Pit Bull: Why Punish the Breed for Man’s Deed?
In today’s society, pit bulls remain to be the most misunderstood dog breed. This started in the 80s when this breed lost his tag as man’s best companion and used as a weapon of choice by gangs and drug lords. Moreover, it was bred to fight for everybody’s entertainment. I do hope that after reading this article, your perspective towards this breed will change.
The term pit bull, which is known by many, is a generic term for a bulldog mixed with several breeds. It has its share of difficulties when it comes to popularity. This breed has been onetime tagged as America’s sweetheart during the early 1900s. Together with the development of suburbs, pit bulls were part of almost every American family. 1
This breed was seen as lovable, trustworthy, friendly, and brave. They were treated as regular dogs back then and not as pit fighters. If you do some research, you will see hundreds of vintage photos of family taking care and loving this poor and misunderstood animal.
Pit bulls even showed up on posters, magazine pages, and advertisements. There were pit bulls that became heroes and famous by saving countless lives during the civil war like Stubby, a brown and white American pit bull 2 and Weela, saving several individuals, horses, and a cat during the severe flood which occurred in Southern California back in 1993. 3 It was just sad that quite a few recognizes the traits that this innocent animal truly has.
The American Pit Bull Terrier
The American pit bull terrier is a product of breeding a bulldog from different varieties of terriers to achieve specific qualities like the strength and athleticism of a bulldog and the persevering trait of a terrier. Terriers are bred to hunt pest in any condition whether facing injury. 4
This trait is what the early breeders look up to when selecting dogs to enter for dogfights. In the 1800s, in England, similar dog breeds of today’s pit bull were used to “bait” bulls as a form of entertainment to ease the hardship of life. Not until 1835, bull “baiting” was banned as it was considered inhumane and illegal. Man played a key role on how society looks at pit bulls negatively. Man has been breeding and training them to be aggressive for their own entertainment and satisfaction. 5
Aggression = Pit bulls ?
The dictionary defines aggression as destructive behavior caused by frustration. Being hostile is another. People tend to relate pit bulls to aggression.
Once they see you walking with a pit bull they will warn you to be very careful as it might hurt you or somebody else. It’s so sad to hear these words from people like them; they who have not experience owning a pit.
As per study, the “lock jaw” connotation for pit bulls is nothing but a trash. The jaw of a pit bull does not have any characteristic to lock once it bites. Another myth busted I should say. Do you think I myself will risk walking with my pit bull if I know he is aggressive as others think?
Taking care of a pit bull really depends on the owner on how he or she will take care of it. I believe if you show calmness and kindness, your pit bull will show it too. Your pet will feel how you want him or her wants to feel. If you show aggression, for sure your pet will also show aggression.
Always remember, not just pit bulls will show aggressiveness, any breed of dog will do if you do not show respect to their owners and their turf. It such that the media has been treating the pit bull with prejudice to sell off airtime and newspapers.
As a proof:
A 2008 report on media bias by the National Canine Research Council (full report here) compared the type of media coverage given for dog attacks that occurred during a four–day period in August 2007 with intriguing results:
On day one, a Labrador mix attacked an elderly man, sending him to the hospital. News stories of his attack appeared in one article in the local paper.
On day two, a mixed–breed dog fatally injured a child. The local paper ran two stories.
On day three, a mixed–breed dog attacked a child, sending him to the hospital. One article ran in the local paper.
On day four, two pit bulls that broke off their chains attacked a woman trying to protect her small dog. She was hospitalized. Her dog was uninjured. This attack was reported in more than 230 articles in national and international newspapers and on the major cable news networks.
You will notice how the media can influence other people and legislators to be bias on how they will treat innocent living creatures. 6
What do I think?
Speaking based on my firsthand experience, our pit bull, Sasha have not showed any aggressiveness towards us or any other member of the family. We
got her when she was 2 months old. She still thinks and acts as a puppy although she has grown bigger at 9 months. Whenever she is inside the bedroom with us; she still climbs up the bed and sleeps with us sharing the space when she was still a little one. Sasha is so lovable and full of humor. She always bring smile to your face whenever you see her.
Recently we adopted another pit bull named Halo; he is 5 months older than Sasha is. Our first meeting with him was on the day we took him home. Halo never showed a single aggression even though we were complete strangers. Thanks to the previous owners who did well on raising him.
Once home, I immediately took him for a walk to established the bond. I entered the house before him to show that I am the master of the house. You see, there are basic rules in handling dogs in which not most of us are aware of. Halo immediately became friends with Cody, our mixed Japanese Spitz and Husky who helped him cope up faster with his new home, our home. Halo even made friends with Cuddles, our adopted black cat.
I do hope that sharing this article will enlighten some of you folks to never judge the breed instead, love the breed.