A fictionalized terror: the American Pitbull terrier

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By: Steven Michael

No other dog has graced the cover of “Time Magazine” (for the right reasons) more times than this often maligned and misunderstand hero.  Sergeant Stubby (a terrier mix) was a brave and decorated dog of war and hero during World War I.  The Little Rascals had Petey the Pitbull as their loyal friend.  What happened to the once #1 most beloved dog breed in the U.S.? Well, nothing really.   What happened to us is the real question.

Mr. Tom Garner

Imagine a time when the news, social media, and the Internet couldn’t cast its sometimes misinformed spell on us, the consumers.  Not so long ago, less was ostensibly more; a time when we were able to make more informed decisions with less information.  Because of course, more doesn’t mean more accurate. Imagine being misunderstood because people didn’t have the proper facts about you.  You of course would want to set the record straight.  But, what if your voice could not be heard, yet your integrity was at stake?  Who would speak for you?

Surely you would want someone to speak on your behalf.  What if we’re talking about the American Pitbull Terrier, not to be confused with the fictitious American Pitbull “Terror”?

Tom Garner breeds a classic example of the dogs of yesterday, the ones once loved by so many.  Chinaman dogs, as they are known, boast impressive genetics.  A lean, intelligent and gregarious family pet, one that harkens back to the American Pitbull Terrier as it was once well known. Weighing only about 30 to 65 lbs, these dogs were revered for their courage and usefulness. They served to corral bulls, aid law enforcement, protect homes and more.

During World War I, The American Pit Bull Terrier decorated American posters symbolizing the country’s loyal, hardworking and brave nature.  But, that’s certainly not how popular media chooses to represent them today.  That’s due in part to mix breeding these wonderful creatures with other large dog breeds.  This has contributed to the impression that a true to form American Pitbull Terriers are enormous and threatening creatures.  Moreover, the large percentage of ones that are in the headlines for all the wrong reasons are just that, a large mixed breed of dog.  Because remember, a real and pure bred Pitbull is muscular but not a big dog, rather a medium sized dog that loves people.  Much like the ones Tom Garner breeds; people loving devoted extended family members.  Some are animal aggressive, but one must not confuse that with human aggression.

The critics who openly discriminate against Pitbulls insist that the dogs are terrible because of a compilation of out-of-context horror stories and pure bias. As with any other dog, however, American Pitbull Terriers are naturally enthusiastic and fearless. These are qualities to be admired, not used as a basis for discrimination.

Despite many of the Pitbulls of today not being “the real deal”, the American Temperament Test Society finds even the often mixed-breed “Pitbulls” continually perform better than many other popular breeds in their annual temperament testing studies. The American Pitbull Terrier, which includes the mixed-breed dogs, had a pass percentage of 87.4% on the American Temperament Test Society exams, performing better than many popular breeds, per atts.org.  The Boxer scored 83.9%, Chihuahua scored 69.6%, Golden Retriever scored 85.4%, German Shepherd scored 85.2% and Rottweiler scored 84.5%.   If you control for pure-bred Pitbulls, the 87.4 percent number would be even higher.

Any true animal lover knows that Pitbulls are as beautiful as they are bold, as enchanting as they are energetic, and are extremely people friendly, despite what you may hear.  Some stated and or cities have enacted anti breed specific legislation, as they say, punish the deed and not the breed.  Now that might sound cliché; but it’s so fitting!

(Video embedded in this story is courtesy of Tom Garner Kennels YouTube page)

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