Larger-Than-Life Lap Dogs

Posted by Pia

Pit Bulls as Nannies and National Spokes-Beings? Who knew?


Helen Keller and her pit bull, Sir Thomas (photo courtesy

Pit bulls....what just happened as you read that? Did your hair stand on end with fear or did you fill up with a warm sense of love and comfort? Sadly, many among us have been conditioned by the myriad sensationalist pit bull-related stories put forth in the media. And whether you love the breed or not, it is important to know that the vast majority of these stories are misinformed, partial accounts that have come to represent a minority of incidents. The fact-based reports and statistics on this breed offer an entirely different picture.

For starters, you may be surprised to learn that in the 1940's and 50's pit bulls were affectionately referred to as "America's Nanny Dog." Their stability, natural affinity for humans, and good nature with kids had many American families "employing" pit bulls to watch over precious new family members. And if any of you has had the good fortune to know a pittie personally, you'll agree that their ongoing wish to make their love and affection known with kisses likely kept these kids "well groomed" to boot!

But the impressive history of this now-maligned breed does not stop here. Their praises could be sung by every municipal chorus and there would still be more content upon which to write an opera!

Pit bulls have not only been trusted to care for human infants, but also, large companies, and even countries, have branded them as "spokes-beings" for their products and causes! Their professional portfolio includes serving as the face for Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and they were America's choice to convey loyalty and integrity on WWI and WWII campaign posters to enroll troops. In today's market, if pit bulls had agents they'd land all sorts of coveted gigs.

Sergeant Stubby (photo courtesy

Sergeant Stubby (photo courtesy

President Woodrow Wilson's best friend was not only a pit bull but he was also a war hero. Canine Sgt. Stubby served our country in WWI and was reportedly wounded in action twice. Stubby actually captured a German spy and succeeded in saving his entire platoon by warning them to retreat from a poisonous gas attack. If that doesn't define "man's best friend," what does?

Woodrow Wilson was not the only national leader loved by a member of this breed. As a young boy, Jimmy Carter had a loyal pit bull companion. And General George S. Patton's faithful bull pooch, Willie, was noted to have mourned his master's loss for a long time after the general's passing.

Helen Keller also shared her life and travails with a beloved pit bull companion. And who can forget the famed Petey from the little rascals?

More modern celebrity figures, such as Jon Stewart, Brad Pitt, Jessica Alba, Mary Tyler Moore and Justin Timberlake, have been seen out and about, walking proud with their rescued pit bull companions.

My own work helping rescue animals after Hurricane Katrina had me working side by side with actress Linda Blair (of Exorcist fame) who also came to the Gulf Coast to help rescue animals. Linda was right there in the trenches and is so committed to these canines that she runs her own not-for-profit rescue group to help the breed.

So if history is any indication, I'd say we have a lot to learn about this misunderstood breed. I know you to be a crowd always up for debunking myths about our fellow animals, so I vote that we spread the real story on this "dogged" dog. Hopefully we can educate others missing out on the "bottomless pit" of love these guys have to offer the world.

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Dr. Pepper, from Chicago
Learn More About Dr. Pepper.

The only confusion that should remain when we finish reporting the real deal is the one that exists in nearly every pit bull's head -- They seem to be confused as to their size: Most believe they are cuddly little lap dogs and see no reason why they, too, can't accompany their human everywhere in a chic little purse... I guess it's worth a try...

In Kinship,
Dr. Pia Salk

Baby Ruth

PS: We'd love to hear your stories about these loyal canines and the humans who love their larger than life lap dogs. Send us your stories and photos!

Comments (41)

  • Dear Martha, bless you, thank you and a big lick and wag of the tail from my girl Cici, a 3 year old Dalmatian mix with pit (rescued)... now, if you can only convince the Marines not to ban these so-called aggressive breeds from bases...

    I recently met three of the rescued Michael Vick dogs at the Monterey SPCA. They've been adopted and have come a long way, yet, wow, what a difference between them and my girl... for days afterward, I felt sad thinking of the scars and wounds (inside and out) those dogs have to live with... compared to my happy go lucky girl, who once was taken from a shelter for all the wrong reasons (she was supposed to guard a mentally ill-bipolar woman from her homicidal boyfriend who put her in the hospital several times) but I could not allow the sweetest dog in the universe to be put at risk of getting hurt and possibly killed by this guy... so I rescued her.

