Did You Ever Believe the Negative Hype About Pit Bulls?

March 4, 2011  

StubbyDog asked its Facebook fans, Did you ever believe the negative hype about pit bulls? If so, what changed your mind?

So many of you opened up about once believing the hype and how it took just one pit bull to change your minds forever and many more even became advocates for the breed! Thanks for sharing!

Yes, thanks to news reports of local events (some 10-15 years ago). Later (about 7-8 years ago), I learned my grand-dog was a pit bull mix. He was such a riot of fun and affection for my daughter and her husband, I figured it was time to learn more about them. And, four weeks ago, I adopted one! I didn’t pick her, she picked me!

~ Jack Kessler

I never did, but that’s because I grew up with a pit bull. A family friend used to bring his pit bull over a lot and I used to play with him when I was about 5 to 10.

~ Mandy Pimentel

I never did, but most of my family did. When I got my pibble, Nala, my whole family freaked. But now, my dad loves pit bulls. And my grandmother, who was terrified of big dogs in general, but pit bulls specifically, will pet Nala and lets her come over to her house and such. Nala has definitely changed a lot of minds.

~ Ashlee Pierce

I used to, until I actually met two of them. I remember stopping by a friend’s house for the first time and his dog came out and stood by my truck door just staring at me and I didn’t dare to get out until he finally came out and called her away. She must have felt my anxiety but she was very calm and came over and laid by my feet and me being the dog lover that I am couldn’t resist eventually petting her. We became fast friends after that.

~ Deb Sanford- End Bsl
No, because it’s always bad owners, not bad breeds ~ Sandra Chait- Batty

I totally believed it until I found out that the cute mutt I had just got was in fact a pit mix. He will be 8 years old in a few weeks and the best dog ever! Now I foster pit bulls.

~ Natalie Kayl

I have had dogs all my life, big ones usually GSDs never a pittie and the only pit bull I did encounter was a huge white pittie who was on a chain in front of a relative’s house. If you walked near this dog it would lunge at you and yes bite, I was intimidated by this dog. The owner was into the thug-like lifestyle, never really considered owning one of “those killing machines” until Patch came flying into my life. It was at this point I did some reading and found BadRap.org and PBRC.net….lifesavers!!!! I now have two pit bulls, both rescues, and speak up for this wonderful breed every chance I get. I started to volunteer at a no-kill shelter about the same time I got Patch, and when pitties come in I will work with them. This is a remarkable breed, loving, loyal, forgiving and SMART!!!! I hope someday all will come to love and understand this most misunderstood dog of our time.

~ Suzi BanBsl Macy

No, I grew up with a Doberman. I have always believed that it is the owner not the dog. I do now have a pit bull that we took in as a stray and he is the biggest baby ever, sooooo loving and very, very smart. It is all in how they are raised and treated!

~ JeffAmber Saltzgiver

I had never met a pit bull and absolutely believed the hype. They terrified me. I nearly had a stroke when my daughter started dating someone with TWO pit bulls. However, once I met them and learned more about them, I fell in love with them. I’m finally able to save one of my own and wouldn’t share my life with any other breed.

~ Kathy Langan Wehmeyer

Yes! When I picked up a stray that everybody told me was a pit bull (had heard of them, knew I was supposed to be scared of them, had no idea how to spot one) I was nervous. I spent the first two weeks staring at the dog, waiting for her.to do something dangerous. Then, I remembered I was smarter than that! I am not a bigot or a racist so why should I become one over a dog?? I started seeing the dog in front of me instead of the dog I was warned about. Twelve years later, she nurtures my foster puppies, won’t let the cats squabble and sleeps under my arm.
When, in an emergency, I took in five non-English speaking children from Afghanistan with PTSD, the dog wasn’t sure what to do for them so she just sat on them every chance she had. The children held on tight. I have since taken a job that gives me the opportunity every day to give back to the dogs called pit bulls It’ll be a long time before I actually payback all the good things that little stray dog has paid out!

~ Stacey Jacobs-Coleman

I had never had any experience with them, and I volunteered for a shelter that put them down as soon as they came in. (They’ve changed that policy.) So I was a little afraid of them. Then I went to the Best Friends camp at Tylertown, MS, during Katrina, and took care of dozens of them. So goofy, love to give kisses and sweet! I fell instantly in love and became a pit bull partisan!

~ Ellen Weinstock

Never. I had my first Staffie at age 7, back in the 70s when Dobies were the “evil” breed.

~ Bridgett Kizilski

NO! I have known and been around pit bulls for many years. It was when my 2-year-old was cuddling with one when I learned that pit bulls are people lovers.

~ Julie Muhilly

I actually didn’t know about pit bulls until I moved to NYC and met a ton of them. I was totally unaware until Vick about the specific negativity directed towards the bully breeds. I have yet to meet a pit bull i didn’t like, and I’m hoping to rescue one of my own someday soon!

