Is It The Dog Or Is It The Human?
I have admired the Pit bull for years. They are a remarkably smart K-9 and want nothing more than to please their owner. Having said this, I believe that it's the humans who have taken 'The Nanny Dog' and made it 'The forbidden Dog'.
Any responsible pet owner is going to understand that a dog needs guidance and structure (a lot like kids). If the human allows the dog (of any breed) to be responsive to a negative environment, the dog will react negatively out of instinct to new, challenging and stressful environments.
This is how we get dogs who respond to change and stress negatively due to fear. Honestly you can teach any dog to this. But that is the point...TEACH. Pit bulls are not any different. You have to TEACH them to hate, fear and fight. If you look at this responsibly, the pit bull can also be a wonderful addition to any pack or house hold. you can TEACH them to observe, to trust, to work and to play. Again TEACH. They are all born innocent, it's up to us to keep them that way.
I have a mixed breed, black lab/staffordshire terrier mix. She is incredible. Right now Maggi is in Service Dog training and doing fantastic with it. The motto of the service dog is 'to leave nothing behind but an awesome impression'.
Maggi at 9 months old does just that. She is learning a job and she is a sweetheart doing it. Maggi and I get compliments everywhere we go. I do have to say that the reaction of some people is nothing short of 'really?'. They fall in love with Maggi's huge ears and sweet personality. Darn near kiss the poor girl and they know nothing about her.
When asked what breed she is, I will tell them. All of a sudden you see their body language change and they back away slowly. I always ask them, 'what changed?'. They say 'she could be dangerous'.
It really strikes me funny when they say that. In all reality, man is the most dangerous thing to man yet we reach to a stranger for help when we are in danger. We depend on strangers for emergency services. "They could be dangerous" too.
The pit bull got the attention it received because of the irresponsibility of a dog owner. Somewhere someone found that if you put pepper in the pit bull's food, the dog will be mean and angry.
Why is it the dog's fault for reacting appropriately when the human is the one who did it? Whatever happened to being an accessory in a crime? I think anyone reading this would agree that if someone did that to you without giving you a choice you might be capable of reacting poorly as well. Is that dangerous or is it common sense?
I'm not saying that the bully breeds of the world are for everyone. They aren't. They are strong and some are very willful. It takes a dog owner who wants to invest in their pet and one who understands the strength of the dog to be successful with the breed.
I can honestly say that I am not a chihuahua person. I would never be mean to one but I don't think I would own one and that's ok to say. If you don't think you have the determination it takes to raise a dog in the bully breed category, than don't do it. There are many things you can still do without getting yourself stuck in a situation that will be bad for you and harmful to the dog.
No matter what, there is always going to be a story somewhere that shows the wrong side of any one breed. That's what the media needs to show to keep the attention of the public. It's an awful thing to say but it is true. So be responsible, be informed and don't be judge and jury.
Etta and Maggi