14 Things Pit Bull Parents are Tired Of...
Pit Bulls are a type of dog that face a lot of controversy and being a parent to one can lead to some exhausting questions or topics that they feel the need to defend or chat about. We thought of 14 things responsible Pit Bull owners are tired of:
1. "Is your dog a full Pit?"
Actually, for the Pit Bull owner, this is just an exciting opportunity to educate! The term Pit Bull is fine, but it’s important to know that a Pit Bull is NOT a breed unless you are shortening the name for the American Pit Bull Terrier, which is an AKC recognized breed. Otherwise, Pit Bulls are more popularly known as dogs wth big heads and short hair. Be sure to check out this article if you are thinking, “So, what is a Pit Bull exactly?"
2. People who support BSL
Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) popped up in the 80s due to some unfortunate cases of dog fighting and dog attacks to humans. BSL was quickly adopted by many cities and is commonly known as “panic policy” with the rate that it was implemented to protect local citizens from “dangerous breeds.” While many breeds were impacted from BSL such as Rottweilers, Chow Chows and German Shepherds…no type of dog was more impacted than the Pit Bull because it attacks MANY types of breeds and mutts.
Forty years later, we now just have strong research that the number of dog attacks to humans or dog fighting crime situations has not been positively impacted by the ban. And more importantly, the laws impact responsible pet owners and dogs with good temperaments. We think that people who support Breed Specific Legislation want to be safe from dangerous dogs, but it’s created a myth that Pit Bulls and other “dangerous” breeds are vicious, but responsible pet owners understand that it comes down to proper care and training. The AKC and ASPCA are recommending an approach of education and encouragement of responsible ownership. We recommend stronger legislation against the individuals taking part in dog fighting or mis-treatment of their pets.
3. "Pit Bulls are inherently dangerous!"
So let’s talk more about this. Pit Bulls are known for being inherently dangerous due to a media hype and Breed Specific Legislation, but let it be known - The American Pit Bull Terrier ranked better on temperament testing than Golden Retrievers. Check it out HERE.
4. It’s hard to find harnesses and collars that fit.
As humans, we all know how difficult it is to find that perfect pair shoes or jeans. It’s no different for Pit Bull owners and their pups. With that huge barrel chest and often shorter legs, it’s difficult to find a harness that doesn’t rub underneath their legs or on their back, or apply pressure on the shoulder joint. Plus, Pit Bulls are strong dogs and are well known for pulling while on a leash, making the right fit that more important!
5. Finding a place to live.
Due to Breed Specific Legislation, it has also impacted a large number of companies who will not insure you at your home or apartment complex if you own one. So, even when you are NOT living in a city or country with BSL, it’s impacting families all around the world. To be lawful, you basically have to live where there isn’t BSL, own a home/property, AND be approved from one of three major insurance companies who do not discriminate against the dog type. Couple this with media hype about the dogs being dangerous, it's no wonder most shelters are packed with Pit Bulls who can't find their forever home.
6. Insurance Companies
I mean honestly, why does it impact them depending on the kind of dog that we have. Insurance companies shouldn’t be responsible for any incidents - that should come back to the owners!
7. Convincing people that their dog will not hurt you.
We see you. We see you taking a long route around me to avoid my dog.
8. Worrying about people stealing their pet.
That’s right. We worry about people stealing our Pit Bulls. Unfortunately, people steal dogs all the time, but for Pit Bulls, it’s risky about where they will end up. Some might end up in a dog fighting life, but it's most likely they will end up in a shelter with a minimal chance of being adopted due to BSL and negative associations.
9. You know their jaws lock, right?
Total myth. No dog is capable of locking their jaws. Some dogs have stronger bites than others, but for as large as Pit Bull’s heads can be, there are actually other breeds with smaller heads and a stronger bites (measuring pounds of pressure)! Learn more about that HERE.
10. When you search for Pitbull and you get this guy. Pitbull, the artist.
In fairness, the correct spelling is two words for the dog. It’s Pit Bull. Many people casually mash the two words together when referencing the dog, but the artist spells it as one, so there is a way to sort of differentiate when researching. Who is Pitbull, the artist? We can chat more about that on our next point...
11. The reason why Pitbull chose his performance name.
The Cuban artist, Armando Christian Pérez, was born in Miami and has found international success, thus giving himself the nickname: Mr. Worldwide. But he is most popularly known for the name Pitbull. Here are some quotes explaining why he picked the name.
"(Pit Bulls) bite to lock. The dog is too stupid to lose. And they’re outlawed in Dade county."
- From his Biography - Pitbull - Mr. Worldwide.
“Growing up in different areas (in Miami), we would see Pit Bulls fight. One of the things about the Pit Bull is that it fights to the death. You know, it doesn’t understand the word lose, it’s not a part of it’s vocabulary. Im the only Pit Bull with papers (meaning legal in Miami)…but I still bite.”
- Interview from The View
An artist’s fame is a great way to make a statement and influence people, but unfortunately, we only see Pitbull reinforcing a bad stereotype when explaining why he chose the name. Firstly, it’s a common myth that Pit Bulls jaws lock. That’s just not true. He references dog fighting in Miami with Pit Bulls and just references the bravery of the dog - brushing right over the implications of the illegal sport by saying, “They’re too stupid to lose.” And the "I still bite" remark also reinforces a negative stereotype that Pit Bulls bite because they are inherently ferocious, when in reality….all dogs have the capability to bite, but dogs don’t have the luxury of choosing their owner. So we ask Pitbull, the artist, kindly to consider how he approaches the name. Pit Bulls are brave, loyal and are very athletic and have a lot of tenacity. All great reasons to respect the type of dog, but could you do us a solid and talk about the great attributes of this type of dog and not just a fighting dog?
PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. We see that and think - yeah! We love animals and we want them to be treated ethically too! PETA’s stance on Pit Bulls is that they are “for ‘em," but they do support the euthanasia of the dogs to avoid a life of dog fighting and abuse. Read about it here, right from PETA: http://www.peta.org/blog/peta-position-pit-bulls/. This issue that some Pit Bull owners have with PETA is similar to Breed Specific Legislation. To us, their approach doesn’t actually solve a problem of preventing poor ownership. Not all Pit Bulls see a life that is so exaggerated by the media and need to be put down to be saved. Let’s talk more about the media.
This topic is really complex, because their are many news sources with very different approaches to delivering news, but everyone has some sort of pet peeve (ha!) about the media. For Pit Bull parents, many often think the media uses a Pit Bull bite story and sensationalizes it. There are many very unfortunate cases of dog attacks against humans and Pit Bulls are a part of that, but the media seems to only run the stories associated with Pit Bulls and they portray the dog as inherently dangerous without reflecting on the dog's conditions or owners.
14. Other Pit Bull owners
And the number one thing that drives responsible Pit Bull owners crazy are the irresponsible ones. If we want to talk about root cause for all of the issues Pit Bulls and Pit Bull parents face, this is the one! Can you actually forgive Michael Vick as a Pit parent? You tell us.