It's no secret that society as a whole is largely afraid of pit bulls. There's this belief that pit bulls are killing machines and exist for the sole purpose of causing harm to anything and everything they come in contact with.
While it is true that pit bulls were originally bred to fight with one another, it is also true that early breeders focused on breeding dogs that were trustworthy and friendly to anyone and everyone they came in contact with.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have a lengthy section explaining the history and misconceptions surrounding the breed. Below is an excerpt from their website:
"Sadly, the pit bull has acquired a reputation as an unpredictable and dangerous menace. His intimidating appearance has made him attractive to people looking for a macho status symbol, and this popularity has encouraged unscrupulous breeders to produce puppies without maintaining the pit bull's typical good nature with people. To make matters worse, irresponsible owners interested in presenting a tough image often encourage their pit bulls to behave aggressively. If a pit bull does bite, he's far more likely to inflict serious injuries than most other breeds, simply because of his size and strength. A pit bull bite is also far more likely to draw media attention. Many dogs of other breeds bite people, but these incidents almost always go unreported. They're just not exciting enough fodder for television and print."
The ASPCA goes on to say that a "well-bred, well-socialized and well-trained pit bull is one of the most delightful, intelligent and gentle dogs imaginable," and that it's "truly a shame that the media continues to portray such a warped image of this beautiful, loyal and affectionate breed."They go on to encourage the early socialization of the breed, stressing that this is vital to any dog of any breed looking to be around other people and other dogs as they get older
Don't let someone else shape the way you view this lovable breed. Find out for yourself and and don't be afraid to have an open mind.
Do you have any experience with pit bulls? Do you feel that they are inherently vicious and can't be trusted? Or do you feel that this is a major misconception that people need to look past?