National Pit Bull Awareness Day and Month were both started by Jodi Preis of Bless the Bullys, a pit bull rescue and education group, from Middle Tennessee.
National Pit Bull Awareness Day and Month are an opportunity to educate the community and change the misconceptions people may have of pit bulls being aggressive. It is a time to talk about responsible dog ownership. It is also meant to help restore the image of the American Pit Bull Terrier.
Pit bulls often get a bad rap in the media and in movies. The most important thing that we can do as pit bull owners and dog lovers is to work hard to change people’s perceptions about pit bulls-and this is the month to do it! The best way to do this is really the best way to dispel any form of discrimination. Speak up when you hear someone making a generalized statement! Don’t let your friends and family members perpetuate these myths! Inform them of the truth and your personal experiences with pit bulls.
In a study that was published in 2013 in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, factors that contributed to the aggression of dogs were studied.
Here is an excerpt from that study:
“Based on an analysis of all DBRFs (dog bite related fatalities) known to have occurred over a ten-year period, the researchers identified a striking co-occurrence of multiple, controllable factors:
- no able-bodied person being present to intervene (87.1%);
- the victim having no familiar relationship with the dog(s) (85.2%);
- the dog(s) owner failing to neuter/spay the dog(s)(84.4%);
- a victim’s compromised ability, whether based on age or physical condition, to manage their interactions with the dog(s) (77.4%);
- the owner keeping dog(s) as resident dog(s), rather than as family pet(s) (76.2%);
- the owner’s prior mismanagement of the dog(s) (37.5%);
- the owner’s abuse or neglect of dog(s) (21.1%).
Four or more of these factors were present in 80.5% of the cases.”
It is important to understand what a “residence” dog is vs. a family pet. A residence dog simply lives on the family’s property and does not have much interaction with the family, and is usually chained outside a home. They are not socialized to humans or other dogs and have not been trained. The family pet, however, has been trained, socialized and loved by their family. These dogs usually live indoors. Family dogs have rarely been involved in fatal attacks. Breed of the dog DID NOT contribute to the likelihood of a dog to attack! In fact, very few people can actually identify a pit bull without confusing them with a boxer or mastiff!
So, the bad reputation pit bulls have has been unearned, and we should spread around some positive stories about pit bulls!