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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pat stanfield

I could tell you the miracle story of how my precious Layla came into my life but that is an entire chapter in my book. I will condense it into 2 sentences. My lovable Doberman of 16 years left me of natural causes and I swore I would never subject myself to that unremitting anguish of her departure again in my life. But then Layla chose me when I was not even allowed to have pets where I lived and we fell in love and I can say from my heart that i have never loved as I love her or have been loved as that precious little girl loves me. Then along came Petey - another chapter in my book. He is the goofball who complements Layla's super sweetness. This can can be testified to by at least 1000 people who have met them at community events. (I wheel them both in a stroller through the crowds that attend functions such as Art Prize, Blues on the Mall, Grand Rapids special outdoor concerts and many more.) Little blue haired ladies of ages past count have petted and swooned over them. Hard core gangs, alternative cultures, and a total cross section of society have done the same. Any trace of hard core faces disappear as they talk baby talk, pet them and show a soft side that you would never expect to see. Layla and Petey bring out the best in every person they meet. They relish in playing doggy tennis, and any activity we do. I can not express their internal beauty and purity because there are just no words. You, at this site, have motivated me to get to work on my book, publish it and try to make a positive dent to the pit bull reputation. Oh, by the way,my Layla was awarded the:"Good Citizenship Award" from American Kennel Association. They have saved my life on 2 occasions. I did save Petey on one occasion when an abusive x-relationship appeared on the scene and the Police became involved and Petey barked at them and one officer pulled his gun stating he was going to shoot his (Petey's) head off even though I had told them he would not bite, he just was protecting me on our turf. At that point, I threw myself across his body and screamed ,"You will have to shoot me first." I meant it and I proved then that I would die for my baby.
You may publish this anywhere you want and I encourage you to do so. Anyone can write me at : Thank you for your interest.


we rescued milton (now blue) from animal control in harlem. i was working with a rescue group to find our perfect pit when we got the call that milton would be euthinized the next day if not adopted.. we went to the website, read up the workers review of him and fell in love with his face, he was skin and bones and sick on top of morning my husband myself and our 20 yr old son got in our car and drove to harlem from lake grove. we arrived at 12:30 got to see our blue and fell in love. we waited till 7:00pm to get the ok that we did not have to have him neutered(as we did not want him neutered in his condition. we paid the fee for adoption and fee for neutering (to be done at animal control) and left with our precious blue :) next morning we were in dr. zitos office (our wonderful vet) blue was 50 lbs and suffering from severe diareah and respitory infection. he came home on a special diet, antibiotics. the healing by day blue was stronger and healthier and packed on some pounds. 3 weeks later blue was healthy enough to b neutered by our dr. zito. (donated the money to animal control that we paid for us to have blue neutered there) i am happy to say blue is now 82 lbs and so happy, blue loves everyone, the mailman, ups, fed ex etc. whoever he comes in contact with he thinks they are there to see and play with him. our grandaughter is 4 yrs old and i couldnt have a gentler dog. he has brought so much happiness to our lives, he loves car rides, walks, and everyone he meets. just to walk into my house and be greeted by our blue is so fantastic. the unconditional love he gives is overwhelming. i consider blue our third child. i use to think pit bulls were vicious, but after going to animal control and rescuing blue and seeing all those other pit bulls there just wanting to be pet and loved and such good temperments i urge anyone who can, please please please adopt a pit bull. any dog can be trained to be vicious..... so please punish the deed not the breed.... our blue will be 5yrs old this month, our vet says he was just about 3yrs when we adopted him...they r one of the best family dogs you could have...............................


I got 4 of my 5 rescues, Pitt Bull included by strays wandering on my property as I live in a very rural area. Buddy Bear came to me with a chewed off leash where he had been tied up. He tested heart worm positive. There is a new procedure to rid dogs of heart worms, and it took over 6 months, and lots of money, but he now has a clean bill of health.
"Buddy Bear" the Pitt Bull gets along great with my Pekingese, my Collie, my boxer, and my 90 lb. Chow Saint Bernard.
He loves to sleep with his head on my shoulder in the bed with me. When my Pekingese barks, he gives him room, and is the most NON offensive dog. I must admit, when I first rescued him, I too was terrified of Pitt Bulls. Buddy Bear, quickly changed my mind. My vet fell in love with him too, as my vet as a Pitt Bull that freely roams around the vets office and greets people. My vet was happy to see that I was willing to save this "soul", and I'm glad I did as well. Any dog will react to the way it's treated and cared for. My Pitt Bull goes with me into my local PETCO Pet Store(leash of course), and everybody loves him. I wish I could post pictures of him on here.

debi young

I agree, pit bulls are getting the dirty end of the stick. I don't own one myself, but I have been around them for many years and find them to be awsome, never had a problem with them, however the people who own some of them should be treated the same way as they treat their pits. I love them and one day as soon as possible will adopt one just to show everyone how awsome they really are. Thank you for defending their honor.