~ Jennifer Schwartz
Never believed it!!! I have done training and work with a lot of different breeds and the pitties are my favorites. ~ Jodi Lockhart

No, I never believed the negative hype about pit bulls. As a lifelong animal lover, I have always tried to relate to each animal I meet as an individual, not a “breed.” It has worked! The most “aggressive” dog I have encountered was a Schnauzer! LOL! Animals and humans are unique individuals with different past experiences and backgrounds. Thank you for all you do to end prejudice and discrimination against pitties. ^..^

~ Elizabeth F. Harrison

Yes and I am ashamed of it, and what stopped my ignorance was taking in my best friend’s dog, Duke (a staffy!) then we got a rescue staff mix six months later, life has never been so rich.

~ Janine Glass

I was a little leery of them until I brought home a 4-month-old blond pit bull out of a shelter that my mom wanted as a present. Best dog ever!!! Pawnee became my mom’s best friend, protector, companion and foot warmer. When my mom was dying of cancer she said she wasn’t afraid because she knew Pawnee was up in heaven waiting for her. I now own three. You just have to get use to their snoring.

~ Cynthia Anthony Buchanan-Ramirez

I was leery of pit bulls when I met Babe. It was love at first sight. I can’t explain it, it just happened. Then when she let my little nephews sit on her like a bench while coloring at my coffee table, well, that did it for me. I think they are the perfect dog. Babe has passed on, but lives in our hearts.

~ Wendy Harrington

Yes I did believe all the negative hype, I used to live in Ontario where there is currently a breed ban and I am pretty sure that I signed petitions to ban the breed. All I had known was the negative stories and with kids it scared me that my child could be bitten by these “monsters.”
What changed my mind was education. I married a man who wanted a dog, as a cat person I wanted nothing to do with dogs, but I researched it anyway and decided that an American Staffordshire would be the kind of dog I would want. All the literature that I read was all positive. I knew little about the connection between Staffords and pit bulls (quite frankly still a bit confused, LOL) so I researched that connection and just read so much positive about both.
We have now had Bauer for 10 months since he was a puppy and I take it upon myself to help educate others, I believe that’s the only way to change people’s mind.

~ Jennifer Pinch

No, I never did.

~ Patch O’ Pits Therapy Dogs

I have to admit I believed for a few minutes. The first time I ever heard of a pit bull was when the news reported that a female animal control officer had been attacked by one. I remember the news footage of the attack was played over and over. I have to say it scared me but then I noticed after watching a few times that the owner had told the dog to attack the officer. I believed then that the dog was just doing as he was told just as any breed would do, not just a pit bull. Unfortunately this particular pit bull was owned by a careless woman and her actions were caught on video tape and were used to vilify such a wonderful breed. I currently own a pit bull and find myself defending him constantly and that is fine. It seems the reason most people are afraid is a general lack of proper information on the breed. I guess that is why The Stubby Project has come about, to educate people and rediscover the pit bull.

~ Lenora Woidyla

I never believed it. Dogs (all dogs) are like children. Both are born innocent it’s the adults that either teach or allow them to act out bad behavior. Dogs are not naturally aggressive just like children aren’t naturally prejudiced, it’s a learned behavior. I’ve seen a large (really large) male Rottie be best friends with the smallest Chihuahua and they just loved each other!!

~ Linda Mellissa Pacheco Synnott

Yes, everything changed the day someone threw a dog off a truck, turns out it was a pit bull in pretty sad shape, I took him home and my life changed! His name is Patch and we adore him, he’s the best dog ever!

~ Suzi BanBsl Macy

I’ve known people with bully breeds for so long that I never really thought about the bad side. I’ve been bitten by dogs, never by a bully.

~ Kristoffer Land

No! My neighbor had a pit bull when I was growing up and she was the sweetest dog, I fell in love with them right away!

~ Laura Latini

I had never been around one until I started volunteering at our animal shelter as a dog walker. Because of the negative hype, I found myself automatically being a little fearful around them at first but that quickly changed as I realized the truth!! Every one that I have played with and walked has been awesome and we get a lot of them! They are fun, affectionate, easygoing dogs that have great personalities. Now I always take the opportunity to educate others about them. Saying a dog is bad just because of their breed is absolutely ridiculous. And it breaks my heart to think of all of them that have been banned or euthanized because of this. Shame on the lawmakers, the media and especially the people involved in dogfighting that have given these dogs a bad name and brainwashed so many people in thinking the same thing about them. They deserve respect and love as all dogs do and I pray for that change to come soon!!

~ Tanya Hogle

No, I’ve never believed that negative hype. (We’ve had Dobies, never believed the negative hype about them either.) If I had believed that hype, the first home visit we had with our pit bull pup would have changed my mind completely. She was (and still is) sweet and silly, full of snuggles and kisses and goofy pit bull grins. And she romped from lap to lap, finally looking into my daughter’s face, sighed a deep sigh and fell asleep, still grinning. As if to say, “At last, I’m home!” Even our cats love her.

~ Beth Herren

I knew they had a negative hype, but didn’t think anything of it. I didn’t really know much about them in general until I took it upon myself to read up on them (I pride myself on my animal knowledge).Once I started to read the FACTS it was love at first… read? Anyway, I was hooked, not just on the pit bull family, but bully breeds in general.

~ Brittany Michau Senko

We had a bully dog when I was very young, so I never had the negative perception for ANY dog, let alone the bullies. I thank my parents for that. I wish others would teach their children that it’s not the breed, too.

~ Kris Langenfeld

I NEVER believed it, even as a dumb kid in the 80s.

