Breaking the Pit Bull Stigma: A History of the "Nanny Dog" - PetHelpful - By fellow animal lovers and experts
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Breaking the Pit Bull Stigma: A History of the "Nanny Dog"

I am a blogger from Southern Oklahoma who loves to write about nature and animals.

Pitties may have a bad rep, but is it deserved? (The answer is no!)

Pitties may have a bad rep, but is it deserved? (The answer is no!)

A Natural Caretaker

Pit bull breeds are naturally strong, intelligent, and courageous. Their main goal is to please their owner. In the early 1900s, pit bulls were given the title of “Nanny Dog." They were known to be faithful, loving, and loyal, especially when it came to children. A child's safety was practically guaranteed. So what happened?

What Happened to the Nanny Dog?

Pit bulls were not considered nannies without good reason. They were even considered the most beloved dog breeds in England and the United States.

To find out how pit bulls developed such a bad rep, we'll take a look at the following:

  • The Breeds: History and Development
  • Behavioral Habits: Training and Abuse
  • False Stigma: Facts and Figures

Finally, I will use my personal experience of owning a pit bull to demonstrate why these dogs are still the best! Hopefully, this information will clear up any misconceptions surrounding the breeds.

The Breeds: History and Development

There are four breeds that fall under the "pit bull" umbrella:

  • The American Pit Bull Terrier
  • The American Staffordshire Terrier
  • The Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • The American Bully

The most common breed is the American Pit Bull Terrier. A cross between terriers and bulldogs, American Pit Bull Terriers were first brought to the United States in the late 1800s from Staffordshire, England. They later became the symbol of American strength and courage during World War I.

A Dog of Many Trades

There are two origin strains of the pit bull breeds, one of which is the American Pit Bull Terrier. This first strain was originally used for guarding and dogfighting. They were stoutly built, with square heads and firm jaws.

When they were brought to the United States and dog fighting became banned, the American Staffordshire was developed. This strain was a mild-mannered, smaller-framed dog that was used to hunt and drive livestock. (They made great pets, too!)

Exploitation

Unfortunately, the wrong kind of people still found the first strain attractive to use as guard dogs for illegal activities. Now, these people are training pitties to attack and kill whatever comes near. They are being taught to be aggressive.

A Happy Ending for This Pit Bull

Behavioral Habits: Training and Abuse

The methods by which some people are training their pitties are deplorable! They are chained up, taunted, beaten, and starved. You can only abuse an animal for so long before you change their behavior permanently.

Taught to Kill

Pit bulls are trained to be aggressive by using other people’s pets as bait. Cats, rabbits, and other small animals are used to draw out the dog's attack instinct. When you beat and starve a dog before throwing it a "snack," what do you think it is going to do? They are also given smaller dogs to practice fighting with. If they don’t kill their opponent, they are beaten severely.

Does this pup look like he'd hurt a fly?

Does this pup look like he'd hurt a fly?

False Stigma: Facts and Figures

One of the most tolerant, patient, and gentle dogs is now being portrayed as the most dangerous. Because of their bad reputation, at least 2,800 pit bulls are put to death every day—by far the highest of any specific breed. Before pit bulls were labeled as the most agressive, Rottweilers were considered to be the most aggressive breed of dog. Before that, it was the Doberman and the German Shepherd. Banning laws have been disputed in regards to each of these breeds, but nothing has been implemented.

The Data Doesn't Lie

In temperament tests operated by the American Temperament Test Society, pit bulls were rated the second-most tolerant. The most tolerant dog was the Golden Retriever, and the least tolerant was the Chihuahua.

It has been said that the pit bulls' jaws locks and that they have the most powerful bite among dog breeds. This has made people wary of their temperament, but neither of these statements are true. Their jaws do not lock, and the dog with the most powerful bite is actually the Rottweiler.

Lola: Proving Them Wrong

At one time, my daughter owned a pit bull named Lola. (My ex-husband now houses her.) I was really quite upset with the two of them for getting this dog without my permission. However, she ended up being a cherished and valued member of our family!

Lola is the sweetest dog you'll ever meet. Her best friend, Audi, is a Boston Terrier less than half her size. She loves people and I never worry about her being around my grandchildren. She is very protective of them.

Don't Judge a Pup by Its Breed

I hate to see anyone or anything get a bad rep for no good reason. Pit bulls are terribly misunderstood, and it has been my mission to provide the facts so everyone can understand how wonderful these dogs are. So before you judge a dog by its looks or breed, maybe you should judge its owner instead!

You May Also Enjoy:

  • Pit Bull Dog Heroes
    There are good and bad dogs in any breed. It all depends on how the dog is treated and trained. I'm going to share some positive stories about the pit bull dog and show how truly heroic they can be.
  • 10 Most Aggressive Dog Breeds - Temperament Ratings ...
    Have you ever wondered which dog breeds are the most aggressive? Maybe you are looking to get a new puppy for the family pet and would like to know which dog breeds may not be the best children. After doing much research, I have compiled a list of th
  • Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in America
    Have you ever wondered what the most popular dog breeds in America are? Here is the top 10 list, according to the 2011 statistics from the American Kennel Club. I have also included a little information on each breed as well as their origin. See if y

© 2012 Sheila Brown

Comments

Amy on July 17, 2020:

I have amazing boy snoop who is 5 when my little girl is 1. He is a true nanny dog so soft with her shes always laughing with him. Its truly amazing to see which i knew they would be great together. He is so soft. Hes been attacked few times well they tried but hes never retaliated once. Its always little dogs. Little dog syndrome. My snoop is bloody brilliant x

Tanya Walker on July 16, 2020:

My fiance and myself have a pitbull and she is loving and caring

D R Carter on July 16, 2020:

My son (who lives with me now) brought his "Diva" as well. She is coal black with a small white spot on her chest. I was never afraid of a pitbull. I respect animals and know they need to get to know a person first. She is a love dog!! Talks to me all the time (especially at dinnertime). I do, however, have two family members who are afraid of her. One member said Diva nudged her twice. And perhaps that happened though I didn't see it. But this family member is scared to death of pitties and seems to glory in finding news articles of pitbulls attacking people, children, other animals. Its disgusting to me. Ive told her it is how a dog (or any animal) is raised. Diva has known my son since she was a pup and has been loved, socialized and taken care of properly. I doubt I'll ever get my family member to "see the light" about pitties, but I've sent her this fabulous article you've written. Thanks so very much! Diva sends her "woo-woo's"

Danny G on June 26, 2020:

I hate that pit bulls get a bad rep.My pit bull was the most loving and loyal dog I ever owned. Not one time was she ever aggressive towards anyone and was always friendly when we had company over to our house weather it was friends or someone she never meet. I can see why they were called the nanny dog because she was especially good around children and always seemed to be extra gentle around them. She really took to my sisters baby and anytime she brought the baby over my pit bull always wanted to be near the baby to the point that if my sister would put her down for a nap my pit bull would lay right next to her while she slept. As soon as the baby got up so did she. I’ve never seen another breed of dog be that gentle and mindful of a baby before. I just hope more people get educated about pitbulls and realize they’re not the evil monster dogs that people have made them out to be.

