"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, September 29, 2010

Pit Bull Hoax


Top 5 Myths about Pit Bulls

Myth No. 1:
All pit bulls and other so-called “bully breeds” are aggressive.

Fact: Many people wrongly believe that pit bulls are aggressive toward people. Pit bulls were originally developed for fighting with other dogs—not people. In fact, there’s some evidence that pit bulls are actually less aggressive toward people than many other breeds. In tests conducted by the American Temperament Test Society, pit bulls had a passing rate of 82% or better -- compared to only 77% of the general dog population. Problems for the pit bull arose when these dogs gained the attention of people looking for a “macho” dog to meet their demands. Like any other breed of dog, pit bulls are shaped by their environment and, if not provided proper socialization and training, can be encouraged to show aggressiveness toward people. Pit bulls that exhibit aggressive behavior toward humans are not typical of the breed type.

Beyond a dog’s breed, factors that affect a dog’s tendency toward aggression include reproductive status, sex, early experience and socialization/training. According to the Centers for Disease Control, these concerns are well-founded, given that:

  • More than 70 percent of all dog bite cases involve unneutered male dogs.
  • An unneutered male dog is 2.6 times more likely to bite than is a neutered dog.
  • A chained or tethered dog is 2.8 times more likely to bite than a dog not chained or tethered.
  • 97 percent of dogs involved in fatal attacks on people in 2006 (the most recent year statistics are available) were not spayed/neutered.

Myth No. 2:
The term “bully breeds” indicates these dogs are inherently mean.

Fact: There are several breeds of dogs often referred to as bully breeds, including pit bulls, bulldogs, mastiffs, Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, Boxers and Bull terriers. The term does not refer to their behavior. It means they have bulldog origins and are descendants of the original English baiting dogs that were bred to grip and hold bulls, bears and other large animals. Modern dog-fighting can be traced to 1835, when bull-baiting was banned in England. After the ban, the owners of bulldogs turned to staging fights between their dogs, and the large, heavy bulldogs were bred with small, quick terriers to produce the dogs that became the fountainhead of today's prominent fighting breeds.

Myth No. 3:
Pit bulls will attack without warning.

Fact: No dog, including a pit bull, is likely to transform from a docile, gentle companion to a ferocious beast without warning. There are always warning signs that the dog is aroused, upset or afraid in a particular situation. Perhaps the dog has had little exposure to children and is wary whenever he sees a child. Perhaps the dog spends his days tethered in the backyard, barking at people walking past the property. The dog’s pent-up frustration could result in an aggressive reaction, should a stranger wander into the yard and approach the dog. The issue is not that pit bulls attack without warning; it’s that often people don’t recognize or pay attention to the early warning signs. Check out the ASPCA’s Virtual Pet Behaviorist for useful information in understanding canine body language.

Myth No. 4:
It’s not safe to adopt a pit bull from a shelter because its past is unknown.

Fact: Although it’s always helpful to know the health and behavior history of a dog and its parents, there are wonderful dogs waiting to be adopted from shelters. And, often times, a shelter dog’s past is a mystery. Responsible shelters or rescue groups assess the dogs in their care so that they can avoid adopting out dogs with aggressive tendencies. And it’s the adopter’s responsibility to ask questions. Talk with the staff to learn if the dog has exhibited any undesirable behaviors. Adult dogs are open books -- from the start, you’ll know things like their full-grown size, personality, likes and dislikes, and grooming needs. Having a dog since puppyhood does not guarantee that it will have all of the qualities you desire when it grows up. The ASPCA encourages potential adopters of a pit bull or any dog to bring the whole family, including their current dogs, to meet the new dog.

Myth No. 5:
Banning pit bulls will help reduce dog bites and fatal attacks.

Fact: There is no evidence that breed-specific laws -- which are costly and difficult to enforce -- make communities safer for people or companion animals. Breed-specific legislation carries a host of negative and wholly unintended consequences. For example, irresponsible owners forgo licensing, micro-chipping and proper vet care -- all of which have implications for public safety and the health. Instead, friendly, properly supervised and well-socialized "bully dogs" and their owners are punished. Such laws also impart a false sense of security, because limited animal control resources are channeled into enforcing the ban rather than focusing on enforcement of non-breed-specific laws that have the best chance of making our communities safer, such as dog licensing, leash laws, animal fighting laws, and anti-tethering laws. Recognizing that the problem of dangerous dogs requires serious attention, the ASPCA seeks effective enforcement of breed-neutral laws that hold dog owners accountable for the actions of their animals. Click here for more information on pit bulls and their behavior.

