Are Pit Bulls Misunderstood?

Posted on Sep 29, 2018
Are Pit Bulls Misunderstood?

If you’ve never spent time with pit bulls, you may still have general assumptions about the breed. That they are dangerous. Mean. Shouldn’t be around children. And so many more stereotypes generally applied to all members of the breed. But where did those come from and are they fair?

 

October is National Pit Bull Awareness Month so Run Those Dogs is here to say we’ve met and cared for a whole lot of sweet, goofy, wonderful pit bulls that defy all the negative stereotypes.

 

As with any dog or animal you don’t know, use caution and avoid making them feel unsafe or uncomfortable. As with all breeds, socialization and training are of utmost importance to teach a dog how to safely interact with children and adults. Our hope is that by sharing this information about pits, you’ll do your best to keep an open mind about the breed.

 

Arin Greenwoods article about pit stereotypes points out that applying stereotypes to the entire breed has a real cost on the dogs themselves and their families. “Hundreds of jurisdictions across the country ban or otherwise restrict ownership of these dogs — which leads to dogs being taken away from their families for nothing more than their appearance, and families living in fear of losing their beloved pets.” She adds that even where ownership is legal, finding housing may be difficult. They are among the most common breeds in shelters with the longest stays and among the breeds most likely to be euthanized, perhaps more than 3000 per day in the U.S.

 

But where did Pit Bull’s bad rap come from?

As Roy Rivenberg wrote in his L.A. Times article, “Petey, the canine sidekick in the Little Rascals comedies, was a pit bull. So were the mascots for RCA Victor and Buster Brown shoes. Even the White House welcomed pit bull offshoots under Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson.”

 

There are plenty of pit bull heroes as well who’ve saved people from fires, excelled as service animals for the disabled and in the military, and extended and brightened the lives of millions of pet parents. They just aren’t making headlines as often. So how did we come to present day where the breed is banned in some cities and counties?

 

Were they bred for violence? “Pit bull terriers are a cross between English bulldogs, which were bred in the 1800s to fight bulls and bears with tenacious bites to the snout, and terriers, known for speed and agility. The combination produced dogs that deliver a “crushing bite” and don’t let go,” explains Nicholas Dodman. He’s the director of the animal behavior clinic at Tufts University’s school of veterinary medicine and author of Dogs Behaving Badly in Rivenberg’s article.

 

In fact their rap has been made notorious by real, deadly attacks against toddlers and adults — including the fatal mauling of an Antelope Valley woman in 2013. But Rivenberg adds, “…numerous studies show pit bulls are no more likely to bite humans than other breeds.”

 

But just as we shouldn’t broadly believe stereotypes about humans, nor should we with pit bulls.

 

In fact members of the ‘pit bull’ label can encompass the Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier and American pit bull terrier, among other breeds. As you might have guessed, individual dogs within a breed can vary widely in personality, temperament and a host of other traits. Just as widely as within any other breed.

 

Defenders blame bad owners for the negative headlines. Pit bulls have risen to the top as the breed symbolizing rebellion and toughness and some owners choose it for that reason.

 

 

But in fact, pit bulls haven’t always held this top spot in our shifting culture. “In the 1800s, bloodhounds were reportedly the most feared breed. In the 1970s, German shepherds ranked as dog-bite kings,” says Rivenberg. So wouldn’t these facts imply that as our companions (and weapons), its not the breed that is dangerous but the behaviors that we as humans choose to teach them?

 

Is their bad rap truly deserved? Maybe not. And more importantly can it be overcome with time, education, positive training and socialization? We think so.

 

Meet Run Those Dogs Client Jesse the Pit

Jesse pit bulls run those dogs

Jesse.

Jessie is a pure-bred pit. Her humans Greg and Danniell knew the moment they saw her as a puppy in 2009 that she was the one. While her brothers and sister ran back over to their mother, Jessie came right over with her tail in rapid fire mode. Her pet parents remember her as the cutest and most inquisitive, a trait that still (for better or worse) remains today.

 

Since she was a puppy, Jessie still spends most nights sharing the bed with their son. “People often ask if she is OK to have around a family. My youngest was five, and my oldest was seven when we got her, and there has never been a single instant during which she was anything other than their best friend and protector. She loves to be hugged and petted, and she often returns the favor with a well-placed tongue to the face,” explains Greg.

Jesse Pit bulls

Jesse and his buddy Rowdy.

 

Jessie is full of personality. “Over the years, her exuberance has never waned, and her love for her humans has only grown. I cannot tell you how many rough days at work have been instantly washed away by this beautiful, little girl presenting me with her favorite bone as I entered the door,” adds Greg. “She has a knack for detecting sadness or depression in her humans, and never lets it go unacknowledged.”