    My girl loves to show off her pink polka dot belly and she cannot hold her licker (often does lick by's at shopping malls), and she is just a joy to most people we meet... the rare few who are afraid just looking at her are missing out of the love she gives so freely...

    I write all about her exploits at my have dog blog will travel... at ...

    Thank you again !

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    After being attacked by a pit bull mix in my own driveway, I was on a leash and he wasn’t, I don’t have any comments on them now. Your mommy said that Chows were lazy and didn’t like to walk very far. I love to hike and will walk for miles. When she is ready, I’ll be glad to walk with her. By the way, a team of Chows ran in the Iditarod Sled Dog Race one year. That would mean that they had to run for about 40 miles every 24 hours for a total well over 1,000 miles. I wouldn’t call that lazy at all. I call it conserving energy when I lay around the house.
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • Dr.Pia, what a wonderful article on a very misunderstood breed of dog! I used to have a great fear of Pit bulls only because of what I heard, and that was only the negative side of this breed, how unfortunate.
    My husbands family owns Pit bulls and that's where I have learned a bit about them, although these particular family dogs are for guarding purposes, it is not an ideal introduction...however when I was introduced to the head guy named "Nitro" he growled at my husband(who showed his fear) I on the other hand greeted him with joy and hugged him and petted his enormous head, since then when I come over (that's only every few years since we live 2000 mi. away) he greets me and shoves his body into me for petting and loving.
    It is unfortunate that this breed has been continued to be used for the wrong purposes and perpetuates the fear in people...I believe animals are a reflection of you and how you handle them(I bred Arabian horses for many years and they where labeled as crazy, but none of mine where, cause of my handling since birth.)
    My hero is "Cesar Millan" he has done more for the positive for the Pit bull breed, including Rottweiler's.
    The photos that are included in your article are just a few from all over the US...even here in my town, most dogs for adoption are Pit bulls.
    I pray that someday this breed will have it's loving purpose for human beings, and that can only be done when breeding them for that purpose, then the attitude towards this breed will change.

  • Thank you SO much for getting the word out about this wonderful breed! :) )
    Please check out our site at for more info on them! :) )))

  • I am grateful for and found your article most interesting today, Dr Pia. You're right!...what were my first tho'ts? - thinking negative connotations regarding the breed, I admit! The stories about these beloved companions throughout history were heart-warming yet very informative!

    Regarding larger-than-life lap dogs, I can factually report that Boxers fall into this category! As we all know, Boxers aren't little, nor are they great big, but they DO weigh some pounds! Daddy just LOVED to get one of them up on his lap, back when I was a little girl. The crazy dog (an endearing/comical term! [ex: 'cwazy doggie']) would climb up with such pleasure and sit there, with my poor dad craning and contorting his neck off to the side, trying to view the TV. (Poor Shultz or Dudley 'made a better door than window'! [giggle]) They also don't just sit AT your feet - they lay ON your feet! One time, too (I remember as if it was yesterday), I was playing (I was about 6 or 7) and fell down on the garage floor, which was concrete. It knocked the wind out of me, and our very first Boxer, Libby, came over and started licking me, as if she was trying to breathe life back into me (my mother SWEARS about this!) (Libby was the one my daddy cried over, when she died with cancer, back in the 1960's - I'll never forget it! She was a good ole girl!) These dogs are VERY affectionate and also good with children, and if any would hear another story to the contrary - well, I would venture to guess that someone taunted the dog to the point of causing it to lash out and snarl and show teeth, just as in Pit Bulls.

    Thank you, Dr Pia, for at least setting ME straight!


  • Thank you for this article.
    I have had my pitbull, Lucky, for 12 years now. He was adopted along with 2 cats and all are doing great.
    A poodle can be taught to kill...pitbulls are full of love like ALL dogs in the right hands.

  • Pits are intelligent, sensitive and powerful dogs. They are incredibly perceptive of human emotion and pick up on what's going on with the people around them. While these traits can make them fantastic pets, they really only become dangerous in the hands of the wrong owner. They're popular among breeders for dog fights who train the dogs to be that aggressive. We need heavy penalties for owners who raise a dog to be that way - they're the real danger.

