Today we celebrate one of our favorite dog breeds, the playful pit bull! Since October is their month, we want to sprinkle some positivity on this often controversial dog breed. Get ready for an adorable pit bull video as well as some fun-facts that will have you racing to your local shelter to add one (or two) pit bulls to your family.
The History of The American Pit Bull Terrier
The American Pit Bull Terrier originates from the United Kingdom in the early 1800’s. Sadly, Pit Bulls were bred as fighting dogs for the sake of entertainment.
Fortunately, as Pit Bulls evolved and made their way to America, they took on a much more important family-oriented role. In fact, the Pit Bull Terrier is revered as being loyal, protective, and hard-working. Specifically, Pit Bulls are skilled at protecting farms and families, herding cattle and sheep, and assisting on hunting trips.
Moreover, during war times Pit Bulls became known as “America’s Sweetheart” and the “All American Dog”. These brave and courageous canines fought alongside soldiers on the front lines. Pit Bulls were featured proudly as the nation’s mascot. You would see Pit Bulls in advertisements, products, and even television shows.
The Societal Shift
All the while, underground dog fighting rings championing the more infamous traits of Pit Bulls were rampant. Finally, the Animal Welfare Act of 1976 was passed. This act made dog fighting illegal in all 50 states. Unfortunately, a side-effect of this law was the illicit association of Pit Bulls and crime. This negative association spawned a series of hateful news stories with Pit Bulls under fire.
Almost 40 years later, Pit Bull Terrier enthusiasts are still working to counteract the negative stigma their loving companions hold. Finally, rescued Pit Bulls are now commonly police dogs, search and rescue dogs, and dearly beloved family pets.
Nature vs. Nurture
At the end of the day, the temperament of a Pit Bull Terrier is a result of training. Humans are the reasons Pit Bulls have aggressive behavior in the first place. On the other hand, with proper love and diligent training, Pit Bulls are inherently loving, caring, and loyal family friends.
We live in a world that lives by the old adage “the actions of few speak for many”. To enumerate, because a few poorly cared for and trained pit bulls have been aggressive, the whole world seems to think the entire breed is dangerous. However, the BBC reports that dogs should be judged individually based on their behavior and not their breed.
Positive Pit Bull Stories
Negativity always screams louder than positivity. The internet makes it easy to get discouraged about adopting a Pit Bull. To counteract the digital negativity tornado, we are happy to provide some Pit Bull positivity!
Ray the Vicktory Dog
In 2007, fifty one dogs were rescued from Michael Vick’s illegal dogfighting operation. Typically, in a situation like this, all of the dogs would have been euthanized due to assumed aggression. Fortunately, the courts decided to judge each dog on an individual basis. Only one dog was put down due to aggressive behavior. Despite years of intense abuse and fight training, the remaining forty eight Pit Bulls (two died naturally from injury/illness) were adopted and assimilated back into families and society.
One of those dogs, Ray (aka “Ray the Vicktory Dog”) became a sort of poster child for Pit Bull Terrier education. Supported by his adoptive mother, Jacqueline Johnson, Ray was a beacon for Pit Bull advocacy and adoption.
Kiah – New York’s First Pit Bull Police Dog
Like many other Pit Bulls, Kiah was a victim of animal cruelty. After being saved from her abusive owner, a volunteer at the animal shelter noticed Kiah had something special about her. Brad Croft, the notable police and military dog trainer, agreed and was happy to train Kiah personally. Mr. Croft exclaims, “the dog breed isn’t important, it is what is on the inside of the dog that is important.” He goes on the say “Dogs are individuals. They have their own personalities, just like people.”
Now, Kiah is proudly serving the Poughkeepsie Police Department as the first-ever Pit Bull police dog in New York. Kiah is specially trained to sniff out drugs and missing people. Moreover, Kiah proudly serves as a goodwill ambassador, as well as a symbol of hope for her breed. Kiah’s handler, Officer Bruzgal says “I couldn’t ask for a better partner”.
