Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Fight dog paraphernalia"? Really?

A springpole or a treadmill or a historical book on fighting dogs does NOT = evidence of dog fighting, no matter how many times certain humane groups or the media say otherwise.

Springpoles have been painted as an especially ominous 'tool', and we're often told how dog fighters use these things to strengthen the jaws of Pit Bulls. "Pit Bulls are forced to hang with their jaws from ropes dangling from a spring in an effort to strengthen their jaws", a news blurb might 'inform'. Well, the truth of the matter is that a dog cannot be forced to hang from anything they don't want to hang onto, and springpoles have nothing to do with 'strengthening a fighting dog's jaws' and everything to do with fun and appropriate exercise for LOTS of dogs, regardless of breed.

But don't take OUR word for it. Check out this video of a bunch of BORDER COLLIES enjoying their springpole. And yes, that's a Pit Bull guy trying his best to keep up with the springpole pro Collies.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Show that you're....Responsi-bull n' Proud!

RPB's 2009 calendar is ready to go! Each month features a blurb on responsible ownership and a darling Pit Bull face starin' back at you.



These calendars directly support the efforts of The Real Pit Bull - when you purchase one you not only help spread the word about responsible ownership, you also help RPB do its work!

You can purchase the calendar securely via Cafepress.com:
http://www.cafepress.com/realpitbull.341584887

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's that time of year again...



It’s getting cold, the days are shorter, snow and ice are on the way, and human minds turn to thoughts of food, fun, festivities, and all the stress that goes along with the holidays.

People are snuggled warm in their homes, idyllic visions of simpler days gone by, counting their blessings in this less-than-ideal economic climate.

Whenever the seasons change and the weather grows bitter, I often lay awake in bed at night, unable to shake the images of freezing dogs exposed to the elements. Then my mind wanders to those dogs starving to death, being exposed to unspeakable cruelties, languishing behind bars in shelters. Those poor helpless little souls in pain, waiting. For what, they do not know, but wait they do, nonetheless. And I wish I could do more. I wish people paid attention. I wish animals didn’t have to suffer because of the flaws of humans. I wish I wish I wish.

This is the time of year when wishes are supposed to come true. When the kindness of man is supposed to extend beyond himself to touch the lives of those who cannot help themselves. When miracles can occur. Pit Bulls in need do not get to celebrate the holidays, they do not get a break from pain, they get no hiatus from hunger. So please, this holiday season before you sit down for that big family meal, before you unwrap the presents, please pause to think about the lives of those less fortunate, be they human or animal, and count your blessings. Then perhaps, share a blessing or two with someone who is in need.

~Mary, CPDT
RPB Director

Donate to The Real Pit Bull through safe and secure PayPal.com:






Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cultivating Gratitude

On this day held aside to give thanks and count blessings, we may sit and take stock of the previous year, spend time with our family, look into the eyes of our gentle dogs and offer a silent 'thank you' to the universe for having blessed us with such amazing Pit Bull-shaped souls. This is the one day of the year where gratitude is the main focus and being thankful takes front and center stage. But in life in general, and particularly in our work as advocates and activists, it can be difficult to cultivate a grateful attitude that becomes a part of who we are and how we live day to day.

We see much pain and suffering we are unable to ease, feel trapped because 'there is only so much' we can do, feel hopeless when the problem seems so big. Focusing on these things can become draining, and too much attention drawn to 'failures' can be defeating and actually undermine our cause and the work we do for Pit Bulls. Sometimes, we begin drowning in the negative, virtually ignoring the life-rafts of our successes which are right within our grasp.

It is important to take stock daily of what we DO have to be thankful for in the Pit Bull advocacy community, and to cultivate gratitude for what we've personally been able to accomplish for the dogs, as well as the wonderful people working for the same causes.

This past year we have a lot to feel grateful for, and we've seen things we never thought we'd see: More groups & individuals than ever working and sacrificing for Pit Bulls; people willing to come together to work for the greater good; the results of a celebrity fight bust which generated more positive press for the breed than seen in the last 1o years combined; a day set aside for country-wide celebration of the breed that seems to be growing more every year; and all the little, quiet successes that you may not hear about - the dogs that have been saved, their wounded souls made whole again. Every single one of these rescues is a miracle and we should all feel a strong sense of gratitude for each and every one.

Cicero said, "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.



