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The Truth about Pit Bulls

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 4:00pm
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“Pit Bull.” There is no other breed of dog—or arguably, any other animal at all—whose mere mention can elicit such strong opinions. Try a word-associate game with your friends: Ask them what they think of when you say “Pit Bull.” Chances are that by the numbers, their responses will be more negative than positive. And it’s no wonder: No other type of dog is as widely banned from housing, legislated against, or incorrectly vilified by the media.

How did we get here?
Pit Bulls were once widely considered ideal family pets—affectionate, loyal and gentle with children. But in recent years, these dogs have suffered tremendously from a combination of overbreeding, bad publicity and irresponsible owners. In reality, the overwhelming majority of Pits and Pit mixes are sweet goofballs who have gotten a very bad rap.

Learn the truth.
National Pit Bull Awareness Day, on October 27, is a day of appreciation and education designed to change perceptions and stereotypes about Pit Bulls and their responsible owners. Please take a moment to learn the truth about these wonderful dogs and consider rescuing one of them from a shelter.

Are you a proud Pit Bull parent? Please participate in National Pit Bull Awareness Day, and help us dispel the myths about these dogs by leaving a comment below about your wonderful pooch.

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Lillian Dobson

My children and I have owned pitbulls as pets since 1989 and none of them have been aggressive except one that was an abused dog when we got him. My son has two right now...males who get along great and him and his son wrestle around with them and they do not get aggressive. They sleep most of the time with my grandchildren. I have a pitbull here. He plays with the cat. He doesn't go after the chickens or anything. The kids can climb all over him and he does nothing but lick their faces. When I am upset, he knows it and he will try to cheer me up. All of our pitbulls have been loving companions and we have had quite a few over the years. They all lived about 13 to 15 years. To me, any dog will be as bad as it's owner. If the dog is taught love and the gentle then they will be but if you teach your dog to be aggressive, it will be and that goes for any breed of animal. I have had 2 pitbulls, my oldest son has had 3, my daughter has had 4 and my other son has had at least 6 and they have been friendly and not mean dogs. They are really good dogs.

Vicki

We adopted Zoey a year and a half ago after having to put our boxer Austin down after 12 years. I was skeptical of her since she is a pit bull mix but she was able to make my kids fall in love with her. I had no idea that day, that she would turn out to be the wonderful dog she is. My 11 year old son is her BFF, they are stuck together like glue, she can catch a ball like no dog I've ever seen, and loves to run laps (as fast as she can) around the house, she has an awesome "sniper" crawl, can speak AND whisper. She listens 100x's better than the kids & is the most LOVING dog I know. I can go on all day about her award winning personality and the silly things she does, but what I wanted to saying is I was wrong to be skeptical of her because of her breed. She is seriously the best dog (and that is saying a lot because she had big shoes to fill) We love our Zoey girl <3

Barb

Anyone who believes pitbulls are vicious from birth are uneducated about them. Any viciousness comes from their owners and how they are treated..... Pits are such a dedicated breed they will do whatever is asked of them, good or unfortunately bad. We found our beautiful, gentle "Rio" along a river barely alive when she was about 5 weeks old. Our best guess was that she (and probably her siblings) were "discarded" in the river and somehow she made it to shore. Today, at 6, she is still quite afraid of the water. She came to us just weeks before my husbands life-altering car racing accident and she proved to be some of the best rehab he ever received. I swear she acts more human than many humans do! She understands peoples emotions and acts accordingly. She has helped us through some extremely tough emotional times with her unconditional love and commitment to us. It saddens me to think of the abuse such incredible creatures sometimes endure in our senseless care. Our Riogirl is simply the best addition to our family that we could have ever imagined.

Emily

When I was a child my stepfather's friend stopped by our house to see if we wanted a puppy. He only had one left and he had to give her away that day. You see, the momma dog was so under nourished, among other things, that see had started eating her puppies. I couldn't believe it. All I knew is she was mine and I had even seen her yet. I told my Momma that I wanted, that she was already mine. When the friend held her out to truck window to me, I fell in love. She was around three weeks old, little bitty black and white PitBull dog. I named her Jezz. We spent a lot of great years together. We had one of the big metal slide, like the parks used to have in our yard and she would climb up, by herself, and slide down with me. This is one of the many things that she would see me do and desire she could too. She was awesome and protective. We spent many summer days in her doghouse reading books and just hanging out together. We lived on a farm with lots of animals and she never once tried to hurt one. I hope that we can get their smeared name cleared. They are great dogs.

PEGGY

NOT ONLY ARE THEY WONDERFUL PETS AND VERY LOYAL AND PROTECTIVE OF THEIR FAMILY BUT ALSO VERY CUDDABLE & LOVABLE FAMILY MEMBERS. THE SHAME NEEDS TO BE PUT ON THOSE CRIMINALS THAT USE THEM FOR DOG FIGHTING AND ABUSING THEM OR ANY OTHER BREED ANY ANIMAL CAN BE FORCE TO BE AGGRESSIVE AND SHAME ON THOSE PEOPLE IF THAT WHAT YOU WANT TO CALL THEM. I HAVE A MUCH STONGER WORD FOR THEM BUT I CAN'T PUT THAT ON HERE. LETS JUST SAY THEY KNOW WHAT AND WHO THEY ARE AND THAT GOES FOR ANYONE PUTTING A ANIMAL OR ANY LIVING CREATURE OR PERSON IN THAT POSITION. KARMA HAS A WAY OF BITING THOSE TYPE OF PEOPLE AND IT WILL GET THEM SOMEDAY TILL THEN WE ARE THEIR VOICE. THIS WORLD IS OUR BUSINESS, SO QUIT USING THE EXCUSE TO MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

Sheri

My little girl is an American Pit full bred and she's the sweetest girl ever.
She weighs only 50 lbs. and she will bark at someone new with a toy in
Her mouth while wagging her tail. She loves to play catch and sit in front
With me to watch the passers by. She is 4 years old and so playful. She
Loves to run around and bark when my son wears a costume, and even
As much as a wig, she'll notice and want to play by barking at it. She is
Without a doubt the most fun dog I have ever known. She's a lover dog.