  • This is a WONDERFUL article! I rescued my pit pupp at a mere 10 weeks old. He had already been adopted and returned by 2 different families, who both brought him back after realizing that he was a pit bull. In my household his goofy sweet nature and charm have become a staple that we all enjoy. Myself, my boyfriend, and our 4 cats all appreciate his sweet, gentle, and sometimes outright goofy personality. At the dog park, he is the most friendly and loving to each and every dog, regardless of shape or size. He truly thinks everything in the world is made for him to play with and love. And I agree. It is hard for me to understand why people wouldn't give ANY animal a chance for love and a good life. The ignorance of people and this wonderful breed is a shame. I am of the belief that any dog can be trained to be mean or aggressive, but they can also be raised to be loving and excellent pets and family members. Thank you so much for sharing this information.

  • Hi Dr. Pia, When my Mom took me for a nice walk today, we came across three pit bulls. This was very unusual because we usually only see one. The first one was tied up on her front walkway and she just barked at us. She is learning to be kinder around other dogs. As we were moving on, another pit bull came running toward us away from two boys chasing after him. My Mom told the pit bull to stop and stay which he did until the boys got closer and then he ran back past them and we never saw him again. As we were walking through a parking lot at the high school, I saw another pit bull/ridgeback mix and she looked very friendly and didn't bark at us. Mom took me over toward her and we had a nice time checking each other out while our Moms talked about us. My Mom said the third dog had been abused and like the first dog was becoming much more friendly. I agreed with my Mom that all dogs are as good as their owners treat them and teach them to be. Hi Franny and Sharkey; I'll talk to you again on Momday. Love Dudley Do Right xoxoxo

  • Thank you very much for taking your time to write such a great article...I own 3 wonderful pitbulls ; ) With the right treatment and lots of love they make wonderful pets...So thanks again..Peace,Love,and Pitbulls

  • Martha;

    Thank you for writing this. These are the types of things I try to communicate to my family every day! My aunts and uncles are impossibly scared of my dog, Kingsley, who is a boxer-pitbull mix. They say that he is too big; however, he is only 70 lbs (half the weight of the 2 yellow labs in the family).

    He is an amazing dog, and I cannot imagine my life without him!

    I almost didn't bring him home because of his breed, but decided that i should give him a chance. As of now, I don't think that I will ever get another breed of dog, especially because there are SO many pitties that need rescuing.

    Thank again, I will share this with my family.

  • Thank you Dr. Pia for publishing a positive article about this misunderstood breed. I believe that pit bull owners (myself included) need to work extra hard to change the public's perception of pit bulls by being responsible pet parents. For tips on how to create a breed ambassador, check out the October issue of the Downeast Dog News at

  • thank you so much for the positive words!. I do have to correct your history though: the American Pit Bull Terrier was NEVER known as "America's nanny dog". Its English cousin, the Staffordshire bull terrier, was called "the nanny dog" in the UK. The RCA dog is probably a Jack Russell Terrier. The dog on the WWI posters is labelled "American Bull Terrier", probably the US version of the "bull terrier" (the breed of the current Target dog), which was at that time pretty closely related to the APBT. The APBT and American Staffordshire Terrier WERE indeed beloved family pets before the recent hysteria about dogfighting and proliferation of moron owners; there's tons of real documentation about that, so we don't have make inaccurate statements to prove it.

  • Thank you so much for this article! I am a Pet Photographer, and my work was inspired by my Pit Bull, American Bulldog, Mastiff mix. I volunteer my services for Rescues such as the Animal Farm Foundation and work very hard to help break down the myths of the Pit Bull created by our hungry media.

    There are no bad dogs, only bad people.

    I photography countless dogs of all types. I love photographing dogs of the "bully" persuasion, as they all have fabulous personalities. They are comedians, loving, kind, soulful, and the fact these dogs have been portrayed the way they have, and even BANNED from certain cities, completely woke up the Activist in me.

    Thank you, for doing your part as well!

  • Thank you so much for such a well written and TRUE posting! And thank you for choosing "Oliver" for your Gallery. He is one special boy that, without the lady he is with, wouldn't have a chance in the world.
    I hope that your post helps those adoptables that you featured!! Awareness and education is the key!!

