Hmm... this was a reply I gave to someone on Dogster to answer the question "Why should our dogs be treated any differently just because they're pit bulls?" And, I liked the answer so thought I'd post it here.

It's not that we SHOULD treat them differently- it's that we should understand that one mistake can ruin it for every pit bull in our county.
I'll use an example:
Say, you have an American pit bull terrier. He's a very loving dog. He loves people, he gets along well with his dog brothers and sisters and he's even gentle with cats. So, you decide it's time for him to meet even more dogs and take him to the dog park. For months, even years, you take the dog to the park. Lets call him Ringo. He does great around the other dogs. He knows all the dogs and he plays with them and is usually the one submitting during play. Everyone grows to love Ringo and because of Ringo a few people even get pit bulls of their own. Well, one day someone new comes into the park with a golden retriever. The golden retriever is very dog aggressive and the owner doesn't seem to care. The retriever approaches Ringo and growls. Ringo, being the friendly dog he is, submits and asks for play. The golden, however, doesn't want play. That's when it happens! Just like that the golden retriever bites Ringo; and, naturally, Ringo bites back. A dog fight begins. Both dogs end up torn up- both need medical attention. The owner of the retriever runs over screaming about how evil your dog is and how the big bad pit bull should be at home not around other dogs. He then proceeds to press charges against you; and wins because you have a "big bad pit bull". Of course, the headlines aren't gonna read "Golden Retriever Mauls Pit Bull" because that doesn't sell. No. They're gonna read "Pit Bull Mauls Golden Retriever". And, just like that, the town officials will be aware of the number of "big bad pit bulls" and just might propose BSL. And, all of this could happen just from taking a nice, friendly pit bull to the dog park. See, we shouldn't treat them different to the extent that they feel isolated. Even lonely. No, we shouldn't keep them locked inside all day where nothing can happen. But, we should also be responsible and remember that one mistake on our part can ruin it for EVERY pit bull in one county.

With all the pit bull hysteria, exposing our pit bulls to things like that just wouldn't be safe. I say, instead of the dog park; set up a playdate. Instead of throwing a dog party; walk your dog with a friend who has a dog. And of course NEVER let your pit bull walk offleash. A lot of people will shoot a pit bull on site just for being a pit bull. Sure, you can take your pit bull to the park- that's a decision only you should make. But, you always do with the possibility that your dog could get in a fight and just like that it could cause pit bull hysteria within your own community.


Myth of the Week

Myth: American pit bull terriers are only recognized by dog fighting organizations. No responsible registry would register such a dog.

Fact: American pit bull terriers can be registered almost world wide. The ADBA recognizes them as does the UKC. That's just to name the most common ones. American pit bull terriers can participate in events through such registries, too. These events include weight pulling, conformation and obedience trials! Did you know that the AKC recognizes the pit bull? Yes. The beautiful American staffordshire terrier is arguably the same as the American pit bull terrier; with only standards seperating the two. See, the AKC didn't want "pit" in the name because they didn't wanna be associated with dog fighting. And, they couldn't put "bull terrier" in the name because, back then, the bull terrier registry was strict. So, they gave the dog the name American staffordshire terrier when it was first registered in the early 1900's. But, back in the late 1800's, the breed was known as the "pit bull terrier" and, at one point, the "American pit bull terrier".


A Type of Pit Bull

So, Daddy was on Google today trying to find American bulldog forums so he could brag about my brofur when he came across something that boiled his blood.

This was posted on another forum:

""A Virginia Beach girl and her pet are attacked by a bulldog. Her dog is killed and the animal responsible is locked up. 13-year-old Marshawn Cuffee was out Thursday night walking her dog, Giga, when an American Bulldog, a type of pit bull, charged and bit the dog and the girl."

He cannot stress enough that American bulldogs are NOT pit bulls. Not even close. It's like the dog on Homeward Bound. Chance; you remember him, right? Everyone and their brother thought he was a pit bull. Everyone uses him as their reason to like pit bulls. Which is great that he helped the pit bull fight; but, he is not a pit bull. Google it. He was NOT a pit bull.

I get sick of hearing people confuse the breeds. Once, I was walking down the road with my sister when we walked past the yard of an American bulldog. Now, this dog is about 110 lbs! Huge dog. Tall, to. He charged at my sister because she walked through his yard- he's a "guard dog"- and she said "You can never be too sure about pit bulls..." I stoped her right there. And said, "Not trying to make you feel stupid... but, he's not a pit bull. He's an American bulldog. Probably pure bred."