Gratitude props us up, and is a platform on which we are meant to use our other virtues. It is a mindset of positivity, of thankfulness, of gratefulness that gives us strength do what we have to do for the dogs.

So today, on this Thanksgiving, take stock of what you feel grateful for. And each day, cultivate an attitude of gratitude for what's been accomplished, for all the success - both big and small - and for all the other people who are doing amazing things for the APBT. Perhaps we can take a lesson from our dogs, who, in many cases despite incredibly hard, abusive, painful lives, show us more gratitude than could ever be measured, each and every day.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Introducing the New RPB Logo....and the Dog Behind the Organization

This logo is now available on an assortment of products at our Cafepress.com store:

www.cafepress.com/realpitbull.



The proceeds from the sales of these items directly benefit RPB, and make great holiday gifts! *hint hint!*

The dog in the logo is Krash, my first APBT and the love of my life. He is the dog that inspired me to originally start the realpitbull.com website and continues to inspire the work I do for the breed through RPB. This is a dog that won many friends for the breed, and caused others to seriously reconsider their erroneous ideas on Pit Bulls. He was a people-person to the core and loved everyone he ever met. Many people, upon first meeting Krash, would comment, “He seems like a little person!” and indeed he had an inner quality that defied the simple definition of “dog”. But he was a Pit Bull through and through, my best friend, my heart.

In a way, Krash represents all Pit Bulls, since he was such a typical bulldog: a stoic nature, human-loving heart, beauty and almost uncanny intelligence – these are the qualities the breed possesses, and Krash had more than his fair share.



Krash passed away from hemangiosarcoma in early 2005, but his spirit continues to act as a beacon of guiding light, and it is with great honor that I present to you a logo that captures the likeness of a truly great dog.

~Mary
Founder/Director

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Oh how we love our Pit Bulls!

How do I love Pit Bulls? Let me count the ways!

I love how Pit Bulls cuddle with me on cold winter nights; it doesn't even matter that they steal the covers.

I love how Pit Bulls can make me laugh even when I've had The Worst Day Known to Woman.

I love how Pit Bulls snort and chirp and purr and chortle. Better than having a canary!

I love how Pit Bulls have bionic hairs that are impervious to all methods of sweeping, cleaning, vacuuming and scrubbing of fabrics. OK, maybe I don't necessarily love the cleaning part, but I DO love silken Pit Bull fur, and the cleaning is definitely worth the aggravation just so long as I get to nuzzle a check on a soft, sleek Pit Bull forehead - every day, multiple times a day.

I love how Pit Bulls come in almost every color of the rainbow, and some pretty snazzy ones that don't!

I love how Pit Bulls insist on climbing in your lap, even when they weigh as much as a small pony, or at least feel like they weigh that much.

I love how Pit Bulls do the Happy Pit Bull Tap Dance.

I love how my Pit Bull looks at me with adoration, and I know - just KNOW - from that look that the heart of the Pit Bull is overflowing with pure love.











From top to bottom...Piglet, belonging to Jessica Bernt;
Marjorie Dutra's Kayna; Hazel & Lissa Arsenault; Alexis N Xena, both belonging to Stephanie Morales; Sweetest dreams!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

RPB's First Online Fundraiser is Underway!

The end of October marked the beginning of The REAL Pit Bull's first official online fundraiser, which will run through the end of Dec. 08. The goal is set at $1,000, and the earnings will go towards implementation of programs, creation of educational material, and the day to day workings of RPB. In 2009, RPB will also be designating additional funds to help individual dogs and the efforts of groups and individuals to save Pit Bulls. Your donation helps! Just click on the Chip In link below.

If everyone who reads this blog, views our website, or visits our Myspace page donated $1.00 or even .50, we'd more than meet our desired goal - we'd far surpass it. We hope you'll decide to donate what you can.



RPB has been in existence since 1997, and operates one of the most respected online sources for breed information, www.realpitbull.com; we also provide free educational services like handouts, brochures, and The Real Pit Bull Forum (www.realpitbullforum.com ) , as well as behavioral advice via phone, email and in person. RPB is a constant advocate for the APBT, speaking in public and to the media about the breed, working to help promote responsible ownership, and educating on ethical rescue practices.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ethical Considerations of Rescue Work

There are many, many APBT rescue groups in the USA, with more being formed with what seems like daily regularity. And while the work of those dedicated to helping individual dogs and restoring the breed’s reputation is noble in theory, it’s not always so noble in individual practice. Sadly, ‘rescue’ isn’t always synonymous with ‘ethical’.

