There is a fallacy in logic called Hasty Generalization. As the name suggests it is a generalization made about a group of people or things with no scientific proof. For example someone saying “All women are overly emotional” is a hasty generalization about women. This generalization about women is not true and there is no scientific proof that all women are overly emotional. People in the media commit this fallacy often, especially when talking about the issue of pit bull attacks in America and Canada. Pitbulls are often portrayed as evil and unchecked, to the point where pit bulls have become banned in certain states.
The media likes to paint all pitbulls as vicious and violent dogs. However, the same could be said for people. The Zodiac Killer in 1968, Jack the Ripper in 1888, and the Tylenol Killer in 1982 were all terrible people. If some people are violent and vicious serial killers aren’t all people? The answer to this question is an obvious no. Nevertheless, the media makes a hasty and harsh generalization about pitbulls that needs to be disproved.
The point that the media likes to make about pitbulls the most is that they were bred to fight. Pitbulls aren’t just one breed, though. They’re four: the American Pitbull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire bull terrier, and the American bully. The American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, and the American bully were bred for dog show conformation. The media lumps these breeds together to form the illusion that pitbulls are predatory, flight or fight dogs. The only pitbull breed bred for fighting is the American Pitbull terrier. Although, dog’s personality is often based on their present and past owners. If a certain pitbull has an abusive past or a past in an abusive situation, for instance puppy mills or fighting rings, certain movements or actions could be perceived by this dog as malicious, much like fear triggers in people that suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder. Any breed of dog has the chance of biting someone, abusive past or not.
This article isn’t meant to shame or quiet those who have been mauled by pitbulls. Some pitbulls aren’t as friendly as others. This article is meant to disprove the illusion that all pitbulls are violent and vicious. The problem usually isn’t with the pitbulls. People are usually the problem. When people get a dog they have to understand that the dog isn’t a centerpiece to show off to family and friends. A dog is a living animal and when you adopt one it is equivalent to adopting a child. You have to teach it and form it to be a good dog. You also have to adapt your family to it and understand that not all dogs are as friendly to children and other pets. Getting a grasp on a perspective dog’s personality is important. The Hawaiian Humane Society says “You want to ensure the pet is the right fit for your family. We recommend spending at least an hour on campus to allow enough time to get to know your potential new family member. We recommend bringing all members of the family, including all dogs, to meet your potential new pet – we want to make sure it’s a good fit for everyone.”
Banning pitbulls wouldn’t just affect their place as family dogs. Pitbulls are working dogs. Some jobs they work as are drug detection, explosive detection, search and rescue, water safety dogs, and therapy dogs. Banning pitbulls would mean finding new dogs who are as willing and ready to fill these jobs.
In conclusion, Pitbulls have been painted as vicious and violent because of bad press. The chance of being killed by any type of dog is one in 18 million. All dogs are capable of biting and being violent, not just pit bulls. Pitbulls are loyal, beautiful, amazing dogs and don’t deserve to be slandered and lied about.