The American Staffordshire terrier (the scientific name for the Pit Bull) is among the highest percentile for the most favorable dogs in the 20th century. The bred first appeared in 19th century England, and were bred solely as fighting dogs. Since then these dogs have gotten a bad reputation and a lot of stereotyping, so, what happened to this breed to make them become so misunderstood? It all comes down to the owner; If you train your pit to be a malicious, violent dog, then the chances of them being violent is much more higher than an owner that trains their pit to be loving and loyal. Due to these stereotypes the pit bull has a bad reputation, and its reputation has caused several cities and states to consider laws regulating pit bull ownership. These laws have been widely debated; should the cities and states ban pit bull ownership?
In a sense the American Staffordshire Terrier as at risk of extinction I mean this by a lot of states want to make pit bull ownership illegal. In some states you have to be over a certain age to own one, and sometimes even just to walk one. I think everyone always hears that one story about how a Pit Bull got lose and attacked another dog, but did they hear that the owner never took him around other dogs hence causing this breed to feel uncomfortable and the need to protect itself. It is these situations why some states are so hesitant on this particular breed, the actions of the owner reflect on the dog causing these dogs to have a bad rapt when it comes to certain states and their citizens.
In an article I read by Elinore Mills called The Pitfalls of stereotyping Pit Bulls, She talks about the stereotyping and consequences these dogs face due to their owner. She mentions Malcolm Glad wells take on this when he wrote in the New Yorker. He states “the strongest connection of all, though, is between the trait of the dog’s viciousness and certain kinds of dog owners. In about a quarter of fatal dog-bite cases, the dog owners were previously involved in illegal fighting. The dogs that bite people are, in many cases, socially isolated because their owners are socially isolated, and they are vicious because they have owners who want a vicious dog. The junk-yard German shepherd- that looks as if it would rip your throat out- and the German- shepherd guide dog are the same breed, but they are not the same dog because their owners have different intentions”( Mills, Elinore). This is very true; like I said before in most cases the dog reflects the owner. If the owner gets this dog in only hopes to make it a vicious one, then that’s how the dog will turn out, and will eventually lead to lawsuits and the dogs death, which is not fair for these wonderful animals.
In recent years more and more laws regulating on ownerships of this breed has not only caused regulations in states and cities, but also in government jobs. According to the Department of Defense, Families who live on military or naval bases shall not own a pit bull due to the fact they are on their list of the “Top Ten” Dangerous dogs. It is not only pit bulls, but it is also Rottweiler’s and German Shepard’s that are on this list of "Top Ten" It seems as if they are putting stereotypes on all bigger dogs, when most of those dogs don’t even cause a threat at all. It saddens me to think that people can be so ruthless when it comes to these types of dogs. Yes most dog attacks occur with bigger dogs, but that is not to say that a particular breed should be banned from a place or even have laws regulating them. It’s the owner’s responsibility to know when they purchase a breed that is known to be more troublesome to train and handle, to correctly treat this dog. If the owner is going to buy a dog like this and expect it to do what you want then chances are this dog will not be a very good dog
I was reading an article online about training the American Staffordshire terrier and what I found was quite interesting. On the website “Pit bull Lovers.com”, there was a section called “Which of these five training mistakes are you making”? This made me curious because like I mentioned before I just recently attained that particular breed, and I wanted to make sure I was training my dog right. As I read on I learned that owning this breed takes a lot of work. The number on rule on pit Bull training is to be consistent, and I think that’s were most owners go wrong. These mistakes that are made due to the lack of consistency that eventually leads to laws and regulations against them. Either the owner chooses not to train the dog correctly or for the right purposes, or the owner just does not know how to train the dog at all.
Another factor that comes along with the laws and regulations of pit Bulls is the stereotyping of dog attacks. Most people believe that Pit Bulls are more likely to attack someone because of stories that they have heard. Truthfully though rarely do these dogs ever attack, and when and if they do, it would be the owners fault for not having better control over this type of breed knowingly that these particular dogs can be difficult to train. There have been numerous stories about these dogs saving people’s lives. I heard a story once about a guy who owned a pit bull and had a 12 month old baby. One day the pit bull ran to his owner and tugged on his arm. The owner thought that the dog just had to use the bathroom so he let him outside. Needless to say the dog ran back in and tugged on this arm then ran to the baby’s door. The owner in complete shock saw his 12 month old son hanging from the window curtain. Before the owner had time to react the pit bull jumped into the baby’s crib and untangled him. That doesn’t sound like something a vicious and dangerous dog would do. There are also numerous stories about pit bulls helping a person, that’s why most of these dogs become service animals. They will do anything to please their owner; they would even fight to their death.
Although it may seem like there is a lot of good reason behind laws regulating against these dogs. There are a lot of perks for these dogs. In this book called “Dogs” the section on pit bulls said they are excellent search dogs. A lot of jobs such as the police like to use them as drug dogs and search and rescue. The protectiveness they have of their owners and anyone they are close to makes them amazing guard dogs. The book also mentioned as I said before that they need to be trained right in order for them to please you the way they want too. Pit bulls tend to be alpha and Delta. Alpha meaning that the dog feels like it is more dominant and has to be trained more rigorously and with more strictness, whereas Delta means the dog is more likely to obey you faster and be easier to train. It’s not saying anything bad about this particular breed; it all comes down to the dog’s personality and the previous owner of the dog or the owner of the dogs parents. If you got the puppy from a family whose pit bulls had been more anxious then others then it is more likely you will get a dog with an alpha personality and will more likely have to train it and break it from the habits that the dog has already been exposed too.
I have been told that the Staffordshire terrier also known as Pit Bull has a delta personality. I believe this is true. Since I got him, he has been calm and mellow and easy to train. I got him at 9 weeks, and at 16 weeks today he is house broken, can sit, lie down and shake. I have been working really hard to train this dog to be a loving and loyal dog because I would hate to see something bad happen to him. Although I have been using good training habits and he is a good dog, I still face regulations in my own apartment complex due to his breed. The only reason why they are allowing me to have this breed is because I am going to make him into my service dog. Even though people with disabilities who choose to use this breed instead of a small one for a companion get the bad end of the stick due to these laws and regulations and even peoples fear or dislike for this breed.
The more I read about this breed and the laws against them, the more it made me appreciate them. I realized that it’s not the dog but the owner and it should be the owner’s responsibity to train their dog properly. If every dog owner took the time to train their dog right and for the right reasons then we would not have so many dogs left in the pound and there would be less dogs getting put down. These dogs have touched the lives of so many people that anyone who owns this dog will fall in love with this breed and want nothing more but to help stop the stereotypes of them. I know I do.
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