Rescue work is a complicated, heart-rending, expensive undertaking that only those with the best of intentions for the FUTURE of the breed should pursue. This means that rescues must have a firm grasp of The Big Picture, recognize that they cannot ‘save them all’, and be 100% dedicated to thoroughly educating themselves on the breed BEFORE they open their doors up and present themselves as breed experts. And egos must be left behind. Rescue work is about the DOGS. Period.

Several years ago, a group of reputable advocacy organizations penned The Code of Ethics for Pit Bull Rescue. The impetus for writing this ethical document was not to try and control or judge the work of other groups, but rather to help guide and educate those newer to the world of APBT rescue. There is no ‘manual’ on how to do this work ‘right’, and experience, while often the best teacher, can sometimes come at the price of devastating mistakes and mishaps. The COE, as it’s been come to be known, was meant to help steer newer rescues on the path of least mistakes. The COE was also meant to help aid the public in spotting those APBT rescues that may not have the best ethics.

Ethics in rescue must always come first. Rescue is not a race to place the most individual dogs, or raise the most money, or build the biggest name. It’s about preserving the future of the breed, educating those who would impact the APBT breed, saving the best breed ambassadors, and committing to the public to always be open and honest about practices.

Breed rescue and advocacy is not for everyone, but if a person chooses to pursue this path, they must do so with the desire to always represent the field of rescue work to the best of their ability. They owe it to others who stand beside them on the front lines, and most of all, they owe it to the dogs.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Stereotypes: Busted!

If Pit Bull guardians and advocates have a stereotype, it’s that they are NOT capable of being stereotyped. The people who love this breed come in so many varieties, shapes, colors, and from every walk of life, reflecting the diversity of the Pit Bull itself. It is pretty hard to talk about a ‘stereotypical Pit Bull owner’.

Photobucket


But it must be human nature to stereotype and denigrate that which is unknown and hence feared, because despite the obviously vast array of dynamic and unique Pit Bull guardians, certain organizations and people keep insisting on trying to paint us all with one broad, ugly brush. PeTA, known to be anti Pit Bull and pro BSL, says that nice families don't want Pit Bulls. And, recently, Edmonton Sun columnist Yukon Jack had some pretty nasty descriptive words for Pit Bull owners. Not only did he manage to insult people who share their lives with this wonderful breed, but he also managed to trash talk mixed martial arts enthusiasts and people with tattoos. I ask you, what is wrong with the MMA world when it boasts champs like Andrei “The Pit Bull” Arlovski who donates time to animal charities? And the tattoo-covered lovelies of Pin Ups for Pit Bulls would surely have something to say to Mr. Jack about his derogatory comments regarding those of us who sport permanent ink.

Then there are the everyday heroes who go about their lives with a Pit Bull by their side – working to save abused and abandoned animals, while simultaneously bringing joy and hope to fellow humans; dog sport enthusiasts who agree that Pit Bulls are the supreme athletes of the canine world, and countless guardians who couldn’t imagine waking up in the morning without a Pit Bull bed hog snoring in their ear.

For more examples of the wonderful variety of Pit Bull people out there, our Pit Bulls & People and Life with Pit Bulls pages are now accepting visitors!

Stereotype THAT.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The RPB Mission & Vision Statements

The Real Pit Bull has gone through many reinventions since 1997, with several 'unofficial' mission and vision statements that have been amended as the organization has evolved. One critical aspect that has always been part of the RPB mission is education of owners, other advocates, and the public. This is something that has never changed or wavered and will always be the most important thing we do.

As we approach our 12th year, big things are in store for RPB and we hope to make our biggest impact yet, as we work diligently towards creating a brighter future for the APBT. In light of the new and improved goals and plans, we'd like to present you with our fully updated Mission and Vision statements. We think they pretty much say it all.

*drum roll*

- Mission Statement -

The Real Pit Bull is an education and advocacy organization dedicated to the American Pit Bull Terrier; our mission is to serve as an advocate for the breed; provide information; and educate those who impact the lives of Pit Bulls.

- Vision -

RPB envisions a future in which the American Pit Bull Terrier is widely recognized as a companion animal and working dog partner; dog fighting is a thing of the past; dog laws focus on deed not breed; and all American Pit Bull Terriers have loving, responsible homes.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Accused dog fighter acquitted....but his dogs are still dead.



