10.19.2011

The Truth About Pit Bulls

The societal misconception about Pit Bulls truly blows me away. In the minds of many people, there are dogs... and then... there are Pit Bulls. They're almost viewed as a completely different species.

Well... I've got news for ya. They are canines... just like every other dog. That's a fact.

Many people have never even met a "Pit Bull." Yet, when asked about these dogs, those same people will provide a bold, descriptive account of "the Pit Bull" and his "personality." Aggressive. Vicious. Deranged. Dangerous. Unpredictable. 

Remember... the vast majority of these people have never actually witnessed this behavior, because they've never even been close enough to a Pit Bull to substantiate --or eradicate-- their claims. 

So, the question becomes: what's the basis for these Pit Bull testimonies? How can someone be so certain of this knowledge, when they've never even had an encounter with a Pit Bull?   

The simple answer: the media

In order to thrive, the media needs stories... and not just any stories. Sensational stories. Stories that grab your attention. Stories that get people talking. Stories that get you to tune in, read, and share their stories... with others who will tune in, read, and share those stories. That's their job.

So, what makes for a sensational story? Well, consider Hollywood. What celebrity news makes the headlines? Scandals. Drugs. Affairs. Drama. The cover story is never about the sweet, responsible starlet who quietly goes to work and back home every day. Why so? Because innocent isn't interesting. Innocent is boring.

Instead, devastation, destruction, and chaos are desired by the media. And if these things don't exist... trust me, they'll create their own story... 

Does a story about a sweet, loving Pit Bull, who enjoys playfully running through the grass, qualify as "sensational?" Not so much. But what about vicious, killer animal roaming the streets for blood? You betcha.

Consider this: millions of dog bites are reported each year... by dogs of every different breed. Many of these bites cause severe injuries, leading to hospitalizations, surgeries, and death. 

But how many of those stories do you actually see on the news? Well, let me rephrase that: How many non-Pit Bull bite stories do you see on the news?

When a Pit Bull bites someone, it almost always makes the news, with a headline such as "Killer Pit Bull Attacks Human." But what about the Golden Retriever down the street, who bit a child and sent him to the hospital? Well, that one never made the news. 

What about the Chihuahua who mauled a kid's face... did you ever see this headline: "Vicious Chihuahua Mauls Child." Nope... that's not a "good story" either. 

If and when these non-Pit-Bull bites are reported by the media, it's never front page news, and the dog's breed is rarely listed at all, simply stating: "Dog Bites Child." 

In fact, dog bites are so common, that the average bite from the "average dog" isn't considered news-worthy at all... regardless of the degree of injury to the person, or the number of other bite occurrences by that particular breed. 

But why aren't these other incidents covered in the news? Well, any media reports about non-Pit-Bull bites would only reduce the "sensational" aspect of their "Pit Bull attack" stories. And trust me, they don't want that to happen. So, in order to maintain the Pit Bull's "vicious" reputation, the media neglects the many other dog bite incidents by many other breeds. Does this seem honest? Justified? Trustworthy?

So, you may be asking, "Then, why the Pit Bull?" Well, that's the deeper issue here... 

Sadly, the inherent loyalty of the Pit Bull has been exploited by humans for sadistic pleasure and personal gain. Dog Fighting. Baiting. Chaining. Protection. Neglect. Abuse. Thus, the Pit Bull's "reputation" is a direct result of the cruelty to which they're subjected. 

However, the truth doesn't matter to the media, because that "Killer Pit Bull" reputation and their assumed "vicious" nature makes for a pretty darn good news story...

The media never shares the back-story of what happened to the dog before he bit someone. Even though... that piece of information is the most critical part of the story. 

Pit Bulls are arguably the most abused, misused, and tortured breed in America. (Keep in mind that the term "Pit Bull" is actually used to describe at least 3 different breeds: the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.) 

Their strengths are exploited by humans to make these dogs weaker; their weaknesses used to make humans stronger. Therein lies the problem... the truth behind their "bad rap," and the stimulus for the vast majority of Pit Bull bites and "attacks."

But the media never asks the most critical question: What happened to this dog... to cause him to bite someone? I may not know everything, but I can guarantee you this much: something happened to him

Maybe this dog was chained and neglected for years, with only a few feet of space to call his own. Never able to run, play, or be a dog. So, when someone enters that limited space, the dog may feel threatened, and his natural fight-or-flight instinct kicks in. But guess what? That heavy chain prevents the "flight" option. "Fight" is all he has, and he bites because he fears for his life.

Maybe the dog was trained to fight. Maybe he was praised for attacking others... and brutally beaten when he didn't obey those commands. Maybe he has lived his entire life, so terrified on a daily basis, that he can no longer trust any human contact. Maybe he thought that biting was his only chance to live another day...

Regardless of what happened, the back-story is never told. More disturbingly, when talking to the media, the dog's owners will always claim that this dog was a beloved family pet, who just suddenly "turned" one day. I'm always amazed that people actually believe these owners. 

Let's take a stroll down Common Sense Lane for just a sec...

So... these people claim that they were a "good family" who loved their dog? Of course they say that!!! Do you honestly expect that they'd tell the media: "Well, we beat the crap out of our dog every day for years, and one day, he finally fought back." 

Or "We chained and starved our dog for his entire life... and one day, the neglect just got the best of him." Or "Our child was taunting the starving dog, who then bit her out of hunger, fear, and self-defense." Or "We trained our dog to protect our home, and now we're angry that he tried to do what we asked of him."

If a family actually admitted that they were guilty of animal cruelty, there would be consequences. So, of course they blame the dog! Then, the law blames the dog, and the media blames the dog. And sadly, society blames the dog... for what humans did to him. 

People actually choose to believe that this Pit Bull just "turned" on the family who fed them, loved them, and cared for them all their life. Is that rational? Of course not! But it makes for a better story, doesn't it? 

So, that's what the media feeds us... and everyone is falling for it... 

If you'd like to hear from someone who has A LOT of experience with Pit Bulls, well... here I am. I've been bitten by a lot of dogs in my life... Labs, Chihuahuas, Spaniels. But out of the thousands of dogs I've worked with, I have never been bitten by a Pit Bull

In animal rescue, I deal with the worst of the worst... and these Pit Bulls come to me in the most broken, fearful, and vulnerable state. If a dog is going to bite someone, it'll most likely happen when they're in that fragile, uncertain state... only because they are terrified.  

And yet-- not one of those Pit Bulls has ever bitten me. I work with them daily --many of them. Do you honestly believe that I'd put my life in danger every single day?? And if they're truly so vicious, wouldn't I have been bitten or attacked by now? If they were really so dangerous and unpredictable, surely I'd be at greater risk than anyone else... dealing with so many of them on a daily basis... right? And yet, nothing has happened. Hmm...

The truth is: Pit Bulls aren't any more dangerous than other large breeds, and they aren't any less loving or deserving than any other dog. Wouldn't you choose to believe someone who actually knows these dogs... over someone who has never even met one???

I don't fear them, so they don't fear me. I love them, so they love me. That's critical. Because when fear is present and love is absent, any dog can become terrified.

Every breed of dog is capable of biting and harming someone, and these bites can happen for many different reasons: excessive energy, improper training, lack of socialization, unmet needs, abuse, hunger, neglect, and fear

When a dog senses your fear, they assume that they should be fearful, too. They don't understand that you actually fear them... they just sense an abundance of nervous energy, causing their defenses to go up as well. Therefore, they become every bit as terrified of you... as you are of them. So when you move toward them with uncertainty and hesitation... they fear for their safety, which can cause them to bite you. This is true for any dog. 

The most feared dog... is the Pit Bull. People tend to fear Pit Bulls more than any other breed. But does it seem logical that those same people don't fear other large breeds --who are equally strong and capable of harm-- such as Boxers, Shepherds, Labs, and Standard Poodles? Does this make any sense whatsoever?

So, why do they fear the Pit Bull? Because of the media. Because of dog fighters. Because of misconceptions and lies and abuse. Stop buying into these stories! Stop blaming these dogs for dog fighting! Stop believing the lies you are being fed!

The media has a lot to gain from these stories: ratings, readers, and money. Dog fighters have a lot to gain from dog fighting... and even more so, when society blames the dogs, instead of the people. 

But ask yourself this: What do I have to gain here? If you think I'm getting paid to write this, you're wrong. If you think someone is paying me to save these Pit Bulls, you're wrong. If you think I have anything to gain by presenting the truth and seeking justice, well... you're wrong.

Actually, I have a lot to lose here... everything, really. If I'm wrong about these dogs, I risk my reputation, my work, and quite honestly, my life. But... I'm more than willing to put everything I have on the line... because I know that I'm right, and I know that they're worth it. 

The media has everything to gain... and nothing to lose. I have nothing to gain... and everything to lose. So... the question becomes: Who do you choose to believe??

