The Truth about Pitbulls
It seems like every other week, we hear about how a dangerous dog has mauled a child, or even ended a child’s life. As a consequence of their actions, the dog has to be put down. Pitbulls are banned in the UK and dogs homes have to put down thousands of dogs every year purely based on their breed. Even pit bull puppies get put to sleep. I was looking at a list of places where certain breeds are banned and expectedly pitbulls always prop up. The UK, many US states, Australia, Brazil and Spain are just a few places where it is illegal to own a pit bull. Every now and then akita’s, malamutes and staffies pop up but it got me thinking, why are pitbulls so feared?
The dog claims website in the UK has comprised a list of the most aggressive dog breeds in accordance to bite complaints from owners, the list is actually quite surprising.
- Jack Russell
- Australian Cattle Dog
- Cocker Spaniel
- Border Collie
- Pitbull Terrier
- Great Dane
- English Springer Spaniel
Pitbulls can be dangerous but any dog with the potential to bite can be dangerous. The term ‘pitbull’ doesn’t describe a single breed of dog. It is a term which can refer to as many as 5 breeds. American Pit bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and even the American Bull Dog.
Pitbull’s ancestors hail from England and were brought to North America by English immigrants. These descendants were bred from the bulldog, which some breed historians believe originally served as a ‘gripping dog’ for hunters of large game. The bulldogs were likely used as butcher’s dogs and helped control large livestock. Eventually, these dogs were bred to participate in an inhumane blood sport called ‘baiting.’ Spectators found it highly entertaining to watch bulldogs pitted against bulls, bears and other large animals.
During these violent events, one or more dogs were expected to attack another animal, biting it around the face and head. The dogs usually maintained their grip until the animal became exhausted from fighting and loss of blood. After animal baiting was banned in the early 1800s, people began pitting dogs against each other, and the cruel sport of dog fighting was born. As it grew in popularity, enthusiasts developed a lighter, more agile dog for the fighting ring. Some people bred their bulldogs with black and tan terriers, creating dogs who were only 25 to 30 pounds. These dogs were the forebears of the present-day pitbull.
When 2 dogs fight, the conflict is usually ritualised. The objective is for one dog to win the disagreement with as little bloodshed as possible. The 2 dogs try to intimidate each other by engaging in plenty of dramatic-looking behaviour, which include posturing, circling, growling, showing teeth and snarling. Bites delivered during a fight are typically inhibited because the point is to cause pain but not necessarily to inflict serious injuries. Pitbulls have been bred to behave differently during a fight. They may not give warning before becoming aggressive, and they’re less likely to back down when clashing with an opponent. When provoked, they may become aggressive more readily than another breed might.
The other side of Pitbulls
Pitbulls were genetically selected for their fighting ability. It doesn’t mean that they can’t be around other dogs. It doesn’t mean that they’re unpredictably aggressive or that they will fight to the death. These are all common myths about pit bulls. Even though these dogs were bred to fight, early breeders took pride in producing dogs that were trustworthy and friendly to people. Pitbulls have always lived with their owners and earned the nickname ‘nursemaids dog’ or ”nanny dog’ because they were so good with children. Most responsible pitbull owners would tell you the same thing. Pitbulls have been given a bad name due to their irresponsible owners, and the nature of the breed gets taken advantage of by human beings and as a result we murder them based on their genes. Thats dog genocide.
I’ve just read about another child that has been killed in the UK from a dog. A malamute. But this story won’t be given the same amount of press as if it was a pitbull. The media like to draw attention to stereotypes because of the emotional attachment viewers have to the story. Pitbulls loyalty, affection, and beauty all go unnoticed because of the bad rap they have been given. This is unfair. We ban pitbulls in this country, and their statistically not the most dangerous dog, but the UK has a few more dangerous animals which people do keep as pets. Next time your worried about someone owning a pitbull, imagine if one of these gets loose.
- 50 crocodiles.
- 250 species of poisonous snake.
- 50 leopards
- 12 lions
- 14 tigers
I believe what is happening to pitbulls is disgraceful. I myself have looked after dogs which are deemed as dangerous, and have never had any major problems. Currently I have a terrier who would be deemed as dangerous but is an absolute sweetheart. I know people want to own pitbulls because of their mean/handsome look and this gives them a macho boost. Its ridiculous really because people who take on a dog based on looks usually end up resenting it and the dog can feel the resentment. If you give your dog the time and care, attention & stimulation it needs the rewards are amazing. They’re animals that thrive off companionship and being led. So be the leader of your pack, and your dog will love you for it.