  • Thank you for this great article in such a high profile web setting. Along with the classic dogs such as Petey, there are MANY modern American Pit Bull Terrier heroes, including pit bull service dogs, therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, drug and bomb sniffing dogs and involved in many canine sports along with being beloved, stable family dogs. I have owned the breed since 1990 and my current dogs are strays or pulled from shelters the day their death by euthanasia was ordered. I have one with her AKC Canine Good Citizen Award and Therapy DOg certification and the others in training while they await adoptive homes. I have received my AKC CGC Evaluator certification so that I may be able to help other pit bulls achieve their Canine Good Citizen awards and be great breed ambassadors as well! For more outstanding current pit bulls, please visit and . The good examples of the breed and their owners far outweigh the negative ones!
    Thanks again,

  • Thank you for this article! One more piece of work to share with the doubters and haters. In Philadelphia, now more than ever, we need more understanding and caring for this breed/group of breeds, and sources like this help every day.

  • I had to laugh when I read the line: "They seem to be confused as to their size: Most believe they are cuddly little lap dogs and see no reason why they, too, can’t accompany their human everywhere in a chic little purse… I guess it’s worth a try…" I thought that the aforementioned trait was individual to the personality of my pit bull, but apparently snuggling is common to the breed. My husband's and my nightly ritual often begins with pushing our pitty out of the bed, only to wake up and find her under the covers and in between us (our digital camera is filled with morning pictures of snuggling). This is in addition to the fact that she often contorts her body into the smallest possible position so she can sit on my lap, regardles of the size of the chair in which I am sitting. She even insists on sittting in my lap as I drive (a habit that has been difficult to break).

    I rescued my pit bull when I was living in New Orleans as a first year law student. I was not looking for a specific breed when I decided I needed a canine companion, rather, she found me and won me over with her squinty eyes, wiggly rear, and animated ears. My adoption of her was not without reservation, however. I immediately bought every book I could find on the breed and became well versed on how to exercise, train, and discipline a "pit bull." My parents were hesitant when I told them of my new companion and my little rescue was a terror the first year we were together (destroying infinite number of shoes, furniture, clothing, and escaping from her crate countless times). But, with a little paitence and love and discipline, she is now a fabulous dog and wins everyone over (dog lovers and cat people, alike). I now live in Denver and am a huge advocate for the breed. The ban here is one of the strictest in the country and is grossly unfair. I plan to fight the ban with vigor and fevor and to change the reputation of these amazing dogs (or as my sister says, they are small people in dog suits). I will never own another breed and I give you my deepest thanks for being one of the few publications to place these dogs in a positive light.

  • What a wonderful and accurate article!
    As the mother of a 9 yr old rescued pitbull and the friend of many others, all gentle misunderstood souls I applaud you Martha and all who have contributed in the writing of this wonderful piece!
    Brigitte Nagy-Toronto Canada

  • Thank you. I am a retired kindergarten teacher and my daughter have a pitbull mix. I was concerned because we knew nothing about the breed. But we read everything we could get our hands on and we learned... and fell in love. I've seen enough now to know that the things we love about our little clown are the traits that should be stressed. Loving, friendly, loyal, anxious to please and so very smart.

  • Thank you so much for this positive article! We've been walking our neighbor's dogs- three pits and a chow mix- and while I love them all the pits are definitely the sweetest of the bunch. It's so sad how people look at us and cross the street when they see us coming- I can understand being put off by the youngest who likes to jump, but I've had people avoid me while walking only the oldest, who moves at a snails pace and just wants to sit on your feet and eat any grass that might be coming out of the sidewalk. But come to think of it I knew someone with a basset hound and people reacted the same way- i guess some folks are just afraid of dogs entirely! Anyway, given the media bias in reporting on pitbull attacks (never mind that ALL animals are capable of attacking) it's much appreciated to see someone focusing on the positive aspects of this breed.

  • Thank you, Dr. Salk, for this excellent article and thanks to Martha Stewart for giving it an audience.

    We forget that pit bulls are "just" dogs - no more no less. And a dog's chief desire, above all else, is to be loved. The Michael Vick dogs, like countless other dogs rescued from horrible circumstances, show us that every day by stepping up when we give them the chance and becoming wonderful, loving pets.

    Love is grater than fear.

  • You really have a good point of view. Mostly pit bulls are described being dangerous by media.

    How funny to know that these dogs are firstly known as Nanny's dog.

