In Defense Of The Pit Bull: Why We Should Stop Blaming Dogs For Their Owners' Mistakes
This isn’t a politically driven article about why specific breed bans are still in place. This isn’t a debate or an argument. This is simply a cry for justice.
Pit Bulls. Pits. Violent. Terrifying. Beasts. Monsters. Killers.
These are just a slew of words society associates with pit bulls disproportionately and driven by ignorance. I don’t blame society entirely, for respecting this deluded perception; we are merely digesting what mass media outlets feed us. We see articles about pit bull attacks more often than any other breed of dog attacks, by a landslide.
The vast majority of people who read articles about a given topic harbor little (if any) preexisting knowledge of the subject (it’s the power of the press). Our opinions of these dogs are utterly intertwined with the information media platforms deliver. According to newslibrary.com, 68 percent of reported pit bull (or pit bull mix) attacks are mentioned in the headlines. Only 8 percent of other breed attacks are mentioned in headline news. This doesn’t necessarily mean that pit bull attacks happen more or less frequently than any other breed of dog — we just never hear about the other stories.
I used to live in Miami-Dade County, a place where this breed, specifically, is discriminated against and stereotyped. Granted, I own a pit bull, but I do not train my dog to be a murderer. And there it is: How is it that these attacks and behaviors are only linked to the dog? What about the owner who is responsible for the dog?
We completely dismiss that we are the most powerful variable to the dogs’ behavior. Why isn’t the animosity aimed at the demented people who abuse these animals and who are primarily the causes of these tragic attacks? We are so fixated on the breed of the dog and their falsely judged reputations that we become blinded by the ultimate truth that there are rarely bad dogs, and more often, f*cked up people. The actions of all dogs are directly connected to the human being responsible for them.
Violence is a learned behavior. Dogs live to please their owners, so if we implement abuse rather than healthy and responsible ownership, the dog will know nothing outside of that abuse. My pit bull’s life is full of kisses, hugs and cuddles. Compare this to a dog that is chained up and most likely, isolated from any kind of affection. We often don’t consider any of these variables; we often fail to consider the environment and the overall welfare of the dog.
Imagine you are chained up to a tree on a day-to-day basis, with only five feet of moving space. You see humans pass you, going back and forth every day but never really get to interact with them or worse, the interaction is abusive.
In my attempts to ensure the livelihood quality these dogs deserve, I was featured in a photo shoot with two pit bulls, Cash and Sosa (father and son), to help launch a pit bull advocate organization that is long overdue. The idea and concept behind this shoot is that the only threat people should feel is from me — from us. The people.
The featured dogs are just innocent bystanders equipped with rad sunglasses who ultimately become collateral damage to societal misjudgment. The photos below will vouch for that: