About Pit Bulls...
May 30, 2012
Although the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) was once used as a national symbol of courage and pride, the breed is largely misunderstood, today. The APBT has been bred, throughout history, for its performance as a working dog; a well-bred pit bull has a steady temperament and is NOT inherently aggressive towards humans. They are extremely athletic, highly affectionate, and all-around happy-go-lucky dogs.
However, according to the media, your parents, and most anyone else you’d care to ask, pit bulls are vicious, man-killing beasts, worthy of banishment - considered guilty, with no chance of proving their innocence. I, as an owner of pit bulls for over twenty-four years, can tell you that these dogs are the most loyal, intelligent, and good-natured dogs around. It is irresponsible owners that give this breed a bad name.
Did you know that Petey, of Little Rascals’ fame, was a pit bull? Petey was actually the first pit bull terrier to be registered with the United Kennel Club, and was a Colby dog. The Colby dogs are the oldest pure American Pit Bull Terrier bloodline still in existence today. Buster Brown Shoes’ mascot, Tige, is a pit bull; as well as RCA’s dog, Nipper. In WWI, a pit bull named Stubby was awarded a medal for warning troops of a gas attack; and another medal for holding a German spy, until the American troops arrived. Stubby became the most decorated canine soldier in history, earning the rank of sergeant; was invited to the White House by Presidents Wilson, Harding and Coolidge; and given a life-long membership to the American Legion, Red Cross, and YMCA.
A WWI propaganda poster representing the rival European nations, with their national dogs dressed in military uniforms, featured an American Pit Bull Terrier in the center, representing the United States, declaring in the caption, “I’m Neutral, But Not Afraid of Any of Them”.
Pit bull attacks are tragic, but isolated incidents. But, the stories of pit bull heroes – the dogs who selflessly defend their families, save other animals from certain death, and pull their human guardians to safety in times of danger, are rarely publicized.
This past April, in New York, a 12-year-old pit bull was shot in the head, taking a bullet meant for his owner. Miraculously, she survived. Then, there’s the pit-bull mix that saved his 21-year old pregnant guardian from an attacker. And, there’s the pit bull in Sacramento, CA that helped police nab a car thief. And it doesn’t end there - I could fill an entire paper with stories of heart-warming, courageous American Pit Bull Terrier heroes.
“How many newspaper reports have you seen in which "concerned neighbors" are quoted as saying things like, "This time it killed a stray cat; tomorrow it may be a child!" Many people confuse aggressiveness towards other dogs with aggressiveness towards humans. There is no reason to think that, because it killed a cat, that a dog - any dog, not just an APBT - will ever show aggression toward human beings. Dogs can and do discriminate, even if irate neighbors cannot. They are, however, very loyal and eager to please, so that if an owner wants a dog to be aggressive toward humans and reinforces this behavior from an early age, the dog will most likely be aggressive towards humans as an adult.” (D.Jessup)
“In the past several years, a number of towns have passed "breed specific" laws pertaining to pit bulls or "dogs that are found to be of pit bull-type”. These laws are written in vague language and range from requiring the dog to be muzzled in public and forcing owners to take out special insurance policies, to the outright banning of "pit bulls". These laws are unfair because they discriminate against a dog just because it is a certain breed, or that it "looks" like a certain breed. They fail to address the real problems of truly vicious dogs of any breed and irresponsible owners. A way to indirectly fight this mindset is through responsible ownership. A pit bull owner must take extra measures to ensure that their dogs never run loose and make an extra effort in socialization and training.” (D.Jessup)
The public automatically expects the worst; don't confirm their expectations.
• The Real Story • May 30, 2012 •