 

Run Those Dogs loves that we can support this family when they need it, feeding and playing with Jessie and her lab buddy Rowdy when their pet parents travel. They are such sweet hearts!

 

Jessie is more than a dog to Greg and Danniell. “You may have noticed that I don’t refer to her as our dog. We are her humans. She is a part of our family, and will always hold a cherished spot in our hearts.”

 

We hope you won’t generalize the reputation of a breed to every dog within it. And go one better. Be sure to acknowledge and spread the word when you meet a kind and lovable pit. They are out there. We’ve met quite a few and they deserve their chance at happiness.

89 Comments

  1. Ronda Driskell
    November 5, 2019

    Thank you for this story. I own two rescue pits and they are great dogs. Keep these stories coming.

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      November 5, 2019

      Thank you Ronda! I’ve owned a couple pitbulls as well. They’re the sweetest breed!! I appreciate your comment. 🙂

      Reply
    • Jake
      December 8, 2019

      Another pit bull propaganda story. These terrible dogs are estimated to be 6%of the dog population in the U.S. and are responsible for over 50% of bites and fatal maulings. A simple internet search reveals this. They need to be banned.

      Reply
      • Lorraine Wilde
        December 9, 2019

        Hi Jake,
        We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. Internet searches aren’t evidence really. Because if you do a simple google search about how pitbulls are misunderstood, you’ll find just as much information debunking the idea. We need to have stiffer penalties for the humans who train them to be dangerous. Irresponsible owners are the problem, not the entire breed. Read the comments on this blog post to see how many members of the breed are sweet, loving dogs. The funny thing about propaganda is that there is propaganda on both sides. Please be sure your stats are coming from a reliable source and feel free to share the source.

        Reply
      • Lloyd Oliver
        December 10, 2019

        You are dead wrong.

        Reply
      • Mariah
        December 20, 2019

        Have you had a pitbull? Have you loved one? They are just like any other dog, but with a bite force that is much stronger and people who like to use that. I have a pitbull he loves kids, he loves animals, he tries to play with frogs and wont bite a puppy or a little dog when playing with them. When I play with him he nibbles like hes afraid hes gonna hurt me. There are so many youtube videos on how “vicious” these dogs are. Try watching pitbulls and parolees all those dogs have been through the worst and yet they are the most loving.

        Reply
        • Jennifer
          December 20, 2019

          Thank you for commenting Mariah. We agree!

          Reply
        • Mario
          March 26, 2020

          I have had multiple pits during my time including know I personally would not own another breed they can be a little over protective it’s their nature you have to socialize them at a young age because once they give you their heart they will do anything for you so you have to be diligent and teach them by doing that you’re protecting them I don’t agree with a lot of people saying that they are lap dogs and their not I see a lot of people over feeding to try to get that energy out of them just take responsibility exercise them love them and all this stigma will go away and keep them out of bad peoples hands at all cost they really are a gem of a dog none better thanks.

          Reply
          • Jennifer
            March 27, 2020

            Thank you Mario for sharing!

      • June Ann Bradford
        December 29, 2019

        95% of the general public can’t recognize a APBT. The majority of the dogs involved in these attacks are not pit bulls or even pit mixes which has been proven by DNA testing. Bans are being overturned kiddo 🖕

        Reply
      • Michelle
        December 30, 2019

        Thats a shame you feel that way. Should you ever be forunate enough to spend anytime with a pittie ill bet 10 to 1 youd change you view of them. They are the silliest goofest dogs as well as loyal, protective and oh such loves! So go ahead, i challenge you to see for yourself and if your experience doesnt change your mind ill pray for you!

        Reply
      • Jean Tinsworth
        January 15, 2020

        Jake. You really need to do much more research into the breed. Pitbulls are definitely no more aggressive than any other larger breed. I can attest to the fact that Labs, though thought to be very gentle, can and have been repsonsable for some serious attacks, my own chocolate lab included. I.bought.my college age grandson a staffordshire terrier pup last year. He is in college, plays basketball and lives off campus with the team. This little girl has become the team mascot. She’s gentle, extremely intelligent, and funny as can be. She is loved and she exudes love in return. I know all this because I puppysit her at least one to two days a week and after growing up with German Shepherds, raising my own kids with Golden Retrievers and Springer Spaniels and just putting down my aggresdive Lab 3 years ago at age 12, I can tell you this pitbull is the sweetest dog I’ve ever dealt with.

        Reply
        • Jennifer
          January 16, 2020

          What a great story! Thanks for sharing Jean and thanks for being a wonderful grandparent. This world needs them!

          Reply
      • Jessica
        February 20, 2020

        Your claim is false there are 4 different breeds included in the term pitbull and actually have less bite cases than labs.