132 comments:

  1. THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS!!! I <3 my pittie...he's the most amazing dog i've ever had

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    1. sorry i am posting this as a reply. i found this article through pinterest and i can't figure out how to just leave a comment on here. i just want to say that i absolutely love this article! i volunteer at a shelter once a week and the pitbulls are so sweet and actually very calm! as of last week, there were four pit bulls at the shelter (three got adopted today!!!!), and not one of them is as terrifying or vicious as the media would like us to believe. there are two dogs at the shelter that make me very nervous...a retriever and a terrier! but i don't fear the pitbulls at all. i fight my dad on this daily because he believe pitbulls are evil. one time he read an article about a mastiff killing a woman and my dad goes "i thought that was going to be about a pitbull" and i said "that's like reading a story about a rape and saying 'i thought that was going to be about a black man,' biased, unprecedented, and wrong.

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  2. 100% Agree! Love your work, love my Pit.

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  3. Thank you for writing this story. My "pit bull" Cowboy looks so much like your Rudy! When I read his story and saw his pictures it made me cry. Keep fighting the good fight. There are alot of us out here behind you 100%

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  4. This was an awesome story and needs to be shared world wide! I am a proud pit bull owner and wouldn't trade my pit for any other breed!!

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  5. your intelligence shines once again...thank you for stating the absolute truth and the real facts...if only humans could be so kind and loving, the world as we know it today would be the place it was meant to be!

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  6. I have two pitbulls and they are the most gentle & most loyal of the dogs that I have had,, they own me!!!!:=))))

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  7. I rescued my pit in Utah. He is the smartest, kindest dog I have ever owned. He even likes cat!!! His nam is Skeeter!!!

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  8. WE ALWAYS CHOOSE TO BELIEVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

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  9. Tracy S.C.A.R.S. Pit Bull RescueOctober 19, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    awesome Ash!!! It's so hard for people to understand the amazing pibble until they've actually had hands on experience with them. We fight an uphill battle. It's those of us that rescue them, love them & understand them against the media & the ignorance of those that are too weak to form their own opinions. It's "easier" to be a follower than to be a leader. As sad as it is, until the media decides to choose a different "target", it will be "us" against "them". I know I will continue the fight! With people like you on the same side of the fight as I am, we will succeed. One person at a time.......

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  10. Very well written article! I agree 100%!! the media keeps these poor dogs where they are by reporting only their "pit bull" bites. We have 2 pitties & 4 other dogs & 2 cats. No problem here! The pitties get along with all the other animals in our house. Thank you for writing this. I am going to post in my group on care2!!!!

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  11. I have had several dogs in my life-chihuahua's,miniature schnauzer,lab,rotts,mutts,etc. My chihuahua and min schnauzer were 2 of the meanest dogs I have ever owned. My full blooded 90 pound pit bull is the sweetest,most lovable baby I have ever had--which is exactly what she is "MY BABY".
    Sadly,it took my husband years to talk me into getting one BECAUSE of all the media hype about these dogs. Now I will not ever get any other breed but a pit. People need to realize that it's not the breed that is vicious,mean,crazy and violent--IT IS THE HUMAN BEING THAT OWNS THE DOG THAT IS ALL OF THOSE THINGS. ANY animal that is treated in an inhumane way will become "vicious" because THAT IS WHAT THEY HAVE TO BE TO SURVIVE,IT IS ALL THEY KNOW AND WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN TAUGHT!!! If you chained me up,beat me,starved me,tortured me and whatever else I WOULD BE THE SAME WAY> It is the ignorant humans that should be punished not the animal.

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  12. I have 4 babies, one daughter (1 year old), two wonderful and loving Pit Bulls and a Rottweiler mix. They are my family and I love them. My dogs have never ever tried to bite me or my little girl (or anyone else), one of my pits is a rescued one, he was abandoned in a house´s backyard for one week, no water no food, and of course he was abused… he has scars in his face and legs, even living all those bad things he give us all his love and affection every single day!!

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  13. I've got one and she's the most loveable dog i could ever have. She's the three one that I've had. Aall of them. Thank you for putting this up. I was scared of them at firsted, but I came to love them. There very smart, and my daughter's pittie sleep's with her every night. Even my husband loves her. We count her as part of our family. She not a dog, she's one of our baby's. Thanks again.

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  14. Great job Ashley once again proving how great pit bulls are!! To sad though that ur letter will never make it world wide...except on Facebook. The media will never spread anything that shines negative light on them n that's sad cause I believe that if anybody could change the pitbull reputation it would be you. I hope some day I get the chance to meet you to give you a hug and thankyou personally for ALL the good work you do...not just for our beloved pitbulls though..but for every dog you have ever saved!! God bless you and thankyou.

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  15. Thank you so much for this. I have a pit bull... and a three year old... and get so much hassle from people trying to warn my that my pit bull will "turn" and kill my child. I'm not normally a violent person, but gods do those people make me want to smack some sense into them. Ginger is the sweetest, most forgiving and loving dog that has ever owned me, and she's my "ambassador" to the ignorant pit-bull-fearers of the world!

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  16. I love my pit bull, but even my own extended family is afraid of my dog. He has never ever tried to bite anyone. Go figure. I can't even change the mind of my own family.

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  17. This is a beautiful blog and I thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to write this. I too, rescue, and I have met many a pit bull in my day and never once have I met one that was viscious. In fact, all the ones I've met were either incredibly sweet or absolutely terrified. I stand with my statemen "Ban the humans, not the breed." Every day people are arrested for animal cruelty. In my opinion, the punishment is not harsh enough. These babies deserve more than we will ever know. How many things do you know in the world that can be so badly abused but in the same sense be so forgiving. Animals are innocent and the people that do them harm are nothing more than the vile scumbags of the Earth and they need to be eradicated. God bless all of our furry babies. <3

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  18. Hopefully people will read this and actually believe it. Here in the Phoenix, AZ area the shelters are packed with pits and chis and very little else. It's the second largest shelter system outside of L.A. County. They kill between 100 and 150 dogs and cats per day. As a volunteer who helps with the death row dogs, it's really frustrating to see so many really sweet dogs get put to death for no reason other than the shelter ran out of room and they were dealt the deck of being one of the "pit" breeds.

    Here's my "vicious pit bull" Lucy with her best feline bud Matilda:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rX65RVl5b9M

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  19. TY for the Post, Media and bad owners.Any dog can be vicious! Out of all the dogs I have been in contact with the only breed that ever caused me harm was a chow and I blame the owner not the animal(but to this day I still approach them with caution) but again not the animals fault!

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  20. AMEN ASHLEY!! Somebody had to say this, JUST LIKE you said it!! Like you I have been bitten by dogs, Rottie mixes, even toy dogs like a Miniature pinscher.. but NEVER by a pitbull. I have owned a pitbull (RIP BENGAL), many family && friends are proud pitbull owners as well. They are amazing!! Thanks so much for writing this!!

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  21. Love my pit and wouldn't trade him for anything in the world. He is a rescue and we love him more than anything.

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  22. My sister has a huge beautiful pitbull who is very loving and playful to the IMMEDIATE family members. He's known nothing but love since he was a puppy and even sleeps in their bed. But when anyone comes to the door, he goes berzerk. They have to put him in a seperate room before they can let anyone else in the house. They have a collie and a cocker also, who simply wag their tail when someone comes to the door. They recently had a new grandchild and they would NEVER let them in the same room together. The cocker and the collie are fine with the new baby but thy don't want to even try to let the pitbull in the room...they ove that dog so much, but they are considering putting him down because it's too big a gamble with the baby. Yes I believe pitbulls can't be trusted like a regular dog.

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  23. Anonymous @5pm,
    I hate to say it... but if your sister's family has had the dog since he was a puppy, then his behavioral issues are basically THEIR fault.

    Lack of proper training leads to the issues you mentioned... and implementing training now would actually resolve those issues fairly quickly.

    The things you mentioned have NOTHING to do with the dog's breed.

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  24. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/4/stop-pit-bull-killing-in-cambridge-ohio/

    Dade County Florida needs this wrath, too!

    Whatever happened to the "Nanny Dog"?

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  25. Also, NO CHILD should be left unattended with ANY breed of dog.

    Dogs should be taught how to interact with children, and children must be taught how to safely interact with dogs. Failure to do so can and lead to problems with any dog.

    Again, this goes for ALL dogs, ALL breeds, ALL sizes. Not just Pit Bulls.

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  26. Ashley...thank you for writing this blog and for bringing the truth to the forefront. Ive been fighting for pitbulls since the breed ban was effected in Europe, long before I had ever met one of the breed. I do know several people who have had bad experiences with their pitbull pets. One woman is a very experienced dog owner, and raised a beautiful boy. He was well trained in obedience, neutered, socialized, and everything else that a dog needs to be a good canine citizen. When he reached 2 years old, he became very dog aggressive. He was a gentle as a kitten to people, but in the end, his aggression toward other dogs caused his demise after he had killed someones pet dog. Having said that, though, dogs of any breed can be dog aggressive....I had a border collie who I had to watch constantly because of dog aggression issues. I have two pit mixes who hate each other now, but its a personality issue, and not a breed issue. Keep up the good work Ashley, and if you happen to know of a trainer or behaviorist in our area who might be able to help me, please let me know.

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  27. This is an excellent and articulate article that exudes a rational truth. But is doesn't address the fear of Pit Bulls being a danger to other animals, in one's home or neighborhood. As a person who has had limited personal contact with Pit Bulls, I would love to read an in depth analysis of this subject from you.

