Fact Check: Were Pit Bulls Really Nanny Dogs?

pitbull nanny dogs
Whether you are a Pitbull fan or a hater ( and we ’ re decidedly the early ) it would be hard to deny that their reputation over the last hundred and a half has been a roller coaster of ups and downs.

After spending most of the twentieth century as America ’ s most beloved chase, considered steadfast, firm and lovable adequate to feature in both military advertise and children ’ second comedies, their reputation began to decline in the sixties and reached a nadir in the 80s, peculiarly after a controversial 1987 subject when a Pitbull guarding a cannabis crop killed a two class old toddler .

Supporters And Detractors

increasingly, two polarized camps have battled in public and in every corner of the Internet over the reputation of the Pitbull. The first gear are the anti-Pitbull activists, the most extreme of whom will frequently distort facts in their bid to persuade the populace that all Pitbulls are homicidal and should be eliminated. The second are the pro-Pitbull enthusiasts, a minority of whom can besides be selective with facts in their efforts to protect the good name of their beloved Pitbulls .
It ’ s apprehensible that this debate is indeed heated and aroused. It is sincerely a topic of life and end, given that it frequently moves off newspaper letters pages and website forums into courtrooms .
many counties and states in the USA have enacted breed-specific legislation. One of the most controversial of all was in Tijeras, New Mexico, where local legislators reacted to a severe attack on a child by banning all Pitbulls and Pitbull crossbreed breeds and enabling them to be killed on batch and without warning or compensation. It ’ s worth noting that the very victim of that attack is now one of the locals most blunt in her defense mechanism of Pitbulls. There ’ second even a book about this whole countrywide contend, Bronwen Dickey ’ s “ Pit Bull : The Battle over an american Icon ” .
It ’ second from the defenders that the often repeat claim that in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Pitbulls were called “ Nanny Dogs ” has emerged. One commenter on our own forums evening said they were bred for this purpose, and there are whole Facebook pages set up to celebrate “ The Nanny Dogs ” .
unfortunately, while there is lots of testify that Pitbulls and children could and can form loving bonds, and reams of vintage photograph showing babies and children posing with Pitbull breeds, there is no evidence that they were ever called Nanny Dogs at the clock, and surely weren ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate bred for the purpose.

Pit Bull History

It ’ sulfur hard to deny the bloody origins of the Pitbull when it is baked into their very name. The bull comes from Old English Bulldogs, used in the seventeenth century drill of “ bull baiting ” where a chain bull would be attacked by several dogs at a clock. Bloodsports were banned in England in 1835, so breeders crossed Bulldogs with Terriers for function in fights against other dogs and rats, fights which were easier to hide from the law. These awful battles would take put in pits, which is where the “ scar ” separate of the name comes from .
This is unwelcome reading to many Pitbull fans, and frequently wholly at odds with the lovable, affectionate people pleasers that we have come to know and love in our own homes. unfortunately, it is besides historically accurate and can be fact checked. many books on dogs from the 18th and nineteenth century describe the origins of the Pitbull. The New York Times still has on its locate an archive nibble from 1908, reacting to a controversy of the day ( yes, controversy over Pitbulls is nothing newly ) by providing a history of what they call the “ talk through one’s hat terrier ” and describing “ the greatest crusade machine, syrian pound for british pound, on four legs. ”

Were Pit Bulls Nanny Dogs?

It ’ south dry that this source is the New York Times, since that very same wallpaper is besides the one which seems to have unwittingly introduced the idea of the Nanny Dog to the global. In a 1971 ( yes, 1971, not 1871 ) article called “ A Breed That Came Up The Hard Way ”, the wonderfully named Lilian Rant, President of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of America, says “ The Stafford we know today promptly becomes a extremity of the family r-2. He loves children and is frequently referred to as a ‘ nanny dog. ’ ” The most important thing to note here is that she is clearly speaking in the present tense, not claiming a much gentler history for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which is very similar to a Pitbull and was presumably the basis for the Pitbull Nanny Dog myth.
none of this should be read as us endorsing the damage myth that all Pitbulls in 2020 are uniquely dangerous and violent. We believe that any andiron can be dangerous in some circumstances ( yes, even that cute little pomeranian can be a killer, see this LA Times report about a toddler ’ south tragic death ), and recognize that the Pitbull ’ s plain forte can make it more so, but we besides believe that if they are well trained, well controlled and well managed Pitbulls will go through their lives without harming anyone. We besides know first hired hand just how affectionate and gentle they can be with humans – including toddlers .
We besides know that many Pitbull haters are very selective in their use of facts and often guilty of jumping on a bandwagon. Pitbulls are fair the latest in a farseeing argumentation of dogs to be demonized over the years, with past victims including Dobermans, Rottweilers and german Shepherds. And they are surely not the first cad to have been bred for a violent function : Dachshunds were designed to go into fox and wisconsinite dens to kill these aggressive foes, Greyhounds would chase and kill deer, and Cane Corso ’ second would attack barbarous boars. Yet people recognize that these dogs have changed over the years.

Purveyors Of Truth

however, we firm believe that the controversy over Pitbulls will only end when all sides talk to each other reasonably and stick to the facts. Bad Rap are a Pitbull activist group who have led the way on this. In 2013 they were brave adequate to stand up to the pro-Pitbull extremists in their own group and publish distinctly : “ Did you know that there was never such thing as a ‘ Nanny ’ s Dog ’ ? This term was a late invention created to describe the myriad of vintage photos of children enjoying their class pit bulls. While the intention behind the terminus was innocent, using it may mislead parents into being careless with their children around their family chase .
Those of us who would be heartbroken to see more Pitbulls killed because of stereotypes and misinformation need to make sure we don ’ t spread any ourselves and undermine our own reputation for truth-telling. From this target on, let ’ s concenter on the very real positive qualities that Pitbulls have, while besides in full adopting the firm coach and discipline that prevents controversy-feeding incidents. That is the best way to protect our beloved Pitbulls .

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Category : Dogs and Cats