I am obviously a red head. I have a red headed dog named Ginger (I call her Ginger Snap when she is good, as Ginger cookies were my favorite growing up, and Ginger Stain when she’s bad). People tell me she looks like me.
People tell me she’s beautiful. People tell me she’s the sweetest, cutest dog they’ve ever met. Ginger Snap does NOT snap at people, let alone bite them! Even the trainer for our puppy class was hesitant at first and tried suggesting we NOT participate in Puppy Play Time at the end of each class. I, instead, gave all of the other owners the opportunity to introduce their dogs to Ginger individually, and gave THEM the option not to participate. Socializing your dog is VITAL to ensure they not develop aggressiveness towards other animals. Are you surprised that none of the owners opted out? Are you surprised she was the most popular puppy in the class? I came across a blog that made me so sad; it is literally a blog solely dedicated to convincing people that all Pit Bulls are monsters, killers, and should be put down. Is this the face of a monster? Or how about a killer?
Those of you who know Ginger, know she is a wonderfully loving animal, and as submissive as they come. I felt the need to respond to the unfortunately ignorant blog poster and hope that those of you who have had bad experiences with APBT or who do not know an APBT and have only read media coverage will TRY and understand that the breed itself is NOT dangerous but that ANY dog CAN be aggressive. This was the comment I posted in response to the blog:
While clearly there is a large group of people who are against American Pit Bull Terriers (obvious statement, proven solely by insurance companies and BSL), but with all the outrage against the dog, why is there no outrage towards their owners and breeders? There are too many dogs of all breeds who become violent and aggressive towards humans because they are poorly and irresponsibly bred and poorly and irresponsibly treated. I grew up with a dog that was half poodle, half terrier- cute, charming, lovable, seemingly harmless, but who bit anybody who seemed to threaten his family. Now, a bite from a 20 pound dog is far less harmful than that of a 50 pound dog, so do you think the UPS man ever called animal control or the police or even reported it to his superior? Of course not. It wasn’t until Falcor was 15 years old and bit my three year old nephew’s face that my parents finally put the dog down. If Falcor had been a Pit Bull, my nephew would probably have become another name on the lists above.
With that being said, I am a serious dog lover, of all breeds and I worry that with BSL we are not getting to the heart of the issue and solving the real problem- irresponsible breeding and irresponsible ownership. Regardless of the breed, a dog that isn’t bred well and is treated poorly and left untrained or is trained improperly, is going to behave very badly with potentially deadly aggressiveness. There is no way to deny that bully breeds (i.e. American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, American Bull Dogs, etc.) are athletic and very strong which, when they fall into the category of mistreated dogs, is obviously a deadly combination.
Instead of banning a breed, start getting to the root of the problem, and ban irresponsible owners as THEY are the ones that should be punished.
There are too many people out there who do NOT properly train and socialize their dogs. Even if they do train their dog, they don’t teach them how to treat other people and other dogs. Even though I know Ginger is playful, submissive, and friendly towards other animals, I won’t go to dog parks because I don’t trust the OTHER dogs, no matter what the breed. I beg of you all- if you choose to own a dog, PLEASE be a responsible owner. Train your dog. Socialize your dog. Manage your dog. Spay or neuter your dog. Dog ownership is VERY time consuming and VERY hard work, and if you’re not going to do it RIGHT, then DON’T DO IT AT ALL!!!!