A reader left this comment yesterday on Friday’s blog entry about wine bottles that will bear the pictures of some of the dogs rescued from Michael Vick’s dog fighting operation:
“Sorry, don’t trust that trash breed of dog. They just seem to go nuts too often, injuring children, old people and even their own owners. And why some people seem to love walking them in crowded places? A ticking time bomb.”
Okay, I am going to try to keep my gut reaction to that statement under control and just stick to the facts.
That “trash” breed is one of the most common dogs in America. There are millions of pit bulls and pit bull mixes in this country and around the world. One of them lives in my house and yes, I walk him in crowded places. He loves people, other dogs, and attention.
What you hear and read about are the ones who are abused by irresponsible people, like these dogs that were saved from Michael Vick’s evil enterprise. At least one of the less abused dogs rescued from Vick’s dog fighting operation is now working as a therapy dog.
Helen Keller had a pit bull. So did the Little Rascals. Rachel Ray’s dog Isaboo, whose face is all over the labels of her pet food products, is a pit bull. The dogs in the Buster Brown and RCA logos? Both pit bulls. Spuds MacKenzie, the “spokesdog” for Bud Light beer in the late ‘80s was a bull terrier, one of many types in the family of bully breeds.
The most decorated dog in U.S. military history was Stubby, an American Staffordshire terrier, also known as a pit bull.
According to the American Temperament Test Society, a non-profit group that promotes uniform temperament evaluation of purebred and spayed/neutered mixed-breed dogs, pit bulls rated around the same temperament level as German shepherd dogs and golden retrievers. They scored better than border collies, weimeramers, lhaso apsos and many other common breeds.
Before dog fighting seemed to seep out of the underground, pit bulls were referred to as “nanny dogs” because they are good with kids.
By the way, the dog most likely to bite adults and children is a dachshund.