~ Crissy Wilson Tadlock

Yes, my next door neighbor had one (Nelly) and she would stand at the fence in a very intimidating stance and any time we were outside. She also bent in our fence trying to get to my dog. I was afraid of her because of what I’d read not because I had ever interacted with her. Then one day her little Jack Russell terrier yard mate got her leg caught and broken in the fence and Nelly came to my side to get me. You’d never heard such a sound. I went over there but was afraid to go in the yard. Nelly begged me and I couldn’t leave the little one stranded so I ventured in. Immediately Nelly grabbed my shirt and dragged me to the Jack Russell. She leaned against me and cried while I was freeing the Jack Russell terrier and let me take her without incident. Now I have three pittie rescues. They are incredible dogs!

~ Dee Cochran

I never believed it because I spent my childhood with a pit bull. Her name was Terry and she was the best companion for all the cousins and nephews and nieces. She loved kids. And we adored her.

~ Lise Bretton
Yes, I definitely believed it, until I babysat for my son’s pit while he was out of town, and now have my own. ~ Jeri Marks

I am kind of ashamed to say this, but yes, I was seriously afraid of them. Then I met my husband. His sister showed pits and AmStaffs. When I met TJ, one of her show dogs, it really changed my mind. He was awesome. Nothing but love, hugs and kisses from him. That experience really changed my mind. Then I got Sadie, who was the sweetest dog I’d met after months of searching for a dog in shelters and rescues. I didn’t believe that they were evil by nature, but I thought they were all aggressive and especially was afraid of them around my young daughter at the time. I’m glad I met TJ. Sadie is one of the best dogs that I’ve ever met. She’s done so much, gone so far, and is an amazing ambassador for her breed.

~ Ashley Scott

I didn’t even know they had a bad reputation until I became an adult. I grew up with them my whole life. I remember my mom and dad had a sign on their refrigerator read in the 1980s: “This property is protected by a pit bull with AIDS.” I didn’t know what it meant, nor did I know the context of it. I just figured my pit bull Lucy had a boo boo so I proceeded to cover her in band aids. Now that I’m older, I recognize that signs that that perpetuate the negative stereotype but at the time, I just saw her as a loving dog who would pull me on my sled in the winter and cuddle with me when I’d watch TV

~ Jasmine Grimm

No, it was easy to see the progression of “bad” breeds over my lifetime: when I was a girl, it was German shepherds, then Dobermans, then Rotties and now pitties. When I learned (well, was reminded) about Petey, Tige, Stubby and Victor, I became totally convinced that pit bull terriers are inherently great dogs.

~ Caryn Cluiss

Hard to admit but yes, I was once a little fearful. I had never met a pit bull personally, so I truly had no idea what they are like. I told myself that they could be good dogs if they were trained right. (The untrained ones? I wasn’t so sure.) And Cesar Milan’s Daddy was my proof of a well-trained pit bull, so I thought I was saying the right thing. Then one day, I had to write a story for a local pet newspaper about a former “bait” dog, a three-legged pit bull, who goes to a local school to teach kids about perseverance. During the interview I told to the owner my belief that pit bulls can be good pets if they are raised right. She corrected me. “People think they are saying the right thing when they say that. But the truth is, pit bulls are BORN good dogs and it’s the way that they are destroyed by horrible owners that can make them— and any other breed of dog— the ones you read about in the news.” That was my ‘aha’ moment. And now, I hope that I can be a part of spreading the right message.

~ Julie Sabin

No, I like to try to be open-minded and maintain a level head, even with the things I do not know or understand, so the negative hype in my mind, was always just that. For those who have never been around a well raised and stable pit bull, BEST dog ever!

~ Holly Tate

I guess maybe I lived in a bubble, because I had never heard any of the negative press about pit bulls. Actually, I really didn’t know what a pit bull was until after I got my very first pit bull foster, Hank, years ago.
Soon after and as I got more involved in rescue was when I started hearing the horror stories, but somehow I just couldn’t believe the things they were attributing to my little funny man and about other pit bulls I met in rescue. I found it very upsetting at the time. Still do get offended and angry by the misinformation out there.

~ Joann Prince

Yes, I believed all of it, including locking jaws. And then I adopted a dog from a rescue who turned out to be a pit bull mix and fell in love! And the other factor that changed my thinking was being educated by a passionate pit bull lover and advocate!

~ Ellen Dolce Whitehouse

I definitely bought into the negative stereotype until I started learning more about them. I spent time with some wonderful pit bulls during volunteer vacations at Best Friends, and that gave me the courage to meet some of the pit bulls being walked in my neighborhood. I haven’t had a dog since I was a child but I’ve always planned to adopt one once I retire and have more time. I’m now confident that I’ll be getting a pit bull of my own then.

~ Leslie Cobb

I was concerned about having a pit bull after I owned Dobermans and down-sized to standard Schnauzers in the late 1990s. Some of my family members are still not too anxious to meet Angel in the flesh, but he is the sweetest dog I’ve ever owned. Yay Angel!