Cj tucker on June 11, 2020:

I own blue nose pitbulls had all kinds of pitbulls they protect love and respect me and my family they are as smart as my kids they are always loving and more dependable than any person they help raise my kids keep me safe and provide the best friend a person could ask for pit bulls are the best

PitLover on January 24, 2020:

Hey, if you don't believe any of this, just think, Ceaser Malone's dog he uses to train other dogs is a pitbull. One named Jr. and one named Daddy

PitLover on January 24, 2020:

I love this, all of it is true, and if you hit the vote that pitties are naturally mean you need to give them a chance. If you had one and him/her was mean, sorry, but that means you didn't treat her/him right, or your a bad owner. I love pits and rots, and I will protect them with my life.

Love,

The Owner of Abby Gail Durham,

also known as Beth

P.S. If your state, or continent/country, doesn't allow pits come to Texas

Ryan Cloward. on November 27, 2019:

Ya know Pit Bulls are #2 in tolerance testing, #1 is the golden retriever. I had a red nose pit bull. She lived to be 12 years old. That dog was the easiest dog to own I ever seen. She never chewed on one thing. She was a nanny dog to my nephews. Everybody cried when she died. I think that everyone needs to neuter there make Dogs. Except if your a breeder. Cause most injuries, deaths related to dog attack is done by 1 or more male dogs. Give em the Bob Barker treatment!

Rellik on September 05, 2019:

So one thing I want to point out. When the APBT and the AST split it was because, the AKC wouldnt paper a dog with pit in the name. So to get your APBT registered they called them The American Staffordshire Terrier. The UKC was then created specificity for APBT's.

tom and julie mason on August 24, 2019:

I have the most loving scorpion and people dont understand how sweet it is and when i let it sleep with my new born baby they make comments about how dangerous it is!, they dont realize its all about how you raise them and if you are a good master then the creature is perfectly safe to crawl across my newborns face at night keeping her safe as she sleeps!

Pitties on May 05, 2019:

Completely true. They are the most loving kind dogs. They are also probably the most fun and goofy dogs. I've heard actually the dog that bites more people than any other bread is a Cocker Spaniel. The dog that is the most aggressive and has done the most damage.. a husky. Yes, with the wrong person and with the wrong upbringing this dog can be dangerous. And this is so unfortunate. But, this is also true with our own children. However, bring it up in without trying to make it your guard dog, and this dog will be an amazing pet. Any dog that loves you will want to protect you. You don't have to train it to do so.

Omar on April 24, 2019:

Pitbulls are good dogs there just misunderstood I ❤️Pitbulls

Mike Donnelly on April 23, 2019:

It was actually the Staffordshire bull terrier that was known as the nanny dog in Europe.similar looking.not the same breed as an American Pitt..but agree 100% of what is written in the article here about pits.great dogs also as any raised and trained by the right people..

Giselle on February 26, 2019:

I have two "pit bulls" type dogs, and they are very very good family dogs,

I've had them since before they were a year old I believe that proper socialization and training is important same as any other dog. They love to go on small hikes with us too.

My dogs are very gentle with my young children and my kitten, the even get along with the rabbit, hens and the turkey.

I stand with bully breeds till the day I die!

Unknown on February 22, 2019:

Jane, only part of what you said is accurate. Yes, Pit bulls were bred for bull baiting, but once that was outlawed in the 1800, people started using their pit bulls for dog fighting. The pit bulls ALL THE WAY deserve the light. it wasn't their choice to fight. And, I did a little research too, it Pit Bulls were and are known as nanny dogs.

Mike on February 20, 2019:

Pit bulls were not bred for bull baiting... That is what bulldogs were for and after bull-baiting became illegal they bread the bulldog with a terrier (I cant remember specifically what kind) because a terrier will move around more quickly and bite Retreat and buy it again where the Bulldog would simply stand its ground and take it which is why it was good in Bull baiting. the myths about the nanny dogs came about because of the pictures as you see here of them with children to try and debunk the myth that they are such a terrible dog to have... Most of the problems people have from pitbulls biting, maintaining, or even killing have more to do with the human aspect with either breeding or simply the ignorance of how to deal with them properly... It is not a very wise idea to leave any child alone unattended with any dog even though there are many dogs that would never do anything at all To hurt anyone but is that a chance you really want to take?

Chris on February 19, 2019:

As someone who's worked with a good handful of different dog breeds, I volunteer at the animal clinic my cousin works at, the pit bulls that I've worked with have been the most pleasant experiences with dogs I've ever had. Pit bulls are not inherently bad, they aren't predisposed to negative or bad temperament. I've been bitten by more small dogs like the bichon frise (three times, each a different dog), maltese, and chihuahuas. Never in my life has a pit bull intentionally hurt me when I present no threat to them (a few scratches from some rough housing but I love playing with dogs).

These dogs are so loyal, they're smart, and they have so much love to give you, they just want to make you happy and a scratch behind the ear and tummy rubs goes a long way for them.

Jane on February 01, 2019:

Pit bulls were NEVER used as “nanny dogs.” There’s no evidence to support this claim, and it’s a myth that’s been repeated numerous times. Pit bulls were actually BAIT dogs, used to bait bulls, (hence the name), and large animals. They were bred to be more aggressive, as they would need to be fearless to enter a pit with a large, dangerous bull. Pit bulls have a disproportionately high rate of attacks compared to other dogs. Also, studies show that the majority of Pit bull owners are considered high risk people. These are people who frequently engage in risky behavior, (fighting, gambling, drug use, criminal activity, etc.). To perpetuate the propaganda that pit bulls are “cuddly,” and “good-natured” is to endanger human lives. Not all pit bulls are bad, no, but most have a poor disposition. They’re not highly trainable, (a common trait of terriers), and are stubborn, and headstrong dogs. The majority of attacks involve pit bulls, or pit bull mixes. Even PETA supports sterilization of these dogs, and acknowledges them as dangerous. Rottweilers rank a distant number 2 on the list of dogs most involved in attacks. Pit bulls have overtaken EVERY dog breed on that list. Pit bulls are not ranked as number 2 on the list of most tolerant dogs. There are many breeds above them. To even compare a benevolent Golden Retriever to the often aggressive pit bull is ludicrous, and misleading. Pit bulls are most frequently put down in shelters, because they are more frequently given up by owners who become fearful of their own safety, and the safety of their families due to the unpredictable natures of pit bulls. While a pit bull cannot “lock,” as some believe, they bite and shake, which is extremely deadly. They have disfigured and dismembered attack victims more often than not.

