So you’ve decided to get a pit bull for the first time or perhaps you’ve had them all of your life? Whatever the case may be, the reality of owning a pit bull means that you’ve inherited a unique opportunity to do a great service to a very socially misunderstood breed. You’ve also inherited a controversy that, whether you like it or not, you’re going to eventually have to cope with. By this time you are more than likely familiar with the arguments and debates that surround this amazing animal. What you may not know is how important your individual involvement with the breed is to the overall community. You’ve probably heard the expression “It’s not the dog, it’s the owner” more times than you can recall, and though we hate to torment a cliche, it is still absolutely true. The outcome of raising any animal depends primarily on you, the owner.
We believe that the pit bull has suffered an unfair reputation, and likewise way too many good owners have endured unjustifiable discrimination because of that reputation, but the truth is that there are still owners today who are neglectful, irresponsible, and even abusive to their pit bulls. We need to create a safe, loving environment for every family and dog that comprises each neighborhood we live in. We need to know how to protect our pit bulls and how to minimize the risks that they will encounter. Have you ever walked by the house where there were numerous dogs left unattended in a yard for hours at a time? The people who do not care if their dogs escape and threaten other animals? Dogs who are neglected and left untreated and unloved? It all changes if that dog is a pit bull, regardless of how unjust this may be, it is nevertheless true. These are the people who loan their support to the negative reputation that exist with pit bulls. It isn’t fair to those who are good owners, it’s just simply what happens in the minds of spectators when terrible owners have pit bulls and let them become a menace. All it takes is one mistreated pit bull in one neighborhood to attack one dog or person, and the media can begin fanning the flames of misconception…and all of the myths and exaggerations that we fight adamantly against are given some kind of validity to those who do not know much about pit bulls. This is the condition we face as pit bull owners– We will ALL take a hit every time someone else allows their pit bull to do harm.
So if you have a pit bull that is anxious and/or aggressive to other dogs, make sure that they are protected. Make sure that the fence doesn’t have escape routes. Make sure they are on leash if in public, even in front yards or areas where you suspect they will not run away. Far too often we hear stories about a pit bull attacking a smaller dog who just happened to be walking through the neighborhood. Pit bulls are highly emotional, loyal animals and it is very rare that they will show aggression toward humans, but it does not mean they will not attack other wildlife. So it is your duty to make sure that you are keeping them safe by removing these hazards from their lives. Exercise control and caution at all times with any animal that you own. You cannot predict a speeding car or a loose animal or whatever else, so make sure your safeguards are set in place. Having a pit bull is a lot of fun and a lot of work, so if you’re not up for the challenge, don’t accept it.
By this point you may be thinking, “this description doesn’t fit me, I am a good owner!” Rest assured, we understand. However, we owe it to ourselves and to the breed we love so much to call attention to these matters. If there is someone in your neighborhood who neglects, abuses or lets their dogs roam free, then they need to be questioned. You do not have to go knock on the door yourself and pick a fight, but there are resources locally who will intervene for you. Report them to the neighborhood association, etc. In our experience, people who have a tendency to abuse animals aren’t the types to heed casual suggestions, so having someone with authority tell them what to do is perfectly acceptable.