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  28. To Anonymous at 527pm...I think it does address the fear of Pitbulls. You said yourself your someone with limited contact with Pitbulls. So your fear is from believing the hype and media etc. I suggest getting to know a Pitbull, maybe volunteering with this breed specific rescue in your area and see if your fear doesnt diminish. I too had no idea what to expect and now volunteer with 2 different Pitbull rescues. All of the dogs are better behaved than my Beagle and none have ever bitten me like my Beagle has!

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  29. I agree 100%. My mom has a huge male pit and he's the most gentle dog! Any dog can bite. I hate it when people attack the pit breed. My sister was bitten in the face by a dalmation, but no one ever hears about other breeds biting!

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  30. Great, great, great article!! I wish everyone who only knows the bad rap reputation of Pits would read it! Let's hope this helps make some people think!

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  31. EVERYONE KNOWS THE PITS ARE IN THIS CLASS BECAUSE THAT IS WHERE US AS HUMANS CHOOSE TO PUT THEM. ANY DOG, SHEPARD, COLLIE, MASTIFF, ALL CAN BE AS AGGRESSIVE AND VISCIOUS IF SO TRAINED AND TREATED IN THIS MANNER. BUT PITS GET THE STORY FOR SOME STUPID MORONIS REASON. DOGS DO NOT JUST TURN AGAINST THE PEOPLE THAT LOVE AND CARE FOR THEM FOR NO, "NO" REASON. THERE IS ALWAYS AN UNDERLYING REASON FOR THIS REACTION. SOMETIMES IT IS CRUEL TREATMENT AND SOMETIMES IT IS A MEDICAL PROBLEM. A DOG IS A DOG, AND IT TREATED RIGHT AND TAKEN CARE OF, NO MATTER WHAT BREED IT SHALL BE, WILL BE THE BEST AND CLOSEST FRIEND ONE WILL EVER HAVE. UNDYING LOVE AND COMPANIONSHIP. PITS ARE THE SAME. THE FOLKS THAT CLASS THEM AS THEY DO ARE JUST MORONS WITH NO CLUE. JUST ASK THEM ABOUT THE DOGS AND THE ANSWER THEY GIVE YOU ABOUT HOW BAD THEY ARE TELLS YOU RIGHT OFF THEY ARE IDIOTS.

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  32. The dog who killed a 5 year old for simply walking in the back yard to feed him was a PITBULL. The dog who broke threw a screen door and seriously injured a person walking by was a PITBUL. I knew you'll say the media 'made it up" but these families will beg to differ with you. I have never heard of any other breed behaving like this whether they were mistreated or not.

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  33. I think that too many people choose to believe the stigma on pitbulls. There are many pits being used as therapy dogs for children and adults. Im sure there is more to that story as they do not just act like that. Educate yourself then comment. I have a now three year old rescued pit and he just want to be loved and give love. My pits are around my 3 and 6 nieces all the time. Thank you lucky dog rescue for writting this.

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  34. Sadly, I bought into the anti-pit bull hype for a long time. Due to an early childhood dog bite incident I was afraid of most large dogs. So, I feared them and railed against them as a breed. But, I had NEVER met one! I am a classic example of the gullible American consumer. Never questioning the News program's use of 'Scary' adjectives: 'Vicious Pit bull', 'Killer dog'. I gotta say, I did more to scare myself than ANY large dog ever could! I volunteered at my local Humane Society shelter and met so many large dogs - so sad, often broken, desperate for their lives. Well done, Ashley, for writing such a straight forward, no-nonsense and TRUTHFUL article. - Laurentia McIntosh

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  35. I believe pits can be sweet loving pets, but if they are just like every other dog, why do they need special training not to kill a person who comes to the door.

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  36. I have 5 pit mixes and 3 other breeds. I also have 2 young (3 & 4) granddaughters that live with me. My youngest walks up to any of them and walks them around and lays on them all the time. They all lick her and love to be right there with her. They are ALL so very loving and gentle.
    When out walking my "kids" I have had other dogs lunge at MY dogs.
    They are a misunderstood breed and it's very sad.
    I have fostered for some rescues and they were so happy when they knew I would rather take the pits to foster. I love them all and wish I could save them all!
    Good article Ashley! Keep up your good work!

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  37. This is so well written! Thanks, Ashley!
    I believe! Well, I know... and pit bulls are just dogs, but they are the best damn dogs that ever did exist. :)

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  38. Thank you for writing this. I wrote a story about pit bulls as well that contained information I learned while researching the dogs to make a decision about keeping my rescued puppy. She is no doubt the best dog I've ever had the privilege of sharing my life with. What I found too, was there is always a story behind the story. The story behind the BSL law in Denver is compelling and Denver City Council should be ashamed of their long-standing misinformed legislation.

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  39. Anonymous at 6:17pm,
    It seems that you're sharing details of stories you've HEARD about... not things that actually happened to you personally. Therefore, you likely learned this info from the media, and if so, then you should re-read my post. If you heard it from a friend-of-a-friend, then it's often like a game of Telephone, where the final message is vastly different from the truth. And often, the dog that is claimed to be a "Pit Bull"... isn't a Pit Bull at all. And regardless of the breed, SOMETHING triggered this behavior.

    Also, you said that you've never heard of another breed behaving this way... well, that's a critical point as well. The other stories are never even brought to your attention, but that doesn't mean other breeds have never harmed anyone. You can't blame one breed (which in truth, the term "Pit Bull" represents multiple breeds) for what many other breeds have also done. You also can't blame an entire breed for the actions of one dog.

    Anonymous @7:30pm, I never said that Pit Bulls must be trained not to attack at the door. Many dogs, of different breeds and sizes, exhibit territorial behavior when strangers arrive. The key is to correct this behavior using positive reinforcement. That is NOT a Pit Bull specific issue by any means.

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  40. yes I have heard of dalmations biting, small dogs, labs, cockerspaniels..If you all want to learn more about the amazingness of this type of dog, read Lost Dogs by Jim Goran...after the sad beginning the rest of the story about the transformations of almost every single dog they rescued is incredible. They had to put down an overbred female who had been severly abused, but a lot of the dogs became service dogs..very informative! Please educate yourself before you decide to dislike something

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  41. Nicely written as usual. Thanks.
    Here's our current foster pup: http://bamabullypup.blogspot.com/

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  42. Anon @6:17....you clearly did not read the whole thing. You're right...you haven't heard of any other breed acting in those ways....BECAUSE THEY GO UNREPORTED.Yes, bad things happen with these dogs because of mistreatment, whether you like that idea or not. Guess what? those couple of random "examples" you wrote about? You heard about them because it was a Pit Bull involved.Do some deep searching, or better yet, walk up to a neglected or scared lab and see what happens to you. I'm with Ashley, I have been hurt by many breeds of dogs, a Pit Bull not being one of them. Please do your research and look into something before making idiotic, naive statements about something that you know NOTHING about.

    p.s..you ARE one of those people that run their mouths about the breed, without ever having been in contact with one. Congratulations on having a completely invalid opinion.

    --Bethany

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  43. I love the way you think i have a pitbull and hes my life b4 i got him there were many ppl that had something negative to say about the breed from how mean they were to the attacks they have seen on the news or had heard regardless i felt that a pitbull was the right dog for me and i was right "romeo" is my baby boy and hes the smartest, sweetest,most loving dog i have ever seen ..

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  44. The story of the killing of the 5 year old and the pit going through the screen door was on the national news with film of the feeding dish the yard the screendoor and the dogs. The incidents were about 6 months apart. I'll never forgt it

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  45. Okay...and?? What about the hundred of other attacks by different breeds? They didn't happen because you didn't physically see them? That makes sense...

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  46. Very well put, Ashley!!! (as always) Thank you for enlightening all of the "pit bull-ignorant people"out there, as we all know there are MANY!!!!! Dogs are a lot like us humans, they are only as well trained and well mannered as us humans teach them to be. Just like our children, if we teach them to fight and be cruel to one another, that's what they will be when they grow up. Only with parental guidance and rules to follow are they well rounded, productive citizens!!!! Pit bulls are the most loving, loyal breed out there. This being said by someone who has owned and trained most breeds over the last 20 years. Thanks again, Ashley for trying to educate society on pitties and their undeserved "Bad Rap"!!!!!:)

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  47. Im on the fence about pit bulls. Just curious to see what kind of facts you might have. Before anyone jumps to any conclusions, I live next to a bad dog owner. He is a red healer, (spelling?) that is chained and neglected all day. He is the most aggressive dog I have ever seen. In your article you brought up boxer's, Shepard's, labs and poodles. What are the human death counts of those breeds, compared to pit bulls and other "bully breeds"? Or even just bite statistics.

