Monday, August 18, 2008

Profiling Is The Pits

On The Flipside Guest Blogger: Nancy from Marie Millard

Nancy wrote a very interesting post on her blog in February about Pit Bulls. Please read her post and then feel free to offer your opinion on this subject in the comments.

Profiling Is The Pits

I've posted photos of my son's Pit Bull, Bently. I know some people have definite fears and opinions of Pit's. Bently has been well trained and is a loving dog.

I was just reading about the dogs that were rescued from ex-NFL Player, Michael Vick's house. 22 were saved and are living and being rehabilitated at a rescue sanctuary.

With any dog that is not trained properly or has suffered abuse, there will be horror stories. The Pit seems to be the latest that gets a bad rap. And yes, there have been some awful incidents involving them. There are also incidents from many other breeds. Blame the ignorance of the owner, not the animal.

I remember years ago, when it was the Doberman or German Shepherd to fear. Then it was Rottweiler's. Now Pit's. A dog can be trained to attack and protect, but are also trained to listen to a command. Police and rescue dogs are a perfect example. Fear the people that keep and breed these dogs with cruel intentions.

The back-alley-breeder-gangsta-wannabe's are just ignorant. The Mike Vick's of the dog fight rings are just as ignorant. Mike's sentence of 23 months isn't enough. I hope his career is over too.

Do you know what a pit looks like? Most people see a big, mean looking, muscular, stocky dog and assume it's a Pit Bull.There is only one American Pit Bull Terrier in the photos below. What's your guess? Click on the photo and see if you're right. Leave the number of your first guess in the comment section please.





















(photos from

Remember "Petey" from the "Little Rascals"?
A Pit

Originally Posted by Nancy (Marie Millard) at 5:42 AM 2/4/08

What do you think? Are you one of those people that is afraid of Pit Bulls because you have had honest to goodness negative experiences with this breed or ... just because of the "bad rap" they have been given?

Please offer your honest opinion, whether you agree with Nancy or are On The Flipside with regard to Pit Bulls. But ... please be sure to follow the comment rules and be nice to Nancy and to me and to all other commenters. And, don't forget to go over to the sidebar and participate in the poll on this subject.

Thanks Nancy for this great post and for being Guest Blogger On The Flipside!
Poll results: Do You Think Pit Bulls Are A Dangerous Breed? 21 People took poll. 11 (52%) Said Yes. 1 (4%) Said No. 9 (42%) Said it depends on how the dog is raised.


Journey of Truth said...

I chose #1 first, then about three others before getting the right one. Of course, I have never seen a 100% honest to God pit bull, but I have seen mixed ones, which looke like #1 and some of the others. Then, after I stopped to think, I chose the right one.

I agree that the way the dog is handled has more to do with it's nature than just it's breed. I do think some have temperments that are normal to them (Yorks like to dig dig dig - and mine digs all the time). But, that's not a bad thing in and of itself.


BRAVO for this post! I hate the profiling and breed-specific laws going on with PBs.
When I was young, our neighbors had a pit that they made horribly mean, so I had a prejudice against them until I grew up and realized that they are only a product of their raising.
By the way, next Sunday night on Animal Planet, there's a special about Vick's dogs and what's going on with them now. I'll be watching!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I guess #12.

I agree in principle with what you're saying. I do think there's something to be said for people being able to be more easily rescued if attacked by other breeds simply because the pit bull is built to clamp down and not let go.

I have dogs (Beagles) and I think it's just good policy to be careful of all dogs until you're sure how well they've been trained and what they're temperament is.

I'm pretty careful of most dogs, having been attacked by a Husky and a mutt when I was young. It ranks as one of the most terrifying things that has happened to me and if the passersby had not been able to get the Husky off me with a broom and a hose, who knows what could have happened.

Rosemary Bogdan said...

I'm sure there are nice pit bulls. I'm also sure that, in some ways, the breed has gotten a bad rap. But have there been recent instances of other breeds actually killing people? And maiming other dogs? I remember stories of the potential aggression of Dobermans, German Shepherds,etc. Seems like the pit bull stories are worse. I realize it could be sensationalism.

forgetfulone said...

I have to remain true to my feelings that I've had for so long. I realize they get a bad rap, and that a lot of it has to do with the owner, but the breed has been known to "turn" suddenly and without warning, and I just prefer to stay away.

dani said...

i have never had a bad encounter, personally with any breed, however my uncle was attacked by a pit bull and nearly killed... while ironing!!!
brady was treated like a baby. he was raised by my aunt and uncle from 7 weeks along side a yorkie and a kitten, and was a trained indoor-pet.
one morning, he started to wet on the carpet, and my uncle said his name to get him to stop (it was VERY unusual for him to do that). the dog came lunging at my uncle and ripped a vein out of the inside of his leg, a hole in his arm, and nearly tore two of his fingers off before my uncle pulled himself to the kitchen door and rolled onto his side porch.
after many, many hours in surgery, the doctors were able to save my uncle's life.
i would never have one and don't care to ever be around another one. but, that is not saying they are ALL bad, either.
ps sorry if that was too graphic, but it is true...

