Why Pit Bulls Don’t Deserve Their Bad Reputations

 

Brandon Plotnick and his pit bull Lily(Photo by Brandon Plotnick)

At 19 years of age I was filled with pride and maybe a little too much impulse. This led me to believe that in the midst of my collegiate career, I wanted a dog.

Growing up with three Havaneese dogs, which typically don’t exceed 20 lbs and are what I consider “lap dogs,” I knew that little dogs weren’t my style. I wanted a “man’s dog” for the man I thought I was at such a young age.

I decided to do research on dogs that I could potentially adopt and I stumbled upon pit bulls.

I originally thought to myself, “Man, that’s crazy. My mom always warned me to stay away from pit bulls. They’re too dangerous.”

The more research I did, the more I noticed that pit bulls have a terrible reputation. I wanted to see for myself whether these creatures were everything the media makes them out to be.

Meeting a Pit Bull

After checking the adoption website in my town, I came across a blue nose pit bull puppy who needed a home. She looked adorable in the pictures, and I immediately decided to go check her out to see if she would be a good fit for me, considering that owning a dog is an investment of 10 years or longer.

When I met her, she could barely walk, she slept like a baby, and she acted like one too. After all, she was only two and a half months old. In the end, after visiting and playing with her multiple times, I came to grow emotionally attached to her, which was when I decided she was coming home with me, for good.

This was two years ago, and let me tell you, it was the best decision of my life.

Owning a Pit Bull

Lily, which is what I decided to name her, is a pure-bred blue nose pit bull. She is the most loving, joyful dog I’ve ever met. Raising her from a puppy at 11 lbs to a dog at 60 lbs has been the most rewarding two years of my life. Lily is a sweetheart, and has filled my life with insurmountable joy.

Due to my experiences, and other experiences I’ve had with pit bulls since adopting Lily (she loves to play with other dogs, and I bring her to dog parks all the time to play with other pit bulls), I’ve recently begun pondering the claims that people make about pit-bull’s.

In the news, they tell you that you should keep your children away from pit bulls, that pit bulls are destructive and out to hurt you. This is a fallacy and an awful generalization of an entire breed of dogs.

Knowing a Pit Bull

Lily the blue nose pit bullJust like any animal, pit bulls gain their personalities by the way they are raised. If you raise a dog to fight other dogs and to bite people, it’s going to be a destructive dog because that’s all it knows. However, if you raise a dog to interact with other dogs and people on a regular basis, or to simply raise them the way humans are raised – with a set of rules which they must obey – they’re going to do so. It is simple classical conditioning.

In the two years I’ve owned Lily, I have lived with multiple roommates, along with having many friends who come over to see her. This has made her incredibly personable and friendly. I have also had her sleep in my bed with me since I’ve owned her, which has made her love having contact with humans, so now she lies all over my friends, which is also unbelievably cute.

There’s no doubt that pit-bull’s are naturally tough dogs, which is where training specifically needs to be enforced. As puppies, pit bulls tend to rebel, just as children do. When this is the case, it’s imperative to stick to your guns and to discipline when it’s in order. With pits, you can’t be lenient, because they are incredibly intelligent dogs. They will know what they can and can’t get away with if you make it known at an early age.

Generally, since adopting a pit bull out of the blue, I have come to understand that there is a common misconception about the types of dogs pit bulls are. Sure, there are some mean pit bulls out there, but to prejudge an entire breed of dogs’ personalities is not fair. Like people, give a pit bull a chance, and she may impress you with the amount of love she has to offer.

Do you have a story about a pit bull who has touched your heart? Tell us! Leave a comment or join our conversation on Twitter.

About Brandon Plotnick

Brandon Plotnick is a student at Florida State University, majoring in the Editing, Writing, and Media program in the English department, with a focus on sports journalism and media production. He has written for Florida State’s student newspaper, The FSView, as well as a Greek Life newsletter, The Odyssey, in his time at Florida State University. His dream is to cover South Florida professional athletics as a sports writer. Brandon was born and raised in Weston, Florida, and currently has a residence in South Florida.

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