Pit Bulls – A Misunderstood and Unfairly Stigmatized Breed

Breed discrimination is wrong. Although this particular website focuses on Pit Bull discrimination, breed discrimination of any kind, be it Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Chow Chows, or Dobermans, all stems from the same fallacy: that a dog can be born vicious; this is a myth that needs to be dismissed, no matter how much it helps the media raise their ratings. There are mean dogs in this world, there are *not* mean breeds.

Everyone has a heartfelt story to tell. From attack victims to die-hard owners of these misunderstood breeds, it isn’t difficult to hear both sides of the story told equally as passionately.

It is time to put bias aside and let the numbers do the talking. When you look at the facts and the statistics regarding the situation, only then can you form an objective opinion. Rather than listen to uneducated zealots (from either side of the debate), *please* look towards credible organizations and certified professionals in the area of animal behavior for your answers.

From my research, the facts suggest that these animals are simply misunderstood across the board. Pit Bulls in particular have, up until relatively recently, been known as a family dog. The Staffordshire Terrier (one of the main breeds that comprises the umbrella term referred to as “pit bull”) is very people friendly and loyal to the family – and no, that isn’t coming from some news reporter set on achieving pathos (and transitively ratings) at any cost, that is coming from the American Kennel Club.

That isn’t to deny that there are dangerous dogs (of ALL breeds) on this Earth. These dogs, rare as they may be, definitely exist, but they were not born this way. Whether they were simply abused by a bad owner, or perhaps were involved in some type of illegal dog fighting, these animals have been drastically altered by humans. Rather than blaming the dog, the responsibility needs to be placed on the owner.

Unfortunately many parts of the world are not taking this approach and rather are turning to wrongfully labeling the entire breed as the problem. Breed specific legislation has taken place in many different places in the world and it needs to be stopped.

I reiterate, the problem is not the animal, but the human. Advocates of breed specification legislation often cite the statistic that a large majority of recorded dog bites come from “pit bulls” –  but conveniently forget to examine the possible causes for that number. Rather than admitting that pit bulls are the most common dog to be used in dog fights and are often purchased by people with criminal records (drug dealers / gang members that seek an easy dog to abuse and mis-train for intimidation purposes) and people that buy a dog with the nefarious intention of looking to project a “tough” image, they claim that these pit bulls are inherently dangerous.

According to the NAACP, “African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population” and “are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites”. By the Hitler-esque logic of breed specific legislation, I suppose we should also prevent African Americans from repopulating, or make it illegal for families to adopt an African American child.

It is this flawed logic that perpetuates the stigma about pit bulls, and it is this stigma of pit bulls that encourages the criminals of this world to continue buying and mis-training pit bulls for intimidation purposes. The only thing “vicious” is the cyclical pattern that the media has taken on of promoting and playing on human fear for the purpose of ratings;  THAT is what must be banned.

Do the research and end this discrimination today.

Pit Bull Myths and Facts Infographic
 

Worth investigating:

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/pitbulls-used-be-considered-perfect-nanny-dogs-children-until-media-turned-them —- “According to the American Veterinary Medicine Association, “controlled studies have not identified this breed group as disproportionately dangerous.” The American Temperance Testing Society (ATTS) puts thousands of dogs – purebreds and spayed and neutered mixed-breeds – through their paces each year. The dogs are tested for skittishness, aggression and their ability to differentiate between threatening and non-threatening humans. Among all of the breeds ATTS tested – over 30,000 dogs through May 2011 — 83 percent passed the test. How did pitbulls do? They showed an above average temperament, with 86 percent making the grade. Pitbulls are the second most tolerant breed tested by ATTS, after only golden retrievers.”

http://www.pawnation.com/2013/02/08/how-pit-bulls-got-singled-out-as-dangerous-dogs/ —- “it wasn’t long ago that Pit bulls not only weren’t feared, but with their friendly and patient temperaments, were actually considered to be a perfect “nanny breed” for children. But in the 1980s, the breed began to develop a terrible reputation. It’s not clear where the cycle started, but at some point, Pit bulls became the dog breed of choice for the criminal element, or those looking for dogs to threaten, guard, intimidate and generally look scary. This led to many owners abusing their Pit bulls into becoming vicious, mean attack dogs. The breed’s reputation worsened, thus encouraging more people in the market for “mean” dogs to adopt Pit bulls, and the catch-22 was in place.”

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