Pit Bulls, Lovers Not Fighters

Pit Bulls die needlessly every day because of the weight of negative stereotypes perpetuated for more than a decade. In truth, they are good dogs and make great family pets, as capable of love and good deeds as any other dog. They were in recent history known as the “nanny dog” because they are so good with children.There are countless instances of pit bulls saving people, and yet they are reviled because a dog that looked like “the type” was reported to have hurt someone or someone’s dog.

Author Ken Foster sits down with Steve Dale to discuss his book “I’m a Good Dog: Pit Bulls, America’s Most Beautiful (and Misunderstood) Pet.”

 

14 comments
IndyAgent
IndyAgent

My sister has a pit bull who was sweet as could be to humans, but attacked both of my dogs. I am a bit leery of this breed.

haroldgardner
haroldgardner like.author.displayName 1 Like

I have known some really great pit bulls, but I think the highly publicized bad experiences frighten many.  I wished that we could figure out a way to ban bad owners.

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight

 @haroldgardner  That's the ideal Harold - and so many adoptions happen under crisis circumstances, the quality owner bar is lowered. Thanks for stopping by!

Lynn OConnell
Lynn OConnell like.author.displayName 1 Like

It's such a big problem. A good friend had to put down her two beautiful pit bulls because her landlord refused to allow them to stay, she couldn't afford to move, and she couldn't find a rescue group or an adopter she trusted. She had raised these dogs from puppies and they were gentle and sweet. It was tragic, yet turned out the landlord had a legal right to do it, even though dogs were allowed on her lease. Horrible story but not the only one.

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight

 @Lynn OConnell That is a terrible story and highlights another problem. When landlords allow dogs, but not all dogs, and develop policies against types of dogs or breeds where is the network for these dogs? No kill shelters have a safety net provision of taking dogs (and cats) back should you need to return them. Putting a notice out on Petfinder and calling local pit bull rescues is the best bet. They coordinate with their networks to try to help. Thanks for sharing that, Lynn.

Lynn OConnell
Lynn OConnell like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @MaryEHaight What made this especially heartbreaking is that they would NEVER have moved in to this house if they had known landlord was going to ban pit bulls. I thought they'd be able to fight it as dogs were allowed in lease and they were given no notification, but attorney advised they had no case. And, sadly, the rescue groups were full up -- she called across our tri-state area. It was awful. The only silver lining is that the dogs had had a wonderful life with loving family and were older. (But not sick, so definitely taken before their time.) It still haunts me.

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight

 @Lynn OConnell Wow, Lynn, I am so sorry to hear this! This is one of the worst situations to be in - when you have no friends or family that can take your dogs and a landlord has domain over the life and death of your precious pets. Less and less people are willing to help with pit bulls, too. Bad PR has caused landlords to shut their doors to them. Our community has turn this around, but it's an uphill battle. We have to get creative to save these dogs who have done nothing wrong.  Thanks for giving me the rest of the story.

jruthkelly1
jruthkelly1 like.author.displayName 1 Like

I grew up hearing nothing but negative about pit bulls for the obvious reasons you touch on here. But then my next door neighbor took a stray one in. She was a lover of all things 4-legged and homeless. And that love was reflected in the dog's behavior. He was a big teddy bear. They do have a powerful energy and it can be daunting with combined with their overall tarnished reputation. But this one dog was my first and only personal experience and I was impressed. Great post, Mary!

mgilstrap19
mgilstrap19 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Great interview, not sure I'm as enthusastic as he is, because I have people around me who have had bad situations with these dogs. I had my own dog attacked by one up the street, we were walking on the sidewalk, the owners were in the rear of their yard did not keep their dogs on a leash and they got loose and attacked my dog. I used my crutch to stop the dog and he retreated, and the owner grabbed him before much damage was done. I was on the sidewalk and not in their yard.   I know not all dogs are like this, but I'm still very cautious

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight

 @mgilstrap19 First, I know how frightening it is to have a dog on the attack running at you and that bad experience stays with you. It's not the dogs, though, Michelle, it's the owners. Any dog has the potential to be aggressive and that's the point many in the community try to make: it's not the type of dog, it is the type of people who own them that reflects standards of care. Because law enforcement can't change people from irresponsible to something better, they look at the equation from the other side -- blaming the dog is easier. I fully understand the caution. Prevention is a good practice!

JessicaSala
JessicaSala like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Love this and love how much you post good news about pitties in this blog.  I am the owner of 2 wonderful pitbulls and wish that everyone knew what loving, caring, loyal dogs they are :)  thank you for continuing to spread the good pittie word :) 

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight like.author.displayName 1 Like

 @JessicaSala We need to let people know that pit bull type dogs, not a breed, they are loving, smart, loyal;) There are too many myths, dangerous myths in my opinion, that lead to things like BSL. That's what many of us work toward...smart solutions to loose aggressive dogs that produce sustainable programs that get results rather than emotionally-based public policy that is  very costly, ineffective and cruel. Thanks for speaking up, Jessica =)

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  1. […] Pit Bulls die needlessly every day because of the weight of negative stereotypes perpetuated for more than a decade. In truth, they are good dogs and make great family pets, as capable of love and good deeds as any other dog. They were in recent history known as the “nanny dog” because they are so good with children.There are countless instances of pit bulls saving people, and yet they are reviled because a dog that looked like “the type” was reported to have hurt someone or someone’s dog. Author Ken Foster sits down with Steve Dale to discuss his book “I’m a Good Dog: Pit Bulls, America’s Most Beautiful (and Misunderstood) Pet.”  […]