Pit Bulls: Nanny Dogs
Its sad to say that most people today think of pit bulls as dogs to be feared. But is that an accurate point of view? Personally, I have never been afraid of them, having had a pit bull/retriever mix and now a pit bull/lab mix. Though mixed breeds, the pit bull temper has come out in both and the kind of temper is not what most people would have you believe. They are one of the most even-tempered breed dogs you can ever have. The pit bull/lab mix we have is Gracie and the only thing she can be accused of is clumsiness, despite her name. She cowers when you raise your voice, and she has never been abused. They are a sensitive breed of dog. Bucky, the pit bull/retriever mix, was a very passive dog and the only thing he ever "attacked" was a dog biscuit. I know a number of other pit bull mixes and all of them display that same mild-tempered, sensitive nature that is customary of the pit bull breed. They can never be accused of unexpected reactions. This is what I believe and now I am happy to say that there is proof, thanks to the media for a change, to back up my beliefs. Yahoo News had an article called "Pit bulls' surprising past: Nanny Dogs" some time back and now they tell of a sad incident involving two of them where one died and the other was heartbroken.
According to the first article, pit bulls were known as Nanny Dogs and were specifically used for that purpose for Helen Keller, and many young children. As further evidence, there are vintage pictures showing children with their pit bulls, in the first article. The sitting position of the last one, I might add, is the typical slouch that seems to be so popular among those I have been acquainted with. Adorable but hardly majestic.
And now, the news had a story of a pit bull who had gotten hit and was dead on the side of the road. The other dog must have been her pal, or possibly her sister, for the poor thing stayed by the dead dog for 14 hours until Animal Control finally came and picked it up. Its amazing how seemingly "vicious" dogs can display such sorrow and grief. As an animal lover, this makes me want to cry. Hopefully the dog will go to a good home where he will recover and be loved.
Now this presents a question. Why then have pit bulls been suddenly given an aggressive status? Cesar Millan, the "dog whisperer", says, "Pit bulls get a bad rap because of irresponsible owners." My response to that is "You got that right!" The owner can make the dog what it is. An irresponsible owner, or even worse, a mean owner, who will mistreat his animal, will cause problems and create aggression and/or rash behavior. The dog has been given the knowledge to care for itself by our Creator and will do what he thinks necessary for his survival, in most cases. The same with humans. It stands to reason that a hungry person is more likely to steal than a well fed one. Why should a dog be any different? (I'm not advocating stealing, just presenting a fact.)
Anyhow, I encourage those who are scared of pit bulls to seriously reconsider their fear and give the breed a chance. You couldn't get a more appreciative best friend.
Here's a picture of our dog Gracie looking sweet and gentle. Its not an act, that's how she is. A sweety.