Pit bulls have a bad reputation. They are usually portrayed in popular culture as a vicious and aggressive dogs, indeed bred for the fighting pits. And news like these definitely don’t help improve the breed’s reputation. A distressing footage released on YouTube earlier this week shows one pit bull savagely attacking a little Beagle puppy and its owner. The video can be seen below.
Warning: This video has graphic contents that some viewers might find distressing.
The short video shows a crowd trying to rescue a woman and her puppy from the clenches of a pit bull. The owner of the pit bull seems to be trying to force the dog to leg go, but to no avail as the dog stubbornly holds on to the puppy and later to the owner of the puppy with its powerful paws and teeth.
One man in the crowd even tries kicking the pit bull, hoping it will let go, while the person taking this footage from across the street shouts “Don’t kick the dog, why are you kicking the dog?”
After the pit bull is taken away, the crowds try to comfort the woman, who is clearly in shock and seems more distressed about the attack on her puppy than her own injuries. One of the bystanders can be heard in the video asking, “Does anyone know about Angel Memorial in Boston?” The woman probably meant Boston’s Angell Animal Medical Center and so it can be concluded that the incident took place somewhere in the Boston.
While it is still unclear what led to the pit bull’s attack moments before the video starts, it seems to have been an unprovoked incident. And it is exactly incidents likes these that gives the breed a bad reputation.
Pit bulls were originally created by breeding bulldogs and terriers together. They were meant to be fighting dogs for blood sport, and as such were selectively bred to be aggressive and vicious. Today, a few hundred years later, such games are illegal, but the breed lives on, and with a bad reputation. Many people argue that pit bulls are not vicious breeds by birth and it is the owners of these dogs that lead them into becoming vicious. While it is true with any large/working breed of dogs that an inexperienced owner can lead it to becoming aggressive and vicious, incidents of aggression from pit bulls are more commonly reported than with other breeds, possibly owing to bad reputation.
The United Kennel Club, the second oldest Kennel Club in the United States and possibly the world’s largest performance dog registry, describes the characteristics of the American pit bull terrier as the following.
“The essential characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier are strength, confidence, and zest for life. This breed is eager to please and brimming over with enthusiasm. APBTs make excellent family companions and have always been noted for their love of children. Because most APBTs exhibit some level of dog aggression and because of its powerful physique, the APBT requires an owner who will carefully socialize and obedience train the dog. The breed’s natural agility makes it one of the most capable canine climbers so good fencing is a must for this breed. The APBT is not the best choice for a guard dog since they are extremely friendly, even with strangers. Aggressive behavior toward humans is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable. This breed does very well in performance events because of its high level of intelligence and its willingness to work.”
While many pit bulls are gentle and happy family dogs, incidents such as these have led to several countries around the world and some states in the U.S. to impose restrictions and in some cases outright bans on the ownership of the breed.
[Image via Shutterstock]