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Pity on Pitbulls

Hate the Deed, Not the Breed

When people seek to adopt a canine companion, the traits in a dog they are mainly looking for normally involves loyalty, playful, great with family, and highly non-aggressive. In this situation, the most common breed to be passed by without a second glance, let alone avoided when being owned, would be the Pitbull. This result is normally because of their known history of being aggressive. However, what people look for in a dog can be found in any breed, regardless of their history and rumors of regular aggression. Although Pitbulls are stereotyped as being the most dangerously aggressive breed, they can be as harmless as any other dog as long as you raise them right with love and compassion. Regardless, it’s the owners who created this rumor against Pitbulls and only make Pitbulls become aggressive because of how they raise them; it has nothing to do with this particular breed itself.

What’s most known about Pitbulls and aggression is they’re involvement in dogfights. Being raised in this kind of environment and treated poorly by cruel people who run these events are what can make any dog distrust people and become aggressive. If in the affair of dog fighting, this makes dogs something they are not, a monster. Because of their strength and size, Pitbulls in particular are chosen to be in the dog fights the most and by knowing this, people assume their offspring somehow inherited this aggression. What people don’t realize is that Pitbulls are only aggressive because of what they are forced to do, not because they were born with this behavior; they’re only aggressive if you bring them up in an unloving environment. 

“They have been bred for many different jobs over centuries, however, they have primarily been bred as family companions and they need to be treated with compassion. Pitbulls are no different. They were bred as working dogs and family companions prior to being bred to bull bait and then dogfight,’’ states Sara K. Eros, obviously a dog lover herself who stands for the belief that all dogs are the same, no different and that all breeds have the capability to love care for its family. 

By this, all dogs may have a bad backstory, so Pitbulls shouldn’t be treated any differently when people take pity when adopting. If someone leaves a Pitbull or any other breed and doesn’t want to deal with its behavior because they are hurting from their previous owner’s actions, then they are no crueler than the person who made the dog become that way.

I have a Pitbull named Skyler, grown now and never even hurt a fly for the whole nine years I’ve raised him. Found in a box with his other two siblings in 102-degree weather, it was very likely that they were abandoned because of their obvious Pitbull features. Having to revive them back to health, we eventually found homes for the two except Skyler, who had more of the Pitbull features than his brother and sister. We treated him no differently than any other breed, and with love, care, play and training, he grew up to be a handsome Pitbull. although through those years of growing and even today, people avoid him on walks, crossing the street, and draw back if he comes over to say hello. Skyler was raised in a good home, despite people abandoning him for his breed, and although he grew up being loved and cared for, people still assume he’s going to attack when he comes near in an obviously happy mood. The famous dog whisperer, Cesar Millan, shares his opinion on this breed by stating, “a Pitbull is no more likely to unpredictably attack than any other breed. That’s a fact. To say that a pit is a natural-born killer is nothing more than stereotyping’’ (Cesar’s Way). With this true statement, some readers may challenge my view by insisting that there have still been a handful of reports involving Pitbulls coming from good homes yet still attack and kill bystanders and owners. Unfortunately, these reports have happened, but at the same time, the same amount of reports have come in by other breeds as well, not just Pitbulls.

Dalmatians have been known to be very aggressive, mainly for their high energy as many dogs have. Yet not just Dalmatians are known for aggression, but also Rottweilers, Dobermans, Huskies and Chihuahuas. Any dog can be aggressive, regardless of them coming from a good home because there can always be a trigger. High energy can count as roughhousing, as most children do but dogs can have that as well, and just like us it can sometimes get out of hand. Following that, perhaps someone did something simple that triggered a dog’s memory of their cruel past, setting them off. This is similar to when a veteran has a flashback sometimes of what they were involved in and saw and may lash out or become grumpy by this sudden mood change. Or when a dog is in hunting mode with a squirrel or bird outside, their instincts passed down from wolves blind them before the owner’s face and voice brings them out of that state. What about when you turn the corner suddenly at the same as your dog, starting them to the point where they give a little nip before calming down? It’s no different for a human to give a strike out of pure reflexes when someone gives a jump scare. 

The ASPCA Policy and Position statements goes to explain as well by stating, “The reality is that dogs of many breeds can be selectively bred or trained to develop aggressive traits. ... And the simple fact is that dogs of any breed can become dangerous when they're intentionally or unintentionally raised to be aggressive.’’ 

Highly agreeing with this, it shows that dogs are capable of getting angry or having bad moods for no particular reason, much like humans. It doesn’t mean we turn on that particular race just because he mugged someone, we just take action of the situation and move on; same for Pitbulls, focus on the deed not the breed.

Pitbulls and dogs alike act upon how they are raised, much like a child. As parents, we raise our children to behave and act properly in any given moment of life. When they do something wrong, we scold but don’t fear every single child in fear of them doing the same action. The same action should happen with Pitbulls, when one of them does something wrong such as attack, we should scold that one dog and take action with that situation; not fear every single one of that breed from doing the same. It’s what we call assuming and have no right to point fingers at every Pitbull we come across. Why punish the whole breed when it was one individual? There is no valid reason to fear this particular breed same as the others, regardless of their past, strength and size. They can be as lovable as a puppy, protect they’re family and be there if you need a friend. I walk all the time at the park and normally say hello to my Pitbull friend just through a gate. While petting him one day, a woman paused on the trail and asked if it was going to bite while it was obviously licking my hand in a way of greeting and friendship. I calmly explained to her that there was no reason to be afraid and that size and breed shouldn’t stop you from saying hello.

Nevertheless, when in search of a canine companion, we should stop at all and consider all breeds. Let alone on walks, we should not show any fear when passing particular breeds because they can be just as sweet and innocent as your dog. Every single dog deserves a chance and its history shouldn’t stop someone from living in the now with a dog that can be your best friend for life. Pitbulls are as good as any breed and can protect its family by any means, same as you. Once people understand that they’re stereotyping and that history is a thing of the past, many Pitbulls can be loved and receive the forever home they deserve. Regardless of what people think and what some Pitbulls have done, they are dogs, same as any other; and as dogs, whatever the past or deed, they will forever continue being man’s best friend.

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