~ Ann Vanderlaan

No, never. I started hearing all that around the time I first met a few pit bulls. But when I was a small child, we had neighbors who had two Dobies, which were the “bad dog” back then, and they were both so friendly, unlike the Samoyeds and Keeshonds next door; those were some scary dogs, although I know that not all members of those breeds are like that. I think these experiences made me skeptical of what I heard about dog breeds.

~ Anne Thomas

I didn’t even know what a pit bull was until we adopted a pit mix (and maybe he wasn’t). Then I heard “things.” I didn’t pay attention. When our boy of 10 years passed on – and I started looking for our next adoptee was when I learned not so much the negative hype but the cruelty, abuse, neglect and fighting of pit bulls. I was horrified! I learned real quick about the resilience, forgiveness and love pit bulls have to offer. We adopted a boxer/pit mix and one year later a pit bull. My Dad met my two this past fall; he fell in love with them. And after a short stint volunteering at a shelter, he met a lovely pit bull and adopted her. Something about those tail-wiggling butts – now that’s hype to believe!

~ Tracey Thompson

Yes, I used to believe it. Then a few years ago we were at our veterinarian’s office with one of our labs and Allison the tech brought this puppy out to show us that had been abandoned in a cardboard box and found by the local police. He was a brindle pit bull puppy who we still have today. Since then, we have rescued a pit bull/American bulldog who is deaf. They are kind, obedient, trustworthy, loving dogs, who I have no fear bringing children, friends or other dogs around. I’d do it again in a flash. We just recently brought home a new Labrador retriever puppy and he has been welcomed into the pack with absolutely no blood shed. Imagine that. I’m more afraid of Jack Russell terriers than pit bulls!

~ Theresa Jeronis Dearden

My local Humane Society has a weekly drop in obedience class. One of their new volunteers is an older woman who has been taking shelter dogs to class. Last week she took a LOVELY pit/AmStaff mix puppy. She just raved about what a nice pup and how all of her friends are scared of pit bulls. After handling a couple of the shelters pit bull mixes, she can see why they are such nice dogs and doesn’t understand her friends’ fears.

~ Crissy Wilson Tadlock

When I was much younger, I assumed that some breeds have a slight disposition to being more aggressive or more irritable–such as chows and pit bulls. I never thought that this meant all members of the breed WERE in fact aggressive or ill-tempered, just that they had a stronger potential to be so. I’ve since learned that there are physical predispositions in dogs, but not really psychological standards. i.e., pit bulls are predisposed to being physically powerful, which is why they are chosen as a fighting breed–but as far as personality goes, they’re no more likely to be aggressive than a lab.

~ Nicole Hobday

Yes. I believed it. I was even working in the domestic pet business at the time (managing a pet store). I didn’t believe the more outlandish myths, like the “locking jaws” or that pit bulls were born with a taste for blood/kill. However, I absolutely believed that they were a breed prone to absolute aggression, whether against other animals or people. Years later, my husband and I were considering a dog for our family and a woman locally had brought a pit bull, named Sky, to meet us. Her swishing tail and ear to ear grin couldn’t shake us in our preconceived notions that the dog would one day turn on us, or even our daughter. We let go of all interest in pit bulls.
Fast forward four years to the present. We had chosen to volunteer our home and time to foster dogs for a local rescue. One day, our new foster was a pit bull. The night before she arrived, I tried to read as much information about the breed online as I could, hopeful that it might make helping her easier. I was fully terrified that she would be mean, stubborn and untrustworthy and that I’d have to keep her separated from my children and other dog. As I read the info online, I started to feel overwhelming guilt about my attitude. Realizing that I’d unknowingly become part of a clueless flock, believing without proof. I’d done a disservice to the one thing I loved without wavering: dogs.
When the foster pit arrived, it took no time at all for her to dissolve the leftovers of fear and uncertainty in my husband and myself. Even after being neglected and abused, left chained in a backyard for two years, Cookie came here smiling and gently making her presence known. Her eyes had honesty, loyalty, joy. She watched me, learned in just days how to tug at my heartstrings. She loved my children like a sister would. Cookie’s easy livability, acceptance of her new dog and human companions and true comedic antics forever changed my opinions of this breed.
Cookie came to us as a foster in October of 2010, and became a permanent member of our family on Christmas Day! She and I are now working towards a Canine Good Citizen recognition from the AKC, and ways to educate on responsible pit bull ownership. ♥

~ Tenzin Landi

No, I was never exposed to that. I loved all dogs and still do. I stumbled upon the information when searching online about puppy mills years ago. That’s how I learned about the negative image. Now I help fight it!

~ Mandy McBride
No, but I’ve been around pit bulls since I was young so I’ve been exposed to a lot of awesome pits. ~ Jonathon Marino

I never believed the hype. My mother always taught me never believe what you hear, only what you see. Aside from that, dogs are what people make of them. I’m lucky to have my pit bull! And I use him to change people’s minds about pit bull type breeds. Who couldn’t love Romeo?! (well, there’s been a few people who wouldn’t give him a chance.. But that’s their loss, not his!)