Pit Bull owners may feel somewhat vindicated after the acquittal of Floyd Boudreax, renowned breeder of APBTs who, long in the past, was known for his quality pit dogs. Boudreax was still breeding dogs, but when he was charged with dog fighting over 3 years ago, and had his property and dogs seized, he maintained his innocence. Many advocates across the internet were appalled at the guilty-before-proven-innocent accusations and assumptions, and those closer to ‘FB’ insisted he no longer fought dogs (and that when he had, it was still legal in his state of Louisiana ).

When FB’s dogs were seized, they were immediately euthanized, because Louisiana's archaic and inhumane law insists that such dogs are always dangerous and may be destroyed without consequence. Regardless of FB’s past choices, one thing is certain: the dogs did not deserve their fate. And the vitriol spewed by groups like HSUS helped signed the FB dogs, and countless others like them, death warrants. In fact, HSUS was responsible for the arrest and trial of FB due their ‘evidence’ and pressure on law enforcement agencies. But the end result was an old man run through the ringer, only to be found innocent, and 50+ dogs dead and buried.

It is a known fact that HSUS insisted the Michael Vick dogs be destroyed, since they were undoubtedly too dangerous and unpredictable to ever be placed in loving homes. In an amazing show of determination and loyalty to the breed, many advocates and organizations (including RPB) stepped up to speak on behalf of the dogs that would otherwise have suffered the same sad demise as FB’s dogs. Miracle of miracles, the authorities acquiesced and almost all of the Vick dogs deemed adoptable or potentially adoptable were saved. Months after the fact, the Vick dogs are thriving as therapy dogs, companions, and good ambassadors for their breed. The Vick Dog triumph has set a precedent, and paved the way for salvation for other fight bust dogs. It truly is a wonderful thing.

So when does it stop? When will HSUS reevaluate the way they do things in regards to the APBT and specifically fight dogs? When will other orgs stop perpetrating myths and end the fear mongering, attacking the very creature that most needs their help? When will the witch hunts stop? When will honest guardians be able to sleep at night without awaking from nightmares in which breaksticks and treadmills, and other legitimate dog care items cause them to be branded as ‘dog fighters’?

So yes, today APBT lovers can feel somewhat vindicated – the HSUS and PETA were made to look silly after their demands to see the Vick dogs killed thankfully were not heeded. And now with FB’s acquittal, his case thrown from court because of an appalling lack of any evidence whatsoever, we can feel a sense of validation. And the memories of the 50+ FB dogs as well as countless other victims of fear and hatred, can live on, and continue to inspire all those who work tirelessly to save the ones who still live.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Quest for Pit Bull-proof Gear

I am a leash and collar snob. No doubt about it. I turn my nose up at the pathetic excuses for dog gear at the local pet supermarkets. Plastic snaps, cheap feels-like-plastic leather, hardware that doesn't even deserve to be called such. Every so often I feel compelled to pick up one of these almost-comical contraptions and scoff in an indignant way, "Put this on my dog? For serious? Bah!"

In all fairness, I don't have your average dog, so your average collar just won't cut it. Pit Bulldogs require a little something "more". They need bigger, thicker, stronger, better collar and leash fare. This isn't just about snootiness and needing "special" gear, this is a utilitarian issue (ok, there might be a tad bit of bully-owner snootiness there). But finding bulldog-tough gear isn't always easy. Through the years I've often double-collared and -leashed (ugh, an-NOY-ing!), and although I've never actually had one of the sub-par items I've been forced to resort to now and again break on me (:knock on wood:), the threat is always looming overhead as imminent.

I've been driven to search far and low for items I feel comfortable using and recommending as bully-proof, and I've experimented with many styles and brands. I've spent more money on collars and leads than I will ever admit to, and sadly even some of the stuff labeled as heavy duty doesn't feel quite good enough. I felt fairly certain that an agitation leash - you know, an attack dog leash - would surely do the job. But when the leash actually arrived, the hardware frankly scared me. After only a couple months of use, the leather around the snap of the lead was starting to wear, as was my patience.

Once I purchased items labeled bulldog-proof. When I got the items, they were certainly bulldog-tough, but so tough in fact that comfort flew right out the window. I'm not a sissy, but I AM a girl and I don't want to have to wear gloves when I walk my dog to protect myself from 3rd degree leather burns and blisters. Ok, so these leashes were bulldog-proof, but only suitable for construction worker owners with sufficiently tough hands. Plus I thought my dog looked uncomfortable in a two-inch wide stiff leather collar.

