The Nanny Dog

There is currently an ad going around about Pit Bulls. The ad states that annually 29 people are killed by pit bulls and it vilifies the breed. As someone who has always been a huge animal lover, I was extremely angry at this claim. I volunteer at a dog shelter, which most of the dogs there are pits, and never once have I even felt threatened by one of the dogs. These dogs are silly, playful, loving dogs who enjoy rolling around in the grass, giving kisses, and taking naps in your lap. 

The ad shows that last year 29 people were killed by pits. That was 75% of the mauling deaths by dogs. They use these numbers for pure shock value. It is a popular marketing strategy to shock the viewer into thinking the number is bigger than it is. To take away this shock value and most of the power the ad has, here are some other things that kill Americans.  1. Coconuts (150 deaths annually)  2. HS/College Football (12 deaths annually)  3. Hot Tap Water (100 deaths annually)  4. Champagne Corks (24 deaths annually)  5. Tripping (6,000 deaths annually)  6. Cows (20 deaths annually)  7. Autoerotic Asphyxiation (1,000 deaths annually)  8. Falling out of Bed (450 deaths annually)  9. Falling TV set (29 deaths annually)  10. Swing Sets (20 deaths annually) 

One dog at the shelter is a white pit with scars all over her face. You can tell she’s had a hard life and if you were to go based off of her looks and the stigma a pit carries you would immediately think she’s aggressive. However, the only thing aggressive about her is how she will push anything out of the way to lay in your lap. I took her out the other day and sat down with her and within a minute she was asleep in my lap with a literal smile on her face. When I got up to go inside with her she jumped up on me and instead of attacking me she gave me as many kisses as she could. This 30 pound pit is the epitome of a gentle lap dog and all she wants is love—even after all she’s been through. 

“My boyfriend has a pit and he pushes my hand away with his tongue if I try to mess with his mouth,” said GCSU student, Lex Allen. “He’s the sweetest dog I’ve ever come across and that’s saying a lot.”

Are these dogs strong? Yes. Do they have a powerful bite? Yes. But any animal you bring into your home has the potential to bite you. In an experiment, they found Chihuahuas are more aggressive than a pit. The American Temperament Test Society finds pits to be among one of the most tolerant breeds. Any dog has the potential to be aggressive, it falls to the owner to raise the dog right.