Not All Pit Bulls Are Dangerous: Why They Deserve a Second Chance
What Is a Pit Bull?
The word "pit bull" is widely known to be used on any dog that has a stocky build, wide chest, and very short, thick hair. But every dog that is deemed so is not always an actual pit bull. People are quick to point their finger at any dog that looks like one, but the actual breed of the dog can be far from it. Even breeds such as boxers and bulldogs have been mistaken as pit bulls by those who do not know any better.
The American Staffordshire terrier (also known as the American pit bull terrier), is probably where the term pit bull got started. These dogs are normally medium-sized dogs with a very solid build and come in many different colors and color patterns. They are very athletic dogs and have a lot of energy. They love to run and play, making them a great choice for a family pet.
Pit bulls are smart, athletic, and loyal dogs.
They are also highly intelligent and easily trained, because they are so eager to please their master. They even have been known to be the comedians of the dog world. They are always making their owners laugh at their playful antics!
A pit bull can live to be around 12–14 years of age, sometimes even longer with regular vet visits and tender love and care. They do need a lot of attention and regular play time from their owners though. A bored pit bull is an unhappy pit bull.
With that being said, a pit bull also doesn't mind being a couch potato with you after some good outside exercise. They tend to be a fairly healthy breed, but some possible problems can include canine parvo, hip dysplasia, hereditary cataracts, allergies, and congenital heart disease. Coat color can also make a difference in health issues, such as with blue coated, or all-white coated dogs.
Pit Bulls Are Not the Killers They're Often Made Out to Be
A person is 16 times more likely to drown in a 5-gallon pail of water or 60 times more likely to be killed by a palm tree than to be killed by a pit bull. In fact, over the 32-year period from 1965–2001, pit bulls have been blamed for only an average of 2.48 human fatalities per year.
Why Do Pit Bulls Get a Bad Rap?
Pit bull-type dogs are not generally mean and ill-tempered pets. It just isn't part of the breed, like some people think it is. If they come from a good breeder and are given a good home, they will be just as loving and gentle as the popular golden retriever.
Bad Owners Are to Blame
Bad owners are what often give this dog a bad name. Because of their unmatched strength and willingness to please, they make a popular choice as guard dogs in gangs and also for dog fighting. They are used as a tool, much like a loaded weapon.
When being trained for dog fighting, the dogs are exposed to many different types of abuse. They are not thought of as a cuddly pet, but as a way to make money. A victim of greed and violence. They are usually kept outside, with heavy chains attached to their neck. They do this because the constant weight of the chain will build neck and upper body strength. This can cause chafing around the neck of the dog and even will cause deep wounds in their skin and cause infection to set in.
They will also hang bait or tires from long ropes. They then hang the rope from a tree or other object that is high off of the ground. The dog will repeatedly jump up to get the bait and will hang by its jaws. This will strengthen their jaws and back legs.
Some dogs are kept only to be used as bait for the dogs that have proven to be good fighters. They might have tried to train them, but the dog did not have the desire to fight. Or they might be dogs that were being given away in the newspaper. (This is why you should never give a dog away for free, and always should obtain vet references from potential new owners.)
They are considered to be useless dogs to the person running the dog fighting ring, and their only purpose is to keep the other dogs in tip-top condition. They will tie up or otherwise confine the dog to be used for baiting and allow the fighting dog to attack. The bait dog has nowhere to escape and usually will suffer traumatic injuries, or even death.
When It Comes to Pit Bulls, You Only Get What You Give
Some cities have banned pit bulls completely because of the number of attacks on people and pets. When a city bans a certain breed of dog, this means that you are not allowed to own one. If you do, you can be slapped with a hefty fine, and your dog will be impounded and killed. These attacks would not be happening nearly as often if the dogs were not being used in such ways.
Some pit bulls are trained to fight and only want to please their masters.
If a dog is trained to show aggression in a dog fighting ring, or to show aggression towards people, then it will use that knowledge wherever it goes. It doesn't know the difference. It doesn't know when it is an appropriate time. It only knows what it has been taught. The dog knows that its owner wants it to fight. This pleases its owner. The dog gets rewarded for it, and he likes rewards. So he is going do what he was told to do.
Pit bulls get disproportionately more bad publicity in media.
We all see it on the news, on the Internet, and in the newspapers. Another pit bull attack on an innocent child. Or a pit bull attack on the little terrier that lives down the road. We see it all too often. But attacks by other breeds of dogs happen all the time. We just don't always hear about it, because it wasn't one of those awful pit bulls causing the problem. All dogs have the ability to attack if they feel threatened. Some dogs can just have a bad temper, just like some people do.
The responsibility for misbehaving pit bulls lies with their owners.
The responsibility lies on the owner, not the dog. If the dog is known to be aggressive, it should be supervised at all times, even when left outside in a fenced yard. There should be harsher punishment for those that are known to be using dogs for fighting or other inhumane purposes. No dog asks to be thrown into a life of crime and fighting. They are forced into it by the very humans that they trust.
Pit bulls are wonderful friends when treated with love.
Pit bulls are full of love if they are treated right. They are silly dogs and will do many things that will have you laughing yourself to tears. They are high energy, love to play, and make wonderful pets for children. And at the end of the day, they like nothing more than lying beside their master and getting a gentle scratch behind the ears. Don't allow the media to make them look like monsters. Do some research on this wonderful breed, and you will soon see them for the gentle creatures that they really are.
Top 10 Reasons Why You Can't Trust "Vicious" Pit Bulls
- They will steal your spot on the couch while you are up getting a soda.
- They will take the treat you give them and bury it in the back yard like a paranoid drug addict hiding their stash.
- They will jump on your bed with muddy feet. Making you do the laundry . . . again!
- They will lick visitors with an uncontrolled passion only they understand.
- They will cause children to smile.
- They will make you feel horrible for not walking them by looking at you with deep, sad eyes.
- They will look at you like you committed a crime against them if you don't let them lick your ice cream bowl.
- They will cause widespread happiness in large group settings.
- They will crack you up by shaking their butts so hard you think they are going to snap in half.
- They will steal your heart like a thief in the night, showing you complete and pure love that only a pit bull can show.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.