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Are You A Pittopotamous Parent?

Photo Credit: Gilberto Reyes
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When you take your dog for a walk, people always come and surround you! They all want to give him or her a nice pat and get to meet your pet. But, what happens when you take your pit bull for a walk? Owners constantly have to wonder if they will be met by judgement and fear from passersby.

Gaby Savransky had this happen to him, for a different reason. He had recently adopted a new puppy and was taking her for a walk in Brooklyn. The colour of his adorable little pup is a beautiful silver color which is specifically known as “blue fawn”.

Her name is Esme and at the time of the walk she was just 11 weeks old. Someone asked him a question that he didn’t expect! They asked if Gaby knew about the pit bull rebranding that was happening.

The Renaming Of The Pit Bull Breed

People have thought of renaming the breed, “Pibbles”. Gaby Savransky was not convinced by this attempt at reclaiming the breed from the bad books of the dog world. So, now you’re probably wondering where on earth this new name came from. You’re about to find out!

Photo Credit: Makarand Sawant

If you’re a pet lover, you probably scroll through The Dodo at least once a day! The website is designed for animal content and the executive editor of the website, Katy Brink, had something to say about this rebranding. She says, “‘Pibble’ sounds like ‘pit bull’ but also sounds like ‘nibble’”. Katy is a pit bull lover through and through. She is a parent to not one, but two, of these incredible dogs. According to Katy, people are also starting to call them names such as: pittie, pittopotamous, hippo or even potato!

Why Would They Change The Name?

What is the point of this name change? The point is trying to change people’s point of views. It is so they can view these gentle giants in a different light. The dogs will then be associated with something sweeter and even a little bit silly. “They just want to give you kisses and lounge around. It shows you there’s nothing to be afraid of,” says Katy.

The Dodo have been full on with their support of the breed and have created a series called “Pittie Nation”. Their series has racked up the views with an astounding more than one billion views on Facebook Watch! The series hope is that it will help people see the amazing nature of this breed. Let’s get rid of the negative stereotype of these dogs!

Videos To Watch On The Dodo

Top videos on their channel are “Pablo, who was scared of men, falls in love with his new dad”, and “Shortcake with the world’s best smile”. Take a look at these videos and we encourage you to share them on social media to spread the word and change the view of Pit Bulls.

How are the efforts of these types of organizations doing? Well, the breed has actually become quite a popular choice of pet! But, some of the pit bull owners have reported that people are still nervous around their pets. Executive editor of The Dodo has said that when people see her dogs out walking with her, they will sometimes pull their children closer to themselves. Perhaps, one day this will change. Will parents start to encourage their children and not leave them fearful?

The Label Of A Pit Bull

Did you know that “Pit bull” has become an umbrella term instead of just being the name of a specific breed of dogs? The president of the ASPCA anti-cruelty behavior team, Dr. Pamela Reid, said “With the pit bull we have this pervasive label that encompasses a variety of purebred dogs as well as mixes that share characteristics but not DNA. This is dogs like American pit bull terriers, Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, American bulldogs. ‘Pit bull’ is now a label for any medium to large, muscular, short-coated dog with a blocky, disproportionately large head.”

The History Of The Staffordshire Bull Terrier

If we go back in the history of specifically the Staffordshire bull terrier, you’ll learn that this breed was commonly used for fighting. They were also used in a betting sport which was known in England and the United States as bull-baiting. Thankfully, this terrible sport has since been outlawed. But, then these dogs that had been used for this sport were then used for illegal activity. This then led to them getting their reputation for being aggressive when it was just because of the bad behavior and ideas from humans.

Photo Credit: Gilberto Reyes

Because this breed was in demand for dangerous activities, breeding was not done very well and the breeders paid little attention to the behavior traits that may be passed down to any puppies they might have. What does Dr. Reid have to say about this? She said, “The result is a population of dogs with a wide range of behavioral predispositions. We know that there’s so much individual variability within a breed it makes sense scientifically to treat them as individuals.”

The Stats Of Pit Bulls

With this bad rep, there are some shocking statistics that have been presented by the ASPCA. In surveys that were conducted in 2015 and 2016, pit bulls were the breed that the shelters had the highest intake of and also the breed that had the highest euthanasia rate.

We need to all work together to look after all breeds of dogs and help reduce the stigma attached to pit bulls. A lot of celebrities have become involved with this cause such as comedian, Rebecca Corry. She even organized the “One Million Pibble March” which took place in Washington D.C. This march intended to help raise the much needed awareness about animal abuse and dog fighting. She also has an organisation which is called “Stand Up For Pits Foundation”. She is a proud pit bull mom of two pit bull mixes. Their names are Sally and Tod. She says, “I did their dog DNA recently and they’re not even pit bulls.” It just goes to show that you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover!

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