We’ve all heard the stories, myths, and fear some people spread about pit bulls simply because of their breed and their use in dog fighting by some abusive and greedy people. I believe that a dog should not be judged based only on his breed, just like a person should not be judged based on the color of his skin! These myths are dangerous, and are passed down through families, generations and friendships.
To help share the truth about pit bulls, Jodi Preis of Bless the Bullys, a pit bull rescue and education group based out of Middle Tennessee, started National Pit Bull Awareness Day, which falls on October 24th this year.
National Pit Bull Awareness Day is an opportunity for communities to become educated about pit bulls and change common misconceptions that they may have about this very loving breed of dog. It is a time to talk about responsible dog ownership and it is also meant to help restore the image of the American Pit Bull Terrier. Here are some ways YOU can participate in this important mission:
1. Educate Yourself
If you have some negative feelings about pit bulls based on what you have always heard, then do some research and find out the facts! Dachshunds, Chihuahuas and Jack Russell Terriers are actually the most likely breeds to bite and show aggression! They are usually forgiven and not reprimanded because of their size. See more here.
2. Get to Know a Pit Bull
If you have never had experience with a pit bull, then all you know is what you hear about dog fighting in the news, or what is portrayed in the movies. Meet a friend’s pit bull and get to know her. Go to your local shelter to meet a pit bull, or volunteer to help walk the dogs there. I guarantee that you will find pit bulls who are happy to see you, and very loving (if very exuberant and full of energy!) I have pit bulls in my home frequently as a dog-sitter, and they get along with people and other dogs without incident.
3. Speak Up
When you hear someone perpetuating a myth about pit bulls, speak up! If no one ever tells them that their belief is wrong, then how will that person learn what is really true? Confronting and challenging family members, friends or even strangers can be difficult, but take a gentle approach and let that person know about your own experiences with pit bulls.
4. Train Your Dog
I feel compelled to say that I don’t think Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, or Jack Russells are any worse than another breed, either! No dog should be judged solely on breed alone. I think that we as pet owners frequently don’t follow-through on training smaller dogs, and do more training with our larger dogs. I often see small dogs who are not fully housebroken, because the mess they make is so small, that owners just choose to clean it up. This does not fly with large dogs and their large messes! I think that we as owners also forgive snapping and growling in small dogs more frequently instead of training our dogs to stop those behaviors. A large dog who growls and snaps is a lot scarier, so we work on that behavior more often with them. Training is really the secret when it comes to preventing aggression in any breed of dog. Properly trained pit bulls are no more aggressive than Golden Retrievers!
Remember that you cannot make generalized statements about the aggressiveness of a certain breed of dog- personality really all boils down to the dog’s environment and training. So, start spreading the truth about pit bulls to your friends and family, and come out to support Pints for Pits at High Cotton Brewing Co. today from 4-8, sponsored in part by Hollywood Feed!