If you love a pit bull, that’s fine, but STOP spreading false information, and painting them in a light they don’t deserve to sit in. They are dangerous animals, (considered lethal weapons in some places), and should be eradicated from our society, or left only in the hands of licensed professionals.

Shadow on January 23, 2019:

My mom sill doesn’t believe that they are nice and carding dogs but I do some are mean yes but that’s because of the people who made them like that to fight it was really sad

John on November 01, 2018:

The man who said humans are the problem sir from just the facts yer 100%right

Just the facts on October 16, 2018:

Little rascals Pete was a pit, WW II posters depicting Pits, archive old NYC news paper articles of pits. Give me a break. It’s humans who abuse animals

Kim on September 29, 2018:

I think they can be trained and some are naturally. I used to only blame the owner and not the dog but if any other dog can snap without warning, so can pits. I raised mine since a puppy and the only trouble I had with her is something another dog caused. My friend had 2 of he s since babies, the minute they were old enough to get she got them. Those dogs were never mistreated and spoiled like any other dog owner does to their pets. No signs of aggression or any other issues until the day the roommate came home and found the dogs killed her. That was the moment I realized it's not always the owner. If Michael Vick's can be rehabilitated and adopted out, it's not far fetched to think that a dog can snap with no warning, but they can. Katie was proof of that. It made me so weary of being around mine for awhile but I got over it and she died due to cancer when she was 10, and I miss her so much. But I realized I was jaded and misinformed. Yes most will get through their life with no incidents but some will, and that is something all dog owners need to take into account including those who own pits. It seems those are the only dog owners who guarantee their dog won't do harm. For their sake I hope they're right. My cousin thought that too until hers bit me in the face and nearly took my eye out. It was just months before I was sharing my bed with her and had been around her since she was a baby. I never expected that to happen to me either. But sh** happens when you don't expected so at least be vigilant and hopefully your dog won't kill you when you get home and feed them like hers did.

Katie Sheets on March 13, 2018:

Ok to the guy who is in martial arts and was attacked by two pitbulls...I'm so sorry for you!! That sounds like a nightmare come true and I am sure it was terrifying!! But it sounds like you are just so filled with hate for this type of dog because of what happened to you specifically that you are focusing only on the types of pitbulls who have "turned" and not on the SO MANY perfectly behaved, loving, caring, "man's best friend" ones!! Every pitbull I've ever known in MY life have been the sweetest most loving dogs..I've seen so many OTHER breeds flip out on people, as well as having been attacked by 2 CHIHUAHUAS myself..it was scary(yes nothing like the strength of 2 pits but if they could have done the damage they would have-they we're so angry like they were seeing red) but I don't only focus on that negative experience and think all Chihuahuas are evil or bound to turn!! Just please tone down the hate..some PERSON created those "rabid" pit bulls and that PERSON is to blame for the hate abuse and torture that I'm sure is what pushed them to that awful behavior...like a previous post said..some human has "traumatized" those animals into that life..blame US not THEM!! If they are shown the right amount of love and proof that they can TRUST us as their owners/superiors, then they will be the most wonderful man's best friend you could ask for and will follow you to the end of the earth! If I could attach a pic of my sweetheart 60 pound pit in my lap right now I would! Please find it in your heart to forgive those animals and let that hate go. Peace Love and Dogs!!

Gangle on December 21, 2017:

Um, pit bull breeds were never referred to as 'nanny dogs' and they were not popular children's or ladies pets. I can't find a single historical reference to pit bulls having this nanny dog reputation. I don't hate pit bull breeds, but I don't like bullcrap arguments and lies. It's harmful not only to kids but also to pit bulls, because they are the ones put down in the event that a family puts their trust in their 'nanny dog' and disaster occurs. They aren't bad dogs but neither are they ideal children's pets.

Robert Ruedisueli on August 27, 2017:

I believe that Pitt Bulls are a big strong dog that will do anything to please their families.

This is all very good most of the time.

Obviously this is really bad in cases of dogs being trained to attack or fight.

However, there is an additional issue. Dogs are trained by their family whether or not the family is intending to train the dog.

If a family member frequently shows pleasure at violence, or regularly acts violent in front of the dog, that dog could easily pick up the same behavior.

This is why viscous dog laws should focus on several points, none of which are Breed.

1. Size of the dog: Large strong dogs do more harm when they bite. Pit Bulls are large, strong, dogs.

2. History of the dog: Sadly, like humans, dogs subject to severe psychological harm may never recover. Simply put, such dogs cannot safely be kept in an urban or suburban environment.

3. History of the Owner/Family: This is one few laws have been made based on, despite it's importance. Lawmakers seem very reluctant to pass laws based on this, despite how much it influences dog behavior.

MikeC711 on June 11, 2017:

The pit is victimized first by owners who leverage their strength for evil purposes, then by mis-informed folks who feel every pit is a danger to life and limb of all around them. 86% of all fatal dog attacks are by non-neutered males. Pits are found to be more tolerant of mis-treatment (before resorting to attack to defend themselves) than every dog except the Irish Setter. We rescue only pits and our biggest fear is that ... when they get into the bed ... they are major real estate hogs.

Lam Phan on April 06, 2017:

Back then folks my country rejected German Shepherd because "they kill"(for it was quite common to spot GPD in dog fights) while I had one at home and he was the most lovable. After all, it's irresponsible and abusive owners that give the breed bad names.

hulkfan63 on September 16, 2016:

"jd" is an ignorant, uninformed individual. I can show, IN PRINT, several references prior to 1960, of the bully breed being referred to as a "nanny dog". It's not a fabrication or a need to 'prop up' the image of the breed, as prior to the introduction of pit-bulls to the criminal element in the inner-cities, their sterling reputation was well-documented. Several notable people owned, and sang the praises of, pitties-including Helen Keller, Mark Twain, Teddy Roosevelt. Petey the pit-bull, of "Our Gang" & "Little Rascals" fame, was required to perform in films, taking direction while surrounded by many children, of which any viewer can plainly see that he enjoyed immensely. Get your facts together 'jd', and perform the due diligence before making statements of pure conjecture without being able to support them with substantiated truth.