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  48. As a veterinarian (so speaking with some valid experience) I will say that if I wanted to I can make any dog into a vicious dog. I have dealt with dozens and dozens of Pits in my career, and can honestly say that I have only met one, ONE, that I felt ever posed a threat. This was the same dog that came in with a logging chain for his collar, was un-neutered, and had owners that purchased him with the purpose to keep neighbors off their property. Unfortunately there are two realities, the types of individuals that are likely to train a dog to be aggressive will often times pick the Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, etc. breeds because of their reputation, but to judge a breed based on those dogs is invalid as they are not representative of the breed as a whole. The second reality is that one of the concerns with those breeds is that they are extremely powerful dogs, so if you have one that is trained in such a manner it does pose a threat to people, and possibly a fatal threat. I can honestly say that I would trust a Pit Bull coming into my office much more than several other breeds that I deal with. They are an inherently trainable breed which unfortunately also means that they can be trained poorly. I wish that those out there that push for "breed bans" could see what I see, sensationalism sells stories. This was a well written article and my compliments go out to the author.

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  49. I've done animal rescue for years. I've never been bitten by any "bully breed" dog, but I've been bitten or viciously snapped at by a dalmatian, a pomeranian, a border collie, a cocker spaniel, two black labs, and several mutts. With the exception of the pom, none gave me serious injuries (I've had a couple of other species bites that did a lot more damage), but it just goes to show that personalities are unique to the individual, not the breed. The dalmatian jumped his fence to attack me when I was a little girl, and that story didn't make the news. But the pit bull a couple of blocks away that killed a dog that wandered into his yard? He was seized and put down immediately, with lots of media coverage.

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  50. @Ashley...right back atcha :)

    p.s..I will be booking tickets for Mississippi pretty soon for March, I cannot wait to come help you out and meet all the amazing pups for a few days!!!

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  51. Anon @10:05,
    Thank you so much for your comment, and your compliments on my writing. I loved that you shared the perspective of what you see as a Veterinarian, and I completely agree with what you said about the types of owners and poor training.

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  52. Thank you so much for the great article! I'm a mother of 3 loverbulls and a veteran rescue volunteer. I have handled hundreds of pits, fostered dozens of pits, and have never been bitten. Not even close. But I am a little embarrassed to say I am afraid of weiner dogs! After 1 bad bite from a very meanie weenie, I have never been comfortable around them. That silly fear has actually led to 2 other bite incidents with 2 other dachshunds. Good thing they arent very strong! I'm so glad you mentioned that you get what you give!
    P.s I read a study on aggressive breeds and doxies were 1st on the list. Watch out for those cute little devils!!! Haha

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  53. My 2 year old step son was recently the victim of a pit bull "attack", by a beautiful pit we had adopted from a rescue group. We brought her home and had only had her for a few hours when the incident happened. Although the incident was very traumatic for all involved, the biggest challenge is convincing people that the "attack" was not vicious, it was not the result of some wild, derranged pit bull. Do not blame the breed! All relationships come with "baggage", including those with animals. We do not know what this dog has already been through in her short life, what her story is and why she felt the need to protect her treat and her toy. An innocent action of a child reaching towards her toy caused her to bite,that was her form of communicating her fear at that time, maybe she never had anything to call her own before in her life. More crimes are committed every day against children by humans, including their own parents, than by any pit bull. Please don't blame the breed.
    I support everything Ashley said in her post "The truth about pitbulls", the TRUTH is that most will still carry on with their ignorant misconceptions about pits. But if we start with educating our children and advocating against the ignorance and the criminals who abuse these animals, then maybe , over time, these dogs will be better understood, less discriminated against and be loved the way they deserve to be loved.

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  54. Great article! You have stated everyone of my thoughts and arguments with people over the years! Thank you for sharing!

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  55. As always Ashley, you're the Tiger I want in my corner.
    GREAT blog.

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  56. Great article! Most of the folks who want to talk so bad about Pitties wouldn't know one if it walked up to them and licked them.
    I owned a Rottie back in the days when they were considered the "bad" breed. She was raised with love, respect for her abilities, and with proper training. She was one of the most docile dogs I have ever had.

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  57. Thank you...Thank you Ashley. You said it all !!!
    I love my 2 Pit boys, I rescue them 9 years ago. They are brothers from the same litter, same parents. I also have a 10 year old female lab. They played so well together. When my family and friends come over all the dogs goes to greet everyone. Even one of my best friend..her husband heard bad rap about pits. He came to my house and said "OMG...they are so funny, gentle, friendly". So now he owns 2 Pits and 2 other dogs and they all get along very well. You See...It took for him to see how my pits interact with humans and dogs. It's all how you treat them and they will treat you back with lots of love. Ashley...I would love to work with you and the pits. Keep up the good work and keep the people, media educated. You said it all!! FYI....One of my pit will open my sliding glass door, close my drawers, lay and roll over, open his mouth for his medicine, get his treat from his nose. My other pit...when we go for a walk and when he hears a baby crying he'll stop and listen and go to the house and looks for the baby. I tell him.."it's ok, the baby is ok". He also..looks out for me. When I fell down on the step he came running to me and sat down and licked me on the side of my face to make sure that I'm ok and I put my arms around him and say "Mommy is ok". Pits are Awesome Dogs !!!

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  58. After seeing a story today about a pitbull who mauled a small dog "unproved", this story has made my day a bit better. I live in an area where the local shelter is full of dogs, 90% pitbulls. The shelter and the community are doing a great job of getting these dogs amazing, responsible homes and hopefully changing perspectives of those who don't understand. We are fostering two pitbull/lab mix puppies and not one person has turned away when I said they were pits. I love it!

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  59. mmmm This story doesnt make me feel any safer around pits at all especially after seeing a friends little 7 year old girl have to go thru plastic surgery on Monday this week after being attacked by a pit.. these dogs are agressive more than many others the same with rottweilers and shepards. I love dogs and have been around all of them including owning a pit and it is fine if you have adults only around them but children absolutely not or even where children are in the area only because I have seen how pits react when a child laughs or cries and it bothers them with that high pitch squeal of the kids. Sorry but no way

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    Replies
    1. @Gypsy,
      You cannot blame an entire breed for the actions of one dog. Children represent the majority of dog bite victims... and each year, kids are bitten by dogs of MANY DIFFERENT BREEDS. Many of those children are injured, by dogs of ALL SIZES.

      There is a REASON for this. Well, there are many reasons, but here's what it usually boils down to: Children must be TAUGHT how to safely interact with dogs. Most parents neglect this important parenting step, expecting that their children will just magically understand how to behave around animals. Kids will often do things to dogs that seem innocent-- but these things cause PAIN to the dog. Pulling their tails, poking them in the eyes, batting at their faces, etc. This is not a safe way to interact with ANY dog of ANY breed, but parents don't usually correct their children when they exhibit this behavior. They'll try to correct the DOG for the actions of their child. The dog does not understand this, & the "correction" is completely inefficient.

      Further, pets must be taught how to interact with children. A child's small size can often make them seem like another dog in the pack to your dog. So sometimes, they will attempt to play with children like they play with their doggie friends. This behavior should also be corrected, and dogs must learn how to play with children using positive reinforcement. Again, THIS GOES FOR ALL DOGS, ALL BREEDS, ALL SIZES.

      Neglecting to teach children how to play with dogs... and dogs how to play with children, can end in bodily harm to the dog and/or the child. BUT SO MANY PARENTS MISS THIS IMPORTANT STEP, & then, they blame the DOG for something that wasn't really the dog's fault.

      ANY DOG is capable of harming a human or child without proper training, care, and socialization. I could sit here and give you MANY examples of children who were severely injured by this breed or that breed. But even still, I would NEVER blame that ENTIRE BREED for the actions of one dog, and I will still insist that there was some other contributing factor, such as an unmet need or lack of training, that led to the bite, regardless of which breed of dog bit someone.

      Delete
  60. Ashley, you just said everything I've believed every time I've seen a story like the ones you talk about. I haven't spent a lot of time around pits except one my brother had and my parents Staffordshire. Cheyanne was the biggest baby and loved everyone. The only thing deadly she'd do was maybe lick a person to death! She barked at everything that moved and protected what was hers but she never bit anyone. She loved everyone. My ex husband and I had a Siberian Husky named Chloe. She was sweet but get near her food and she'd rip an arm off. I wasn't afraid of her by any stretch of the imagination but quite honestly, I would have been more likely to be afraid of Chloe than I would have ever been of Cheyanne or my brothers Pit Bull Terrier, Zeus. I am going to share this blog on any article I read about pits and let people know they are buying into a media who just wants a good story, not the truth. Thank you for all you do Ashley!

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  61. Gypsy, Ashley is a busy woman and I'm just going to take it upon myself to address your comment. You should look up US dog temperment testing. Did you know that Pit Bulls scored better than Retrievers? And tied with Labs? Genetically, no breed is more "aggressive" than another. It is a stone written, non negotiable fact. Same with Rottweilers and Shepards. I work at a shelter with 90 % Pit Bulls. We put them through tons of evaluations to make sure they are adoptable...The only dogs that we are allowing to go child friendly homes right now are Pit Bulls....Yes, our lab, poodle, and terrier scored low and cannot be around children. They were originally nanny dogs, and the majority adore children. I've seen children do a high "squeal" laugh, and the dogs love it. I've also seen them cry, and it upsets every single Pit Bull because they want to help. There will always be some that were raised the wrong way, or mistreated or even just over bred...Or even if a dog is not exposed properly, children may freak them out....but the same goes for every other breed.

    It is so unfortunate for your friend's little girl, but that attack is not a representation of a Pit Bull. It is one of a very damaged DOG.

