Some would say that there are two things about pit bulls:
1. They are the most maligned breed of dog.
2. What is a pit bull? It is the most frequently misidentified breed of dog.
I claim that pit bulls get into so much trouble because their owners do not recognize their potential to do harm.
The problem that faces the pit bull is that anytime a person is maliciously attacked or killed, the pit bull is frequently blamed. Maybe the media finds that a pit bull attack creates more “clicks.” I dispute this claim because if a Chihuahua had caused the death of a person, that would be real news.
Many years ago, pit bull owners were breeding dogs for increased aggression; whether their intent was for dog fighting or just “having the meanest dog on the block.” Communities saw the effect of this selective breeding and when deaths by pit bulls were on the rise, they started banning the breed.
The pit bull has been so frequently bred with other breeds that it is nearly impossible to identify them. Due to this overbreeding, animal shelters usually have 70% of their dog population with a wide forehead that appears to be a bulldog breed. You see kennel after kennel full of a generic pit bull-type dog.
As such, it is easy to blame the pit bull for every altercation that comes along because they have become the most common breed. For a long time, animal welfare organizations pitched the saying: “punish the deed, not the breed.” Many national organizations created position statements that pit bulls are just like any other breed (so ignore all of those news reports to the contrary).
In our woke* society, people come out of the woodwork when their local newspaper reports on a “pit bull-related death.” Those folks want everyone to believe that the pit bull is a friendly dog, even if it goes on a rampage once in a while. It is comments like I just made that convince them that pit bulls are maligned. I’ll admit it, I am one of the first people to malign the breed because I have investigated a large number of dog bites. The pit bull is most known for the fatalities that they cause.
So in keeping with the philosophy that everything should be equal and treated the same, communities that previously banned the pit bull started rescinding their laws. Many communities passed laws that ban anything breed-related. The new anti-breed laws even impacted insurance companies that charged a high premium on people who owned, what they believed to be dangerous dogs. The new laws added to the high inflation that we were facing due to insurance companies having to spread the cost of dog bite incidents over all of their policyholders.
The casual pet owner should not own pit bulls. Most people are too lazy to be pet owners, so owning a pit bull becomes very troubling. Most of the other breeds don’t impact the community with an irresponsible pet owner. But, pit bull ownership requires a close watch on their dog.
Some folks will dispute that claim because they have children who constantly abuse their pit bull; most other breeds would not tolerate such abuse. I have to agree; but, when a pit bull ever gets to the point of being fed up, there likely will be a funeral.
The bottom line is that pit bulls are goal-oriented dogs. Most breeds will bite once or twice and then move on; unless they are in a pack. Pit bulls seem to create a pack of one; they continue to attack beyond what is necessary. There have been so many cases of victim dogs showing submission to a pit bull and the pit bull just continues on with the attack until the other dog is dead. That is the reason that people claim that pit bulls have animal-aggressive tendencies. Even when used in dog fighting, the owners have to carry break sticks to force their dog from continuing the attack; few pit bulls will discontinue an attack with simple voice commands.
Pit bull’s violation of the “doggie code” is why I have such an issue with the breed. Nearly every breed will honor the code to back off when the other dog shows submission. Pit bulls do not even honor the code towards people; they will continue to extract the greatest damage until someone stops them. It is for this reason that pit bulls demand to have the most responsible of owners.
I get tired of people going on and on about the malignment of pit bulls. They fail to consider the fact that maybe the pit bull has in some way contributed to its bad reputation. The pit bull is one of the few breeds that become extremely dangerous in the hands of a bad owner. Having worked a lifetime in the Animal Control profession, the fact is that most people are bad pet owners. Although most people get away with being a bad pet owner; the pit bull owner doesn’t have as much leeway.
There are so many good pit bulls out there. Most of them will never harm a child. They are not a ticking time bomb; but, you should still treat them as if they were. Despite all of the policy statements that pit bulls are no different than any other breed; you should closely watch them. A little extra vigilance might be necessary to prevent a family member from being killed.
The “experts” are not always right. Pit bulls are different from other breeds.
* I use the term “woke” to describe the diversity, equity, and inclusion philosophy running rampant in our society and how it is the same notion used to protect pit bulls: everyone and everything is treated the same without regard to the obvious dissimilarities. Example: honor students being forced to work at the level of the least productive students, thus normalizing academic achievement (and creating a generation of nonachievers).