…..and no breed is!
The Real Pit Bull, Inc was founded in 1997. When we started this organization, Pit Bulls were still very much a maligned, misunderstood, and discriminated-against breed. Many people worked very hard to dispel myths about these dogs, save dogs from mass slaughter, and help bring the breed into the light of normal, acceptable dog guardianship, living life as average, everyday companion dogs. The work everyone did has largely had its desired effect. However, the pendulum unfortunately has swing a little too far in the opposite direction and now the breed is TOO popular.
Popularity for any breed is extremely detrimental.
Popularity manifests itself in a variety of problematic ways: over-breeding without regard to health or temperament; dogs sold to whoever forks over the money regardless of their suitability as caretakers; and lots of people without a real understanding of their breed of choice creating problem dogs that generate a negative effect that spills over to the public (by way of attacks); and lots of dogs ending up in shelters.
Popularity for Pit Bulls has been and will continue to be a big problem. A breed that should only be in the hands of some, is now in the ends of, well, everyone. Many people who make decent dog owners make really bad Pit Bull owners. And there are lots of decent dog owners out there.
But just because not everyone should own a Pit Bull doesn’t mean no one should. This is a strong point that can be validated many ways, but two extremes that do not necessarily agree with this point are waging war right now and a win on either side will mean a loss for the American Pit Bull Terrier breed.
There are two ends of a broad spectrum: both are extreme, and both
could ultimately spell disaster for the breed. One end believes no one should own Pit Bulls and the world would be a better place without them. This camp is working to destroy the breed through fear tactics, half truths, and lies. The other end of the spectrum believes Pit Bulls potentially belong in any dog-loving home, and can and should be in the public eye represented as the perfect breed of dog for lots and lots of people. This latter line of thinking seems to permeate large segments of the pro Pit Bull faction lately. This is a huge concern, as well-meaning people push the breed into the spotlight, declaring them, “the same as any other dog”,
and the perfect play pal for kids, teens, dogs, cats, horses, hamsters,
One tell tale sign of this latter segment – let’s call them the Pollyanna Pit Bull Brigade – is their pushing of the notion that Pit Bulls are the same as all other breeds, no more and no less prone to aggression – any sort of aggression – than any other breed. This is too general a sentiment to even warrant being taken seriously, but it is doing damage nonetheless. Suffice it to say, if all breeds were the same, we would not have breeds, we’d just have dogs. Any dog could be trained to do any task to extreme efficiency. Shetland Sheepdogs could be trained in attack police work to perform like German Shepherds, and Siberian Huskies could be trained to
herd sheep like either of the aforementioned herding breeds.
Pit Bulls are gluttons for human attention, love bugs supreme, and the real representatives of the breed don’t have an ounce of human-
aggression in their blood. It is insulting to any self-respecting bulldog fan that anyone would suggest Pit Bulls are no more and no less prone to human-aggression than any other breed. The breed should be rock solid and never show signs of unwarranted human aggression. In fact, the breed is so human-friendly that even sometimes when you wish they’d show some aggression (i.e. someone breaking into your home), you shouldn’t bet the bank that they’d do more than wag their butts and scramble to give a kiss on the lips. They aren’t guard dogs! (If you want a guard dog, get, hmmm, maybe a Rottweiler, or a Cane Corso – breeds bred for the task!)
Conversely, because of their history, Pit Bulls may be more prone to
showing aggression directed at other dogs than say, a Beagle which is a breed bred to run in packs with – not fight – other dogs.
What’s so difficult to wrap your head around, here? Still, many folk want to insist “Pit Bulls are just like any other dogs”. You wouldn’t insult the German Shepherd folk, or the Siberian Husky folk, or the Rhodesian Ridgeback folk by insisting that their breeds are “just like any other breed”. Besides, it’s just not true.
Pit Bulls like all breeds are prone to their own breed-specific traits,
idiosyncrasies of temperament, and likely to demonstrate certain
behavioral tendencies. There ARE genetics involved in the manifestation of behavior, after all, an inextricable intertwining of nature vs. nurture so that two breeds of different genetic makeup raised in the same environment will show different temperaments and behaviors. The same environment acting upon two unique beings made up of different genes. Environment is important. Unbelievably so. But without genetics, there would be no
behavior to mold to begin with.
Since breeds are unique, just like people, it is a simple leap of logic to the mindset that says, “Not all breeds are suited to all people”. When people who are mentally, personality-wise, environmentally, financially, educationally unsuited to a breed but obtain said breed with false notions of what that breed is all about, the end result can be truly disastrous.
When lots of people, as in the case of the Pit Bull, own a breed but are not necessarily properly suited for it, you have lots of problems, all over the place. Welcome to the Current Era and the Pit Bull Problem as we know it.
And here we are back to that Pollyanna Pit Bull Brigade that pushes
popularity of the breed and insists Pit Bulls are just like any other dog – what breed IS ‘just like any other dog???’ The answer? None. This line of thinking when propagated creates for situations in which inexperienced, ill- prepared dog owners end up with Pit Bulls they cannot manage.
The answer to the problem is simple: stop pushing Pit Bulls on the general public. Stop promoting them as “just like any other dog”. Pit Bulls need to become LESS popular, not more. The breed is already too popular. That’s its problem. And until we find a way to drastically reduce numbers and shout from the rooftops what the Pit Bull IS and IS NOT, we’ll continue to see the downward spiral of one of the most magnificent creatures to ever live: that goofy silly special talented loving breed we call the America PIT BULL Terrier.