        Reply
      • Amanda
        February 29, 2020

        My son was actually attacked yesterday by a Labrador. The “all American pet” when he was walking to the bus stop in our apartments. And we own a pit bull. Pet owners of many other breeds tend to let their dogs off leash which is very irritating and irresponsible. Generalized comments are very dangerous.

        Reply
        • Jennifer
          March 2, 2020

          So sorry to hear about your son Amanda. I hope he’s ok and that you reported it to local animal control. Thanks for sharing. It’s important for people to hear that these incidents are not breed-specific.

          Reply
      • Jeff
        March 10, 2020

        In the early 1900’s Pit Bulls were known as nanny dogs because people would get them to look after and protect their children being that Pit Bulls are very caring and protective of the children they love. You should actually research factual information and look at the author of so called propaganda. Humans are to blame for the bad reputation due to the fact that Pit Bulls are people pleasers. They are naturally animal aggressive, not human aggressive. That is taught by irresponsible pos owners. If you look at actual fact Put Bulls are the most commonly stolen dog in America because they are so human friendly.

        Reply
        • Jennifer
          March 11, 2020

          Thanks for commenting Jeff! It’s an excellent reminder and history can teach us a lot!

          Reply
    • David Aaron
      January 24, 2020

      Here, here!! Our rescue mixed breed Pittie is the love of our life! Can’t imagine not adopting these loving, caring sentient beings. They are our guardian angels!

      Reply
  2. Evlyn Naidoo
    November 6, 2019

    I have a staffie and 2 pits, they are the most sweetest dogs ever

    Reply
  3. Lorraine Wilde
    November 6, 2019

    I have a one-year-old half pit mix and she is a wonderful dog. The issues we’re working on with her are the same issues as other breeds: chewing my shoes, getting too excited about strange cats, being obsessed with tennis balls. But she is full of love, smart and a wonderful companion.

    Reply
  4. Mark Sevens
    November 7, 2019

    Pit Bulls are now killing upwards of two dozen Americans per year and that number is growing. They are sending thousands of Americans to surgeons for reconstructive surgery every year to repair severely damaged faces, hands, legs, arms and feet, from attacks. There is no misunderstanding. What is actually happening is an increasing understanding based on now overwhelming evidence that pit bulls are a threat to the public. That is what is …actually …going on.

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      November 11, 2019

      We’ll have to agree to disagree Mark. Our team has met and interacted with over a hundred pit bulls over at least 20 years. Our first-hand experience shows that pit bulls aren’t born ready to hurt people, they are trained to do so by some irresponsible owners. We feel terrible about those that are harmed and advocate on many levels for responsible pet ownership. We hope that owners that train their dogs to behave that way are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Thank you for sharing your opinion.

      Reply
      • John
        November 18, 2019

        Thank you. Bless you.

        Reply
    • Charles Dastrup
      November 13, 2019

      Well Mark, you just might be the reason people are afraid of pitbulls. Have you ever met one or are you an armchair statistic spreader. Find someone who has a pitbull and get to know the breed before you judge them. Sorry you feel this way. By the way, all dogs have the potential to hurt people but must choose not to, to bad most people aren’t more like dogs.

      Reply
    • Jenifer
      November 16, 2019

      Mark I am curious where you get your facts from. Coming from someone who was an ER nurse for many years now working as a authorization nurse reviewer and I have cared for many dog bites victims and have authorized many treatments and procedures for after care and in my over 20 years expierience I have seen only 2. The most common has been Chihuahua and cocker spaniel. With small kids when crawling are eye level with these dogs and babies toddlers love to grab things and pull hair. Seniors seem to have small lap dogs more than big dogs and these pint size gorillas have attitudes and have no fear. Another reason why they are called ankle biters. Yes owners are the blame for the bad wrap of the different breeds over the years who get labeled Any dog has the potential to bite its how they are raised and trained. Oh have I mentioned that I have had pits my entire life not once have I had an issue. Currently have a handsome red nose named peanut who sleeps with my cat and loves all other animals, kids and adults. Twice he has been attacked by aggressive dogs un provoked that were not pits not on leashes and Peanut never even bit in defense…however he did pin one down and licked him until the owner came to get his dog. The other was a big dog and Peanut submitted and it was over. Peanut would rather play then anything else. Even with aggreasive dogs he will try to engage in play even give them a ball to play with. People need stop spreading urban legends tall tales and flat out lies it does no one any good just causes more problems for owners and the breed itself. Its like hating an entire race or culture because someone from that race or culture did something bad. Does not mean that everyone from the same group does bad things.

      Reply
      • Jennifer
        November 18, 2019

        Thank you for sharing your personal experience Jenifer. We agree that we must look at the causes of aggression in dogs, rather than assuming all members of a breed are the same.

