Animal Farm Foundation Sends Strong Pro-Pittie Message; Challenges Harmful Stereotypes of So-Called “Bully” Dog Breed
This post is sponsored by The Animal Farm Foundation and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about The Majority Project, but ThoughtsFurPaws.com only shares information we feel relevant to readers. Animal Farm Foundation is not responsible for the content of this article. All opinions in this article are of the author and administrator of this blog, JL Smith. ThoughtsFurPaws.com never publishes dishonest, distorted or distended reviews or information nor does it perpetuate the spread of misinformation.
Pit Bulls. American Pit Bull Terriers. APBTs. American Bulldog. Some people even unknowingly call them “Bulldogs.” Or American Bulldog Terrier. These are all names for one of the world’s gentlest and kindest dog breeds I’ve ever known – at home and in my rescue/animal welfare efforts (and I’ve faced a lot).
The word “bull” is in no way meant to be taken literally with any one of these tender, sweet creatures. How do I know that? Am I the all-knowing Animal God that can foresee and explain every detail? No, unfortunately. But I can tell you what I’ve learned. And I can tell you what I’ve experienced. And what I’ve seen — and what I’ve NEVER seen. And I can tell you that it’s beyond sweet. It’s so sweet, that I, in fact, find the irony that the word “bull” is in this breed name to be sweet just to spite the fact!
Read on. And see why the dreadful, negative, media-perpetuated typecasts of Pit Bulls are complete myth; how my experiences with these brilliant dogs framed my outlook forever; and why you should consider changing your own mindset – or, if you agree already, advocating for #TheMajorityProject, a nationwide campaign by Animal Farm Foundation aimed at turning around those pesky stereotypes about our loving little Pit-Bully babes. (I used to call our black and white Pittie my “sweet little pit-bully-dog:” actually it was a whole song I sang to him but I won’t get into that here.)
Tux, top, the Pit Bull mix, and Henry, bottom, the Basset Hound, snuggling.
My Tux, aka “Tucky,” “Ram (because he liked to ram things with his head),” or “Tuckarina (my Mom’s personal fave),” was tenacious and tough. He was, though not named “Tuxedo,” a tuxedo-colored Pit mix who also had a bit of Welsh Corgi and Lab in him (don’t ask). His predominate breed was American Pit Bull Terrier according to DNA tests, however. Anyhow, Tucky was the bomb. I really wish I had time to explain every adorable thing he ever did here but I don’t, so I’m hoping that you will take from my emotion and passion how much I love this dog (and miss him). And, of course, I hope you’ll gather what a gentle soul he was… And I hope it will inspire you to go ahead and join #TheMajorityProject.
Tucky was my car-partner. Although he was my sister’s dog, she and I lived together and she worked nights as a bartender, I worked days. Hence, I always had “the boys” at night (she also had a Basset Hound named Henry). Working as a consultant at the time, I often worked from home at night and would go on coffee runs around 7:30 or 8:00 pm (give me a break, we all have a vice).
I am a Pit Bull named Brisket; and I am playful and silly and sweet!
Tucky love, love, loved going on car rides. When we lived in Orange County, CA, my sister was in Long Beach, which is north, and to get there you had to drive right past the takeoff/landing paths of planes headed to/from John Wayne Airport. Tucky would absolutely lose his mind barking at the planes and shake with joy over the noise and the excitement of seeing something so big and powerful and loud up so close. (You’ve heard of dogs chasing cars, right? Well Tux chased planes.) He would get so excited he would often foof in the car, thank you very much!
Tucky also accompanied me, after one night of me inviting him, on my aforementioned nightly coffee runs. The second I stood up from my laptop at 8:00 on any given night he just knew and would run to the door. It was #adorbs. Of course, I let him come every time. I would always buy him a beef jerky from 7-11. He would, after thoroughly kissing me and thanking me, devour the Slim-Jim in seconds then go back to sticking his whole head out the window and doing polite bark-bys at every moving or stationary object/person we passed, BOL! (FYI: A “bark-by” is like a non-violent “drive-by” from a dog; it’s when they run past you real fast [like when they are zooming] and bark their butts off on the way out of sheer enthusiasm and delight! I believe I’ve seen a few dogs at BlogPaws doing bark-bys, BOL again. And I definitely see dogs at the dog park and at dog beach doing crazy bark-bys!)
