A Misconception Surrounding Pit Bulls

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A stigma has been created of hostile qualities being correlated with pit bulls. Before this stigma, the breed was being used to fulfill tasks the owners needed assistance with— like hunting down predators on farms. Many are also unaware of the history of pit bulls and how they were originally bred to protect households. The reputation of pit bulls went downhill when people decided to exploit their protective nature and use them for dog fights. Eventually, people believed that these animals were dangerous because of the stories and the name “pit bull” became tainted. The dog shouldn’t be punished, the owner who caused the harmful behavior should be.

In the article by Dr. David A. Billmire, he shares his opinion on the dog breed and whether they should or should not be banned. Billmire provides personal experiences of what he has viewed as evidence to reason with the banning of pit bulls.

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The article is excessive and relates a dog to a “loaded gun on a coffee table” which is unrealistic (Billmire). Though he provides descriptive evidence of the damage the breed can do, it doesn’t prove that every pit bull is vicious and bloodthirsty. There is a vast amount of opinions on pit bulls, some negative and some positive. People, like Dr. Billmire, believe that implementing a ban on all pit bulls will cause the number of dog attacks that occur yearly to decrease. Many tend to demonize the canines for doing something that wicked people trained them and forced them into becoming. Every puppy is innocent, it’s the training from the owners that determines how they will act in the future. Pit bulls are made out to be sadistic and having the desire to injure anyone in sight when in reality, that isn’t the case. A dog is instructed and educated to behave in that barbaric manner. Many understand that the actions of the dogs should not be taken into such drastic manner as to ban the entire breed. Bronwen Dickey, a journalist, stated her opinion on the treatment of the “monstrous” breed, “Incidents involving dogs from other breed groups don’t inspire quite the same level of public outrage,” (Dickey, 6). The founder of the American Pit Bull Foundation, Sara K. Enos, speculate that, “Eradicating Pit Bull dogs will affect more than just our family dogs; it will affect the much larger number of citizens that these dogs help…” (Enos, 7). Despite these expositions, multiple people are stubborn with the notion that pit bulls should be prohibited everywhere. The ban is extreme and there are many that find happiness with having the canine as a pet. In Bronwen Dickey’s article, “We’re Safer Without Pit Bull Bans,” her main argument is that all pit bull bans are ineffective and redundant. She argues, “Of the roughly 60 dog-bite deaths reported in Canada since 1964, ‘pit bulls’ have been involved in only two,...” (Dickey, 7).

The simple fact that those who support the ban don’t acknowledge is that any breed can attack and harm someone, if provoked. Brian C. Anderson, a writer at City Journal, tries to refute Dickey’s argument in his article, “Scared of Pit Bulls? You’d Better Be!” by making a claim that “Pit bulls are genetically wired to kill other dogs,...” (Anderson, 20). His argument is implausible, as in the past, many said the same thing when speaking about German Shepherds and Great Danes. People blame different breeds in order to avoid dealing with the duty of knowing humans are the main cause of all current issues that deal with the aggressive behavior within canines. One of the main issues that caused the talk of pit bulls ban was the history and involvement in dogfighting. In E.M. Smith’s article, “The Pit Bull Friend or Killer” he speaks on the pit bulls participation in “this loathsome “sport”...” which is inhumane. The danger of dogfighting is in the hands of those who run the business and personally train the dogs ro fight to death. Though Smith states how the owners are responsible of the dogs actions, he includes “a pit bull attack is like a shark attack” which is unreasonable because unlike a dog, a shark can’t be trained (Smith). Barbara Kay, a columnist for the National Post, has the same opinion as Anderson, “The only thing reliable about a pit bull is that once focused on its prey, the dog will be relentless in attack,” (Kay, 2). In this case, the blame is still on the owners who have trained the dog to behave in a malicious manner.It is acknowledged that many people do not enjoy the idea of pit bulls roaming around, hence the petition to ban the breed. Antonio Neel, father of Alicia Battle, made it clear that he wanted the dogs to be quarantined and put down. Although his 6-year-old daughter was attacked by two pit bulls, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all pit bulls should be put away.

Pit bulls have a drive to protect those that they love and care about, there are those who get out of hand because of abuse and trauma. Unlike Alicia Battle, 4-year-old Zayden and 1-year-old Mallory were saved by their pet pit bulls when a venomous snake was in their yard and their dogs took notice. The dogs were bitten but one of them managed to kill the copperhead. Melissa Butt, mother of the children, mentioned “...”the pitties are very well-trained”, she became alarmed when they would not stop barking at the unknown disturbance.” This statement solidifies the proof and fact that a dog is well-behaved based on the training and involvement from owners. The pit bull ban is incredulous since any dog breed can be harmful. Dr. Billmire even stated in his article how when first starting off his career, many of the dog bites were mainly german shepherds and some labradors. Why are pit bulls being targeted when other breeds also show harmful behavior? The response to that is: they shouldn’t be targeted and prohibited. If the ban was passed, it would be restricting many people from having a dog that they enjoy having as company. By banning the breed, it would be breaking families apart by taking their dog(s) away from them to please others who feel threatened by a canine. In reality, the ones who are in charge of the dog fights and the owners of harmful dogs should be put to blame. Those behind the training are behind the malicious behavior. Pit bulls are suffering consequences when in reality, the dogs are the current victims of exploitation caused by humans.

According to Sara Enos, many dogs have jobs which are beneficial to people of all ages. Instead of implementing a meaningless breed-specific legislation, people should strive to enforce better regulations on problematic canines in order to avoid any dangerous incidents. Outright banning an entire breed is impossible— the best option is to prevent problems from arising by requiring every dog owner to properly socialize their dogs. To prevent the disastrous events from taking place, the public—including dog owners— must be well informed with credible facts on “dangerous dog breeds,” instead of being filled with opinions of a person who has no idea to what they are speaking on.

To put in short, a dog breed should not be put to blame and have to suffer for what they were taught to do. The pit bull ban is unnecessary and idiotic for wanting to get rid of an entire breed.

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