"Pit bulls: Not aggressive towards people, but less tolerant of other dogs. Strong, athletic, but ownership comes with challenges."
"Pit bulls, including American Pit Bull Terrier, AmStaff, and Staffy, were bred for sport but also had a friendly reputation as family pets."
Pit bulls, once beloved by famous figures, faced a negative shift in perception due to a focus on their intimidating appearance in the late 1990s.
Pit bull abuse gained fame in '07 when Falcons QB Michael Vick pleaded guilty to dog-fighting. He served 2 years in prison.
"Pit bulls: victims of perpetuated stigma due to bad ownership. They're just dogs, not inherently problematic. Treat them right, like any breed."
ASPCA, AVMA & others oppose breed-specific laws due to difficulties identifying breeds & inconsistent data on bite rates from the 2000 study.
Breeding for protection, dog fighting, social status, financial gain, abuse, neglect, chaining, inadequate training contribute to aggression in dogs.
Pit bulls' jaws don't lock, but they may hold on and shake. Owners should learn to break up fights.
Pit bulls: weather-sensitive but tough when provoked. Diminished pain response when agitated.
Popular belief: Pit bulls may suddenly snap on owners. Reid disagrees, stating it's not breed-specific. Same risk applies to all breeds
Growing awareness about pit bulls is leading to increased adoptions, says Stacey Coleman of Animal Farm Foundation. Some former Vick dogs are now therapy dogs.
Pit bulls like Hector, despite their scars, are great with dogs, kids, and people. The Vick case sheds light on their victimhood, but public opinion change is a long process.