So, what is an American bulldog? Let's have a looksee:

Taken from dogresources.com

The American Bulldog is an athletic, temperamentally sound and medium to large sized dog that possesses great strength, agility and confidence. The expression should reflect intelligence and alertness. The sturdy and powerful yet compact frame is characteristically stockier and heavier boned in the males and more refined in the females. Some aloofness with strangers and assertiveness towards other dogs is accepted. However, an American Bulldog should not be excessively timid, shy or aggressive towards man and preferably not overly aggressive with other dogs. Due to its distinctive physical and mental characteristics along with its natural desire to be the total companion and working dog, an American Bulldog should never be confused with uniquely different breeds such as the American Staffordshire Terrier or the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Size-General: Males should range from 22 to 28 inches at the withers and weigh between 70 and 120 pounds. Females should range from 20 to 26 inches at the withers and weigh between 60 and 100 pounds. Weight should be proportional to height and body type. A dog should be well conditioned and not overweight or underweight. Standard: A leaner and more athletic dog in appearance. Classic: A larger and more powerful dog in appearance.

So, how is it really different from a pit bull? Have a look-see at the American pit bull terrier and you'll see:

From arba.com

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a medium-sized, solidly built, short-coated dog with smooth, well-defined musculature. This breed is both powerful and athletic. The body is just slightly longer than tall, but bitches may be somewhat longer in body than dogs. The length of the front leg (measured from point of elbow to the ground) is approximately equal to one-half of the dog's height at the withers. The head is of medium length, with a broad, flat skull, and a wide, deep muzzle. Ears are small to medium in size, high set, and may be natural or cropped. The relatively short tail is set low, thick at the base and tapers to a point. The American Pit Bull Terrier comes in all colors and color patterns. This breed combines strength and athleticism with grace and agility and should never appear bulky or muscle-bound or fine-boned and rangy.

The essential characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier are strength, confidence, and zest for life. This breed is eager to please and brimming over with enthusiasm. APBTs make excellent family companions and have always been noted for their love of children. Because most APBTs exhibit some level of dog aggression and because of its powerful physique, the APBT requires an owner who will carefully socialize and obedience train the dog. The breed's natural agility makes it one of the most capable canine climbers so good fencing is a must for this breed. The APBT is not the best choice for a guard dog since they are extremely friendly, even with strangers. Aggressive behavior toward humans is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable. This breed does very well in performance events because of its high level of intelligence and its willingness to work.
The American Pit Bull Terrier has always been capable of doing a wide variety of jobs so exaggerations or faults should be penalized in proportion to how much they interfere with the dog's versatility.

The American Pit Bull Terrier must be both powerful and agile so actual weight and height are less important than the correct proportion of weight to height. Desirable weight for a mature male in good condition is between 35 and 60 pounds. Desirable weight for a mature female in good condition is between 30 and 50 pounds. Dogs over these weights are not to be penalized unless they are disproportionately massive or rangy.

There you have it.

American bulldogs are bigger. Were bred for different purposes. Have a bit of a different temperment. Shall I go on?

They are not the same breed.

Pete the pup was an American pit bull terrier. Chance was not.


Pit bull Myth of the Week

Myth: Pit bulls are only owned by criminals and people who use them for dog fighting.

Fact: You'd be suprised at how many people keep pit bulls as pets. I've met a number of families who's choice of a family dog was the American pit bull terrier. This is because pit bulls love their families. They also make good watchdogs. And, they adore children. Most pit bulls are owned by citizens who keep them as pets. Yes, criminals do own pit bulls. Yes, people do fight pit bulls. But, if people think they're the only dogs kept for illegal purposes; they need to open their eyes. Rottweilers, dobermans, akitas and other such breeds are also kept by the scum we know as dog fighters. Or kept as "guard dogs" by criminals.


