Dog Breed Info Center(R) DBIC

Raising a Puppy: Mia the Blue-Nose American Bully Pit—1 Year Old

A day in the life with Mia the American Bully (Bully Pit) puppy. 1 year old, 60 pounds, 18 1/2 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders (the withers).

Front view - A blue nose American Bully Pit is sitting on a stone porch and there is a green bush behind her. She is looking to the right and her ears are up.

1 Year Old

Happy First Birthday Mia!

A blue nose American Bully Pit is sitting on a tan tiled floor and she is looking forward. There is a cake with a lit candle on a plate in front of her. There is a brown with black and white Boxer looking in the background.

Happy 1st Birthday Mia!!

A blue nose American Bully Pit is sitting on a tan tiled floor and she is looking down at a cake with a lit candle on a plate.

When Mia bent down to smell her cake her breath blew out the candle. It was not the plan, but it worked out well.

Close up - A Cake with a candle in it on a plate. In the background is a blue nose American Bully Pit with her head on the ground and looking at the plate.

The cake was eggs scrambled and cooked in a cup with peanut butter icing and dog treats decorating the sides.

A blue nose American Bully Pit is eating a cake with a candle in it. Next to her is a blue nose American Pit Bull Terrier eating food on a plate. There is a person standing behind them and next to the person is a brown with black and white Boxer.

Mia shared it with the rest of the pack.

Close up - A blue nose American Bully Pit and a blue nose American Pit Bull Terrier are eating a cake off of a plate.

Mia sharing with Leia, Amie's blue nose Pit Bull.

A brown with black and white Boxer is eating cake on a plate. Circling the plate and the Boxer is a blue nose American Bully Pit and a blue nose American Pit Bull Terrier.

The pits Mia, Spencer and Leia all carefully licked off the peanut butter, then Bruno the Boxer walked up and ate all of the egg in one bite. Leave it to Bruno to gulp it all down like that.

Close up - A blue nose American Bully Pit and a brown with black and white Boxer are licking the plate.

Bruno and Mia lick the plate clean.

Nature Shows Itself

A person is holding a gob of peanut butter treat in there hand. Sitting in front of the person, waiting for the treat to be dropped is a blue nose American Bully Pit, a brown with black and white Boxer, a blue nose American Pit Bull Terrier and sitting in the background is a blue nose Pit Bull Terrier.

The order has been revealed. I already knew my own dogs natural temperaments. I have one of each, an alpha type (Mia the American Bully), a middle of the road type (Bruno the Boxer) and a back of the line type (Spencer the American Pit Bull Terrier). Amie recently rescued Leia the Pit Bull who we could see was a middle of the road type. We had called the dogs over trying to get a group picture using some peanut butter as a treat. The new rescue didn't understand what picture time was and was just learning the sit and stay command so it was not a smooth session. Mia kept scootching up front and Spencer wanted to hang back. Calling him up closer and trying to get Mia to back up only made the rescue dog move out of place. So the dogs naturally lined up in their born ranking order. Mia the alpha up front, the two middle of the road dogs in the middle and Spencer the back of the line dog hanging back. We had not seen this until after the pictures were taken. Nature shows itself if you look hard enough.

Pack Walk

A brown with black and white Boxer, a blue nose American Bully Pit, a blue nose Pit Bull Terrier and a blue nose American Pit Bull Terrier are sitting in a van and they all are looking to the right.

The pack waits in the van for the humans to leash them up for their pack walk. They all spot some other dogs in the distance. I had already backed Mia up about 3 times trying to get the picture. She was not trying to jump out of the van, she just tries her darnedest to sit just a few inches in front of the other dogs. "Mia back...." we are constantly sending her back and we work hard at keeping her brain in the middle with the rest of the dogs. She is not allowed to ever rule the other dogs around. She does not try and rule the humans. She has accepted that she is not above humans, but she considers herself above the other dogs and we have to remind her on an almost daily basis that she must respect their space and she cannot do things like steal a bone from them. She is a very persistant bugger. She knows the rules, I don't even have to speak for her to back off from bone stealing, for example. I simply have to turn and look at her and she walks away from them as if she knows she was busted.

Feeding Time

A brown with black and white Boxer and a blue nose American Bully Pit are sitting and standing next to a kitchen island. A blue nose Pit Bull Terrier and a blue nose American Pit Bull Terrier are standing on a tiled floor and they are looking back at the other dogs.

Leia, Amie's newly rescue blue-nose American Pit Bull Terrier is visiting during dinner time, so she gets to eat with the pack. She is beginning to understand what is expected of her. No more growling, lunging or fighting with the other dogs. No guarding and the humans rule, not the dogs. It helps greatly that she is surrounded by other balanced dogs who set a good example for her. Her tail is mid range more often than not, which is a sign she is no longer in a dominate frame of mind.

