How to Counter the Pit Bull Stigma
Although it is subjective, it’s a common assumption that pit bulls are nasty dogs that will tear your flesh off without provocation. They’re assumed to be aggressive, to hate kids and to be vicious. And, many people believe that the only way to control the problem is to eradicate them. For the most part, pit bulls are stereotyped and widely judged based on breed alone. So, before you write off pit bulls, consider that pit bulls are the products of the way they were raised, just like other dog breeds.
Pit Bull Owners
A pit bull owner has a higher responsibility of educating him or herself on what it will take to raise a happy, loving and productive dog. This is mainly because the owner faces an uphill battle against the stigma.
Pit bull owners often aren’t awarded the same treatment as regular dog owners. An owner of a pit bull usually has to do more to prove that the pit bull is being taken care of. This means that the owner can’t just take care of his or her dog, but has to take exemplary care. And, an owner that shows contempt towards violence and misconduct regarding pit bulls goes a long way towards fighting the stigma.
A dog is a product of his or her master. Any dog can growl, bite or act aggressive if it’s being abused. Pit bulls are not any different. An owner who loves, plays and socializes a pit bull will enjoy a non-aggressive bond with the dog. Ironically, when given the respect and love it deserves, a pit bull will often be a more loyal, devoted and better dog with kids than many other dog breeds.
Pit Bull Advocates
Advocacy for animals can be shown in many ways. For example, social media can be effective. Advocates can post stories about adopted pit bulls and their comeback from abuse and neglect. Adorable pictures on social media also can change many people’s minds. Artist Sophie Gamand used flower crowns to highlight pit bulls’ softer sides, reports Bored Panda. Because fresh flowers have positive associations with life, freedom and happiness, other advocates can try to convey a similar message on their social media sites using pit bulls and fresh, colorful flowers.
Dog owners also may choose to show advocacy within their community by helping to establish fair animal control laws. Pit bull owners work especially hard for legislation regarding dog breed discrimination.
True advocacy for pit bulls, though, means being proactive, not reactive. Pit bull advocates realize that it’s about being a dog owner, not a pit bull owner. They don’t fall into the trap of defending the reputation of the breed; they speak about their dog.
No More Pit Bullying
The lesson to be learned here is that all dogs should be judged by their individuality, not by their breed. When any dog is raised correctly in a loving home, they will be loving back. Once society accepts this, pit bulls will earn the right and respect they deserve.