But seek and ye shall find. It's not all bad, and as time goes on, I discover true gems amidst the mega-tons of coal. Like, my recent discovery of Raw Dog Leather: www.rawdogleather.com . Coolest leather leashes I've come by, totally custom and offered with a lifetime warranty. I just got my first one yesterday and boy do I love it! This is the first truly comfortable, heavy-duty leash I've found. (They make collars, too! Oh boy!)

Collar-wise, there is the popular Blockydogs.com - and "blocky", they aren't kiddin'. I have a martingale style from this company. The craftsmanship is beautiful, although after a month of use, the collar is still pretty stiff. I'd recommend these for only the biggest, gnarliest dogs. But do I feel safe walking my dog in this collar? You bet. Feels good .

There is a really nice, basic leather leash from Bridgeportequipment.com - this is the simple "obedience leash", and I LOVE mine. Although I don't feel entirely safe using this on a super strong dog, my leash has gotta be 3 or 4 years old by now and it's not a day worse for wear then when I first got it. Soft and comfy leash, too.

Lastly, there is the martingale collar from Scaferkennel.com (it's hard to find on the site, so here is the direct URL: http://www.schaferkennel.com/D16.html ) . It is a really nice, middle of the road collar for smaller bullies or more laid back dogs. Actually, I've had one of these on my nutcase 70-pounder for several years now and have had zero problems with it. Still, I like something a little heavier, just because I'm definitely a Murphey's Law kinda gal.

So right now, my boy is sporting the Blocky Dogs blue martingale with silver stripe, and the 6-ft Raw Dog leather leash with silver bull snap. Ruff, rugged and ready to go. This might be the first time in my life that I don't feel the need to double collar. Ahhhh, the freedom!

~Mary, RPB Founder/Director

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dare to be responsible.

Well, Pit Bull guardians are nothing if not loyal. The outrage that echoed all across the internet this past week over a Verizon commercial for their new Dare phone was impossible to ignore. Letters and emails shot out from all over the country, and Verizon services were canceled in the blink of an eye. Our dogs are big mush pots, but man their owners are tenacious and quick-acting. The controversy even got AdAge Magazine talking

The commercial in question featured snarling, chained Pit Bulls, and a man jumping a fence into the yard that contained them (trespassing, we might add), all in an attempt to reach a phone and hence bringing himself within an inch of being mauled by the dogs. Advocates were understandably angered by the inaccurate and harmful portrayal of their breed. We all know APBTs as loving, sweet, and really bad guard dogs, but the general public has the mistaken belief that the dogs are mean, vicious and well, just like they were shown on that Verizon ad. When people believe falsehoods about Pit Bulls, the breed gets banned, families are torn apart, and innocent dogs die. Our job as guardians and advocates is to help the public understand the breed and ads like Verizon's just enforce incorrect views, leading to support of bans and mass euthanasia. This isn't a knee jerk response due to hurt feelings - lives are at stake, here.

Wouldn't it be nice if companies paused to reflect on the possible negative effects of the images they use in their advertising? A little responsibility goes a long way.

Monday, July 14, 2008

"Pit Bull" who??

Is it any wonder the Pit Bull breed is in a mess when no one can even come to any consensus as to what a Pit Bull IS? How can you address the issues surrounding something you cannot even properly identify?



This recent Toledo Blade article about Ohio's "Pit Bull Problem", says that 'pit bulls' can be defined as "relatively short, yet muscular members of the terrier group as well as the larger mastiff group, which historically has been crossbred with certain terriers to create larger pit bull breeds such as the Italian Cane Corso and the Spanish Perro de Presa Canario." Huh? Can someone else make sense out of this mish-mosh of a paragraph? Because we certainly can't.

There are so many possibly varieties listed here (are ALL these breeds a serious threat??) that we venture out of the realm of breed specific and more towards something that may just be canine specific. Or maybe it's human specific. As in, it's not the BREED it's the person holding the end of the LEAD. Responsible ownership behavior is what counts - not BREED. A conclusion to draw now if ever there was such a time.

BSL is supposed to ban breeds by psychically predicting what their behavior will be. Not only do BSL proponents claim they can determine the future behavior of all members of ONE breed of dog, now they are claiming they can predict the behavior of numerous breeds of dog, all conveniently lumped under the neat-n-easy heading of "pit bull".

