If you keep up on the news at all, you’re probably aware that pit bulls have been depicted by the media as blood-thirsty killers, and largely because of stereotypes, have been the target of some communities’ breed specific legislation. The breed has supporters as tenacious as its reputation, and some of these supporters are fighting the stereotypes and bans in a way that I believe will be effective, and also healthier for the pit bulls.
What are these pit bull advocates doing? They are encouraging obedience training. In my local community, a pit bull rescue group has begun offering training for the families who adopt one of their dogs.The owners learn about dog behavior, and they develop better relationships with their new family members. The pit bulls thrive on the positive attention, and they thrive on being given a job to do, a job that is not only active, but that also uses their minds.
This is just my opinion, but when I’ve talked with various camps of dog people over the years, I’d be struck by one thing. People who get herding breeds usually understand they need to give their dogs plenty of training and exercise, or the dogs will behave poorly, and can become destructive and neurotic.
People who got pit bulls, however, often seemed to think they didn’t need to work with their dogs. They usually had little interest in dog sports. Pit bulls are energetic and intelligent, making this belief a recipe for disaster. I’m relieved to see that the tide is turning, and that opportunities are being provided for pit bulls to get the training they need, that almost any dog needs, to fit in with our society.