Though I’ve never been lucky enough to share my life with one of these magnificent dogs, I couldn’t let the day pass without saying a little something for National Pit Bull Awareness.
Even in cities and provinces that don’t legislate against “bully” breeds, many shelters have great difficulty adopting them out. In fact, some refuse to take them in and others just immediately euthanise. This should never be necessary. According to Wikipedia, in 2008 shelters in the U.S. euthanised 1.7 million dogs. 58% of these were believed to be of the pit bull variety. If the general public was more educated about the Pit Bull breed, if people didn’t automatically view them as aggressive monsters, then these loving animals would get the affection every dog deserves.
It’s time to stop blaming the dogs and start looking to those humans who breed and train them. Pit Bulls were originally bred to hunt, drive livestock, and provide companionship. Hmmm, that sounds familiar. The oh-so-feared Pit Bull may indeed have a similar purpose to our beloved collies, shepherds, and hounds. Fortunately for them, the latter breeds don’t have a history of being manipulated by owners into the dog fighting ring. Through no fault of their own Pit Bulls have gained a brutal reputation. If dog owners were a lot more educated about the nature of the breed, perhaps one day this could change. Instead of casting them out, we could welcome them to the dog park with our retrievers and our poodles.
Since I don’t currently have a Pit Bull in my home, I’m going to let those who do share their stories. Here are some links to awesome dogs with their equally awesome humans. It seems to me these people know a heck of a lot more about dog training than I do.
First there is Ziggy. You can find out more about him at Dog Foster Mom, where his foster trainer is doing an incredible job teaching him how to be a great representative of his breed. The stories about Ziggy’s progress crack me up and are definitely worth reading.
And then there is Skye, who can be found on the blog Of Pit Bulls and Patience. Skye is also proof that not all Pit Bulls are dog fighters as she shares her home with little, white, and fluffy Parker. Skye and Parker’s human also has some great advice for reactive dogs in general.
Of course, there are also the unforgettable Miss Mand Mr. B of Two Pitties in the City fame. They have some beautiful costumes and seem quite happy exploring their urban world.
Lastly, there is Emmet on Oh My Dog. Emmet works very hard as a therapy dog, not something you see every day for one of his breed. This cutie’s human has a ton of information about Pit Bull awareness and is doing great work in the name of animal welfare.
Naturally, I’ve missed about 23,687 great Pit Bull websites and blogs. If you know of any more please link to them in the comments. I still have a lot to learn.
ETA: There are a couple more fantastic Pit Bull sites I neglected to include:
There are Baily and Mesa at Dog is God in Reverse. Kari, their human friend, is also doing great things for the rescue of all breeds. Her adoption stories make me tear up every time.
Emma is a gorgeous Pit Bull Terrier who lives with her Poodle friend Charlie at A Poodle and A Pit Bull. They seem to have quite a lot of adventures together. If you check out the comments, Emma and Charlie’s human also made a good point about Pit Bulls and dog parks that I should have taken into account.