American Pit Bull Terrier 40


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bullpit1-300x198 The ‘bull and terrier’ type was originally developed in England in the early 19th century. The lineage goes back to the mastiff / molosser types, including what we now call the Olde English Bulldogge, that were used for bear-, bull- and horse-baiting from the 12th through the 18th century. This isn’t the bear-baiting we think of today, when hunters feed bears in order to bring them out in the open to shoot them. Rather, the bear, bull or horse was confined in a public arena where the mastiff ‘bulldogs’ would slowly tear them apart alive for the public’s amusement1,2,3,4,5.

The popularity of this ‘sport’ declined as education became more emphasized in urban society of the Industrial Revolution and literacy among the population grew (from about 30% in the 17th century to 62% by 1800)6.  The ‘sport’ was banned altogether by Act of Parliament in 1835.

The lovers of blood ‘sports’ turned to dogfighting to satisfy their fancy, breeding the large, mastiff-type bulldogs to smaller working terriers to get dogs both smaller and more agile, easier to keep and to hide, but just as willing to attack and fight to the death. With the rise of the kennel clubs and the desire to distinguish dogs by looks and pedigree as well as by performance, this ‘bull and terrier’ type eventually divided into many official breeds. They all share the same ancestry and function, distinguishing themselves mostly by slight differences in appearance.

APBT 2

The American Pit Bull Terrier is, like all the ‘bully’ breeds, one of this group of descendants of the British ‘bull and terrier’ type fighting bulldogs. Once imported into the United States, it was bred up to be bigger again, and again used in baiting animals and in dogfighting. The American Kennel Club (founded 1884) was unwilling to register these fighting dogs, so in 1898 the United Kennel Club was founded specifically to register working pit-fighting dogs and to promote dogfighting. In order to be registered, a dog had to first win three pit fights7,8,9. The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) became a ‘breed’. As dogfighting declined in popularity in the 1930s and 1940s, Colby (the most famous and prolific breeder of these dogs) began to search for a new market and began promoting the APBT as family pets10,11. This despite the fact that his breeding lines included child killers12.

The APBT is of medium intelligence, and it is athletic. They have plenty of energy and exuberance for life. They are affectionate companions are often referred to as a “nanny dog”, which leads many families to believe that they are suitable companions for children. Many can live happily with children and never have an issue, but there are many cases of the family pit bull suddenly attacking or killing a child in the household. The Pit Bull advocacy group BADRAP recently retracted their original “nanny dog” statements (https://www.facebook.com/BADRAP.org/posts/10151460774472399)13. As of March 6th, 2017, pit bulls have killed 208 children since 1980. Most of these children were killed by family pet pit bulls that had never been neglected or abused and had always loved the child. As with all breeds, the traits needed for their original tasks remain in the dogs – in this case, the sudden explosive aggression that was necessary to survive in the fighting pit. An APBT may never show this aggression, but if it does there will be no warning and the attack will not be easy to stop. Extreme caution should always be taken when this breed interacts with children. They are fun loving dogs that have “clownish” behaviors. Despite, their many positive qualities, this breed may not be suitable for everyone. Their high energy requires a family that can accommodate and appreciate this aspect of their personality. They usually do best with active families. Many American Pit Bull Terriers get calmer as they age and an older dog may work for a more reserved family.

APBTPit Bull Terriers need regular vigorous physical activity. They crave mental and physical stimulation. Regular long walks and plenty of play time can be ideal ways to burn energy. If their exercise needs are not met, they can develop destructive behaviors. They can often excel at physical activities, such as jogging and weight pulling. Some clubs admit them to agility and fly ball; others don’t because it is dangerous to have APBTs off leash near other dogs and the clubs don’t want to bear the liability in the event of an attack.

The American Pit Bull Terrier needs early socialization and training. Since they are active dogs, they can become unmanageable quickly. They need a firm and consistent handler that can maintain control at all times. They are eager to please and can learn tricks if trained patiently. They are very active both indoors and outdoors. Despite proper training and socialization, many dogs may be hard to manage and can still have unwanted behaviors.

The American Pit Bull Terrier has a history and bloodline deep rooted in the blood sports of animal baiting and dogfighting. As with all breeds, they retain their original traits. They often to do not accept other animals, especially dogs, and can be extremely aggressive towards them. They may accept animals they are raised with, but have been known to kill other family pets even after years of living together happily.

Most APBT puppies get along fantastically with other animals, including dogs. Puppies often love to play with and have companionship with other animals. This often gives owners a false sense of security. As the APBT matures, their relationship with other animals can change drastically. Often dog aggression issues emerge from 1-3 years in age, but some dog’s exhibit aggression as early as 6 months of age. They often will actively seek out other dogs to engage in fighting with and have broken their collars, crashed through windows, and torn through fences to do so, and one recently leaped from an apartment 2nd story balcony, to get to a dog. They can get along with other dogs at times, but things can escalate quickly and they can attack suddenly and for no apparent reason. They often redirect onto humans who try to break up the fight14. Extreme caution should be used with all animal interactions and owners should never be completely comfortable. They can be unpredictable and a dog that plays nicely with dogs for years can suddenly change. Many owners have been shocked to see their beloved pet’s fighting instincts suddenly surface. It is highly recommended that the APBT is separated from other animals in the household when they cannot be supervised15. This is not a breed that is suitable for interactions at off leash dog parks16.

