Pit Bulls: born lovers or trained fighters?

By Anna Potrzuski ‘20

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In the decades past, the American Pit Bull Terrier was a canine icon. Today, they are still a canine icon, but for the wrong reasons. Dogs are a product of their environment as well as their genetics. Dogs are primarily bred as family companions and are often treated with compassion. The same goes for Pit Bulls, and they are born protective of their family for their big head holds so much love.Pit Bulls are perceived as vicious animals because not only do they look intimidating with their muscular bodies and large heads, but their bites can cause more damage than most canine breeds. According to Time.com, Dr. Sandi Sawchuk, a clinical instructor at the University of Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Teaching Center, says, “I don’t think pits bite more than other breeds. It’s just that when they do. They cause more damage. If someone did the same research on Chihuahuas, they would probably find that there are more bites, but they’re less reported due to insignificant damage.”Pit Bulls are used for fighting, not because they are vicious, but because they are loyal to their owners and fight because their owners want them to. The Pit Bull’s loyalty joined with the breed’s muscular build made it a prime candidate for mistreatment. The breed quickly came to represent violence and a perverse idea of manliness, therefore becoming the preferred guard dog for drug dealers and gangsters.Due to inaccurate perceptions of the Pit Bull, most shelters around the country put down the animals before giving anyone the opportunity to adopt them. It is important to see what we are really eliminating here by putting down these dogs before giving them a chance for a new better life. They are excellent athletes and can provide a wide variety of job-related tasks. Many Pit Bulls are not just family favorites. They are also search and rescue dogs that find missing children and lost dementia patients, and they can help kids with disabilities become stronger readers. This is because most children will not read to an adult, but they will read to a big -headed puppy who is willing to give them their undivided attention. They are seizure watch dogs, comfort nursing home residents, and diabetic alert dogs. Eliminating the Pit Bull breed will affect more than just the loving family companion; it will affect the much larger amount of citizens that these dogs help not attack.It is very difficult for the average person to differentiate fact from fiction when it comes to Pit Bulls, especially due to the noisy confusion of the media sensation that is currently up in flames about the controversy over the breed. The truth is, there is an overwhelming amount of solid information about canine aggression out there that can help owners prevent dog bites and attacks. The misfortune is that the information is not yet common knowledge, in the sense that human behavior is what leads to animal attacks.By showing off all the amazing qualities of the Pit Bull, we will be saving the breed, one dog at a time. Instead of arguing over the breed’s jaw strength, we could be embracing all of the good they could do for us. In our efforts to end Pit Bull discrimination, we will help many Pits find loving homes instead of being put down at a shelter before giving them a chance. And as a result, dedicated animal welfare advocates, veterinary professionals, and dog owners will stop the Pit Bull discrimination.

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