoes at 12:46 PM on June 22, 2008

Thanks for all the answers! Finding out that nipping the pants leg is part of a herding instinct is good to know. She was really excited on a long walk last night and did the the same thing to an adult passerby. Oh dear. We're working on it.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 10:01 AM on June 23, 2008

Someone recently indicated that Jenny might be part American Bulldog which would fit with both her looks and her herding instinct! Just an fyi---
posted by whimsicalnymph at 4:39 PM on June 27, 2008

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