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.

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