A response to “The Problem With Pit Bulls”

The following is the furthest thing from blogging about living with Rheumatoid Disease, but since I don’t like long responses to other people’s work, I decided to blog about pit bulls. That’s my family’s sweetheart dog, right there ^, so I’m using his photo.

I like to follow a few accounts for their adorable pets and one of them decided to share a poor example of journalism from Time titled The Problem With Pit Bulls. Charlotte Alter, the writer, shared a bunch of stats and opinions disguised as sound arguments against pit bulls such as this:

The dogs who were rescued [from Katrina] were good pit bulls, he says, and “the real badasses, the ones chained outside, were drowned.”

This is supposed be the reason why the people rescuing dogs after Katrina fell in love with the dogs and started advocating for them. Really? This bit of hearsay was chosen to support the conclusion that pit bulls should be regulated the way wild animals are regulated?

If the dogs had truly been bred for violence, how in the world could so many be rehabilitated? How in the world is it that so many, not only have zero instances of aggression, but make the most fantastic pets people have ever had? That’s because they are bred for their strength, determination, focus and desire to please; the things humans use for their own amusement. Now, that’s not to say that dogs have to be abused to become dangerous. Any responsible owner still has to put their dog’s strength, determination and focus to work, and the need for this shouldn’t be underestimated — for all dogs, not just pit bulls. Even dogs bred for herding and dogs bred to be lap dogs can become aggressive without a proper leader. The need for a pit bull owner to be more responsible than just about any other dog owner is not to be ignored because of what they’re capable of. But all dog owners should do better in order to have a happy, healthy and balanced dog and not just a dog that only gets love without rules, boundaries and limitations. Yes, I love Cesar Millan.

I’ve had pit bulls since before I could walk. And I’ve seen many be endlessly patient with children grabbing, poking them in the eyes and trying to climb on them — more patient than any human. I grew up in an area that contained plenty of irresponsible owners who worshipped pit bulls because of their strength, chopped their ears for the look, never took them out for a walk and dogs could easily hop fences and just walk around loose. This was long before pit bull advocacy became on trend. And somehow, I’ve never witnessed a mauling, been mauled or gone to school with a child who was the victim of a mauling.

I recognize that it took Charlotte a considerable amount of courage to stand up for her beliefs and go up against the myriad of people who love these dogs. But her courage cannot excuse her ignorance coupled with putting up walls to why so many continue to advocate for these dogs. It makes this article an egregious example of poor journalism.

 

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