National Pit Bull Awareness Day: “I Am the Majority”

What is a Pit Bull, exactly? It seems the definition changes depending on who you ask. A Pit Bull is in the eye of the beholder. The media certainly seems to use it to mean “dangerous dog”, regardless of the dog’s genetics and often regardless of appearance.

According to Wikipedia, the term is most often used to reference to a number of breeds of dog –  most often, the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and crosses between the two. In writing, the law usually agrees with this estimation. In practice, we see something much different.

Of course, it’s impossible to know heritage just by looking at a dog. Most dogs look alike, after all. Most short-haired, floppy-eared, mixed-breed dogs look even more similar to one another. I don’t know how many times people have told me they are positive Shiva is a Boxer, no a Border Collie, no… A Pointer. Definitely a Pointer.

Many have also told me she looks like a Pit Bull.

This is fine by me. I adopted her from a shelter not having a clue about her past and not really caring. Given how common they are, it’s quite likely she does have a little American Staffordshire Terrier mixed in with everything else. Honestly, I wish she had a little more. Maybe then she would be friendlier with strangers.

But it makes me cautious. I know I have to be more careful with her than I would if I had a golden retriever or a poodle. Owning a dog that could be a pit bull comes with extra responsibility. When out on the street she doesn’t just represent herself and her own foibles, she represents an entire spectrum of dogs with strong shoulder muscles and wide jaws.

That’s why when I saw Animal Farm Foundation’s casting call, I had to sign up. No, Shiva isn’t a Pit Bull, not really, but for some people she is close enough and that’s all that matters. So we join the others in solidarity. The owners who worry about BSL and the dogs with large heads, stocky bodies, and wiggly bums. It’s not about being proud of a certain breed, it’s about letting these dogs speak for themselves.

Pit bull type dogs are ultimately just dogs. They eat, breathe, play, and poop. Some of them are lazy; some of them are a little rough; some are just downright goofy. They are the majority.

Pit bull type dog owners are ultimately just dog owners. We are mothers, uncles, bosses, and teachers. We live next door; we sit next to you on the bus. We struggle to get our dogs to pose with us on the couch. We are the majority.

19 thoughts on “National Pit Bull Awareness Day: “I Am the Majority”

  1. Nice post!! Good for you and Shiva, who by the way is very lovely 🙂

    I have said it before and will continue to say it, it is the few bad apples (and I mean people) who have abused and used these poor dogs that have created such a bad stereotype that the un-educated person can not see past. Don’t get me wrong some dogs, and that applies to any breed, can have bad temperament depending on the breeding but on a whole I think the fault lies with people. Sorry I will get off my soap box now!

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  2. There’s no way shiva has any Pit Bull in her unless it’s her great great great………..great aunt:)

    People often cross the road from Greyhounds, as they have the wrong reputation of being small dog and small critter killers.

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  3. “Pit bull type dogs are ultimately just dogs.”

    Amen! What a great message to spread! Oh, and those outtakes pics are really cute. Shiva is precious!

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  4. Such a great post! Pit Bulls are such sweethearts! I have been around so many, but never one that wasn’t the biggest sweetie ever! I wish people didn’t have such negative views on certain breeds. Every dog should be given the chance to show how amazing they are! And Shiva is adorable, by the way!
    I am visiting from the Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop. I loved stopping by! Great post:)

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  5. I think people are quick to declare a dog a pit-bull – even a boxer with floppy ears can be mistaken for a pit-bull. All of the pit-bulls that I have know have been complete love bugs! Great post Kristine! Love the pictures 😉

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  6. Sampson has the big boxy head like a pit bull, in fact the owner of his mother told me, she thought the father was either a black lab but she couldn’t be sure it wasn’t a ‘pit bull.’ It matters not to me, this is my heart dog and I love everything about him. Especially his big boxy head.

    Great post Kristine, can’t wait to hear about your trip to Barkworld. 🙂

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  7. Pit bulls are like any other dog, and peoples have preferences for what types of dogs they like to share their homes with, so as long as they are responsible peoples they should have the right to pick their own pooches.

    Usually when a dog is bad, it is the peoples fault anyway, so it is no fair blaming a certain breed. Once it was shepherds, then it was dobies, now it’s pitties. Next time it could even be Labs…and some of us big headed Labs resemble pits anyway and vice versa…so breed discrimination affects EVERY DOG>

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  8. Many laws with BS Legislation have worded the law so loosely that any dog can be labeled as a pit bull. Just looking even slightly like a pit bull is enough because as you said, it is in the eye of the beholder. A pit bull or pit bull look-a-like dog owner sadly does have to be extra careful because all it takes is one person to label him and the authorities are there to gang up on you and your dog. Sad, very sad. I don’t have a dog at the moment that looks like a pit bull but thankfully, I also happen to be lucky enough to live in a community that doesn’t have BS Legislation laws. (I like to say BS Legislation instead of BSL because, well, the legislation is BS.)

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  9. It’s funny, because Shiva is not like your typical Pit Bull-like dog! Her face is too long for a Pit.
    But either way, she’s a cutie and that’s all what matters, same with any breed! People should not separate them into a different category. As many people have already written it down before me: they are just like any other dog!

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  10. Well on your way to 13! Great post Kristine. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I have met many a pibble in my life and I have to say the dogs I worried most about were rarely that breed. I also think it is naive of people to think that just because they have a poodle or golden that somehow they have to be less cautious. Caution should depend on the dog’s personality and background and fears. I certainly am cautious with my 3 and as you know, none of them are pibbles, just fearful dogs with a sad past. I wish the media and elected officials would get educated.

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  11. Love it! When I got my 35 pound blue heeler mix from the shelter they told me she was a Pit. And then I have a Rottweiler Great Dane mix that people assume is a mean dog. And then I have a Victorian Bulldog (mix of bulldog, mastiff, and staffie) that everyone calls a Pit.

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  12. Pingback: The 13 Project - A Pre-Report Card | Rescued InsanityRescued Insanity

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