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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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elaine

I have a red nose named Rebel. He is the first american bull terrier that I've had, but he won't be the last. He brings me so much joy with his loving ways and his vocalization. He gets along with other dogs provided they don't get aggressive with him and then he lets them know who is boss just by being vocal. He was raised by our 2 chihuahas and is very people and kid friendly. I wish I had gotten one earlier in life.

lindsay

Nobody loves dogs more than I do but sorry, facts are facts. 'DogsBite.org Releases 2011 Fatal Dog Bite Statistics; Pit bulls led fatal dog attacks in 2011 accounting for over 67% of the year's total fatalities despite only comprising about 5% of the total U.S. dog population. This is substantiated by many other orgs as well.
Personally, I know of about 6 instances when a loving, family raised pitt bull has attacked someone or another pet in the family out of nowhere. When there are so many other breeds without this 'instinct', why choose a pitt bull? I wouldn't walk my dog past another walking a pitt bull and that's sad. My grandmother did and had to watch her small dog ripped apart by someone walking their pitt bull. Always...the first thing out of the mouth of owners is.."He's never done anything like that before. He's always been gentle and loving." Again, 'pitt bulls are responsible for 67% of all fatal dog attacks yet are only 5% of the dog population.'

Nancy

I adopted a pitbull about a year and a half ago I would not trade her for any thing in the world. She is so loving and affectionate and the best companion. They are very sweet dogs and should not be banned anywhere just more checked out on the person adopting them cause they dont deserve the bad rap

Katie Adams

I am the proud parent of 3 dogs. One ABPT full blooded one mix breed Toto like dog, and they are the proud parents of Jackson, which was the puppy we decided to keep from the litter. Accident of course, but after that we did the responsible thing and had her spayed. However, I was just loke most people and believed everything I heard about this breed, but I was wrong and I'm glad that I was proved wrong, b/c they are an amazing breed, that, hands down, are in my opinion the most loyal, and people pleasing, fun, happy, and caring breed of all breeds. Of course I'm biast, but I opened my eyes, just wish everyone else would do the same!!!! Love to all advocates and animal recue owners.

Susie

We rescued a hound mix who was obviously part pit bull 2 1/2 years ago. He was a sorry little guy when we adopted him; underweight, broken teeth, parasites, and frightened.
Today, he is a happy, loving addition to our family.
I don't know what all he had been through, but he has forgiven humans. He almost breaks my heart with his sweetness.
His name is Stanley.

Susie

We rescued a hound mix who was obviously part pit bull 2 1/2 years ago. He was a sorry little guy when we adopted him; underweight, broken teeth, parasites, and frightened.
Today, he is a happy, loving addition to our family.
I don't know what all he had been through, but he has forgiven humans. He almost breaks my heart with his sweetness.
His name is Stanley.

Sandy Smith

I have four pit bull dogs. The most recent addition to the family is Bonzai, who was one of 27 dogs from a fighting ring that was busted in Cleveland. When I first met Bonzai and the other 26 dogs at the Cleveland kennel, I thought: These are fighting dogs? They were small, undernourished, terrified... and friendly and affectionate! The only one that wasn't friendly was Bonzai, so of course, I fell in love with him. He growled at everyone, and he was physically sick and emotionally tired of being kept in a cage 24/7 for his whole life.

The day I went to pick him up from the kennel - he was just going to be a "foster" (FAIL!!) - he somehow knew he was leaving for good, not just a walk. He looked up at me with liquid brown eyes and his whole body shook with excitement. We used a shutdown protocol to help him recover from his past experiences, and I think his slow reintroduction into the world saved his life.

He's been with me for nearly a year now and while it hasn't always been easy, it has been the most-rewarding experience of my life. To see a dog who was so afraid and hurt and shut down become a playful, loving, ball of snuggleness has changed both our worlds for the better.

Megan

I own two pit bulls, a brother and sister. They are almost seven years old, they have brought so much joy to our household. They are funny and sweet, big cuddly lap dogs. They love my nieces and nephews and they have changed the minds of many of our friends who were once scared of the breed. They are smart and stubborn, fun, and so loyal and I just love them!

Kat

Sorry, I have known beautiful, sweet pitbulls but I have also seen the other side and I caution all to be careful when around them with your dogs. My beautiful sweet German Shepherd was attacked (mine was on leash walking with me) by a pitbull recently who locked on to his ear...my poor dog could not fight back because with every move he took his ear was being ripped - even the pits owner could not get him to release for some time. I have totally changed my opinion of these dogs and now am totally paranoid whenever I see one. I thought I might adopt/rescue a pitt one day but no longer. Again, I caution all dog owners to be careful.

Pat Glenn

As I read these comments I feel they are talking about my Suzy. She came around as a stray a couple of years ago and decided to stay. No ad was ever in the local paper looking for her, and she was so afraid of everything that I was afraid she had been abused. After a few days I took her to the vet for shots and for spaying. She is an amazing dog, and from the first moment she came into the house she has been good with my cats and my other dog, a Shih Tzu. She immediately bonded with a kitten I had rescued, but was injured and had to have a leg amputated. When she first came she would cringe when I would reach to pet her, and would run to hide if I said "no" to any of the animals. She didn't take long, though, to want to sit in my lap (as if there was room!) and cuddle. She and my other dog are inseparable, and the cats come up to her to have their faces washed. And to think, up until she came along I was afraid of pitties!

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