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  62. Thank you again for standing up for the most abused dog, physically, emotionally & in the news media. I worked at a veterinary hospital for 2 years. I took care of every breed of dog that lives on this planet. From 5 pound Yorkies to a Great Dame that weighted 150 pounds. I was biten twice, once by a Shih Tzu & the other was a Shih Tzu mix. I was trying to put their collar on them after their owns came to pick them up. All the "pitbulls" I cared for were love bugs, licking machines & mushy like butter. They were sweet & loving, enjoying all the attention they received. Never had a bad experience with any pitbull, I'm more nervous around Shih Tzus, they are a little dog that has an attitude, because they are little. Thank you for all the love you give to these abused & misunderstood dogs.

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  63. @Gypsy,
    You cannot blame an entire breed for the actions of one dog. Children represent the majority of dog bite victims... and each year, kids are bitten by dogs of MANY DIFFERENT BREEDS. Many of those children are injured, by dogs of ALL SIZES.

    There is a REASON for this. Well, there are many reasons, but here's what it usually boils down to: Children must be TAUGHT how to safely interact with dogs. Most parents neglect this important parenting step, expecting that their children will just magically understand how to behave around animals. Kids will often do things to dogs that seem innocent-- but these things cause PAIN to the dog. Pulling their tails, poking them in the eyes, batting at their faces, etc. This is not a safe way to interact with ANY dog of ANY breed, but parents don't usually correct their children when they exhibit this behavior. They'll try to correct the DOG for the actions of their child. The dog does not understand this, & the "correction" is completely inefficient.

    Further, pets must be taught how to interact with children. A child's small size can often make them seem like another dog in the pack to your dog. So sometimes, they will attempt to play with children like they play with their doggie friends. This behavior should also be corrected, and dogs must learn how to play with children using positive reinforcement. Again, THIS GOES FOR ALL DOGS, ALL BREEDS, ALL SIZES.

    Neglecting to teach children how to play with dogs... and dogs how to play with children, can end in bodily harm to the dog and/or the child. BUT SO MANY PARENTS MISS THIS IMPORTANT STEP, & then, they blame the DOG for something that wasn't really the dog's fault.

    ANY DOG is capable of harming a human or child without proper training, care, and socialization. I could sit here and give you MANY examples of children who were severely injured by this breed or that breed. But even still, I would NEVER blame that ENTIRE BREED for the actions of one dog, and I will still insist that there was some other contributing factor, such as an unmet need or lack of training, that led to the bite, regardless of which breed of dog bit someone.

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  64. That was freakin amazing! Thanks for telling the truth about these amazing, beautiful dogs

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  65. This story is amazing!!! I have two pits male and female that absolutely love my nephew he rides them around like horses!!! It really bothers me to see how misunderstood a breed can really be? I love my pits and wouldn't trade them for any other kind of dogin the world!!! They are part of our family and always will be!!!!!

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  66. Thanks. We love our pit, Trixie. She was a rescue who had seen some pretty nasty stuff. Now she's a bundle of love who is scared of my 8 inch little bird and is the most loyal and affectionate dog we've had in a long time. She's even really cool with the cat!!

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  67. Thank you for writing!!! I ABSOLUTELY, 100% agree! I was weary also about getting a pitbull. But after I did, I felt really bad about the way I had thought about them. They are awesome and the most loving, loyal dogs ever. People need to open up their minds and their hearts to these sweet dogs.

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  68. I absolutely love you & what you stand for. Everyone should pass this along & fight the misconceptions about this breed. My rescue pup, rescued me and I will do anything I can, in my power to advocate for them. Thank you, thank you greatly for taking a stand. :)

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  69. Two dogs have bitten my daughter. A toy poodle and a little mixed breed. Be very cautious of small dogs around small children. They are nervous and defensive. We've never had a problem with big dogs.

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  70. You couldn't have said this any better! Kudos to you and your rescue! God bless you!!!!

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  71. a shih Tzu never killed anyone.

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  72. You are 100% correct. Any dog can attack. I have a pit bull, not that I had ever planned on it but I have her. I'm glad that I do. Friends have told me that they like her but are still worried that at some point she may "turn on them", I get really angry with them. Unless there's a damn good reason she isn't going to hurt anyone. Luna is a big baby and most people love her even the mailman lol, he was more afraid of my St.Bernard. So for all the people out there that want to categorize/segregate this breed do your reseach first. After all this is a form of racism, isn't it?

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  73. A shih Tzu is a lot smaller than a large breed dog. That is just common sense. It doesn't mean they can't desplay aggressive behaviors and bite...Not sure what you are trying to get at or prove, Anonymous 1:17 :)

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  74. My point is there is a difference in breeds. If a Shih Tzu is pissed you might get a bite. If a pit is pissed you could lose your life (a great dane is a huge dog but has never killed anyone)

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  75. Thank you for this! Changing misconceptions is tough...love to see folks doing the work towards educating the public.

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  76. I would do research before making a statement like that. If a great dane is pissed, you could lose your life. Same with any large breed dog. A shih Tzu is obviously differet, I'm pretty sure if one was attacking you it could easily be stopped. I'm not denying that a pit bull attack wouldn't be deadly, I'm arguing that ANY large breed dog attack would be.

    And again, just because the news hasn't covered a story of a great dane attacking and killing someone, does not mean it has not happened.

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  77. Truer words were never spoken. It's up to those of us that know & love this breed to do all we can to change the bad impression people have of them. We need more Pitties trained in rescue, therapy, service dogs, etc. Right now I'm trying to find someone to help me train my Pit as a service dog for myself but no luck so far. No one wants to bother with a Pit and this breaks my heart. Keep up the good work you are doing.

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  78. @Anon 1:32pm,
    Please don't come to my blog stating "facts" that are not facts. ANY LARGE DOG IS CAPABLE OF CAUSING PHYSICAL HARM --or death-- to a human. SMALL DOGS are ALSO capable of causing a great deal of harm... if they haven't received proper treatment, training, and care.

    There is this misconception that Pit Bulls have this super-power strength and can do far more damage than other large dogs... dogs who are even larger in size with greater physical strength! IT IS NOT TRUE. A Lab can kill you. A Golden Retriever can kill you. A Great Dane can kill you (and your "fact" about this breed was not a fact). So can a Boxer, or Collie, or Spaniel.

    But just because they are "capable" of harm, DOES NOT mean that they WILL harm. The difference is in the things I mentioned. Training, socialization, treatment etc.

    And just so you know, MANY small dogs have been responsible for MAULING people's faces and mutilating body parts... including CHILDREN. Should we say that all small dogs are bad?? Of course not!

    You can disagree with me, that's fine by me. But please, don't come here just to argue for the sake of arguing. Clearly, you will never have a Pit Bull or change your mind about them.

    Therefore, this post is NOT for you, and there's no reason to keep coming back here to argue. It makes you look silly.

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  79. thank you for saying this about pitbulls i have 2 and they are great dogs and i personally am getting tired of people that dont understand or want to understand about pitbulls. as far as that goes i also have 2 little dogs and my one little dog would nip but my pits have never bitten or been argessive people make them mean they are going to be mean.Thats any dog so people need to get there facts straight and quit judging pits because of ignorant people

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  80. to gypsy
    i have kids and grandchildren and my 9 month old granddaughter crawls on him and uses him as a pillow so thats not true about all pits i dont know what happened and im sorry but its not true about kids and pitbulls. I also have friends with pits and kids and they are great with them.

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  81. http://indigorescue.org/?page_id=83

    I found this. Please have a look, maybe you can use this data!!!!!!

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  82. Such a wonderful post, as always. You are not only a great person, but a wonderful writer! See you and the pups first week of November! I will share the story now. Thanks Ashley, for all you do for animals.

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  83. Beautifully written!! I absolutely adore my pit bull, and getting to know him has opened my eyes about all pit bulls. I do my best to advocate for them...and sometimes it gets tiring to always defend your dog when you know they have done nothing wrong that you should have to defend! My dog is the sweetest, most loving dog that I have ever met..he's everything I would want in a dog and more. I'm sure all of us say that about our pit bulls...which says something, doesn't it? :)

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  84. just googled deaths by dogs. For the past 10 years, the #1 dog causing death every year was pitbulls. #2 was rottweiller. In 2010, pits killed 18 people, rotts killed 4. This is reality people. (great dane was not on the list) It's wonderful that you love your pits so much. Enjoy them. they are a smart beautiful animal...but for those people who don't train thm, they are a ticking time bomb...reality

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  85. I have had many breeds of dogs in my life, big dogs, medium size dogs, small dogs. I had a German Shepherd that was the sweetest, most gentle, loving boy. He would never hurt a fly, not an aggressive bone in his body. He LOVED everyone, including perfect strangers. He was good with my other 4 dogs (male and female).He passed away in 2009 and I miss him every day. I really don't know much about Pit Bulls, except that NO ONE should be allowed to "DOG FIGHT" any dog. They should be proscuted if they do. I doubt that I would ever own a Pit Bull or any dog know to be aggressive. But I know there are many nice, gentle Pits and other 'so called' aggressive dogs.