pit bullIt is recommended that American Pit Bull Terrier owners have and carry a break stick17. A break stick is a device designed to open a Pit Bull type dog’s mouth while it is engaged in fighting. Pit Bull type breeds have a very distinctive fighting style and often will latch on their opponent and not let go. They usually will shake the other animal violently when they are latched on. This can cause horrific damage quickly. The break stick was designed by dog fighters to be inserted into the Pit Bull’s mouth and release his grip. The original purpose was to safely end a dog fight. The break stick often is the ONLY thing that will release the dog’s grip. People have been known to hit Pit Bulls with objects such as a bat or even shoot them and the dog still will not let go. Bully Breed owners should always have one handy in cause of an emergency. The break stick is not safe to use on other breeds of dogs and is only recommended for dogs in the Pit Bull family that were once used for dog fighting purposes.

Research is advised before selecting an APBT as a pet. They are often on the list of dogs that many landlords/property management companies do not allow. There are many American towns that have breed specific legislation or restrictions on certain breeds, including theAPBT. There are also many countries that have enacted restrictions or bans, such as the United Kingdom, that include the breed.  It is wise to make sure your pet will be allowed into your community.

Breeds in the Pit Bull family are the most common surrendered and stray dog breeds in the animal sheltering system. They are also the most commonly euthanized dog breed. Owners are often unaware and unprepared for these breeds. While many families own bully breeds successfully and have only positive experiences with the breed, there are families they are not suited for. Because shelters are so full of APBTs and other Pit Bull types, it’s important to neuter your APBT rather than breeding it – for the sake of the APBTs themselves18. No dog lover wants to breed any kind of dog only to have it quickly end up in a shelter after it’s sold!

The American Pit Bull Terrier requires a minimal amount of grooming and only sheds lightly. They are prone to several medical issues such as hip dysplasia, cataracts, allergies, and heart disease. They usually weigh between 30-70 lbs and their average lifespan is about 12 years.

In North America, from 1982-2015, Pit Bull breeds and mixes have seriously attacked 4,008 humans that resulted in 2,567 maimings and 328 deaths

Sources:

1. http://www.coeffic.demon.co.uk/bearbaiting.htm

2. http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-bear-bull-baiting.htm

3. Lee, Sir Sidney.  “Bearbaiting, Bullbaiting, and Cockfighting.” Shakespeare’s England: An Account of the Life and Manners of his Age.  Vol II.  Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1916.

4. Scott-Warren, Jason.  “When Theaters Were Bear-Gardens; or, What’s at Stake in the Comedy

of Humors.”  Shakespeare Quarterly.  Vol. 54, No. 1, Spring 2003. 63-82.

5. Encyclopaedia Britannica 3. Encyclopaedia Britannica Company. 1910. p. 575

6. Johnathon Barry, ‘Literacy and Literature in Popular Culture: Reading and Writing in Historical Perspective,’ in Popular Culture in England, c. 1500-1850, ed. by Tim Harris (London, 1995), pp. 69-94 (p. 70)

7. Colby, LB, Jessup, D, Colby’s Book of the American Pit Bull Terrier, T.F. Publications, Inc, NJ, 1997.

8. Beach, M, at http://dogs.about.com/cs/breedprofiles/a/pitbull_history.htm  (accessed February 2014)

8. Homan, M, The Complete History of Fighting Dogs, Ringpress Boods, 1999.

9. Gibson, H, Dogfighting Detailed Discussion, Animal Legal and Historical Center, Michigan State University College of Law, 2004. http://www.animallaw.info/articles/ddusdogfighting.htm  (Accessed February 2014)

10. The Dog Fancier, Vol. 27 – 28, 1918, pages 39, 45.

11. The Sun (newspaper), New York, February 3, 1909, The Sun Printing and Publishing Associates.  http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030272/1909-02-03/ed-1/seq-1/#words=JohnP+P+Colby&date1=1836&rows=20&searchType=basic&state=&date2=1914&proxtext=john+P.+Colby+&y=11&x=10&dateFilterType=yearRange&index=0  (accessed February 2014)

12. Bad Rap, Facebook posting, May 20, 2013 at 6:00pm. https://www.facebook.com/BADRAP.org/posts/10151460774472399  (accessed February 2014)

13. One example: http://www.wdsu.com/news/local-news/new-orleans/pit-bull-attack-prompts-push-for-tougher-laws/20369204?item=0

14. From Pitbullsontheweb.com, emphasis added, last accessed May 2011, the entire site has now been taken down:

  • 1. Thou shalt NEVER trust thy Pit Bull not to fight
  • 2. Thou shalt contain thy Pit Bull securely when not supervised by an adult
  • 3. Thou shalt NEVER leave thy adult Pit Bull alone and unsupervised with another dog
  • 4. Thou SHALT attend obedience classes most faithfully with thy Pit Bull
  • 5. Thou SHALT keep thy Pit Bull socialized with ALL KINDS of people
  • 6. Thy Pit Bull wilt NEVER be allowed off-leash in a public place
  • 7. Thy Pit Bull wilt NEVER be allowed to roam free in thy neighborhood, EVER!
  • 8. Thou SHALT take thy well trained Pit Bull out in public and show him/her off – on leash for good breed PR!
  • 9. Thy Pit Bull shalt go forth into the world as an ambassador of the pit bull breed
  • 10. THOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY WRONG DONE BY THY DOGS!

