The True American Pit Bull Terrier
June 13, 2012
One of the hardest things for me to comprehend is how the majority of all of the “informative” articles or educational pieces about pit bulls are written by so-called “experts” who have never even owned a pit bull, much less shared their life and love with one.
Unfortunately, and in large part due to misrepresentation in the media, a lot of the horror stories about pit bulls that were mostly just “urban legends” have come true over the years, including stories of feeding them gun powder to make them meaner, using puppies and kittens as bait dogs, and so on. These stories have been propagated by the media so often that it has become true because "low-lifes” who don’t need any dog, much less a pit bull, believed it and thought that was what they were supposed to do.
This isn’t an article about that. Let's clarify a couple of things, however. First, feeding a dog gunpowder does not make it mean. Gunpowder in a dog’s system is poison, and, if it survives, it will be in constant pain, which drives it crazy and makes it unstable. Dogs such as this should be put down, as they are unpredictable. Second, using puppies and kittens as “bait” to train a dog to make it fight is ridiculous - much like “training” a professional boxer or MMA fighter with preschoolers would be. It would have the same effect, i.e., nothing. So don’t do it.
This article - and hopefully more to come - will be about the true American Pit Bull Terrier from an experienced owner of the breed. My husband and I have owned pit bulls for over 30 years. We’ve owned many, many dogs - many more that we can count - from rescues to fosters to puppies to our own “yard” and house dogs. I can speak from experience - and that’s what matters most, in a case like this. Hopefully, I can answer any questions, alleviate any fears and introduce you to one of the most goofy, loving, and just plain ole’ happy-go-lucky breeds in existence today.
Before I met my husband, I had never seen nor heard of a pit bull. Maybe that was a blessing: I hadn’t heard the hype about them, so my heart was completely open. The first pit bull I met was a medium brindle male named Cujo. Don’t let the name fool you; he was a big teddy bear. His dam, Princess, was a little white dog with tan markings. When my husband and I got married, we let Princess stay behind to take care of Grandma. Princess would sit outside on the front porch in front of the screen door. If she hadn’t heard Grandma move in a while, she’d stand up, peek inside and whine. Once Grandma said, “It’s ok, Princess, I’m fine,” Princess would lie back down. She was also protective of all the kids who came to see Grandma but never tried to bite a soul; she would just give a warning growl and a “look."
Cujo was the first pit bull I ever had the pleasure of “owning." He was a character, too. My husband and I had just married and didn’t really know much about pit bulls at the time. I started researching and bought every book and magazine I could find about pit bulls. We actually bred dogs for a number of years, and when we would sell a puppy we would give Richard Stratton’s first book about pit bulls to the new owners. Several years later, we finally wised up and quit breeding dogs available to the public (breeding is not a money-making opportunity, and the quality of people who wanted the dogs had started going downhill).
But I digress. One of Cujo’s favorite things to do was to sneak out of his doghouse, tip-toe up behind somebody and let out the biggest, loudest single bark you’ve ever heard. Of course, everybody jumped - and that just tickled that old dog to death. He’d have this look on his face like he had just told the funniest joke, and his little stub-tail would wag his whole hind end as he walked back to his dog house. Another funny thing that I remember him doing often was acting like Shaggy. We were sitting in the living room one day, and I just happened to look out the front door and noticed a medium brindle dog butt going by. Well, my husband and I both jumped up; he ran to the back door, and I went out the front. As I made my way around the corner, I had just enough time to see that same brindle dog butt jumping over the chain link pen. About that time, my husband came around from the back of the house, and here came Cujo, out of his dog house, looking like we had just woken him up from his winter hibernation – “eye boogers” and all - with a look that said “It wasn’t me!” Yeah, right, dude - you’re not fooling us!
I have many, many more years of funny pit bull stories to tell, and a few not so funny. I hope you’ll join me on this journey.
In closing, I’d like to leave you with a poem written by an unknown author about the American Pit Bull Terrier:
“CALLED AS SEEN: Got A Problem?”
A few of us were vicious, you hype, “So are all the rest.”
Creativity in media puts liberty to the test.
These laws against this noble breed are laws that we don’t need.
Let’s all write our Congressmen, Come on! “It’s deed, not breed!”
They call me “Baby Killer”, and so are all my sons.
They cry for my extinction with every lie that’s spun.
They prey on fears of idiots, and if the truth be told -
They wouldn’t know a bulldog if one bit them on the nose.
If all the pit bull “experts” would use their decayed brains,
And try to get to know me, they’d never feel the same.
For, I am filled with courage, along with heart and drive.
And when the dust has settled, you’ll see that I’ve survived.
For my master and his household, I’ve lots of love to give.
And with a heart as big as Texas, I’ll die that he may live.
The truth, in most all cases, will come out in the end.
And all shall know the truth and see that I’m a damn good friend!!!
-- Author Unknown
• The Real Story • June 13, 2012 •