Pit bull Debate
As some of you know, I have an adorable little pitbull named Lola. She is extremely sweet and playful and has no aggression toward people or other dogs. Basically, we've had her since she was tiny and she's been spoiled and coddled ever since lol.
Despite her regular visits to the dog park down the street, she is still a pitbull. We still face prejudice everyday. People with small dogs grab them up and glare when she comes over to sniff around and say hello. She's never bitten or been rough with a little dog, but they don't know that, and so I just let that one ride. I tell them that she is still under a year and is only trying to say hello.
Well, I wanted to see what other dog-lovers have to say.
I found a site that brings up a ton of really good pit bull facts. I love that they show the tiny percentage of pitbulls that have fatally attacked people. Much lower percentage than other breeds. Although I don't believe this exonerates pits in any way, I do want to know what you guys think about it.
What do you think about breed legislation?
What have been your experiences with pitbulls? Sweethearts? Vicious? How were the owners?
I am opposed to breed specific legislation. It is the owners, not the dogs, we need to worry about!
As I have small dogs, I always give pitties a wide berth. Also Mastiffs. And other dogs with those square powerful jaws. I have no way of knowing if the owner is responsible or not. And as I am always out with 4, if just ONE of mine decides to start something, we are all in big trouble. :rolleyes:
Two of my dogs react to dogs with dark faces, so I always have to move away from those as well - pitties, black labs, Aussies, border collies, GSDs, even pugs if they have the more traditional black around the eyes.
If I am out at the Farm with my dogs off leash and a large dog of any breed is about and I don't recognize it, I call my 4 back to me. The 4 of them charging up to an unknown dog can be overwhelming! And I've seen a few feel threatened and raised the hair along the back (these were not pitties and not even dogs with dark faces). I especially have to leash Lacey; her way of greeting ANY dog is to charge up to them snarling and air snap at the nose. Assuming the dog just stands there -- and oh I am so amazed how many do! -- she then goes about her business sniffing the field, doesn't even bother with a butt sniff to the other dog. She has made her point (in her mind): I am LACEY, don't mess with me! If she only knew, lol.
So, me leashing up my dogs is as much about me knowing MY dogs as it is me not knowing yours.
I agree with Freedom. It's not the dog, but the owners.
I was walking my dog through a fairly busy park and didn't notice a dark colored pit sitting in the shadows. I don't judge dogs because of their breed so I just walked on as usual. The dog lunged at my dog barking and going crazy. The owner wasn't even holding the leash, it was wrapped around a branch/bush. I had to pull my dog away and avoid falling in the pond at the same time.
I glared at the man and said "THANK YOU!" in the most sarcastic way. He just sat there and didn't move a muscle. He barely turned his head to look at me. He didn't even flinch when his dog went after my dog.
After I walked a few steps away I turned around to him and said "I'm not mad at the dog, it's not the dog's fault". But he was an idiot and couldn't have cared less. I was sooo mad! I felt so sorry for that dog. :(
It's those people that have given pits a bad rap. One of my closest friend isn't even afraid to express her dislike of pits. She is a dog lover, but does NOT like pits. It's very sad. :(
Anyway, I do not agree with breed restrictions. I know some Chihuahua's that are more agressive than some big dogs. And I'm sure there have been more bites by Chihuahua's but they do not make the news because they don't cause as much visible damage. Whatever..... :rolleyes:
I am a kitty person who was raised around dogs. I have to admit to two breeds to which, as Freedom said, I give a wide berth; Dobermans and Pit Bulls. I can't help it. Also, I live in the greater Baltimore area - this is a breeding ground for irresponsible dog owners who use those breeds for things other than to be family members. I shudder to think what some of them go through.
That being said, I have had close contact with several Pit Bulls with no trouble at all. My husband and I went into a small wine tasting room in New Hampshire last winter. I opened the door and greeting me by jumping up on me were two good sized Pitties. They were as sweet as could be. The owner apologized immediately and put them back behind the bar; she didn't think anyone else was coming in that afternoon. I didn't have any trouble with them, I gave them both attention and they were fine. I have also attended events for the local SPCA where dogs are invited, as well as some dogs from the shelter being available for adoption. As I said, this area is rife with Pit Bulls, so there are many for adoption. There has never been an issue there either.