Read more about the rehabilitation of Michael Vick's dogs...

By Pam Reid
Editor's note: Jim Gorant's story about the rehabilitation of Michael Vick's dogs in the Aug. 15 issue of PARADE prompted an online debate about the nature of pit bulls. Parade.com invited the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to address the most common perceptions -- and misperceptions -- about the breed.

Pam Reid, Ph.D., CAAB, is the Vice President of the ASPCA's Animal Behavior Center.

Article from: http://www.parade.com/news/2010/09/03-pit-bull-myths.html

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pit Bulls: It's Not All in How They're Raised

Nothing has brought the debate of Nature vs. Nurture to the mainstream quite like pit bulls have. People who say, "it's all in how you raise them," are well-intentioned, wanting to help these dogs overcome an undeserved bad rap, and I appreciate that. But they're wrong.

If you're standing firm on the Nurture side of the debate, riddle me this: If it's all in how they're raised, how is it that dogs who have spent their lives with dog fighters are now living happily as family dogs, in multiple-pet households, and as therapy dogs? How is it that one of my own pit bulls, rescued as a senior dog from an abusive hoarder, went on to be a breed ambassador at public events, even helping girl scouts earn their pet care badge? These pit bulls weren't raised according to the recipe for a good dog.

Here's where people get it backwards: It doesn't take a good person to raise a good pit bull; it takes a very, very bad person to raise a bad pit bull.

Which brings us to the Nature side of the equation. Year after year, standardized temperament tests show that the breeds commonly considered "pit bulls" score above average compared to all other breeds. And anyone who claims "pit bulls bite more than any other breed," apparently knows something the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn't. The CDC states: "There is currently no accurate way to identify the number of dogs of a particular breed, and consequently no measure to determine which breeds are more likely to bite or kill."

There is no scientific evidence proving that pit bull type dogs are more "dangerous" than any other dog. (Newsflash for anyone getting their information from the media: The media reports what it wants, how it wants. What sells papers isn't an accurate reflection of reality.)

People often point to the dog fighting heritage as proof that pit bulls are "aggressive." This is one area where Nature and Nurture agree: willingness to fight other dogs has nothing to do with attitudes toward humans. It's also illogical — dogs bred to be champion fighters were among the most gentle toward humans; bites weren't tolerated. Dog fighters want to hurt their animals, not themselves.

Does this mean Nature wins? Not really. As with any breed, seriously abused animals may bite back. On the flipside, compassion and rehabilitation can go a long way toward rebuilding trust.

That's true for every animal (including humans). Pit bulls are canis familiaris, just like any other dog, and they should be judged on their behavior, just like any other dog, regardless of what they look like or what they've been through.

Bottom line: All dogs are individuals.

Does this mean everyone should run out and adopt a pit bull? Of course not. There's no one type of dog that's the perfect match for every person and every lifestyle.

Pit bull type dogs are strong and full of personality. Some are energetic and tenacious (though mine are mostly driven to get a good spot on the couch), most are intelligent, and almost all are loyal ... almost to a fault, which is why they're such easy targets for dog fighters and other abusers. Some pit bulls don't like other dogs. But, others, like my own, love their canine housemates. (Meanwhile, my parents' purebred standard poodle has been dog-aggressive since she was 12 weeks old).

Perhaps most importantly, pit bull people have a responsibility to be good breed ambassadors, the best dog owners out there, to avoid feeding media trolls and misconceptions.

So, if you're up to the challenge of defying discrimination and bringing a goofy, loving dog into your home, there are a lot of pit bulls out there who need you.