Feeding Time: An Update on Mia

Mia has taught me a lot about what goes through an alpha-type dog's mind. At one point I thought she didn't like her dog food. She would eagerly, often overly excited in a pushy way, eat at treat time, but at feeding time she was not eating all of her food. She didn't seem excited about it. I tested out all kinds of foods and ruled out that she was not sick. I watched her closely for weeks trying to figure out what was going on. My other dogs never did this, they always eagerly and happily ate at meal time. Mia would only be excited about eating if it was not the official feeding time. At feeding time she would only pick at her own food, rarely finishing it. I started shortening the time she had to eat it from a few minutes after the other dogs were finished, to her bowl being picked up as soon as she walked away from it. She was not allowed to stand by her food and not eat it if the other dogs were finished eating. But nothing seemed to spark her interest in finishing her food in a normal amount of time like the other dogs would. Then I started to see it. When I would set the bowl down she was not just ignoring her food bowl, she was watching the other dogs eat. Walking from view of Spencer to the view of Bruno, back to her own food bowl, then back to watching them eat. She would take a few bites of her own food, then walk back and look at them eating. She did not approach them, which was what threw me off. She just watched from a distance. I decided one day to test her out and I told her she was not allowed to even look at the other dogs while they ate. She either had to eat her food or leave the room. The very first time she decided she would just leave. She skipped her meal that morning and had to wait until dinner. She ate all of her dinner that night I presume out of hunger, but did the same thing the next morning. Again, when she tried to walk over in view of the other dogs eating and stare at them I sent her away from them and she chose to leave rather than eat at the same time. I was starting to clearly see it now. Mia was not eating at meal-time because it bugged the heck out of her that the other dogs were eating too. And as soon as I understood and communicated to her that she was not to worry what the others were doing, either eat or leave, she decided she would eat. She now finishes her entire food bowl, eating at the same time as the other dogs.

Bones

A blue nose Pit Bull Terrier and a brown with black and white Boxer are laying on separate green pillows and chewing on bones. A blue nose American Bully Pit is laying down in front of them watching them eat.

I noticed she will do the same thing with bones, she will watch the others chew their bones for a while before deciding to chew on her own. She knows there is a no food, bone or toy stealing rule and she usually follows it. Sometimes still to this day however, she will test to see if she can get away with stealing a bone and all I will have to do is look in her direction or stand up for her to back off of the other dog. She listens when told and follows the rules most of the time without being reminded, but that does not mean she likes it. She just knows she has to listen because the humans rule. But if the humans slack off just a little on the leadership, she runs with it trying to take over where ever she can.

One Year Temperament Summery

 

Mia is by far the most persistent, stubborn dog I have ever owned. If something is in her way she literally moves it. If you give her a line she cannot cross she army crawls or scootches 2 inches past it. One more step further. She is always pushing. Literally pushing herself through a crowd of dogs so she can sit down in the front. On walks she does not try and be in front of the humans, but she tries hard to be one step ahead of the other dogs. She is, however, also the most comical dog I have ever owned. If you catch her in the act of something she knows is off limits, she does not slink away, she grabs a toy or other object such as a leaf and wiggles at you in a submissive, offering of peace. That does not mean she will not try again tomorrow though. She will always push just a little further and we as her leaders will always have to remind her of her place. She is not dog aggressive. She has a way about her that can tell another dog she is above them, yet do it without a fight. Perhaps this is because she has been taught that growling and aggression is clearly off limits. She is affectionate and loves to be with her humans. If you bend down to her head level she will lick your face. You can take anything from her mouth and she will drop something on command. She loves to give kisses and does not jump on humans. She is gentle with children loving to play with them. She lets them pick the game and tries to follow their lead. She reminds us of an exuberant, enthusiastic, cartoon character. She makes us laugh every day, at the same time never letting us forget how important being a pack leader is, because it is clear that without a leader, this pup would be a holy terror. We would not trade her for the world.

Puppy No-Nos

A blue nose American Bully Pit is sitting on a dog bed on a stone porch and there is a log in the dog bed. There is a wheelbarrow full of logs next to her.

Mia! We are trying to stack wood on the porch for the fireplace. It is NOT a wheelbarrow full of bones for you to help yourself to whenever you please!

A person is holding a chewed up Yoda USB Stick in there hand. A blue nose American Bully Pit is laying on a rug and she is lifting her head up to look at the chewed up USB.

I have very, very sad news. Mia killed Yoda.

Top down view of a blue nose American Bully Pit with a chewed up tissue in her mouth. The dog is beginning to climb up a staircase.

I came down stairs to a wiggly, tail wagging, woooing, happy dog who had a piece of a paper towel hanging out of her mouth. Mia... What did you do!?

Chewed up tissue pieces on a hardwood floor around a coffee table.

Oh my goodness, look what you did. You stole the napkins on the table again and chewed them all up. Then you come over wiggling at me all happy about it. I can't even correct you because I didn't catch you taking them off the table. Give me all of that. Open your mouth and spit that out. It's not funny. Stop acting like life is a joke, you silly puppy. We will catch you one of these days.