        Reply
    • Al
      November 29, 2019

      You’re so wrong Mark.most of the dogs that attack people are not pitbulls.they are actually mixes,cross breeds,hybrids and bandogs..what you get out of that is an unstable dog that’s breed with no purpose..not socializing it and not proper training makes for a bad situation..Over half the dogs in shelters that are called pitbulls are not…its only 1 American pitbull terrier..and it’s not a staffie or American Staffordshire terrier, or a bully or an American bulldog..spend time with 1 for a week and youqillcjangetour mind..

      Reply
      • Jennifer
        December 2, 2019

        Thanks for pointing out that multiple breeds (and mixes) get lumped in together when we talk about pit bulls. You’re right that there are differences. We agree that socialization and positive reinforcement training help prevent these breeds from the behavior that gives them a bad reputation.

        Reply
      • June Ann Bradford
        December 29, 2019

        Finally someone with real knowledge on the breed. THANK YOU !

        Reply
    • John Timmins
      December 4, 2019

      Mark, you present numbers yet who kills more pit bulls or humans? In life it’s how they are raised. Before becoming a animal control officer I was guarded as I always heard they were killers. I knew I was very respectful approaching one. To my surprise they never attacked me and I have handled over 800 in my job field. To say the breed is bad is not at all fair to say. Humans are more of a danger then a dog. Some were trained by drug dealers some by thugs yet through it all. Some are therapy dogs police are using them your stats look at the one’s that are poorly trained is that fair no. Actually we train them to fight we train them to go at people then you come out with stats they are victims. What I would like to see is severe punishment go to humans that train them to attack people or dogs. It is so unfair not to go after humans for cruelty no then we act like the dog should be normal how sad. The four legged pits are kind have a heart and when raised with love are truly great dogs. As far as experience I am very credible on this topic.

      Reply
      • Jennifer
        December 4, 2019

        Thanks for sharing your experience John. Good to hear from folks that have experience with so many examples of the breed.

        Reply
    • Jimmie
      January 23, 2020

      No

      Reply
    • Stats?
      January 30, 2020

      I will always own a pit. We have a 5 year old pit and is so afraid of hurting anyone when playing. When he runs he will sometimes get my foot with his paw. If I say, “owe” he lowers his head, checks on me and then gives me lots of kisses. If your going to throw stats of ‘bar’ pit bulls, your opinion holds no weight if you do not provide resources. I can provide resources of a personal nature and have researched various sites. Any dog can be trained in such a way they bite and attack.

      Reply
    • Nickey Shaw
      February 26, 2020

      My pittie is a red nosed female pitt bull. 18 mos old. Sweetest baby ever. I have great grand children from 2 yrs up. They all love my Rosie. They play chase, wrestle, and sleep together. Rosie sleeps on my feet everynight. An awsome watchdog that loves everyone she meets. My daughter came over early one morning to tell me that my brother had just passed away. Rosie was at my feet in bed. I let out a whimper and sob.. Rosie sat up and howled. Then she laid over my legs and sobbed like a human until I comforted her and assured her it was ok. Once when I wasnt feeling well, Rosie then about 6 mos. old brought me a gift! A very dead freshly killed barn rat. I thanked her and disposed of her gift carefully concealing my disposal. I have 2 other larger dogs, mixed breeds , they have raised Rosie, loving her and teaching her all their bad habits. I love them all! They are family!

      Reply
      • Jennifer
        February 27, 2020

        Thank you for sharing Nickey. Rosie sounds like a delight.

        Reply
  5. Janice Campbell
    November 11, 2019

    I had a pit for 10 years. She was very loving and precious to me. She got cancer and I had to have her put to sleep. I miss my big girl Harley. It tore my heart out when I had to have her put to sleep

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      November 11, 2019

      We’re so sorry you and your baby had to go through cancer. But so glad you and Harley had 10 loving years together. Thanks so much for commenting.

      Reply
  6. Justin G
    November 13, 2019

    The most loyal, loving, honorable, respectful, very smart, great baby sitters, but sadly, the most misunderstood breed. I have shirts printed and large window decals with a pic of one of my PITS in the middle that reads, “EDUCATE=DON’T DISCRIMINATE”

    Reply
  7. Cheryl
    November 14, 2019

    My granddaughter moved in with us. She had a puppy pit bull. We have a choc lab 10 years old
    Of course the puppy wanted to play but our dog wasn’t having it
    After about 2 months the pit grab our lab by the throat and would let go. My granddaughter and husband were trying to separate them. I had to grab a broom and hit the pit in the head several times before she would let go, my husband was chocking the pit. The dog left that night. I can get the crying of our lab out of my head

