Pit Bulls: an inaccurate reputation
Brandy, a Pit Bull, recently won the Wamiz Palm Dog award for her performance in the film: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Though she is now a star, her breed, sadly, is one of the four banned in the UK. Though this decision was made under the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991), Pit Bulls are far from being dangerous, if they are trained and cared for properly.
Published on the 24/05/2019, 18:00
Many believe Pit Bulls are dangerous, aggressive, even vicious. That’s why ownership and breeding of them has been banned in the UK for the past 28 years. In England and Wales, 15 fatal (and apparently unprovoked) dog attacks took place between 1981 and 1991.
Many animal welfare groups oppose the ban
To start off with, Pit Bulls aren’t even a breed. They’re actually just a ‘type’. Usually, Pit Bulls are dogs that share common traits with Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Bull Terriers, and American Pit Bull Terriers. They are medium sized, compact, and very muscular.
Secondly, this ‘type’ of dog is not inherently aggressive, quite on the contrary, in fact. Responsible Pit Bull owners often describe their dogs as being loving, affectionate, friendly, loyal, and particularly clingy! So why are bite statistics so high?
First off, what is a person most likely to report? A Chihuahua bite, or a Pit Bull bite? That’s right, the latter. These are big, strong dogs, and they have the potential to cause serious damage if they do attack a person. Though their nature is often much more laid-back than that of Toy breeds, they are of course, more likely to injure a person if they lash out.
Secondly, these statistics are particularly high because there are A LOT of Pit Bull type dogs out there. The more common the dog, the more often they are involved in bite incidents.
Good owner, good dog
Now let’s get to the central point of this issue: all dog behaviour depends on the person who owns them. A well-trained and properly cared for dog is a great companion, no matter the breed. Neglected and abused animals can understandably develop behaviour issues.
Of course, some breeds should have firmer training than others. Although an owner can get away with being lax when it come to training a Shih-Tzu, the same cannot be said about a breed that has stubborn or dominant tendencies, and especially so if they are a large breed!
Sadly, many owners get dogs based on their physical appearance and don’t do their research beforehand. Due to this, many Pit Bulls who should be in responsible hands end up in inexperienced ones, and their lack of training can make them uncontrollable.
Finally, because of their strength and endurance, these beautiful dogs are often used in illegal dogfighting. In these scenarios, the dogs are often kept in completely inhumane conditions, are underfed, and ignored by humans their whole lives. Unsocialised, these dogs can logically become aggressive towards people.
Pit Bulls are not bad dogs! They can be wonderful companions if they are handled properly. We hope Brandy’s performance will shed light on the issue and bring more love to her wonderful breed! Bravo Brandy!