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We have all heard that pit bulls that they are vicious, aggressive dogs genetically wired to attack and maim. That they are made for fighting and do not have the temperament to be loyal and trustworthy pets. But, the truth of the matter is that these types of dogs are often less likely to have a confrontational attitude than breeds commonly thought to be much more suited to interactions with people.
Experts agree that it is the owner responsibility (or the lack thereof) that determines the social capabilities and behaviour of any dog, not just Pitbull types.
Are Pitbulls Banned in The UK?
Pitbull ownership and breeding was banned in the UK back in 1991 after a series of attacks. The UK isn’t the only country where Pitbulls are prohibited. Other dogs that are banned in the UK are Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro.
The Importance of Responsible Dog Ownership
Regardless of the breed, a dog’s socialization depends on the person or people who care for it. Painting all members of any breed with the same brush negates the importance of responsible dog ownership and care.
Dangers are often created by owners who do not properly socialize and care for their animals. Pitbulls like all dogs, can and do attack sometimes, although, it is not the “nature” of their breed to do so.
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Are Pitbull Terriers Always Vicious?
This misconception, like many of the misconceptions about Pitbulls, can often be traced back to the physical traits of these dogs. Muscular, strong, with a formidable bite, Pitbulls may look like they are suited to violence, but there are countless stories of dogs that have been rescued from dogfighting outfits only to become gentle and loving animal companions.
While this evidence may be anecdotal, there is nothing to suggest that Pitbulls are temperamentally built to enjoy or thrive in vicious circumstances. Like any rescued animal, especially an animal rescued from an abusive or neglectful environment, rescued pit bulls invariably display a sense and an understanding of the kindness that has been offered to them.
While animals may not feel forgiveness and gratitude in the same way that humans do, anybody who has saved an animal has experienced the appreciation the animal exhibits when they are finally being loved in the way that all pets should be. And Pitbulls are no different.
Over the years, the way we as a society regard our pets has evolved. For many people, their pets are considered a member of the family, a valued and loved being that they feel obligated to protect and care for. Of course, there are still those who would abuse and mistreat animals, and Pitbulls have been the target of much of this abuse and mistreatment, because of their physicality and because of their misconceived reputation.
This, in turn, has served to reinforce the misrepresentation of these dogs as dangerous and anti-social. For Pitbull types of dogs, it is an unfortunate cycle which breed-specific legislation only serves to legitimize and codify. When one looks at statistics and scientific data, there is no evidence that Pitbulls are involved more frequently or more violently in attacks than other breeds.
Of course, some people will continue to insist that they are unreliable and inherently violent dogs, but those who own them, showing them love and care and compassion, simply know that this is not true. In this way, and in their forgiving and grateful natures, these dogs have much to teach us about ourselves.
And while there will always be those who claim that it is the breed (or type) that determines a dog’s temperament and behaviour, the accountability of the people who care for that dog cannot be disregarded. In other words, with Pitbulls as with people, kindness is essential, things are not always what they first appear to be, and being a responsible human being makes the world better for everybody.