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      November 15, 2019

      We’re so saddened to hear about your negative experience Cheryl. Sending you and your family lots of compassion. However, we’ve heard these kinds of stories happening in dogs of other breeds as well. So many factors go in to these scary moments that its difficult to filter out which are associated with the breed and which are circumstances. For example, unneutered male dogs are more aggressive on average than neutered ones. Some dogs are more reactive where food or toys are involved. And behavior in all dog breeds differ depending on the amount of positive reinforcement training they’ve had. While its difficult to know exactly what happened in your situation, we’re so sorry you had that experience that has made you feel that it must be due solely to the dog’s breed. We hope you’ll have the opportunity to meet some of the sweet, loving adorable pit bulls that are out there, as we have. Thanks for sharing your experience.

      Reply
  8. Vickie
    November 20, 2019

    My sympathies to those that have had such bad experiences with pit bulls. All my breeding life I have had these beautiful dogs. They are loyal, sweet, gentle, lovable and they love from the heart. My grandchildren played with them when they were in pampers… they still are protected by them as adults. People who have adopted my babies are very happy with them.

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      November 20, 2019

      Thanks for sharing Vickie! That has also been our experience.

      Reply
  9. tracy a williams
    November 23, 2019

    You should always research the history of a to be pet including its ancient history. You can’t raise a staffordshire the same way you raise a schitzu.

    Reply
  10. Spencer Cline
    November 24, 2019

    I have an american bully that we adopted from a shelter. And yes at first there were problems serious dog aggression always biting and nibbling to get what she wants. She’s 2 years old I’ve had her for 7 months. The biting and nibbling have stopped. So has the pushiness. However she is a bully and yes she has certain traits of that breed. All dogs have traits of their breed. As well as of their owners. These are all part of getting and having the rasponsibility of having a dog. Its a persons responsibility to understand the dog as its breed as well as its personality. With 7 kids in my life 4 of them being young still. I’ve never seen a dog any dog be more child aware then my pit bull or bully is. I’ll never own another kind of dog.

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      November 25, 2019

      Thank you for sharing your story Spencer. We’re thankful you’ve mostly had positive experiences with this breed.

      Reply
  11. Pamela Sprosty
    November 24, 2019

    I also would like to ask Mark where he got his information and prove his findings. I adopted a stray pibble about 4 years ago. He had been waiting in a cage for about 6 months before I adopted him. I have no idea what his life was like before, but I know he was not treated well. He’s scared of garbage bags, a broom and therefore vacuums. However, he learned his new name in 1 day, lifted his leg once and when corrected, he’s never done it since. At his last vet appointment, the vet sat on the floor, he walked over and with his paw pulled her arm away and sat in her lap, rolled over and wanted his tummy rubbed. Hes now in training to become a therapy dog. I am now retired but have been a licensed vet nurse for 30 years in NYC and upstate NY. In those years, I have seen lots of pits brought in who were bait dogs, but never any we had to pit down for aggression ! Other breeds, but no pits. Corky has been one of the sweetest dogs I have ever had the honor to share my bed. My only problem with him is moving him a little so I can sleep in the same bed!! A 40lb. dog becomes a 240lb. pet to move!

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      November 25, 2019

      Thank you for sharing your experience Pamela. We’ve heard similar positive stories about pit bull experiences.

      Reply
  12. William
    November 27, 2019

    I love this story. We adopted a rescue that was having trouble finding a forever home. She’s a handful but so funny and loving. No aggression at all. Loves every

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      December 2, 2019

      Thanks William for sharing and for adopting a rescue. I’m sure your dog is so happy to have you.

      Reply
  13. Ann Green
    November 28, 2019

    I own a spoil , loving , male that i will beat the breaks of of anyone who mistreats him or trys to take him .I’ve had him sence he was a baby and i love him very much , n yes like every pit he gets mad cause im not home n chew up my shoes and pull all of the covers off my bed .

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      December 2, 2019

      Haha, chewing shoes and pulling the covers off sounds so familiar! Thanks for sharing Ann.

      Reply
  14. Jason Link
    November 29, 2019

    They are very stereotyped and get a bad rep. A dog of ANY breed can be aggressive/mean, if raised by bad people. Just a few months ago, my American Pit, Boog passed away. He was 10yrs old. And easily the most caring, loving, funny, and SMART dog I’ve ever had! He was a perfect addition to the family. And was always so friendly to all that came to our home. He was like a 2nd son to me. My family and I have actually heard and seen signs that his spirit remains @ our home. In my (younger) life, I was bit twice by dogs. One was an Akita. The other time a German Shepard. But I know there are plenty of great dogs of those breeds. Just as there are some raised poorly.