Like Sophie, a petite, sensitive pit bull rescued last summer in the largest dog fight bust in U.S. history. Her foster mom has had the joy of watching her rediscover life and love, describing her as a "natural born clown." To learn more about Sophie, or search for adopt-a-bull dogs in your area, visit Pit Bull Rescue Central.

by Stephanie Feldstein
Photo credit: Amanda Clase

Article from:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pit Bulls and Chocolate

                              Sarah Gross’s rescued pit bull Mocha inspired her to market
                              vegan chocolates benefitting animal-rescue groups.

Gross loves her Mocha. And we don’t just mean chocolate — although she loves that, too. Mocha is the name of Gross’s 2½-year-old pit bull, a rescue dog who went from the streets of The Bronx to appearing on the label of a chocolate bar called Peanut Butter Pit Bull.

Funnily enough, the small pit bull with the cropped ears already had the name when Gross adopted her through New Hope, the rescue arm of the Animal Care & Control of New York City, but it was pitch-perfect for the pet of a self-confessed chocoholic.

“I was smitten,” says Gross of the time she first saw Mocha’s photo on a friend’s Facebook page. “Her eyes stuck with me.” The feeling only intensified when she arranged to meet the young dog near Central Park. “She was just all love. I couldn’t resist.”

Sarah Gross’s rescued pit bull Mocha inspired her to market vegan chocolates benefitting animal-rescue groups.

She adopted the dog soon after, and as Mocha settled into her new life in Park Slope, Gross, 25, set about exploring her other irresistible passion: chocolate.

She had always had a sweet tooth, but a couple of years ago, when she moved to New York, she actually found herself living the Willy Wonka dream with a part-time job in a chocolate factory. While working for Gnosis Chocolate, an organic, vegan and kosher line of sweets based in Queens, she helped create a best-selling flavor. After hours, she roamed New York looking for even more vegan-friendly options.

“I thought, ‘I’m going to try every vegan chocolate I can find,’” says Gross, who sampled Russian chocolate in Brighton Beach and Polish chocolate in Greenpoint.

The plans for her own chocolate line would never have come to life, though, if it weren’t for Mocha. One cold morning last December, Gross had a piece of dark chocolate for breakfast and then headed out to walk her pooch. With the sugar surging through her system, it hit her: Why not combine her two loves by starting her own line of vegan chocolates and donating the profits to rescue groups, like the one that had brought Mocha into her life?

Through her choc-world connections, Gross found a factory in Red Hook to make chocolate to her specifications, and in January she launched Rescue Chocolate (rescuechocolate.com). The all-vegan line offers chocolates in five flavors, including “Peanut Butter Pit Bull” (with crispy peanut butter) and “Foster-iffic Peppermint” (with crunchy cacao nibs) at $5 a pop. Each month, Gross donates Rescue Chocolate’s net profits to a different animal-rescue organization around the country.

Aside from appearing on the labels, Mocha’s job is to help promote her oft-maligned breed. “Pit bulls do take some understanding because they are strong,” admits Gross. “But if you train them and treat them well, they won’t be aggressive. [Mocha] is also a big snuggle-bug. My bed has become her throne.”

But even when she’s napping the afternoon away, Gross says, Mocha’s influence is always at work: “She’s my best friend, but also my ambassador. I want her to show people that pit bulls are really sweet.”

That and the chocolate, too!



Article from:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Weela, the Pit Bull Lifesaver

Weela, Ken-L Ration's Dog Hero of the Year (1993)

This story is from the Ultimate American Pit Bull Terrier by Jacqueline O'Neil. There's also an excellent story about Weela in Jillian Cline's new book The American Pit Bull Terrier Speaks...Good Dog!. Weela was also featured in the October, 1996 Outside magazine as an example of the kind of dog one would like to have in a life-threatening situation.

Gary Watkins, eleven years old, was absorbed in chasing lizards when Weela, the family Pit Bull, plowed into him with a body slam that sent him sprawling. Gary's mother, Lori, saw the whole incident and remembers being surprised at first, because Weela always played kindly with children. But her surprise quickly turned to horror when she saw a rattlesnake sink its fangs into Weela's face. Somehow Weela had sensed the snake's presence from across the yard and rushed to push Gary out of striking range.

