Dog Stories for Dog Owners

Should Pit Bulls Be Banned?

No matter what side of the fence you’re on when answering the question, “Should pit bulls be banned?” you’re likely feel strongly about it. Out of all the dog breeds in the world, pit bulls get the most attention when it comes to dog bites and dog fighting, especially in the United States.

The American Pit Bull Terrier has come under attack many times for dog bites. In extreme cases, those dog bites have led to fatal attacks, and sadly, many of them are children.

Does this mean that other dog breeds do not attack like pit bulls do? And if they do, why do so many people target pit bull dogs?

My Experience with a Pit Bull

should pitbulls be banned
Brooklyn Heads Home

I was in the group that was scared of pit bull dogs at one time. I read the articles, heard the stories, and made up my mind that this breed was scary – all of the dogs in the breed.

Sure, I also heard stories about how lovable they are and how they are big babies. Only the ones that were forced to become aggressive for dog fighting were the bad ones. That’s the other side of the debate. My husband’s side…

My husband always wanted a pit bull and consider an American Staffordshire Terrier…but let’s face it – people who want a pit bull want an American Pit Bull Terrier just so they can say they have a real pit bull. After all, the American Staffordshire Terrier is just that – a Staffordshire Terrier.

Due to my inner desire to make everyone happy in my life, we found ourselves adopting a pit bull from Southampton Animal Shelter. Many pit bull dogs lived at the shelter, and most of them were deemed to be unfit for adoption until they were trained well enough.

Giving a Pit Bull a Home

Brooklyn was at the shelter for over a year. We believe she may have become the shelter’s dog. My husband had to specifically request to see her and they were reluctant to do it.

Brooklyn instantly took to my husband. She basically picked him as her owner. I wasn’t too sure about this situation since well, she is a pit bull.

When I saw her, I was cautious but she was nice to me and the worst she did was pull me when going for a walk. Still, I was cautious and very skeptical about her.

After visiting her at the shelter a few times, we decided we would adopt her. The shelter staff had mixed feelings – they loved her and didn’t want to see her go but also wanted her to have a good home.

should pitbulls be banned

We brought in our other two dogs (Newfoundland / Chow mix and Yorkie) for a meet at the shelter. Brooklyn could care less about Paris (the Yorkie) and didn’t enjoy Barley (the Newfoundland / Chow mix). After some warnings from Brooklyn, Barley left her alone.

During the meet, the trainer let us know that one of the staff at the shelter tried to adopt her. However, when Brooklyn met her boyfriend, she was very territorial of the staff who wanted to adopt her. That didn’t work out.

When we brought Brooklyn home, she became Hera.

Hera’s New Home

Hera scared Matthew at first Hera knew it too. She would go up to Matthew slowly, lay her head on his lap, or nuzzle under his arm to get him to pet her. Once Matthew realized Hera didn’t want to kill him, they were good.

Hera was good with me and my daughter from the start.

Now that Hera has been with us for about three years, we’re pretty much fine with the pit bull aspect of her. Hera charges at people sometimes, but hasn’t bitten anyone….yet.

I don’t fully trust this dog to not kill someone. Hopefully, it’s someone who is trying to kill us first if that ever is the case.

We do take precautions with her more than let’s say our Yorkie for obvious reasons – she lives in the shadow of the American Pit Bull Terrier stigma.

Should Pit Bulls Be Banned?

Should pit bulls be banned – I don’t really think so… They are animals just like other dog breeds. Specific breeds are more aggressive than others, and that’s just part of their personality – just like humans.

A vicious dog can be a cocker spaniel, lab, and others. Certain breeds simply just have more of the fight in them than others, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be good family dogs.

Pit bull attacks happen. I will not deny that fact. Dog attacks happen too, so does that mean we should ban dogs all together?

Should there be a breed specific ban? German Shepherds get in trouble too. What about mixed breed dogs? If there was a pit bull ban, should all dogs, especially shelter ones have their DNA tested to see if they should be banned. And then how much of a percentage of American Pit Bull Terrier should they have to be banned?

What about other specific breeds, such as English Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier or the American Staffordshire Terrier?

If you read statements from the American Veterinary Medical Association, you’ll see why breed specific banning is not the answer. The organization believes it’s up to pit bull owners and dog owners to take care of their dogs to prevent dog bites from dangerous dogs. It’s not the dog’s fault.

The American Kennel Club is against breed specific ban as well. Breed specific laws are dog breed discrimination, as stated by the American Bar Association.

So, What Should Be Done?

Dog owners need to know their dog’s potential. Any dog can attack and it’s important for pet owners to realize that especially when they first own their dog. It doesn’t take long before what you can and cannot do with your dog. For example, I know Hera doesn’t like all people so when meeting someone knew we hold her to find out if she’s okay with them. We are cautious and we are on guard with her. We will always do that and we would do that with any breed we have because we know her and her potential.

Read Adopting a Dog from a Shelter vs. Breeder if you’re in the market for a pit bull to help in your decision on where you should find your “vicious pit bull.”

If you’re considering adding a Pitbull to your household and turning into a multiple dog one, read Is 4 Dogs Too Many for a personal experience.

What’s your take on this debate? Sound off by leaving a comment.

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