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The Myth Behind the Misunderstood


    The Myth Behind the Misunderstood


    When someone hears the word ‘pit bull’ they often picture a muscular, toned dog wearing a muzzle, and just a downright aggressive dog that no one could ever love. That brings up the question of are bully breeds ‘dangerous’ dogs? Bully breeds have been labeled as aggressive since the early 1900s due to one bad case that caused an outbreak of fear of bully breeds. A dog from the bully breed classification such as the American Bully or the most commonly misunderstood American Staffordshire pitbull is more likely to be euthanized, abused, or picked for dogfighting than any other breed. Many people consider these dogs to be aggressive and not friendly, that, however, is not the case. Any dog can bite, any dog can be aggressive, it all depends on genetics, medical problems and exposure as a puppy. The ability a bully breed has to become rehabilitated after being exposed to a horrific or traumatic event is a higher percentage than any other dog, due to their caring nature and loyal stature they are also considered a wonderful family dog.

    A dog’s aggression could be due to bad breeding such as inbreeding and medical problems during pregnancy. If a dog has had generations and generations of bad breeding it can cause aggression, medical problems, genetic mutations, and heart problems. In some cases a dog’s aggression has been directly linked to bad breeding and genetics, a study showed that aggression in some dogs is purely genetic and cannot be helped or fixed,” Dog Aggression Toward Owner Can Be Due to Genetic Predisposition. … Additionally, this fear and aggression are not the same as when those feelings are directed toward unfamiliar dogs and humans. Twelve genes are associated with these traits”  In this study, they explain that a genetic predisposition may be the cause of many aggressive traits in dogs, it also addressed that it could be due to the fact that some dogs were not socialized correctly or had a traumatic event that they could not recover from. Aggression in pit bulls is due to years and years or generations of bad breeding and exposure to horrific living experiences. If a dog was not socialized or introduced to many people they would be inadequate to be in society around a lot of people. If a dog that has a bad reputation already is brought into public and feels boxed in or has severe anxiety that said the dog will lash out due to fear.

    Many bully breeds are used in illegal actions such as underground dog fighting rings. There are a lot of cases of bully breeds being rescued and rehabilitated, one such story is the story of  Bam. She was rescued from dogfighting and was a sweet loveable dog that everyone knows and loves. When Bam was brought home it was difficult for her to become acclimated in her new calming situation, she was forced to go from constantly being worried about being attacked to a safe environment and it was difficult. Her new owners explain that she was completely shut down for a few days, she didn’t eat, sleep or move,” It is a common and unfortunate misconception that these dogs are never able to become beloved family pets.” Her owner gave her the chance she might never have gotten if she was in a shelter. Once Bam was released from the shelter she was visibly happier and more energetic than she was when in the shelter. It is not uncommon for people to imagine a dog who was used for dog fighting to be aggressive and not suitable for a relaxed or family-oriented lifestyle. The ability a pit bull has to become a loving family dog after a traumatic event is a very high percentage and it has opened the eyes of many people. Their loving and caring nature allows them to forget about everything bad that has ever happened to them and just focus on their family.

    Another key reason why bully breeds are feared is because of breed-specific legislation, they can create tension and it doesn’t address responsible and irresponsible dog ownership, it only blames the dog. Breed-specific legislation does not address irresponsible dog owners. If the owner was to get rid of one dog they can easily acquire another. This is a problem because it can make responsible owners feel discriminated against because it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch,” Dogs are more likely to become aggressive when they are unsupervised, unneutered, and not socially conditioned to live closely with people or other dogs.” This proves that it mostly depends on the owner. If a dog is not socialized or introduced to the hectic environment it is a perfect storm for something to go wrong. Aggression is caused by a variety of reasons the two main factors being irresponsible ownership and bad breeding due to bad ownership. 

    Although bully breeds have had a bad reputation in history there have also been many bully breed heroes in history such as the infamous Sgt. Stubby who was a decorated war hero during WW1. Other dogs such as Malaisah who rescued her family from a house fire, many bully breeds are full of love and compassion and are bred to be a loveable family dog that will protect you until death. There have been so many bad cases involving pit bulls but so many more concerning good things about pit bulls like Sgt. Stubby or Masailah. In the U.S alone as many as half a million pit bulls or any other bully breeds are killed annually. Out of 1.2 million dogs that are euthanized 40% are innocent bully breeds who were unlucky to have a bad reputation because of humans.

    When many people think of a ‘pit bull’ they think of a loving family dog that is loyal and caring down to the bone. There is so much bad in this world and dogs help to counterbalance that, pit bulls or any other bully breeds deserve a loving, caring, and understanding home as much as any other dog. Any dog can bite, any dog has the potential to become a loveable family dog, any dog can be the victim to breed-specific legislation, and any dog can be a hero. Any dog has the potential to become one of these things, it depends on genetics, responsible ownership, and a caring and lovable environment. Now when people think of a pit bull think of a sweet dog who just wants the chance to be as loved as a black lab or a golden retriever or any dog.




    This is a little research paper I did and thought I’d share




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