There is always some sort of controversy surrounding the ownership of bully breeds, such as Pit Bulls, as family pets. Although I usually read the headlines where Pit Bulls are blamed and say those owners are idiots, what really drove me to write about this was a discussion with my uncle. It seems his neighbor's Pit Bull was released from her chain and killed several of my uncle's chicken, also maiming another smaller dog down the street. My uncle thought the Pit Bull was a danger and despite my pleas to back off, made plans to shoot that particular dog when the owner wasn't around. While I don't know if he followed through with that or not, I do know that Pit Bull is only a danger because of how it's been treated by its owners. Like any animal, Pit Bulls are only as dangerous as their surroundings or owners teach them to be.
The history of the Pit Bull has changed drastically. In the early 1800s, these bully breeds were seen as excellent guard dogs and considered to be the best to have if you had children in the house. Then the use of Pit Bulls in dog fighting began and therefore, Pit Bulls developed a bad name. They are as trainable, if not easier to train, than other dog breeds. You here about these animals killing smaller animals or being let loose to terrorize and physically cripple the neighbor's toddler but what you don't hear is how these dogs are usually neglected and trained to be violent. Mostly because some ignorant jackasses are wanted to prove how cool they are with a mean, vicious-looking dog.
Yes, it is true that SOME Pit Bulls have an inclination to hunt and chase smaller animals or anything they deem as prey; but proper training has proven that the Pit Bulls affected with this high prey drive are usually less than 1% of the puppy population. Those kids who were mauled? Blame the owner for making their dog a danger! Pit Bulls are powerful animals but they're not naturally dangerous, or more dangerous than any other breed of dog. They can be seen as intimidating based on their appearance but really, any breed can be aggressive and do the same amount of damage. My grandfather owns a Chihuahua that is as mean as any animal I've ever seen and it's because he's been trained that way.
Shows such as Pit Boss or Pit Bulls And Parolees are meant to convey the gentler nature of the animal and demonstrate the possibility of rehabilitating Pit Bulls deemed harmful by society. It's the equivalent of drug treatment for addicts and some of those Pit Bulls will never be fully rehabilitated, which means family life will never be for them, but the majority of them still seek love and companionship. Admittedly, some of these dogs will have been so neglected and trained to be dangerous, that it's best for society if they're put to sleep; a terrible thing to say but true.
It's a very volatile and controversial subject that I feel a positive stand must be taken against. Caution, training, and restraint are things ALL dogs should be acquainted with. No specific breed should be condemned or euthanized because of the incredible stupidity of a dumbass owner.