October is National Pit Bull Awareness Month and on Saturday, October 24th, we celebrate National Pit Bull Awareness Day.

It all began back in 2007 with Jodi Preis of Bless the Bullys, a Pit Bull rescue and education group in Middle Tennessee. Hoping to bring about some positive attention towards a very misunderstood group of dogs, their goal is to spread the truth about Pit Bulls and help educate the public.
Since then, many rescues and shelters celebrate Pit Bull Awareness Day with expos and fundraisers around the “Bully” breeds, to encourage people to come out and meet these wonderful dogs. So many perceptions of this breed have been spoiled by the media, making many people terrified of them even though they have never even met one. Countless trainers, shelter volunteers and fosters will say, however, that they have worked with so many and have never found an issue other than their desire to snuggle and kiss us.
What we need to realize is Pit Bulls are not a dog for everyone and sadly, they end up in the wrong hands. These dogs are so smart and have a great drive to please us and will do anything we encourage them to do. Pitties are a very active breed and simply put, need a lot of exercise and training. As with any breed, if you combine love, training, exercise and socialization, then you will have a wonderful dog.
Pit Bulls are just like any other dogs. Did you know that the American Pit Bull Terrier has an 86% American Temperament Testing Society passing rate? That’s higher than the Mini Poodle or Collie! I often say, “They are like race cars, they need an experienced driver!”
What can we do to help these dogs?
• Dedicate your social media campaigns to show positive images and videos.
• Educate! The best way to counteract fear is with education. Work with local Pit Bull rescues to schedule meet and greets or Pit Bull days so the public can see the true nature of these dogs.
• Work against Breed Specific Legislation. In many jurisdictions, lawmakers are taking another look at Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), and we are now starting to see more sensible laws taking their place. Instead of focusing on the type of dog, these laws focus on the behavior of the owners.
Remember to never judge a book by its cover. Educate before you legislate.