Luckily for thirty people, twenty-nine dogs, thirteen horses and a cat, Weela recovered from the snake's venom. Luckily, because that's how many lives she saved a few years later. For her heroism, Weela was named Ken-L Ration's Dog Hero of the Year in 1993. The press release read in part:

In January 1993, heavy rains caused a dam to break miles upstream on the Tijuana River, normally a narrow, three-foot wide river. Weela's rescue efforts began at a ranch that belonged to a friend of her owners, Lori and Daniel Watkins. Weela and the Watkinses worked for six hours battling heavy rains, strong currents and floating debris to reach the ranch and rescue their friend's twelve dogs.

From that experience, the Watkinses recognized Weela's extraordinary ability to sense quicksand, dangerous drop-offs and mud bogs. "She was constantly willing to put herself in dangerous situations," says Lori Watkins. "She always took the lead except to circle back if someone needed help."

Periodically, over a month's time, sixty-five pound Weela crossed the flooded river to bring food to seventeen dogs and puppies and one cat, all stranded on an island. Each trip she pulled thirty to fifty pounds of dog food that had been loaded into a harnessed backpack. The animals were finally evacuated on Valentine's Day.

On another occasion, Weela led a rescue team to thirteen horses stranded on a large manure pile completely surrounded by floodwaters. The rescue team successfully brought the horses to safe ground.

Finally, during one of Weela's trips back from delivering food to stranded animals, she came upon a group of thirty people who were attempting to cross the floodwaters. Weela, by barking and running back and forth, refused to allow them to cross at that point where the waters ran deep and fast. She then led the group to a shallower crossing upstream, where they safely crossed to the other side.

Strong, gentle intelligent and brave, Weela,CGC,TT, is the ultimate American Pit Bull terrier, epitomizing the best that the breed has to offer. But her story also highlights an important yet often misunderstood fact about the breed. The Pit Bull is a dog that loves to please its owner and tries to become whatever kind of dog its owner desires. Weela has had two owners.

The first owner dumped her in an alley to die when she was less than four weeks old. Her present owner, Lori Watkins, found five starving Pit Bull puppies whimpering in an alley, took them home and raised them. later, the Watkins family placed four of the puppies in loving homes and kept the little female they named Weela. They believed Weela was special, and she proved them right. Most Pit Bull puppies grow up to become a reflection of both their owners' personality and the care and training they receive. One can only imagine what a different dog Weela would have become if her original owner had raised her, and she had done her best to please him.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

ADOPT a Shelter Dog!

Why NOT to breed pit bulls:

Did you know that "Pit Bulls" are currently the number one bred dog in the United States? Ironically, they are also one of the hardest breeds to find homes. It is estimated that there is a current average of 3 million "Pit Bulls" living in the United States and only 1 in 600 will successfully find a "forever" home. Sadly, for every 1 "Pit Bull" placed in a loving home there are 599 killed. Shockingly, that statistic unfortunately does not exclude puppies!

Roughly 200 "Pit Bulls" are killed each day in Los Angeles alone because there are not enough homes for the ever-growing population of unwanted dogs in that area. This is a frustrating problem due to over-breeding either intentionally or accidentally. Either way you look at it, it comes down to irresponsible actions by irresponsible and or greedy humans. Many people may not realize that any dog not spayed or neutered is a potential contributor to this terrible problem. The average fertile dog can produce 2 litters in one year. The average number of puppies in a canine litter is 6-10. In six years, one female dog and her offspring can theoretically produce 67,000 dogs..many or most of which will end up dead.

There are between 4,000 and 6,000 animal shelters in the United States. The number of cats and dogs entering those shelters each year is roughly 6-8 million! However, only 30% of the dogs and 2%-5% of the cats are actually reclaimed by their owners. This means the total number of cats and dogs euthanized by shelters annually is 3-4 million! It is estimated that 1 million of those dogs are "Pit Bulls".

Shelters in large cities across the U.S. typically find themselves with a "Pit Bull" population of anywhere from 40% to 60% of the total shelter population and a national average of 33%. Many shelters needing more space will opt to euthanize "Pit Bulls" before any other type of dog due to this overwhelming number. 75% of shelters nationwide will euthanize all "Pit Bulls" entering the facility without ever giving them a chance to be adopted…some more lenient organizations may give the dogs a mere 24 hour grace period before administering the lethal injection. A study done by Animal People reports that the "Pit Bull" euthanasia rate in shelters is at approximately 93% on average which means that ultimately only 7% of all homeless "Pit Bulls" in America will find a "forever" home.

