This week I decided to talk about the dog I think has the worst reputation of all breeds, though they don’t deserve it at all: the pit bull. I tend to get very passionate when talking about this, often times I can be very aggressive, so put on your seat belts because this is going to be a wild ride y’all.
First and foremost, I would just like to say that there are no bad dogs, just bad owners. The way certain dogs are raised can impact their behavior majorly but it is never, ever the dog’s fault. If you train a dog to fight, it’s going to fight. If you train your dog to be sociable and kind, it’s going to be sociable and kind. It doesn’t matter what kind of dog it is, any of them can “snap” in a moment because, surprise, dogs weren’t meant to be domesticated. Dogs are animals and often times I think we forget that, and instead want them all to be sweet and protecting. If you raise them that way, yes they will be, but if you raise them to be aggressive, they are going to be aggressive because they are animals and it’s in their lineage.
That being said, pit bulls have a really bad reputation because of this. Pit bulls were bred in England and Ireland, and they mixed “Old English Terriers and Old English Bulldogs together to produce a dog that combined the gameness of the terrier with the strength and athleticism of the bulldog.” Because of this mixture, they are incredibly strong and athletic. They were used to pulls carts, to hunt animals, to serve as police dogs, etc. Today pit bulls are banned in the UK and New Zealand, as well as Denver and certain parts of Florida. They are seen as fighting dogs and are often times the dog that is commonly used in dog fights. The reality is is that pit bulls are probably the most gentle breed out there.
They are smart, loyal, kind, and insanely protective dogs. The United Kennel Club released this description about the American Pit Bulls Terrier:
“The essential characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier are strength, confidence, and zest for life. This breed is eager to please and brimming over with enthusiasm. APBTs make excellent family companions and have always been noted for their love of children. Because most APBTs exhibit some level of dog aggression and because of its powerful physique, the APBT requires an owner who will carefully socialize and obedience train the dog. The breed’s natural agility makes it one of the most capable canine climbers so good fencing is a must for this breed. The APBT is not the best choice for a guard dog since they are extremely friendly, even with strangers. Aggressive behavior toward humans is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable. This breed does very well in performance events because of its high level of intelligence and its willingness to work.”
Pit bulls are known for their love of children and their willingness and need for sociability. The key when raising a pit bull is to socialize it as much as possible. Even a daily walk around the neighborhood is enough socializing as long as they are around people. They do require a lot of patience, but overall, they really just big sweethearts. My cousin owns a pit bulls and has four children, two of which grew up as babies around the dog. Seeing the way the dog interacts with them really changed my perspective on pit bulls because they are so gentle with children and are overall just truly amazing dogs.
If you still need convincing, check out this link to a BuzzFeed article .