An Insight on Pit Bulls as written by Falon

Myth: Pit Bulls weren't bred for anything "useful" because they were used only for dog fighting. Fact: Pit Bulls were originally bred to fight bulls, hence the name. "Sometime during the nineteenth century, dog fanciers in England, Ireland, and Scotland began to experiment with crosses between Bulldogs and Terriers, looking for a dog that combined the gameness of the terrier with the strength and athleticism of the Bulldog. Immigrants brought these bull and terrier crosses to the United States. The Pit Bull Terrier's many talents did not go unnoticed by farmers and ranchers who used their APBTs for protection, as catch dogs for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt, to drive livestock, and as family companions." (from UKC) Basically it is necessary to understand that they are a WORKING breed. For a dog to be dumb enough (no offense) to risk its life fighting for its owner, the breed naturally defaulted a sense of "owner loyalty" and genuine love for humans. EVERYBODY wanted one of these dogs because they could have a dog that protected the farm and farm animals, and still have a family dog that was great with their children (high pain tolerance=more children tolerant). Aside from that was the bull fighting. When the organization of fights with bulls became difficult to arrange, they started fighting dogs with other dogs simply because it was easier. It eventually became illegal with the emergence of animal rights, but small dog fighting "communities" still remained and it wasn't very tightly controlled. A long while later, gangs began to emerge. Obviously the violent nature of gangs and their interest in illegal activities led to their interest in fighting Pit Bulls [insert beginning of intense prey-drive/dog aggressive genetics here]

Myth: -Pit Bulls are unpredictable around humans and other dogs.
Fact: The funny thing is, they are very predictable (probably more-so than very intelligent breeds). Listed below are reasons why. -Dog aggression is not to be confused with Human aggression. By nature, Pit Bulls are VERY "people-soft" and will do ANYTHING to make their owner happy. It is a fact that Pit Bulls have a natural tendency to be Dog aggressive. When people fail to realize this, that's when it gets out of hand. -From personal and second-hand research and experiences, I found that behavior "evolves" like this for a the average APBT: -Age 0-6 months: Just like any other puppy, sociable in the presence of other dogs. -Age 6m-1year: Dog begins to get very excited around other dogs and while very friendly, acts in a spastic, erratic way and takes a steam engine (or prong collar) to get them "out" of this state. Is not aggressive at all. -Age 1yr and on: Dog is bigger and looks very intimidating when it "freaks out" in front of other dogs (even though friendly). Other dogs are intimidated and act out in aggression towards the Pit Bull. This is when it is likely to happen. After many encounters like this, the dog begins going into defensive mode. This "stage" can be avoided if proper obedience training is done at the 6m-1yr phase. -The above constitutes for the Pit Bull's natural high prey drive. This means that anything small and fuzzy (or other dogs) excite them and they don't know why. -Pit Bulls that are given exercise to satisfy these drives, have no natural "urge" to satisfy it in any other way. -For example: 1.) Playing tug exercises the "urge" to use their jaw muscles (they don't have all those cheek muscles for nothing!) 2.) Using a "flirt pole" or "spring pole" allows them to "chase" something and grab onto it, so it satisfies their prey drive. 3.) Going for long walks, swimming, running, doing agility or weight pulling satisfies their high energy needs. -Pit Bulls that are given NO outlet for these drives, have an urge to satisfy them. Just like a Rat Terrier has a natural urge to go looking for rodents will dig compulsively if given no energy outlet. -Situation example: A Pit Bull lives with a family that includes small children. This family is so busy with other things (aka life) that the dog just pretty much stays around the house, doesn't get played with, and only gets let out to go to the bathroom. One day, the kids are at home, playing with this Pit Bull and getting it excited; the parents aren't really paying much attention. This collection of excitement causes the Pit Bull to respond by doing what any dog naturally wants to do, play back! Since dogs don't have hands (yes, I got that memo), their way of playing is with their mouth. The Pit Bull grabs onto one of the children, just like it would another dog if it were play-fighting. Keep in mind the dog was never formally taught how to react with another dog or a child (or the difference). The adults scream and the dog releases, who has no idea what is going on or what it did wrong. A day or so later, you hear on the news "Family Pit Bull mauls son; had dog for [x] years." One of the parents says "I have no idea what happened, he's never been mean before." That turns into the dog being euthanized with the owners reasoning of "he/she just can't be trusted." Now, given that I have explained the "details" behind what happened, would you look at it any differently if you didn't know anything about the situation? Do you think this would have happened if the owners understood the breed and its needs to be socialized and trained it accordingly? Would you call this dog "unpredictable?"

Myth: Pit Bull's have locking jaws, so they can't let go even if they wanted to.
Fact: There is nothing on a Pit Bull's (or any other dog) skeletal or muscular anatomy that can allow this to happen...it's that simple! -The reason why this has become a common myth is because Pit Bulls are bred for endurance and naturally have a very high pain threshold. This natural and incredible endurance is what gives the breed it's tenacity! By that, I mean that if a Pit Bull wants something, it has enough muscle behind it's jaws that it doesn't have to let go if it doesn't want to.

