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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Oneonta chapter.

There are over three hundred breeds of dogs in the world, and each vary in size and personality. The ASPCA states that there are over three million dogs that are brought into animal shelters in the United States each year. Of all the different types of dogs, the one treated the harshest, and commonly found in animal shelters, is the pit bull breed. This breed has been called aggressive and dangerous, but this is far from the truth because this breed is known to be quite loyal and loving, and more pit bulls should be adopted from shelters because of this. Many people need to realize that the pit bull breed is not an aggressive breed; each dog has a different personality and is influenced by their environment. Negative stereotypes over the years have tarnished the reputation of dog breeds such as pit bulls and pit bull mixed breeds. Despite these stereotypes, pit bull owners have stood up for their companions, labeling them as lovable, loyal, and eager to learn. These statements are true because the breed is not aggressive and dangerous as many assume that they are; how each individual dog is raised determines their personality.

The theory of nature versus nurture focuses on how the way an individual is raised can influence the traits they acquire. The nature aspect is based on genetic traits being passed from parent to offspring; if the mother has a gentle personality, it is likely the offspring will be as well. Sadly, some owners will breed their dog when it is not in the dog’s best interest. This type of breeding can lead to bad genetics, and could impact the health of the offspring. Some of the puppies could be dumped in shelters, left on the streets alone, or bought by abusive owners. Most of these pit bulls will have to be put down due to how they were raised, which has caused them to develop an aggressive temper. A great deal of innocent lives are lost because of the cruelty that is inflicted on these pit bulls from their owners. The nurture aspect to this theory depends on the type of environment, and the attitude of the owner that the offspring are exposed to. For example, if the offspring are around abusive owners, they likely will become frightened and act out aggressively in order to protect themselves; this behavior will become common for the young puppy. Pit bulls can be trained to not be aggressive, but irresponsible owners can train their dogs to be aggressive. One of the largest violent uses of pit bull breeds is dog fighting; pit bulls involved in dog fighting rings are bred into it.

The pit bull breed can be an amazing family dog when raised in a caring environment and are trained properly. The stereotype that all pit bulls are aggressive is false, because a dog’s behavior is based on upbringing and experiences. Most people tend to associate each dog breed with a stereotype, either positive or negative. These people don’t think about the dog as an individual; one dog is not a representative of an entire breed. Dog owners need to be aware about their responsibility in raising and properly training their dog, and they cannot expect their dog to automatically know right from wrong. Some pit bulls, unfortunately, are not raised in a loving and understanding family environment-this can lead to abuse, and even abandonment if the family no longer wishes to deal with their pit bull.

There are many news stories about dog attacks, most are involving pit bulls. Most of those attacks are because the owners were not responsible enough to make sure their dogs were unable to escape their yard; once the dog escapes into the real world and become frightened, the dog will do anything it can to protect itself. It is the responsibility of dog owners to take care of their dogs. In order to avoid this incident, owners should ensure that all fences in backyards are escape proof, and that their dogs are trained in basic obedience. Pit bulls are not a dangerous breed- when raised lovingly, they make very loyal family dogs. The pit bull breed should not be singled out at animal shelters as a dangerous and aggressive dog because these dogs are loving and deserve to have a better chance of being adopted from animal shelters.



Hi! I am a psychology major with a concentration in pre-physical therapy. I love watching television shows and going on hikes with friends!
Shea Murphy

Oneonta '19

Shea is one of the Campus Correspondents for the HC Oneonta Chapter! Shea is a senior studying Biochemistry at Oneonta. She is a self-proclaimed photographer and loves spending time with her friends and family. When she's not in the lab or studying you can find her outside staying active and enjoying nature!