Living with the Vicious Pitbull
Skyla, my newly adopted puppy, had been living with me for over a week before I even found out she was a “vicious” animal. I was walking her down the road when I noticed this lady staring at us. I could not tell if the lady was mad or scared, so I smiled and politely said hello. She greeted me and then annoyingly looked down at Skyla. “Is she safe to touch? You never can trust those Pitbulls,” she said. I was baffled that anyone could be afraid of my adorable 14 week old puppy. I was convinced this lady must have been mistaken. There was no way my dog could be vicious. Unfortunately, this has not been an isolated event. As time has gone on, I have discovered that there are two reactions I will get from people regarding my dog. People either absolutely love her to death or they are terrified of her. I have had people deliberately cross to the other side of the road to avoid walking past us. It is a shame that society has created such a stigma for these wonderful dogs. The worst Skyla would do to anyone is cover them in slobber because she wants to lick them to death.
I believe that this fear stems mainly from ignorance. Most people do not even know that Pitbulls are not even a specific breed of dog. The term Pitbull includes several different breeds including American Pitbull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentina, American Bulldog, and Bull Mastiff. The term Pitbull is used to group these dogs solely by their body appearance and block shaped heads. The discrimination on these dogs has been taken so far that some cities ban people from owning them. I was completely unaware of this Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) until I watched the documentary Beyond the Myth. This documentary is a great source of information about Pitbulls and the bans placed on these dogs just because society views them as “dangerous.”
I am certain that this discrimination will only get worse the older and larger Skyla gets. It does make me sad to think that there are people out there who dislike my dog simply because of how she looks. Anyone who knows Skyla can attest to the fact that she is not dangerous or vicious. She is ridiculously hyper and really stubborn, but she is also one of the most loving dogs I have ever met. Anytime she sees a new person or animal her tail starts to wag and all she wants to do is meet them and give them kisses. I have gotten better at just ignoring the uneducated comments, but I have made it my mission to educate everyone on these dogs. Any dog can be dangerous, no matter what breed of dog it is. It is up to the owner to be responsible and teach their dog how to behave. I would like challenge everyone out there to help me spread the word about Pitbulls. Together we can help tear down the lies and promote responsible pet ownership.
Below are some links to great websites for more information on Pitbulls and BSL.