Surely you can see how over-breeding has negatively affected the lives of so many dogs. It is a fact that "Pit Bull" breeders are directly responsible for a significant percentage of the estimated 1 million "Pit Bulls" killed by euthanasia each year nationwide. Now I ask, why breed or buy while so many homeless dogs die?

The "Pit Bull" breeding trend will continue to impact this growing issue of overpopulation in America as long as Americans continue to buy "Pit Bulls". Start making a difference by adopting a "Pit Bull" at your local shelter or visit any one of the websites listed below to view thousands of wonderful, perfectly healthy dogs nationwide waiting to be adopted by a loving family. You can save a life and change these statistics one dog at a time!

Petfinder.com  AdoptAPet.com PBRC.net

Information from:

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Therapy Dog Survives Fighting Ring, but Blood Sport Remains Active

The story of Daisy Mae the pit bull is like that of any other survivor-she suffered pain, got back on her feet, and is now living a sweeter, more meaningful life because of her experience.

Daisy Mae, formerly part of a dogfighting operation, is now a therapy dog in Santa Barbara making weekly rounds at Cottage Hospital’s pediatric ward and Villa Riviera retirement home. Gentle and affectionate, the three-year-old cuddles with the elderly and frail, and even allows small children to hold her tight when they are undergoing painful medical procedures.

Her miracle of rehabilitation mirrors that of the dogs rescued from the Michael Vick fight farm, where only one dog had to be euthanized for being vicious. Of the remaining 47 Vick canines, most have been placed in homes, many with children, other dogs, and cats.

While Daisy Mae and the rehabilitated Vick dogs are changing hearts and minds about the American pit bull terrier, dogfighting continues to be a dark and bloody reality in the United States. According to the national Humane Society, 99.9 percent of fighting dogs are pit bulls. And unlike the Vick case where the football player paid rehab costs, most dogs rescued from fight rings are put down because there are no resources to rescue, evaluate, retrain, and relocate the animals.

A Sack of Potatoes
Daisy Mae’s life these days is a stark contrast to her puppyhood. Found on the streets of Oakland, California, in 2006, she was believed to have served as a “bait” dog in a pit bull fighting operation. Dogs without fighting instincts are used to bring out dominance in other dogs.

The brown and white dog was starved and emaciated at 37 pounds. Not much else is known about Daisy Mae, according to her owner Alison Hansen, 32, a Santa Barbara wedding planning professional. Hansen found her in a shelter affiliated with the BAD RAP organization, or Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pitbulls (badrap.org). The dog was extremely withdrawn and frightened, cowering against the wall.
 Daisy Mae with her owner Alison Hansen.

“Something came over me. I vowed, ‘She can never have a bad day again,’” said Hansen, who admits to originally wanting an athletic dog that she could exercise with. “I had wanted a [Labrador] experience, but what I got was a little sack of potatoes.”

Daisy Mae’s rehabilitation was intense but amazingly quick. She hadn’t been taken for walks or exposed to the world outside of her pen, apparently. Whenever facing a new experience-a flight of stairs, the sound of a car horn, bicycles, cats-she would freeze up, or lie flat on the ground, or pee on herself.

Hansen patiently worked with the dog, who eagerly took to training as she wanted to please her new mistress. Within four months, Daisy Mae had mastered all the obedience commands (sit, stay, down), earned a Canine Good Citizen certificate from the American Kennel Club, and even passed the rigorous testing developed by Therapy Dogs International to become a working volunteer canine.

Two of the Vick dogs are therapy dogs now, too. One is Hector, who’s getting national attention for his accomplishment, as he’s covered with ugly scars from fighting. Hansen believes Hector and Daisy Mae should stand as proof that bad owners are the problem, not bad dogs. So moved by her dog’s transformation, Hansen has joined the campaign against breed-specific legislation. It’s not fair for cities, counties, or states to outlaw all pit bulls, she said.

