This is an extremely detailed history of the breed, it's origins and how it's
reputation went from family pet to savage beast and then back again. It is chock full of stories and pictures about the breed and it's behaviors.
Once considered a "Nanny" dog for many families, somehow along the way the breed turned into an angry, viscous, unreliable brute in the public eye. That reputation is slowly turning around.
I was very interested in this book as my husband and I were quite fearful of the breed, with a few instances that validated our fears. We would never have considered having one in our home. Than we adopted a puppy at the pound that looked like a straight hound dog...........until it matured. That was a defining moment for us as we were by then in love with the creature, as were the children, and had to re-educate ourselves. I wanted to know how this breed started and what the "truth" was.
There are many personal stories in here, heartbreaking ones such as family pets being shot by nervous policeman with no real cause, shelters and caregivers refusing homes and safety to the breed and the general fear of them. Jesmyn Ward's book, Salvage the Bones, is referenced as an excellent example of refusing to evacuate during Katrina as no one would take their Pit Bull in with the family and they refused to leave. (Excellent book I recommend you read).
This is a nice hearty book filled with historical facts and a strong knowledge of the breed. It might either open your eyes a bit, or validate what you already feel.
P.S. My part Pit is the best family dog I have ever owned, a true "Nanny" dog to the kids.
May 10, 2016
The hugely illuminating story of how a popular breed of dog became
the most demonized, and supposedly the most dangerous of dogs--and what
role humans have played in the transformation.
Bronwen Dickey brought her new dog home, she saw no traces of the
infamous viciousness in her affectionate, timid pit bull. Which made her
wonder: how had the breed--beloved by Teddy Roosevelt, Helen Keller,
TV's "Little Rascals"--come to be known as a brutal fighter? Her search
for answers takes her from nineteenth-century New York City dogfighting
pits--the cruelty of which drew the attention of the recently-formed
ASPCA--to early twentieth-century movie sets where pit bulls cavorted
with Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton; from the battlefields of
Gettysburg and the Marne, where pit bulls earned presidential
recognition, to desolate urban neighborhoods where the dogs were loved,
prized, and brutalized. Whether through love or fear, hatred or
devotion, humans are bound to the history of the pit bull. With
unfailing thoughtfulness, compassion, and a firm grasp of scientific
fact, Dickey offers us a clear-eyed portrait of this extraordinary
breed, and an insightful view of Americans' relationship with their