Why No One Should Own a Pitbull


Friday night I sat staring at those words on a friends Facebook page, “Why no one should own a pitbull”. Attached, as you might expect, was the link to an article about the tragic loss of a child killed by *one*. Then came the comments: I have 3 wonderful pitbulls who tolerate the shenanigans of my young children beautifully; That’s the biggest load of BS I’ve ever heard. You are clearly deluded to think they are safe. Pitbulls are bred to kill just as labs are bred to retrieve; No, its environment that shapes the animal. Give them love and they will; Pitbulls can be friendly right up until they snap.

Sigh

The friend, a dog trainer.

Double sigh.

I have come to expect the public to be woefully misinformed, to buy into the fear-laden stories pushed by media outlets, and to regurgitate snippets from headlines. In my mind, tolerance and intelligence are linked so I do not expect the same hate-filled rhetoric from persons of the animal professional world. They should know better. Shouldn’t they?

Are we not all entitled to our own opinions? Even when they are wrong?  Who are we to decide someone’s wrongness? So usually I do not react to these things unless I am specifically asked or actively engaged in the debate. My thoughts are mine. I want to lead by example: pitbull owners are not criminals and our dogs are not frothing at the mouth ready to draw blood at the first light of day. 

Friday night I reacted. I wanted to say something. I needed to. I’m not an expert, I don’t even play one on T.V. but I’ve researched some stuff, read reports, listened to people, and I’ve met dogs. I am informed and still learning. Here is what I know

Pit bulls were bred for fighting, not killing. They are so named for their use in the sport of bull-baiting. As a direct result of the enormity of their opponents (bulls) and their penchant for being trampled and maimed during fights they were bred for looks and size: muscular build, big head, strong jaw, in order to be better fighting companions. Even then a win was the dropping and pinning of a bull (still not killing). This practice was banned in the 1800s and they were then sent to fight dogs. When dogs were selected for breeding any dog that showed any sign of human aggression was immediately eliminated from the gene pool (read: killed). Saying that these dogs were bred to kill is inaccurate.  Dog-aggression and human-aggression are not related behavioral issues. A dog may show aggression to other dogs and never towards humans and vice versa. Or both. Or neither.

Contrary to public opinion, loyalty is the pit bulls most well-known attribute. One that is exploited by the owners of the dogs who engage in dog fighting. Owners build loving relationships with their dogs. They then use this bond to motivate their dogs to fight. If a dog begins to tire or weaken, his owner will change his position in order to be within sight of the dog to show his continued approval of continued fighting. These dogs have an incredible desire to please and will fight to the death if they see that this is what pleases the master. This incredible desire to please, makes the pit bull easy to train and a loving and wonderful companion.

If you are interested in facts beyond the media twaddle that can be easily parroted, read the dog-bite related fatalities reports from 2007-2010 prepared by the National Canine Research Council, a third-party organization. The NCRC painstakingly revisits and reinterviews all law enforcement agencies, officers and witnesses involved in each incident to fully investigate the circumstances of each dog-bite related fatality for that year. As the statistics show each year in more than 50% of the cases the dog were initially identified as a “pitbull” type dogs but after conferring with dog-breed experts, the breeds of the dogs were not able to be accurately identified. Also taken into consideration are the circumstances of the dogs’ socialization level, human interaction level, living situation (indoor/outdoor/tethered/caged). The NCRC’s 2007 and 2008 reports on media bias illustrates how the media selects which news stories to report and which ones are not interesting enough for the Nightly News.

And finally, for my own point of clarification…when you say “pitbull” do you mean specifically the American PitBull Terrier? Or do you mean also American Staffordshire Terriers? Staffordshire Terriers? Bull Terriers? Bulldogs? American Bulldogs, only? Also English and French? Is it a terrier thing? Do you then include Border Terriers? Cairn Terriers? Yorkshire Terriers? No. Of course not. Now I’m being silly. You mean, as stated *clearly* in BSL legislation: dogs with certain physical attributes. (Square heads, muscular builds). So you mean to also include Presa Canario, Cane Corso, Mastiffs: English, Italian, Argentinian. And then, any mix of any breed herein which would exhibit “certain physical attributes.” So please, tell me what type of dog should we own?

What I said, though, was:

“I respectfully disagree with breedism.”

I don’t know it all and I’m not a douche. I wonder, though, when is the right time to speak my mind in all it’s douchey glory?

Satan The Demon Silence

PS – This asshole is 1/3 the size of my girls and he terrifies the hell out of them and I’m not exactly a fan either.
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About Anonymous Burn

I'm just a girl who has a blog. But I'm kinda groovy, too.

9 thoughts on “Why No One Should Own a Pitbull

  1. Rayya says:

    I think you should always speak your mind. It is the only way to get the word out & educate people more about Pitbulls from your perspective! I am totally against breedist laws!

    • Yes. I agree. I think not standing up for what you believe in is just as bad. It just want it to always be as respectful as it can be. It’s not though. I lit into some old lady on Saturday and told her to go *eff* off. Not one of my prouder moments.

  2. Addie says:

    I am against breedism, too. It is also rampant in the Philippines. The discrimination against the native dogs are very unseemly. This post makes me sad. Sadder that the girls get bullied by Silence. I believe Silence would have been a better dog if he had a better trainer.

    • It genuinely shocks me that people don’t see how akin to rascism the issue is. I do not mean to trivialize the people who are forced to live with the wrong thought that they are something merely because of the color of their skin. But, to me, it’s just as not true as it is that these dogs are something merely because of the shape of their heads. Silence is a dick and his owner, lazy.

  3. Cara says:

    “I’m not a douche”–favorite line 🙂 Ignorance is amusing, is it not? People make assumptions for a group based off of 1 experience…something us humans are great at doing. I loved your comment though. Well said. xo

    • Ha! I’ve been saying that a lot. When I told Matt I was a veg he responded with “and things were going so well…” and my reply was simply, “I promise. I’m not a douche!”

      Thank goodness for my girls or I would despair at the world sometimes.

  4. wildcatnova says:

    The original post (on FB, not yours) made me so angry. I never thought I’d feel so strongly on behalf of a dog, but there it is. The ignorance is astounding and saddening.

  5. pennypup says:

    So sad. So very, very sad.

    Every “pitbull” I have met has been a genuinely nice dog. Some may have some behaviour problems that need to be worked on, but they are in no way “killers.”

    Here in Canada, there was a big news story recently about a newborn baby killed by one of the family’s 5 working huskies. Apparently the husky tried to mother the infant and ended up mortally wounding him.

    In 2010, not far from me, another infant of 2 weeks old was killed by a husky while in her carseat.

    If you check the fatal dog statitistics in Canada, almost half are represented as being sled dogs or huskies.

    Read more here: http://www.thedailyplanet.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8076:nearly-half-canine-related-human-deaths-from-dog-sled-breeds&catid=17:national&Itemid=263

    So, huskies and sled dogs kill the most people in Canada, yet “pitbulls” are the ones banned?

    Strange logic to me.

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