By in Animals

Pit Bull Prejudice

In this day in age the most hated and feared dog breed is the pit bull, without question. Pit bulls have had their reputations dragged through the mud; they’ve endured years of being the targets of a modern day witch hunt. What does that mean? It means that we are looking for a monster that does not exist.

But society has not come to this conclusion on its own. The media is largely responsible for the prejudice against the pit bull breed. Did you know, when a non pit bull dog attacks someone the story usually appears in 1 to 2 articles (depending on the severity of the attack) in the local newspaper. When a pit bull attacks someone (regardless of the severity) it is reported over 300 times in national newspapers and news stations. Due to this reporting habit, it only appears that pit bulls attack more often than other breeds because we are hearing about it more often.

If you look up dog attack statistics you will likely find that pit bulls contributed to a majority of those attacks. But this information is highly inaccurate. Many other breeds (around 24) are often misidentified as pit bulls, so when any of these breeds attack the numbers are all lumped together in the “pit bull” category. See the picture below for the breeds that are most often confused for pit bulls, and see if you can identify the real pit bull (there’s only 1!). I am proud to say that during an animal rescue meeting I was able to identify the pit bull immediately; I love the breed and find them to be beautiful animals!

Many harsh regulations have been put into place to punish these dogs and their owners. These regulations are known as Breed Specific Legislations, they are put into place to either ban or highly regulate “bully” breeds, and they are the government’s solution to handle this situation. But they are absolutely the wrong solution, and I will explain why they’re ineffective.

First, they turn otherwise responsible owners into “criminals.” BSL’s set almost impossible restrictions on owners, and rather than get rid of their beloved pets owners have turned to hiding their dogs. This can really have a negative effect on a dog’s well being because the owners restrict outdoor exercise and socializing and they quit licensing and taking their animals to the vet. This not only threatens the dog’s health, but also public safety.

Another problem with BSL’s is that they make the targeted breeds more attractive to criminals. Throughout history, when a specific breed was outlawed, their numbers in the criminal world increased. The number of pit bulls owned by gang members and other criminals rose in the 1980’s, when the first round of breed specific legislations began. Did you know before the 1980’s pit bulls were known as “America’s Dog?”

While breed specific legislations don’t work, there is a PAINFULLY simple solution that would not only help end the pit bull prejudice, but it could also drastically reduce the number of dog attacks world-wide. Did you know that over 90% of all dog attacks (not just pit bulls) were done by an unaltered (not spayed or neutered) animal? That means that of the 38 fatal dog attacks in 2012, there would have been just 3 or 4 if strict spay and neuter regulations had been in place.

Photo By Me

Image Credit » Photo By Me

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JeanC wrote on January 5, 2015, 5:21 PM

All my life I have seen various breeds demonized. It used to be Rottweilers were vicious dogs and should be banned. Before that is was Doberman Pinschers and before that German Shepherds.

GayleStorm wrote on January 5, 2015, 5:26 PM

The Pit Bulls I've interacted with my life have been some of the sweetest dogs. By the way, which picture actually is the Pit Bull?

Kat- wrote on January 5, 2015, 5:48 PM

You are right, they do get a bad rap and it's not their fault. ANY dog can attack if treated wrong or provoked, it's not the dogs that are bad, it's the owners. I am so saddened to see how they have been vilified and now our shelters are full of Pit Bulls or Pit Bull mixes that no one wants, if I could afford another furry family member I would adopt one in a heartbeat!

Began1988 wrote on January 5, 2015, 6:42 PM

You're right. It seems like society as a whole always has to have SOMETHING to "be scared of" and try to get banned. It's really sad! I love all the breeds that have ever been vilified. I worked at a pet hotel and a rescue, so I have come across all 4 of those breeds - all beautiful, sweet dogs!

Began1988 wrote on January 5, 2015, 6:43 PM

When I worked at a pet hotel I remember we had this HUGE pit bull mix...I would sit on the floor with him and he'd try to get his whole body on my lap and loved to kiss my face! Lol

Began1988 wrote on January 5, 2015, 6:44 PM

I have actually never had a pit bull myself, but I have worked with and fell in love with tons! When I get my own place and am able to adopt another dog, you can bet I'll be looking at pitties! And I'll be looking for a senior one :) I love my senior pets!

MaeLou wrote on January 5, 2015, 7:21 PM

This is one of the problems we run into with our newest dog, Hunter. He is a big giant baby but because he has pit somewhere down the line (he's a mutt really - with many different breeds in him), people think the worst in him.

Began1988 wrote on January 5, 2015, 7:41 PM

Yeah - any dog with any amount of pit in them is seen as bad. Those awful pit bull bans include any dog with a significant percentage of pit bull in their breeding. Ugh!