~ Jesslyn Barriault

To me, they’ve just always looked ferocious. An ex-boyfriend had a Doberman and this is where it started for me, actually – and I was insanely upset before too long when people tried to tell me a bunch of BS about that breed. Friends had Rottie’s, and again, the same thing – all the BS talk. When my sister moved back to IN from AL a few years ago, she informed us she was bringing two dogs and one was a pit bull mix. So, lots of nervousness but excitement too (our “concern” was overrode of our family’s love for pets). Max the pit mix, after everyone got to know his quirks (and vice versa), has probably been one of the sweetest dogs we’ve EVER had. He bonds quite easily to people he’s never met before and he is the biggest cuddle bug. Very protective of everyone, yet he can be the biggest “softie” as well.

~ Kris Vamos-White

I don’t know that I believed the hype — I know that all dogs are individuals — but I do remember being a little taken back when one of my best friends said she’d just adopted a pit bull from the local shelter (she’d recently lost her Irish Wolfhound cross, Riley, who was my best buddy when I lived with them). And the saddest thing is that I probably wouldn’t have just scooped up the stray that I found wandering around downtown if I’d known he was a pit: I would’ve still picked him up and helped him but I probably would’ve have hesitated about scooping him up in my arms like I did. Now that I know pits, of course, I have no such worries. Big babies that they are.

~ Paula Chait

I admit that I was nervous about adopting our girl Chloe from the Stamford, CT shelter last year. She was so BIG and had so much POWER in her body. The shelter people told us she had been there for over two months and was the nicest dog there, but no one would give her a chance. We lived in an apartment with two cats and I was skittish around her. After one week, I was madly in love with her, how gentle she was with the cats and just her sweet, sweet face. She’s an angel. From humble, abusive beginnings, she now flourishes (at 60lbs). We have since moved to CA and Chloe loves the SoCal lifestyle. She gets to be with my husband and our cat, Kramer, during the day and I take her with me as much as I can around town. She loves her walks in the fantastic weather and down by the beach. Around small children, she’s calm and maternal – a real Nanny Dog. Now I’m a MASSIVE pit advocate. Yay!

~ Shelley Elkins

I think I always suspected it was a bunch of “bull” because to me a dog is a dog is a dog. A dog friend of mine for many years was a coy dog and she was perpetually misunderstood so I figured it was the same for other breeds. I really learned the truth when I did the research for a paper promoting shelter adoption of bully breeds. The local shelter vet asked me to write it and while I’ll never understand why she did (since she does not use it) it is being used in other regions and it did teach me the truth. I just wish others knew what we all know and we could break through the veil of lies.

~ Aubrie Kavanaugh

I did! In fact, I almost didn’t adopt my dog from the shelter because of all the negative stories I had heard about these dogs. But now that I own TWO, I know it’s boloney that these dogs “turn” on you and all the other B.S. that the media tries to pawn off as the truth. I highly doubt I’ll ever have another breed of dog. If people knew how intelligent, funny and loyal these dogs are, they would want a bully breed dog for all the RIGHT reasons.

~ Katie Frankyl

Well, I had a couple of negative experiences with my first two pit bulls, the first one was a puppy that we were keeping at a friend’s house in the middle of Chicago because he had 8-foot fences. It just so happened that the puppy was stolen from the yard and we were convinced that it was taken for a ring of pit bull fighters in western Chicago area. Then the next one was a rescue from some people who were fighting him and he did turn really mean after a short time and he could not be kept near people. But even though I had these negative things happen, this didn’t change my opinion. So I ended up with several pit bulls over the next 20 years. One of them was like my child. I had her for 14 years and three months and she was my first child. The first thing I did when I brought my human child home after her birth was to introduce her to my pit bull child. I miss that dog to this day!!!! She has been gone since March of 2002. It doesn’t seem like it has been nine years, she makes my heart pitter-patter still, just thinking about her!!

~ Mollie Suddeth

Yes, when I was younger I did. Then when I was working as in intern in Washington and went to a staffer’s home and was accosted by a snow white bundle of energy who served as my date for the entire evening. I sat on the sofa and she trotted up and sat next to me nudging my arm until I put it around her and rubbed her chest. I was like um, this is a pit bull? I have been a fan and advocate ever since. I adore them now and try to help however and whenever I can including advising the writing of a law in my state that passed making attending a dog fight a felony.

~ Riki Espadroni

Never. I was told as a kid that pit bulls, Dobermans, German shepherds, Rottweilers were all ‘MEAN’ dogs. But I had a German shepherd who was the biggest wuss on the planet as a very small child, then had a friend with Dobies that were angels and SUPER gentle and well behaved (and mushy…goodness they always wanted petting!) And a good friend had the sweetest Rottie girl ever. I had this huge pure white pittie rush me when I went to get on a chartered fishing boat at all of 16 years old – she nearly licked me to death! She was the most awesome dog, sweet to a fault, gentle as can be and absolutely adorable. I love BIG dogs and all those supposed ‘MEAN’ dogs. I’ve been bitten four times by dogs – ALL Labradors!

~ Martina Clements

I was wary of the pit bull’s reputation, but I had never met a pittie face-to-face. Then we changed landlords, and were given permission to have a dog. My daughter’s boyfriend at the time answered an ad in the paper for a dog free to a good home, an 18-month-old female pit bull. I fell in love with Roxy the moment I saw her. That was seven years ago and she has been my baby ever since. I am a complete pit bull convert as they are the best dogs that I have ever had (my darling Calvin passed away two years ago at the age of 13 and we had had him for seven years after we rescued him from an abusive home).

