Canine Controversial: The American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull Terrier is perhaps the most feared canine in the world today – known for his aggressiveness towards other dogs, the media has also played a key role in the controversy surrounding these compact and muscular canines, focusing on stories of dog attacks and illegal fighting rings. Today, the American Pit Bull Terrier is the most legislated-against dog in the world, and has been banned in England, under the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991. Is this truly a dangerous dog or is it simply a case of dangerous humans abusing this animal. Some insurance companies will not provide APBT owners with liability insurance so, if you are considering purchasing one of these dogs, you will definitely want to contact your insurance agent first. Any dog can be a good dog if trained and cared for properly.

The American Pit Bull Terrier is descended from crossbreeds which were brought into the United States, back in the mid-1800ís, by Irish immigrants. The APBT’s ancestor, the English Bull and Terrier, was in fact, a crossbreed, itself – the result of mixing the English bulldog with various English terriers, including the black and tan terrier, as well as the now-extinct English white terrier. Having the same origins as the American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terriers were bred specifically for dog-fighting, a practice which was outlawed in most of the states, as far back as the early 1900ís, and closely resemble the APBT. Ironically, the popular Boston Terrier is also closely related though, due to his small stature, isn’t considered so threatening and is, instead, bred and sold as a favored family pet.

While the American Pit Bull Terrier is commonly associated with extreme aggressiveness and considered a blight upon the country, many of those who have kept the APBT as a pet will argue differently. Petie, the famous dog from the Little Rascals classic television show, was an American Pit Bull Terrier and, while it’s true that genetics can have a hand in the temperament of an animal, most will agree that a poor owner can be just as detrimental to a dog, regardless of breed. Not only does careful and conscientious breeding affect an American Pit Bull Terrier, but proper training and a lot of love are also key elements in maintaining a good disposition on the APBT.

Of course, the American Pit Bull Terrier is an intimidating figure; while not overly tall (they stand roughly 18-22 inches, at the shoulder, when fully grown), the APBT is unmistakably powerful. His head is large and slab-like, with frighteningly powerful, strong jaws, which will lock down when the dog bites. The ears are commonly cropped very thin and short, emphasizing the blocky, thick head of this dog, and the tail is carried low, drawing attention to the muscular, compact body and thick chest. One look at an American Pit Bull Terrier and you know that you are looking at a powerhouse of a dog.

It’s no surprise that the APBT’s temperament matches his build. Seemingly fearless and tenacious, the American Pit Bull Terrier is not one to back down or run away, even when he is on the losing end of the battle; this goes, not only for his scrapping tendencies, but in bullheaded battles of will with his human family. While they are keenly intelligent dogs, they can be quite stubborn and even belligerent, when forced to do something they don’t want, such as taking a bath. Nevertheless, breeders and owners, across the world, argue that when these dogs are bred and raised responsibly (responsible being the key word), the American Pit Bull Terrier can make a wonderful addition to your home.

As with any dog, careful consideration should be given, prior to going out and purchasing a puppy. Be sure to take the time to research reputable breeders, be prepared to enroll your puppy in behavioral and obedience courses, and pay heed to how much time you will actually be able to spend at home with your pet. They extra work that goes into finding the perfect family pet, is well worth it when you consider your new companion.

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2 comments

  1. There are no bad dogs, only bad owners. Pit bulls get such a bad rap becuase they are often raised by irresponsible, violent people who have tendencies towards neglect and criminal activity.There is a pit bull in my family and he is a cuddler who loves people and even cats. He is often found kissing the cats. I agree with your argument that the media has contributed to the bad reputation that these dogs get. There have been periods of time where other dogs were the “bully breed” such as German Shepherd and Dobermans. Now it’s the pit bull’s turn.Its actually very sad because they really are a very sweet, kind, gentle, and loving breed.Any dog raised around violence will become violent and its unfortunate that so many pit bulls get put into that situation.I wrote a similar post about this just the other day, too.

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