I don't agree with breed restrictions; I do think you need to have common sense when confronted with any animal.
I am also a Pit Bull owner to a crazy dopey lovebug named Brennan :).
He is an "Ambassabull" for the breed with a local rescue in the area.
I've had worse experiences with other breeds of dogs than that of Pit Bulls. Brennan has a slight bit of dog aggression towards dogs that are larger than him, but it's managed pretty well as long as they don't get up in his face. I walk him with a gentle leader and get a lot of prejudice and comments about that. People assume it's a muzzle and "It's good that I have my vicious dog muzzled" when he's sitting there wagging his tail looking happy and wanting people to pet him :rolleyes:.
I'm highly against BSL, obviously. There's a town fairly close to here that's facing possible BSL right now, which is rather worrisome. Hopefully it doesn't expand, though there are several counties in TN that have already implemented BSL.
I couldn't imagine life without a Pit Bull now though. They are one of the best breeds of dogs I've ever owned and even though Brennan is about as bright as a burnt out light bulb and pretty crazy, I wouldn't trade him for the world :).
I am happy I live in a state where the governor has recently signed a law outlawing all breed-specific legislation.
Suffice it to say, studies have shown such legislation never works anyway - the dog fighting people either move more underground, or switch to a different breed and keep going.
Karen, did not know Mass. had that, that is great!
Several communities here in RI have BSL, and another one is currently considering it.
I should have ended my post with: So if I am glaring, it may not be aimed at you or your dog, it may be that one of mine (usually Tasha) took ages to come and get leashed up. :D Tasha loves to "dance" just outside my reach. This is anxiety provoking when I think there "may" be an issue looming.
I have known 2 Pitbulls in my lifetime and they were both sweethearts. The gal who used to cut my hair had a PB and she was a doll. I would go in to get my hair cut and Zara would bring me her toys while Barb would cut my hair. She often laid in the middle of the beauty shop snoozing as people came and went.
My daughter's boyfriend has a boxer/pitbull mix. She is also a sweetheart. She and Zoey get kind of rough playing sometimes but I have never seen her break skin or do anything but wiggle her butt towards humans. She thinks she is a lap dog and tries to get into my lap when I am visiting there. :love:
I love pitties! I work as an RVT in a veterinary hospital, and I have yet to come across a pit bull that I didn't like. I have seen countless Chihuahuas and other small breeds who are just nasty, sadly. :( Even if I do come across an aggressive pittie (or any other breed for that matter), I definitely never blame the breed. I blame the owner. You can't group a breed as 'bad', not all of them are. It's individuals. Look at Labradors, everyone thinks they are just the friendliest breed out there. They are indeed friendly dogs, but believe it or not, I had an extremely aggressive Labrador! So, it's definitely NOT just pitties, Dobermans, Rottweilers, etc.
A veterinarian I know sees a lot of chihuahuas in her Florida practice, and refers to them as "lap gators." I don;t blame the breed, but the fact that owners thing these small dogs don;t need training and structure, so the dogs end up thinking they are in charge, which is never a good thing. Every dog, from the smallest chihuahua to the largest mastiff - they ALL need basic training at the very least. And with strong dogs like pitties, or large ones like Saint Bernards, for example, the earlier you do the training the better. It is easier to deal with an 8-pound puppy, than 50 pounds of muscle, or 125 pounds of enthusiasm when one is leash training a dog, and your shoulder socket will appreciate it, too!
