As goes without saying, you spend ages trying to find that all important name for your brute. Once started the brute turns out to be ... well ... rubbish. Don't worry. The system is generated on an even chace for all, this means that if your brute receives a pet, something else will be lowered to compensate e.g. one of your stats.
When i started on mybrute, my character was awful untill about level 3, i had lost the majority of fights but then i got some really good specials and the all and mighty stone hammer which i might add, it is actually awesome. What i am trying to say is, don't create endless amounts of characters hoping for a decent weapon, just persevere on the main one you have created and it will gradually become just as good as the others and be able to combat certain skills with either weapons or abilities.
Pets are great, however they aren't bullet proof. I have killed many bears in my time and i have no pets. Generally the brutes with lower health points have good pets or more than one pet, this can also be seen for the brutes with rare/strong weapons and good stats, their health comes down to compensate.
Choosing the opponent is also key to gaining maximum points (2 for a win), choose someone who is likely to be worse than yourself or tend to struggle against the positive effects your brute has. Not a lot of information can be gained from the choice of 6 arena opponents but base it on stats and health points. Guess what they might have.
The one main thing is that you will lose sometimes! do not get worried about that and as you progress and perservere through the levels, things change so keep at it and make sure you enjoy the game.