15. Ibidum
16. See (among others) :
http://www.pbrc.net/breaksticks.html

http://pitbullholocaust.wordpress.com/pit-bulls-and-their-different-jaws-pit-bulls-do-have-locking-jaws-pit-bull-owner-myth-exposed/

http://www.realpitbull.com/breakstick.html

17. See (among others):
http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/More-pit-bulls-are-filling-area-shelters-1815274.php

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/02/09/20110209maricopa-county-animal-shelters-pit-bulls.html

http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Pit-bulls-dominate-shelters-5003648.php

http://www.newsela.com/articles/pitbull-problem/id/2149/

 


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40 thoughts on “American Pit Bull Terrier

  • Will hickey

    This is all utter nonsense. Of course, when you take over 15 breeds of different dogs and combine their bite data to that of any other single breed of dog the number will be high. Instead of preaching misunderstood hate for 15 different breeds of dog, how about you push for reaponsible ownership of pets? Wouldnt that make more sense? Im terribly sorry for what happened to this child, but millions of pitbulls around the world live long and healthy lives without ever having a single aggression issue. This page is so full of inaccuracies, its ridiculous. The way you lump all these breeds together is ridiculous. Its like saying that Honda’s are safer cars than all american cars becauae less Honda’s wreck than chevy, ford, saturn, buick, Oldsmobile, jeep and dodge combined. Where is the logic in that?

    • Daxtons Friends Post author

      Why not just call them pit bulls?

      We, dogfighters, and the law used to. Even the fur-mommy pit bull fans did. When the first laws were introduced to restrict or ban the ‘pit bull’, its fur-mommy fans were alarmed. They suddenly appeared everywhere to explain to us: “You can’t ban pit bulls, because it’s not a breed but a type of dog.” As deaths by this type of dog continued to mount, wise lawmakers listened to the fur-mommies’ wisdom – laws began to specify that restrictions applied to various ‘breeds’ that were of the pit bull type. The laws included all dogs (regardless of breed labels or mixed background) that displayed the main characteristics of this type of dog, and they include any mixes thereof. The American courts have also repeatedly taken this same position.

      Most of the public understands nowadays that the distinction between the various fighting bulldog ‘breeds’ are a fiction, and that they are all included when we say ‘pit bull’. There is still some confusion about the pit bull – mastiff mixes. This is likely partly because they are so much larger than what people generally think of as a pit bull, and partly because of the invented ‘breed’ names that suggest these mixes are some local invention, unmixed with anything outside their area of origin. This is a fiction – the common thread that runs through all of these ‘mastiff’ types is the mixing of already inherently aggressive local mastiffs with fighting bulldog types.

      All of these dogs come from juggling with the same narrow gene pool. In the end, they are all descended from dog types that were used either to maul bears, cattle and humans to death for entertainment, as well as to eradicate native populations in various colonies, and/or from pit fighting bulldogs that were mostly only pitted against each other and wild boar. They are a result of centuries of human selection for abnormally disinhibited behavior, a specific tenacious and deadly bite, grip and shear attack pattern, and the physical characteristics to make defense against an attack almost impossible.

      They are all of them genetically and behaviorally closely related, all of them pit bull type dogs.

      Read more: http://www.daxtonsfriends.com/why-do-we-call-them-pit-bull-type-dogs/

      ————

      Also on our home page:

      If Daxton’s Friends is provided substantial evidence that we have shared incorrect information, we will correct or retract statements. We welcome feedback and invite you to share your thoughts about our organization. Please e-mail us at DaxtonsFriends@gmail.com.

      http://www.daxtonsfriends.com/

  • graham

    Great article; would just like to add-i live in the gay-uk where the pit-bull & pit-bull types are now illegal (yet not the millions of humans who are running rampage on a daily basis) in truth what happened was that the fighting aggression; the fearlessness;the power & all the other phenomenal traits of this magnificent breed were being twisted to attack people (not the natural nature of an apbt) by drug & other criminal gangs & so in effect became a very lethal weapon! henceforth to get the public support behind a ban the ‘authorities’ wheeled out daily on the fairy tale news ‘pit-bull attacks child etc etc) (not 1 of them was actually) 1 even said ‘pit bull attacks granddad’-it was actually a jack Russel that nipped the hand of its horrid, boring 64 yr old owner… ihave owned dogs since age 16 til age 50 (the ‘authorities’ siezed my 2 half pits & killed them @& fined me £5000 in the process. 3 original charges of owning a banned breed rose to 8! then came the deal-if i plead guilty to the original 3 they’d drop the other 5. i refused. so they really laid the boot in!..as my soliciter said @ the end of the farceical trial-‘u were offered a perfectly good deal-why didin’t u take it’?… anyway-i’ve owned many breeds during this time-yet none have a patch on the pit-dog. there is something very special indeed about this breed. good fun is just 1; human like understanding another; unlimited energy & enthusiasm another. the list is endless. i remember 1 of mine when i was 22-he used to run off laughing when non-fighting dogs used to chase him-but woe to any big bully or aggressive dog like rottweilers etc.!! i have 7 children with 2 mothers & have always been 100% @ ease with them around them-even when they eating a marrow bone-they would just take bone away under a bush or sumthing. the thing is if u do get a bad 1 that would bite a child-then best to sell or give the dog on; but in the old times when pit fights were just as boxing is now -yet more stricter rules! pits of such sort were often culled – for obvious reasons. as for facts on dog attacks upon humans-the pitbull is way down the list…….unlike the daily slaughter of countless millions of other animal types by humans for ‘food’!. gross perversity is the order of the day.
    ps. i have 3 cats now as no longer allowed to own a dog for a few years yet – due to owning ‘a fighting breed’! a ‘banned’ dog. .. wot a farcical tragedy this once great country has become. RATM.

