‘Don’t Judge A Pit Bull By One Stray Incident’

Amita Sinha, 38, a homemaker at Greater Noida and a proud Pit Bull parent, counters the demonization of the breed after a freak Lucknow death involving a pet

I was first shocked to read about the horrifying incident in Lucknow where a pet Pit Bull attacked its 83-year old owner, who died due to excessive blood loss and delay in treatment. Even more heart-breaking was the reaction of several dog owners in the city, as reported by the media, that many Pit Bulls in the city were being abandoned by their families after the incident.

I am a Pit Bull parent myself and I can vouch for the breed as one of most trustworthy dogs on this planet. I have a four-year-old girl who plays with my dog Bella all the time. Bella, a Pit Bull, is powerful, energetic but docile and friendly to children around her.

The problem lies not with the Pit Bull but those owners who fail to understand the needs for proper raising of their pets. I often see people getting Pit Bulls as status symbol, one that would instil fear among others. Pit Bull is essentially a guard dog. It fits into this role for its loyalty and muscular build.

Different breeds have different needs. Pit Bulls need to be socialized at an early age. They need to be taught to behave properly in front of children and act gently around them. Unlike Labradors and Golden Retrieves, Pit Bulls and related breeds need more workout every day. They need additional socialisation, more training and better attention during early years. They are very intelligent, and once trained properly, they can even become Nanny Dogs for young children.

Sinha feels a pet owner must act as a responsible parent

Every prospective pet owner needs to understand the breed specifications before adopting one. Pit Bulls need frequent exercise and strenuous workouts for the release of their inward energy. The bottled-up energy could lead to frustration and aggression in their behaviour. If a person is not able to take the dog for a walk every day, it is like forcing the pet into depression.

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We must realise that adopting a dog is a responsibility. It is the owner’s duty to realise the needs to their pets and turn them into social, loving domesticated beings. It’s impossible for a dog to turn aggressive if it has been taken care of its needs properly.

Keeping the dog chained or locked inside a home, like what seemingly happened in the Lucknow case, will not make one a good dog parent. Loving a dog is one thing, understanding their needs is quite another, and more important.

There is a difference between all dog breeds. Let’s not confuse one to another. Pit Bulls are strong guard dogs but can be a fantastic family pet for apartment dwellers. There are a series of videos on social media about training of Pit Bulls. I would advise all Pit Bull parents to watch these and learn the ropes.

Don’t judge the dog breed by a couple of stray incidents; we need to get to the bottom of the problem. Pit Bulls are not status symbol, they loving strong creatures who need attention, training and socialising.

As told to Deepti Sharma