“These laws are punishing the wrong end of the leash,” Hansen said, adding that many pit bull owners don’t know they shouldn’t drive through Denver, Colorado, with their pet. The breed, even under the care of nonresident travelers, is subject to being euthanized. Closer to home, Hansen has to deal with random breed prejudice. She tells the story of bringing Daisy Mae to a kickball game. Although the dog was dressed in a silly Pocahontas dog-costume, a frightened woman with a small dog yelled at her, “Keep your fucking dog away from my dog.”

Pit Bull Watch
Humane Society officials are wary of all the publicity generated by the Michael Vick pit bull matter. Yes, many of the dogs were turned around to live happy, normal lives, but the effort cost a lot of money. Most pit bulls taken from a fighting situation end up getting the needle.

“You don’t hear so much about the abused and neglected dogs that get euthanized,” said Adam Goldfarb, a pit bull expert with the Humane Society of the United States. “Not all dogs are able to recover from traumatic circumstances.”

Dogfighting is a felony in all 50 states, and Goldfarb’s organization is active in increasing the penalties for spectators at fighting events and for ownership of fighting dogs. The Humane Society offers a $5,000 reward for information leading to a conviction of a dogfighter. Most busts come from anonymous tips because the industry operates underground.

Some events are huge and charge admission. Large amounts of money are being wagered, said Goldfarb. Additionally, other illicit activities-drug use, weapons exchange-are part of the scenario.

Goldfarb is not convinced that a true fighting dog can be rehabilitated. He described a dangerous combination-a dog that wants to kill, and also exhibits the “gameness” that unscrupulous breeders admire. Gameness is a trait by which a dog will continue fighting even though she is injured and exhausted. “You can’t place a dog like that in a community.”

On the bright side, those traits are completely artificial. It’s not beneficial to the species (or the pack) to have individuals trying to kill each other. So without the influence of bloodthirsty human breeders, those traits disappear. The average pet pit bull, or shelter pit bull, doesn’t have deadly instincts.

No one knows that better than Jan Glick, head of Santa Barbara County’s Animal Services department. Her three shelters (sbcphd.org/as) are full of pit bulls, and she is quick to point out that shelter dogs are screened for aggression against cats or other dogs, extreme prey drive (going after small wildlife), and for compatibility with small children.

Pit bulls were bred to be aggressive against other dogs, not people, she said. Still, the public has a fear of the breed, and it’s a stigma that is unwarranted in many cases. Glick also reports that there have been no dogfighting busts in Santa Barbara County, though she believes some fighting activity does takes place. (There are more incidents of cockfighting; sheriff’s authorities raided an 800-chicken ranch two weeks ago.)

Glick was glad to hear about Daisy Mae’s success. “Every dog is an individual and needs to be evaluated that way,” she said. “I encourage people not to think in a breed-specific way.”

By Cathy Murillo
Photos by Paul Wellman

Article from: http://www.independent.com/news/2009/mar/26/sb-therapy-dog-survives-fighting-ring-blood-sport-/

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Interview With A Pit Bull Rescuer

Catherine Hedges is the founder of “Don’t Bully My Breed”, a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing Pit Bulls. She has dedicated her life to saving animals, first as a volunteer at a no-kill cat shelter and later as a supervisor at a no kill all breed shelter specializing in Pit Bull adoptions. She founded Don’t Bully My Breed Rescue after saving animals during Hurricane Katrina.

How long have you been working in Pit Bull rescue?
Ten and a half years.

How did you decide that the Pit Bull was the breed for you?
I’ve always wanted to help the "underdog" and they are a super personable, highly friendly, affectionate and misunderstood breed.

