American Pit Bull Terrier Essay

762 Words 4 Pages
The American pit bull terrier is a well-known breed of dog for polarizing reasons. Some know them as affectionate, loyal companions; trusted around children, the elderly, and other smaller breeds of dogs. Some may even recognize the breed from recruitment flyers for WWI, as at that time the American pit bull terrier embodied American masculinity and toughness.
Delise, (2007) notes the following:
However, for over half a century in between, 1920–1970, millions of Bulldogs, Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and all their mixed breed cousins served Americans well in every possible capacity and circumstance. From high-profile Bulldogs such as Stubby, one of America’s foremost canine military heroes, and Petey, the famed Little Rascals Pit bull pal, to the millions of anonymous dogs whose owners either cherished, neglected, fought or horrifically abused them, Bulldogs served Americans consistently, courageously, faithfully, and peaceably. (p. 71)
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All of these words are used when describing the American Staffordshire terrier commonly known as the American pit bull terrier (“American Staffordshire terrier,” 2016). Despite these favorable descriptors the pit bull is referred to by news outlets and reporters as a dangerous and vicious attack-dog. Before the pit bull became the target of reporters across the U.S. there were other breeds that had their fair share of media fear-mongering. Portrayed as being responsible for a majority of the attacks on and deaths of humans by dogs, bloodhounds were the focus of newspaper reports during the 1800s (Delise, 2007, p. 21). Eventually, the bloodhound no longer caught the eye of the public and news outlets found other dogs to vilify, leading unfortunately to the American pit bull terrier. The fact that the media’s attention evolves from one specific breed of dog to another begs the question, is it really the dog that is the

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