As a happy owner of a mixed Pit (part Pit Bull/part something else), I am a strong opponent of breed discrimination against the breed. In fact, people are really scared of my 80-pound sweetums just because he’s a Pit. Actually, Bruiser will run away if anyone yells at him, if another dog comes at him, or if I try to sweep or mop the floor. This tells me someone abused him sometime in the four years before I got him, probably with a broom handle. (Bruizer)
Bruiser adopted me when my puppy Sally went into heat after her spaying.  I had seen him in the neighborhood, but thought his owner was (like a lot of people in my neighborhood) letting him run loose.  So Bruiser followed us home, jumped the fence, and came in through the doggy door. My two girls, old Lady and puppy Sally, didn’t even care. 
So since July 2018, he’s been my Bruise (Bruce). I asked around the neighborhood and no one knew who he belonged to, so we visited the vet for neutering, chipping, and shots.  He’s the proud owner of a collar with tags and he’s mine, all mine. I have to say that he’s is in the top three of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever had. His love affair continues with Sally, although not physically, and the only time I saw him get mean was when another loose dog ran out and rolled Sally on our nightly walk.  As big a chicken as he is, he came to the defense of his Sally and ran the other dog off.
I told my vet that I had adopted a mix-Pit and he said that if all the dogs mixed with Chihuahuas or Pit Bulls were taken off the earth, he would be out of business.  Due to some horrific people who train Pit Bulls to fight each other or as guard dogs (please, please let me catch one of these monsters in a dark alley), the breed has the reputation of being vicious.  Let me make this clear: THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC FACT THAT PIT BULLS ARE VICIOUS.  Bronwen Dickey, author of Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon, states that part of the problem is that people tend to call any dog with short hair and a large head a Pit Bull.

FACTS ON “PIT BULL” ATTACKS

The breed was developed in the United Kingdom in an effort to combine the strength of the bulldog with the agility of the terrier.  Originally used in bear-baiting and bull-baiting, the practice was outlawed in 1835.

In the decade between 2005 and 2015, it is recorded that pit bulls killed 232 Americans, about one person every 17 days.   But Dickey wants people to take these important facts into accounting:

1) People call dogs that are not pit bulls, pit bulls.  For example, the Cane CorsoDogo ArgentinoDogue de Bordeaux, and others have the same characteristics, but are not Pit Bulls.

2) There are 320 million people in the United States and between 77 and 83 million dogs.  That means your chance of getting killed by ANY breed of dog is about 1 in 10 million.

3) In 80% of the cases where people died in a dog attack, there were four or more factors present.  First, they were dogs that were not socialized. Second, they were large. Third, they were not neutered or spayed.  Fourth, they had no relationship to the person they attacked. And a 2000 study by the Humane Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that pit bull-type dogs only account for one-third of the total bites in the United States.  A 2013 study found that valid determination of Pit Bull breed in attacks were only possible in 17.6% of the incidents.

THE “PITBULL” IS ACTUALLY FOUR DIFFERENT BREEDS

The American Bulldog

The American Bulldog branched out from the American Staffordshire terrier in the 1990s. Like the other three show dogs, this breed was bred for confirmation to show standards and not for fighting.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier has been around since the 1930s.  This breed was also bred for confirmation to show standards and not for fighting.’’

The American Staffordshire Terrier

The American Staffordshire Terrier is the American Pit Bull Terrier.  The American Kennel Club created the category to keep the breed from being associated with other types. This breed was bred for confirmation to show standards and not for fighting.

The American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull Terrier was bred for fighting starting in 1889.

SAD BUT TRUE

At one time, most animal shelters in the US wouldn’t take Pit Bulls and they were immediately euthanized.  Due to the undeserved reputation, 40% of the animals euthanized in shelters are mix-Pits. Many housing additions don’t allow the breed, and sometimes homeowner insurance is raised.

GOOD BOY!  GOOD BOY!

The Pit Bull breed has been used for police work, search-and-rescue dogs, catch semi-wild cattle and hogs, seeing-eye dogs, herd cattle, and starred in films.  Remember the dog from Spank and Our Gang? That was a Pit Bull. So was Buster Brown’s dog Tige and President Teddy Roosevelt, Cesar Milan, and Helen Keller all had Pit Bulls as pets.  At the time, the breed was the icon for the American middle-class: sturdy, smart, and hard-working.

Apollo was turned into the local shelter where he waited over six months with no one interested in adopting him.  The shelter decided he was too full of energy for anyone to want him and his time was running out.  Fortunately, some shelter employees contacted a K-9 dog trainer and he took Apollo on as a member of the Washington State Police Department.  Although he had to wait another year before acceptance into the narcotics division, he graduated top of his class.  In his first year alone, Apollo seized $355,000 in case and 30 pounds of narcotics.  He is still working with the Tukwila Police Department with an undercover police officer.
Mayor's Award Apollo Outtakes

Last week the City held its annual Employee Awards Banquet and we made a video to announce the winners. Every year, Tukwila Mayor Allan Ekberg gives out a special Mayor's Award to an employee, and this year he asked for Tukwila Police Department K-9 officer Apollo to join him in his video segment. It took a few takes to get Apollo's full cooperation, but in the end, we were finally able to get the footage that we needed. We also ended up with a few funny outtakes that we wanted to share with everyone. Enjoy!

Posted by City of Tukwila - Government on Friday, February 9, 2018
Wikipedia cites these arguments for having a Pit in your home:

  • Popsicle was a five-month-old puppy found also dead in a freezer with frostbite and bite wounds.  He had probably been used as a bait dog for dog fights. He grew up to become one of the most important police dogs in the country as one of the best drug-seeking dogs in history.
  • Weela worked during the 1993 California flooding to save 32 people, 29 dogs, 13 horses, and one cat.  The 65-pound dog also hauled 30 to 50 bags of food to animals until they could be rescued.
  • D-Boy saved his family from an armed intruder in Oklahoma City, taking three bullets in the process.  Contributions paid his medical bills for treatment to one head and two body wounds.
  • Norton was admitted to the Purina Animal Hall of Fame after he alerted Ann Mathews’ husband upstairs when Ann suffered a severe reaction to a spider bite.  When paramedics arrived, she had stopped breathing. Fortunately, thanks to Norton, she made a full recovery. photo
  • In Boston, an 8-year-old female Pit named Lilly lost a hind leg after pulling her unconscious owner from railroad tracks.  Her medical bills were $15,000 due to surgery also needed to the other hind leg and her pelvis and rehabilitation; $76,000 was donated by the public and the unneeded amount was given to the MSPCA’s Pet Care Assistance fund.  Lilly was unanimously chosen for the MSPCA’s 2012 Animal Hero Award which was presented at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. photo

IN THE END . . .

A prospective dog owner should always evaluate each animal individually and what needs they will have.  Pit Bulls don’t need much grooming. They don’t have many genetic diseases and the rare one aren’t fatal; the breed is basically pretty health.  They want to please people and can be athletic, although they won’t obsess about exercise. They’re great with children, love to cuddle, and have great personalities.

And then there’s the Pit Bull Smile 🙂

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