In the News
There seems to be an endless supply of Pit Bull stories in the news. The attack stories, are the ones that are repeated over and over again. Much like any other topic, if it is bad, or sad it sell. There are many news stories about criminals and murders that are played over and over again. Do we label all humans a danger? No we don’t. We can, however, be prejudice to a certain ethnicity. Is that fair? Absolutely not! Yet how many people truly feel all ______ people are (murderers, thieves, con-artists, etc.) Even very prejudice people, may have some friends from that ethnicity. They may say “He/she is different / ok”
This is what we are doing with Pit Bulls. Most people don’t even allow for the possibility that there are a few “good” ones.
Do Pit Bulls Deserve the Bad Rap?
Pit Bulls – the Breed
The term Pit Bull is often used as a generic term used to describe dogs with similar physical characteristics. ~ Wikipedia
Originally called the Bull-and-Terrier Dog, Half and Half or Pit Dog, it became known as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier in England. When accepted for AKC registration in 1936, the name changed to American Staffordshire Terrier to reflect the heavier American type and to distinguish them as separate breeds.
The Am Staff is a people-oriented dog that thrives when he is made part of the family and given a job to do. Although friendly, this breed is loyal to his family and will protect them from any threat. His short coat is low-maintenance, but regular exercise and training is necessary. ~ American Kennel Club
Has this Happened Before?
Pit Bulls are not the first breed to endure being ostracized. Unfortunately, they most likely won’t be the last. The physical attribute that singles Pit Bulls out, is their extremely powerful jaw. This jaw can and does reek havoc during an attack. It is that very attribute, however, that saved this young Oregon City boy…
Now How Do You Feel?
Now that you have watched this video… How do you feel about Pit Bulls?
What Other Breeds Have Been Singled Out?
The official name is German Shepherd Dog, and was formerly known as the Alsatian Wolf Dog. ~ German Shepherd – the Ultimate Service Dog
The German Shepherd Dog originated in 1899 at Karlsruhe, Germany due to the efforts of Captain Max von Stephanitz and others. Derived from the old breeds of herding and farm dogs, the first German Shepherd Dog exhibited in America was in 1907. The fame associated with Rin-Tin-Tin and Strongheart, two members of the breed whose movies played on variations of the boy and his dog theme, shot the popularity of the breed sky-high. ~ American Kennel Club
These dogs were a common watch dog, that are now better know for other abilities. Some common uses for German Shepherds are, seeing eye dogs, police dogs, search and rescue, etc. They were at one time a very feared breed, due to a bad rap in the media.
Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a tax collector from Germany, originally developed this breed around 1890. ~ Wikipedia
The Doberman Pinscher is known to be energetic, watchful, fearless and obedient. He is ready to give prompt alarm (and back up that warning) but is also affectionate, obedient and loyal. ~ American Kennel Club
The dogs were known as “Rottweil butchers’ dogs” because they were used to herd livestock and pull carts laden with butchered meat and other products to market. ~ Wikipedia
Rottweilers love their people and may behave in a clownish manner toward family and friends, but they are also protective of their territory and do not welcome strangers until properly introduced. Obedience training and socialization are musts. Rottweilers must be exercised daily, but require minimal grooming maintenance. ~ American Kennel Club
In my opinion the Pit Bull breed does not deserve the bad rap. They are, after all, a dog. Every breed has a temperament that is part of their breeding. A responsible dog owner does their homework before purchasing a dog or even adopting a dog. There are many factors to take into consideration when deciding on a breed, or mix of breeds. Many people simply buy or adopt on impulse. It is for this reason that many adoption agencies institute a waiting period. Pet stores rely on this impulse to boost sales. Breeders usually have you wait if the puppy is too young to leave its mother. If the ability and intent to properly care for a dog is not there, then perhaps a different pet should be considered.
Training is of the utmost importance when owning a dog. The larger the breed the more important this becomes. If you have a large dog that is well trained, I still recommend keeping your dog on a leash unless you are at a dog park, or similar safe environment. Just because your dog is well behaved, doesn’t mean the other person’s dog is. Many small dogs get aggressive and attack large dogs. One day your dog may not be as tolerant as usual and once a fight starts it is difficult to stop it. A bucket of water, or a hose is the safest way to separate dogs engaged in a fight.
Prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure! If a Pit Bull starts to defend himself or his owner, one bite is sometimes all it takes to have a devastating outcome. If you are not equipped to handle a large dog, get a small breed that is easier to control.
Pit Bulls, like other breeds do not attack for no reason. If you are a kind, responsible, and knowledgeable owner, you should have a wonderful, loving dog in a Pit Bull.