Anna on June 10, 2016:

I actually don't think they are 'trained' to be aggressive, I think they are traumatised, because when they are rescued and given time to recover, they'd rather do anything than fight. They are dogs who are scared of everything and that bond they have with their humans is warped by evil people to make them put aside thousands of years of evolution, because all dogs are pack animals, who cooperate.

Tammy Stewart on May 05, 2016:

Another thing, pit bulls don't just "turn," as some people say (no dog does). Many people haven't a clue how to read a dog's body language and there are subtle cues those in the know can pick up on, but the majority of people can't. These dogs were probably giving cues the owners didn't know how to recognize and due to that it went from subtle cues to an outright attack.

Even many professionals cannot determine what an American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) looks like. How many here realize that the wide, blue dog with white markings in this article (the dog above the pic. of the white dog), below where it says "American Pit Bull Terrier," is not an APBT, it's an American Bully?

Now yes, pit bulls can be dog aggressive, but APBT's and many breeds that fall under the pit bull umbrella are terriers and a good portion of terriers can be dog aggressive. Dog aggressive does not equal human aggressive however.

For those of you who believe pit bulls are all dangerous, speak to your veterinarians about it. I can guarantee you that they're not the dogs your vet. dreads seeing walking through their doors the most.

As far as breed bans, there is much money to be made there. Stereotyped breeds also make headlines...same thing, money to be made. It's been proven that in many areas where pit bulls were banned, dog attacks did not go down. Before you approve of breed bans (BSL) keep in mind that the more popular a breed, the more people who jump on the bandwagon to breed for money. Now we have once sweet breeds like Labs and Golden Retrievers who are getting high bite rates due to indiscriminate breeding. Hollywood is also responsible...Cocker Spaniel temperaments declined after Lady and the Tramp, Dalmation temperaments declined after 101 Dalmations, Collie temperaments declined after Lassie, etc. Your beloved breed may be next when it comes to bans. Besides, there are FAR more sweet pit bulls than not, figuring the numbers of them across the world.

Dogs are what you make of them. I have owned many breeds, pit bulls included...it's wise to always do your homework. Get a dog from a reputable source (if you rescue a dog, try to rescue from an organization that does temperament testing or offer to foster the dog and have it temperament tested before adopting...train yourself as well and this will help a lot too), train your dogs properly, never leave ANY breed alone with a young child (even small dogs have maimed and killed children!), learn canine body language and watch for cues (learn those subtle ones!), understand that not all dogs like other dogs (and that goes for any breed) so they're not abnormal if they don't want "doggie friends," be a responsible owner...make sure your dog is properly contained - and leashed if it's out and about with you, put your dog through a canine good citizen training course, keep your dog under control (if you can't, don't ignore it, seek help), don't let your dog roam, neuter and spay your dogs, if you have a dog that's aggressive with you or strangers (ANY breed...seek the help of a professional and keep that dog away from people), if you have a dog that's a problem with aggression with other dogs - keep it away from other dogs, muzzle it when you're out with it and see if a trainer can help (with some dogs it's so ingrained in their breeding it can only be managed) and realize, if you have a dog that doesn't have it's wires crossed right (is badly bred) it may not be able to be rehabilitated (and as I said, this goes for ANY breed, or mix for that matter) and you must do the responsible thing. Bottom line is that problems with dogs usually has more to do with the owner/s than the dog itself.

Tammy Stewart on May 05, 2016:

I don't know where people get their info. from that pit bulls were not nanny dogs. Yes they were. Pit bull is a blanket term. Staffordshire Bull Terriers were considered nanny dogs, as well as American Pit Bull Terriers. And no, pit bulls were not originally bred to only fight...they had MANY uses.

As far as them being deemed vicious with people, they're not naturally so. People who use them to look bad take uneven tempered dogs and breed them with uneven tempered dogs, thus resulting in dogs that are nasty with humans. This can be done with ANY breed however. Throughout history there have always been "bad" dogs...once goofy Bloodhounds were said to be vicious. In my time it's been German Shepherds, Dobermans, Rottweilers and now pit bulls.

The media pushes this stereotype, but what they don't tell you is that there are many breeds mistaken for pit bulls that were not pit bulls at all. There are also many breeds that look like pit bulls. There are tests online you can take to prove just this fact.

I have been a groomer, a vet's assistant, a trainer and a kennel manager...pit bulls were not the dogs I had most issues with.

Becky on September 10, 2014:

It would be nice if you learned that Pit Bull is not a breed, that's where a lot of the backlash comes in. Pit Bull is a blanket term for dogs that share the same characteristics The only dog that should be referred to as a Pit is the American Pit Bull Terrier Once people like you understand that it will be easier for Bully Breed owners like myself

Alysha on May 07, 2014:

There is no such breed as a pit bull. It is a term used to describe various breeds, most commonly the APBT. But please, stop referring to it as a breed. I agree with all your comments re dogs being a product of their owner, and am a bit Stafford lover. In fact, I'm fairly sure it's English staffies that were the breed referred to as the nanny dog (and yeah, I guess some ignorant people may group English Staffords into the pit bull category). But anyway. Appreciate you may have done some research, but they are most definitely not a 'breed' as such.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on January 07, 2014:

This is really an interesting hub and the comments are almost as interesting.

I think all breeds of dogs are here for us humans to have companions or pets or both.

voted up ++ and shared.

Shyron

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on May 22, 2013:

Hello Flourish! It is so true that how animals are treated impacts the level of trust they have in humans. It is so sad anytime an animal is mistreated by humans. The "tough" looking dogs are the ones that the criminal elements want to corrupt. It has been the same in the past with German shepherds, Dobermen pinshers, rotweillers and others. Someday there will probably be another breed adopted by the unsavory people in this world and done the same way. You would laugh until your sides hurt if you could see Lola and Audi playing together, they are quite the odd couple! Thank you for stopping by and your kind comment and votes, it is always appreciated! :)

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 22, 2013:

I didn't know pits used to be "nanny" dogs. How animals are treated tremendously impacts the level of trust they place in humans and how they view the broader world. It's so sad that the criminal element has corrupted these poor dogs' reputations. I love the pictures of Lola, Audi, and Garfield snuggling. Voted up and awesome!

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 25, 2013:

Hello Raine! I wish I could see your sweet pit dog too! They can be such good dogs with children. Our daughter's dog is just the best around the kids. She is very protective and tolerant too. Thank you for your kind comment! Have a great day! :)

RaineP on April 24, 2013:

My baby is the sweetest baby and most protective dog I've ever met. I wish I could submit a photo of my pit and my 3 year old. He lets her do almost anything to him and not even care that she kicks him out of his own 'room' cage. She can sleep on him, jump on him anything short of hurting his special area, then he moans, whines or cries out and walks away from her after giving her a dirty look like, "Why?".

