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A Pitulls Reputation

How pitbulls came to have a bad rep, why they're actually wonderful dogs to have, and some famous pits worth noting for their part in history.

Antique photo
Old Pet Photo

Over the years pit bulls have gained such a bad reputation that some communities have considered a breed-specific ban on pit pulls. But why? These dogs use to be loved by American society, having a nickname of the “nanny dog” for being so well with children. During World War I they were featured on posters to represent America’s strength and dignity. Before the 1980’s there were practically no reports on pit bull attacks. Once the 80’s came about dog fighting became popular, although entirely unethical and illegal, and pit bulls happen to be the dog of choice for this “sport.” This trend destroyed the reputation of pit bulls and 30 years later there is still a stigma attached to the breed.

On New Year’s Day 1986 over 30 communities were considering breed specific bans on pit bulls. In 1987 a pit bull guarding a marijuana crop in California attacked and killed a two year old boy. This incident concerned many that it was the breed that was dangerous and by that summer every proposed ban became law.

Tijeras, New Mexico right after this took the law to another level. They made it legal for animal control officers to seize and terminate pit bulls on site without ever consulting the pit bulls owner first.

What everyone should realize is that it’s not the breed that’s the problem; it’s the humans mistreating these dogs. Pit bulls can be the sweetest and loving of all dogs, but if any dog is trained to be vicious then they will be vicious. It’s not the breed.

Some famous pit bulls include:

Sergeant Stubby – He was very involved in World War I and was valued for being able to recognize the scent of gas and alert the soldiers of its presence. Sergeant Stubby was credited with capturing a German spy by tripping him and then mauling him until American soldiers took action. He ended his days on the line when he was wounded by a grenade. After he recovered he became a therapy dog and received many medals as well as being promoted to rank of sergeant.

Petey from Little Rascals is probably the best known pit bull in all movies.

Tige – He was the first talking pet in comic strips being featured in Richard Felton Outcault’s fictional comic strip. He then later became famous in the Brown Shoe Company advertisements.

Bud – He became the first dog to cross the country in a car riding along with Horatio Jackson. He widely recognized for wearing driving goggles.

-Alex, PR Intern

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