  • Hello! Thank you so much for writing something so positive about these wonderful dogs. It always warms my heart when people say good things about pitbulls. I have a pit named Vino that I rescued from an irresponsible owner who couldn't afford to pay for surgery when his leg was broken (thanks to an "accidental" kick from the owner's roommate). Vino is now a happy, healthy 3-legged ambassador for his breed. I take him everywhere and introduce him to everyone just to show that even an abused pitbull can be loving and kind.

    Thanks again, Alex S.

  • While I am sure many of these dogs can be lovable pets, I will forever be wary of them and will NEVER own one. I was attacked while walking my dog by my neighbor's two (tiny) pitbulls. Thankfully they bit only my dog (a giant, good-hearted) mastiff before the neighbor pulled them off, but they nearly tore her ear off and punctured her underarm. If the owners had not been there, I shudder to think what may have happened further to her, or to myself.

    I have never been afraid of dogs and have never had a problem telling them to STOP and SIT, but these dogs had one thing on their pea-brain minds...DESTROY! What frightens me the most is that I've played with these dogs before and even had them in my house. I have never seen the ugly side until one unfortunate afternoon when they just simply snapped and broke out of their fence.

    Be careful of pit bulls. I say this from experience, not hearsay.

  • Thank you for this.

    As the proud momma to an APBT, from the bottom of my heart I thank you.

  • How refreshing to find a well thought out intelligent article about pit bull type dogs as opposed to the usual media misinformation, fear mongreling and hype.


  • Just a note to also say, "Thanks." I have lost my best friend because I have a Pit Bull. I actually have two; Nestle and her pup, Ruff 'n Reddy. I can attest to all the comments about "lap dogs." Can you imagine a 50# momma and a 40# son on your lap? Try to watch tv then! But, I wouldn't give them up for anything. The love I get every day, even when I'm disciplining them, is truly amazing. Being owned by a Pit isn't the easiest thing in the world; and certainly isn't for everyone. My neighbors made my life really rough when I got my babies (I had four, then--three puppies). We had to put up a six foot fence to be legal, but they wanted me to tie up my dogs! I told them I will never tie up my dogs as a regular thing. To me that is abuse!
    Thanks, again for a positive, informative article.

  • Bless you for this article! I have passed your article along to anyone who may be ignorant of how lovely the Pit Bull breed is. My husband an I have rescued our beloved Jake from a Humane Society, and today we are having a meet and greet for him, so we can adopt another Pit Bull. They are such loving, goofy, playful dogs. People like to blame the breed because they are too self-righteous to place blame appropriately.. on their malicious masters. So thank you and God bless you for writing such a touching article. The world needs to hear stories such as these.

  • I owned a pitbull for the past 8 years until she passed away this year of cancer. She was the most loving dog! She was not a dog to me she was my bestfriend and always will be. Its so great when people can be properlly infomed about the breed! So many of my friends and family didnt want me to get a pitbull and they were affraid of them but then I got kyra and everyone that met her loved her and change their thoughts about them forever.I am so greatful that I had a pitbull in my family.I just starting to look for another pitbull now to join our family with young kids!

  • I own 2 Rottweilers, 3 chihuahuas, my room mate owns a doberman. Now heres my thoughts. Any and all dogs need socialation. I had two pitbulls at one time. I was in the process of moving. I put them up in a shed. Unfortunately there was a hole in the backside of the shed. My pits a 6mo old female and a 3 year old male. Both very loveable and very social to people. The 6mo old came into heat at the time of escape. A neighbor two houses over had a lab dog that was on a tie out pulley system. I think with the female in heat , he tried to mount my girl....reported to me by the children who unfortunately wittness what happened. My male pit attacked the lab dog. My male pit killed the poor lab.The county Sheriff came and shot and killed my female out of fear (she was just coming up to him in her friendly nature) due to the inflamed news media. My male escaped and ran for his life.long story short.I surendered the male that was inpounded til court date. After restitution, I was able to keep my male but had to remove him from the county.The SPCA reported that my dog was not a danger to humans. SOCIALIZATION to other dogs was my bad.Now I do my best to have my dogs around people, and other dogs and pets. My cat rules over my so called agressive breeds. My dogs love everyone that they come in contact with they come in contact with. The breeds I have all have a very protective instinct. You can not just visit my house without me but when the doorbell rings my dogs understand we may have company. After the greeting they usually end up at our feet and very happy to have visitors. that includes other dogs they might bring with them. SOCILAZILATION, SOCIALIZATION, I can't say it enough. Pit Bulls are wonderful dogs. When God forbid when my oldest goes to Dog Heaven, I plan to get another Pit. I hope to help to further show people the very loving side of Pits. I want to help vindicate the Pit by showing everyone I come in contact with that the news is all hype.