Robert Mc Dowell from Puyallup, WA on April 10, 2013:

Well, I could say more but I won't, but I do wish you the best. Take care.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 10, 2013:

Hello aikikenjitsu. Unless someone's comment is hateful or nasty, I will approve it. Everyone has their own opinion and I value them all. What the "truth" is to you, may not be what the "truth" is to all, but it is your right to say what you think.

I have done much research on the pit bull breed as well as other breeds. I have spoken to many people who have owned pit bulls and well as some that have been "confronted" by them. I, myself, would have been attacked by a pit bull had it not been for the chain that kept him mere inches away from me. Unbeknown to me, I was in "his" territory and he had been taught to be aggressive. Yes, that scared the hell out of me! I have also been chased my two German shepherds that were like something out of a Sci-Fi movie, teeth gnarling and slobbering as they chased my back into my house. There was no reason for them to do this as I had simply walked out the door of my house and they climbed a wooden fence from across the street to attack me. Luckily, I had not walked very far from the door and was able to get back inside quickly. To find out later, they too had been trained as attack dogs by their owner. I have also been chased and bitten by a boxer. One of my sons was attacked by a dalmation, for no apparent reason.

I understand that some dog breeds are more aggressive than others. Thank God the Chihuahua is a small dog! According to the American Temperament Test Society there are several dog breeds that are more aggressive, by nature, than the pit bull. After all my research, I believe that there are so many undesirable people who want to be "bad asses" and the pit bull is a "badass" looking dog. We know that drugs are running rampant in this country, there are so many drug dealers and users. These are usually the type of people that own the pit bulls that are trained to be aggressive. The more of these types of people there are, the more of the aggressive pit bulls there are and the more news there is about them. This is just my opinion. Everyone has their own opinion and I welcome any and all reasonable comments. Thank you for yours! :)

Robert Mc Dowell from Puyallup, WA on April 09, 2013:

I doubt if you will place this on your site. I’m sure you do not want the uneducated public (what few that are left) to read it for the truth. But you have read it and that’s important because it may get you on the road to real deep truthful research.

The saying “Those who are so blind that they refuse to see the truth,” fits 100% the attitude of people that think Pit bulls are harmless adorable creatures. There are pages and pages of negative truthful information on Pit bulls, in every media possible, but only for those who wish to truly see.

But I will only say one truthful statement here. The only defense owners of Pit bulls have is that Pit bulls, like vampires, “Turn” only when the owners miss treat them. The only thing you can say there is---horse manure! I’ve spent enough time researching that notion till I had convinced myself beyond any doubt wht-so-ever, that was not true. My Pekinese and I were attacked by two Pit bulls and I’ve never been so frighten in all my life. I’m a martial artist and have lived 70 years with many life experiences, but there is nothing so terrifying as having two Pit bulls climbing a cyclone fence at a park to get at you. They had unbelievable ferociousness, like Sci-Fi creatures coming for you. Pit bulls are owned by all kinds of people: mean people, nice people, loving people, people that treat and care for Pit pulls as newborns as would a loving parent, loving seniors---yet 65% of them still “Turn,” sometime in their lives. They could “Turn” at one year or ten years or they may be in the 35% where they will never “Turn.” But the chances of them “Turning” is so high, why even consider having an extremely possible liability such as a Pit Bull?! There are a thousand breeds of dogs to pick from, why pick an animal that really is not from the canine breed, an animal that is more like a, or can be like a, vicious hyena?? Again the only answer is “Those who are so blind that they refuse to see the truth.”

One more truth: Many states are pushing to have a bill enacted to out law Pit bulls and many municipalities already have prohibited people from owning Pit bulls or if they do, they are charged up to $500.00 a year to keep the potential vicious animal.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 03, 2013:

Hello Eddy! Thank you for your kind comment. I always enjoy hearing from you! Have a wonderful day! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 03, 2013:

Hi Scribenet! Your right, any dog can become vicious if mistreated. Pit bulls have become popular with "bad" people who are training them to become "bad" dogs. The same has been done in the past with dobermans, rottweilers and German shepherds too. There is just more of the criminal element out there these days with the drug traffic being on the rise and more media coverage. I agree, this is a sad statement about people and not the dogs! Thank you for stopping in and commenting, it is always appreciated! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 03, 2013:

Hello, the girls! Many dogs will attack viciously when provoked. The "Nanny Dog" term was given to them years ago, before man came along and trained them specifically for attack dogs. They are very loyal and protective, that was part of their popularity, even back then. I'm glad found my hub informative and interesting. Thank you for stopping by to comment and vote, it is always appreciated. Have a wonderful day! :)

Eiddwen from Wales on April 03, 2013:

A brilliant hub on a wonderful breed of dog. Thank you for sharing this gem which leaves much food for thought.

Enjoy your day.

Eddy.

Maggie Griess from Ontario, Canada on April 02, 2013:

Great info. Having owned and loved an half pit Bull mix who loved people and especially children I do feel the breed has a bad rap because of the reasons stated. Any dog can become vicious if mistreated. That is a sad statement about people....not their dog.

Theresa Ventu from Los Angeles, California on April 02, 2013:

I am surprised that Pitbull's were considered as nanny dogs before. I used to be an owner several years back. I have first hand experience that they have distinct character to attack viciously when provoked. But they are true and loyal to the master. They will protect you, especially when they are trained to "guard". Informative and interesting article, voted up.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 02, 2013:

Hi Lauren! It is a shame that due to the laziness and mistreatment of these dogs, it has lead to them having a terrible reputation. There are so many great pit bulls out there. I also wrote a hub on Pit Bull Heroes, you might enjoy it! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. It is always appreciated. Have a wonderful day! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on April 02, 2013:

Hello Blake! It's a terrible shame that there are people out there who can mistreat and abuse dogs in such a way. That can teach us the abuse and trauma can damage and change personalities. I'm sure it is true with human abuse as well. That is probably how most serial killers evolved. Thank you for your kind comment, it is always appreciated. Have a great day! :)

Blake Flannery from United States on April 01, 2013:

I love your last line. It is pretty amazing how much dogs love people and attention for people. Dogs seem to be put here on Earth as a great companion for us. Maybe they are here to teach us something important about being more accepting. Maybe they can teach us something about the way abuse and trauma can damage anyone. Engaging writing!

