Why do Pits get such a bad rap? If certainly hasn’t always been the case. Witness the loveable Petey a favorite animal star of the 1930s and no one considered him to be anything but a child’s best friend.
The “scary dog” label that Pits have been given is a recent occurrence in our history. During the 60s, 70s, and 80s few people even knew of the breed and they certainly weren’t considered a threat any more than the other large breasted dogs.
Bull dogs were once considered the “scary breed” in cartoon and comic books. Remember Spike the bull dog? He was quite formidable with his large jaws and spiked collar and always only a few steps from chomping down on Sylvester the cat.
Bull dogs were originally bred to be used in blood sports such as bull baiting. This event took place in a ring where these dogs would grab a bull by the muzzle and hang on for dear life. The reason Bull dogs aren’t considered to be a scary breed today is because of their owners. Bull dog owners tend to be responsible individuals with no interest in raising their dogs to be gladiators.
Just as problem kids are the product of bad parenting bad dogs are the result of bad owners. If you brutalize a puppy of any breed the adult dog will mirror that upbringing.
Aggression can occur in any dog and if you counted the breeds whose aggression resulted in bites to humans breeds like Chihauhau and tiny poodles would probably lead the list!
The thug element in our society is much to blame for the bad dog image unfairly given to all Pit Bulls. In the 1970s and 80s you never saw an unaltered cropped eared male sporting a spike collar being walked by his owner with a logging chain for a leash. Sadly today we see it too often.
Thugs have adopted Pit Bulls as their poster child because it gives them a sense of power over others. Had they chosen another breed such as German Shepherds then they would also have a negative image.
The same low lifes in our society teach aggression to their Pits. Having the “badest” dog on the street is something they can brag about.
The increase in dog fighting has resulted in many family Pits being stolen and used as training dogs for the ring.
While some might say “punish the deed and not the breed” it would be more appropriate to hold the owner responsible for aggression towards others.
Perhaps communities could pass ordinances that would make it expensive to own large breed dogs who weren’t spayed or neutered. In this way irresponsible breeding would not result in Pits flooding the market and filling our animal shelters.