Are Pit Bulls Perfect?

Pitbull dog looking at camera

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Pitbull dog looking at camera

Rebecca Hybbeneth, Holiday Page Editor

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Your classic American home may not be complete without a slobbery, hairy animal. There are so many breeds of dogs to choose from that it may be overwhelming. Would you go for the number one breed in America, a Labrador? Many people will just shoot for the classics, and not even consider a pit bull. Pit bulls have gotten a terrible reputation, but do they actually live up to their hateful name?

Pit bulls are actually a very popular breed in The United States, making up about 10% of the dog population. It’s sad to say that most of them are in shelters, and sulking their way through life in a cage. Some of these pit bulls were found on the streets, or taken from inhabitable conditions. I asked Cathi Greiner, a local speech therapist as to how she feels as an owner that pitbulls have a bad name, and are overloaded in shelters, “Pit Bulls get a bad rap because of how some people choose to raise them. They are sweet, loving dogs that like any dog, act the way they are raised. I read recently in an article that more police are actually using them, and the hardest part is training them to be aggressive. I think re-homing adult pits is difficult because of the media’s perspective on them.” We all feel so terrible for these bundles of love, but what can we do about this?

Pit bulls are the “go-to” breed for dog fighting. They were bred to be highly aggressive dogs in British dog fights, according to “Real Pit-bull”.  Your typical dog fight consists of, matching two dogs height and size. They would then release the dogs together, and start attacking each other. There are typically breaks during a match, where the dogs would be torn apart and held back with their hateful owners, and then sent back into fight. Some fights could be minutes, and some could drag out to be brutal hours. Usually the dog who won would be considered the stud dog, and the dog who lost well, would almost all of the time be mangled.

The name that pitbull’s have gotten is horrible, that they are only good for fighting. If anyone knows a friend who has a one, or does own one themselves knows that this is not true. Pitbulls are great agility dogs and with training and proper care can become amazing dogs. Personally, I have a pitbull and I have never seen a mean bone in that dog. I also have a labrador and comparing them, well my yellow lab has these tendencies to go haywire and have bads days. My pitbull will come up to everyone, even strangers and instinctively lick everyone’s face to to the point of complete saturation. People shouldn’t say an entire breed is bad because that is categorizing them all, what about the ones that are lovable and need good homes and just a caring family?

Don’t get me wrong, pitbulls are not for everyone. This breed takes a lot of time and dedication. I asked my older brother as to the differences in owning his own pit and he replied with, “my dog takes up a lot of my time. He needs to be regularly exercised so we always play with his frisbee constantly. He is an extremely fit dog so he never gets tired. He is always good with other dogs. I used to bring him on play dates with my friend’s pitbull as well. He is one definitely the best dogs I will ever own. His personality is to die for.”  You have to be very invested in spending time with your dog, and not leaving them alone for long periods of time, just like any dog. Melissa Marton, who also has one, stated “ as a pit bull owner and an avid lover of the breed, I am faced with the arrogant attitudes of people who believe these animals are all vicious, unpredictable creatures; however the love and loyalty I am returned with every day from my pet, trumps all of the hate.” There are a lot of good and bad rumors that come with a pitbull name. Many people believe that pit bulls were considered nanny dogs, and you can find articles upon articles as to why they were, but there is not a single real article backing this claim up, according to “The Truth About Pit Bulls”. Also, people think that they have a locking jaw, but that is entirely false. They were bred to fight, so they instinctively don’t let go.

I believe completely that a dog will act however they are treated by their owner. Most of the time, a good owner means a well behaved dog. You see all of these dogs from the streets in shelters and see that they have aggression problems, but you have to realize this is probably how they were treated before. They most likely had no love and no family. How can you blame them?

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