  • Scott Kushman

    I’ve owned an American Pit Bull Terrier since he was 8 weeks old, and is now almost 31/2 years old, and he has never once shown any aggression, towards me or anyone that has come into my home, adult or child, even without knowing them. Yes, he barks at strange voices or sounds outside the house but i think that pretty normal for all dogs. He is actually afraid of Rabbits that come into the yard. He is very loving and affectionate, and will lick my face all day, but I’m not worried that he is going to hurt me.

    • Daxtons Friends Post author

      Considering you are commenting on a website named after a child killed by pit bulls, maybe you should listen to our advice? Just a thought.

      https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1084998018221801&substory_index=0&id=683616848359922

      Unpredictable Aggression

      Some dogs may have aggression that does not occur on a consistent or predictable basis. There may be no reason or trigger for the aggression. Some dogs are simply not “wired” correctly. Many fighting breeds have been purposely bred for hundreds of years NOT to give any signal or prior warning prior to launching an attack. Many dogs of these breeds can have a high tolerance for annoyance, but a sub-set eventually reach a breaking point and lash out with no warning. Every week, another owner sobs that their dog had “never shown a sign of aggression in its life” until it mauled a child, visitor, or the owner himself/herself.

      Read more: http://www.daxtonsfriends.com/identifying-dangerous-behavior/types-of-dog-aggression/

      ———

      Expert not surprised

      Benjamin Hart, professor emeritus at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and an animal behaviorist, said he wasn’t surprised by Iona Keanaaina’s assessment of Kava.

      “It’s quite common for a pit bull to show no signs of aggression,” Hart said Wednesday. “People will call it a nice dog, a sweet dog, even the neighbors – and then all of a sudden something triggers the dog, and it attacks a human in a characteristic way of biting and hanging on until a lot of damage is done.”

      Read more: http://m.sfgate.com/crime/article/Often-no-warning-signs-in-pit-bull-attacks-4611027.php

      ————

      “Most of the bites are inflicted by pets that belong to family and friends – and they are often warning nips. (Children’s behaviour often simulates that of dogs, they tend not to twig to warning signs like growling and they are less able to defend themselves than adults.)

      But pit bulls and related breeds – and let’s not be distracted by picayune debates about precise definition – are different. They often attack without warning and relentlessly.”

      Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/columnists/dog-attacks-are-a-public-health-issue-and-should-be-treated-as-one/article30516631/

      ———–

      Finally, most dogs warn you before they attack, growling or barking to tell you how angry they are—”so they don’t have to fight,” ASPCA advisor and animal geneticist Stephen Zawistowski stresses. Not the pit bull, which attacks without warning. Most dogs, too, will bow to signal that they want to frolic. Again, not the pit bull, which may follow an apparently playful bow with a lethal assault.

      Read more: http://www.city-journal.org/html/scared-pit-bulls-you’d-better-be-11995.html

  • angel Olson

    I have always owned pit bulls. And they have always been around kids. See the problem with any dog and kids is that a kid can accidentally hurt the dog and then the dog will bite, that’s why you should always be watching kids around dogs. They just don’t snap for no reason like you guys are saying. And you can let them off leash like any other dog, my god, train them, they are great with other dogs. And you do not need to carry a break stick, my god. That is just ridiculous. I understand kids get attacked, but dogs just don’t attack for no reason. Please stop saying bad stuff about this breed cause they are great dogs. It’s pure racist.

    • Daxtons Friends Post author

      Unpredictable Aggression

      Some dogs may have aggression that does not occur on a consistent or predictable basis. There may be no reason or trigger for the aggression. Some dogs are simply not “wired” correctly. Many fighting breeds have been purposely bred for hundreds of years NOT to give any signal or prior warning prior to launching an attack. Many dogs of these breeds can have a high tolerance for annoyance, but a sub-set eventually reach a breaking point and lash out with no warning. Every week, another owner sobs that their dog had “never shown a sign of aggression in its life” until it mauled a child, visitor, or the owner himself/herself.

      Read more: http://www.daxtonsfriends.com/identifying-dangerous-behavior/types-of-dog-aggression/

      ———

      Expert not surprised

      Benjamin Hart, professor emeritus at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and an animal behaviorist, said he wasn’t surprised by Iona Keanaaina’s assessment of Kava.

      “It’s quite common for a pit bull to show no signs of aggression,” Hart said Wednesday. “People will call it a nice dog, a sweet dog, even the neighbors – and then all of a sudden something triggers the dog, and it attacks a human in a characteristic way of biting and hanging on until a lot of damage is done.”

      Read more: http://m.sfgate.com/crime/article/Often-no-warning-signs-in-pit-bull-attacks-4611027.php

      ————

      “Most of the bites are inflicted by pets that belong to family and friends – and they are often warning nips. (Children’s behaviour often simulates that of dogs, they tend not to twig to warning signs like growling and they are less able to defend themselves than adults.)

      But pit bulls and related breeds – and let’s not be distracted by picayune debates about precise definition – are different. They often attack without warning and relentlessly.”

      Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/columnists/dog-attacks-are-a-public-health-issue-and-should-be-treated-as-one/article30516631/

      ———–

      Finally, most dogs warn you before they attack, growling or barking to tell you how angry they are—”so they don’t have to fight,” ASPCA advisor and animal geneticist Stephen Zawistowski stresses. Not the pit bull, which attacks without warning. Most dogs, too, will bow to signal that they want to frolic. Again, not the pit bull, which may follow an apparently playful bow with a lethal assault.

      Read more: http://www.city-journal.org/html/scared-pit-bulls-you’d-better-be-11995.html

    • Genny

      I agree totally that pit bulls get far too much bad press due to the odd dog that does turn without reason or warning..there are more cases of humans that do exactly that and we are the superior race! I used to be terrified of pit bull or bull terrier dogs because of the scaremongering but thankfully my opinion was changed when I had first hand experience when my brother got a staffy from a rescue centre. My opinion changed so much that I now have one too now. I grew up with dogs, German shepherds, Labradors, jack russells and the pit bull terriers are by far the most loving, affectionate and gentle of them all. I keep reading that these dogs have killer instincts that still remain due to their ancestors being bred for blood sports in the 1800s/early 1900s. Sounds like utter crap to me! Animals evolve better than humans. Now back at the time it was humans breeding these dogs and teaching them to kill and not the dogs natural instincts so if it’s no longer a trait forced on them by humans why would they revert back to it instinctively. Let’s not forget that during that same period when humans were training dogs to kill, they were also using other people as slaves, taking countries etc while claiming to be god fearing christians through conscious choice (instincts). Now given the amount of cruelty people still inflict on other people let alone the cruelty inflicted on animals, I am sick to death of hearing how dangerous certain dogs are and the outrage and constant calls to ban these dogs when one out of hundreds attacks a person! It’s a strange world!!

  • Carla White

    Jeff, I am just in awe of your selflessness and sacrifice in establishing Daxton’s Friends. You have chosen to keep your own tragedy in the forefront of your lives so that others might not suffer the same horrible incident. In the section of inforation about the breed you say “If their exercise needs are not met, they can develop destructive behaviors”. I’m afraid that some may take that to mean that aggression “develops” in these dogs, when really, even with the best practices of dog ownership, the first sign that a dog has “developed” destructive behavior is when the beloved family pet who is walked daily and is neutered and even has graduated from a dog obedience course, kills a family member or other person. I’m afraid that some people who read that may be lulled into believing that there are some “safe” pit bulls. There is no such thing as a responsible pit bull owner. The only responsible action is to never ever own or be in the presence of a pit. Sometimes they can’t be avoided. I always scope out the supermarket parking lot for dogs in pickup beds. I avoid them. However, a few weeks ago, I went outside my house by the back door, and the latch is broken in the storm door so that if it latches, it won’t open from the outside. So I walked around to the front door, when I was suddenly accosted by a loose pit, barking agressively. It’s just insane that we don’t have a national ban on the bully breeds. There’s just no avoiding them at all times, as I found out that day. I called the sheriff’s department and reported it, and they told me that although we have a municipal ban on pits, Rotts, and Doberman’s, there is no way for the county to enforce it. You have my utmost respect and gratitude for what you do to save others. Sincerely, Carla

    • angel Olson

      That’s is just straight rude and false what you are saying. Get your facts straight. You are totally clueless about the breed? Have you ever owned a pit bull, no. So until then shut your mouth cause you are total clueless

    • Daxtons Friends Post author

      Dear Ms Huffington,

      This is in response to “Pit Bull Week” at the Huffington Post (July 28 to August 3, 2014). We, the undersigned, represent the bereaved family members and survivors of canine attacks and our mandate is to educate the public on the objective facts about dangerous dogs and the public safety risk they present. Foremost amongst all dogs at high risk to human and animal safety are pit bull type dogs.

      Sadly, but not surprisingly, our support and advocacy network is expanding quickly. For, as the pit bull trend grows, humans as well as family pets are being maimed and killed at a rapidly escalating rate by these breeds. This is precisely why we are urgently voicing our concerns about your publication’s efforts to promote pit bulls as desirable family pets.

      To the casual observer, Huffington Post’s “Pit Bull Week” might have seemed like a heart-warming diversion. However, to the pit bull advocacy movement, the week-long feature will, no doubt, have been regarded as a glorious triumph.

      But, we can assure you, there is no triumph when your much-loved family pit bull suddenly latches on to your young child’s skull, swiftly shaking that dear boy until he’s dead.

      There is no triumph when your elderly mother is brutally attacked and killed by her son’s pet pit bull while simply enjoying a quiet evening babysitting her grandkids.

      There is no triumph when the two pit bulls you tenderly raised from puppyhood suddenly rip the baby you’re holding from your arms and proceed to carry out a prolonged, savage attack ending in the death of that baby.

      There is no triumph when your dear boy is suddenly ambushed by your neighbor’s pit bull and mauled to death in front of his big brother who desperately and heroically tried to save him.

      There is no triumph when your beautiful son playfully chases a balloon into your neighbors’ yard and is fatally mauled by their pit bull.

      Indeed, there is no triumph when your family pit bull suddenly attacks your darling girl on her 4th birthday, killing her, despite her grandmother’s valiant attempts to stop the frenzied attack.

