Pit bulls have a bad reputation. They are usually portrayed in popular culture as 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 earlier today showing a Pit Bull savagely attacking a smaller dog in Los Angeles as the owner cries and watches helplessly, pleading the dog to stop. The video can be seen below.
Warning: This video has graphic contents that some viewers might find distressing.
Onlookers try to shoo the large dog away, while the owner screams in dismay, “Please get off her! Leave her alone! Go away!”
The owner can be seen still holding the lease of the smaller dog that lies motionless on the ground with wounds in its rear leg and its neck. As the Pit Bull mauls it further, the distressing video shows the owner scream louder.
The person taking the video then hands a large metal rod to a brave onlooker who uses it to scare the dog away. The Pit Bull does indeed leave, and the owner of the smaller dog stands near her dead dog, confused and crying. “I don’t know what to do,” she says. The person filming looks to the camera and says, “This is what goes on here in LA.”
In the second half of the video, the person filming drives around looking for the owner of the Pit Bull, who is found in a tent nearby, with another Pit Bull, also not on a leash. The end of the video shows officials arriving at the scene.
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 a 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.
[Feature Image by Sanit Fuangnakhon/Shutterstock]