|Not A Breed For
(And no breed is!)
Studying breed trends over the course of the 20th century, there is a clear
pattern that shows 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 owners; 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 disastrous. A
breed that should only be in the hands of but a few 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
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