Pit Bull Awareness Day is October 26! With that date right around the corner, I thought maybe it’d be good to share some facts, ideas, and photos with you on the most controversial breed of the decade.
Fact: The term Pit Bull most commonly does not refer to the American Pit Bull Terrier, but actually a group of dogs closely related to it. It is a term used to describe a wider range of dogs, also classified as the “Bully breed.”
14 different breeds of dogs are classified as Bully Breed:
- The Boxer
- Alapaha Blue Blood
- The American Bulldog
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Boston Terrier
- Bull Terrier
- French Bulldog
- Olde English Bulldog
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- Renascence Bulldog
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Victorian Bulldog
Pit Bulls didn’t always have the bad reputation they do now. The Pit Bull was so respected in the early 1900’s that the military chose an image of a dignified Pit Bull to represent the country on World War I propaganda posters.
Not only were they respected and considered dignified, but their reputation with children was completely different than what is typically said of them today. In the early 20th century, Pit Bulls were the number 1 family pet. Pit Bulls are so good with children, they used to be considered “Nanny Dogs.” Of course, no responsible parent would leave their child unattended with any breed of dog but it’s a fact that the Pit Bull was once considered a wonderful pet for kids.
Want more proof? Check out the photos of our adopted Pits/Pit mixes with their new human brothers and sisters https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.581265795253753.1073741876.406811249365876&type=3
According to the American Temperament Test Society Inc., 86.8% of Pit Bulls tested passed their temperament tests, ranking Pit Bulls 4th in the highest passing grade of the 122 breeds tested. They beat out breeds such as Collies, Golden Retrievers, and Beagles.
“Pit bulls are famous, in circles of knowledgeable dog people, for the love and loyalty they bestow on anyone who shows them a smidgen of kindness.”
–Linda Wilson-Fuoco, journalist
So, where did the labels and chaos come from? Who decided that Pit Bulls are bad dogs? Well…
Much like anything, words can be easily sensationalized by anyone, but especially by the media. It starts with one person and one situation and then it becomes a giant game of telephone, where a story starts in one spot and ends in a totally different direction.
Unfortunately we live in a world where we all too often believe everything we hear. We don’t look further into issues. And as there are always two sides of any story, that holds true in this instance. To say that every Pit Bull is a bad dog, because you once heard a story about a Pit Bull who attacked someone on the street, would be like saying, all children are bad because you heard that one child attacked another on the street. Sounds awfully ridiculous, doesn’t it? Well… It is. To say that all Pit Bulls are bad dogs is a huge generalization, and one that couldn’t be more wrong!
Here’s something you probably didn’t know about dog attacks:
That’s right. You’re more likely to die from your pajamas catching fire than by the actions of a Pit Bull. Another thing you probably didn’t know: You’re 60 times more likely to be killed by a falling coconut than to be fatally attacked by a Pit Bull. A COCONUT! But do you see the government banning the growth of coconut trees anywhere? Nope. Maybe we need to make a “dangerous fruit” label, the same way we categorized dogs like Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Shepherds, Huskies, Mastiffs, Chows, etc. as “dangerous dogs.”
Ok, ok, I’m digressing a little. But the reality is that although you may hear about it way more than you would ever hear about a coconut related attack or death, Pit Bull attacks are not nearly as common as everyone makes them out to be.
At the same time, I’m not ignorant to the fact that they do happen. So, lets talk about why. This goes for any dog (and any person for that matter) – If you teach it to be vicious, it will be.
Pit Bulls are very easily trained dogs. Which with a responsible owner is a great thing. But unfortunately there has been an abundance of irresponsible owners who train Pit Bulls to fight, attack, guard, protect, and so on, even if that means the dog physically harms a person.
It’s been proven that if a dog is chained up, it is 2.8 times more likely to be vicious/attack once off the chain. It’s also been proven that if a dog is unaltered, it will be twice as likely to become overly dominant and aggressive. (A huge reason to get your dog spayed or neutered.)
It also comes down to an owner being abusive. If you give a dog a reason to hate humans for long enough, it will. If a dog is abused they can often become filled with built up rage and aggression. Once it gets free from that abuser, there is no telling what it might do. Some dogs quiver in fear when they’ve been abused, but other turn the table and become aggressive and defensive. Sometimes, if saved, they can bounce back from that, but sometimes they have endured too much abuse to ever feel safe around humans again.
Think about this way: If you’ve only ever been around one human in your entire life, and that person treated you horrible, beat you, chained you up, and left you to starve, struggle, or die – how could you ever trust anybody again? How do you know that all humans aren’t the exact same way? – Ok, maybe with time you will trust again, but at first? I can’t honestly say that I would be happy-go-lucky and friendly to the next person I saw…
And unfortunately when we’re talking about Pit Bulls, their breed has to experience those situations more than any other breed. Check out these stats:
77.5% of animal abuse is abuse on Pit Bulls. That’s over 8,300 cases a year – OVER 8000 DOGS OF THE SAME BREED ABUSED EACH YEAR. And those are just the ones recorded. I’m sure that number would close to double, if not triple, if we knew about all of the actual abuse cases happening in our country.
With that said, and all that information on the table, I encourage you all to open your minds and hearts to a breed that has been wronged by so, so many. I encourage you to never blame the dog, but rather the owners. I encourage you to give a Pit Bull a chance, show it love, affection, give it proper training, show it what is wrong and what is right, cuddle it, play with it, and love it. Love it with every you have, because in return you will get that love back, amplified. And there is nothing better than that love.
“Balanced Pit Bulls have a more intense love than other breeds. If you transform the way their intensity is directed, then you will get back an intense love.” – Ceasar Millan
If you are looking for the next love of your life, please consider adopting one of our many wonderful Pit Bulls or Pit mixes.