Adrian said...

My niece recently got a pit bull and I have to say I'm a little concerned. I don't know much about that particular animal, but with three children under the age of 6, I think she could have made a different choice.

I think if dogs can be bred for positive traits, such as German Shepherds, St. Bernards, and Australian Shepherds, I think they can have negative traits that run in breeds as well. I think training and treatment are large factors in their behavior, but I believe there is a component of the breed as well. I would be very hesitant to own one myself and I do wish my niece hadn't gotten one.

Tabitha said...

I believe that here in the UK ~ it is illegal to own these dogs, under a dangerous dogs act ~ so that is probably why I had absolutely no idea what it looked like. I have never had any bad experiences with any dog ~ ever ~ so I cannot really comment!!

moma grits said...

I wouldn't own one for my children as a pet, I just prefer other breeds. I have been around pits all of my life. They are a statement of manhood here in the South LOL My nephew was attacked by a family friends pit when he was 3. It took off half of his cheek. but on the "flipside" my step nephew was attacked by 2 neighborhood rotweillers (sp) over the weekend causing 71 puncture wounds.
I think that some breeds are instinctively more prone to aggression and pits do catch a bad rap and are spotlighted more often for their tendencies.

Mamarazzi said...

through the years i have had friends try to convince me that "their" pit was different and that it was "all about how they were raised". and through the years i have had the same friends have to put their pits down because their pit turned on a family memeber. one family lost their 2 yr old daughter and i witnessed the attack that was not brought on by ANYTHING the pit simply ran from across the yard where it was playing with a tennis ball and grabbed the child by the head and started shaking her. there was NOTHING out of the ordinary going on, it was the same thing we did every saturday BBQ, let the kids play etc.

no one can convince me that a pit doesn't have something in them that eventually "turns" and makes them attack. it may not be EVERY pit but there have been enough instances to make me wonder why people would continue to take the risk, especially when there are children in the home.

are pit owners bound and determined to make a point that it's not ALL the pits? cuz i get that...but it only take one. and for me it's not going to be my child that is the shocking "never thought that MY dog would do THAT" story is written about.

Ellyn said...

I think the way a dog is handled has as much to do with behavior as genetics. With that said, I do not nor would I have a pit bull or another aggresive breed of dog around my kids. I just wouldn't take the chance. I have heard too many horror stories to risk it in my home.
There are those who argue any dog is capable to attack. And why would any parent risk that with thier kids. I beg to differ. Our dog is a mix of we don't really know what. She is fantastic with the kids and I wouldn't have it any other way. Now, after all of that, I will say we are teaching responsibility with our kids. They don't get to tease the dog at all. They have to be gentle and calm around her. Parent who don't teach this are just asking for trouble. I can't tell you have many times I have been walking Daisy and kids come up and surround her and start petting her without asking permission. She is OK with this but what if she weren't.
I admit to getting a little off subject but these things bother me. So I just had to say it.

Pregnantly Plump said...

I used to work in local news and we once did a story about a 2 year old who was mauled by her neighbor's pit bull. She'd had multiple surgeries on her face by the time we left the area. She was, obviously, petrified by all dogs. Her parents say she was just playing in their yard. The neighbor said the dog was well-trained. I know it's not just pitbulls. The French lady who had the first face transplant, lost her face because her (I believe) lab ate it off.
I know training has a lot to do with it, but I also believe that all dogs should be on leashes. We live in a big neighborhood with lots of kids and lots of dogs. Most owners put their pups on leashes (it is the law here, and there are signs everywhere) but I know of at least two pit bull owners and one doberman owner who don't. I guess they think their dogs are trained well enough. It is their choice to own any type of dog they want, but they should put that dog on a leash when out. I just stopped walking the other day, because I was behind the pit bull woman who doesn't need a leash. I waited until she was out of the park. What if a kid rode by on a noisy bike and spooked him? That woman was certainly not going to be able to catch the dog (trust me on this.)

Brenda said...

I think it's all about the owner's sense of responsibility, and also a matter of whether you truly trust the breeder. This breed was bred to fight, it's in their DNA, and having any breed of dog, where aggressiveness is part of their DNA, around children, is very irresponsible of the owner. I believe this for the same reason that it's not a good idea to keep lions and tigers, or bears, for pets.

I've seen the scars on a 2 yr old child left by an unprovoked pit bull attack, it's not pretty. I guess I'd have to ask, is it worth the risk?

Courtney said...

My neighbor has 3 pits one of which is the sweetest dog ever. Another one has jumped in my car and tried to attack my child. The third one i have had no experience with. I hate pit bulls and that's why and I will never let my kids near one again. It's my opinion and I have a right to it. Just like she has a right to hers.

dlyn said...