RPB has always used the nick name "Pit Bull" for the American Pit Bull Terrier, and ONLY the APBT. It is, after all, the only breed with the words "pit" and "bull" appearing in its name. The media has bastardized the term, and other groups have shunned it, but we hold strong and fast like our dogs to a moniker of which we are not only unashamed, but PROUD.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Diffusing Tension

Let's face it. People are scared of Pit Bulls. People get tense, nervous and downright panicky in their presence. Nasty looks and haughty one-liners may be the natural response to those who voice their disdain for our breed, but these negative reactions to negative encounters only breed more negativity. And we sure have more than enough of THAT to go around!

While a well-behaved, under control dog does more for the breed than character space limits would allow room to say, Breed Advocates can employ a number of additional tactics that go the distance to dispel fears.

Besides typical polite dog guardian behavior (leashing, picking up poop, keeping your pup from leaving pee mail in the wrong 'mailboxes', and avoiding crowding of apprehensive passers-by on sidewalks), here are a couple of other neat tricks to try that will wow while also helping to shape new perspectives:

  • Ditch the chain leashes and spiked collars - sport fancy, fun wear by companies like Collar Mania (a proud supporter of rescued Pit Bulls!) and humane training gear by Premier & SofTouch Concepts, slick leather leashes by Raw Dog, and excellent martingales by Schafer Kennel.

  • Cute-up by dressing your bulldawg in dog t's or coats (in the colder months), bandanas, or silly collar accessories.

  • Teach your Pit Bull a goofy trick or two. How can you be a'skeered of a dog that waves at you, 'sits pretty', or sneezes on cue!

  • Have some stock responses for typical comments or reactions from the general public. Instead of shooting a dirty look or a cranky comeback, smile and emphathize with the fear while also acknowledging the fallacy of the belief. Something like, "I am sorry my dog frightened you, it is really a shame that people have been led to believe Pit Bulls are mean. My dog is actually very friendly and loving". Then add, "Look! I think he likes you!" as you cue your dog to wave. Imagine the impact on the person who experiences such an encounter!

  • Keep in mind that you are always, always an advertisement for the breed - and how you act reflects upon the breed as a whole. When you're out with your Pit Bull or parading around town with that "My Pit Bull is my best friend" t-shirt, always keep in mind that your behavior matters as much as your dog's!

    The goal isn't to 'hard sell' the breed. We know these dogs aren't for everyone and aren't all fluff and cuteness. The goal is to jar people into a new reality, one that does not include the idea of Pit Bulls only as killers owned by thugs and criminals. A reality that reflects a bit more accurately the life the average Pit Bull lives with the average owner.

  • Friday, June 20, 2008

    Obligatory talking out the arse.

    It always happens. After a well-publicized attack, all the experts come crawling out of the woodwork, sharing their 'knowledge' and insight. Why it happened, why Pit Bulls are or are not 'bad dogs', should or should not be wiped off the face of the earth. The stuff coming out of the mouths of the breed-haters is pretty maddening. Like this gem, from Justic of the Peace TreviƱo : "No one needs to keep these types of dogs. These dogs turn on you." Thanks, Justice. Now we know.

    But perhaps nothing makes us grit our teeth more than when the they-should-know-betters start spouting nonsense that has no basis in fact. Dog trainer Cyndee Kendrick, cautioned owners to avoid games of tug, or anything that would require a Pit Bull to use its jaws. She said the game would mimic the conditioning used for dog fighting. Sorry, Ms. Kendrick, but playing tug with your dog won't turn him into a fighter. And what about people with other breeds, should they too worry that playing tug will turn their little Poodle into a fighting champion?

    Nevermind the fact that dog fighting requires aggression towards other DOGS, NOT towards people. If tug DID turn your dog into a fighter, that doesn't mean he'd turn around and attack your kid. (Haven't we learned anything from the Vick Dogs? Fighing dogs aren't the monsters the media's always lied to lead you to believe.)

    In the same article that quoted Kendrick, a veterinarian by the name of Dr. Steve Bentsen had this to say: "The thing about pit bulls (is that) the majority of them are probably fine. But it's hard to know which ones are fine." Really, Dr Bentsen? The fact is that lots of Pit Bulls across the nation are routinely temperament evaluated and placed in homes on a regular basis, with hairs on no human heads ever harmed. If Dr. Bentsen has a hard time reading Pit Bulls, it may have to do with a lack of education on dog behavior and temperament, not because Pit Bulls are so adept at hiding their true intentions.

