Probably the most maligned breed of dog, alongside the Doberman, Pit Bulls have received bad press since time immemorial. While there are people who love Pit Bulls and claim they are the most wonderful and loving dogs an owner could wish for, there are many for whom even the name instils a sense of fear and disgust.
If you look at it sensibly, there are no grounds for hating one breed of dog just because it is the “general consensus” as you will find “good” and “bad” dogs of any breed and it is mostly due to bad owners that any dog becomes a problem.
The Pit Bull’s bad reputation has been further strengthened by the posting of a “no adopt” policy in many animal shelters but the truth is that adopting a Pit Bull comes with the same risks attached as adopting any other breed of dog from a shelter or pound.
Buying vs Adopting
The rumor persists that it is a dangerous decision to adopt a Pit Bull from a shelter as you have no idea of the dog’s history or lineage as would be the case if you bought from a breeder. But even a pure bred Pit Bull can have behavior or personality problems and the best thing is to assess your prospective new family member on current behavior and temperament. No responsible shelter would willingly hand out any dog that is likely to cause problems, or even injury, and talking to the staff will allay any lingering worries or doubts you may have.
Pup vs Adult Dog
As with any breed of dog, all pups are inherently adorable and the same is true of even the much-maligned Pit Bull. By adopting a grown dog, you are at least aware of the dog’s temperament and will have been apprised of how it interacts with other dogs and people. With a pup, this is not the case as, despite your best intentions and treatment of the animal, a Pit Bull’s true nature may not surface until it reaches maturity.
The nurture or nature argument is valid in the case of Pit Bull pups as the loveable little scamp you adopted and raised can grow up to be a hell-raiser with a hatred of other dogs and might not be too keen on people either, including Momma and Poppa. However, these are rare exceptions and if you have any concerns in this regard it is probably best to opt for a mature Pit Bull as you at least know what you are getting.
Pit Bulls have been unfairly branded as vicious and temperamental but they are in fact one of the most good-natured breeds with an inherent love of people. Yes, there are bad Pit Bulls but no more than you will find in other breeds and it is only their use by humans for dog-fighting purposes that has led to their bad reputation.
There are many cases of Pit Bulls that have survived serious abuse and neglect and gone on to be loving family pets. If you are thinking about adopting a Pit Bull (and why wouldn’t you) but have concerns then talk to the staff at the animal shelter who know their charges well and will offer their advice and opinion as to which dog is best for you. While it may not be 100% correct, there is a lot of truth in the saying that “there are no bad dogs only bad owners” and the Pit Bull has already suffered enough at the hands of bad owners to warrant a little love and respect for a change.