The Truth behind the Pitbull Terrier
One thing nobody can argue with is the Pitbull Terrier has a bad reputation. When someone says the name “Pitbull” most people either think of a vicious dog or are aware that others think of them that way. There is no other breed that stirs up so much emotion. They are idolized, feared, respected, hated and loved intensely by different types of people. There are groups that have been successful at banning them. Some insurance companies will not insure you if you own one, apartments will not let you live there if you own one and some areas will confiscate and kill a dog if they think it even remotely looks like one.
Ask people why or do a web search on the subject and you will get all kinds of answers. The answers will depend on who you are asking. The argument goes back and forth between the Pitbull lovers and the haters. You see it on the web and in the news, those who say the dogs are dangerous and those who say they are people-lovers.
There is something I rarely hear and it is the reason behind all of this breed hype. When I bring the argument up to the Pitbull haters no one can deny it, yet the subject is scooted around. People who are convinced the breed is dangerous never want to talk about it or consider it. If we could hit a switch and every Pitbull Terrier would disappear off the face of the earth the breed scare would soon be replaced with a different type of dog that would get the same bad reputation. Fact is, the reason the breed has such a bad reputation is the relatively large percentage of people that idolize the breed are a certain type of person. The Pitbull Terrier has become the breed of choice by certain types of criminals. If there were suddenly no more Pitbulls these people would find another breed of dog to take its place. The Rottweiler and the Doberman Pinscher have gotten lucky and have been replaced by the Pitbull.
Pitbulls have become status symbols by many criminals and it appears to be politically incorrect to admit that it is not the breed of dog, but the type of people who own the dog, who affect that dog’s temperament. Study up on natural dog behavior and you will find that a dog’s temperament is a direct result of its owner’s ability to understand him and give him what he instinctually needs as a canine animal. From drug dealers to dog fighters the Pitbull Terrier is a victim of criminals who mistreat them starting at a young age. They grab the puppies by the scruff of the neck and roughly face them up with other puppies. They teach them and encourage them to bark, growl, protect and attack.
Most dog bites do not come from Pitbulls, but rather small and medium sized dogs. A large percentage of bites go unreported because the bite did not require medical attention. Pitbulls are strong and when they bite, like all large-breed dogs, the bite is bigger, causing more damage. If we were to only look at dog attacks coming from non-criminal owners the percentage of Pitbull attacks drops dramatically to where it would be no more of an issue than Labrador Retriever attacks.
Take away the Pitbull and you will not eliminate the problem. Pitbulls are victims of criminals who use them as status symbols. They are their current dog of choice. Blaming the breed is like blaming the food on the end of the spoon instead of the hand feeding the mouth.