    Is it really so hard to predict canine behavior? It shouldn't take 8 years of college to understand that irresponsibly kept dogs are prone to getting into trouble. Reading just a bit about the Weslaco tragedy, it becomes very apparent that there was an accident waiting to happen in this home. First, the child's uncle and guardian had purchased the Pit Bull as a guard dog, and he wanted a dog that was aggressive. Pit Bulls are not and were never meant to be guard dogs, and no responsible rescue or breeder would ever place a dog in a home where the dog would be used as such. This dog obviously came from a questionable background. The dog was also kept chained in a yard, and lived under wooden pallets. Little Pedro's guardian says he would let the dog run loose only at night, when no one was around.

    This wasn't a pet dog that was socialized and trained, this was a dog obtained for purposes of aggression, chained in a backyard. Chained, unsocialized dogs pose one of the greatest risks to children. The frustration that builds at being chained coupled with lack of social interaction and training makes for a deadly mix.

    But the media keeps reporting on these 'loved, family pets' that turn on their owners, kill children, and terrorize neighborhoods. It's too bad that critical thinking is no longer in vogue. Sensation rules the day, and hey why not, since the newspapers make more money. Couldn't the public be better served by material that warns of the dangers of keeping guard dogs chained up in yards where children reside? And what of the responsibility of Child Protective Services, placing a child in such a home?

    It is easier to demonize an animal than to take responsibility for ones own actions, ignorance, or neglect. There is nothing wrong with Pit Bulls. It's society that has the problem.

    Thursday, June 19, 2008

    Another Day.

    Another tragedy. And when the solution in theory is so simple, why doesn't anyone listen?

    Loose dogs, chained dogs, wondering children.....a recipe for disastor. Responsible dog ownership and bite prevention information are the keys. But when parents are so often irresponsible with their own children, how can we expect responsible ownership of a mere animal to matter?

    Politicians, wake up. Dogs-at-large should be hit-list priority for police departments. Fines for first time offenders, confiscation for repeat. This is a public safety issue that NEEDS to be addressed. And what sort of programs could be funded by the tickets written for loose dogs? The possibilities are endless.

    This isn't about more laws, this is about laws we have now NOT being enforced. This is about HUMANS taking responsibility for their ACTIONS. A dog is just a dog. A dog is not to blame.

    We have failed our dogs, have failed our children. RPB mourns the loss of an innocent child.

    And although the witch-burning has already begun, it is never too late for a shot of reality.

    Friday, June 13, 2008

    B.A.D. Dogs, Good People

    Three cheers n' then sum for Liberty Humane Society's Pit Bull-centric program, Bullies Are Deserving Dogs aka B.A.D. Dogs. The best & the brightest bully dawgs are highlighted in this enlightened program meant to give those that epitomize the breed their just reward - the home of a lifetime!



    The driving force behind this program are the volunteers who are some of the most dedicated and enthusiastic any shelter could hope for. Each week, members of the B.A.D. Dog crew meet up for Pit Bull training classes conducted by Peaceable Canines, helping the star pupils hone their skills, or unearthing the shine of those as-yet-to-be-uncovered diamonds-in-the-ruff. It is an absolute joy to work with these people and chart the progress of the dogs each week.




    Lots of nice Pit Bull Loves waiting for their forever homes are peaking out of their Liberty Humane kennel runs - go check 'em out! Or, if adopting a dog isn't written in your stars, please consider donating to this worthy organization, a shelter that's 'got it right' when it comes to their Pit Bulldogs.

    Tuesday, June 10, 2008

    Trees: The New 'Fight Paraphernalia'?

    ...or maybe it'll be playground equipment....

    Just because someone abuses something or uses it for nefarious purposes doesn't mean that thing is inherently bad or evil. So-called 'fight training' equipment like treadmills and springpoles are things us responsible, law-abiding, dog-lovin' folk use to exercise our nutty Pit Bulldawgs. Has a dog fighter ever used these same things? Sure, but someone's ill-chosen use for an item doesn't make the item automatically ban-worthy. (I think we could say the same thing for some special breed of dog we know & love, too!)

    RPB pet peeve: assuming things about a breed/behavior/activity when you don't have the knowledge or training to make a proper assesment.