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  86. You are contradictory, and as Ashley said, have no place commenting and making unjustified arguments here. It's wonderful you are so ignorant, and refuse to look past your own shallow and biased beliefs. This post does not apply for you, as you will never learn to open your mind and refuse to expose yourself to something that may alter your closed off way of thinking.

    P.s...Your super "factual" GOOGLE data, is not set in stone. I don't know how many times you've ignored the fact that many dog bites go unreported. Pit bull bites are almost ALWAYS reported. So yes, it makes sense that Great danes are not on the list. That is not reality, and you certainly do not live in reality.

    Please, stop posting useless opinions on here. Ashley wrote a damn good informational blog, with nothing but facts. Stop trying to taint it with nonsense.

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  87. As I said, and as I will say again... Pit Bulls are the most abused breed in America. Abused and mistreated dogs are VICTIMS, not vicious out-to-kill animals. DO NOT BLAME THEM for what HUMANS have done to them!

    Sure, you searched for & found statistics to support your argument... JUST AS I COULD PROVIDE YOU WITH PLENTY OF STATISTICS TO SUPPORT MY POINT. Yet, I didn't write this post to spout off statistics. Statistics don't tell the whole story... nor are they always as accurate as people give them credit for.

    Instead, I wrote from EXPERIENCE, which says far more than statistics ever could.

    If you googled "Are black people more violent than white people?" I bet you could find a lot of data to say: Yes, they are. Does this mean that this information should be valued, and we should deem all African Americans as bad? Well, of course not.

    Again, I shared the truth, AS WELL AS MY EXPERIENCE. If your claims were true... and Pit Bulls were really so vicious, then I'd be at far greater risk than others. AND STILL, I HAVE NEVER BEEN BITTEN BY A PIT BULL, & certainly never "attacked." If they're so dangerous... so unpredictable... then how would I have avoided any risk or harm... dealing with SO MANY EVERY SINGLE DAY?! I'm no dog trainer... I don't handle them any differently than I do any other dog. So, how would I be alive to share my tale, if your words were true?

    I know these dogs. You do not. For every "fact," you can give me, I can give you 10 ACTUAL STORIES of amazing experiences with Pit Bulls. That speaks volumes about my credibility, & your ignorance.

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  88. A well written story. I am a visiting nurse and have been bitten five times...let's see, a Yorkie twice, min poodle, min bulldog and a little guy that was a mix.....ok no pitt bulls. I am always fearful of the little ones and just recently one of the wee ones attacked my 85 pound golden. I will experience it for myself soon as our next rescue will be a pittie. Thanks for the great info and kind words about a breed that stands misunderstood because of humans!

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  89. I find it amazing Ashley, that you should have to defend this beautifully written post. And shame on all of you for coming here (of all places) to play out this argument. I think this is a true testament to just how deeply seeded these misplaced fears are, and how well the media has "done it's job". It's truly heart-breaking. These animals are dying in droves, because so many people choose to believe what they hear, instead of actually learning the truth for themselves. Take away the name "Pit Bull", and I promise that all you have left is a dog - a normal, loving, feeling, loyal - DOG. A dog that needs the same training and socialization as any other dog, and without which, may pose a threat. Growing up, I had a Collie mix who bit more than one person. Looking back, it was absolutely OUR FAULT! So please people either take some responsibility, or until you actually MEET one of these dogs, or have some kind of first hand experience, don't speak about that which you "believe" to be true, because you have been programmed to believe those things. And arguing your point here only proves that you have no opinion/mind of your own.

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  90. Thanks for your post Ashley, the work you do is amazing. I have a Bull Terrier, Boxer, Shepherd mix and she is the most lovable dog. She is 8 months old and loves going to her obedience class. I rescued her at 9 weeks old from a lady who felt she was a waste of her time. I mentally thank that lady everyday for not wanting her. I'm an insurance inspector and come in contact with many dogs and I've be bitten by a Australian Shepherd, Pug and a Chow. All of my "Pit" encounters have been bite free, even the ones who have begged for attention on a chain ( if a baby wants love I don't think twice about following through). If more people would take the time to educate themselves they would realize any dog that is abused or neglected is not going to trust people but become defensive. I know if I were attached to a 3 foot chain, isolated in the yard, beaten & kicked, never held or touched, I would be one aggressive Tasmanian Devil. Every dog deserves a chance, thank you Ashley for giving so many the chance they need!

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  91. I HAVE HAD 3 PITS AND ALL HAVE BEEN LOVING GENTLE FUN MISCHIEVOUS AT TIMES BUT ALL IN ALL THEY ARE GREAT FAMILY DOGS WITH CHILDREN IF THEY ARE RAISED RIGHT BUT THAT THE SAM FOR ALL BREEDS OF DOGS. MY THIRD PIT SAVANNA I STILL HAVE SHE JUST TURNED 12 YRS OLD LAST WEEK AND SHE WANTS TO ADOPT ALL LITTLE ANIMALS

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  92. I am a nurse and have a Staffordshire Terrier. He is a sweet loving dog. He is also not great with kids, but hey, neither am I. As a responsible owner I keep small kids and him under close guard and watchful eye. I love my dog too much to put him in a situation where he could potentially hurt a small child. Guess what? Lots of other dogs get away with biting kids all the time! It's time that irresponsible owners receive more severe punishment and not the dogs!

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  93. So true. Every time when i hear something on TV about a dog attacks somebody i've always ask the same question "what the heck did that person do to piss off the dog?". We often blame others for our own mistakes and this is no exception. I was deadly afraid of dogs because i almost got bitten by a Doberman when i was about 10 but that didn't mean i hate them. I have to say, after 13 years later, i'm a proud parent of 2 miniature schnauzers and a german shepherd. I love them to dead now :)

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  94. I am the opposite of many people commenting on here. I read your articles to educate myself about Pits. I've never owned one or been around one in my life. I've only seen them as someone elses dog. Honestly they have scared me in the past b/c of Vick, dogfighting, like you mentioned a pit kills some child... Etc.

    I truly believe any dog can be mean, vicious, etc. & many dog related bites are from people taunting/teasing the poor dog! That really angers me. Thank you for educating me everyday I read your posts. Your a lifesaver!!

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  95. Nice dogs....until they bite your face off.

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  96. Anonymous @10:09...
    I'm glad we can use you as an example of the type of people written about in this blog. The ones that have no experience and are rudely ignorant about the breed.That have no idea what they're talking about...and sadly do not realize how freaking stupid they come off. Bummer for you, educational for everyone else.

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  97. I have the honor of owning the best dog in the world. And she is a pitbull. I too, once believed that "media hype" until I became an owner. Never thought I would own one, but my son adopted the dog, and for a brief period he has been unable to care for it, so I "inherited" her and I'll bite him, if he thinks he's getting my precious "Ruby Jewel" back. Great story Ashley, with much food (and doggie treats) to think about.

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  98. Five million dog bites per year, and all you assholes can say is "my dog is only responsible for SOME of them.". Pathetic. A large percentage of dog bites are from pit bulls. Take some responsibility for not only your breed, but for the violent nature of dogs in general.

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  99. Pit bulls are banned in many countries. Why? Because they are violent and vicious.

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    1. This is circular reasoning and makes no sense.

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  100. A. Invalid statistics.
    B. No dog has a natural "violent nature"
    C. Breed Specific Legislation scares people into
    supporting a ban. It's a vicious cycle.
    D. NO DOG BREED IS SPECIFICALLY VIOLENT AND VICIOUS.
    E. It is getting damn tedious to have to keep
    correcting your false information and judgements...

    Finally, I don't understand why you keep posting hateful, obnoxious comments here? You are getting nowhere, I'm sure there is an anti Pit Bull group somewhere full of clowns like you...Surely you'd be a lot more successful in a place like that?

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  101. To anonymous 11:43 PM. Pit Bulls are banned in countries because people like you believe everything that stands in the papers and vote for the ban..... Unfortunately there are people like you that are politicians as well. /Jenny

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  102. Hey Anonymous @10:52pm etc,

    Let me explain a little something to you.

    "Anonymous" does not really make you "Anonymous."

    Each time you comment here, your IP address is recorded, which tells me exactly who you are, as well as the city & state from which you write your nasty, hateful comments. So it's pretty unnecessary to hide behind "Anonymous," because you aren't "Anonymous."

    That being said, here's another tidbit: I could have deleted each and every comment you've posted here. But more importantly, with just one click, I'm also able to BLOCK you from ever returning to my blog again.

    HOWEVER, I haven't deleted your comments, or blocked you (yet), because you have done a FANTASTIC job of PROVING MY POINT. Well done, my friend.

    Also, one last thing... many of the people who come to my blog are hard-working, good-hearted people who run CHARITIES for a living. You just called them all "assholes." What does that say about you?? And what does that say about your mental state, your credibility, and your character?

    I think you made certain that no one will ever give any merit to your false facts, your ignorant rants, and your hateful words.

    Thank you for proving my point. It made my whole day :)

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  103. This was truly AMAZING... I have an American Bull Terrier and a Chocolate Razor Pitbull... They are the most sweetest, good natured dogs that I have ever owned... I love them dearly and because of that love they have grown into the biggest sweethearts! Would they defend me if someone uninvited where to come into the home?Absolutely... but what dog wouldnt? I hate that pits have such a bad rap because of the media... and because of stupid people like Micheal Vick *spelling? It's not the dog that is violent, it's the owner... Dogs do what they are taught... Thanks for this artical, finally someone has portrayed these dogs for what they are... LOYAL and LOVING!

