October is National Pit Bull Awareness Month, and it brings to light a subject that is very near and dear to us at Bags By Blue. It is a subject that is very close to my heart, and a topic that we sadly need to bring to light. Unfortunately, we live in a world where discrimination and biases are formed in all areas of life, including our pets.
Did you know that people, organizations, and businesses can discriminate against dog breeds? We (pit bull owners, as well as other dog breeds) are not welcome at all dog friendly hotels. We are limited with what rentals/home owners insurance companies we can use because of the type of dog that lives in our homes. We are even banned from certain rental properties, because they do not allow “aggressive” breeds. It seems kind of silly to generalize and ban people because of the type of dog they own, but it is true. This bias and stereotype is so true, that at times, people will walk away from us, or cross the street, because of our scary dog.
I will begin by saying that I have the utmost respect for people’s fear. It may be hard to realize, but growing up, I was afraid of dogs; and sadly, that included pit bulls, because I did not know any better. I did not enjoy having a dog as a pet growing up, and I never wanted one of my own. It wasn’t until I met a friend’s pit bull that I even entertained hanging out with a dog. It didn’t take long to fall in love with the breed, in fact, they are known to be steal your heart.
I want to spend a few minutes telling you some facts about Pit Bulls. While this is impossible to say that it applies to each and every pit bull, it is no different then generalizing any other breed. I want to share some of our favorite pictures to de-bunk some popular myths about the breed.
It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with Bluebelle soon after I adopted her. Pit bulls are specifically known breeds for their love and loyalty to their owner. Since she was rescued, and I did not know much about her history, including her age, I wanted to get some professional pictures done to capture the bond between us. What we got in return, was unimaginable. They say a picture can say a thousand words, and this picture no doubt captures the love and bond between the two of us.
Many people believe that pit bulls are more aggressive than other breeds, and more likely to bite than other breeds. It is important to understand that any breed can become aggressive and/or bite if not trained properly. It’s also important to understand that studies have been done that report the opposite of this myth. The American Temperament Test Society, which provides a uniform national program of temperament testing found that pit bulls passed the test at higher rates than other breeds, including the family favorite golden retriever.
Another popular myth is that pit bulls are not good family dogs, because they are unpredictable. Again, it is impossible to generalize a characteristic specific to an entire breed. Many pit bulls that we have met and encountered make wonderful family dogs, because of their strong desire to please their owner. Pit bulls may be active, playful dogs; however, they also have the ability to adapt in different situations. Bluebelle has presented very calm with any child she has met, including a newborn. Before being labeled the aggressive breed, pit bulls were once labeled the nanny dog. “According to Vetstreet.com, The American pit bull terrier is one of the top three favorite breeds in 28 states”.
In celebration of National Pit Bull Awareness month, and all 365 days of the year, I kindly ask you to open your hearts to accept this breed, or judge them for who they are... an individual dog with an individual personality, and not a breed filled with mishaps. When I was designing my brand, I hesitated for a brief moment to include Bluebelle or not, because I knew I was taking a risk with potentially turning away people that were afraid, or did not like the breed. But, we have been blessed with so many people who have quickly fallen in love for who she is, not what people say her breed is. And, she is so much a part of my life. Thank you for everyone who has supported us and allowed Bluebelle to open your hearts to the breed. I know that she has changed the way at least one person thinks, and that is all that we can ask for.
If your heart feels compelled to share this, please do. I want to bring awareness to as many people as we possibly can this month. Thank you from the bottom our our hearts here at Bags By Blue!