I’m a big dog lover. Really, all animals.
I grew up with a dog, a horse, two cats and many little “starter” pets like hamsters and turtles (not necessarily in that order or all at once).
In particular with the horse and dog, they’re so human to me and there were many times I preferred their company to humans. They are comforting and in most cases, want to please you so much through love and respect. It’s only natural that we provide that goodness back to them.
Three years ago we rescued our pup, Cerna (Czech for the color “black”), from Humane Society of Boulder Valley. I’m so happy to support a great organization like that and in a world where there are so many unloved and unwanted animals, to take one off the streets (he was found on the streets of Pueblo, CO as a puppy) warms my heart.
Cerna is a lab-pitbull mix (from what we garner). He’s all black, with a few white pops on his toes. He has warm golden eyes, an earnest face , loves giving kisses and has a kind heart. He’s pretty epic at frisbee and fetch and in the Summer, likes hopping in the creek behind our place. He likes snuggling in bed in the morning, when he’s most tired (see below). He wouldn’t hurt a fly (nor has he).
Pitbulls, are largely a misunderstood breed. I can understand why. There has been violence from them in the past and there’s media frenzy with fighting rings and celebrities, creating horrible reputations from them. People feed on that even if there’s unjust or non-truth. But it’s not often looked at as holistic. You’re given a label then people just assume it is what it is, and not look at the whole picture or even the facts.
On that note, the deed should be reprimanded by all means. Punish the deed, not the breed. If there’s a dog attack or something fatal, look at the owner and circumstance – the answer will likely be there and should be dealt with because to be clear, this is by no means minimizing dog attacks or bites.
But pitbulls are not aggressive by nature. Studies by the Center for Disease Control have proven that no one breed of dog is inherently vicious. The CDC supports the position that irresponsible owners, NOT breed, is the number one cause of dog bites.
Furthermore, pitbulls are no more vicious than Golden Retrievers, Beagles, or other popular “family” dogs. In a recent testing done by The American Canine Temperament Testing Society (ATT), pit bulls achieved a passing rate of 83.9%, passing 4th from the highest of 122 breeds. That’s better than Beagles, passing at 78.2 and Golden Retrievers passing at 83.2%. The average passing rate for ALL breeds is 77%.
The UK banned a variety of dog breeds including pit bulls and what do you think happened to the number of dog bites reported in the UK after the ban? They stayed exactly the same. Another responsible dog owner thing? 97% of dogs that do bite people are not neutered or spayed. This is important in protecting your animal and yourself.
A lot of times you hear that pitbulls have “locking” jaws so they’re more dangerous. That’s entirely untrue. There is no dog that has locking jaws. Dr. Howard Evans, Professor Emeritus, at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University shares, “I have spoken with [Dr.] Sandy deLahunta (the foremost dog neurologist in the country) and [DR.] Katherine Houpt (a leading dog behaviorist) about a jaw locking mechanism in pit bulls or any other dog and they both say, as do I, that there is NO SUCH THING AS “JAW LOCKING” IN ANY BREED.” It’s yet another media blitz blown out of proportion.
We can’t even bring Cerna to Denver when we go visit friends or their dogs, as there are city-wide bans on a breed and Denver is one of them. That means we could also never live there. City-wide legislation against a breed is ridiculous. It’s like limiting a certain type of person in a city (well, almost).
Don’t bully my breed.
As you can tell, I’m passionate about the topic. Our dog is a mix and to most people, probably doesn’t even look like a bully breed (he’s so black lab looking). But there’s a great misunderstanding and it’s not going to be solved over night.
It feels funny to be judged and discriminated by our sweet, softy of a dog by landlords, cities, people, etc. We all have our judgments and I respect each person’s decision it’s just hard to imagine the repercussions here for a breed that’s so largely misunderstood where what I see from the pitbulls in my life, is nothing but love, loyalty and good hearts.
All I know is that I’ll provide a good example as a responsible dog owner and Cerna being an obedient, loving and happy dog. You can take baby steps and at least affect what you can control. Ill also continue to support the cause to create better owners, mandates and support for breed specific legislature.
Learn more and educate at Pit Bull Rescue Central: http://www.pbrc.net/