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  104. Ashley, you just keep doing what your doing. It's unbelievable that these people actually think they have a leg to stand on. The ignorance of some of the people who comment here is staggering. I can only hope that you "annons" don't have animals of your own, lord help you and them for having to put up with such a small-minded, ignorant, mis-informed owner. I could go on for hours, Ashley, you are awesome..that's all.

    Courtney McElwee

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  105. Ashley you are amazing. (Bethany, you too!! what a defender!) I have 2 small dogs, and we have a beautiful pit that lives in my building who loves them. She loves me, too. She loves everyone. The only time she hurts me is with her wagging tail. (: Her parents took her to obedience school, she is loved but disciplined and never abused or left in a situation where she WOULD hurt anyone out of fear or defense. The paragraph I just wrote could be about any breed. They are animals. OY! Ashely, sorry you have to defend yourself here. x

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  106. I worked as a meter reader for several years. i was bitten 4 times by dogs in that time. Never by a pit. Dalmation, Boxer, Lab mix, and a golden.

    When I was training my replacement, I went into a fenced yard with 4-5 pits.. I never saw someone freak out so much as he did. All of them came running straight for me. Death by slobber and muddy paws begging to play. The challenge was trying to get to the meter without getting knocked over and drowned in slobber.

    Today I have two rescue pits. These dogs are family.

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  107. Oh! I am scared! What you going to do, bring your ugly, stupid dogs to my house and attack me? You people can't stand differences of opinion. I'm just stating facts. Many counties and banned your dogs, and posting what YOU think are cute photos and saying "ooo" and "ah" to each other and saying "keep up the good work" isn't going to change that. People hate your dogs. Period.

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  108. As much I would love to bring a Pit Bull to attack you at this point, I don't think I could find one that would. They're just too sweet :)
    Again, your facts are not backed by anything, except unfortunate incidents caused by bad owners and situations. And I do not expect everyone to love Pit Bulls, I don't love every breed either. I am upset that you are basing your dislike on myths, and no personal experience. Any opinion formed by someone should be backed by personal experience, or it isn't really an honest opinion. Sorry, you lose, again! But we will keep up the good work, and it's blogs like these that are going to change country bans eventually. People LOVE our dogs...you, on the other hand, I can't say the same for. Period.

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  109. This was beautifully written, Ashley. My Pit just passed away (from old age) and she was the sweetest, most gentle dog I have ever known.

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  110. @Anon 2:06pm,
    I'm so amused that you're still here... coming back to my blog every hour... DRIVING UP MY TRAFFIC AND INCREASING MY STATS. Wow-- thank you! You're actually HELPING ME SAVE MORE PIT BULLS each & every time you click to come back here... as my site's rating goes up & up with each of your views & comments. Bravo! Even I couldn't have anticipated just how much you'd HELP the Pit Bulls you hate so much :)

    And look at that... you still don't have the courage to remove your "Anonymous cape." Yet, you'll "anonymously" call my dogs ugly, stupid, and hated.

    Your words reek of desperation for attention. It makes you look ridiculous. You're coming to a DOG BLOG. You clearly HATE DOGS. Do you have nothing better to do with your life??? Clearly you don't, and that's really, really, really sad. I pity you.

    Because you were so incredibly hateful toward my incredible, deserving, intelligent dogs, I wrote this for you. Enjoy :)
    http://luckydogrescueblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/humor-in-ignorance.html

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  111. PS- Your argument is that many countries have banned my dogs?! THAT'S your whole argument??

    Are you aware of the "many countries" that jail or kill any citizen who disagrees with the government? What about the "many countries" who terrorize other countries for fun? What about the "many countries" that sell their women into prostitution and slavery?

    There are MANY jacked-up countries, with ridiculous laws. There are also A LOT OF BANNED BREEDS OF DOGS. Your argument is super-lame.

    Again, thanks for making my day by proving my point, driving up my traffic, and SAVING MORE PIT BULLS. You worked hard today :)

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  112. I think I remember reading that the highest incidence of dog bites in the US is by Labrador Retrievers. That doesn't mean they are particularly vicious, either. There are just an awful lot of them...most people see Labs as the "typical family dog", so a lot of families have them. I think Chihuahuas are second on the list.I think the reasons why the pit bull stories make it into the news so much more often is because they have awesome jaws. So when they do bite, they tend to do a lot of damage. Therein lies the problem. Most of hte dog bite statistics that I was able to find online are compiled by adding up MEDIA reports. And the media doesn't report people getting bitten by dachshunds...if you get my drift. So...I'd say the only stats that might actually be worth considering are hospital/police reported bites, and I don't know where to find those. Even the CDC says their stats are based on media reports. Back in the 70's, dobermans were vilified. Then german shepherds. What breed will be next?

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  113. Pit bulls are banned in some countries, etc because people are dumbasses!! Scared little media puppet dumbasses! Oh...AND uneducated!! People like "anonymous" are scared of pits b/c they are nieve and believe everything they hear and like to jump on the "fear bandwagons". Pits have gotten a bad rap b/c of dog fighting and such so anytime there IS a case where a pit bites someone, to the newsroom it goes! Meanwhile, for every pit bite, there are hundreds of other breed/mix bites & attacks! I would lay my life down for my animals! And I would take a bullet for a pit any day!!

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  114. I own 2 pits, 1 that I rescued from the streets...she changed my life in so many ways and wouldn't give her up for a million bucks. She is 1 of the most loving dogs I've ever owned, I use her as an ambassador whenever I get the chance and have changed many minds of those that "have never met a pit". The only flaw she has besides kissing you to death is she does not like big dogs thus I am a responsible dog owner and do not have her around big dogs. The other pit is a pit mix from Lucky Dog Rescue, he is so loving and adorabull that you can't not like him.
    I for one had never met a pit until Brandy was running the streets and I stopped and said come here baby she jumped right in my car and stole my heart right at that moment. Now if I believed all the media hype I would have probably been one of those people that would have swerved to hit her because "pits are so vicious".
    People are so ignorant in this world that it makes me want to puke...if there weren't so many of these ignorant people maybe this world would be a better place all around including accepting pits as one of the most loving, caring, adorabull dogs around.
    My mother actually owns a 10 year old 7lb poodle and he is a million times meaner than my pits (hell they are afraid of him!!!).
    Thank you for the great blog Ashley and keep up the great work, it's all we can do is continue to education the ignorant about the amazing breed, hopefully one day we can make all the ignorant believe what we say.
    Love you,
    Jill
    P.S. Brutty says "Love you mama Ashwey!!"

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  115. Hey guys, did you know that if you scratch or pull on the skin under a pit bull's neck/chin, it will trigger the dog to attack you??? I saw it on Facebook and it is a FACT. I'm just looking out for you all since you're around these vile creatures day in and day out. One day, one of those "time bombs" is going to go off and have your face for a snack while you sleep!

    HAHAHAHA @ the ignorant anon(s). I particularly enjoy the part where his/her/their statements were all FACTS. So I guess as long as you CALL it a fact, then it can BE a fact? Is that how that works? Good to know. Media puppets, indeed. Lemmings. Sheeple. It's ok. It must be rough going through life as a f*ckin' idiot.

    Thank you, Ashley, for yet another brilliantly and wonderfully written blog post. Can't wait to read the follow-up to this. Love Bethany's comments too. Awesome. <3

    PS. That's a true story about reading the pit bull neck-attack thing on FB. I get a kick out of it and it makes me laugh whenever I think about it, so I thought I would share :D
    xo

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  116. Ashley, what a brilliant writer you are. Your eloquence and passion about our beloved bullies will hopefully permeate society. Societies need to villify the pit bull has to be changed and you my dear Ashley, are creating that change!

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  117. In response to the comments about places banning pit bulls, here is a excerpt from an article written by the National Canine Research Council, which states:

    "Spain, Italy, Great Britain and the Netherlands have all reported that their breed specific regulations have not produced a reduction in dog bite incidents. The Toronto Humane Society surveyed health departments throughout the province of Ontario, and reported that the breed ban enacted in 2005 had not produced a reduction in dog bites. In Winnipeg, Manitoba, after the city banned one type of dog, dog bites actually rose, just involving other types of dogs. Reports from Denver, Colorado, Miami-Dade, Florida, Prince George’s County, Maryland, and Omaha, Nebraska all tell the same story."

    http://nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/uploaded_files/tinymce/NNB%20now%20available%20in%20JAVMA-2.pdf

    Your argument is invalid.

    Ashley, thank you for the amazing work you do.

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  118. To the Anonymous writer...why dont you take some responsibilty as an owner...that is why we have MEAN DOGS PERIOD. It is all in how the owner trains and treats them period!!!! I have been working with pits awhile now and i feel the bigness of these dogs scare you. Soooooo, you fear them, they smell it and then sure, any dog smells it,they will feel threatened by you. Working in a shelter...any dog can do this and bit just as hard I think you fear the idea of them locking down on you and the fact is any dog can and wont let go. Sooooooo, get a life buddy, pitties are good dogs as long as the owner treats them with respect love etc. Its the ones that have been abused, etc that have issues due tot the FAULT OF THEIR OWNERS and the fact of the matter is that they end up being sadly euthanized. In the beginning it wasnt their fault to begin with. Like ANY OTHER DOG would be.

