American Pit Bull Terriers: A Misunderstood BreedA Presentation Created to Educate People on Behalf of Pit Bulls Everywhere
What A Pit Bull Is American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, or American Bulldog – any of these breeds can be considered a pit bull Loyal, strong, intelligent, eager to please, amusing – these are all traits common to pit bulls A permanent commitment – the average healthy pit bull will live 12 years Prone to dog-aggressiveness – with the proper training, this trait can be eradicated completely
What A Pit Bull Is Not A monster – so many people misunderstand this breed due to negative media exposure, false information and urban legend Inherently bad – no dog wants to fight another animal of its kind until death. Sadly, pit bulls are so eager to please their owners, they will do anything to gain their approval (including fighting on command) Physiologically different than other dogs in jaw structure – this common myth is simply untrue. While pit bulls can be very stubborn and unwilling to drop their prey, there is no physiological difference between the jaws of pit bulls and the jaws of other dog breeds
A Brief History of the Pit Bull In the 1800s, the British used pit bull-type dogs to bait fighting bulls This sport was deemed cruel and was done away with – dog fighting took its place almost immediately The best fighters were considered heroes by the British Immigrants brought their pit bulls with to America, where they were valued as protectors of their homes and farms Known as the “nanny dog” and the “all-American dog”, pit bulls were entrusted to guard the children
Once known as the “nanny dog”, pit bulls were famous for protecting the children they loved
A Turn for the Worse Throughout the 1980s, dog fighting became more and more prevalent in big cities everywhere Pit bulls started being deemed “dangerous” and “blood thirsty” all across the country The association between pit bulls and gangs/poverty increased greatly Negative media coverage, lack of education and closed-mindedness are all to blame for the reputation pit bulls have today
Debunking the Myth of Pit Bull AggressionEvery year, a temperament test is done on every breed of dog imaginable through the American Temperament Test Society.Of the 839 American Pit Bull Terriers tested in 2012, 728 of them passed. Thats 86.8%. On the next slide, I have included a chart to compare test results of the American Pit Bull Terrier with other common breeds of dogs.For more information, please visit the American Temperament Test Society at: http://atts.org/breed-statistics/
Scores on the ATT 100 90 86.8 85.2 80 80 76.2 70 60% That Passed 50 40 30 20 10 0 American Pit Bull Terrier Beagle Golden Retriever Rat Terrier Breed
Myth – Dog Aggression is Equal to Human AggressionFalse! Aggression toward humans and aggression toward other animals are two completely different things. Many pit bulls who cannot tolerate other dogs or small animals have gone on to live happy lives in a one-dog family. Even so, there are many things you can do to discourage dog-dog aggression.
Things Responsible Owners Can Do to Discourage Dog Aggression Socialize your pit bull at a young age - The more unfamiliar situations you bring him/her into, the better. Your goal is to have an adult dog who is completely confident in every situation. Remember, the most common reason for a dog to bite is out of fear. Keep first-time meetings on neutral turf – You dont want either dog to feel intimidated or like he/she needs to protect his/her territory Keep both dogs on their leashes for their first meeting Rigorously praise good behavior
Pit Bulls in U.S. Animal Shelters It is estimated that around 25% of dogs in shelters are pit bulls or pit bull mixes, while the number can be closer to 60% in shelters in big cities Only one in every 600 pit bulls will find a forever home Sadly, many shelters across the country do not adopt out pit bulls at all – they are euthanized immediately upon arrival Roughly 200 pit bulls a day are euthanized in Los Angeles, California alone
Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) Due to the bad rap pit bulls have acquired over the last few decades, many cities and states have put breed specific legislation into effect BSL prohibits certain types of dogs (almost always pit bulls) from living in certain areas in hopes of reducing dog bites/attacks There is no evidence BSL is effective, while it is costly and many responsible dog owners pay the ultimate price Many people have been forced to move or – worse – give up their beloved pets due to BSL
Negative Effects of BSL Instead of getting rid of their dogs, people are hiding them – this leads to lack of exercise, licensure, and veterinary care for the dog in question BSL punishes responsible dog owners and good dogs who have done nothing wrong but be born the wrong breed Instead of BSL, our focus should be on individual dogs
This picture depicts the fight against BSL for pit bulls everywhere
Please give all dogs a chance, regardless of their outward appearance. All they want is love. The end
Citations “Breed History”, http://www.badrap.org/breed-history American Temperament Test Society, Inc “ATTS Breed Statistics as of February 19, 2012” http://atts.org/breed-statistics/statistics-page1/ Pit Bull Advocate 101, “Why NOT to Breed Pit Bulls” http://www.pitbulladvocate101.com/NotBreed.php ASPCA, “Breed Specific Legislation” http://www.aspca.org/fight-animal-cruelty/dog-fighting/breed-specific-le Craven Desires blog, http://cravendesires.blogspot.com/2012/02/content-of- character.html
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