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why do pitbulls have a bad rap

Reported dog problems City of Veneta City of Eugene City of Springfield Lane County EUGENE, Ore. - There are roughly 300 reports of dog attacks each year in Lane County. A representative from Lane County Animal Services said that in her experience, about half the calls involve pitbulls. Debbie Schaefer, who owns "The Well Mannered Dog" training school in Eugene, said the aggressive behavior has to do with the animal's environment, as well as its biology. She said people who want the animal to act as an attack dog are often drawn to pitbulls because of their muscular build and powerful stature. "And then because those people were owning a lot of the breed, the bad rap developed," Schaefer said. The executive director at Luvable dog shelter in Eugene, Liesel Wilhardt, agrees with Schaefer. She said pitbulls used to be bred to be aggressive to other animals. "Pitbulls were bred to fight in a ring against other dogs and other animals, it's a horrible thing," she said. "But that meant that they also had to be very very good with people, their handlers and their families.

They were never bred to be human-aggressive. "They were actually bred to work extremely well with humans, be trusting of humans, and show no aggression towards people. "
Schaefer said that back in the early 1900s, the breed had the reputation of being a good companion for kids. "They know how to intervene, insert themselves between the child and something that may be perceived as a threat," she said. Schaefer said owners of powerful dogs like pitbulls should be rewarding calmness, not excitement. "With the excitable dog, they'll let their dogs rush up to the dog, thinking that the dog's being friendly, but the reality is that the arousals being rewarded and the higher arousal, higher chance is of getting an aggression issue," she said.

Schaefer said spaying or neutering animals will also help with animals' desire to escape and attack. Like any large dog, the pitbull is very powerful. But because of its build, the dog may be stronger than other dogs its size. "There's a myth that they have a locking jaw, that they can clamp down so that nobody can pry them off," Schaefer said. "What it comes down to is just that they are physically very strong in their jaw. " Wilhardt encourages pet owners to have sturdy enclosures for their dogs. "Pitbulls are very powerful dogs, and they kind of know that they can go through a lot of barriers that maybe a normal dog couldn't get through, so you need to have an extra secure fence, enclosed area," she said. If your dog does break free and is involved in a fight, Wilhardt advises people to stay away from the dog's muzzle. "Get behind the dog and take the collar, get it as high as you possibly can, and twist it until they can't breathe," she said. "As soon as the dog doesn't have any air, can't breathe, it will relax, and just let go.

And then you can pull the dog away safely. " Another oft-mentioned pit bull defense involves claims that they were nicknamed "nanny dogs" in the early 1900s because of their devotion to children. The label is sometimes backed with vintage photos of youngsters riding or cuddling pit bulls. After an anti-pit bull website posted photos of kids straddling alligators and offered evidence that the claim was actually cooked up in 1971 by the president of a Staffordshire bull terrier club, some advocates backtracked. BAD RAP, the Bay Area group that helped rescue Vick's dogs, conceded in 2013 that the "nanny dog" claim was "a recent invention. "

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