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Pit Bulls: Fighting a Pitiful Reputation

Updated on April 25, 2018
Because of the stigma associated with pit bulls, many of these pups end up at the pound
Because of the stigma associated with pit bulls, many of these pups end up at the pound

The pit bull breed is one that always seems to find itself in the middle of some public controversy. Whether it be the Michael Vick dog fighting scandal or a "random attack" on a passerby or neighbor, pit bulls have acquired a reputation as a breed with an inherent tendency to be unpredictable and violent.

However, this reputation is not necessarily accurate.

Many dog professionals agree that pit bulls are not inherently dangerous; rather, it is the environment in which the dog is raised that engenders their vicious and uncontrollably aggressive nature. The environment that breeds a dangerous dog is one full of physical and emotional abuse.

Illegal dog fighting groups exist all across the country, and the most common dog breeds involved in this practice are typically pit bulls, Rottweilers, and other types of bull terriers.

Jay Carlson, a passionate Pit Bull owner from Winooski, Vermont, explains, “The problem with this breed is the “macho factor” associated with the name. Many people train these dogs to attack and kill other dogs right from birth.”

People who raise put bulls to fight instill a kill instinct in the dogs right from birth. They are placed as puppies in cages with older dogs who attack them, teaching them aggression toward other dogs. Often times the dogs are forced to run on treadmills for hours at a time to build muscle and to hang from ropes so their jaws become stronger and more deadly. Additionally, most people involved in the illegal dog fighting community keep their dogs underfed, which can cause them to be agitated and distressed.

Various cities across the United States have gone as far as instilling a ban against the ownership of Pit Bulls. These bans typically arise after reported attacks and are an attempt to placate local residents who are disturbed by the event. In 2004, city officials in Boston passed a law that required all Pit Bull owners to be muzzled in public due to an increase of attacks.

Pit bulls make loving pets.
Pit bulls make loving pets.

Punish the Deed, Not the Breed

Many people feel the regulations against this breed should be re-focused towards the negligent and irresponsible dog owners. Humane societies across the country urge dog owners to be conscious of their dog’s temperament and to make sure their dogs are trained through proper obedience and behavioral methods.

While this breed will undoubtedly maintain a negative reputation, thousands of people across the country can vouch that their beloved Pit Bulls are a far cry from being confrontational canines. A pit bull owner from Worcester, Massachusetts, explains enthusiastically, “Pit Bulls have the worst reputation but in my experience, they are the best dogs. They are good-natured, loyal and loving. My dog is extremely social and playful with every other dog he meets.”

The issues surrounding this breed often pull on the heartstrings of dedicated dog owners who have nothing but the breed’s best interest in mind. Ignorant people who don’t know how to properly raise a dog are the reason that Pit Bulls have a negative stereotype and are so misunderstood. Punish the deed, not the breed!


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Dogs don't kill babies. The nonalchant parents that leave them unattended do. what your dog does is your responsability!! I have two black labs and they are great with kids, they are just playful. Two thumbs down for people who talk bad about black labs! black labs rule!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      . but when did it become gituly before proven innocent? i totally agree, the dogs didn't mean to do what they did, they did it to get love they thought that if they did this maybe they can get some love (i'm talking about the dog fight dogs.) when did it ever, EVER! become okay to kill a dog because it was a pit bull? you know a long time ago the pit bull was thought of to be the best dog any one could have? but then some day after a person decided that the pit bull wasn't a good dog that the dog was horrible! and ever since the breed has been put on the death list? if pit bulls never existed, you know we'd all be saying that a dog like the rottwelier was horrible and needed to be put down like some are saying about pit bulls for once people GIVE THE PIT BULLS A CHANCE AT LOVE AND TO PROVE THAT THEY CAN LIVE A LIFE LIKE THE GOLDEN RETIVER OR THE YELLOW LAB HAS!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I was looking evwehryere and this popped up like nothing!

    • tsadjatko profile image

      5 years ago from now on

      Your article is right on in every aspect you address. One of the best pets I ever had was a rednose pitbull, a descendant from one of the best known original fighting dogs. There is nothing about this breed's temperament that cannot be found in any other breed. It all depends on how they are bred as well as how they are treated. Superior traits of any kind are developed in a breed through line breeding, and or occassional inbreeding which can have unitended consequences. I once met a serious breeder of Dalmations who quit the show scene. He had one prize bitch that had whelped over 40 champions but he told me out of every one of her litters half the litter had to be put down because of their temperament problems. To produce such exceptional dogs this was a price they had to pay and he was tired of it.

      The big problem with pitbulls is if they go bad they are ultimately equipped to do damage and instinctively only let go to get a better grip.

      Btw if you are so unfortunate as to be involved in such an attack and the dog has a collar your best bet is to grab the collar if you are strong or slide something like a stick under it and twist to tighten the collar like a turnicate - within seconds the dog will passout and release the bite. Once passed out it will take him a couple minutes or more to revive so keep the collar twisted tight till everyone is safe and the dog restrained.

    • Bukarella profile image

      Lyudmyla Hoffman 

      7 years ago from United States

      This article explains why you chose to follow me! :)

      Right back at'cha.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Totally agree with you, they are also banned in England where I live. I have to say though, having them illegal helps to stop so many people who ARE misstreating them from owning them. The town I live in has quite a few who are used for dogfighting and they are getting found out just due to the fact people report that they own the breed.

      But I still agree with you!

    • Rebekah  Nydam profile imageAUTHOR

      Rebekah Nydam 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thank you very much!

    • dagudside profile image


      7 years ago from New York City

      A beautiful article that undoubtedly captures the innocence and sweetness of the pit bull. Thank you so much for overturning the unspoken verdict that automatically labels pit bulls as dangerous dogs! =D Keep writing!


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