Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Breed ban redux, part 1


Loving pit bull and her two children

Previously, I wrote about pit bull breed bans on this blog. At the time, I suggested that it would be advisable to enforce the breed more closely. I've since started to wonder if my response could have been slightly more nuanced.

I asked my cousin how she feels about this topic, as she is a guardian of both a pit bull and two small children. I've posted her comments below (having guest writers makes keeping a blog easy!). Another technical answer from a blog reader will come tomorrow.
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My name is Rhiannon and I own two beautiful dogs, one Shepard/chow mix named Angel and a pit bull named Peanut.  They are both great dogs, and I don't think they would know what to do without each other.

We have had Peanut for about 6 years.  He was about 4 months old when we got him, and has been a wonderful and loving dog.  My husband picked him out for me for Valentine's Day but I was very nervous given my assumptions about pits and what they were like.  I told my husband that if the dog ever even looked like he was going to bite/attack someone, then the dog was gone.  My fears were so unfounded.  We have two little boys, a 4 year old and 2 year old.  Both love Peanut and he has been in their lives and close to them since birth.  Peanut sleeps in my 4 year old's room every night to keep the monsters away and every time my youngest sees him he gets right in his face and laughs. 

Peanut has always been good around children and other dogs.  When he was younger he was leashed up in our yard and a woman with a baby stroller came by. Peanut walked over slowly and sniffed the stroller, stuck his head a little closer, then went and laid down.  He was a hyper puppy so I was amazed at how calm he was.  Our neighbor's young son used to come and climb all over him when he was outside and Peanut would just lay there and let him.  This dog is very strong, all muscle, and when you see him he can look and sound scary.  He barks at strangers, plays rough with my husband, but always stops when he is told. 

I have heard many people ask how we can have a pit, not only around our children but around our other dog as well.  The truth is, Peanut is a gentle and loyal animal that I can't imagine not having around.  I feel safe with him in our home.

Peanut has shown me that you cannot judge a dog by its breed. They are all individuals, and every dog has the potential to be a great pet.