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The Truth about Pit Bulls

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 4:00pm

“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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dj

was just reading all the great stories about our beloved pits; then i came to the comments from the haters, omg !! we had 7 pits (4 rescues) an amstaff (rescue) a minpin, 12 fl cur/catahoulas,a shep/lab mix and a huskie/chow mix.....the latter is the only one who started fights with other dogs and still has to be separate at age 15! The big male pits are hog hunting catch dogs but thats their "job"; with people they are big baby lapdogs ! i am still in tears having lost my red nose girl a month ago age 13. she was the best dog ever ! so smart and sweet; everyone loved her. she used to "smile" (disconcerted some newcomers)and hug ppl she hadnt seen in a while. my sons friend hadnt been to visit in 5 yrs (iraq marine) and she was sooo happy to see him, she stood up and hugged him! she held "hands" with me at bedtime etc etc etc. i miss her. we are extremely careful with ALL the dogs around small children; they are all put up if kids visit bc none were raised with small kids around. with the 9 cats, the only ones who get hurt are the dogs so they steer clear. my vet was in practice for 50 yrs and the only dog bite he ever had was from a dalmatian ! we also had 2 dals but no biting and coexisted with 3 pits, the staffie , minpin, cats etc. all house pets. yes we do live on a farm; yes we do have kennels for the hunting dogs but when they retire, they come in too ! it has to be said that any ill bred dog or any animal (horses for instance) and/or ill raised/handled animal are most apt to be dangerous but so can the good ones. my friend's chihuahua bites everybody and mother's old blind poodle bit a chosen few ( old/blind startled). there are countless cases of other breeds biting and fighting but not widely reported in the news! have u ever seen a headline "chihuahua bites child, neighbor,husband and owner!"?? sorry going long here, but the hater comments made me sooo upset.
RIP my babies: precious Molly pb13, Bugs 16 (minpin), Duke pb7 hunting accident, Sadie pb4 neighbor shot bc she was pb chasing his goats but didnt hurt them ,Chrystal 15 (dalmatian) and Shana 12(shep/lab) 2012,2011,2007,2003,2204,2005

Alonda

I have totally disagree with "pits are sweet loving dogs". Three little girls have been mauled to death by the family pet- pit bulls. I had a horse have her hind leg tore up by a neigbors family pet -a pit bull. I had a 25 hour old foul killed by another neighbors family pet, a pit bull.All 5 pit bulls are now dead pits. People need to take responsibility for their animals, keep them penned, leashed or in the house.

Christine Watters

All Pitties & Bullies are wonderful dogs, period. Domestic dogs, regardless of breed want to love and be loved, period. My Jake is a papered American Staffordshire Terrier and just celebrated his 11 birthday, I have had him since 7 weeks old. This dog has helped me through 2 divorces and a move to another state to start over. I have changed the minds of many people throughout the years on what they believe a "Pitt" is and I always will have one in my life. They are amazing dogs, period.

Lisa

I am the proud momma of not only an AKC Canine Good Citizen, but my pitty is also a UKI Agility competitor!! She was a shelter dog that no one wanted and was afraid of her own shadow. She continually amazes me at the things she continues to accomplish and the fears she has overcome. Her former housemate was my 14 yr old pit who just passed away. Jasmine never met a person or animal she didn't like. When my cats were kittens, she would nurse and snuggle with them until they feel asleep. My girls may have had two totally different personalities, but they are both wonderful dogs and I can't imagine sharing my home with any other breed.

Andi

Early November 2010, I suffered a miscarriage. It drove me into a deep, dark depression. Eventually I was forced to quit my job and was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder. My husband and I decided since I was at home all day, this was a great time to adopt a dog who would need lots of patience, training, and attention. In February we adopted Tank from a local shelter. I had no experience with pits, or dogs in general, and because I lived so much of my life under a rock, I had no preconceived notions. I just knew he was sweet, playful, and bundles of happy energy! His happy energy got me out of bed. At least long enough to play and potty. He'd run back to bed and cuddle with me. He clearly sensed how much I hurt. It has been almost 2 years and Tank is now a well-behaved cuddle muffin. In response to National Miscarriage & Infant Loss day this week, I began to think about how Tank saved my life. We had learned that Tank was born the day we conceived. I need a traumatic event to get the help I needed. I needed Tank to help me through it. Funny how life works out just as you needed it.

Perry

I am a very proud pit bull mother! My pitbull is sincerely.my ix best friend. She absolutely loves everyone she meets. She, unfortunately , got attacked twice. once at about six months old and once. . at about two years old. Those fights made her feel apprehensive of other dogs, but other than that she is an. amazing dog and 100 percent loyal.

Judith Mitchell

I've had many, many, rescued dogs as loving companions -- many I've personally picked up off the mean streets of New York City. They've been an odd assortment of mixed breeds and have all been wonderful, grateful, sweet pups (some I turned over to reliable shelters; others I kept). However, that said, I would not adopt a Pit Bull nor would I have rescued one from the street. I believe they've been overbred (like Springers and so many other unfortunate breeds) and in the case of Pits, bred to be potentially (latently, maybe) aggressive -- you can call it "protective" if you want. Don't forget, initially this breed was created as a fighting breed, and it seems to me that where there's smoke, there may be fire. I wouldn't take the chance. I also wouldn't have a Spaniel. On the other hand I am pleased to read about the many positive relationships most of you have and have had with these dogs, and I applaud you for loving them. Just not for me.

Natalie Shannon

When I was a child my grandparents lived next to people who bred pitbulls for fighting. These neighbors even had weekly dog fights in their back yard! The evil people would starve, beat and even drug the poor pitt bulls to make they mean enough to fight. The poor pitt bulls would only be properly fed only after a fight. The rest of the week they would only get water. The dog owner would brag about how he only needed to feed pitt bulls once or twice a week and they would still fight good.

My grandparents were outraged. They hated living next to these neighbors and hearing the dog fights. Crazy people would crownd into the neighbors yard and watch the dog fights. My grandparents called the police many times and animal control. Finally after nearly a year the police arrested the neighbors. Sadly the dogs were put down. I was very upset! I told the police that the dog owners should be put down,not the poor dogs! The police officers agreeed with me!

Shawn

I have a sweet,adorable lil Brindle Pit Mix. She is only foour (4) months old. I got her from a lady who kept her in a cage all day while she worked. I say put her in a cage. Anyways , "Cece" is sooo awesome. Not at all like the hype that surrounds this breed. I say that it is not the dog , But How they are raised and cared for. She loves sleeping in my bed at the foot. I REFUSE to use any sort of cage. Cece even plays with my elderly mother's cat without any problems at all. If I HAD to choose , I think I would choose a Pit mix.

Misty

I am very lucky to have been a mommy to a female pit bull for almost 13 years. Nala is a black and white pit bull who will turn 13 the day after Christmas. She has helped raise my 2 daughter. She is a big playfull, wiggle baby! She has slowed down after getting older but still loves to play. Last summer she was attacked by coyotes. She had 2 big brothers who saved her. She was in terrible condition. She had severe neck and leg injuries and they had torn a hole in her belly. Also one of her dew claws were ripped off leaving a bone sticking out. The vet said there had to be at least 2 or more attacking her. She is a walking miracle. The vet could not believe she actually survived and healed. Today she is a little slow and when the weather is cold she hurts. But age and injuries don't slow her down. She is a very wonderful special member of our family.

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