What It’s Really Like to Live With Pit Bulls

I have Pit Bulls. That means that I have limitations on where I can live, where I can walk my dogs without muzzles, even where I can drive with my Pits, Hudson and Falstaff. (I was stopped in Colorado once and told I could not pass through the state with my dogs. How insane is that?) But not only am I discriminated against because of my choice to own this type of dog, the dogs themselves are discriminated against, and it makes me mad!

All dogs have been discriminated against since the beginning of time. In the Bible (just to have a starting point), the term “dog” was used to describe unsavory and worthless people. Dogs were compared with swine (not that I have anything against pigs) and were considered unclean and to be avoided. I remember being skeptical of the Bible in my Evangelical youth because dogs were considered pariahs. Dogs are important to me. More important than religion or living in Colorado.

The Constitution covered human equality, but unfortunately America’s forefathers forgot to add, “Dogs are created equal, too.” But maybe none of them were dog people. If dog people had their way today, I’d guess that most would want to elevate dogs from the current position of “property” to something along the lines of “family members.”

Also See: 10 Common Misconceptions About Pit Bulls

The discrimination against my Pit Bulls started with an attempt to enroll Hudson in a doggie daycare class.

There was no mention of breed (or “type,” which is really what a Pit Bull is). But when we got there and they asked what Hudson’s make-up was and I said “Pit Bull,” we were promptly shown the door: no explanations, no concerns about our wasted time or the fact that Hudson used up about six months’ worth of energy on the way there.

We have been banned from doggie playgroups, doggie cocktail hours, stores that allow no dogs and those that allow other types and breeds of dogs, therapy events, dog parks, and dog walks. I’ve been turned away by groomers and even a veterinarian who said Pit Bulls weren‘t “trustworthy.” I doubt he was trustworthy either.

If you really want to see discrimination at work, try to rent an apartment or house with Pit Bulls — or any type of dog, really.

Several realtors in New York City turned me down flat when I mentioned pitties, so I switched that to simply “dogs” — and was turned down by several more. It’s no wonder I’ve resorted to making up a non-bully breed for Falstaff and a non-bully mix for Hudson. I’ve also learned that, if you’re going to tell the landlord you have Pit Bulls, do it late in the game when so they won’t want to go through the trouble of finding another tenant. Is that fair? Ask the Pit Bulls.

Owning a Pit Bull means being scared half the time — and not of the Pit Bull.

I started clamming up about my dogs’ origins when Falstaff was attacked by a feisty Fox Terrier. My instinct then was to run away because, though any Terrier is a fighter, I feared Falstaff would be solely to blame. I’ve made up outrageous stories to cover my dogs’ asses, like when Hudson and Falstaff got into a scuffle and Falstaff’s paw was hurt (he really is a lover, not a fighter). I told my vet that a dog came out of nowhere when we were walking and attacked Falstaff (yeah, right!). This was to avoid a possible report that Hudson had really done the damage. Some states have the three-strikes rule for human criminals; a Pit Bull doesn’t even have to do something wrong to get one strike, which often means “you’re out — for good.”

You’d think, then, that Pit Bull advocates would come to the rescue, but my foray into this arena proved that that is not always so. Continue reading this story over at Dogster >>

About the Author: Kelly Pulley is a pet writer and Dogster Magazine contributor.

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Karen T.
Karen T3 years ago

Did you watch the video? I do not think so. The goal of the site is for victims to fight back about the ignorant lies being told about the safety of these dogs.

These are actual victims of dog attacks, and some family members of the deceased from those attacks.

The last comment on the video is about one of the children that died. He was killed by the dogs of a friend/neighbor/caregiver who had both dogs since they were puppies and they had never been abused nor had they ever shown any sign of aggression.

Yet, unprovoked, they killed the child after tearing him out of the arms of the caregiver, in an attack that lasted 15 minutes.

Scott C.
Terry C3 years ago

Hi Karen T. After 9 years of shelter work we found pitties to be the most trustworthy of all the breeds we rescued. The easiest thing to do is to generalize out of fear and ignorance which is the goal of the site you reference. Individual tragedies do not make a truth. We suggest you, in the spirit of open mindedness read two books by Karen Delise: Fatal Dog Attacks and The Pit Bull Placebo: The Media, Myths and Politics of Canine Aggression.

Karen T.
Karen T3 years ago

If you are not too closed minded to look at reality then watch this PSA - make sure you get to the last video statement.


Tammy P.
Tammy P3 years ago

I get very defensive when someone gives me the evil eye or makes a comment about my pitbulls. They are the best dogs and I will defend them 100%.

elegantgypsy rose

I bought my pits a treadmill because we got attacked twice in the same week when walking in our neighborhood. One lady let her two small poodles out the front door, no fence and they ran intonthe street, attacking my 4 year old pit. I sprayed them both with mace so we got away. Two days later, a dog jumped a 4 ft fence and attacked my little pit, who promptly bit him in the foreleg. It was alI could do to keep my big boy out of the fray, he wanted to help my little girl. That was the end of walks for us. We stay safe in the house on our treadmill...and go once a week up onto our mountain property were they can run safely. We would get the blame if anything bad really happened...so we just dont risk it anymore.

Spring Green
.3 years ago

I feel for you, especially when you told about being afraid that another dog would provoke yours. I have had rescue dogs for years now. The worst experience I had was when a group of children decided to taunt my very calm lab/mix. My dog went into the red zone and I was terrified that if he bit one of the naughty children then the dog would be blamed and put down. Thank goodness I got away in time.

We need to educate people about dog handling. It's sad that a good dog could be blamed and/or killed for the the fault of a human or another dog who is badly behaved.

Ken W.
Ken W4 years ago

There better then people .........

Estelle S.
Estelle S4 years ago

Who is more dangerous---someone like - Vick or Pitbulls------------------ for sure it is not the poor Pitbulls...................... well hopefully some day this Ignorance against the pitbulls will end.....

Kaileen Reynolds
Kaileen R4 years ago

Thanks so much for sharing.

Marianne R.
Marianne R4 years ago

Eye opening article