Speaking of Bulls….
As with most families we love dogs and have had several over the years.
My favorites have always been the ‘bully’ breeds which include:
English Bull Terriers
Bull Dogs (any and all)
American Pit Bull Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier
(just to name a few)
For the last ten years we had two English Bull Terriers and I can honestly tell you it was like living with a ten year tornado (everything you read about the English Bull Terrier is true!). Sadly we lost our male a few months ago to chronic kidney disease.
We now have a new member of the family and he is an American Staffordshire Terrier. He is absolutely adorable ( and VERY smart!).
I know there are some (ok, maybe ALOT!) of you out there who the minute you hear the word ‘pit bull’ a negative wall goes up with visions of vicious dogs attacking small children or maiming and killing livestock.
A dog is NOT born to attack or kill.
There is no inherent gene they posses which magically turns on making these dogs vicious.
Vicious ‘pit bulls’ are a people problem.
More to the point….
Uneducated people and gang-bang wanna-be’s have taken a perfectly good, loyal breed and ruined their reputation. (Years ago it was the German Shephard getting a bad rap…now it’s the ‘pit’).
Nothing pisses me off more than seeing a young (mid-teens – 20’s) male walking down the street with his pants down past his ass and a ‘pit’ (with a huge chain collar) straining at the end of the leash. It is obvious that this poor dog has had no socialization or training and is merely being used as a scare tactic with his ‘homies’.
Thanks to the home-boys above many cities are implementing BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) banning specific dogs….pit-type breeds being one of them.
Again, this is no fault of the dog and BSL WON’T work!
I could go on and on and on about this subject but I won’t.
Instead I have joined a few Meetup groups and will work with them to educate the public regarding the ‘pit’ breeds.
I could also say angry things about Michael Vick/Bad Newz Kennel but I won’t. I think you all feel the same way I do. I will say this….most of his ‘killer’ dogs have been rehabilitated to the point where they can live out the rest of their lives with loving familes in peace.
We are also in an ongoing process of professional obedience training and socialization which ALL dog owner should go through regardless of breed!
Here is just one of many wonderful websites I found with ‘pit bull’ information.
I will warn you now…
There are links at the bottom of the website, one of them being Sad Reality. Do NOT click on that link unless you are prepared to see abused ‘pits’. I did and had to quickly click off as I sit here crying.
Excerpts from the above site:
Old Time Pit Gallery
THE PITBULL TERRIER, poor fellow, is now almost obsolete, and what a shame! Will no one endeavour bring him back to his rightful own? Not to his former, much abused–pitifully abused–state, which was actually the cause of his downfall, but to the position of a true dog among dogs. Never was there a more noble, well -meaning, loyal, or courageous dog on the face of the earth. While perhaps some of the inferior types of this class were nothing much to look upon, yet those of the better specimens were really splendid-appearing animals and worthy of a place in any home or show ring. This terrier did not lose his reputation, and with it his popularity, because of any fault of his own.
Those who handled him, those who made him fight to maim and even kill other dogs, always at the grave risk of his own life, ultimately caused his decent down the grade rapidly toward oblivion. Left to himself, he was no more of a fighter than many of our other dogs which are held in the highest respect, and under the right supervision he was one of the most peaceful creatures living. Of course, it must be admitted that he could not really boast of blue blood, nor could he exactly claim a true-to-type strain, but, nevertheless, if other breeds could be carefully developed and raised to a standard recognized by the American Kennel Club, why could he not have enjoyed this honour? Surely, he well deserved it. So let us sincerely hope that some sympathetic person, or group of persons, may sooner or later take up his cause and carry it through until he has a fitting place in canine history.
John Lynn Leonard, DVM 1928
BSL (Breed Specific Legislation)
Banning Pit Bulls would be like banning cars because people get killed in car accidents! Who’s responsible, the car or the driver/manufacturer? Any car can be deadly in the wrong hands or if built with defective parts. Same thing with dogs… Any dog. Pit Bulls are no more responsible for the way they are bred, raised and trained, than cars are responsible for the way they are designed, built and driven.
Simply put, the best argument against breed bans is that they are costly and ineffective. Breed bans are often a knee-jerk reaction from politicians who want to say they are “doing something”, after a highly publicized dog attack (of any breed). This is a useless exercise.
