Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Dangerous Case of Mistaken Identity

It always irks me when people are so openly opinionated about a something, yet they are so far from the truth. They're so certain they're right, that you can't change their minds, even with evidence to back you up. Still, when asked where they got such a strong opinion from, there is no straight, clear answer. After working in a day care that does not allow American Pit Bull Terriers and similar breeds OR mixes that even remotely resemble Pit Bulls (referring to all related bully breeds), and coming into contact with average everyday pet owners who subscribe to the idea that all Pit Bulls are aggressive killing machines, I have come to the conclusion that the general public does not know much about the infamous breed. Even worse, most cannot even correctly Identify an APBT (American Pit Bull Terrier), the breed that they fear so much. 

We'll start with a short history and the American Pit Bull Terrier. It is widely accepted that the original APBTs came from the mixing of the Bulldog of old and the now extinct English White Terrier.  In mixing these dogs, they got a dog that was as strong and powerful and the Bulldog, with the tenaciousness of the Terrier. They were used to hunt down large animals such a cattle and hogs. Still, it was also important that they were able to come home and be a loving family companion, which they still are today. To read more on the history of the APBT please visit these links: UKC Breed Standard,and

 UKC Standard APBT Sketch

Now, back to my point. It seems these days everything is a Pit Bull. I have seen so many breeds misidentified as Pit Bulls that were clearly not. Apparently I didn't get the memo, but if a dog is muscular in build, and has even a speck of brindle or blue coloring, its a Pit Bull!!! Whats so dangerous about this? Well, it's a heart breaking story, really. 

See, when the APBT was created, it had such drive and strength that it really appealed to people that were looking for a dangerous form of entertainment, dog fighting. APBTs have so much drive that it was easier to get them to turn on each other than most other breeds. The same traits that made them great hunting dogs, sadly, made them great for dog fighting rings too. Dogs used for fighting were not usually treated well, and were not family pets. Today, a dog with that reputation is very appealing to those looking for a tough image, but not necessarily a family companion. These people run out and buy anything that resembles a Pit Bull and the dogs are often left in backyards with minimal human contact, chained to a tree, which results in these cases of aggression that the media just loves to hype up. In most cases the attacking dogs are just mixes, maybe with a pinch of bully breed in them. 

The result of this Pit Bull aggression hype is an epidemic called BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) and mass hysteria. BSL laws range from mandatory spay/neuter of all Pit Bull, Pit Bull mixes, or anything that resembles a pit bull, to outright bans. How would it feel to suddenly have your best friend labeled as "dangerous" just because he was born a Pit Bull, or a mix of a bully breed and just happens to look like a Pit Bull? It's happening more and more everyday. If you would like to get involved or find out where BSL is being proposed or is already in effect visit this site:

Now for some fun to lighten the mood! See if you can correctly identify the pure bred American Pit Bull Terrier! 









They are all pure bred dogs. Only one is an American Pit Bull Terrier. Good luck :)