Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Misunderstood Pit Bull

Pit Bulls have been a controversial dog breed for quite some time. It's common to hear many reports of vicious attacks that have happened. It's heartbreaking to hear these stories and my heart goes out to all of the people who have suffered from these incidents. However, I think the dog breed has become a scapegoat unfairly.

My issue with blaming these dogs is that they are known for being strong, devoted and loyal to their owners. The two main factors that affect a dog's behavior, --especially a pit bull-- is how they are raised and the environment they are raised in.

Pit Bulls originated from people who wanted an exceptional fighting dog in the 1800s to fight bulls in England. Since then, some will buy these dogs because they need a dog to be mean. A dog only shows its aggressive side when it's feeling threatened. These individuals specifically bring out the aggressiveness of the dog to get that reaction. Others will buy these dogs as puppies and dogs and use the weaker dogs as bait dogs and teach the stronger dogs to fight to the kill. Of course, they make money off the whole thing because there are people who love to watch this and pick a winner.

Yet, we have a group of dog owners out there who love the breed. They want a companion and family dog, and are responsible owners. They know that the American Pit Bull Terrier is an active breed so will take the time to make sure that their lifestyle is able to reflect those needs.

Still, these stories are heard about these breeds are few and far between. Instead, the media focuses on the horror stories because that is what sells papers. It's easier to dismiss this breed as evil and view the situation in black and white instead of attribute any of the faults to the people who have mishandled or abused them. Insurance companies may not provide homeowner's coverage and some cities have made this breed illegal.

One thing that will not change is that dogs have a strong ability to bond with humans. Dogs give unconditional love and enjoy the company of human beings. Pit Bulls are still part of this group. If a person has never had an experience with these dogs, one can't possibly know how they can be. As long as owners are being responsible and giving these dogs the love and care that they need, pit bulls should be treated as any other dog. They are not for everyone but every dog has its own unique qualities and pit bulls shouldn't be punished for the mistakes of irresponsible people.

Here are some links if you would like to learn more about this breed:
Bull Dog
The Dog Owner's Guide
Michael Vick Dogs

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks for stopping by.

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