Could you tell us a little bit about the life stages of Pit Bulls?
This breed is a mixture of other breeds to a degree with a complicated genealogy. This is why breed bans are largely ineffective because most bans can be appealed by requiring a DNA test on any dog and then a mixture of breeds will show up. In Illinois we have an anti-breed specific law, called the Ryan Armstrong law, which judges dogs individually on behavior, not by their breed. IL is one of the best states to live in if you have a pittie :)

Can you tell us a bit about the history of Pit Bulls?
Sadly enough, they were originally used for bull baiting and then, and still, for dog fighting. They have typical terrier traits of tenacity and quite often can be reactive with other dogs. While dog issues are sometimes part of their genetics, people issues are not. Human aggression has been bred out of the breed, as dogfighters want a dog they can pull out of a dogfight without getting bitten. This gives them a very high temperament test rating when tested (see atts.org) and makes them a very child-friendly breed, hence why they are known as “the nanny dog” in England. Any human aggression is unacceptable in the breed and these dogs should not be placed. They also are not typically a guard dog breed, as they are bred to be friendly towards strangers.

Describe an average day living with your breed
Hahahahaahaha! Exactly that; lots of laughing and silliness! They are very eager to please and excel at learning, loving, and snuggling. Some are couch potatoes, while others are super energetic and agile and love a "job" to do like agility or weight pulling.

Choose a few words that best describe Pit Bills:
Loyal, affectionate, form very strong bonds, and love to please

What are 3 common misconceptions about Pit Bulls?
1. They have locking jaws - these dogs are physiologically the same as every other breed and none have jaws that lock.

2.That they are more aggressive than other breeds: Two things can contribute to aggression: not neutering (un-neutered dogs are 2.5 times more likely to bite) and improper socialization (the dog being kept in yard or basement) which is why anti-tethering laws are the best ways to cut down on aggression in dogs, not breed bans.

3. They are aggressive towards people: People believe pits are a human-aggressive breed that make good guard dogs. Since they have been used for dog fighting in the past, human aggression has been bred out of them by dogfighters who want a dog that wont "turn on them" when they move to physically separate the dogs in the middle of a dogfight. Dogfighters who will, often, just shoot them have culled pits showing human aggression. They have also been culled by responsible pit bull rescues that will not place them and choose to humanely euthanize them. Human aggression is not tolerated in the breed. It is a testimony to these dogs, that with the millions of them out there, being neglected and abused, we so very rarely here of a pit bull biting someone. Unfortunately, when one does bite, there is an unrivaled media frenzy, which is often not seen with other breeds. Often the media also misidentifies the breed in an effort to gain headlines, and only later we learn it wasn't a pit bull or pit bull type dog at all.

What are 3 little known facts about Pit Bulls?
1. Petey of the Little Rascals was a pit bull as was Helen Keller's dog.

2. Pit bull owners are VERY loyal to their breed :)

3. They are a wonderful, child-friendly breed, contrary to how the media portrays them. They were the number 1 family dog in the first half of the 1900's.

What should people who are interested in owning Pit Bulls know before they bring one of these dogs into their home?
One important thing to keep in mind is this breed generally does best as the only dog or with one other dog of the opposite sex.

What are the major reasons Pit Bulls end up in rescues?
* Over breeding.

* Dog fighting busts

* Same poor excuses as other breeds: moving, getting married, etc.

Do you have any tips on how people can go about locating a rescued Pit Bull?
Any of the following websites will help:





How should potential owners screen rescue dogs and what should they be on the look out for?
A sound bully will be great with people and children. Never adopt a dog that has shown aggression towards humans. If you’re looking for a dog to go to the dog park or to attend doggie daycare, this is not the breed for you, as they are terriers and do best in low stimuli non-multiple animal situations.

What should they be prepared for in the adoption process?
An adoption process is usually very strict if you’re going through a reputable rescue.

Check out the Code of Ethics for pit adoption at the bottom of our homepage, (link to http://www.dontbullymybreed.org/) We do reference checks, vet checks, phone interviews, and home visits.

Do you participate in any activities with your dogs (agility, obedience, earthdog, etc)? (If you don’t personally, would you recommend Pit Bulls for any particular dog-sport or activity?)
They excel in all of these activities, as they are such an eager to please breed. This is why dogfighters choose pit bulls, as they will suffer for their owners in an effort to please them.

Is there anything else you'd like to tell the readers of the Dog Guide about your breed?
Pictures say it all. Check out the Happy Tails pages of our site for hundreds of pitties in loving homes!

Thanks to Catherine and Don't Bully My Breed for letting us use their wonderful photos of Pitbulls.

Article from http://www.dogguide.net/pit-bull-rescuer.php