I once found a pitty and a chihuahua running down the street together. I was driving and saw them following and jumping up on an older couple out walking. Neither dog was on a leash so I stopped and asked the people if the dogs were theirs, they said no. So I pulled over. I got a leash from my car (I carry them with me just in case), crouched down, and called the dogs over to me. They headed my way but then seemed to get a little nervous. The Chihuahua ran around the other side of my car, the pitty stopped a few feet in front of me and growled at me. PSH! I was like, oh you're such a tough boy! Told him no a couple of times (quietly and gently). And of course he was a big ham! Came over to me and let me put the leash on him :) Then the Chihuahua happily followed him into the back seat of my car.

It was really the worst time for me to find them, I was waiting for a washer and delivery for my parents (who were out of town). Had 7 dogs at my house, and while they're good with strange small dogs, they didn't have a lot of experience with strange large dogs. And the pit bull was not neutered, which did give me pause. THAT is the real issue in dog attacks, not breeds. So I had no where to take them, and there was no way I wanted to take them to the shelter. So I went home, kept them in my car in the garage (with the AC running the whole time) and put up a craigslist ad. 3 hours later i saw a post on Craigslist for a missing Chihuahua and pit bull that had gotten out that morning :)

I contacted the owner and met him at a nearby park. He said he was so worried because his dog was a pit bull that no one would help him or that he may end up getting hurt. I told him I love pit bulls and I didn't hesitate to stop. The man had 2 little kids in the car who were SO happy to have their dogs back! :)

Anyways...long story! Lol

Carmelanirel wrote on January 5, 2015, 8:04 PM

I do admit, maybe abo9ut three of those dogs look like pit bulls to be, but some are obviously NOT pit bulls. I think I really need to work on getting this novel published and you would like it. Because there is mention of a pit bull and the injustice, even though it is a back story, I hope to give the reader the anguish the character feels about losing her dog.

Carmelanirel wrote on January 5, 2015, 8:08 PM

Oh, and since I have worked with many different breeds (I did a pit mix, not a pure pit) I can tell you now, the dogs that have tried to or bit me was the shih tzu, chihuahua (I know you have this breed, but I tihnk because it is a one person dog, and it was frightened, it did go after me though recently we did a long hair one who was super sweet), and the husky. I have also done a Rottweiler mix and the only problem with that guy is he kept using his weight against me, which is what the bigger dogs, including the collie and lab, do as well.

Began1988 wrote on January 5, 2015, 8:28 PM

Oh I LOVE my chihuahua's but I know they can be little stinkers :) But they make GREAT pets and I would recommend them to anyone! Haha.

Of my many many years working directly with dogs I have been bitten by a weinereimer (spelling that wrong) and...MY chihuahua lol. She bit me because I put my hand between her and the vet tech she was trying to bite (out of fear not aggression)!

bestwriter wrote on January 5, 2015, 8:46 PM

Our experience with our pet was fascinating. Although initially he showed some aggression in course of time he turned out to be the most loving, pet we ever had. He was so gentle with pups and kittens too.

Began1988 wrote on January 5, 2015, 8:51 PM

They really are great, gentle dogs. And people don't realize they are terrific family pets - they love the people in their lives (both young and old) and will do everything in their power to protect them. Many people never seem to realize that aggression is always a form of fear.

bestwriter wrote on January 5, 2015, 9:22 PM

We spoilt him rotten too. He had to be hand fed right till the end. He would droop his ears out of affection whenever we called him. His name was Rana. I have done a post on him.

Carmelanirel wrote on January 6, 2015, 7:33 AM

Most of the dogs that bite or try to bite are really trying to, they either don't like their nails being clipped or their feet messed with, those are the two problem areas.

Carmelanirel wrote on January 6, 2015, 12:52 PM

Began1988 I see you know how to do something that I don't. How did you upload more than one picture? I tried doing that, not knowing if I click on the browse, find one photo, then clicked browse again, but the first photo disappeared. You might want to create a tutorial post on this.

Began1988 wrote on January 6, 2015, 4:45 PM

You do the initial photo right where it allows you to. And then to add them to the body, in the text box all the way on the right there is a photo with a mountain in a square, click that and you can add more photos inside your post :)

Carmelanirel wrote on January 7, 2015, 6:05 AM

Thanks Began1988 I never saw that, but will look today for a post I wanted to share.

Carmelanirel wrote on January 7, 2015, 6:52 AM

I thought one of the admins replied to one of your posts. You can ask MaeLou about tagging.

MaeLou wrote on January 7, 2015, 11:57 AM

I want to say but it's kinda too small to know 100%

Began1988 wrote on January 7, 2015, 12:26 PM

16 is correct! :) Beautiful dog (they all are)!