Updated: Jan 25
Q: Is Woodsie a Pit Bull?
A: No, he is not. He is an American Bully (no, that's not short for bulldog either) and falls in the Classic category when showing in ABKC. Also while I am on the topic, "pit bull" is not an umbrella term for any and all bull breeds. "Pit bull" is the short form of American Pit Bull Terrier. If you use "pit bull" as a name for any and all short haired, muscular breeds with a blocky head, please stop! Mislabeling does not help these dogs out in any way and only fuels the fire of BSL. Click here to learn more about the American Bully.
Q: Is Woodsie a blue nose?
A: This is another pet peeve of mine. I mean by rights, I guess he is. But "blue nose" means absolutely nothing - it was a term that BYB (backyard breeders) came up with to try and make their mediocre dogs sound expensive/fancy to potential buyers that didn't know any better. I always tell people that it's the same as me saying that Woodsie is a "white toe". Yes, he has white toes. But it has absolutely no significance regarding his breed, genetic make up, or anything of substance.
Q: Does he have lock jaw?
A: No - no dog has lock jaw. That was also a made up thing, typically by the media, to fear monger. No species of canine has the ability to lock or unlock their jaw - the only time this happens is during a medical emergency where the jaw is "locked" in an open position due to injury.
Q: How old is he?
A: Woodsie was born May 25, 2014 which means he will be a ripe 9 years old in a few months.
Q: Was Woodsie a rescue?
A: No, Woodsie was not a rescue.
Q: Where did you get him from then?
A: It's a bit of a long story. A friend of mine bought him from a breeder out of Los Angeles, CA and brought him up to Saskatchewan, Canada. He owned him for about 4 months and then realized with his new family/work commitments that the dog just wasn't going to get the time he required. We were linked up by a mutual friend who knew about them wanting to rehome him and within just 3 days of my dog search, I brought Woodsie home.
Q: How did you come up with the name "Woodsie"?
A: Well, his name was actually previously "Nasty" because that was his previous owner's nickname in hockey as it rhymed with his last name. I didn't think it really suited him and he didn't seem to pay attention to it at all, so I decided to change it. His name was originally supposed to be Hollywood (he's from LA...get it?), but it was super long to say and Woodsie sounded a little better. Within a couple weeks, his name was Woodsie.
Q: Why are his ears cropped?
A: That would be a better question for his breeder, as they were done under the care of the breeder before his previous owner got him. I assume the breeder did all of the puppies before they left to their new homes as he was done quite young based on his puppy pictures - likely around 6 weeks of age. His ears were done beautifully by a vet that clearly cared about the aesthetic appearance of them so I really appreciate that.
Q: How many "fun" tricks does he know?
A: A lot. Off the top of my head: sit, lay down, stay, roll over, roll on side, stand up (on 2 feet), sit pretty (front paws off ground in sitting position), crawl, jump, hold (toys or food in his mouth), wait (for food or anything), he can hold balls and items on his face/nose, spins in both directions, places on objects, touches (nose to object/hand), shakes both paws, speak loud and quiet, in addition to day to day things like kennel, bed, carpet, "get" (away from me lol), "up" (jump into vehicle, etc.) and things like that. I'm sure I'm missing some but that gives you an idea.
Q: Do you do any sports with him?
A: Yes! Woodsie has trained and/or competed in weight pull, rally obedience, obedience, barn hunt, scent detection, top dog, wall climb, and lure course. He has also done competitive trick dog, stunt dog, canine conditioning and animal actor stuff.
Q: Why do you spend so much time earning titles with him?
A: Honestly, I just enjoy doing stuff with my dogs - training is always fun and upbeat, so it provides a lot of benefits for both ends of the leash. I love the titling aspect because it gives me very clear goals to work towards (with the bonus of getting a title/ribbon to "show off" afterwards). Titles are also valuable to have on breeding dogs to prove that the dog can perform well under pressure in hectic public environments around strangers/dogs and do certain tasks listed within the title requirements.
Q: Has Woodsie ever been to a trainer or have you attended training sessions with him?
A: No, I have done everything with him. I do attend training seminars and classes as often as I can with various trainers. I think this dog stuff is a "forever student" type of thing, so I'm always up for learning new things with the dogs. That being said though, a lot of the 6 week class programs I do are just to force myself to do things with the dogs rather than to actually learn new things at this point.
Q: What do you feed him?
A: We switch between a balanced raw diet and either Purina Pro Plan or Inukshuk Marine kibble diet depending on what makes the most sense at the time (freezer space, availability, etc).
Q: What as his favorite toys?
A: Anything that squeaks or makes a weird noise like the crunchy ones or the ones that make the low squeak that he can rip to shreds. Cardboard boxes are a huge hit around here too.
Q: Does he shed a lot?
A: Not at all. I hardy notice his shedding to be honest, but that being said he is also bathed regularly. Anywhere from 1-4x a month or more if he happens to find mud or other fun stuff that I don't want him rubbing all over my light carpet.
Q: Where does he sleep at night?
A: For the first year of his time with me he spent the majority of his nights in his kennel. He really enjoyed it. Now, however, he has been pretty spoiled and he sleeps in bed with me well over 50% of the time, and open in our "dog room" or main floor the rest of the time.
Q: Why is his head so big? Is he still growing?
A: He is full grown - a big head with dense muscle mass and seemingly stubby legs for their large features is a part of American Bully physical characteristics. So simply put, it's just how he is.
Q: How did you get him trained so well?
A: Honestly, consistency is key. I have owned horses for 10+ years so I actually use a lot of the theories I learned with them with my dogs. All animals have the same idea when it comes to training - make the "right" thing fun and enjoyable for them and they will want to do it. Woodsie is an extremely quick learner when treats are involved which is helpful as well.
Q: Does he drool all the time like he does in his videos holding?
A: No! I would not be impressed if that was the case, haha. The only time he drools is when he has to wait while holding food or is doing tricks and anticipating getting food.
Q: Does he actually love mud and water as much as it seems?
A: Yes! If there is water or mud, Woodsie is in it immediately. When I want to leave after letting him play in it (even if it's been hours), he drags his feet and tries seeing if he can convince me to stay a little longer. That's why I always joke that he is a house hippo - he literally wallows in mud and water if given the opportunity.
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Abbreviations used in this article:
ABKC: American Bully Kennel Club
BYB: Backyard Breeder