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      December 2, 2019

      So sorry for your loss. Boog sounds like a wonderful dog. Sorry you were bitten before. That can be scary, but we’re glad you could see that it wasn’t the entire breed that has issues, but the individual dogs that needed support. Thank you for sharing your story.

      Reply
  15. Ann marie
    December 2, 2019

    I have two pit bulls one is a purple nose Staffordshire Terrier the other one is a Razor’s Edge Gotti and they both sleep in my king size bed along with two cats and my husband oh my gosh I get no room I end up sleeping in the front room my two pitbulls are the sweetest things you’d ever want to meet the razor’s Edge Gotti can be a little aggressive when he’s playing but he’s only two and I’m teach him how to be nicer he likes to try and fight it your face and that’s one thing we have to teach you not to do but other than that you can do anything you want to the dogs and they won’t care I love them and they love me they also like little dogs and all cats they have a Chihuahua friend that comes over that is so vicious and bites their face and their lips and tail and Maui and Fred that’s my dog they will just sit there and lift their heads up and flip them off when he’s biting and holding onto their lip it is so funny I wish I could send you a video of it

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      December 2, 2019

      That sounds funny Ann Marie. Must be a kick to see that. Thanks for sharing. Your dogs sound pretty wonderful.

      Reply
  16. Vikki Taylor
    December 2, 2019

    I have 2 rescue Bonnie and Clyde 2yrs old.Its all in how u raise them.Its just like kids it’s how u raise them what they grow up to be

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      December 2, 2019

      That’s a good analogy Vikki. Nurture plays a strong role. Thanks for commenting.

      Reply
    • June Ann Bradford
      December 29, 2019

      You are wrong.

      Reply
  17. Robert L Crawford
    December 2, 2019

    Why take a chance with the life of yourself or your children when there are other breeds available that are not known to have the biting power to challenge wild boars and bears! It’s just not worth the risk when there are so many other breeds available who DONT have the physical prowess or the unsavory reputation???? It makes no sense to adopt one of these bruts just to call oneself a social justice warrior for dogs. They aren’t people. They are subject to their breeding. Humans have freedom of will. Animals do not.

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      December 3, 2019

      Thank you for commenting Robert but we’ll have to agree to disagree. To many of us, animals are just as important as people. We like your phrase, “social justice warrior for dogs.” I’m sure some adopters do feel that way. Your argument has some elements of logic however, if you applied it to people, it doesn’t hold water. For example, there are Chinese and Russian orphans that people in the U.S. adopt every year even though there are U.S. children available. But we adopt them because they also need loving homes and for a lot of other complex reasons. It’s not black and white.

      Similarly, you could apply this argument to any breed but it wouldn’t hold water there either. Why would anyone adopt a Great Dane when there are smaller dogs available? Or a tea cup chihuahua when there are bigger dogs available? With this logic, you could say, why would anyone adopt a dog at all? They chew things, they require effort, they cost money, they get hair on everything, they ruin the yard and on and on. We adopt them because we love them and they love us back. The positives outweigh the negatives including their “unsavory reputation.” They make us happy, they make us feel safe at home, they get us out for exercise, they are our companions, they make our lives richer, lower our blood pressure, improve our immune systems and help us live longer. There are clear reasons humans domesticated dogs thousands of years ago that are still clear today. Even when applied to pit bulls.

      We’re thankful we live in a free country where we can choose to be social justice warriors for dogs if we like. If that is our passion or desire. Our hope is that people will socialize and train all dogs to be good citizens, including these pit bulls who are bred and adopted not as hunters of boar and bear but instead as a symbol of status, toughness or rebellion. They deserve love just as much as any other rescue dog.

      We respect your right not to choose to adopt this breed because not everyone is equipped or willing to properly train and socialize them. That’s why there are so many in need of adoption. But our experience has been that most that are socialized and trained are sweet, smart, joyfully athletic and loving, as you can see from the other comments on this post.

      We do appreciate your comment as it helps us understand other points of view more clearly. Thank you!

      Reply
  18. Lloyd Oliver
    December 10, 2019

    I have had the pleasure of living with seven different dogs in my life. From beagle mix to golden retriever mix. All were rescue dogs. I loved them all a great deal and felt their deaths deeply and sorrowfully. However, the sweetest dog that was my companion was a red-nosed pitbull by the name of Ruby. She had been left, along with he sister, in a dumpster in NYC, but she somehow made it out to the North Fork of Long Island where my spouse and I adopted her from the North Fork Animal Welfare League. Ruby was very young and an absolute dream. And cute as could be. She would more likely lick you into submission than anything else. She slept in my bed every night and was the sweetest dog, among many, that I had ever known.
    She was a joyous expression of both love and friendship. I can’t imagine a better friend.
    I cried bitterly when she didn’t survive an operation that was supposed to save her life.
    I still think of her with much love and always will. God bless you Ruby – I will l love and miss you forever.