So this is a Pit Bull who, when left alone in the car, did not jump out the open window at children who pet him; who did not act aggressively toward people who approached the car with the windows down; and who never ever acted in a threatening manner in a public place though oft-provoked by a curious & prodding public, or by another dog (one of which was, yes believe it, a mean Golden Retriever). Tux was relaxed. And trusting. Tux knew his boundaries and his limits and the rules. And he lived by all of them. Tucky was respectful, loving and funny. He was docile yet strong, submissive yet assertive, uncannily goofy, and wicked smart. He was intuitive, sweet, and if he could talk like a human, he’d talk the ear off a cornstalk.
Tucky was predominantly Pit Bull. Tucky was the majority…
For this he wasn’t allowed at the local dog park at all. For this, the city we lived in (Lakewood, Ohio) now requires his breed to be muzzled and leashed when outdoors (on walks) or while at dog parks, at all times, no exceptions (not even if Fido has a cone on). Responsible Pit Bull owners also have 6” or higher fencing around the entire yard, as is also required by the county nowadays. And if Tucky were here now, I just know he would say:
“#IAmTheMajority*, and I am loving, kind, gracious, sweet and smart. Furthermore, I have emotions too, so please don’t hurt me with your words, policies or hands.”
Breed Specific Legislation, referred to commonly as BSL, is a nationwide epidemic, if you will. County and city governments are having a hay day harassing my precious Pitties and their faithful owners, requiring staunch advocates like myself and others like those at Animal Farm Foundation to bend over backwards and turn inside out just to get a valid, legitimate, veritable message out like nay-sayers do.
What is this message?
Pit Bulls are not mean dogs. There is no such thing as a “Bully Breed.” If you ask me, there are no bad dogs – there are only irresponsible (okay, bad) pet owners. And I’m not sorry if I get in trouble for saying that.
Pit Bull owners are not irresponsible dog owners; neither are German Shepherd or Rottweiler or Dobie owners. Reckless dog owners cannot be correlated with any particular breed or type of dog; the only factor reckless dog owners have in common is their problematic behavior resulting from a disregard of public safety and animal welfare.
Think about it – honestly – for a minute, please. Have you ever heard the saying, “Attempting to get to the truth means rejecting stereotypes and clichés?”
No? Well (it was spoken by a man named Harold Evans and) it’s the perfect overarching descriptive statement of what’s happening here, here in the nationwide fight to eradicate BSL and, instead, advocate for responsible pet ownership.
Let me pose another situation really quick:
How many stories do you see on the news or Internet about a “bully breed” hurting someone?
Brisket the Pit Bull helped welcome the new rescue kitty this winter; here they are cuddling.
Now how many times do you see on the news or Internet a story about a “bully breed” loving someone to pieces with kisses, affection and love? Featuring the dog standing next to a 5-year-old child with the child holding the leash and the Pittie licking the child’s face? Stories like those of the Michael Vick dogs and what they’ve become and accomplished and who they are? How often do you see stories like that?
Not NEARLY as often… hardly ever…. That fact there makes it an unfair fight right out of the gate.
Anyhow, I’d like to ask something of you now if I could guys — I do have one of those important Internet videos for you to see really quickly (it’s not even two minutes), and I hope it will help you understand that Pit Bulls are not mean dogs. And I hope it will help you understand that the restrictions that Tucky faced, and that Pit Bulls near my town now face, and that restrictions that responsible breed owners now face, are totally unfair and are not based on fact or history (or anything reliable or predictable – just like I’m not the Animal God, unfortunately). The video is about The Majority Project, a really cool initiative meant to stomp out the stereotypes (among other things), thank Heavens.
In an effort to challenge the negative stereotypes about Pittie owners, Animal Farm Foundation created #TheMajorityProject, a photo collection illustrating how countless Pit Bull dog owners make valuable contributions to their communities and families every single day.
Pit Bull owners can join The Majority Project by visiting themajorityproject.com, printing and personalizing an “I am the MAJORITY” sign and submitting a photo with their dog.
Animal Farm Foundation partnered with actor and Pittie owner, Jon Bernthal to create a public service announcement (PSA) to raise awareness for The Majority Project; some of the photos submitted will be chosen to appear in The Majority Project PSA to help raise awareness for the cause! Cool! Bernthal hopes to help an unaware public understand that Pit Bull owners are no different than other dog owners; the overwhelming majority love and care for their pets in a responsible manner, which includes proper maintenance, control and containment of their dogs.
The Majority Project with Jon Bernthal from Animal Farm Foundation on Vimeo.
Animal Farm Foundation is a non-profit corporation has been rescuing and re-homing animals, as well as making grants to other humane organizations, since the mid-1980’s. It is Animal Farm Foundation’s mission to secure equal treatment and opportunity for Pit Bulls. Join The Majority Project on Facebook at facebook.com/TheMajorityProject, or Twitter at twitter.com/meetthemajority.