Pit Bull's Bad Rap

Topics: Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Pit Bull / Pages: 6 (1273 words) / Published: Jun 2nd, 2013
Pit Bull’s Bad Rap

J. Lee Gray

Simpson University

We all know the terrifying image of a snarling Pit Bull lunging at a dog, or even worse, a person. This image evokes fear and tremendous alarm. For many, any time a person is hurt by a dog, this is the first image to come to mind. Most people don’t see Pit Bulls the way I do. I know them as loving, loyal and funny creatures. Pit Bulls do not deserve their undesirable reputation.

The people who argue against Pit Bulls have some understandable concerns. Many would argue that Pit Bulls are inherently aggressive. They argue that these dogs have a more powerful bite than other dogs. They worry that Pit Bulls attack for fun, and worse, that they attack frequently. I will put forth some facts and ideas that I believe show that these worries are largely unfounded.

The first worry is partly accurate. Pit Bulls were bred to display dominance, and in some cases, aggression towards other animals. One of the ancestors of the modern day Pit Bull, the Bulldog of 18th century England, was originally bred for bull baiting. This is a practice in which a dog or dogs is used to bring a bull down. This can be done for utility, as in an agricultural setting, or for sport. After this original Bulldog began being cross bred with various terrier breeds, the modern day Pit Bull began to emerge. These dogs were used for hunting large game and agricultural purposes, as well as for security and companionship. Since the 1930’s, other animal aggression has been considered a weakness in the breed, and breeding practices have not selected that particular trait (Origin and History, n.d.).

Pit Bulls are neither bred for nor genetically disposed to attack people. There has never been any selective breeding for this trait in the history of the breed or their ancestors. Aggression towards humans, shyness, and instability are not traits that are considered desirous in the breed. These



Cited: American Temperament Test Society Breed Statistics (2013, February 14). Retrieved 2013, May 10, from http://atts.org/breed-statistics/statistics-page1/ Breed Information: Pit Bulls and People Connecticut Military History Stubby the Military Dog (2011, April 12). Retrieved 2013, May 10 from, http://www.ct.gov/mil/cwp/view.asp?a=1351&q=257892 Pit Bull Bite Force (n.d.). Retrieved 2013, May 10, from http://www.goodpitbulls.com/pit-bull-bite-force/ Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed Standard (1990, January 1)

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