~ Linda Gaylord

At one time I did, until I met one and got to know him and he was the sweetest thing and all he wanted to do is kiss me and play with me. I have never owned one, but I would like to as they are fun and they are the biggest goofballs that I have ever seen. It’s all in their personalities and how they are trained.

~ Tina Lashley-Staffey

All photos courtesy of Melissa Lipani © All rights reserved by woofslc

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34 Responses to “Did You Ever Believe the Negative Hype About Pit Bulls?”
  1. Michelle S. says:

    No, I never did believe the negative stereotypes about pit bulls. Been around ’em most of my life so I knew better. My mom on the otherhand was a hard sell. The day I had to convince her to let me bring home a very sick little homeless pit bull puppy. Her words – “You are NOT bringing a pit bull into this house!” With a ton of convincing and a lot of promises, she did let me bring “Spirit” home. He hung around for 13 1/2 years and ended up finding his way into my moms heart. I now have 2 rescued pit bulls and she loves them! She’s our pit bull Gramma! 🙂

  2. Sandra Conti says:

    I love pitbulls, they are a wonderful dog, and it’s true, it’s the aweful people in this world that will do them harm. Even if a certain breed has the potential to be dangerous, then it should be respected and thought through to perhaps not have a dog with such tendencies around chilren, BUT, for the most part any dog can be either more easy going then others, it’s just a matter of doing the right thing for the animal and giving it the best chance to be the best dog it can be.

    • StubbyDog says:

      Thank you for your comments. One day we hope all dogs will be judged individually, and not by how they appear. Thanks for your support.

  3. Laura says:

    Unfortunately, i did believe all the negativity regarding Pit Bulls….until a puppy that we adopted wound up being mixed with pit. She is the most loving dog in the world! We wound up adopting a pure Staffie after that and have never owned a more loving, loyal and friendly dog!
    I feel horrible now thinking all of the things that i actually believed were true. Now i spend alot of time advocating for pit bulls and showing people, with the help of my Staffie, who passed a coarse to become a therapy dog, that the breed is totally misunderstood! I dont believe that I ever want to own another breed other than a pit bull!!!

  4. Lisa Hannigan says:

    I did have my reservations because I didn’t know enough about dogs in general. I decided I needed to challenge some fears I had in my life and fell in love with the face of a dog on petfinder.com who just happened to be a pit bull. I decided to take a leap of faith and rescue this gorgeous boy. His energy and exuberance for life frightened me a little at first because I didn’t know if he was “mean” or just being a very large, muscular puppy. Turns out he is just an overgrown puppy! I love this dog and the feeling is mutual. I have since rescued another pit bull mix. They are the best and most misunderstood dogs on the planet. If people would just give them a chance (like I did), they’d prove their bad rap wrong. They are so loyal, loving, and intelligent, my life would not be complete without them.

    • StubbyDog says:

      Thank you for your comments. It just shows how a leap of faith can alter one’s life forever in ways we couldn’t have imagined before. Thanks for your support of StubbyDog.

  5. Teresa Rincones says:

    As much as I hate to admit it, yes, I did believe all the negative hype regarding the breed. Then along came Princess Mary. My son had a friend, who had a friend, that was moving into an apartment that did not allow animals AT ALL. She had a 6 month old white, with brown spots, pit bull that she was going to take to the local animal shelter if she couldn’t find a home for her. I knew that with her being a pit, she’d probably be put down as soon as she went into the shelter. Being a true animal lover, I just couldn’t let that happen. It didn’t matter what breed she was, she was just a puppy that deserved to live a full, happy life. I told my son we would keep her for a few weeks until we could find her a good home. Five years later, yes, we still have her! She is absolutely the best dog! Very sweet, loyal and loving! And extremely protective of myself and my 12-year-old-son. It just breaks my heart that this breed is being treated this way. At one time they were Americas dog and we all need to work together until they can, once again, become known as Americas dog!!

  6. Monica Dangler says:

    I never knew Pit Bulls had such a bad rap until recently. I actually had never even met one until about 2002. I lived in Denver of all places and stopped by one of my friends houses. She had just found a “Pit Bull” the day before, otherwise known as an American Bulldog.

    I walked in her house while no one was home, not realizing there was a dog in her house. All of a sudden I felt a cold nose on the back of my legs. I jumped and instantly started backing away telling the dog to stay.

    Once I got my wits about me I realized the dogs was smiling and wagging his tail. I spent the rest of the evening snuggling my new friend.

    Since then I’ve met many Pits at local parks and friends houses that have been nothing but snuggle bugs. I always wondered why people would hesitate when they saw one. My Coonhound was far more menacing.

    I now work in a shelter where I see the good, the abused and the scared. Yes, I’ve now met a few that I find scary, but I’ve also met far more non-pits that were down right dangerous.

    I’ve been amazed at some of the dogs that come out of horrific situations that end up being the most loving companion you could ask for. All the asked for in return was love.

    I now share my home with an amazing Pit Mix who’s also a Therapy Dog.

