It is an unequivocal fact that the American Pit Bull Terrier is the greatest breed of dog on earth. They are the literal interpretation of ‘best of all worlds’. Pound for pound there isn’t a stronger, tougher animal in the world. They possess more courage running through their veins than any other breed of dog in existence. They have beauty, brains and charming personalities. Despite all of their amazing qualities, the breed and its reputation are being unfairly ruined by users of the breed. By those who feel entitled, rather than privileged to be a part of such an amazing breed of dogs.
A privilege is a special right granted to a group of people. It is a privilege to own a breed of dog as marvelous as the American Pit Bull Terrier. It is a privilege to benefit from the hard work and dedication our fore fathers sacrificed to lay the foundation of the dogs we have today. Men like Maurice Carver, Earl Tudor, John Colby, Floyd Boudreaux and Ronald Boyles are outstanding examples of those who paved the way to where we are today. It is a privilege to be a part of the modern day fraternity of dog men and women who truly care about the well-being of the breed.
Unfortunately for our breed, there are more negative than positive influences. Human nature is such that privilege most often leads to a sense of entitlement. The majority of people feel that they deserve to own the American Pit Bull Terrier, because they are privileged. Privilege should never lead to entitlement. Privilege should lead to greater responsibility. There is a quote in the Bible that sums up my thoughts exactly. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12:48
We have a responsibility to our dogs to provide proper food, shelter, exercise and love. These are basic needs all dogs require, and they must be met before any dog can perform at an elite level in competition. Unfortunately far too many dogs are short changed of these basic needs; yet they are asked to perform at a level they will never be able to achieve without them. Subsequently these dogs are discarded and labeled as curs, coons, or any of the other derogatory names people use to describe a dog that didn’t live up to their ‘standard’ of what a good dog should be. Very rarely do you find people who look within themselves and ask what they could have done better to help their dogs succeed.
We have a responsibility to represent our dogs, in and out of the show ring in such a way that they are presented and represented in a positive way. They should be showcased in a way that they are seen as an asset to the world, not a liability. Human and animal aggressive breeds should not be out in public, it places the dog, and the owner, in a bad situation. We need to be more responsible than that. Our focus needs to be on improving the image of the breed as a whole. We shouldn’t be embarrassed or scared to tell someone that our dog is an American Pit Bull Terrier. After all, the American Pit Bull Terrier is the greatest breed of dog on earth, and we need to show the public that this is a fact.
We have a responsibility to the names of the breeders’ in the 4th, 5th and 6th generations of our dogs’ pedigrees. We need to give them a reason to say, ‘They are one of us’. Whether you realize it or not, we are laying the foundation for those who follow us. What we do today for the American Pit Bull Terrier can serve to either improve the breed or lead to its demise.
We can redefine what is cool to young people. We need to be able to think for ourselves and not be influenced by some of the age old practices that have been followed blindly for hundreds of years. Just because a dog loses does not mean it has to be put down. Just because a dog is a cur does not mean it has to be put down. Just because a dog is cold does not mean it has to be put down. Just because a dog is shy does not mean it has to be put down. Just because a dog is man aggressive does not mean it has to be put down. Selling puppies is not necessarily a bad thing as many people would lead you to believe. Rather, breeding dogs with the sole intention of selling puppies and selling them to the wrong people is a problem. I could go on and on. For the record, in no way, shape or form am I advocating breeding losers, curs, cold dogs, shy dogs or man biters. What I am saying is that we should not be so quick to quit on dogs that we have bred and/or raised. We need to always remember that our dogs’ failures are OUR failures as breeders and competitors. Win or lose, we have a responsibility to them, as they did not ask to be bred. Just because they are not capable of performing to your standard, does not mean that they are disposable. It’s our responsibility to find the ‘right seat on the bus’ for them. Meaning that just because they are not able to be top show dogs does not mean that they cannot excel at something else. It is our responsibility to do our best to put our dogs in a position to succeed. Euthanasia should be a last resort. It is far more important to do what IS right, than to do what FEELS right and is convenient.
We have a responsibility to show young people that integrity is a worthy pursuit. All too often you hear stories of people who were ripped off when trying to purchase a puppy or a dog. Theft, hanging papers, and lies are far too prevalent today. Those who partake in this treachery need to be shunned. They need to be looked at as outcasts and exiles. Instead most continue to deal with liars, thieves and snitches because ‘They never actually did anything to me.’
There is no way any of us deserve such a great breed of dog, yet we have them nonetheless. We must have the integrity to handle this privilege and be willing to sacrifice our ego and convenience to utmost fulfill the responsibility we’ve been given. We have a responsibility to the dog at the end of the leash and the names of the breeders behind these dogs. I’ll end with a quote from a very good friend and mentor of mine. "The gods of the game rarely smile upon fools." -Bill Reynolds. Don’t be another one of the fools. Strive to be great and you, your dogs and the breed will be all the better for it.