Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A5-1: Weekly Written Analysis

Weekly Written Analysis
When some one hears the name American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) there is usually one of two reactions. Either extreme hatred or extreme enthusiasm is expressed towards this dog breed. Through my experience most people react with hatred and this is due to he-said-she said information and the mal-informed media frenzy that has exploded (Bradwell, S., 1996). I currently own two APBTs and they are not only the best dogs I have ever had but the most loving as well. When people think of this dog breed all they can think about is dog fighting and people attacks as dramatized by the media. The fact is that this could not be further from the truth. All the myths about pit bulls having locking jaws, being innately aggressive towards humans, and having a bite that causes 800psi are absolutely false (Bradwell, S., 1996). The following excerpt reveals more about the true nature of APBTs, “The American Canine Temperament Testing Association is an organization that titles dogs for passing its temperament test. The test consists of putting the dog into a series of unexpected situations, some involving strangers. The dog fails the test if it shows any signs of unprovoked aggression or panic around people. Of all dogs that take the test, 77% on average pass. But among pit bulls who take the test, 95% on average pass--one of the highest passing rates of all breeds”(Bradwell, S., 1996). It is also very important to realize that 98% of the pit-bull attacks media throws in our faces on TV are purely for ratings, meaning they are not even American pit bull terriers but dogs that just look like one (Bradwell, S., 1996). Scott Bradwell (1996) relates that “the APBT was once considered to be a wonderful family pet by the general public. During World War I, an APBT was used to represent the United States on a propaganda poster. During the 1930's and 40's, every kid who watched the Lil' Rascals wanted a dog just like "Pete the pup" who was an APBT”. Once again the so called all knowing media has incorrectly relayed information.
“Many (back yard breeders) of them didn't grasp the fact that a champion fighting dog is born not made. (So) Through abuse, (and) teasing, "practice(s)" on non-fighting dogs, etc.--all sorts of things that knowledgeable pit enthusiasts would find cruel and abhorrent--and counterproductive as preparation for pit contests (were occurring through ignorant non-qualified breeders). I read a story not long ago that was enough to turn my stomach; it was about the arrest of an 18-year old kid in Philadelphia on charges of animal abuse; he was keeping his wretched pit bull isolated in a tiny feces-covered kennel. The dog's only contact with the outside world was when this jerk would "feed" it live cats and dogs that he had stolen from neighbors' homes. He thought he was preparing the dog to be a good fighter. Needless to say, it is this sort of person, rather than the old-time dedicated breeders, that the public--thanks to the mass media--associates with the breed. Speaking of the mass media, I wouldn't be surprised if this particular jerk got his bizarre ideas about schooling a pit dog from watching the sort of distorted, sensationalistic news coverage that purports to "expose" what pit fighting is all about.”
I have run into a lot of people who are afraid of my dogs and I am working very hard to change opinions on the breed. I have converted every single one of my family and friends to loving the breed. I want my dogs to be ambassadors of the breed and am working hard to make sure that is the case. The only problem is that I live in Columbus, Oh. The problem with this is our state treats these dogs as if they are the devil. I know that sounds harsh but I cannot walk down the street with both of them at the same time without feeling apprehensive. I am sick and tired of feeling like this when I know that my dogs are better trained, better behaved, and by far the best dogs I have ever owned. Here in my state there are individuals working to get APBTs removed from the vicious dogs list so we can enjoy our pets like everyone else (Bradwell, S., 1996). Due to poor breeding, poor training, in-correct media coverage, and a lack of education people have started to ruin the breed and have completely ruined their reputation (Bradwell, S., 1996). My dogs are more than just dogs to me they are a part of the family. I feel like I have a duty to them and the breed to educate people with the truth. Punish the deed not the breed!

Bradwell, Scott (1996). The American pit bull terrier (APBT) FAQ. Retrieved February 4, 2008,