  • I am a child of the 50's. My father had a pit when I was born named Lady. She was trained to be my Nanny and was till she died at 15. My dad was a watch repairman/jewelry repair salesman. So when he was on deliveries I went with him. When I was sleep he left me in the car with Lady. When I woke, she flew in whatever store he was in to let him know and get the bottle I always wanted. I father had her trained to prop it for me till he got to the car if he was ub the middle of business. He said people would stop and stare at us in the car. But Lady would not let anyone bother me unless it was a relative. We shared ice cream when I got older. Which made my dad angry he said it was unhygenic, so he bought two, so I slid down in the car so we could share two ice creams and he never knew. She walked me to school and waited till I got out and walked me to my dad's store. Lady slept with me at night. Lady was a full blooded Pit, looked like the rascals pit. I loved that dog. I hate the reputation pitts have gotten, but a few people spoil it for everyone. Just like rottweilers their reputations are the same way.

  • WOW!!! This article truly pin-points what I try to tell "ignorant" people all the time. Too "judge a book by its cover" is prejudism and when one sees a pit and thinks they are the worlds MOST aggressive dog without getting to know him first, is just that, PREJUDISM!! I met my boyfriend & Haze (short for Hazel) 3 years ago and although I heard such stories of the aggression and being a little skeptical myself I showed him no fear EVER, only love. Well, we made the decision to move in together but there was one little problem, litteraly, my little one Buddha (poodle-daschund mix) only weighing 15lbs. I thought this would either end my relationship or my dogs life. I couldnt let that happen and being as determined as I am I made it work. Haze, a red-nose/55lb dog with a tail as hard as a hammer who had NEVER had any other interaction with such a small dog, i thought this would take forver to make him like Buddha. It took no more than 2 weeks and they were the best of friends. Little by little we brought them closer to each other. We started with putting Hze in the office with the French door so he could see him but not hurt him. So he could see that he was welcomed and no threat to the household. Then after a couple of days of that we moved to the next step... bringing them in to the same room together. My bf was on one end of the "L" shaped couch petting Haze but talking to Buddha, while I was on the other end w/BUddha doing the same. There was some growling from Haze but that past. The last step was to sit with both dogs and pet them at the same time and talking to them, showing them both affection. Needless to say by the end of the 2nd week they seemed "cool" about the situation. We wen togrocery shopping one day and left them alone in the living room(a friend was in the office) and when we got back they were wrestling and playing and it was such a joyous moment!!! A moment of satisfaction!! 3 years later and they are inseperable, in fact, Haze gets extremely despressed if my little one is not around. I mean, he gets realy sick and wont eat. If this sint a story of inspiration and hope for ALL skeptical beings out there then I dont knwo what is!! I love my hairy sons!!

  • I live in Greeley, Colorado and visit numerous homes where pitbull dogs are living there also. I love them so much. 20 wonderful years and couldn't imagine being around any other breed. Their love and loyalty is exceeded by no other. If it isn't a pitbull dog, then it is just a dog. From Pitbull Daddy.

  • Thank you so much for writing this article. It is perfectly timed. I volunteer for the Yavapai Humane Society and am currently training THE MOST ADORABLE pit bull girl named Angel. She's is a love bug. She already knows how to sit and today I was teaching her how to heel and do "down". She's so sensitive; I have to be very careful with my commands with her. I loved learning more about the breed from your article and posted it on my facebook page, along with Angel's picture, as so many are skeptical about this wonderful breed.

  • Me and my boyfriend currently share a pit bull mix that was a stray and a yorkie mix. I have to say Poseidon (pitt mix) is one of the sweetest dogs i have ever known. We love him to death and couldnt ask for better. His tail is constantly waggin and he is constantly smilin. My aunt owns a Camelot pitt and she also has an 8 month old baby and you can lay that baby next to Red (pitt) and he will jus lay there while the baby touches him. When the baby was first born Red wouldnt let him out of his site. We would joke around and call him mother hen. And Dr. Salk you couldnt be more right about pitts thinkin they are lap dogs. Red will jump on the couch and lay in your lap thinkin he is a poodle. My brother used to have a pitt named harley and she was protective over my brother. If you wrestled with him she would try and get you off. she wouldnt hurt you but she would try and get you to stop. Im so glad you published this article. Pitts are the sweetest dogs i know. i love them to death!!

