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Are pit bulls really monsters?
What do you believe the most aggressive dog is?
Media, Stories, Facebook, who do we blame?
There are some people who do not believe all the stories they hear, but there are those who do believe everything the media says. The dog tore little girl's face off or the dog took the man's finger clean off his hand. These are common stories that are heard about pit bulls. What people do to this breed to turn it into the "monster" that the media has portrayed these dogs to be would make even a Labrador an aggressive animal.The question still remains are these dogs actually aggressive by nature or is it something as simple as fear of the breed?
Stories are told regarding the breed and their "aggressive nature", but the stories where the breed is often the victim are not heard nearly as much. Approximately five years ago there was a shooting involving two pit bulls that were shot dead in Jefferson Parish (New Orleans suburbs), because they were pit bulls and the shooter felt threatened. Then there is the pit bull in Ireland, Lennox, who was taken from his home and forced to spend the rest of his days in a cell. Lennox never attacked anyone, he was discriminated against for looking like a pit bull. Lennox didn't get to spend his final days saying goodbye to his family, he was locked in cage until he was put to death. The one story everyone is most familiar with is Michael Vick, he trained and fought pit bulls and murdered the "losers" in cold blood. Is this the breeds fault or is it ours?
Reputations and Ignorance
Pit bulls have a reputation for being an aggressive breed for reason. People, like Vick, train these dogs as fighting dogs. These dogs are often starved, beaten, and neglected to make it more aggressive, not only to other dogs but humans as well. In order for the dog to get a taste of blood the dog is often starved and fed a small animal once it is believed to be hungry enough to kill it. To give the dog have a higher tolerance for pain they are beaten with the end of a water hose. Personally, I would get aggressive too if you beat me with a water hose, starved me, and neglected me, wouldn't you?
While training these dogs to become fighters is awful, it is not the only way pit bulls can become aggressive. People who do not know how to train a dog, or do what should be required research before getting a dog like a pit bull are also to blame. These dogs are not for people who have never owned a dog before. They require special training, and not for a couple days or weeks, life long training. These dogs require special food, toys, and even exercise. The people who do not do their research, go out and buy a pit bull are some of the worst offenders because they have no idea what they are doing. The dogs often end up in a shelter because they become to over whelming for the owner. In a shelter it can become scared, lonely, and eventually because of lack of proper exercise, food, and attention, aggressive.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is one of the most loyal, trusting, and people oriented breeds there is. They love human interaction and crave the attention they get when something is done right or good. It is only natural for the breed to want to please their owners and get that praise they crave so much. Sadly, people take this trust and use it against these dogs to become fighters. These dogs become aggressive after what is done to them by the owners they trusted and loved. There is no longer that sacred bond between owner and dog that most dog owners value.
Man's Best Friend
Many websites will state that a pit bull is not a good guard dog, and should not be purchased for that reason. I partially agree with this statement, no dog should be rescued or purchased to guard a house and material possessions. A dog, not just pit bulls, can sense human emotions, but pit bulls are very intelligent. While they shouldn't be brought into a home for guarding reasons, they will protect their territory and family if they sense it is in danger.
I have two completely opposite breeds of dogs and the one you would expect to be aggressive is the one who will jump in your lap and kiss you to death. My pit bulls and my chihuahua are polar opposite personalities. My chihuahua will chase you around the house barking while trying to bite your toes, but my pit bull once introduced to a guest, will not leave their side. Both of my pit bulls have had a hard life, my female Dixie spent the first four months of her life in a cell and Rocky was neglected as a puppy and hit by a car at eight months old. Not only did he get hit by a car, but he was drug under the car for two blocks. Three surgeries later, he lost his tail and cannot go running longer than thirty minutes before his ankle, that had gravel surgically removed twice, starts to swell up and become very painful. The person who hit him, left him on the side of the road to die alone, but Rocky being the strong and loyal pit bull that he is, got up and limped home. Dixie hasn't had as bad as Rocky, but was locked in a cell for four months, didn't get to go home like the cute mix puppies did in the shelter. When I met her I stuck my fingers in her cage to try to pet her, she would grab onto them and try to pull me into her cage. That scared little puppy wanted nothing more than for someone to give her a chance to show that she isn't the monster that people believe pit bulls to be.
Today, I have two beautiful pit bulls, both taken out of bad situations. They have never bitten, attacked, or attempted to cause any physical harm to another human or animal. Dixie will jump and wag her little tail every time I come home because we were that family to give her a second chance and she is grateful to have someone that comes home to her. Even though he is physically damaged for the rest of his life, Rocky is still the most trusting and loyal dog, who is willing to give anyone that will let him a big kiss on the face.
One problem still remains for the breeds that fall into the "aggressive" category, they are the ones that will suffer. There are five breeds that are considered aggressive breeds, but to be honest, I don't blame these breeds, I blame the people who raise these dogs into "monsters" and then abandon them and condemn them to death. It is not a dog's fault that they have been given this reputation, but the people who raise that dog to become a monster that people fear and worst of all, a breed that people hate.