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      December 12, 2019

      Ruby seems like a wonderful dog. We’re so glad you had those years with her.

      Reply
  19. Pagan.lady
    December 10, 2019

    The American Pit Bull Terrier, (the breed’s actual name, not “pit bull”, or “American pit bull terrier”) actually don’t have “crushing jaws”, that is a myth about the breed, they are just stubborn and don’t want to let go. Just like any bulldog and like any terrier. They are perfect with families, and with people with general. They have animal aggression, not people aggression. They were never meant to go after people, that has only been trained into them recently, (as of the 1980’s) from insecure sub Par “humans” who feel they need a big strong dog so they can feel big and strong themselves. The American Pit Bull Terrier, (or APBT for short), has one quality that makes them outshine all other breeds, but it is unfortunately also the most exploited: they love their human so much, they will do anything to please them. It is their shining star and their worst trait. They just want to make their human happy. And unfortunately that can be a good or a bad thing, all boils down to what owner you get. In the dog world. Pits are loving, intelligent, loyal, goofy, protective, fearless, curious, love people, and of course people pleasers.. It’s high time we blame the other end of the leash, no dog is inherently dangerous, it’s the humans that make a dog what it is….

    Reply
  20. Mark K
    December 20, 2019

    I have a Amstaff/neo mastiff mix rescue, smartest loving dog I’ve ever owned! Obviously people who leave negative comments about pit bull breads have never had one !

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      December 20, 2019

      Yes, we can understand people’s fear if they’ve never owned one but there are so many positive examples of the breed too! Thanks for commenting!

      Reply
  21. Milt Marhoffer
    December 25, 2019

    My ex-wife had a pit bull, “red”.that dog liked and obeyed commands from my niece and i better than he did from her!!!

    Reply
  22. Gilbert Nevarez
    January 7, 2020

    I have a blue nose pittie her name is Misty blue,we’ve had her since she was 6 weeks old. my wife and I have two grandchildren, one is 3 1/2 the other is almost one year old, my pittie is almost two, I’ve taught her to be good with the grandbabies, I make sure that she is not aggressive while she is eating, the babies love her and she loves them, she is a little rough with them but only plays with them, never biting or nibbling on them, just licking them as much as she can before I pull her off of them, my wife and I love her so much, she loves to be hugged and her tummy rubbed, she always greets us at the door when we get home from work, tail wagging a hundred miles a minute, she does not chew any of our things, we have her a lot of toys that she chews on, she is very smart, loving and a little spoiled, (alot) just wanted to share a little bit about my pittie, thanks…

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      January 8, 2020

      Thanks for sharing Gilbert. Sounds like a sweetheart!

      Reply
  23. Ken
    January 13, 2020

    I own a pitty. Great dog. Raise em like ur kids. Some folks r bad parents. Some are great parents. They totally rely on us, therefore they project us. Dont judge to u participate in raising one.

    Reply
    • Lorraine Wilde
      January 14, 2020

      Great advice. Thanks for commenting Ken.

      Reply
  24. Molly
    January 15, 2020

    It’s racism! And that sucks for everyone! Racism is alive and well when you condemn a whole breed because of some unfortunate incident. Dogs of all kinds, colors & breeds have all had their days of behaving badly probably due to man’s inability to read their body language or down right abuse of the animal. There are many reasons why tragedy may strike. & if you think you know why this happens, your probably wrong.
    Just as racism is a stain on our Society as we know it, so is it in the animal kingdom! Animals are innocent!! Pittbulls rule!!

    Reply
    • Lorraine Wilde
      January 15, 2020

      We can see the racism analogy Molly. A perspective not yet shared here. Thank you for your comment and enthusiasm.

      Reply
  25. Twerp
    January 22, 2020

    I know a lot of you love your dogs, I do too! We’ve had up to 7 rescues at the same time ranging from a sweet stray Chihuahua to a loving Rhodesia ridgeback, also a stray!! While taking a family in need some things they needed the Monday after Easter almost 3 years ago , their dog, an American pit that I had met 2 times before,attacked through the front door. I have never regained the full use of the hand and wrist he crushed, and the pain was absolutely unbearable. The dog was a sweetie until he wasn’t! So for all of us who have been victims of these “sweet dogs” I wish they were all humanely put down along with a couple other breeds. Once Cash started attacking people he didn’t stop, and after the 2nd attack. On a police officer he was put down after a quarantine period. I had huge medical bills due to co-pays, and suing them wasn’t an option they didn’t have a pot to pee in!! Luckily I do not remember the attack just what I’ve been told, but the aftermath was horrifically painful and long! I can’t imagine what a child would go through!! I was lucky they got him off me, others have not been so lucky! My question to all of you is why does your dog have more rights than I do!! They live in my city when I can’t even walk in my own neighborhood for fear of being attacked again! PTSD the Dr says!! I should have the right to walk without fear!! You can keep your kitties and bullies and whatever else you might call them!!! P.S. smaller dogs may bite like a poodle or a Chihuahua but they won’t kill you and that makes a HUGE difference in the breeds we should keep as pets!!! I’m afraid of most large breeds now, but I’m terrified of the breeds that make up the pit bull category!!! You should think about the human factor here rather than the canine!!! You can keep your kids!!!!!