      These are all true stories. These were all real people who are now dearly missed. Our support and advocacy network speaks on behalf of those who can speak no longer. We will not be silenced, despite the efforts of the many pit bull advocates who belittle our grief in a desperate attempt to abuse and shame us.

      We can tell you hundreds of real stories of suffering, death, disfigurement and long-term trauma, as our network of pit bull victims grows weekly. The ones who survive will carry their disfigurements for the rest of their lives and many will struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. These preventable tragedies occurred because of widely circulated myths—that pit bulls were once considered “nanny dogs” and that, when sufficiently loved and trained, any pit bull can be a suitable family pet. Both beliefs are demonstrably untrue.

      Read more: http://www.daxtonsfriends.com/wp-content/uploads/open-letter-to-arianna-huffington-regarding-promotion-of-pit-bulls.pdf

  • ace

    i read what happen to daxton. Sorry to hear, but your website sound harsh towards pitbulls. Your trying to be insightful to the Bread by what u read and found out about them, but fact is the tru breed itself is a great dog. All these bully breeds and bullshit dogs people are making are not true pitbulls. Bad owners and lack of responsibility on the owners part make these dogs look bad. breeding them and enhancing bad traits like aggreaion and fighting and the muscularity is wrong and makes the breed not truly what it’s suppose to be, like they r hybrids or something. I’m only writing this email cuz I seen on Instagram a newspaper clipping about how pitbulls kill more humans and other animals then all dogs combined. Thats fucked its disturbing and messed up. You obviously hate pitbulls, which sucks but understandable, but don’t be putting shit up like that. People say they r not like.other dogs, well lets think, most pitbulls now are not true pitbulls, they have been bred so much with these bad traits you only see the bad. Let’s stop breeders, who breed for bullshit reasons. Come meet my pitbull and he would still your heart. U may not.like them but look at the breeders and owners first.

    • Daxtons Friends Post author

      Right on our home page: “If Daxton’s Friends is provided substantial evidence that we have shared incorrect information, we will correct or retract statements.”

  • Brianne

    Thank you for posting this informative article, even if you get some resistance for it. I personally thought it was evenhanded, and I appreciate that sources were provided. It appears some people believe the article is offensive or unfair to the breed, but those people need to understand that pit bulls are not like other dogs, and statistics on bites, maulings, and fatalities associated with the breed bear that idea out. There is a lot of propaganda floating around — people need to know the truth.

  • Alyssia

    As a pitbull owner, I did not appreciate this article nor think it to be accurate by any means. I have also worked with many organizations that adopt out pitbull breeds and we are very detailed in our screening process for both the dog’s behavior and owner’s credibility. I believe this to be offensive not only to the breed, but also offensive to organizations that are actually doing their research and making a difference in canine education and awareness. I strongly believe education and awareness before deciding to adopt a pet is incredibly important but your website is grossly inaccurate and therefore sending the wrong message to the public. No matter the breed, people should be aware of their children and pets at all times. You should be enforcing this message and driving the message of responsible pet ownership, not shaming and digging holes for any certain breed.

    • Daxtons Friends Post author

      Daxton’s Friends for Canine Education & Awareness was formed in honor of Daxton Borchardt, who passed away on March 6, 2013 due to severe injuries sustained in a dog attack. Daxton’s Friends would like to educate the public about the importance of understanding dog breeds and how, with proper education and pet care, the number of dog-related incidents can be reduced.

      If Daxton’s Friends is provided substantial evidence that we have shared incorrect information, we will correct or retract statements. We welcome feedback and invite you to share your thoughts about our organization. Please e-mail us

      Learn more: http://www.daxtonsfriends.com/

      The American Pit Bull Terrier is, like all the ‘bully’ breeds, one of this group of descendants of the British ‘bull and terrier’ type fighting bulldogs. Once imported into the United States, it was bred up to be bigger again, and again used in baiting animals and in dogfighting. The American Kennel Club (founded 1884) was unwilling to register these fighting dogs, so in 1898 the United Kennel Club was founded specifically to register working pit-fighting dogs and to promote dogfighting. In order to be registered, a dog had to first win three pit fights. The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) became a ‘breed’. As dogfighting declined in popularity in the 1930s and 1940s, Colby (the most famous and prolific breeder of these dogs) began to search for a new market and began promoting the APBT as family pets. This despite the fact that his breeding lines included child killers.

      Read more: http://www.daxtonsfriends.com/american-pit-bull-terrier-2/

    • Daxtons Friends Post author

      “We thought he was going to be a great dog. He acted like one. He was a good example of a good pit. Until he just decided to attack. He slept in our bed and everything. We never left the kids alone with him. They were never mean to him. We had 5 other dogs including another female pit and they never fought.
      It’s NOT the way they are raised. Our dog was well loved and raised. He obeyed all commands and never showed any aggression. These myths almost cost my sons life. How many more people have to get hurt because of a lie?”
      Jennifer Arp

      “The backdoor was open and suddenly we heard people screaming from outside. Bexar, with zero warning, had lunged at Gavin, and his jaws were clamped down on Gavin’s face, right in front of everyone. Let me point out that there were 8 people within arms reach of Gavin when Bexar attacked. This is a critical point, because I have heard from many people about this, who say that they would never leave their children “alone” with “any” dog. Gavin was far from being alone when this attack happened. Even 4 grown men were unable to pry Bexar’s jaws off of Gavin’s head. Greg ran out and was finally able to get Bexar to release, saving Gavin’s life.”
      Maggie Bain

