By Tara George | Contributing Writer

The place of pit bulls in households is in question after a young boy was killed by his neighbor’s domesticated animal. (Courtesy of Time) Magazine)

On Saturday, Oct. 21, a seven-year-old boy was killed by two of their neighbor’s pit bulls in Lowell, Massachusetts. One of the pit bulls was euthanized, and the other is in the care of animal control. This boy is one of many pit-bull-caused fatalities. Stemming from this issue comes the controversial topic of whether these animals should be household pets. Before developing a solid stance on the issue, one must acknowledge and understand the various aspects of this breed.

The pit bull breed isn’t an original breed; it originated from the Old English Bulldog and was mixed with other terrier breeds. The new hybrid became known as the American pit bull. This breed was eventually created to perform in dogfights as early the 1800s. Today, pit bulls are one of the most abused and mistreated  breeds due to their continual use in dogfighting rings as well as the harsh stigmas placed on these animals. Some of the common stigmas placed on this breed are that they possess locking jaws, they can turn on their owners without warning, they have powerful bites, and, because of their aggressive nature, they are not safe to have around children.

I believe that any breed of dog that is mistreated or abused can possess some, if not all, of these properties. I am a firm believer that it is the complete responsibility of the owners to raise the dog in a proper and loving environment that it deserves. Like humans, dogs have very unique and different personalities. If a pit bull has more aggressive tendencies, it’s important for the owners to pay attention and correct this behavior as a puppy. As far as locking jaws go, this attribute is not only limited to pit bulls but to any aggressive dog. Chihuahuas and Dachshunds are the most aggressive breeds in both dog-to-dog interactions and dog-to-person interactions. However, pit bulls get stuck with the blame because they are able to do more damage due to their size.

By nature, pit bulls are actually very social, friendly, and loving dogs. However, with a history of abuse and attacks, they have been thought of as very aggressive and unwanted dogs. To answer the question on whether or not they should be household pets, I believe that they have as much right as any other breed. However, if you were to ask me this question in high school, I would give you a completely different response. My dog, who is a Border Collie-Australian Cattle Dog mix, is a very friendly and playful dog. When I was taking her for a walk one day, a pit bull came out of the blue and started attacking her. Luckily, she didn’t fight back and didn’t suffer any major injuries. Because of this incident, I hated the entire breed. It wasn’t until years later, when I met a pit bull that was one of the sweetest dogs I knew, did I realize that not every pit bull is an evil animal waiting to attack someone.

Putting problems and stigmas aside, there are actually benefits that can come out of owning a pit bull. Some of these perks are the strong bond that you can form with the dog and the immense loyalty they have for their owners. These dogs are instinctively protective and are great to have around children. Some more pros are that they don’t have a lot of health problems compared to other dogs—they are low maintenance and easily trainable.

With owning any dogs, it is important for the owners to be involved with their pets and not only train but develop a relationship with them as well. I feel like any dog has the potential to attack and create a lot of damage, but it is the responsibility of the owner to nurture the dog and prevent these kinds of behaviors from being acted upon. Only then can they truly be a man’s best friend.

This article has 1 comment

  1. Pit bulls are the only dog used by dogfighters. That proves that it doesn’t matter how they are raised. Dogfighters would use a variety of dogs if all dogs were equal.

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