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      January 22, 2020

      Hi Twerp. We are so very sad that you had to go through this terrible, terrible experience. That being said, the whole point of this blog was to assert that we shouldn’t judge an entire group of breeds, “pitbulls” based on one bad experience. We respect your right to your own opinion and we see how it could be very hard for you to ever trust a member of these breeds ever again, but we disagree that pitbulls shouldn’t be allowed to be pets. Your story doesn’t include the full picture of this dog’s life before the incident, nor whether or not the dog had had any training, or what method of training. While we are very sad that your life was so significantly and negatively affected by this dog, we know from personal experience with many, many dogs in the “pitbull” breeds that have been sweet, trainable and safe pets. Thank you for sharing your story and we wish you only the best in your future interactions with all animals.

      Reply
  26. Gail Grantham
    February 9, 2020

    I have an American red nose pitbull terrier, his name is Bruiser. I adopted him from Animal Care and protective services in Jacksonville, Florida He was 6 months old. He is now three and a half years old. He is a mama’s boy. He doesn’t like it if I get out of his sight. Like when I take him in the car with me? To go to the store. I go in the store and have to leave him in the car and he can’t see me. Soon as I get out of his sight he starts barking. And will not stop until he sees me come out of the store. He has never shown any aggression towards anyone. He is a sissy lala. LOL the reason I say this if I also have a Chihuahua shitzu mix and her name is BB. She is the boss of me and of him. He lays at the foot of my bed, and if he gets off of the bed, she will move into his spot on purpose. Then when he wants to get back up on the bed in his spot. He will not do it. He will stand there staring at me and whine and bark for me to pick her up and move her. Because As soon as he gets back on the bed She attacks him. He is scared of her and he is a good 80 lbs compared to her little 8.8 lbs. They do love each other. And follow each other everywhere and they both follow me everywhere. I just recently did an argumentative essay on breed specific legislation in my English composition 1 class. You cannot judge a dog by its breed or how it looks. Every dog is an individual. I am an advocate who is against breed specific legislation Any dog can bite. Punish the deed not the breed. I love my beautiful red nose pitbull. When people started fighting the pitbull terrier breeds against each other. in dog fighting .That was part of the reason people started stereotyping, saying that pit bulls are dangerous. People should not judge a book by its cover. Educate yourself , If you’ve never owned a pitbull, or have been in contact with one on a regular basis, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Me and my dogs are a pack for life. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      February 10, 2020

      Thanks for sharing your story Gail.

      Reply
  27. Neal Eiber
    February 19, 2020

    Roman is a 7 yo, 60# rescue. He is loyal, friendly, and better than a ring doorbell. He loves people, to play soccer, his treats, and to have his belly and ears rubbed. Yes he is spoiled. but he deserves it!

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      February 19, 2020

      He sounds like a sweetheart. Thank you for sharing Neal. Dogs like Roman will help drown out the misunderstanding of this group of breeds.

      Reply
  28. Angela R Simpson
    February 21, 2020

    I am a Pit bull mother… I have had my Kingston for 1 year… He is the most loving and affectionate pup. I make sure he gets lost of hugs and kisses from me… The pit bull breed is truly misunderstood… Until you own one… Please be careful how you… Disrespect the … breed…. People have used these dogs to fight… And make them become beasts…pit bull are loving loyal and full of energy… Socialize your pup with people and other dogs and you will see the true love of the breed…
    Just saying Kingston mom

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      February 22, 2020

      Thanks for sharing your story Angela.

      Reply
  29. Deborah Murphy
    March 17, 2020

    I do on a rescue Pitbull she’s my everything. She’s not only my best friend but my service dog. The more I take her out around people the more they realize and understand what a good dogs they really are. Thank you for this story. For those of you that can give a pitbull a second chance and a home and a family. Pitbulls are just big fur babies. ❤️

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      March 25, 2020

      Thanks for commenting Deborah. Your dog sounds sweet. Glad she’s been a positive service dog for you and an example to others that these breeds are misunderstood by many.

      Reply

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