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Pit bulls are misunderstood breed

January 4, 2012
The Journal

To the editor:

Many people think pit bulls are bad because they are used in dog fighting, and it's believed that some people use them to protect illegal activities they may have in their house. I think that they are great dogs if people would treat them right and love them.

According to experts, pit bulls test significantly higher in temperament testing that the average score for all breeds. Temperament testing is basically where they put the dog through a series of stressful and confrontational situations and if they show any signs of panic or aggression they fail. There are no bad dogs or bad breeds, just bad owners.

One of the myths about pit bulls is that the qualities and characteristics they have make them attractive to criminals, as well as dog fighters. The sad truth is, with pit bulls and many other "aggressive breeds," the offender is usually the one on two legs holding the leash. Dog fighting is a weapon and the dog is most often the victim and is only doing what it was trained to do.

Leo is a pit bull that was rescued from Michael Vick's dog fighting ring. (Vick was a quarterback and first-round draft pick by the Atlanta Falcons.) Despite his training as a killer, he now brings comfort to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. When the officers raided Vick's kennels in Virginia, they found dogs chained to car axles, and remains of dogs that had been shot with a .22, electrocuted, drowned, hanged, or slammed into the ground for lacking a desire to fight. Vick served 21 months in prison and two months of home confinement after sentencing in 2007.

Pit bulls are a seriously underestimated breed, and I think many people need to take the time to learn about them and truly see that they are good-hearted, loving dogs.

Schleen Bolander

New Ulm



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