I was searching for my daily dose of online news when I stumbled upon this short port in the Dallas Morning News Opinion Blog, the title of which reads, “The Pit Bull Scourge”. With a title like that I figured this poster must have some solid facts and/or evidence to back up his position as to why Pit Bulls should be considered a scourge to society. I already had my arsenal of facts and myth fighting words ready as I opened up the page, and I was ready to start a war of words with an undoubtedly ignorant Texan that assumes all Pit Bulls are inherently evil creatures. I must say I was very dismayed when I actually opened to the post, turns out it was pointless amalgamation of sentences that could have been transcribed by a 5th grader .
Here is the post by Tod Robberson on the Dallas Morning News Opinion Blog:
“I don’t want to say I told you so, but I told you so. I’ve called for the City of Dallas to consider an automatic “dangerous dog” designation for pit bulls. Maybe we should consider banning them altogether. They attack kids, they maim people, they ruin your day.”
Then I got to the heart of the matter, turns out that the guy who wrote this post was bitten by a neighbor’s loose Pit Bull. All of his stereotypes and the way he may have acted during the time of the incident aside, this is where the problem lies.
I can spend all of my days posting on forums and combating negative remarks about these wonderful dogs, but until people start acting responsibly about Pit Bull ownership, I am just going to be treading water. Irresponsible Pitbull owners that allow their dogs to roam the neighborhood unleashed, permit them to run wildly and engage in rough play at dog parks, do not get their dogs spayed or neutered, do not properly socialize their dogs, never engage in any sort of training with their dog, and refuse to acknowledge and address issues related to dog aggression and/or a strong prey drive, which many Pits have, are sealing the fate of these dogs.
Pit Bulls are a wonderfully loyal breed and make excellent family pets, but they are very different from the Goldens and Jack Russells of the dog world. These dogs crave human companionship and training, and thusly need to be placed in a home with a dedicated, experienced owner that is willing to be firm and setting limitations and establishing good behaviors. Nothing makes a Pit Bull happier than knowing they have done something to make their owner happy, which is why it is important for owners to understand and embrace their intelligence. These are not the kind of dogs that do well tied up outside to a tree, away from people, and such abusive and neglectful treatment is what creates many of the aggressive Pit Bulls that are featured in the horror stories and nightly news tales.
There is no mistaking that some of these dogs have ended up in the wrong hands. There are people out there that will use a Pit Bull’s natural loving and loyal nature to create a vicious, aggressive and dangerous animal, but these are not the everyday pet Pit Bulls. Most Pits are owned by wonderful people and families that consider these dogs to be an integral part of their family. They did not get these dogs because they wanted to up their toughness quotient or for protection from rival gangs, they own these dogs because of the genuine love and happiness they bring to their lives.
To all of the bully breed owners out there, be aware of your actions involving your dog and the implications they may have on the breed as a whole. While you may know your American Bulldog would never hurt a fly, your elderly neighbors probably spend most of their time in front of the TV believing everything the media tells them about dogs that look like Pit Bulls, and they are terrified when you let Meatball out to go to the bathroom without a leash. Education and changing people’s perceptions needs to happen at a grassroots level. We, as owners, need to get out there, with our well-behaved dogs and show people why all of the hype, hysteria and negative publicity is unjustified.