  7. Joy Watts says:

    No, because I was brought up with dogs in my family and learned at a young age that each breed may have certain characteristics, but each dog is an individual. Probably the most important thing I learned is that the owner and how he handles the animal has a tremendous impact on behavior. This applies to ANY animal in our care. Understanding the nature of the animal and using positive and cruelty-free training methods results in well behaved dog, cat, horse, cow, ferret or whatever. In other words, WE and WHAT we do makes a difference!

  8. Lu Alvarez says:

    I have had a few people say incredibly stupid things about pit bulls. I never had an opinion of the breed until I started volunteering with Daisy Davis Pit Bull Rescue in our small community of Fort Bragg, Ca.
    I have met some of the most amazing and forgiving animals. I have also adopted a little girl, Harlow, who is a constant comedy act in our home. Who gives our boy, Marco a Rottweiler, a run for his money. I am blessed to have seen first hand, the courageous breed Pit Bull <3

  9. MeryeBeth Albert says:

    Yes, I believed it before I actually met any APBTs. After I actually met one, (PeeWee, the sweetest, goofiest red rednose ever) I not only changed my mind about the breed, I spent 17 years breeding and showing ADBA registered American Pit Bull Terriers. I am now nearly 60 years old and would never consider having any other breed of dog besides a Pit Bull or Pit Bull mix. In my EXPERIENCE they are the smartest, most loyal and loving dog I have ever had.

  10. Mary says:

    Unfortunately I did believe the stereo-types and myths surrounding the pit bull. There was just so much hype and mis information coming from every media outlet. However, my mind was quickly changed and all predujice disappeared the day I met Maddison. She is a beautiful black pittie girl, who was rescued from a high-kill shelter in Philadelphia. She is so sweet, kind, and has a great sense of humor. Because of her, I have adopted three shelter pit bulls and my parents have adopted two. A big thanks to my brother for adopting Maddison and changing the minds and lives of the entire family !!!

    • StubbyDog says:

      What a wonderful story Mary! Thanks so much for sharing. If you would like to share your entire story about Maddison and all the other pitties, please email laurap@stubbydog.org. We would love to hear more about your family and their dogs.

  11. Danny B says:

    I’ve never believed the hype for a couple reasons. First, they’re just so dam cute it’s impossible for me to think about the goofiness I’ve seen from pitbulls allowing them to be dangerous without the humans responsible for them. Which leads me to the second point of how obvious it is that you can trust animals over humans. No other breed of dog told me that pitbulls suck, certainly not any fellow terriers; it was only my fellow humans that did (no I’m not crazy enough to think dogs actually speak to me, let alone in English).

    Working almost always solely with cats, I am a dog lover, and could not help myself but to help out with at least a few pitties. When a rescued pitbull/american-bulldog mix who went through so much so recently prior to rescue lays on his back on your lap for hours, having you hold him, rub his belly, give him literal hugs, and a few kisses here and there, you have to wonder why such a big section of humankind is daft enough to create and believe these myths.

    Especially since a number of pits were war heros in the 17 and 1800’s 🙂

    • StubbyDog says:

      Thanks for sharing Danny. If we could only let pit bulls speak for themselves, no one could resist the wiggly butts and sweet dispositions. Thank you for your support!

  12. Laura Mouser says:

    I never believed it, but to be completely honest, such as I am:) I had my doubts about the breed, with all the (negative) hype. Later on I became, as I still am an active volunteer at the Richmond SPCA, with my eight year old son and we have grown quite attached to all the pits! They are awesome dogs, no different then the boxer that we had as a pet, prior to our volunteer work at the SPCA ( our boxer went to be with the doggie angels last spring). We’ve educated ourselves about the breed (which I highly recommend people to do instead of listening to all the negative hype) and they are wonderful, loving, loyal, and very “playful” doggies. Nobody could tell me anything different. We simply cannot blame the “breed” we can only blame the “owner” that does not do right by the dog! I wish I could take them all home with us:)

  13. Kerri says:

    I never knew much about the negative hype before I started working with pit bulls. I guess I was oblivious because I love dogs, no matter the breed. But once I told families and friends I was working with pit bulls, they thought I was crazy and looking for a death sentence. To be honest, it made me a little nervous, but I had started volunteering with Pit Bull Rescue San Diego, and was working with this amazing pit bull, Pierre. He was gentle, sweet, and ALWAYS smiling. I would walk him down the street, and people would yell out negative things or cross the street or give Pierre rude looks. He didn’t deserve it, but people were judging him by the way he looked, and isn’t that basically racism? After Pierre was adopted, I worked with more and more pit bulls from the rescues and realized I had nothing to worry about. I completely trust the breed as a whole and have converted many of my family and friends into pit bull fans. The dogs inspire me to work my hardest to advocate for them. They completely deserve it, and hopefully one day we won’t have to work so hard at showing people how awesome these dogs are 🙂

    • StubbyDog says:

      Thanks for sharing Kerri. You are truly an advocate for these wonderful dogs! Keep up the good work and it seems your story has inspired people to perhaps do the same. Thanks so much for your support!

  14. Heather says:

    Reading all these stories makes me sooo happy, and gives me some kind of hope that one day people will stop believing all the foolishness they hear about pit bulls. Ever sense I was little, I have loved the breeds that people have deemed “mean”. I remember being 4 or 5 and cuddling with me grandparents black german shepherd X everyone said would bite you if you went near it. His name was Corky.

