The month of October is dedicated to Pit Bull awareness. Most everybody knows what a Pit Bull is and many of those people are under the impression that Pits are ferocious, that they bite, that people use them in dog fights, etc. Others, seemingly fewer people are trying to spread the word and make others aware of the misguided stigma placed on Pit Bulls. One thing is for sure there are some dogs that when you look at them you just know they have some Pit in them.
There’s no denying that Sahara has a bit of some Pit in her. After her adoption, I didn’t want to admit that that was the case and it helped that the shelter put on all her paperwork that she was a Black Mouth Cur mix. Because of breed restrictions and the stigma attached to Pit Bulls and owning them, I still get a little weary when people ask what she is. I didn’t want people to think she was mean or aggressive or just plain bad. My solution to that was saying that she was a Black Mouth Cur, which trip people up because they’ve don’t know what that breed is so it distracts them.
People are usually dead set in their ways and the way they perceive things, so saying that she’s a pit mix made me feel like people are going to react in an unfavorable manner, so for so long I just didn’t throw Pit into the “mix”.
Why should I have to feel this way? Why do so many people jump on the bandwagon that all Pit Bulls are inherently bad? What did my Pit mix did to anybody to not be allowed wherever legislation says this specific breed isn’t allowed.
Tell me. Tell me that my dog has bit you. It would be a lie. Tell me that she scares you. She might but you’d have to be invading her space or my space for her to feel threatened. She doesn’t bark when out in public (unless she sees another dog that’s a whole other story, we’re working on it, I think she just really wants to play). This isn’t just about Sahara it’s about all the other Pits, Pit mixes, and other “aggressive” breed dogs out there who have never done anything wrong yet are still getting punished by breed specific legislation and by people who are uninformed about the true statistics of these dogs and their aggressiveness.
Are you thinking how unfair this is and how you can help? Here’s how:
- Adopt a Pit or Pit Mix
- Foster a Pit or Pit Mix
- Sponsor the adoption of a Pit Bull or Pit Bull Mix at your local rescue or shelter
- Donate to a Pit Bull rescue (if you need help finding one, let me know I’d be glad to help)
- Volunteer your time at a rescue or shelter.
- I’ve personally volunteered at a shelter, even if it doesn’t seem like a lot is one thing you can do that makes a big impact! Most shelters don’t have many people that work there and are at capacity so there’s so much work to do and not much help to do it. Depending on the rescue you might help with walking the dogs, cleaning the kennels, cleaning the dog bowls (think about it if there are 20 dogs who eat twice a day that’s 40 bowls needing cleaned, that’s not even including the water bowls that will need cleaned too), giving the dogs clean water, etc.
- Educate others
- It’s free!
- Tell other people about that Pit you have or that Pit you know that is the sweetest, most loving, and gentle little being they can imagine. Give them pictures of your Pit fur baby loving on your human baby. Show them videos of your Pit listening to your commands and playing with other dogs.
- Sign a petition ending BSL (Breed Specific Legislation)
- BSL ranges from cities banning the ownership of certain breed dogs, breed restrictions for rental properties, mandatory spay or neutering of specific breeds to attempt to eliminate them from the population, the laws differ from city to city, and even country to country.
- Train your dog
- Pit or any other breed- they need proper training so you don’t run the risk of them hurting yourself or others
Just in case you need some tips on what not to do, this one’s for you:
- Let kids run up to dogs or touch them without approval from the owner
- Instead teach children and even other adults that it is not acceptable to approach another dog without asking if it’s okay first, and if they say it’s okay don’t move too fast, offer the backside of your hand to them and let them decide to come closer to you after you give them your hand to smell
- Judge or bash other breeds while trying to defend your own breed
- Just no.
- This doesn’t solve the problem it just puts the problem somewhere else.
- It doesn’t make you any better trying to advocate for one by being hateful toward another
- Blame the dog
- For bad breeding in the past
- For the lack of training on the part of the owners (if the owners are trying to train their dog give them a chance to do so)
- Also don’t over generalize and blame every dog of one breed for something only a few dogs do.
- Teach the dog aggressive behaviors
- Don’t encourage your dog to bite, if they need something to chew on give them a toy
- If they are biting, nipping, or nibbling on something they aren’t supposed to even if you didn’t tell them to, by not redirecting that behavior, you’re still encouraging them to do it.
*This is not a comprehensive list, take that as a reminder to be smart and make safe decisions*
To celebrate Pit Bull awareness month here’s some pictures my ferocious, savage, aggressive, dangerous, little Pit mix