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Eight Things You Should Know About Pit Bulls
Pit Bulls have a bad reputation, which is sad and in most cases undeserved. Shelagh Begg, of HugABull Advocacy and Rescue Society (www.hugabull.com) provides eight things you should know about pit bulls.
By: Paul Holman - AHAcreative.com
• The term "pit bull" refers to three related breeds: the Staffordshire Bull Terrier (around 30 pounds), the American Pit Bull Terrier (40-50 pounds), and the American Staffordshire Terrier (50-60 pounds). Many people don't have a clear idea of what a "pit bull" looks like and anything from a lab, boxer, or hound can be mistaken for one.
• Pit bulls routinely pass the American Temperament Test (ATT) with flying colours. The ATT has tested over 28,000 dogs since 1977, measuring friendliness, confidence and sociability. Pit bull breeds score in the same range as shepherds, border collies, boxers and golden retrievers.
• Famous pit bull owners include Helen Keller, Thomas Edison, Fred Astaire, Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, Jon Stewart, Rachel Ray, Jessica Biel - and most famously Cesar Millan – the “Dog Whisperer.”
• Pit bulls and kids often make a great combination. The beloved canine companion "Petey" on the Little Rascals series of the 1920s and 1930s was a pit bull, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was nicknamed the "Nanny Dog" in early twentieth-century England. It remains one of only two registered breeds where a love of children is specifically included in its breed standard.
• Pit bulls are born working dogs and are known for their intelligence, loyalty and work ethic. They are therapy dogs, assistance dogs, search and rescue dogs, and sports champions. In fact, one pit bull named Sergeant Stubby served in the United States armed forces during WWI. Sergeant Stubby was the most decorated war dog of WWI and has his own Wikipedia page! (http://en.wikipedia.org/
• In a survey, rescue association HugABull.com asked their community members why pit bulls are their breed of choice. The results:
o Their sense of humour – they are happy dogs that love to do "zoomies" (run circles) and be silly with their people.
o Their athleticism, combined with an "off switch" which makes them couch potatoes in the house.
o Their silky, low-shed, wash-and-wear coat!
• Because they have a reputation as tough dogs, pit bulls often end up in the hands of irresponsible owners. They suffer the highest rates of abuse, the lowest rates of adoption and are euthanized more than any other breed. Many shelters, even some in B.C., have an automatic euthanasia policy for any pit bull that comes into their facility, regardless of temperament or age.
• Pit bulls are sometimes targeted by breed bans in places like Ontario, but experience shows that bans do not make communities safer. What does work is owner responsibility. The City of Calgary is a leader in this area, with the lowest bite rate in the world and the highest licensing compliance rate. Calgary targets and enforces owner behaviour without pointing fingers at the breed.
Shelagh Begg will be speaking on the topic of “Deed, Not Breed” and will be available for questions and further discussion at The Petnership Project Holistic Wellness Pet Show on April 30 and May 1, 2011. Located at the Hellenic Community Centre (at 4500 Arbutus Street in Vancouver) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, The Petnership Project focuses on the body, mind and spirit of our pets. Admission is $11 per day for all online advanced ticket purchases (at www.petnerships.com)
Sponsors for The Petnership Project Holistic Wellness Pet Show include KVOS TV, News1130, Postmedia Network, and True Carnivores.
Petnerships.com, producer of The Petnership Project, is an online destination for alternative and progressive pet information. Petnerships’
For more information or an interview with Petnerships or Shelagh Begg, please contact Paul Holman at email@example.com or at 604.303.1052.