Myth: You can't keep a Pit Bull with other dogs or other Pit Bulls.
Fact: We have established that Pit Bulls have a natural tendency to be dog aggressive if never taught differently. This doesn't meant that they cannot live happily and harmoniously with other dogs. -Decreasing the likely-hood of competitive situations is key to multi-Pit Bull or multi-dog with Pit Bull families. -Examples: 1.) Spay or Neuter your dogs. Absence of hormones= reduction of natural urges. This has been proven through studies done with performance-testing comparing herding breeds that were spayed/neutered vs intact. Showed that the dogs that were intact had significantly better natural "urges" or drives. 2.) Avoid keeping dogs of the same sex, intact or not. If you keep Pit Bulls of the same sex, you are more likely to have a constant competition for a certain status in the "pack." Females have different status than males in packs of dogs, so males aren't going to compete for female's "spots," and vise versa. This isn't to say that Pit Bulls of the same sex cannot be kept together successfully, it just takes much more management and attention. 3.) Treat both dogs equally. Do not give preference towards one dog or the other. If you do so, then the other dog is going to compete for your attention. That means if one has a rawhide, the other gets a rawhide. If one gets a stuffed ball, the other one gets one too. Even if they act like most dogs and think the "grass is greener on the other side," the fact that you have two of the same toy available is going to reduce the chances of a squabble. 4.) Supervise rough play. Never leave them unattended. If play gets too rough or they do something you don't want, let them know! That brings me to the last piece of advice. 5.) TRAIN YOUR PIT BULL! Reprimand unwanted behaviors (positive reinforcement when possible), and reward them when they do something you want. Do this, and I guarantee they will do anything in their power to please you!

From all of this, I hope I have shed some light on the behavior of APBTs. I hope that you can see why disasters can happen when in the wrong hands, and why this breed is NOT for everyone! I don't expect to make you "like" Pit Bulls if you don't care for them, I just hope that I can convince you that they aren't demon monsters who act-out viciously and un-provoked. I do realize that after reading this, some skeptics will say "well if they take so much effort to keep, they need to be regulated." Your exactly right! However, there is a difference between regulation and extermination. If you are going to argue that Pit Bulls are "weapons" in the wrong hands, then they should be TREATED like weapons. Make people register their Pit Bulls like people register their guns. People with certain criminal records aren't supposed to be able to purchase guns (but that's a whole other story), therefore people with certain criminal records shouldn't own Pit Bulls. While I still think that nobody should be told what kind of dog they can or can't have (remember that thing called the Constitution?), if regulating them in some way is inevitable then so be it. For those who still think that banning the breed will help, do you really think that it is going to reduce dog fighting and/or dog bites? NO! Certain recreational drugs are illegal but it is still a HUGE problem. This has already been proven when Amsterdam recently lifted their Pit Bull ban because it showed NO decrease in dog bites.

This was written by a certain Falon on Dogster.
This is the original post: http://www.dogster.com/forums/Dog_Laws_and_Legislation/thread/546725
This is his Dogster page:

Finally; pictures!!


Pit bull Myth of the Week

Myth: Pit bulls are really big, really muscular dogs- and mastiffs.
Fact: This is actually one that makes me laugh. Because, the American pit bull terrier; by breed standard; should only be 25-50 lbs. The Staffordshire bull terrier; by breed standard; should only be 24-37 lbs. The American staffordshire terrier; by breed standard; should only be 40-44 lbs! That's not that heavy at all. And, while some stupid sites will tell you they are mastiffs; they are quite the opposite. An American pit bull terrier is a terrier; as his name suggests. And, his two brothers are terries as well. And, they have a terrier personality; not a mastiff one. As far as muscular goes, I would hardly call a standard American pibble muscular. They're actually pretty scrawny.


Pit Bul Owners: As Aggressive As the Media Thinks Their Dogs Are?

There's a new trend going around in the land of pit bull advocates. I see it every day. It's sad, really- because, if this trend wasn't going around, I think I could make great friends with a lot of these pit bull advocates. But, sadly, I can't. Because, they are picking on my dogs. Not my pit bulls, now. They're directing their hate at another breed. A breed smaller than the pit bull... dachshunds. Chihuahuas. Papillons. That's right. They are literally mauling small breed dogs. And, what I can't fathom is why.