Like any dog, it depends on their blood lines and how they are trained and raised. They do seem to be attractive to people who are terrible owners and want a dog with an aggressive reputation. Unfortunate that they are so often abused, but I would not be happy to see one move in next door. I chose #15 first but got the pit on the second guess.

Maggie - Mom of Six said...

My sister's stepson had a pit bull. The sweetest dog you could ever meet. She was keeping him while he was in the Middle East and he was reported to the dog catcher for attacking a neighbor's dog. When my sister got home "socks" was in the backyard but there was an area that he "could" have gotten out of. She fixed that part of the fence and the next day got a call from the dog catcher that they had her dog and she needed to come get it and if it attacked another dog or person, it would be put to sleep. She headed to the pound only to find another pit bull that looked like "socks" who was, consequently, still in the backyard. She looked at the person at the pound and said "I guess this is a case of racial profiling" Fortunately, the rogue dog's owners were found and I have no idea what happened from there. It just really proved that every dog is as different and, as in any breed, you have to watch the bloodlines and watch for inbreeding as well as checking out the parents of the dog and how their behavior.

Sally said...

Scientists continue work trying to decipher why a seemingly "normal" human being can become a cold blooded killer. No one knows the whys of humans, how in the world could they possibly know about animals, especially those who are prone to maim and kill.

another good thing said...

Hype. All the way. I have met some very nasty pink poodles.
And their owners weren't very nice either.
Unfortunately, with evil people choosing strong ferocious looking dogs to protect their property, the animal becomes associated with evil. SOme non-dog types can't separate the two.
nice post btw.

common mom said...

I am not afraid of pit bulls or any other breed of dog. But I do not agree with rehabilitating any dog that has been trained to fight. In the class I currently take my dog to for training, there is a pit bull that was rescued from a gang that was training it to fight. This puppy LOVES people and is the sweetest thing.

This puppy HATES other dogs and it's 100% obvious. While the dog is sweet and loving toward people, the fact is that it's a dog. A dog that has been trained to be aggressive to other dogs.

While I love dogs and admire the dog's new owner for rescuing it, there are too many dogs in the world that need homes - dogs that have not been trained to fight. I do not believe we need to try to "rehabilitate" dogs that have been trained to fight. It's just a terrible accident waiting to happen.

Sandra Carvalho said...

I have to be honest and say that I do not like Pit Bulls,Rottweilers or Dobbermans.
I don't have any bad experience with these breeds but they are powerful dogs and there's something in their eyes that makes me feel uncomfortable...
Of course that any dog may become a danger depending on it's owner.
But still, I wouldn't ever have one of those breeds in my house.

Nancy said...

Thanks for the "Flipside" Kellan ... I should add I have a 10lb Bichone Frise and my daughters 3 lb. Chihuahua.

Our pit submits to both the smaller dogs ... it's quite comical. They all play together.

Me? I'm more afraid of the Chihuahua , lol

Helen E.M. Wright said...

I WAS one of those people but my brother is a dog trainer and owns a Rottweiler named Sasa who is the biggest lap dog EVER! She used to sit over my son when he was a baby and watch over him. She only saw him twice a year.

I have learned that it IS all about the owner and not the breed!

Nicki said...

My brother has a dog who is half pitbull and I love her to death! I never had a pitbull of my own, but I agree that with ALL dogs, its totally about how they're raised. And, just like people, there probably are a few crazy ones out there, and because they are a large, strong type of dog, they can do real damage and give all the rest of pitbulls a bad name. I mean I know for a fact there are many poodles and chihuahuas out there who bite, but because they're tiny they're not taken seriously. I love all dogs, and its very sad that some pitbulls have to suffer because of their breed!

Denise said...

I'm thinking #10 is the Pit but #19 looks like a good choice too. I love all dogs and have no fear of any breed. Well, maybe a wolf - LOL! Anyway, I believe these dogs are trained to do what they do and I really don't believe the "it's in their blood" thing. My cousing has 3 pit bulls and they are like babies. He's never had any trouble out of them except sometimes they are not too crazy about other dogs. That can happen with any dog breed. I was horrified by the Michael Vick ordeal and wish he'd been put under the jail for what he was doing. Thank you for your post.

Denise said...

I suppose I should have previewed my comment. "Cousing" should have been cousin but you probably already figured that out.

Shannon said...

I believe that any dog not raised or trained well can be a potentialthreat. I will admit...I am afraid of Pits. I was running trails one day when a white pit crossed my path. I became very submissive and let him cross the trail. Why was I scared.....because of the horror stories.
I live in Minnesota. Last year a 10 year old boy was mauled in his basement of his fathers house. Here's the scenario....Two pit bulls tied up in a dark and dingy basement and a litter of pups. A small boys wants to play with the pups and the male pit attacks him.
What's wrong with this story other than the fact that the boy lost his life. The ignorant owner new very well that these dogs were a threat, he was perpetuating this behavior by breeding the two dogs. Ignorance on behalf of the human has caused this fear of the Pitt.
I could go on and on.....and don't get me started on these designer breeders.