Keep Your Paws
Owning a Pit Bull is not for the faint of heart
As the owner of a Pit Bull you must be prepared to run into prejudice and breed discrimination.
Unfortunately there is a huge amount of negative generalization which results in Pit Bulls being left out of many otherwise dog-friendly places. If you own a pit bull, you may not be allowed to bring your dog with you to the campground, you will have to search for a sympathetic landlord to rent a home or apartment, and you may not be able to get homeowners insurance coverage from some carriers. There are even whole cities and countries that have breed specific legislation that make owning a pit bull illegal.
Misconceptions - from Mascot to Monster
The Pit Bull used to be the "All American Dog" and was considered a mascot. Many will remember Petey from the favorite TV Show "The Little Rascals". From baseball to basketball and football, many sports teams have used the Pit Bull as their mascot, and so did the military and many high schools.
When dog fighting became popular and many unscrupulous people trained and used pit bulls in this horrible and torturous way, the pit bull breeds gained a bad reputation. Many people started to fear the breed. Misconceptions such as: "Pit Bulls are bred to fight and therefore bloodthirsty" or "Pit Bulls have locking jars and cannot release their bite" became common and shelters overflowed with Pit Bulls.
But these are just misconceptions, not truths. Three of the four breeds that fall under the name Pit Bull are bred exclusively for show confirmation, and only one, the American Pit Bull Terrier, stems from the original English stock that was bred for bull-baiting. Also, Pit Bulls are canine and as such their jars do not lock.
Those who understand dogs, know that no breed defines every dog within it's DNA pool. Every dog is an individual. Many Pit Bull owners will tell you their dogs are sweet loving family pets that play well with children and other pets. Many Pit Bulls are service dogs.
It is never the breed that shapes the dog but it's upbringing and training.
If you own a pit bull, be an advocate for the breed and make sure your dog is well socialized. As a Terrier, Pit Bulls are smart dogs that need mental and physical stimulation. So be sure to work with your dog in obedience and provide him with plenty of exercise. A well-behaved dog that plays well with others, human or animal, will be a wonderful poster child for the rest of its breed.
If you own a Pit Bull, please tell us about your pet in comments below!
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