PEGGY

NOT ONLY ARE THEY WONDERFUL PETS AND VERY LOYAL AND PROTECTIVE OF THEIR FAMILY BUT ALSO VERY CUDDABLE & LOVABLE FAMILY MEMBERS. THE SHAME NEEDS TO BE PUT ON THOSE CRIMINALS THAT USE THEM FOR DOG FIGHTING AND ABUSING THEM OR ANY OTHER BREED ANY ANIMAL CAN BE FORCE TO BE AGGRESSIVE AND SHAME ON THOSE PEOPLE IF THAT WHAT YOU WANT TO CALL THEM. I HAVE A MUCH STONGER WORD FOR THEM BUT I CAN'T PUT THAT ON HERE. LETS JUST SAY THEY KNOW WHAT AND WHO THEY ARE AND THAT GOES FOR ANYONE PUTTING A ANIMAL OR ANY LIVING CREATURE OR PERSON IN THAT POSITION. KARMA HAS A WAY OF BITING THOSE TYPE OF PEOPLE AND IT WILL GET THEM SOMEDAY TILL THEN WE ARE THEIR VOICE. THIS WORLD IS OUR BUSINESS, SO QUIT USING THE EXCUSE TO MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

Judith Andersen

Lulu was 7 months old when I adopted her; I was a 70 years old 100 lb. woman. I have owned dogs of all kinds all my life, usually 2 or 3 at a time. Of the many dogs who have shared their life with me, 3 have been outstanding: a Dalmatian named Pinto, a gorgeous red setter mix named Rave On, and Lulu my American Staffordshire bull terrier. Lulu and I are devoted to each other. My grandchildren come over and roll around on the floor with her, playing their hearts out. My daughter's and neighbor's dogs are her best friends. She will play with any dog who will reciprocate, and will simply back off if the dog is hostile towards her. She is funny and sweet and loyal and smart and kind. I am totally sold on this daffy, gentle breed.

Misty Parsons

When I met my husband he owned a red nose pit. I had been raised to believe that pit bulls could " snap any minute" and would latch on with jaws that they couldn't even control themselves!
I was called a fool for bringing my 10 mo old son into a home with this "monster". I obviously took precautions but after getting to know Red Dog, I knew this sweet gentle creature could never hurt anyone. We took preventative measures because she did not like other animals at all , but she ended up becoming more my dog than my husband's! In fact Red Dog knew I was pregnant with my daughter before I did! All of a sudden she became very protective if me and would bark if strangers would come near me- which she'd never done before. About a week later a pregnancy test revealed what it seems Red already knew... I was pregnant! We have six children and they were all raised with this wonderful gift from God. She was a wrestling partner , a guard against nighttime closet monsters, a snuggling buddy when we were sick in bed , someone to whisper a teenage girls secret crush to, and above all a family member! We had this wonderful creature in our lives for 13 years when cancer finally took her home to te great doggy park in the sky. It took awhile but we now have a beautiful blue pittie named colt and a chi weenie named Lexi. Colt is the submissive dog allowing our 13lb chihuahua/dachshund mix boss him around! He is the friendliest dog and loves meeting new friends at the park( we have a park in the area that has a place for children. to play and dogs too). I still get so upset when Colt- with his floppy ears(never got his ears clipped) and goofy grin with tongue hanging out the side while waggin his tail , goes trotting by( on a leash mind u) and people are afraid. The last time I had them there a 8 or 9 year old girl yelled " pit bull!" And the man and woman she was with reacted by grabbing her and all 3 jumping on the bench and saying" oh my God! Get up here before it attacks you!" Meanwhile my 5 yr old daughter is hugging colt around his neck saying" he won't bite! He's a nice doggy, see?!" It kills me to see so many pit bulls in shelters due to over breeding and also the laws some places have against these sweet creatures! Now I'm not saying all pits are sweet animals, just like any other breed there are mean ones but I've found those are the ones who have been raised to fight and not had the love and care that they deserve. Many of these animals just need to be slowly rehabilitated with love patience and understanding. Please don't judge a dog based on the breed, I'm sure you don't want to be judged in who you are by the color of your skin or your sex or even by your ethnicity as these dogs are

Michele

I had a wonderful Pit Bull who I saw her owners kick her out of a car and just leave her on the streets. I watched her to make sure she didn't run out in the street and eventually she came over, sat down next to me, looked up and gave me that look like "I'm yours now!" I took her home, she was malnourished, flea ridden and had a scar on her neck that the Vet told me was probably from her previous owners trying to hang her. I had Leica (named because she had these beautiful hazel eyes)for 14 years. This little girlie always had to have the last word no matter what! If I told her she didn't get the last word, she would still make a grumbling noise proving the point that she always got the last word. She was obedient, protective, loved my nieces and my nephews, was goofy, dorky and even with all she want through with her previous owners, loveable and trusting. If I ever decided to get another dog, Pit Bull is still on the top of my list!

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