As the owner of a pretty little pittie, it can be incredibly difficult to find positive stories about the breed in the press. To be fair though, I have noticed a distinct trend (especially since the Vick dogs were saved) of kinder stories toward pit bulls, specifically articles attempting to explain and dispel the myths about the breed.
Within the last week, I’ve stumbled upon a great article published in USA today and receive a fantastic article about the history of pitties as “nanny dogs.”
The nanny dog story especially rings true with me. I had an incident about four months ago where a woman was walking her dog past G and me (who was sitting like a little lady on the street corner, waiting to cross). The woman gave us a wide berth and starting saying how horrible pit bulls were, that they were bred for fighting and that they killed her other dog. When I tried to say that actually pits were bred as nanny dogs to children, she went nuts and started screaming at me. I quickly pulled G out of that situation and felt a little better when I ran into another pit mix owner on the next block who validated that the woman was saying nasty things to him as well. In spite of this woman’s ignorance, I was upset because it felt like G was being unfairly judged. If this woman’s dog was truly killed by a “pit bull,” that’s terrible and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. At the same time, that doesn’t mean that all dogs of a certain breed should be judged based on one experience.
Anyways, here’s the link to the USA Today article: Pulling pit bulls' image out of the pits and the other article, sent to me by a friend of my mom’s is pasted below (with some of the best pictures I’ve ever seen!!). Hopefully with articles like these, even people who had judged these dogs in the past will be inspired to rethink their views:
FOR OVER ONE HUNDRED YEARS AMERICANS KNEW PIT BULLS FOR WHAT THEY DID BEST. BABYSITTING.
by Yonah Ward- Grossman on May 4, 2011
Astoundingly, for most of our history America’s nickname for Pit Bulls was “The Nanny Dog”. For generations if you had children and wanted to keep them safe you wanted a pit bull, the dog that was the most reliable of any breed with children or adults.
The Nanny Dog is now vilified by a media that always wants a demon dog breed to frighten people and LHASA-APSO BITES MAN just doesn’t sell papers. Before pit bulls it was Rottweilers, before Rottweilers it was Dobermans, and before them German Shepherds. Each breed in its order were deemed too vicious and unpredictable to be around people. Each time people wanted laws to ban them. It is breathtakingly ironic that the spotlight has turned on the breed once the symbol of our country and our national babysitter.
In temperance tests (the equivalent of how many times your kid can poke your dog in the eye before he bites him) of all breeds the most tolerant was the Golden Retriever. The second most tolerant was the pit bull. Pit Bull’s jaws do not lock, they do not have the most powerful bite among dogs (German Shepherds have that honor), they are naturally neither human nor animal aggressive (in fact pit bull puppies prefer human company to their mother’s two weeks before all other dogs), and they feel as much pain as any other breed (accidentally step on one’s toe and you’ll see).
The most tolerant, patient, gentle breed of dogs is now embarrassingly portrayed as the most dangerous. It would be funny if the new reputation did not mean 6,000 are put to death every day, by far the highest number of any other breed euthanized.
That’s a lot of babysitters.
(Pictured: As you’ll see, from the richest to the poorest and everything in between, in America the pit bull was the dog for kids. Don’t miss the little boy in the goat cart at the end. He’s priceless.)