I have friends with pit bulls...I'm a groomer, we see plenty of pits, overall I think they are nice dogs. I do think they tend to end up with the wrong people though (people who want to get a dog so they look "tough" don't neuter them, leave them on a chain, etc. ) so they can become people aggressive when treated the wrong way, but so can any breed of dog. I do believe they have a higher tendency than your average breed (though there are plenty of other breeds that are like this is as well) to be dog aggressive. They were bred to fight dogs, what do you expect? Dog aggression doesn't usually show up until the are 2 or older btw so be cautious of that as your dog gets older. Of course not all will end up dog aggressive but I know several people who raised theirs since pups and did everything right and they still ended up dog aggressive (though they are good with dogs they know just not strange dogs). My husky, Skya, is not nice to most (some she's perfectly fine with?) strange dogs either and that didn't show up until she was older than two, she gets along excellently with dogs she knows though and once she gets to know a dog she's fine too. One of my friends with a dog aggressive pit bull gets along with dogs he meets as a puppy and he met Skya as a puppy so they get along :) (go figure, the most dog aggressive of mine gets along with the dog aggressive dog :confused: ) Overall every pit I can think of that I know is a total LOVE with people....like ridiculously lovey ha ha. My dog Killer is half pit bull half lab and he is a total love with people and he's not dog aggressive either. I think they can be awesome dogs and breed specific legislation is ridiculous, ban the idiots who shouldn't have dogs from having dogs, don't ban breeds of dogs.
I will say though I will avoid them when I'm walking my dogs (but I will avoid any dog while walking my dogs, big or small - but certain breeds with dog aggressive tendencies make me more nervous). My dogs don't take too well with loose dogs running up and getting in their faces for the most part I pretty much just hate it when any loose dog (friendly or not) gets into the middle of my leashed dogs. I had a lab run out and charge at me the other day and I had to yell and wave my arms at it so it wouldn't get to my dogs. If I have no dogs with me I wouldn't hesitate to say hi to a pit bull though. :)
As a vet tech, I can count on one had the number of large breed dogs I've had to muzzle. I can not even begin to count the number of small breed dogs we need to muzzle. The point being is that owners of larger breeds, such as pit bulls, do face more responsibility because if "bad behavior" such as mouthiness or jumpiness is allowed to go unchecked with a larger breed you face much bigger problems than if the same behaviors were left unchecked in a small breed. So we see many, many small dogs coming in that need to be muzzled versus larger breeds that are perfect angels at the vet.
The point I'm trying to make is that it is 100% the owner and in how the dog is raised.
Everyone that knows me I am very passionate about pit bulls. And, I absolutely hate BSL. I have worked with many through out my life and even had a pit bull mix growing up. I think they are the sweetest dogs, I have never met a more loving, loyal dog than the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT).
Most attacks aren't even pit bulls. If the dog attacks, it's assumed to be a pit bull and most of time they aren't. The APBT passes more tests than the popular dog breeds of today. http://www.atts.org Sure, people get them for the wrong reasons. But, I have seen a lot of APBT owners in my town that are pretty good with them.
Like with any dog, you must be responsible. Even more so with the APBT since they have a bad rap. You have to make darn sure that you don't set your dog up for failure. Most of the time, people believe in the myths too greatly. Education is key, they can take it or leave it.
But all you can do is try to educate them that they aren't monsters because they aren't. I have educated people with pit bulls at the shelter with breed ambassadors. It only takes one person at a time to educate and I have made (not truly forced it) them like the breed because of the awesomeness of these dogs.
But, if you can't get through to them atleast you tried your best. I will have my own APBT someday and will fight for these dogs until my last breath. They are unfairly misunderstood. Not everyone is going to like your breed of choice. With this wonderful breed you have to have thick skin since a lot of people will diss you and your dog.
And it is your responsibility to make sure nothing happens with your dog negatively. Because if you do, it's one step closer of us not owning this wonderful breed. Your dog should be a breed ambassador. If the dog doesn't like other dogs, it's not failing your dog.
Dog aggression is what is normal in this breed as they were bred to fight other dogs. You just need to be responsible and make sure your dog doesn't get in a fight as your dog will be blamed whether the other dog started it or not. Also, ignorant/uneducated people link dog aggression going after a human next. Which is not true at all.
Human aggression is not accepted. Your pit bull should be great with all people, except if in a situation you are being held at gun point and your dog protects you or you get robbed. That is different. These dogs would take a bullet for you, that's how truly loyal they are. Sorry for the long post, but I am extremely passionate about the APBT and mixes and them being targeted because of hatred is not ok.