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on March 30, 2013:

Thank you Ruth! I am tired of seeing all the negatives about the pit bull. I wanted to share some positives! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. It is always appreciated! :)

Ruth Lanham on March 30, 2013:

I couldn't agree with you more. Thank you for your defense of a good dog.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on February 23, 2013:

Hello Chalva24. You are right, the rottweiler, German shepherd, and the doberman pinchers at one time or another were all labeled as overly aggressive dogs. I think this will too pass, but it is going to take much time. The criminal type of people are going to have to stop abusing and training these dogs to be aggressive. I don't know how we can stop that. Thank you for your wonderful comment! Have a great day! :)

Chalva24 on February 23, 2013:

Dogs... of ANY breed are all the same.. they all have their own personality and their own quirks.. I have been attacked by more little dogs than I care to admit and never by a pitbull. On the same note what happed to rottweiler's being terrible dogs? My sister has 3 kids and 2 rottweilers.. sweetest dogs in the world that always looked out to make sure they didn't knock the kids down. This Pitbull bashing will soon go away just like it did with rottweilers and it will be a happier day. Unfortunately we will still never be able to live in a rented place with one.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on February 11, 2013:

Hello Kathleen! I'm so sorry about you dog! The only thing I can think of is maybe the neighbor was a little "too comfortable" around the dog. The dog knew you weren't home and thought he was protecting the house. Pit bulls are very protective. Again, that is so sad that they put the dog down. I'm so sorry! Thank you for stopping by and leaving me with your story.

Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on February 11, 2013:

We were given a puppy that was supposedly a yellow lab mix by a friend of my son's. We were the dog's one and only owners and treated him with the love and care we showed all our pets over the years. Turned out he was a pit bull. A more loyal, easily trained dog we never had - until he bit our neighbor who had come to feed him while we were away. He knew the neighbor and had seen him in our yard many times. The neighbor required stitches and the police report from the ER reached our homeowner's insurance. They threatened to cancel our policy because of the dog bite. Animal control also came to check on the health of the dog because of the police report and of course the dog bit the stranger. Because of the two incidents the county put the dog down. I don't know how to explain the dog's behavior, at least with the neighbor, except for his breeding.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on February 08, 2013:

Hello DRockell! I am hearing so many wonderful stories about pit bulls, I wish I could share them all. They really are a wonderful dog breed. I too, hope that someday people again refer to them as the Nanny Dog. Thank you for your wonderful comment! Have a great day and welcome to HubPages! :)

DRockell from Portland, Oregon on February 08, 2013:

Thank you for this awesome hub! I've known a truly loving pit bull myself and I hate that they have this bad rap about them. It's how they are raised that forms their personalities, not their breed. They aren't vicious dogs at heart and I can't wait for the day where they'll earn back the Nanny Dog title again.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on February 08, 2013:

Hello Jmillis! I'm sorry you had to give up your pit bull. Pit bulls can be just as good as any other dog as long as they are treated right. I am hearing more and more stories about what good pets they are. It's just a shame that some of them have been mistreated and abused to the point that they are no longer good. Thank you for stopping in and the kind comment and vote, it is always appreciated! :)

Jmillis2006 from North Carolina on February 08, 2013:

I had a pit bull named jake before I split up with my ex and he took him, he wasthe best dog ever and great with the kids. Great hub voted up.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on February 07, 2013:

Thank you so much MayG! I really appreciate you letting me know! :)

May Galnou from Melbourne, Australia on February 07, 2013:

Hi sgbrown. I really enjoyed your hub - very interesting. You don't have to post my comment, because I just wanted to point out that your title says 'Once Knows as the Nanny dog" instead of "Once Known as the Nanny Dog" and it seemed a shame for such a well-written hub to have a typo.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on February 07, 2013:

Hello Grinning Gremlin! Yes, you're correct. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier was a cross between the Old English Terrier and English Bull Dog breeds. It was after they came to the US that they were referred to as the Pit Bull and are only recognized by the AKC as the American Staffordshire Terrier.

I am so happy to hear that you have rescued one of these dogs and given him a good home. His story is so sad. There are so many pit bulls still out there that need help. I really believe that dogs understand and appreciate the fact that they have been rescued. I'm very glad to hear that your dog, (I wish I knew his name), is doing so well. Pit bulls are wonderful dogs if treated right.

Thank you for such a wonderful comment. I appreciate your input and don't consider it "nitpickng". Thank you for your kind words and welcome to HubPages! :)

Grinning Gremlin from Ontario, Canada on February 07, 2013:

I'm nitpicking here, but technically the epithet of "Nanny Dog" was applied to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, not specifically the pit bull. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, often called the "Staffy" is the breed of dogs from which pit bulls originated. Having owned both, I can say that there is very little to differentiate the two, outside of the difference in size. Staffies are smaller, pit bulls larger. Temperament the same, same levels of exuberant affection.

As I write this my nine year old pit bull rescue is sleeping in my lap. It's become trite to say it at this point, but its how the dog is raised that has a huge effect on how the dog acts. Any dog can become aggressive or fearful.

My dog was a rescue. When we got him, he was emaciated - we could count each individual vertebrae in his spine. The people before him has neglected and tethered him. He had never been for a walk, so we had to teach him how to walk on a leash. He didn't know his name and didn't respond to verbal commands for the first three months we had him.

Also, because of the way he was tethered (with a pinch collar around his throat, if you can believe it) when we got him from the pound his neck was infected and covered with sores. So we had him on antibiotics and painkillers for months, and couldn' teach him how to walk with a collar -- instead we had to use a chest harness. Meaning that he pulled. A lot. He was high, in pain, and had no training at all. He was terrified of bicycles, skateboards, and trailers.

Four years, and a lot of time and effort later, he walks by my side, response to commands, and is still by far the most affectionate dog I've ever had. Which, was never a problem in the first place. Even when he was sick in the pound he was incredibly affectionate.

TLDR: Pit bulls are great dogs, get a bad rap because of imbeciles who don't treat them with the love and respect that any animal deserves. Good job presenting some information here.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on February 07, 2013:

Hi Nathan! I have to agree somewhat on the boxer being a super great breed. My dad had a box that was just amazingly smart. One of my sons has had 2 boxers now and we loved them dearly. He did have a problem with them wandering off and getting in fights. I appreciate your great comment and I hope that I can dispel some of the bad rep the pit bull has. It really is undeserved. Have a wonderful day! :)

Nathan Orf on February 07, 2013:

To me, no breed is greater than a boxer. But I have fond memories of my own concerning a pit bull named Simpson. When I was eleven years old, I would meet him every day when I went to see my friend, Leslie. It seemed that this dogs greatest ambition was to either lay in a batch of sunlight and snooze, or to follow us around hoping for a game of some sort (usually tug-of-war or catch.) Never once did I or any one of my other friends who spent time around Simpson ever feel unsafe around this dog.