Alladin the Therapy Dog
Poor, sweet Alladin was found abandoned with forcefully broken legs and twelve missing teeth. Fortunately, Lilo’s Promise Animal Rescue saved Alladin from being euthanized. After lots of veterinary care, medication, and water therapy, Alladin was finally the strong and healthy pup he was supposed to be.
Back in good health, Alladin found his true calling after training with Therapy Dogs, Inc. Now, Alladin visits hospitals, nursing homes, and schools, spreading smiles and filling hearts with joy. Furthermore, Alladin was even featured in the Show Your Soft Side animal rights campaign. Finally, Alladin even received a proclamation on behalf of the state of New Jersey for his amazing service to others.
Common Pit Bull Ailments
By now, you have undoubtedly fallen deeply in love with Pit Bulls and want to get one (or two!) for yourself. We always recommend that you #AdoptDontShop, especially since there are thousands of lovable Pit Bulls in shelters nationwide. Once you have found your new furever best friend, it is important to know how to avoid health problems.
One of the most common skeletal problems affecting canines today is hip dysplasia. Especially common in bigger dogs, hip dysplasia occurs when the ball and socket hip joint deteriorates. Symptoms of hip dysplasia are:
- “Bunny hopping” – these quick hops utilize both legs to move forward at the same time, therefore avoiding putting all weight on one side
- Sudden decrease in physical activity
- Narrow stance
- Loss of muscle mass, particularly around hind legs
- Pain and stiffness
- Inability (or visibly struggling) to run, play, climb stairs, or jump on the couch
While hip problems seem like an old dog’s issue, Pit Bull’s can actually develop hip dysplasia as young as two years old.
How to Prevent Hip Dysplasia in Pit Bulls
Naturally, prevention is the best form of treatment for any ailment. Due to the fact that Pit Bulls are more inclined to develop hip dysplasia, it is a good idea to add joint health supplements to your beloved dog’s diet plan.
With more homeopathic canine remedies available than ever, we humbly recommend our Honest Paws Relief Bites. These tasty treats support healthy bones and joints. Furthermore, they are all-natural, lab-tested, non-GMO, and soy-free.
Katherine T, one of Honest Paw’s Relief Bites customers happily reports that “My dog loves the taste of these treats but the best part is she can run and jump again without pain. She was too the point of not walking up stairs at the age of 2. After about a month I noticed a huge difference. I have given her these treats for about 8 months now and would never change. I have recommended to my friends and family for dogs with mobility issues. She can keep up with the best of them now.” Thank you for sharing Katherine!
In addition to hip dysplasia, another ailment commonly affected Pit Bulls is allergies. Specifically, Pit Bulls often contract skin allergies from grass, pollen, fleas, or dust. Symptoms of skin allergies include:
- Excessive itchiness and scratching (particularly around the ears or base of the tail)
- Moist or red skin
- Dry, flaky, or scabbed skin
- Runny or itchy eyes
Fortunately, allergies are very easily preventable.
How to Prevent Skin Allergies in Pit Bulls
When it comes to promoting healthy skin and calm seasonal allergies, nothing is better than our Honest Paw’s Healthy Coat Restore Bites. These one-of-a-kind, full-spectrum CBD treats are all-natural and taste great as well.
Anxiety in Pit Bulls
All too often, Pit Bulls are victim to abuse and neglect. Naturally, a degree of skittishness can develop as a result. Fortunately, our Honest Paws Roasted Peanut Butter Calming Bites are a great answer to your sweet Pit Bull’s stress. These tasty all-natural, canine-approved CBD treats work wonders in providing relief in stressful situations.
Happy National Pit Bull Day – In Closing
We want you to celebrate Pit Bull day every day! Pit Bulls make a strong, loving, and loyal companion. Despite having withstood a million lifetimes of abuse and behavioral stigma. The more caring people like you adopt a forgotten Pit Bull, the happier future generations will be. The overwhelming majority of dogs in shelters today are Pit Bulls, check with your local shelter to find your newest family member today.