Since the origins of the breed in mid-19th century England, it was produced as a cross between an English Bulldog and a terrier to be a more agile fighter in the gambling pits, the pit bull has had a precarious reputation. The Pit Bull is considered a dangerous dog by many and there is legislation regulating or even banning the breed in some countries through Europe and a few states and cities in the United States. This wasn’t always the case for pit bulls.
Pit Bulls in Popular Culture
In the early part of the 20th century, pit bulls were revered in this country. They were mascots for the US military used in propaganda, one was also made a sergeant during combat in WW1. They were on the cover of Life magazine 3 times, more than any other breed, and a supporting role in a popular television series with children.
People even used them as nurse maids for their children, in the same fashion as Nana from Peter Pan, but in real life. Pit bulls are loyal and tenacious, which can make them ideal guard dogs. If raised in a loving and nurturing environment they can be playful and caring. They make amazing family dogs and have a warm smile for anyone willing to deal with some slobber.
They can also have a harsh side for anyone they perceive as a threat to their family. However, the real danger lies in the actions of others. Bad and negligent owners create dangerous dogs. The training and socialization you provide for your dog are important, especially in such a strong breed. What is for certain is that pit bulls are not fundamentally dangerous or even inherently aggressive dogs.
When tested for calm temperament the pit bull finished second only to Labrador Retrievers. German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Boxers and other breeds were not as tolerant according to American Temperament Testing Society. Pit bulls are also devoted to family and are excellent playmates. When one finds a good home, that’s another pit bull not becoming a horrible statistic, or feeding into the media’s portrayal of blood thirsty man-eaters.