By Kent Pinkerton
Pit Bulls can be termed as America’s most-loved as well as most-feared dogs at the same time. American homes have always had pit bulls as worthy affectionate pets, but a series of mauling incidents over the years have created paranoia about this dog breed all over the nation.
The term ‘Pit Bull’ is a term referring to three breeds of dogs: the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Their combinations are also called as Pit Bulls. Pit Bulls were originally from England. The American Pit Bull Terrier was imported to America from England in the 19th century. Out of all the Pit Bull breeds, the American Staffordshire Terrier, simply called as the AmStaff is a descendent of the English bulldog, which was specifically raised for fighting. All Pit Bulls are characterized by their short stocky but strong bodies. They have wide mouths with long hanging tongues.
Pit Bulls are considered to be the most athletic dogs in the world. They are descendents of the bear and bull fighting dogs used by cowboys in the past. Pit Bulls can hold a bull by biting it on the nose and hence the term ‘to take a bull by its nose’. However, Pit Bulls are also considered to be very affectionate towards children. Various families that own Pit Bulls swear that pit bulls are the best breed of dogs around children and they take an instant and instinctive liking towards them.
Pit Bulls are temperamentally aggressive dogs. Some kennels breed the dogs for dogfights, which are still conducted in spite of the fact that such fights are illegal. Even an ordinary Pit Bull wouldn’t flinch to attack other dogs and sometimes even people if left loose. Several Pit Bulls at the kennels bear scars, which indicate that they may have been involved in scrapes in the past.
Due to their ferocity and violent disposition, Pit Bulls are being banned from various cities and states, Ontario in Canada being one of them. The remnants of them are being spayed, neutered and also treated with euthanasia. Undoubtedly, this has created a furor among dog lovers all over.
Dog lovers condemn the mercilessness of the way in which Pit Bulls are being treated. They maintain that Pit Bulls are just as aggressive as other dogs, and in the midst of caring and loving owners, they become so mellow that they even be placed with toddlers without worry. The problem lies with the owner, not the dog. Pit Bulls who are uncared for and bred poorly often become vicious. Also a single act by some Pit Bull does not speak for the whole breed. Pit Bull lovers are trying their best to save the Pit Bulls via signature campaigns and slogans like â€œPunish the deed; not the breed.â€
Pit Bulls have become the center of a tug-of-war between the authorities and animal lovers. Once a most amiable and well-loved breed, today it is looked upon as a monster by many. The future of the breed, which was once it’s most-loved remains enveloped in doubt.
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