Pit bulls: A surprisingly friendly breed

Pit bulls have a notorious reputation, especially in Florida. Some counties like Miami-Dade have banned them altogether because these dogs were bred to fight other dogs. As a result, many dogs of this breed exhibit highly aggressive behaviors, and even attack humans. But let’s shed some light on this banished pooch because they are more than the dangerous dogs people believe them to be. The issues that arise with pit bulls have to do with owners who make bad decisions.

According to the ASPCA, today’s pit bull descends from English bull-baiting dog. In bull-baiting, dogs were trained to attack large animals that were tied or placed in a hole, and the dog would bite the bull around the snout and head areas. This common practice from the 18th century was eventually outlawed, and, as a result, people began breeding dogs to fight each other.

Due to various underground dog-fighting rings, pit bulls have been banned in Miami-Dade County since the late 1980s. This ordinance has only prevented dog fighting to a certain extent. Dog-fighting rings have become portable, and individuals who attend such fights are given short notice of the location. People from Miami-Dade County have traveled to other counties that are hours away to attend a dog fight. People attend dog fights for two reasons: it’s a form of entertainment for the spectators, and it’s a source for financial gain for the dog owners. Sadly, the dogs sometimes fight until they die.

According to pitbulls.org, pit bulls are easy to care for; they have short coats that shed regularly, and they don’t need to be brushed too often. Unlike some other breeds, pit bulls have general good health and are less prone to genetic disorders. The average pit bull does not weight more than 50 to 60 pounds, although some variations of this breed may be larger. As long as pit bulls get regular exercise, they will be comfortable in small homes. This breed is very people-oriented and has a tendency to get over excited when meeting new people. Just like children, with the proper upbringing, they can be well-behaved.

Social interaction at a young age is important for the dogs to diminish any aggressive behavior. If pit bulls are raised in a loving environment, they can be great pets; they are loyal, affectionate, attention-craving, energetic and powerful.

As with all breeds of dogs, you must do your research before adopting. As a safety precaution, pit bulls or any dog should not be left unsupervised or left alone with children. It’s a powerful dog that needs to be adequately controlled. Some people, like children and the elderly, will not be able to supply that control. According to many experienced breeders, a first-time dog owner should not buy a pit bull.

Dog owners and prospective dog owners must learn how to properly handle any breed. Just do your homework before adopting any pooch.

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