"A breed of satin and steel. Pit bulls are a mixture of softness and strength, an uncanny canine combination of fun, foolishness, and serious business, all wrapped up in love."

-D. Caroline Coile

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fighting Breedism and Giving Good Pit Bull's a Fighting Chance

Pit Bull’s are only as dangerous as their owners neglect or maliciousness.

So much emphasis is placed on political correctness these days. Racism, bigotry, sexism, all hot topics that spur on debates as to what is appropriate in order to rid the world of these selfish ignorant claims. Yet one place where no such dialogue takes place, where biases run rampant with no repercussions and a limited push for awareness is breedism towards dogs.

Specifically I mean Pit Bulls of course. There is so much fear mongering towards Pit Bulls, it makes me nauseous. Now, before people start freaking out about how vicious they are, let me concede that yes, they can be very dangerous dogs, and owning one should not be taken lightly. They were bred specifically for power, fearlessness, and tenacity. These are NOT the only things they were bred for however. Loyalty is probably the most overwhelming aspect of their personalities. This is also what makes them so dangerous; they will do anything for their owners. If you want a Pit Bull to be vicious, it will be incredibly vicious, because that is what will make the owner happy.

Numerous towns, counties, and states have either passed, or proposed legislation to ban Pit Bulls from communities. This I feel unfortunately, fits our American sensibilities of attacking symptoms, and not root causes. Raised properly, Pit Bulls are actually great family dogs. Remember the show ‘Our Gang’ (or the Little Rascals)? Yea, well Petey was a Pit Bull. You know those dog owners who have a Chihuahua that constantly barks while nipping at people? That is the same root problem as nasty Pit Bulls… bad dog owners. Now granted there is a large degree of difference between an annoying ankle-biting Chihuahua and an ill- trained Pit Bull, but it is poor care from the owners that is responsible for the behavior, not the breed. If a child is running around in the streets swearing and breaking things all day, you don’t blame the kid, you blame the parenting. It is the same with dogs.

Take a look at this article to see all about heroic Pit Bulls, like the most highly decorated animal in the history of the U.S. military. The article also mentions the lack of acclaim for good Pit Bulls, via the Readers Digest article they reference. The Understand-a-bull site is great too, a couple of the stories had me in tears. To try and tell the owners of any of these dogs that they should be banned is a tragedy in itself. Oh, and did I mention the Pit Bull that is a finalist for the 2nd annual Dogs of Valor Award? The New Encyclopedia of the Dog goes so far as to call Pit Bulls ‘gregarious fawners’ when raised properly. Also, Michael Vick received tons of scrutiny for his behavior with maltreatment of his Pit Bulls, and rightfully so. Rarely reported on however, is that now over a year after the dogs were taken from him, dogs that were conditioned to fight for most of their lives, mostly all of them are in new homes and great pets for those willing to take the responsibility seriously. Great job by SI.com on a couple of their follow up articles.

I read the Caesar Milan's (the Dog Whisperer) book before getting my puppy, and was very rigorous in my training of him from the day I brought him home. You can’t even wrestle with my dog, because he is so conditioned not to harm people, he just falls down and looks at you sadly waiting for you to stop. What I did do, was understand my dogs energy level and needs. He has become an amazing Frisbee player, and will do anything to play fetch until he passes out from exhaustion. This is a video of my 4 year old Pit Bull’s incredible leaping ability, a fun game for both of us, and a productive way to channel his attention and energy.

Owning a dog is a major responsibility, Pit Bull or not. Powerful breeds need special attention and care to make sure they behave properly, and become a wonderful family addition, and not a nuisance or catastrophe waiting to happen. I’ve known some really vicious Cocker Spaniels over the years yet most all the Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Chows, and Doberman Pinchers I’ve known have been wonderful and loving dogs. So let us start persecuting the real problem, bad dog owners, and raise awareness for those easily swayed by one experience or the media distortion of the breed. Ignorance and fear are unworthy qualities of people today, and someone has to speak for the well-behaved dogs against this breedist stereotype.

Article by: poeticartifacts

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