    When my parents said I could get a dog when I was 13, of course I wanted a pit bull. I fell in love with a light tan one named Baby at the shelter, who was about a year and a half. Low and behold, that day I found out that my mom BELIEVED ALL THE BULLCRAP, along with the rest of my family. I couldn’t believe it because we had had always had big dogs. Rotties, shepherds, etc.

    When I was 18, I moved out with my boyfriend, and we adopted our first pit who we names Moseley. He was a 70 pound Brindle Pit Bull Am BullDog mix, and the sweetest boy ever. When we brought him over to my parents so they could meet him, their chow/shepherd mix tried to attack him, and he just stood there wagging his tail, and proceeded to go up to my at the time 8 year old brother, lick his face, and just sit beside him and watch him color. When I brought him to my grandparents, he sat beside my grandma and put his head in her lap to be petted, as if he knew to be gentle, because he was being judged for acceptance.

    I am now back with my parents, and have brought with me my 10 month old pit/am staff mix, who they are in love with. We (and by we, i mean my pup and her sister) have changed the minds of people who had been believing the negative hype about pit bulls for years.

    If every responsible pit owner could change just one persons mind for good, BSL could be a thing of the past.

    • StubbyDog says:

      Thank you so much for sharing. It so nice to hear how pit bull owners become advocates and ambassadors for the breed. Let’s keep working to change perceptions, even if it is one person at a time.

  15. Jillbbs says:

    I absolutely believed the hype…just like everyone else whose minds are twisted by the media. My boyfriend was the one who wanted a pitbull. Me, my family, and his family were all so against this idea. That is until he came home with that adorable six pound puppy who melted our hearts. She is now 15 weeks and the light of our lives. We have all resarched the breed endlessly and were so shocked by what we found. The hype is not true AT ALL. They are amazing dogs and so loyal and friendly. My family is now looking into adopting a two year old pitbull who is in a foster home right now after being rescued from the streets. I always spread the word about pitbulls and how the sad stigma that haunts them is just not true. I hope that someday everyone will learn the truth and love the breed as much as we do.

  16. StubbyDog says:

    Thanks for honesty and sharing your story. We would love to hear more. If your family adopts the foster pittie and you want to share your experience with our readers, we would love to hear about it. If you’re interested, please email laurap@stubbydog.org.

  17. sillyfox4lyfe says:

    No, not really, I was more afraid only of dogs that weren’t mine, I do remember “my” first pit bull though, his name was Bones, he wasn’t technically my dog, he was a stray that wandered too far from home and ended up on my front porch, I loved that dog, even though I didn’t have him for very long, he was alot more fun than our actual dog Casey (a shepard/lab mix) Casey never played with us, she just sat around and was lazy, Bones though, he played with me, walked me to the bus stop, waited at the bus stop when I was about to come home, then 2 1/2 weeks after he showed up, his people found out where he was and asked for him back, which my mother told me we had to give him back, he wasn’t really ours, and it would hurt the peoples feelings to not give him back. As sad as I was to see him go, I knew I had to do the right thing. I still love him to this day, and miss him always.

  18. sillyfox4lyfe says:

    P.S. I had never heard of the “bad rap” of bully breed dogs until a few years ago when I began watching Pit Bulls & Parolees and Pit Boss on Animal Planet that’s when I started demonstrating how sweet they really are, I still have not yet found another pit like Bones, when I do, I’ll adopt it. No dog can replace him, and currently I have 2 high strung Siberian Huskies, and an evil miniature schnauzer (my moms ugly mean little yippy dog, that I really can’t stand) however, when I escape my moms house and her ankle biter, I will adopt a pit bull, hopefully a Bones reincarnate…

  19. DaraChamberlain says:

    As many of the other people have commented here, I did think that Pit Bulls were exactly what they were portrayed as in the news and on t.v. After being together for a few years I opened my boyfriend up to the idea of getting a pet of some kind. I was leaning towards a cat and he a dog. The issue had been dropped for a few weeks when on valentine’s day he surprised me with the cutest white and tan puppy with the most unbelievably cute floppy ears! I was in love with this puppy so much that I didn’t even ask him what kind of dog it was. Two weeks later I finally asked what breed he was, when my boyfriend said Pit Bull my heart sorta dropped to my stomach because I couldn’t believe he brought a Pit Bull home. My dog just turned 4. He is the light of my life. He isn’t at all the vicious killer that Pit Bulls are portrayed as. I don’t have children so for me he is my child. I can’t imagine someone beating him, abusing him to make him fearful of everything he is surrounded by and then making him fight to the death. It isn’t easy being a Pit Mom. I am constantly defending him against people that don’t know anything about them besides what they see in the media. I can’t judge them because I was once that same person. But I am so thankful that there are people out there that know the truth. People that will stand up and be their voice. And I am so thankful to my boyfriend for bringing home a Pittie!

    • StubbyDog says:

      @DaraChamberlain We love that all it took was one sweet puppy to change your mind. You are not alone. We would love for you to share your story with us if you’re interested. If you’re interested, email laurap@stubbydog.org and tell us about your experience, and send lots of photos too. Thanks!