    Visions of dog fighting dancing through your head anytime you see a Pit Bull engaged in some sort of activity? Please, this is a serious condition that requires immediate attention!

    Thursday, June 5, 2008

    Ohio Update

    We wanted our blog readers to be aware that Sen. Yates' proposal to change the current state vicious dog law to completely eliminate and destroy all Pit Bulls seems to have been halted. Sen. Yates is working with Rep. Webster (a Pit Bull friendly ally) to draft a bill that isn't so, well, morbid. And hopefully no breed specific language will be included - wouldn't it be fab if the current law was amended?

    We know you have thoughts - they need to be voiced.

    Rep. Yates or legislative aide Carey McDonald
    614-466-1308 or district33@ohr.state.oh.us

    Rep. Webster or legislative aide Molly Rayo
    614-466-0616 or district53@ohr.state.oh.us

    ::Breathing a tentative sigh of relief::

    Wednesday, June 4, 2008

    PLEASE pLEasE please pLeAsE

    Did we say "Please"?

    If that sounds like begging it's because it IS. Do whatever it takes to keep your PIT BULL CONFINED and UNDER YOUR CONTROL AT ALL TIMES (no, that's not yelling, it's just a slightly raised voice.....)
    Eeesh. What's it gonna take to get owners to listen?

    There is NO ROOM for accidents with this breed - their reputation in press circles cannot handle any more "oops" moments from owners.

    Doesn't everyone make mistakes? Sorry, Pit Bull owners aren't allowed the luxury of "just one mistake" - that's the way it goes with this breed. There is no "can't" - you must do what a responsible guardian needs to do to prevent their dog from getting loose - leashes, crates, collars, harnesses, 6-foot tall privacy fences surrounding topped kennel runs.

    Pit Bulls are escape artists, this much we know. Don't assume your dog cannot get loose...assume he CAN and then take more precautions.

    Loose dogs are far from a Pit Bull-only problem - dog owners in general seem lax when it comes to keeping their canines under proper control. Hmmm....if only legislators would see to it that leash and containment laws were enforced, hefty fines thrown at offenders, perhaps some of these reporters would have to spend their time writing about things like, oh dunno, REAL news.

    ::Cranky::

    Friday, May 23, 2008

    My OH My, OHIO

    Ohio is already one of the least Pit Bull-friendly states, with a state-wide ordinance that declairs a dog vicious if it "[b]elongs to the breed that is commonly known as a pit bull dog."

    Well, seems now Ohio State Rep Tyrone Yates is hoping Ohio will win the title of 'Least American State in America' by introducing the outlandish, Draconion Bill 568. This law would outlaw Pit Bulls in the state and would not include a grandfather clause for existing Pit Bulls. Residents would be forced to give up their companions and family members for euthanasia. Search warrants will be issued if law enforcement believes a person may be harboring a Pit Bull.

    This is the stuff nightmares are made of, and everyone in Ohio - Pit Bull owner or no - should be scared to death of this bill. All concerned Ohio residents should head on over to the Canine Advocates of Ohio website for more information and what you need to do to get ready to do battle.

    We'll be watching with baited breath.

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    'Model' Activists

    Pin up models pose in a calendar, the sales of which benefit Pit Bulls (and other bullbreed-types) in need. Simple concept, fantastic results! Pin Ups for Pit Bulls is, if my mental calculations are correct, barely 2 years old, but the organization has grown by leaps and bounds, and benefitted many dogs directly through donations and outstanding public awareness campaigns and events.

    RPB is proud to be on PFPB's team, and our groups routinely work together to promote Pit Bull awareness. Please keep your eye on this organization, as I see great things ahead for them. Visit their site: PinUpsForPitBulls.com.

    Thanks to a generous donation from PFPB, we were recently able to print colorful educational tri-folds. These tri-folds, btw, are available for free download here: The Pit Bull: In Reality, pg 1 and pg 2

    RPB Blog: New & Exciting!

    Welcome to the official Real Pit Bull - Bloggin' for the Pit Bull Age! RPB has had a blog going on Myspace.com since 2006, but we've decided to create something a bit more user-friendly, and 'get with the blogging times' by signing up here on Blogspot. The easy to use format and ability for readers to post comments without being a member of anything was enticing. So here we are. Stay tuned for fresh and shiny new blog postings - we'll be here often.

    Til next time, keep on marching towards the Pit Bull Age!