      “My brother had raised many pit bulls and one particularly captured our hearts…He was the sweetest well mannered gentle dog I had ever seen…I was always told the aggressive ones were because they were trained to fight and it was all in how they wereraised….and if u got them from puppies that was the best way to raise any dog…Both of the dogs who attacked were brought home as puppies and picked out by Kara…These dogs never displayed any people aggression. ..Always sat dutifully by her side, watched her have tea parties, sat by her side when she was sick, thought they were lap dogs and liked to snuggle…..no warnings, no snapping, nogrowling…….just snapped!”
      Roxanne Hartrich

      “Children are blessings from God. Dogs are animals, I understand peoples love for animals and a lot of people choose or may not be able to have children so have these dogs and treat them as their own kids. They will always be animals, not children. For those who choose the dangerous breeds please stop and think, is it worth taking the chance on it turning and killing our children and family members?”
      Johnna Harvard

      “Our son was brutally killed by our pet pit bull of 8 years…On April 24, 2013 we lost both our beautiful son Beau and our family dog, affectionately known as Kissy Face. Our dog had been part of our family for 8 years and lived up to her name, for she was eager to overload everyone with kisses. Oh, she was such a very loving and family oriented dog. Kissy Face had been around since her birth on November 22, 2005. 
      Then with no warning, matters changed dramatically and our world was irrevocably altered. Shortly after Beau’s 2nd birthday, I made a quick trip to the restroom. Just a few minutes later I returned to find my son lying in a pool of his own blood.”
      Angela Rutledge

      “Her right shoulder was dislocated in a backward fashion, half her right face was missing, as well as part of her right neck, and most of her right ear. My mother had bite marks all over her face, neck, and scalp. Her vocal box was ripped, that’s why my niece only heard one yell. Her C1 & C2 were fractured; part of her spinal cord was ripped from her lifeless body. She fought and fought. She suffered from a horrific, sustained, vicious and violent attack at the jaws of a completely unpredictable breed of dog. My mother’s autopsy report shows her wounds to be consistent with defending her grandchild. The report states that my mother was defending her grandchild. My mother is a hero. She saved my nephew’s life.” 
      Ruth Halleran

      Read the full stories and more at: http://www.daxtonsfriends.com/victims-stories/

  • Carolyn

    It’s websites and people like this that are the reason GOOD dogs are being euthanized solely on how they LOOK. If a stat shows that out of 100 armed a robberies, 40 of them were black males – does that mean all black makes will rob your house at gun point? NO! Then why would you do the SAME THING and judge a dog based off its breed? I have met and worked with COUNTLESS ‘pit bull’ type breeds and not a SINGLE ONE was a bad dog. In fact – they are the most outgoing, happy-go-lucky, wiggly dogs I have ever met. This whole website, every single page, is playing into the false media pretense. Do yourself and everyone else a favor – get to know a pit bull. I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised. Judge the deed, not the breed.

    • Daxtons Friends Post author

      Daxton’s Friends for Canine Education & Awareness was formed in honor of Daxton Borchardt, who passed away on March 6, 2013 due to severe injuries sustained in a dog attack. Daxton’s Friends would like to educate the public about the importance of understanding dog breeds and how, with proper education and pet care, the number of dog-related incidents can be reduced.

      If Daxton’s Friends is provided substantial evidence that we have shared incorrect information, we will correct or retract statements. We welcome feedback and invite you to share your thoughts about our organization. Please e-mail us

      Learn more: http://www.daxtonsfriends.com/

    • Daxtons Friends Post author

      By listing similar recent attacks in my earlier piece, I was labeled a racist by people who think that you cannot “slander” an entire breed based on “isolated incidents.” But isn’t it racist to think that certain people (blacks, Asians, and Muslims were the groups that had the dubious honor of being defended) are analogous to dog breeds? The number of races in the world is a controversial subject, but however anthropologists divvy up Homo sapiens, no group aggregates traits that make it more or less fit for a certain kind of employment, or more or less fit to be around other living creatures, than any other race. Meanwhile, the various dog breeds owe their very existence to man’s desire to, for example, hunt, herd, travel by sled, have companionship, live without rats, impress the ladies, and watch dog fights. If we couldn’t generalize about dog breeds, there wouldn’t be any. Why is this even an issue? We generalize about the African lion and, based on our shared perceptions of its habits, have banned its ownership in all but a few special circumstances. Cats are legal as pets, lions are not because a lion, by the standards of civilized society, is a cat taken to ridiculously dangerous extremes.