We have the same people here that tell us a dog is a dog is a dog. Train him right. Raise him right. Socialize him. You'll have a friend for life. Telling us dachshunds are more vicious than pit bulls. A dachshund is more likely to turn on you than a pit bull. Dachshunds are mean dogs. Chihuahuas are "yap yap breeds" that bite ankles for fun. Pomeranians are fucking vicious brats. Spell it with me, folks:

They are swearing by socialization. They are swearing by the fact that any dog has the capability of being friendly. They are swearing by the fact that every dog is a dog. Yet, they are doing exactly what the media has been doing to their dogs for years. They are making small dogs another target. And, just because chihuahuas or dachshunds or affenpinschers aren't on BSL list now doesn't mean they won't be. Hello, pugs have already made it! What makes anyone think chihuahuas or doxies will be spared? Frankly, I'm getting sick of hearing "pit bull advocates" talk down on my breed.

You wanna know a secret? Of all the dog forums I'm on; smalldogforum, pitbullforum, chihuahua-people, centralpetz and dogster; the only one I have ever heard call another breed of dog "vicious" on over and over and over again is the pit bull one. I have left that forum at least three times because of it. People have called yorkies evil dogs. They've referred to chihuahuas as yap yap breeds. They've told me my dachshund would one day bite me. It's pathetic.

What baffles me is; why are they doing this?

And, can we really blame them?

In this day in age,we; as pit bull owners; are living in fear of losing our beloved pets. I know this; I am owned by two wonderful American pit bull terriers. Every day I roll out of bed I'm fucking terrified that I'll turn on the TV and hear about BSL hitting me. I'm paranoid to leave my dogs unattended. I'm worried that one day; at the old ages of 6 and 10; my dogs will be taken away because they have no papers, they have no records- they're just mutt dogs that happen to resemble pit bulls- and get euthanized because one neighbor complained. One neighbor feared for her childs life. One neighbor worried about her yap yap breed. And, I imagine- that's where the hate rises. Pit bull owners think small dog owners walk around with pride and dignity- not a care in the world. That just isn't true. Small dogs have been banned, too. Small dogs can get banned, too. And, having two small dogs, I know the hate and fear people fear towards them. It's often that I hear "Don't go near that dog! She'll bite your ankle!" It's often that I hear "Look at that little ankle biter! She looks like a rat!" It's often. And, rather you pit bull advocates like to believe it or not- it hurts. A lot of dog lovers say that their dog is like their child. They will defend him no matter what. What do you do when you have two pit bulls, a chihuahua and a dachshund and all anyone can ever show any of them is hate? That's not just one; but four dogs you have to defend. Four dogs that are spat on because they're not golden retrievers. Four dogs that feel racism and prejudice just as much as your American pit bull terrier.

Some pittie advocates need a stress reliever. I think that might be why they pin the "aggression" on small dogs. They're stressed. They think small dog owners have it easy. So, they accuse our dogs of being vicious. Evil. Biters. Not realizing they are going to; inevitably; put our dogs through the same suffering that their dogs are going through right now. It's getting there. I wouldn't doubt if; in 20 years, chihuahuas are "talk of the media". I can see the headlines "Chihuahua mauls infant". You laugh, but pittie advocates are bringing it to that.

I hate to say it, but I think some pit bull advocates can be as aggressive as the media wants their dogs to be; which isn't helping our cause. It's making us look bad. It's making our dogs look bad. Stop being just a pit bull advocate. Be a dog advocate. After all, pit bulls aren't their own species. If you're gonna worry about them; worry about their cousins. Worry about dogs all together. Worry about the miniature bull terrier. The pug. The french bulldog. The boston terrier. They're all "bully" breeds, too. Where's their love? Where's their protection?

Overall, I prefer the company of small dog owners. Pit bull owners are always pinning them as bad people; it just isn't true. Almost any small dog owner I've met loves all dogs big and small. They rescue all dogs. Not just chihuahuas. Pit bulls, too. They care about all dogs. Not just yorkshire terriers. Mastiffs, too. They will tell you that you have the cutest dog in the world if he's 150 lbs bigger than their shih tzu.

Pit bull advocates should take a lesson from them.

I have a lot of respect for the pittie advocates that will try and defend small breeds when they're under attack. Those people have won my heart. We need more of them. Because, as a small dog owner, I know that sometimes- it's hard to stick up for ourselves.

I don't wanna lose my pit bulls. I don't want the breed to become extinct.

But, frankly, I don't wanna lose my chihuahua or dachshund, either because one pit bull advocate told someone that they bite ankles.

It's coming to that.