Pit Bulls and Responsible Ownership

Ownership is such an ugly word when it comes to our dogs. I look at myself as a guardian instead of an owner. After all, I am their caregiver, their trainer, their friend, and I give them safety and attention. That is more descriptive of a guardian than an owner.

Ownership implies they are property, of lesser value than anything else around me, it compares them to my car or my computer. This is simply the wrong “face” to put on raising American Pit Bull Terriers if you ask me.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948)

If we hold to Gandhi’s words, then we are doomed to damnation in the worst parts of hell for our treatment of our animals. For we as a society have failed miserably to uphold our end of the canine/human bargain. Specifically, our treatment of the American Pit Bull Terrier. The most abused and mistreated breed in the world today.

If it’s not the dog fighters and thugs, its the freaked out general public

Either way, Pit Bulls get the dark end of the stick as my Dad always says.

I was searching through some old clippings and newspaper articles the other day and I was astounded to find dozens of “Pit Bull mauls 10 year old, Dog put down, child scarred for life!” type news headlines dating back as early as 1983. However you slice it, it seems Pit Bulls are always getting a bad deal. On one hand they are fought, abused, neglected, and killed for fun by sadistic punks and on the other hand you have humanics putting them to sleep “for their own good.”

When will it end? When will we be able to go out in public and be able to hold our heads up high without hurrying about some smart remark or worse, some tormentor who has nothing better to do than bother us with their “opinions”? I’m not completely sure when that time will come. Hopefully in my life time. If not, my children’s. If not then their children’s, and if not, well, you get the picture. I believe it will happen in my life time because of the progress we are making as responsible guardians. However, progress has a way of stopping when you think it’s going great.

No, it will not change until the real problem is addressed.

People are the problem. Always have been.

People are and have always been the problem. It has almost nothing to do with dogs at all if you really think about it.

People created the APBT. People created domesticated dogs for that matter. Then we put these super dog expectations on them and ask them to behave better than our children! What’s up with that? Everyday people sit and watch TV and hear about how someone murdered someone else and go about their evening like nothing happened.

Then they hear about a 6 year old girl who was bitten by a “pitbull” and it’s “break out the fire and lanterns Jerry! We’re going on a witch hunt! Yippppeeeee!” time.

What’s up with that?

We set impossible expectations on our dogs and for the most part, they live up to them

Be honest. Would you expect a child to sit for 5 minutes before allowing them to have a ball?

Be honest. Would you expect a 3 month old baby to get up, walk to the toilet, lift the lid, and take a pee?

Be honest. Would you expect a traumatized child in foster care to love everyone they see and never show ill will towards anyone? Even their abusers? I wouldn’t expect these things. Yet, we ask our dogs to do them all the time.

Here’s an example of how high our expectations are

I receive email’s everyday. Dozens of them start out like this…

“My dogs Wiggles and Wags drive me nuts. They don’t go outside, they pee in the house, they bark a lot, they nip and chew on everything. I’m at my wits end! help!”

My response: “How old are wiggles and wags?”

Their reply to me: “7 and 8 weeks old.”

HELLO! Knock, knock anyone home up there?

See how high expectations are? These are not made up situations either, I have 7 email’s like this in my inbox right now. It’s insane. They are expecting the equivalent of a week old baby to act like grown ups.

Dog Guardianship is Your Choice, What do you Choose?

Willy Wonka had his Everlasting Gobbstoppers. We have our Disposable American Pit Bull Terriers (and other dogs for that matter).

Our choice is simple. Either we start to live up to our end of the bargain or not.

You either value your dogs companionship and life, or you don’t.

Sadly, many people hold the value of a dogs life no higher than that of a BicTM lighter they get from a gas station. They are both disposable.

Until we start holding ourselves to a higher moral standard the problems we face today will only magnify themselves exponentially until the problem is so great it is unstoppable.

Either we stop the ignorance, abuse, cruelty, and hatred or we sink with it.

I’m not that old (30) but I remember a time when we had morals and honor was a word that was held high in our society.

Common sense and self-realliance were abundant. Now these two words are as foreign as “Ehren Sie sich, Ihr Hund, Ihre Familie und halten Sie sich zu einem höheren moralischen Standard.”