Thank you for trying to dispel the misconceptions and paranoia surrounding pit bulls. They are a wonderful breed.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 24, 2013:

Hello elderadvisor! It saddens me too when an animals gets a bad reputation that it really doesn't deserve. Pit bull dogs can be wonderful, loveable animals as long as they are treated right. They are a "bad a**" looking dog, so it seems the "bad a**es of the world want to try them to be just that. It's really a shame. Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a wonderful comment! It is always appreciated! Have a wonderful day! :)

Alicia Foley from Connecticut on January 24, 2013:

Pit bulls are a misunderstood and tortured breed. I have owned 3 Pits and they were all such little lovers. It saddens me to see when they or any animal for that matter are abused and are bought because they are a status symbol or popular in media culture. I appreciate you writing the noble history of this beautiful animal.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 23, 2013:

Hello Valerie! Welcome to HubPages! I'm so sorry your dad got rid of Red. Our dogs will kill our chickens too, they are a husky and a lab. Most dogs will chase and kill chickens, it's just their nature. I think you are smart in waiting until you get a more permanent residence and not so cold, they are short haired dogs. Thanks for stopping in! I appreciate your visit as well as your vote! Have a wonderful day! :)

Valerie Tapia from Nashua, NH on January 23, 2013:

I grew up with Pit Bulls, we had 3. Angel, Lady and Red. Red was mine and he was a gentle giant .. very loving towards me but protective too. I was such a little shrimp back then that I could ride on his back with no problem lol! The only thing was he loved to kill my dads chickens so my dad eventually gave him away to a friend. I still haven't forgave him for that. I have thought about getting a baby pit and continue that tradition of growing up with a pit, my son is now 4 but I think I'll wait til we get back home first. New England is super cold and I rather raise a pup to know his surrounding and home. This is not our home just a temporary one, can't wait to get back to Texas! Nice Hub Voted Up!

Gail Louise Stevenson from Mason City on January 03, 2013:

Your welcome. Have a prosperous 2013, too. :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on January 03, 2013:

Thank you gail641! I agree that the pit bull has been a reputation it doesn't deserve. I'm sure there are dangerous pit bulls out there, but only because they have been bred and trained to be that way. The breeders and trainers of these poor dogs should be locked away before they do any more harm. Thank you for you comment and vote! Have a prosperous 2013! :)

Gail Louise Stevenson from Mason City on January 02, 2013:

I really enjoyed reading your hub. Its good to read true things about pit bulls, rather than things that aren't true. They sound like a real interesting breed of dog. There sure have been a lot of stories about them in the news for years. Criminals should be judged--I agree--and not the dog, which is mistreated to begin with. I voted up!

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on December 15, 2012:

Hi Dasha! Any breed of dog is likely to bit when they are scared. I am assuming it was just a nip. The dog was basically giving the child a warning to leave him alone. My yellow lab snapped at one of my grandchildren one time because he made her nervous. You see that the female pit is more protective. Anytime you have a animal that is not used to children, you should take extra precaution. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment! You are your pits, have a great day! :)

Dasha Henley on December 15, 2012:

i have two Pitt bulls one is a female blue nose and the other is her son and hes a black brindle. one day my niece came over and we were all in the same room with the male Pitt bit her on her tummy because she made him nervous, the female Pitt came in and jumped on him for being mean to her. two weeks before the incident i had said that the female would protect any child from harm and then she proved me right. Pitt bulls are sweet as long as you teach the children and dog to be calm because the male dint know her and she was scared.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on December 10, 2012:

Hello Tailer! I agree, as long as they are treated right, they are great pets. Thank you for your great comment! :)

Tailer on December 10, 2012:

I have had pit bulls for most of my early life...they were the most loving and devoted dogs I have ever had...great dogs for the family!!!!

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on December 09, 2012:

Hello Chata's owner! I too was worried about our daughter and her husband having a pit bull around our little granddaughter. Lola, the pit bull dog, is just the best dog, so sweet and gentle with children. A person does need to check the background of a dog before they bring it home, but as a rule, the dog will treat their owners as their owners treat them. Thank you for your wonderful comment! :)

Chata's owner on December 09, 2012:

We adopted a beautiful 3 month old white spotted pitbull female fdom the shelter a month before we found out I was pregnant with our son. Everyone was very concerned especially my parents. That was 2 and a half years ago. Chata has grown into a sweet and affectionate dog who loves our son. We have taught him to be gentle with her and our cat which is important with all animals. An important factor with any dog is properly socializing them so they have nothing to fear. I'm so glad to have her in our lives.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on November 10, 2012:

Hi YogaKat! I sure questioned my daughter when she got Lola, but all turned out well! I really started doing some research about the pitt bull dog and really learned a lot. Our yellow lab, Sadie, she goes every where we go around the "farm". She definitely thinks she is protecting us, she has stopped me from stepping on a rattlesnake before. She will play with other dogs that come around until hubby or I step out the door, then she has to jump on them and run them off! She is a good protector! :) Thank you for stopping in and leaving such a wonderful comment, it is always appreciated! Have a wonderful day! :)

YogaKat from Oahu Hawaii on November 10, 2012:

Great hub. I took in a large, male pit bull mix stray and have never regretted it. I have a few friends and neighbors who questioned my sanity. George is gentle with children, babies, cats, puppies and people. Other dogs . . . bigger ones in particular, bring out the beast in him. Perhaps he thinks he is protecting me. I do an awful lot of crossing the street to avoid other dogs.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on September 29, 2012:

Hello trish! I'm with you! I would love to see these horrible owners get the same fate as they have imposed on their poor dogs. Actually, I'm not sure I could be that cruel. I'm glad to had such a wonderful pit bull dog as a pet. Thank you for stopping in and leaving such a wonderful comment. It is always appreciated! Have a wonderful day! :)

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on September 29, 2012:

Hello FreezeFrame34! It is so sad that pit bulls are so mis-understood. People need to understand that it is the owners that are what they need to be concerned with. If they have a good owner, they will be a good dog. Thank you for your great comment and opinion. It is greatly appreciated! Have a wonderful day! :)

trish1048 on September 29, 2012:

My grown daughter talked me into getting a pit. We were at a fleamarket one Saturday and a guy was selling pit puppies. We took his phone #, and a week later, became the owner of a male pit, which we named Chaz. He was a funny and very sweet dog! I was quite amazed at his temperament.

Any dog, purebred or mixed, can be trained to be aggressive. It is beyond horrible that there are people out there who own pets just so they can use and abuse them. I would love to see them suffer the same fate they impose on poor, innocent animals.

