Editorial: Pit Bulls are not the problem

Claire Sheppard, Copy Editor

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This happy Pit Bull pictured above is anything but mean. Pit Bulls have an extremely high passing rate of 87.4 percent, according to the ATTS. (Creative Commons)

Think of the most dangerous breed of dog. It’s a Pit Bull, right? Wrong.

They are anything but. Pit Bulls are not the problem, people are.

Dogs are bred and raised by humans; they need to be cared for no matter the breed. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), some Pit Bulls are bred for their ability to fight, however, aggression towards humans is not tolerated. Also, even if a Pit Bull is trained as a dog fighter, it does not mean that they are too dangerous to be around other dogs. Many other Pit Bulls are bred as family dogs and companions.

According to a cartoon character in Disney’s How to Train Your Dragon, “Good dragons under the control of bad people do bad things.” It is the same with dogs; Pit Bulls, along with any other dog, will only be aggressive towards people when their owners train them to be.

Another common misconception about Pit Bulls are their bite statistics. Many statistics can be misleading when the reason for the bite is not clear.

According to the American Pit Bull Foundation, at an animal hospital in Charlotte, NC in 2005, a bite report had to be filed. The report simply states that a Pit Bull bit a person, but it does not include any of the details. What was not added in the bite report was that the technician’s hand was inside an unconscious Pit Bull’s mouth so they could locate the source of its bleeding. The dog began seizing, and the technician’s skin broke.

“…A dog’s tendency to bite depends on at least five interacting factors: heredity, early experience, later socialization and training, health (medical and behavioral), and victim behavior,” according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Therefore, a bite report with no context is not reliable.

There is always a reason behind a dog bite; one of the top reasons being fear. With the negative stigma against Pit Bulls, many people are afraid of them. Because dogs can sense fear, this is a leading cause of a bite.

Pit Bulls that are bred for dog-fighting are raised carefully by their owners so that they become used to people and are not aggressive towards them, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Furthermore, many stereotypes about Pit Bulls are myths. A Pit Bull’s jaw does not actually lock, despite popular belief, and they are not any more aggressive than other dogs.

According to the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS), American Pit Bull Terriers have an extremely high temperament passing rate of 87.4 percent, which is higher than other dogs such as Chihuahuas and Golden Retrievers.

We must protect Pit Bulls at all costs, for they are not dangerous dogs but rather misunderstood.

While many people are pushing for a ban on Pit Bulls, we cannot allow this to happen. Donate to the American Pit Bull Foundation and ASPCA to protect these loving animals.