      Read full article: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/03/28/pit-bull-owners-attack-too.html

    • Daxtons Friends Post author

      ACKNOWLEDGING NEGATIVE TRAITS IN A BREED IS “RACISM”

       

      In recent years the term breed “racism” had emerged when addressing breed related issues and regulations. The concept is if you support dog breed regulations or acknowledge negative breed specific traits it is equivalent to the human form of racism. The error in the concept is that humans and dogs are very different creatures. Dog breeds exist because they are specifically designed for a purpose. Dogs are selectively bred for physical and breed trait aspects. Humans do not reproduce in that manner. Humans are not selectively bred and have a choice in their mate. To make this concept equivalent, humans would have to be purposely bred for certain physical or personality traits over the course of hundreds of years. It has not been determined that selectively breeding humans would actually work since there has not been any official scientific studies conducted. The closest humanity came to selective breeding was the concept of Eugenics, which was trying to breed out negative physical traits, such as mental illness, and breed in positive traits, such as a high I.Q. The concept has been abandoned by most cultures due to the difficulty of selective breeding due to the high incidence of unplanned pregnancies. Dogs have been selectively bred for many generations with great success. Since racism in the human culture is based solely on the color of one’s skin, hence the “race” in racism, and not personality traits, it does not accurately compare to dog breeding. To accurately compare, one would have to judge a dog based solely on fur color. Most breeds are judged on physical and personality related breed traits, so the term breed “racism” is not equivalent to human forms of racism. It is surprising that more people are not offended by this comparison. Comparing breed struggles to the Civil Rights movement seems a little extreme and minimalizes the struggles of certain races in history. The comparison of dog breeds and racism has no basis.

    • Daxtons Friends Post author

      “Millan has probably done more to spread the canard of pit bull trustworthiness as a pet than any other single person. Pit bulls and other genetically-related fighting dogs are high-risk animals, demonstrably – the statistics on these animals are insurmountably inculpatory – not trustworthy, neither with other animals nor with people. That is undoubtedly the reason Millan did not bring Junior along for the show. He undoubtedly did not want the bother of keeping Junior isolated from the other dogs and monitoring his behaviour every second that he was in contact with people. Pit bulls are bred for impulsive aggression, and it is as natural for them to attack other dogs as it is for greyhounds to run after rabbits on a track.

      But Millan’s fetish for fighting dogs has him bruiting the same reflexive, but illogical nonsense that all pit bull advocates spout. Millan says that bans of pit bulls are “prejudicial” and miss the point: “It’s just like an anti-Mexican or an anti-gay law.”

      No, Cesar, it isn’t. Let me explain. Mexicans and gay people are not born in kennels as part of a litter. Their parents were not selected by a “breeder” to produce them because they were fine examples of a certain physical conformation and certain temperament. It was not predictable when you were born that you, for example, would be a dog whisperer or that a gay person would be gay.

      Stay with me here, Cesar. When you breed a greyhound to a greyhound, you will get a litter of dogs that are “fast” when they run. When you breed a border collie to a border collie, you will get a dog that has a “herding” instinct. Still with me? Now we’re going to breed a “fighting dog” to another “fighting dog” and you know what we’re going to get? Yes! A “fighting dog.”

      What do we mean by that? Well Cesar, you yourself know what the traits of a fighting dog are. I quote you: “Yeah, but this is a different breed…the power that comes behind the bull dog, pit bull, presa canario, the fighting breed – They have an extra boost, they can go into a zone, they don’t feel the pain anymore. … So if you are trying to create submission in a fighting breed, it’s not going to happen. They would rather die than surrender. If you add pain, it only infuriates them…to them pain is that adrenaline rush, they are looking forward to that, they are addicted to it… That’s why they are such great fighters.” You go on to say: “Especially with fighting breeds, you’re going to have these explosions over and over because there’s no limits in their brain.” Wow, is that what you want in a pet? A dog that has “explosions over and over” in its brain?

      Please, let us do away with this language of “prejudice” and “discrimination” and “stereotype” when we speak of dog breeds. The whole point of breeding animals is to “discriminate” and to create “stereotypes.” Pit bulls were created by human beings to be fighting machines. They are individuals in their various personalities, but in their “instincts,” they are what they were bred to do. And what pit bulls were bred to do is to attack and hang on like grim death.

      Dog breeds are human inventions, not a species. Dogs are consumer items, not human beings that can feel bad when they are banned. The name of Millan’s show is ironic. If you really “trust your instincts” with a bit of intelligent research backing them up, you will realize that Cesar Millan is defending the indefensible. If you can only love a pit bull, you’re no dog lover.”

       

      http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/11/28/barbara-kay-cesar-the-dog-whisperer-should-whisper-the-truth/

    • Daxtons Friends Post author

      “Having been raised in the segregated South and knowing what racism is, it is ridiculous to me to read the word applied to animals. I am a human being; so are minorities, and so are those children who are now in the grave.

      I am highly insulted and dismayed also that freedom of speech does not apply in the “Alice in Wonderland” world of pit bull advocacy.”

      VICKY G. GOAD

      Read more: http://m.roanoke.com/opinion/goad-pit-bull-defenders-try-to-squelch-warnings/article_490e6e5c-bab3-558a-bd50-ae8a010b29d0.html?mode=jqm

    • Daxtons Friends Post author

      Daxton’s Friends for Canine Education & Awareness was formed in honor of Daxton Borchardt, who passed away on March 6, 2013 due to severe injuries sustained in a dog attack. Daxton’s Friends would like to educate the public about the importance of understanding dog breeds and how, with proper education and pet care, the number of dog-related incidents can be reduced.

      If Daxton’s Friends is provided substantial evidence that we have shared incorrect information, we will correct or retract statements. We welcome feedback and invite you to share your thoughts about our organization. Please e-mail us

  • april

    My 3 yr old daughter at the time was mauled and pretty much ate but that wont stop me from loving animals. She is getting better .. Some may know her, Mary Jane Lott of Eugene MO the dog owner says its her fault and then called DFS I have a 13yr old son and never been in to it with dfs, this man is scared and tried to cover his own but ooppps to late