FreezeFrame34 from Charleston SC on September 29, 2012:

Great, informative hub! I couldn't agree with you more about the sad fact that the breed of Pit Bulls are greatly misunderstood. I used to have a pit bull, and some people would grab their children and run away if they say me walking him down the streets on a leash! He LOVED playing with children; he was never once aggressive, and it was sad to see people not want to even get near him because of their misconceptions.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on September 28, 2012:

Hi KCap! I'm sorry to hear that your roommate and your neighbor had a bad experience with their pit bulls. Pit bulls are the second most tolerant of the dog breeds. It makes you wonder if more aggressive traits are being passed down in breeding the aggressive dogs. I hope not! Thank you for stopping in and commenting. It is always appreciated. Have a wonderful day! :)

Kelly Capozzi on September 27, 2012:

I do love pit bulls but I have seen both sides of it. One of my room mates used to have a pit named Buck. He was a great job in the house. He was very loving too. But he could not be around any other dogs. I saw him attack several dogs. Once he had a job by the neck, his owner picked him up and was punching him to try to get him off but he would not release. It wasn't until they plugged his nostrils that he let the other dog go. My room mate eventually had to get rid of him.

On the other hand, my neighbor had a pit/lab mix named Juliet and she was a sweetheart. She was fast but she wasn't aggressive. She could jump a 5 foot fence too it was pretty impressive. She was fine around other dogs unless they were aggressive towards her (which is true of most dogs). Unfortunately, he owners had to get rid of her too. After they had a baby, she was a nervous ninny. If the baby cried she would go crazy. She wouldn't let anyone near the baby. She was very over protective and they were afraid she would accidentally hurt the baby.

They are a unique breed and I think really misunderstood. They are Caesar the Dog Trainers favorite breed. I think if they are trained correctly they can be really great dogs.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on September 24, 2012:

Hello Carrie! Sometimes "rescued" dogs are the best! They seem to really appreciate being rescued. Pit bulls really can be the best dogs! It is a shame that their breed has been chosed by so many bad people who mis-treat and mis-use them. Thank you for such a wonderful comment! I hope you and Lady and a wonderful day! :)

Carrie Jones from Georgia on September 24, 2012:

I too am an owner of an amazing rescue red nose Pitbull and she is hands down the best dog! At first I was very leery of her because of her breed but oh how I was wrong. We have three children and Lady (our Pitbull) has never been aggressive or temperamental towards them or anyone. She actually is submissive to our cat! The cat rules the house :) Lady just whimpers and whines hoping the cat will play with her! As Turtlewoman stated, our dog too is not a guard dog but she will bark to let you know someone is there.

Thank you for a great and informative hub! Pitbulls definitely have a bad rap but with hubs like this hopefully it can change.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on September 14, 2012:

Thank you Raza Khan! I will check out the link. Have a great day!

Raza Khan on September 14, 2012:

great information just like the previous blog http://dogbreedportal.blogspot.com/2012/02/summary...

Dori Ball from Safety Harbor, Florida on September 13, 2012:

Thank you for writing this piece. I have worked with a variety of dogs for many years. I have met the good, bad and ugly of quite a few breeds and truly believe that most issues dogs have, come from their environment and the people that raise them. I have suffered a couple of bites and neither were from Pits; one was a Chihuahua and the other a Golden Retriever.

People need to do their due diligence before adopting or purchasing a dog to make sure they choose the right pet for them. They also need to be responsible in the training and care for the animal.

Awareness is the key... thank you for bringing some much needed light to this wonderful breed.

John on September 11, 2012:

Guys,

The point is that science and studies shows us that education and discipline plays an important role, but genetics plays a big one as well. In certain breeds, genetics are so strong that you cannot manipulate the dogs behavior. We, humans, have created breeds for certain activities like proteging property, hunting, and etc. I have a German shepherd and once I took him to my grandpa farm, in the moment he saw the sheeps he ran towards them trying to get them together. Nobody has never taught my dog to do that, but it was in his genes. You can ask any specialist, when you buy a pure breed dog, the first sign that he is in fact pure will be when the dog starts to show some instincts that are natural to his breed. Purebred Labradors will naturally chase down and kill chickens, despite the fact that nobody taught them to do that. Pure breed Miniature schnauzers will be very alert and energetic, even thou nobody trained them to be so.

The point is that you can train your pure breed German shepherd to just do nothing when around sheeps or cows, but remember, you did not have to teach him to get the sheep together, it was in his genes.

So folks, when you say that your pitbull pet is very docile I do believe you, he is like that because you gave him love, not aggression. However, genes are the explanation why some people die by the jaws of their own pit bull pets, even thou the pets were created only with love. Pitbulls created with aggression and Pitbulls created only with love have both been the villains in dog attacks, killing strangers or their own owners, always with no warning, no barking, just run and kill. That's genes.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on September 07, 2012:

Hello mvillecat! PIt bulls can be just as good a dog as any other. They sure don't deserve the bad reputation they have. My daughter's dog, Lola, is so patient the kids and the other little dog, Audie and Audie is such a little brat. LOL Thank you for stopping in and commenting. It is always appreciated. Have a wonderful day! :)

Catherine Dean from Milledgeville, Georgia on September 06, 2012:

I too am a pitty owner and we love him so very much. He is the sweetest, most loving pooch. The 40lb mixed mutt rules him with an iron paw. He submits to her demands and does not take a treat unless she approves. He is very protective of his family but is sweet to kind strangers. Thanks for the hub!

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on September 06, 2012:

Hi Eddy! Staffies and English Bulls are both such good dog, and they are so cute. I love the English Bull Dog puppies, OMGosh, there is nothing cuter! Pit Bulls are good dog too, as long as they are not abused or trained to be aggressive. Thank you for stopping in and leaving such a nice comment, it is always appreciated! Have a great day! :)

DMVmimay on September 06, 2012:

it reminds me on Daddy, my all time favorite pitbull... (Cesar Milan's dog) very amazing dog miss him so much... i hope you know her Ma'am sgbrown (i can't find your name.. HAHAHA) , he's a model to all the dogs out there.

Eiddwen from Wales on September 06, 2012:

Oh what a wonderful story ;we have had a Staffie and English Bulls in the family and they were both amazing dogs.

Thanks for sharing and here's to so many more to come.

Eddy.

Sheila Brown (author) from Southern Oklahoma on September 02, 2012:

Hello mythbuster! Thankyou. I did not realize the pit bull dog was once called the Nanny Dog either until I started doing some research on them. I found that fact very interesting. I too hope people will become more educated on these dogs and disspell some of the bad reputation they have. Thank you for your kind comment. Have a great day!

mythbuster from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on September 02, 2012:

Great information here! Although I agree and believe dogs are mostly trained to be aggressive, I didn't know the pit bull breed was once considered the "Nanny Dog." Thanks for writing this hub. I hope many will read and change their minds about pit bulls!