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  119. I am only eleven years old but this is a subject that always gets me heated! i believe that dogs shouldnt be judged based on their breed! I like you have been snapped at by many dogs but i have NEVER been so much as been given a dirty look by a pit bull! Not that i like choosing favorites, but these are my absolute favorite dogs! This was hands down one of my favorite stories by you! Great job!

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  120. As for BSL, I think that if your dog(s) bites/attacks another person or domestic animal, regardless of the "reason" (unless defending its property) that you should pay all the costs associated with that bite, and I think if the bite is severe the dog(s) should be put down - there are too many sweet dogs dying in the shelters to waste time with a bitter.  If your dog(s) bite again I think you should pay and do jail time and then regardless of severity the dog(s) should be put down.  Regardless, there should never be a third bite to another person or animal.  We all live far too close to one another to have animals attacking us and our pets.  This also forces dog owners to be diligent about providing their dog(s) proper structure, training, guidance and socialization and puts the blame solely where it should - on the human owning the animal.

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  121. Had posting issues here is whole post. We have two rescue dogs, a BC/ACD cross & an ACD. My entire life from infancy until now I have been surrounded by dogs, cats & many different animals. I have been around all breeds/types including AmStaffs, Staffordshires & APBT & their crosses & other bullies. I'm a total cat lover & in fact, my partner & I run a cat rescue but because of the death toll here, we ran three dogs through our 501c3 for adoption. A pit/boxer cross, a spaniel cross & a puppy, either Airedale/wolfhound or Spinone mix.

    A dog is both a product of its inborn traits & its upbringing - anyone saying differently is mentally limited. These inborn traits can be good and bad in our society. Any dog can be trained to do almost anything, true, but humans bred certain traits into their purebreds to make doing certain jobs or tasks instinctive. Breeding is only one part & plenty of purebreds won't do what they are bred to do. Pit bulls in America were bred to hunt, then to fight, they are a member of the terrier group, bred to be tenacious & not stop doing whatever they were taught/commanded/want to do, they are a powerful breed for their relatively small size & to deny that people should take into account a dog's naturally bred traits is doing a disservice to the dogs, the potential owners & the rest of the public. APBT are still bred as catch dogs, look up APBT breeders, most are breeding hog dogs (thugs for fighting) that gameness & drive can be dangerous when not controlled & acknowledged by a savvy owner. Anyways, I have to say that pit bull advocates do a huge disservice to the breed (& themselves) when they say that a pit bull is going to be a product of how it is raised, just like any dog & then go on to say how their pit bull has never bitten anyone but their {insert small breed/retriever/mutt here} is the most vicious dog they have ever met or it has bitten them & others numerous times. I find this everywhere & the hypocrisy is astounding! So you're telling me that you have the ability to raise a strong-willed dog bred to hunt tenaciously so that it is well behaved & docile & that sometimes this dog even comes from a bad place, but you can't take a toy/non sporting/soft breed bred for doing nothing or being easily handled & raise it the same way? The whole argument is silly. If a dog is a dog & you can raise well mannered, sweet, sociable dogs from breeds known as high drive or "aggressive", then why can't you raise softer breeds the same way? When I read those statements I automatically think "Liar". Stick to real facts: all dogs can bite & high drive dogs do the most damage-reasonable & logical. High drive and power combined can be fatal. To place any high drive dog with an inexperienced handler/family & telling them it is the same as raising a "softer" dog is a recipe for disaster. Not everyone should own a "pit bull", not everyone should own a Rottweiler, or a shepherd or a malinois. I have personally never been bitten by any dog, but then I can read dogs pretty well. I have been bitten by many, many different species of birds, birds can be quite sneaky and vicious.
    I don't agree with BSL. I think that if your dog bites a person or domestic animal, you should pay all the costs associated with that bite & a fine, & I think if the bite is severe/fatal the dog should be put down - there are too many sweet dogs dying in the shelters to waste time with a biter. If your dog bites again I think you should pay hospital, fines & do jail time & then regardless of severity the dog should be put down. There should never be a third bite from any dog. We all live far too close to one another to have animals attacking people and pets. This would force dog owners to be diligent about providing their dog proper training & socialization & puts the blame solely where it should - on the human owning the animal.

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  122. So true! Love this!

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  123. This was simply amazing!!!! I wanted to cry while reading this, your amazing for knowing the truth, for speaking it and for helping all the wonderful dogs that you help. I gotta tell you though, i should not have read your comments, the negative ones hurt. Im a Pitty owner, its like there talking crap about m KIDS, my children. Im just gonna pray for those people because Lord knows they are missing out on some Wonderful pets!!

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  124. I was recently trying to look up what type of pitbull I have and I found most of what you described here. A picture of a pit cover porcupine needles,scrached, bloodied or dead. I even saw someone write an artical saying Pit's should be illegal. And every good point made you made came to mind. I am ashamed to admit that my Pit has bitten my nephews and almost my best friend. At first I was furious, but I looked at the situation and saw that our family needed to make more of an effort, by taking her on more walks, more love attention and time with her. Only one person faild to forgive her, but thankfuly she has moved out, because she only displayed anger and negitivity to the dog, even befor the unfortunate things our dog has done. And still to this day she claim to love animals. If she had paid more attention to what her kids were doing to the dog it would never have happend. When she was a puppy they would kick her and throw things at her and their mother said nothing about it. One time her "P.O.S" boy friend held her down and punched her in the face sliply because she made him trip. I told him if he so much as looked at my dog ever again I would renact his actions against my dog to him. The post man tormented our dog every chance he got, by spraying her in the face with mace, and would some times taunt her by walking by the gate waving the mace can at her, while laughing. We didn't know that she got maced the first time it happend, until we got back home from shoping. So she spent the whole day with burning eyes and in unthinkable pain until we got back. We reported it many times but nothing was done. She escaped once, because someone left the gate open. No one was attacked or even recived thret by our dog, but the cops chaced her back home. Im happy that my step-dad was out there, because I had just been told that day that in Lancaster, Ca, that the police are authorized to shoot down Pits on site. I'm not sure if that happens else were, but we named our dog Precious for a reason. Its a silly name, but it describes her beauty and personality the best. If people don't want their animals to act in aggresion, maybe they should treat them as they would their own child, because in my experience, they look at us as the alpha dog. So were very much like their Mom and Dad. But we also have to realize that they are wild in nature and respect that aspect, because it is part of them.

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  125. Hi Ashley, I admire your work so much! I don't have any experience with Pit Bulls so I can't comment for or against. I do think the people who fight these dogs are the ones who are the vicious ones. It's heartbreaking to see these pictures of their mauled faces and bodies. It's so inhumane, I don't know what has happened to us human beings to take delight in hurting animals. The only experience with any kind of attack that I have witnessed was my grown daughter walking her dog, she passed by a neighbors yard (on the street), they were pulling in to their house, gates slid open and two Great Danes came running out and attacked my daughters dog. The 2 dogs were trying to grab her dog, the dog was screeching, my daughter was punching the dogs with her fists, until the owners came running. No one was hurt except for the pounding hearts and shaking hands. Another attack was with a niece (woman) who walks her dogs everyday, same route.(completely different part of the city) Well, guess what, she was passing by a neighbors house (in the street) neighbors drove in, gates opened and guess what again, 2 great danes came running out, but this time, they almost tore her little dog open, bit her thigh, attacked. I have no idea how this little dog lived. She was really badly bitten. And my niece had to go have her thigh stitched. She was trying to protect her dog by swinging around. But it was 2 great danes. When I was walking for exercise, I came upon 2 chows that were out of their yards, they were trotting, barking, looking aggressive, towards me so I stopped, stayed real still until they lost interest. I cautiously turned around slowly walked back. So I guess it can happen to anyone.

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  126. Great points made here! I own a dog park and dog daycare and am frequently asked about breed restrictions. I don't have any and many other places do. I observe the dogs based on their behavior rather than their breed, and I've had more problems with labs than bully breeds. I have had several bully breeds that have not been great socially with the group, but time and time again, I see their reactions are ones of fear and/or confusion rather than aggression. I try to encourage owners to bring them in with small groups and gradually acclimate them. Sometimes we're successful and sometimes not, but I give them all a chance and try to make them comfortable here. I always try to recommend trainers that can help them too, and I always try to stress that as long as they are good pets at home, that's what counts, and not getting along in a group setting does not make a bad dog. My own dog can't socialize, but is great at home and loves people. I think the number one thing people need with the dogs that have some issues is patience, and that's the hardest thing for them as an owner. I constantly worry that they might give up on their dog after a bad experience, so I try to help as much as I can. I admire what you do and hope that someday I can go beyond the daycare and add rescue here as well. It breaks my heart what these dogs have to endure sometimes. It's just so wrong and I applaud you for working so hard to help them out. It's truly inspirational!

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