RPB uses the term "Pit Bull" as a nickname for the breed American Pit
Bull Terrier (APBT).
There are many breeds mistakenly labeled as "Pit Bulls" or improperly
referred to as such by the media, legislators, and others.
Some mislabeled breeds include: Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American
Bulldogs, and Bull Terriers. Each of these breeds has unique history
and temperament that separate them from the REAL Pit Bull and
should not be referred to as "Pit Bulls". Additionally, each of these
breeds has its own rescue and advocacy group(s), has fewer numbers
than the APBT, and are not referred to as "Pit Bulls" by their own
fanciers and breed clubs. RPB does not consider these breeds to be
"Pit Bulls" and as such are NOT our focus. The broad use of the term
"Pit Bull" to refer to these other "bull breeds” is a recent development.
RPB’s goal is to help end the confusion surrounding the term "Pit Bull",
and accurately identify TRUE Pit Bulls while sorting through related
breeds. We aren't ashamed of the term "Pit Bull", in fact, it has
historically been the nickname used by APBT fanciers. As an
organization, RPB embraces the term "Pit Bull" for the APBT as we
strive to accurately define and identify the breed.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Bull Terriers, American Bulldogs, et.al., are
effected by the same or similar problems that so seriously effect the
APBT; we believe that the work we do specifically for Pit Bulls can only
help further the cause of ALL those working for ANY breed that may be
mislabeled a "Pit Bull".
RPB supports the use of the term “bull breeds” when referring to that
group of breeds that includes the APBT, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull
Terrier, American Bulldog, and other breeds of bulldog ancestry, and
those dogs commonly targeted by legislation that categorizes dogs
based on looks and not actual breed.
In place of the term "pit bull-type dog", we support usage of the term
"bull breed-type dog" for dogs of indistinguishable origin, not labeled
Pit Bulls, that would be effected by BSL due to their appearance.
Dog-Directed Aggression In Pit Bulls
RPB recognizes that dog-directed aggression is a common behavioral
inclination of the Pit Bull, and we do not suggest penalizing dogs for
exhibiting behavior that may be labeled as “dog-directed aggression”.
For the purposes of rescue and rehoming, a Pit Bull that exhibits dog-
directed aggression to such a degree that it is difficult to house and/or
handle according to recommended protocols is a less-than-ideal
candidate for adoption program inclusion. It is prudent that each dog
be taken on a case by case basis. The recommendations for
management, training and potential adoption program suitability will
vary depending upon the dog as well as the resources available.
Pit Bulls that enter an adoption program should be able to, at the
least, tolerate the controlled presence of other dogs before being
placed into a permanent home. As such, appropriate behavior
modification should occur in rescue before placement, so that the dog
may at the least co-exist in the reasonably close (controlled, on leash)
proximity of other dogs.
RPB always recommends the following steps be taken to keep Pit Bulls
safe and help them succeed in a given environment: 1) Proper,
thoughtful socialization, 2) Training (contact us for tips on socializing
and training your Pit Bull!), 3) Management that involves separating a
Pit Bull from other animals when careful supervision is not possible, 4)
Leash used when off of property and/or outside of home/yard (the Pit
Bull should not run or roam loose), and 5) Avoidance of off-leash dog
Human-Directed Aggression in Pit Bulls
Pit Bulls are a human-social and -friendly breed. They are not "guard",
"attack" or "protection" dogs. The 'temperament correct' Pit Bull is
friendly, deferential, and even submissive towards all humans
RPB does not promote the placement of Pit Bulls that have exhibited
accurately-identified human-directed aggression, nor the long-term
kenneling/fostering of Pit Bulls that have shown human-directed
aggression. We believe such dogs have unstable temperaments that
are uncharacteristic of the breed. Such dogs are a danger to society
as well as a detriment to the breed in general and our goals, and
therefore we recommend humane euthanasia by a veterinarian.
As for Pit Bulls that demonstrate human-directed aggression but are
already in a permanent home, we support positive behavior
modification, adequate containment of the problem, and, as a last
resort, humane euthanasia by veterinarian.