Bryan Lord

Sorry to be responding to this article so late for I've been so backed up. And my area (the Rockaways), has been dealing with Hurricane Snady. Yes, the mere mention of the name Pit Bull raises of a lot of negetive reactions. Although I own two cats, I grew up with dogs. And your article was right. I've always known that it's the owners (who are mostly men) who sadly mistreat these animals because turning them into vicious and deadly creatures gives them a false sense pf macho and bravado. It makes them feel "cool" around the ladies while falsely boosting their egos. Animals (especially dogs and cats), are only as mean or as freindly as their owners make them.

Michelle P

We ended up rescuing a pit bull. I'm pretty sure she's a mix because she's not very large - but I've heard that even pure pits can be her size. She isn't very cute - but she is a real love bug! She is overly protective of me and of my grandchildren - but I find that a good trait. She's 50 lbs of pure muscle and is a playful handful - but she would never hurt her 'family' for any reason. I also have four cats and she loves to try to play with them. The younger one joins in with her - the older ones just slap her away. Her addition to our family was unplanned - but I'm very glad it occurred. If you look at antique pictures of the US - you will see pit bulls in a lot of the photos. They seem to be the breed of choice at one time in this country.

Jill Sellers

I have a American Staffordshire Terrier/pitbull. She is the most loyal , playfull, lovable dog. She has save me many times. I have seizures and many health problems, and when i stop breathing, blood pressure is high, or about to get a siezure she either make sure i sit or get a hold of my husband one way or another. My 9 yrs old son plays with her all the time. She protects us all the time. She loves to play outside in the sand, but most of all she loves laying outside and sunbathing. I wont trade her for the world.


my cousin has a Pitt bull a chillullua and a mutt the Pitt bull named lucky is the sweetest and most well behaved out of all 3 also including 3 rats literately 1 cat and a bird he is still the best so next time anyone thinks pitt bulls are mean and viscous dogs remember lucky a truly loving pitt bull in a house full of animals and he is still the best behaved and the sweetest by far

Kelly Jesse

Please someone tell me what all the earlier posts of fake knock off hand bags have to do with the pitt bull story here??? Go to the very last page of posts and look at them. What the &%&*^#$*%@ is that all about??? Spam,,,virus sites???

Alana Paz

Sad to say that I used to be one of those people that when someone mentioned "Pitbull" I cringed. Then one day my boyfriend bought a one-month-old Pitbull pup and I totally flipped out. First, because I am totally against buying dogs (I have seven and all rescued off the streets) and second because it was a Pitbull. Anyhow, I am a dog lover and as aoon as I saw this cute little thing and I looked into those small noble beady eyes I was hooked! We named the little pup Blu and raised him with my seven mutts (all ranging in size from Yorkies to Border Collies), 2 cats, my rabbit, guinea pig, 2 parakeets, my five-month-old nephew, and my neice of age 6. Working at PetSmart as a trainer, I started to train Blu on my own with the same techniques I used to train other dogs. What did I find? Blu is not only my favorite student but my best student. He learns so quickly! I can teach him a new trick in less than 15 minutes and he gets it!!!! I am truely amazed at how intelligent these dogs are. Now Blu is a year old and he has become the model dog at my store. We use him for demos on the weekends and it is so awesome to hear so many people say how cute and well behaved he is. People's favorite thing to see are Blu giving me a high-five, rolling over, and playing dead. New tricks we are working on are praying and bowing. I see Blu as a blessing. He not opened my eyes and changed my perspective about Pitbulls but has done so for so many others as well (including my mom and dad and in-laws). Now I have become a Pitbull advocate at my store and everyday strive to educate those owners with pitbulls (and of course without) on the importance of being responsible dog owners and how it is up to us to change the negative perspective society has about this breed. Blu, my one-year-old Pitbull is my hero!