Criminals habitually break laws, so having an “illegal breed” may indeed be attractive to them and might make them want to breed and sell more “illegal dogs”. If their dog is confiscated and killed, they really don’t care. They will just get another one because breed bans punish the dog, not the owner.
On the other hand, law abiding responsible owners, whose dogs love people and have never done anything wrong, can see their homes invaded, often without a search warrant, and their beloved family members dragged away (in front of their children) to be killed. Not because the dogs are unstable or mean, but simply because of their breed. Meanwhile, the owners of truly dangerous dogs (of any breed) escape punishment because their breed is not targeted by legislation and therefor is believed “safe”.
A 10 Lbs Pomeranian killed a baby a few years ago… Obviously a problem with that particular dog, not the breed. “The baby’s uncle left the infant and the dog on a bed while the uncle prepared her bottle in the kitchen. Upon his return, the dog was mauling the baby, who died shortly afterwards. (“Baby Girl Killed by Family Dog,” Los Angeles Times, Monday, October 9, 2000, Home Edition, Metro Section, Page B-5.)”
Because of a serious lack of regulation in dog breeding, too many dogs inherit defective genes and are sold to irresponsible owners. A breed ban will not resolve the problem. This nonsense will continue with the next macho breed and will become an endless race between breed specific legislators and unscrupulous breeders.
A Pit Bull breeder was shut down last year because Pit Bulls were banned in Topeka, Kansas. All his dogs were seized and destroyed, just for being the wrong breed at the wrong place. The man now breeds and sells African Boerboels, a rare breed from the Mastiff family, completely unknown to legislators. Unlike American Pit Bull Terriers, however, who are known for their love of people, Boerboels are serious guard dogs bred specifically as protectors. An irresponsibly bred and owned Boerboel might actually be more dangerous than an irresponsibly bred and owned Pit Bull. This is what a breed ban has accomplished in Topeka…
So in light of this, what kind of message are we telling abusive and irresponsible individuals when we make the dogs pay the price for their actions?
Here are some things to consider:
“Pit bull” is not a breed, but a “type” that encompasses several registered breeds and crossbreeds. Therefore, statistics that claim “Pit bulls” are responsible for some percentage of attacks are lumping many separate breeds together, then comparing that to other dogs that are counted as individual breeds.
Breed identification is left up to victim and witness testimony, and is often wrong. Due to negative press, biting dogs of almost ANY breed have been called “Pit bulls”. Try this little quiz for fun: Find the Pit Bull See how many people you know can pick out a pit bull from pictures, let alone in the middle of an attack.
Search the Center for Disease Control site. Even the CDC supports the position that irresponsible owners, not breed, are the chief cause of dog bites. They have done studies that indicate that the most “dangerous breed” of dog changes with popularity and reputation.
Search the American Temperament Test Society. Pit bulls have an average score that beats even the “ultimate family dog”, the Golden Retriever.
Positive pit bull press – This site shows not only what the breed is about, but the difference responsible ownership makes. Many of these pages are “Pit bull rescue makes good” stories. This site features, among other great stuff, rescue pits that are saving human lives in Search and Rescue and US Customs Service.
The Diane Whipple case. One of the first times the owner has been held responsible for the actions of their dog. Note that the breed involved was the Perro de Presa Canario (Canary Dog) from Spain, yet the brunt of the negative press again targeted the pit bull, an all but unrelated breed. Clearly the message is lets stop targeting the dogs! Pit Bulls are no more dangerous than any other strong and large dog. They just happen to attract more irresponsible and abusive owners than any other breed… Ironically, by portraying them in a negative way, the media and breed legislators only make them irresistibly attractive to individuals with bad intentions. Do Pit Bull haters really think that after banning the breed all the criminals who use these dogs as weapons will own Basset Hounds? And if they did, how long do you think it would take before Basset Hounds start making the news?
A breed ban will only remove Pit Bulls from the good people’s homes and leave them in the hands of animal abusers who couldn’t care less about the law… Better think twice before supporting such measure…
And lastly I will leave you with this little test.
People tend to mislabel a dog as a ‘pit’ when in fact they are not.
See if you can pick out the ‘pit’ in this test:
FIND THE PITBULL