I am quite sure that every one has heard about the "vicious" pitbulls and what they are capable of doing. I will admit that pitbulls and other "bully" breeds can cause some serious damage and death, however, the dog alone is not responsible for that. In my career as a pet professional, I have come in contact with many people that own bully breeds and many who are deathly afraid of them. From a personal experience I can tell you a lot of these people that own bully breeds and those that are afraid of them have been grossly misinformed about these breeds. I am appalled when I hear people's "facts" about pit bulls, Staffordshire terries, bull terriers, Rottweilers, Dobermans, and more bully type breeds. People confidently tell me that pit bulls are dangerous and they should not be a breed. They come to me and ask me how I can own such a dangerous type of dog breed. In reality, I would love to curse them out and send them packing but that would just add to their already negative opinion about bully breeds. So, I educate them.
Any dog can be dangerous. In fact, if you look up the statistic, you will see that there are more reported bites from a Chihuahua than there are from a pitbull. The only reason there isn't much attention to that is simply because of the media. No one wants to hear a story about a small 10 pound Chihuahua biting someone's ankles or fingers. But if there is a pit bull attack, the biased media jumps on it quicker than you can say onomatopoeia. Why is this? Why is this unfair media so biased towards these bully breeds? The answer? Simply because of the history of the breed.
When the Staffordshire was created, it was purely for sport. As you can see in the picture above, the gentleman is holding a "Game Cock". What those cocks were used for was, you guessed it, fighting. Men would place wagers on their cock and the winner would walk away with a nice chunk of change. Like everything else in the world, cock fighting had to evolve. Originally, pitbulls were used for bull baiting.
Pitbulls and Staffordshire terriers are pretty much the same thing with the exception of a few different physical features. What's not so different is their personality and characteristics. Pits and Staffies are amazing dogs. They are extremely loyal, extremely obedient, and their rare courage separates them from every other breed in the world. This particular breed has no fear when put up against the most nerve shaking situation. Europeans and Americans back in the day took advantage of this and used them as gambling tools. They would starve and abuse them to make these breeds more vicious. Then, they would have them fight other dogs. Eventually, more and more dog fights were taking place in back yards and local towns. They not only used pit bulls and Staffordshires but, they also used other breeds, such as Rottweilers and Dobermans for fighting as well.
What is most upsetting to me is how people nowadays think that dog fighting was made popular by Blacks and Hispanics. I say this freely because I have experienced this first hand. In the media, Michael Vick ( who is Black) was scrutinized for what he did. I am not defending what he did but, say Michael Vick was a white Quarterback. Would he have gotten as much heat as he did? When is the last time you heard of a White person being scrutinized for dog fighting? What about an Asian person? Did you know that all sorts of races fight dogs? I am against all dog abuse therefore I do not care what race fights a dog. I feel that those that fight dogs should be put down. As cruel as that sounds, I stand by it. How would you like it if someone abused you, kept you locked up in a cage, under fed you, and made you fight for your survival? Doesn't sound fun to me. But there is more to this breed than bull baiting and pit fighting. The reason this breed is an exceptional breed when trained properly is because of their willingness to please their masters.
Known as "Nanny" dogs, this breed was a protector of the families young ones. It has been said that the pit bull would be left home with children and the dog would simply 'watch" the children until the parents came back. Shocking, isn't it. Who would think that these "vicious" dogs would be good for more than fighting? Like I have stated before, this particular breed was not bred for fighting. It was bred for hunting and baiting. It's loyal attributes and ease of training took off with dog aficionados. This made the pitbull an ideal pet for the common household.
I currently own two bully breeds. One is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the other is a Rottweiler Pitbull mix. These two dogs would never hurt a fly. They are trained properly. One of my biggest pet peeves is the dumb, uneducated people that seek to own this breed without properly understanding the specifics of this breed. Like anything you buy, research is always recommended. Those that go by hearsay when owning a bully breed are going to be extremely disappointed. I firmly believe that you should research everything about a dog breed before you commit to it. And please, do not seek to own a dog just because its the popular thing to do. I hate when people purchase pets because they thought it was "cute" or because their friend recommended the breed. Always fit the pet to your standards and your schedule.
Oh look at the "vicious" pitbull.
As you can see in the picture, my dog is extremely patient and loyal. He has been around my children and other people's children. Not once have I seen him attempt to bite or nip at anyone. He's protective and loyal and always listens. Is he capable of biting? Well, he is a dog and that is what dogs do but, with the proper training and education you will have a loyal friend for a very long time.
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