RPB never supports the re-homing of a Pit Bull with human-directed
Breed Specific Legislation
RPB does not support any proposed legislation or current law with
breed-specific language. We are opposed to insurance companies that
discriminate based on breed ownership. And we do not support any
state or local licensing law that requires owners of Pit Bulls to pay fees
above and beyond those which owners of other breeds are required
RPB supports and encourages spay/neuter. We recognize that certain
ethical and qualified breeders or dog show exhibitors may keep intact
dogs and we do not oppose this practice (please see "Breeding"
below). RPB strongly believes that the majority of dogs today should
be spayed/neutered due to the overwhelming numbers euthanized
annually due to lack of appropriate homes. RPBFbelieves no dog
should be placed or re-homed before being spayed/neutered.
As an organization, RPB supports dog licensing laws and intact-dog
surcharges, except where such laws and/or surcharges single out and
subject Pit Bulls to different laws and/or higher surcharges. We
encourage enforcement of current laws instead of new, harsher laws.
The negligent owners that harsher laws would target will continue to
evade enforcement; any imposed higher fines, stricter licensing
requirements and/or penalties for intact dogs would burden
responsible owners while failing to address real problems. RPB
believes in education and enforcement of current laws as a means to
end the problems associated with the excessive numbers of homeless
dogs and irresponsible breeding.
RPB does not support mandatory spay/neuter.
Breeding & Breeder Licensing
Breeding: As an organization, RPB does not promote breeding. We
feel there are far too many Pit Bulls in compromised situations and in
need of rescue. Most homeless Pit Bulls will never find the love and
care they deserve. We encourage adoption instead of purchase. For
those seeking a pet, rescues and shelters can be the best source for
obtaining a Pit Bull. (RPB can help you locate your Dream Dog...please
contact us for more info.)
In general, RPB is not opposed to ethical breeding practices. (Think
you're ethical? Find out for sure read this.).
Licensing: RPB is opposed to laws requiring of all breeders licensing &
payment of high fees. Such laws make it easy for large-scale puppy
farms and unethical breeders to comply, while ethical/small-scale show
and hobby breeders would be forced to end their commitment to
producing only one or two small, high-quality litters every few years.
Ethical breeders do not consider dog breeding a "business" and in
effect usually do not make a profit (and in fact usually operate at a
loss). The large-scale breeders that sell wholesale to brokers/stores
or retail to the public in many cases are already licensed. Licensing
does not prevent such breeders from recklessly selling puppies that
many times end up in abusive situations or in shelters.
One of the biggest concerns of RPB are owners of intact Pit Bulls who
may not even consider themselves breeders (and hence would not
comply with licensing, or may not even be effected). Such owners
casually allow their pet to produce only one or two litters. These litters
very often are difficult to sell and go from the owner's home directly to
the shelter. Those pups that are purchased go to homes that haven't
been screened, and may end up abused, producing more puppies, or
dumped in shelters. RPB is dedicated to finding meaningful, realistic
solutions to this problem. Solutions include large-scale education
campaigns, low cost/free spay & neuter programs, and more.
RPB is strongly opposed to the illegal, unethical, and brutally
inhumane "sport" of dog fighting. We encourage and support
prosecution of anyone involved in such a crime.
However, RPB wishes to end the propagation of harmful
misinformation about fighting dogs themselves. Common
misinformation presented about fighting dogs include:
- Fallacy: "Fighting Pit Bulls are 'trained' to be aggressive towards
other dogs or animals and, once subjected to this training, are not
suitable for placement in new homes." The truth of the matter is
that any breed can be aggressive towards other dogs whether
used as fighting dogs, or simply raised as a family companions
(see "Dog-Directed Aggression" above). Therefore, any home
must be prepared to deal with such aggression by providing an
environment which is conducive to teaching alternatives to
aggressive behavior, and as well as proper management.
- Fallacy: "Aggression directed at other dogs will be directed at
humans as well." The truth of the matter is that dog-directed
aggression and aggression towards humans are two separate
behavior issues. Some of the fighting-bred Pit Bulls may be the
most human-friendly dogs you'd ever hope to meet.
In addition, RPB does not believe it appropriate or necessary for a
shelter or rescue to label any Pit Bull a "fighting dog" simply because
of the presence of scars or exhibition of dog-directed aggression. A
known history of use as a fighting dog should be the only justification
for such a label.
RPB does not use nor promote the use of the term "bait dog".