Pit Bulls And Fighting

When a person refers to “man’s best friend” every individual knows what that person is talking about. The dog has been a loyal companion to man for years, yet in spite of this, the same cannot always be said for the reverse relationship. Dog fighting is an illegal, yet still occurring pastime within human society, and pit bulls take the brunt of the punishment for such activities. This is not only due to the fact that the animals are muscular and bred for protection, but as a result of the fact that when people envision the animal, due to their constant association with dog fighting, they are viewed as violent, dangerous beasts. They are not born this way, however, but turned into such creatures as a result of their placement within dog fighting rings. A pit bull, if treated properly, like any animal, will be a kind and faithful friend. Yet those who are placed within the fighting ring are trained to meanness. These animals are constantly starved, beaten, and left in squalorous conditions. These conditions, and these treatments, over time turn the animal mean.

While there are various rehabilitation programs in place, designed to assist those dogs that have been rescued from the fighting ring, those that still live, in being able to be a part of human society once more, the question of whether or not those animals may be turned into family pets is one that sadly must be answered in the negative. Children are still learning, and a pulled tail or an accidentally tripped over dog may be enough to set a dog off, if that dog has been bred toward fighting, regardless of its rehabilitation. This type of behavior results in the child being injured and necessitates the animal being put down. This is neither the fault of the child or the dog, but rather is a poor result of the treatment that the dog has received at the hands of humans.

Some fighting dogs can be rehabilitated, able to live within an adult home, i.e. a home with an adult male or an adult female, but the sounds of fighting may set the animal off. Some dogs may even be rehabilitated as far as to be able to be a part of a multi-dog household, but this too is not as common as one might think. As a result of the constant abuse, the sound of a fight or the presence of another dog may be enough to cause the dog to temporarily revert to their prior conditioning, for, as with humans as well, the negative stays within the mind longer than the positive, and just as a human who has been abused will have certain events, sights, or sounds that will cause a trigger to their previous behaviors, so too does conditioning work on dogs.

It would be nice to believe that the cruelty of humans who engage in dog fighting could be counteracted, and to a degree it can, but the fact of the matter is that the longer the abuse occurs, the more permanent the damage that has been done to the animal. Fighting dogs, regardless of whether they are pit bulls are not, are not animals that can be rehabilitated into a traditional family pet. These animals are still damaged, and that damage is permanent. Though behaviors can be reconditioned, the animal will never be as kind, as trusting, or as non-violent as it once was, regardless of how it reacts most of the time. Pit bulls who have never seen the inside of a fighting ring are fiercely loyal to the humans that they call their own, and will protect those humans from any real threat; the issue arises when the threat stems from inside the memory banks of the animal, and the true way of the world cannot be seen for the conditioning that has occurred in the past.


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