Monday, November 21, 2011

Pit Bulls :: The Nanny Dog

Rich or poor, American parents used to know exactly what pit bulls were famous for. Being great with kids.

Our sweet Pit Bull, Emmaline, is nothing short of amazing. When I decided to adopt her from the Humane Society, boy did I hear about what a terrible idea it was. From friends, from family, you name it, everyone had an opinion on her: How could I? I was about to have a child, and to bring such a vicious dog breed into our home? Was I crazy? Here she goes again, going against the grain. As always, I did my research, made my own decision, and adopted her anyway despite the negative feedback I was getting from every angle. I cannot ever imagine having another dog for the rest of my life. Below is a great, short article that gives a brief history of Pit Bulls and brings to attention that the breed has become very misunderstood and misrepresented. Please, please read in order to educate yourself on this wonderful dog, a breed that used to be known as the Nanny Dog. 

There are few things quite as obnoxious as rich parents. Be it a $3000 stroller or Louis Vuitton diaper bag, the well off don't want their little angels to be seen with anything average middle class rug rats might have, let alone a child who might be, gasp, POOR! So is it now, so ever has it been in America. 


In America, one dog breed historically became known as the dog for people who are afraid of dogs. One dog breed achieved such a rock solid reputation with children that for 150 years it was known as America's "Nanny Dog." One dog breed became so trusted that despite the fact that no Kennel Club or Association recognized it, despite the fact that it could be found on the poorest farms and bleakest city neighborhoods with kids who didn't know where their next meal was coming from, the super-wealthy acquired them in droves because they were simply the safest, most tolerant breed to have around their progeny.

Rich, poor, and everything in between, until recently, Americans agreed that there were only a CERTAIN TYPE of people who owned a Pit Bull...


America's Nanny Dog is the victim of a smear campaign that has turned common sense upside-down and robbed us of our historical memory. The dogs that we trusted with our children's lives are now deemed too vicious to live among us. The dogs that in two World Wars were the symbol of the United States military itself are now ordered off its bases.* The Pit Bulls haven't changed at all. Only the owners have.
By Y.W. Grossman, June 2, 2011

*FYI: Sgt. Stubby, a Pit Bull, was the first decorated American war dog. He served in 17 battles during WWI and was given rank in the United States Armed Forces. Sgt. Stubby was the inspiration for the U.S. Military K-9 Corps. 

 Our darling Emmaline.

Emmaline loved being next to my stomach when I was pregnant with Squish, and once he was born she would hardly let him out of her site. She is the exact same way with Munchkin now.

The truth of the matter is this: any animals can be dangerous. Dogs can be dangerous. Big dogs can be more dangerous. Big dogs owned by bad people are SUPER DANGEROUS. Period. It is not the dog - it is the human. When I was speaking with the Humane Society about Emmaline, {her name was actually Prayer when I adopted her}, they said something that really stuck with me. Pit Bulls were known as Nanny Dogs because they can be trained to do anything to the max. Families trained them to LOVE to the max. But they can also be trained to FIGHT to the max... Until death. These days they are bred for "gameness," a quality akin to bravery, which, unfortunately, makes them the best for fighting. I won't get overly graphic because the stories are heart-breaking and beyond disgusting, but in my research, I came across Pit Bulls that had ammonia poured in their eyes or in their wounds to instill anger and aggression, or some with four broken legs still trying to fight, because they were simply obeying their owners and doing what they were trained to do. 

I don't know if any of you watch the Dog Whisperer, but Cesar Millan used to take his Pit Bull Big Daddy everywhere he went. Daddy died in 2010. He helped Cesar train whatever dog was in question. As he says, "Aggression is not a breed issue. IT IS A HUMAN ISSUE." Search both National Geographic and YouTube for wonderful videos of Cesar Millan rehabilitating aggressively trained Pit Bulls.

The loyalty of one Pit lover at a time, one day at a time, can change the minds of many and erase the myth that they are inherently vicious.