  • Thank you for sharing this article and letting people know the loving nature of this wonderful breed. I am the proud owner of a red nosed pit bull, a boxer/pitbull and a lab/pitbull. Oh yeah, and a cat. Not only are all 3 of my dogs my 4 yr old daughter's greatest friends, they are also the cat's best friends as well. The are constantly annoying my daughter by all 3 of them trying to snuggle with her on the couch. If she is sick, they will not leave her side. They are a bunch of big silly lap babies. So here's my story: on Christmas Eve the two boys, the pittie and his buddy the boxer pit, snuck out a hole in the fence. When we realized they were gone we panicked, since 2 lose pitbulls in a neighborhood might cause a bit of fear in the neighbors. We had already been told by a neighbor who is a police officer, that my extremely well behaved dogs are not welcome to be off leash. We frantically searched for the boys for about 15 minutes. We found them 2 blocks away, on leashes, being walked by a little girl and boy and their mom. The mom told us, they are such nice dogs and were so friendly that we thought we should walk around them around to find their owners, because they are obviously someone's beloved pets. And they boys? Well, they were just so excited to be playing with someone else! It's good to know there are good people out there that don't judge a dog by it's breed. I love my babies! Love Jasmine, Gypsy, Aesop and Silas.

  • How sad that this breed, or any animal for that matter, has been so badly abused and maligned. I believe that The Supreme Being, God if you will, has given us all animals to teach us about love...a lesson we all so badly need!

  • My family adopted a Pit Bull/Catahula mix (1 yr old)from the Humane Society. It is a shame how many pits are in need of a family, just at that shelter alone. Our dog's name is Sugar, which happens to match her personality perfectly! She actually looks like the white pit above the comments, but has some spots on her. From day one, Sugar has been the sweetest, most behaved pet I have ever had or seen. She listens to everything we tell her, and she is remarkable with our children. She plays with them, and lays on the floor with them while they watch TV. She even lets them put sunglasses and Rudolph antlers on her for a picture! Sugar also thinks she is a lap dog, and tries every second we are there to climb up on us with her 90 lbs body. The kids have accidentally stepped on her, fallen on her, and dropped things on her, and she has never once showed any agression what so ever. Right after we adopeted Sugar, someone had attempted to break in to our home while we were there. We had never heard Sugar bark, but as soon as that person tried to come through the door, Sugar was all teeth and fierce loud barking as she lunged out the door. She protected us, without even really knowing us that well. We came outside to her standing in front yard, and no one to be seen. I trust my life with her, and I encourage everyone else who is skeptical, to give pit bulls a chance. They look mighty fierce, strong, and to some people, scarey, but they are loyal, sweet, protective, and most definitely a part of the family! I could not imagine my family without Sugar!

  • Thank you for this great article my friend has a blue nose pit and he is a great dog all he wants is attention and love and of course he thinks he's about ten pounds because he loves to sit on your lap. Rocky is great when I walk in the house he tries to give me a hug he really is a fun dog to be around and I wish I could take him's a shame that the pit bull breed has such a bad name,they are a very misunderstood breed.if you train them well and show them love they will be the most loyal and lovable breed

  • My last dog was a pittie that loved everyone even if he had not met them yet. He proved that one day when we were out for a winter walk. Sow covering the ground and he loved to play in the snow running forr the joy of running. He was trying to get my attention so I would throw the ball for hm. All af a sudden he stopped in his tracks lifted his head in the air and took off running as fast as he could. He refused to return when called which was very much not Garth. went running after him. I caught up to him just in time to see him go flying off into the river. I knew he liked to swim but it was about 17* out that day. I had no idea as to why he would jump into the freezing water when I heard a voice. Someone had fallen into the fast moving water and were to cold to reach the bank. My dog had gone out and broughtt the person back to shore. She was so cold and a long way back to the car. My pittie took it upon himself to stay close to her while I called 911. It took about 20 minutes for them to arrive. I had taken my coat off and wrapped both of them with it. Both the woman and my pittie survive that winter and she wrote a letter every year until the day he passed from cancer. He was loved and many people who knew him had tears that sorrowful day.

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