Here’s yet another glimpse back (and the nearly 100th vintage photo) from a time when pit bulls were considered the “Nanny Dog”, the seventh most popular breed in America. Oh, how that’s changed.
Maligned and legislated against, these dogs need to reclaim their position of trusted symbol of American fidelity.
While there has always been a small-minded and vicious group of people who fought pit bulls, through most of America’s history they were considered the safest and most reliable dog to have around kids. It was a 1970 cover story in Sports Illustrated magazine that exploded the ownership of these innocent animals to every nut-job and wannabe bad-ass across the country. People who wanted to raise a monster dog all bought pit bulls. (Sports Illustrated has since retracted their calumnies against the breed in a wonderful article about what happened to the Michael Vic dogs.)
When the worst elements of society all go out and get one breed of dog, you can guarantee that breed, be they golden retrievers or poodles, will end up with the lion’s share of court cases and damages done. This has been the sad lot of the pit bull for the last forty years. One hundred and fifty years of good and loyal service undone.
(Some anti-pit bull sites have recently taken to putting up photos of children with alligators and tiger cubs to prove people will put their kids in danger with wild animals and take photos of it. Point proved. What that handful of pictures by certifiable parents does not do is adequately compare juvenile wild animals or reptiles with 100 years of photographs with trusted and beloved family pets.)
Here is the text of the original blog. Enjoy.
“Astoundingly, for most of our history America’s nickname for Pit Bulls was “The Nanny Dog”. For generations if you had children and wanted to keep them safe you wanted a pit bull, the dog that was the most reliable of any breed with children or adults.
The Nanny Dog is now vilified by a media that always wants a demon dog breed to frighten people and LHASA-APSO BITES MAN just doesn’t sell papers. Before pit bulls it was Rottweilers, before Rottweilers it was Dobermans, and before them German Shepherds. Each breed in it’s order were deemed too vicious and unpredictable to be around people. Each time people wanted laws to ban them. It is breathtakingly ironic that the spotlight has turned on the breed once the symbol of our country and our national babysitter.
In temperance tests (the equivalent of how many times your kid can poke your dog in the eye before it bites him) of all breeds the most tolerant was the Golden Retriever. The second most tolerant was the pit bull.
Pit Bull’s jaws do not lock, they do not have the most powerful bite among dogs (Rottweilers have that honor) they are not naturally human aggressive (in fact pit bull puppies prefer human company to their mother’s two weeks before all other dogs), and they feel as much pain as any other breed (accidentally step on one’s toe and you’ll see).
The most tolerant, patient, gentle breed of dogs is now embarrassingly portrayed as the most dangerous. It would be funny if the new reputation did not mean 6,000 are put to death every day, by far the highest number of any other breed euthanized.
That’s a lot of babysitters.”
For 60 more vintage photos of pit bulls with adoring children, see:
For Over 150 Years Americans Knew What Pit Bulls Were Famous For. BABYSITTING! Part I. http://www.ywgrossman.com/photoblog/?p=676
For Over 150 Years Americans Knew What Pit Bulls Were Famous For. BABYSITTING Part II. http://www.ywgrossman.com/photoblog/?p=1103